+ Ask The Edit, + Gift Guide

Belle's Gift Guide: The Secret Santa

Last week, a co-worker asked for some advice on what to take to a White Elephant/Secret Santa party.  These parties often have price limits under $25, and that price point makes shopping a bit challenging.  Here are some creative gift ideas for those parties that are more about spending time together than they are about giving and receiving gifts.


4-Piece Martini Set (CB2, $18)

Can you believe that this fabulous martini-set is less than $20?  Pair this with a decent bottle of vodka and you have a gift that costs less than $25 and please a large number of people.  Even when they’re not using a stir up lemon drops and Cosmopolitans, your friend can display the set on a nice tray in their living or dining room.  

I prefer giving martini glasses to wine glasses because most people have wine glasses.  Also, the pitcher can be used for iced-tea or chilled cocktails in the summer months.  And if you are giving a gift to non-drinkers, try mugs and hot cocoa mix.  It’s just a nice way to give a gift that can be used during the holiday season.

O.P.I Four Piece Set (Amazon, $10)

In my opinion, women spend too much money on nail care.  I do all my own manicures and pedicures, and I have found that a PedEgg and a steady hand can do a good job and save a lot of coin.  This Holiday Season, give your friend a pedicure kit including a nail polish, chip protector, top coat, nail file and moisturizing foot cream.  For less than $25, you can give someone the gift of cute toes and fiscal responsibility.  But if your friends are strictly “spa girls,” just purchase a $25 certificate to a local spa and let them choose their service.


Mini-Hibachi (House of Rice, $17)

Right now, you’re probably wondering what the Hades you can do with a mini-Hibachi, but this little guy is a S’More making machine.  And who doesn’t like S’Mores?  Communists, that’s who.  Disliking S’Mores is a level of anti-Americanism that will have the ghost of Sen. McCarthy on your doorstep by dawn.

Add a box of graham crackers, a package of Hershey bars, a bag of marshmallows and a packaged of wooden skewers and you have “An Apartment Dwellers S’More Kit.”  This is a fun gift that is great for a number of different recipients.  And if you’re looking for a romantic idea for a quiet date at home, light a few candles and make a few S’Mores.


Plaid Blanket Scarf (GAP, $24.50)

Thanks to their popularity among celebrities, scarves have become a fashion staple.  Unlike most other clothing items, a scarf doesn’t have to fit.  If you want a safe choice, select something black or cream or a solid color.  I you want to go for something bold, choose a bright color or pattern.  Whatever you choose, most women will find something that matches it.  

White Elephant gift parties are difficult because you don’t know who you are buying for and you have to stay under a certain price limit.  But with a little creativity, you can create a great gift that will work for most recipients.  


Leave a Reply to Laura · cancel comment

    leave a comment

  1. Ms. B says:

    Isn’t the purpose of the white elephant gift to be something that is "not such a great gift" or a regifting event? Maybe I have this wrong.

    November 30, -0001/Reply
  2. Laura says:

    That plaid Gap scarf is so lovely, I might be picking one up for a friend….and one for me!

    December 14, 2009/Reply
  3. Princess Freckles says:

    I almost want the mini hibachi for myself! I looooove s’mores, and the possibility of having them no matter the weather or time of year is too good to be true!

    December 14, 2009/Reply
  4. Ms. B says:

    Isn’t the purpose of the white elephant gift to be something that is "not such a great gift" or a regifting event? Maybe I have this wrong.

    December 15, 2009/Reply
  5. Kim says:

    Thanks for the great ideas! I was panicking about this this morning our limit is $10. TEN! I can’t even get a mini box of Godiva chocolates for that!

    December 15, 2009/Reply