Many office holiday parties have gift exchanges. In preparation, each attendee draws a name of another co-worker and buys a gift for them with a cost limit. Some of the draws are secret and therefore, the gift giver is known as a Secret Santa.
Choosing a gift with a fairly small price tag for someone you barely know can be a challenge. If a woman gets the name of a man she barely knows, it is even more of a challenge.
The key to getting a good gift for a man is to keep it simple. Men enjoy useful items and if the price limit is $20 or less, it is not likely you will be able to get something of lasting value anyway.
Gifts for Men from Secret Santa
Some inexpensive popular gifts that will appeal to most men:
- Music CDs, especially music that was popular when they were in high school
- Books, including popular novels, business books and histories
- Movies on DVD; Action movies or comedies are a safe bet.
- Beer and wine are safer than spirits. Even if you end up with a teetotaler, they will likely not make a scene at the party
- Food gifts, like nuts or popcorn tins
- Local sports team clothing.
- Calendars, either sports or humor related. For humor, stick with something safe like office humor and stay away from suggestive items (unless you are trying to send a message)
- Beer glasses or steins
- Barbecue utensils; No man can resist cooking on the grill.
- Stress relief items (hand exercisers, back scratchers)
The key to a good cheap gift for a man is to think disposable, or at least something that can be regifted. It is better to receive an item that can be used once than something that will never see the outside of the box.
Secret Santa Gift Cards for Guys
Although they require less thought, gifts cards are often a good choice for someone you hardly know. A gift card to an inexpensive popular restaurant is better than an expensive one. A $20 gift card to Ruth Chris’s Steakhouse will end up costing the guy money, since there are no entrees available for that price.
Gift cards to bookstores are useful, since he will be able to purchase a lot of different items there, including coffee and pastries. A good last resort is a Starbucks or McDonald’s gift card.
Secret Santa Gifts for Men to Avoid
Resist the temptation to buy office supply items like pens and portfolios. For $20, you won’t be able to buy a special brand of writing instrument and he likely has a thousand pens he has mistakenly taken home from the office.
Personal items like neckties are a bad idea, since men’s tastes vary, and cuff-links go in and out of fashion. Most men already have a watch, and new ones are just another hassle when it comes to replacing batteries. Gag gifts are usually less fun than planned.
Buying a gift for a man for the office party doesn’t have to be a problem. It is likely he will forget the gift by the time he sees you in the New Year, so wrap up something simple and enjoy the party.