Gave you what you wanted…


8 for 20

Over the next few weeks you will be able to see some of the gifts I’ll be giving this season (with tips on how you can easily purchase or make something similar).  Let’s begin with some Secret Santa gifts that set me back less than $20 total.

A bit of backstory: each year I participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange at work.  There are only two rules; you can’t spend more than $20, and you have to purchase an ornament out of that amount (which is used to reveal each Santa).  After choosing your person you receive a listing of their favorite candy, snack, non-alcoholic beverage (it is work), hobby, color, and the like.   Everyone hangs their stockings at the start of December so gifts can be deposited as often as Santa sees fit.  You can open your gift(s) at any time or all at once. Trying to guess who your Santa might be is highly encouraged.  With any luck, all of the Santa’s identities will remain a mystery until the ornament reveal happens at our holiday lunch.

This year I challenged myself to see how many nice things I could give my ‘secret’ while keeping within my $20 budget.  This person likes chocolate, golds and greens, coffee, and owls…here’s what I purchased or made and will be secretly delivering over the next 7 days…

  1. Ghiradelli Sea Salt Cashews ($3.80 from Amazon)
  2. Holographic Glittered Bronze Owl Ornament ($4.99 form Walmart)
  3. Golden Mechanical Pencil Assortment ($3.00 from Target’s Dollar Spot Christmas Collection)
  4. ‘Warm Hands Warm Heart’ Knit Gloves ($1.00 from JoAnn Fabrics)
  5. Aloe Plant in 6″ Clay Pot and Saucer ($1.00 plant from Lowe’s. I had the pot and saucer, acrylic paint and ribbon on hand. I cleaned and then painted the pot and saucer with 3 coats of acrylic paint, then  glued ribbon around the top of the pot, leaving enough extra ribbon to tie into a pretty bow.)
  6.  Starbucks Card (given to me and being re-gifted; a $5 value that technically cost me zero.)
  7. Infinity Scarf (I used this silky beaded charmeuse fabric which I had left over from another project, to make the scarf.  Search Pinterest for “how to make an infinity scarf”.  Even a novice seamstress can make an infinity scarf in less than an hour. And since I already had the fabric and thread on hand the scarf cost nada to make.)
  8. Golden Writing Case with Notes ($3.00 from Target’s Dollar Spot Christmas Collection)

…A little ingenuity combined with some re-gifting, material re-sourcing, and sweat equity, and I now have 7 days of gifts, plus and ornament, for $17!  Now all I need to do is deposit each gift unnoticed, hope the person likes what they’ve received, and can’t figure out I’m their Santa until I give them the owl!

How about you?  Will you participate in a Secret Santa or other type of gift exchange this year?  What sorts of gifts do you plan on giving (or making)? I’d love to know…



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