Awesome Drinks kit
Photograph: Jennifer Shommer

The best Secret Santa gift ideas for everyone on your list

To avoid holiday season stress, consult our guide to the best Secret Santa gift ideas for everyone on your list


It’s the most wonderful time of the year: the holiday season. And you know what that means: time to break out your wallet and shell out for gifts. While you probably know your family’s tastes pretty well, it isn’t always easy to pick the perfect present for friends; sure, you could always splurge on a meal at one of the best sushi restaurants in America, a stay at the coolest treehouses to rent in America or a round of Merlots at the best wine bars in America—but those don’t gift-wrap so easily. So before Christmas Eve sneaks up on you, scope this handy guide to the best Secret Santa gift ideas, with cherry-picked goodies that are perfect for every type of pal and just about everyone on your list.

Secret Santa gift ideas

For the wine drinker: Williams Sonoma smoke gray decanter


Help your vino-sipping friend feel fancy even if she’s just cracking open a bottle of Two Buck Chuck with this smoky glass decanter, which helps red wines breathe and opens up the fullness of their flavor and complexity. Handmade in Turkey, it also looks pretty sitting on the shelf in the rare event that your pal isn’t in a drinking mood.

For the animal lover: Mead Unlikely Animal Friends 2018 wall calendar


One of the rare traditions to survive into the digital age, there’s just something fun about hanging up a new wall calendar on the first of January. Any animal lover in your life will go loco for this one, featuring ridiculously adorable pairings of friends such as a kitten and a baby deer, a piglet and a pug, and our favorite: a baby goat perched on the back of a donkey.


For the bookworm: WMS & Co. sterling silver corner page bookmark


Forget flimsy paper bookmarks and heaven forbid you even consider dog-earing a beloved book: this elegant triangle of sterling silver slips over the corner of a tome to hold your favorite literature-lover’s place. Reading has never been this fashionable.

For the fashionista: Anthropologie Triumverate drop earrings


We usually find hippie-chic clothing and accessory store Anthropologie to be a bit pricy, but we have to give kudos to their affordable selection of cute jewelry. Your fashion plate friend will love this versatile drop earrings, set into a delicate golden frame with a garnet drop and two smoky gray ones below.


For the home cook: Messermeister acacia magnetic knife block


Great cooks know that the key to keeping knives sharp is minimizing any friction on the blade; sliding them in and out of a traditional knife rack eventually wears them down. This ingenious knife block from German knife experts Messermeister stylishly solves that problem, anchoring knives to the outside of a handsome block of variegated acacia wood. Your home chef friend will love it (and hey, maybe you’ll even get a dinner invitation in exchange).

For the tech obsessed: Anker Powercore portable charger


Although we’re all addicted to our phones, tablets and laptops these days, you might have that one friend who is super into technology. This nifty portable charger, which is slim, small and charges iPhones, iPads, Androids and more, will therefore be much appreciated.


For the home bartender: Awesome Drinks home bartender starter kit


For that one friend whose level of expertise goes way beyond gin and tonics, this home bartender kit will help shake up Manhattans, daiquiris and negronis with ease. With all the tools needed to make cocktails both classic and new—the eight-piece set includes a Boston shaker and pint glass, a hardwood muddler, a citrus juicer, a bar spoon, a double jigger and two kinds of strainers—this is the perfect gift for any amateur mixologist.

For the caffeine addict: Stumptown Coffee blend trio


For the bleary-eyed coffee lover, this set from Portland, Oregon’s Stumptown Coffee is the perfect choice: it includes a half-pound bag of creamy, caramel-y Holler Mountain beans; a half-pound bag of dark, chocolaty Hair Bender beans; and a half-pound bag of the roaster’s fruity, floral house blend.


For the world traveler: 1,000 Places to See Before You Die travel guide


Give your backpacking, adventuring, frequent-flying friend a few, oh, hundred suggestions on places to go next with this exhaustive guide for the travel-loving spirit. With 600 full-color photographs and entries about places as far-flung as Lebanon and the Amalfi Coast, your peregrinating friend will never be at a loss for their next trip.

For the compulsive doodler: Enchanted Forest coloring book


Author and illustrator Johanna Basford of uber-popular adult coloring book The Secret Garden is back with this “inky quest:” intricate, full-page black-and-white designs of magical woodlands (and their inhabitants) waiting to be filled in with colored pencils or watercolors. Would-be artistes will love it.


For the nature lover: Nikon Aculon binoculars


For the amateur birder or wanna-be safari-goer in your life, these affordably priced binoculars are the perfect gift. Lightweight, with an easy-to-use central focus knob and surprising optical clarity, they’re ideal for the nature lover who wants to take a closer look at her favorite flora and fauna.

For the chile head: Mo Hotta Mo Betta sauce gift sampler


We all know that one dude or dudette who can’t stop chasing the heat and has a fridge full of chipotle en adobe, sriracha and sambal. Feed their fiery addiction with this five-bottle set from Mo Hotta Mo Betta, featuring a range of versatile sauces: Red Savina Habanero; Jalapeño Classic; Cayenne Garlic; Chipotle Adobo and Sunny Serrano.


For the beer drinker: Klean Kanteen insulated growler


Beer enthusiasts can get pretty heady about their favorite suds, opining on tasting notes and stocking their homes with hoppy paraphernalia. Allow the IPA-lover in your life to take his obsession to go with this 64-ounce growler: insulated to keep brews cold and airtight to keep them fizzy, the sleek canteen is a perfect choice for BYOB hiking, camping or tailgating.

For the workaholic: L’Occitane relaxing lavender collection


We’ve all got ‘em: those pals who just can’t step away from their work email/phone calls/etc. Encourage the stressed-out buddy in your life to put down the phone and get into the bath, to luxuriate in this kit’s calming, lavender-scented foaming bath gel. While they’re soaking, they can light the kit’s herbal candle, then moisturize post-bath with its rich hand cream.


For the party animal: Yours Personalized engraved hip flask


When hitting the pricey clubs (or boring parties), it’s always a good idea to BYO nip of a lil’ something extra. Let your shot-taking pal do so in style with this matte black flask, which slides easily into a pocket or purse—and comes personalized with his or her initials.

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