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The best Secret Santa gift ideas for every kind of friend

To avoid holiday season stress, consult our guide to the best Secret Santa gift ideas for every kind of friend

Photograph: Courtesy Hella Company

It’s that time of year, folks: gift-giving season. And while you probably know your family’s tastes pretty well, it isn’t always easy to pick the perfect present for your pals, no matter how much you love them. Sure, you could always splurge on a meal at one of the best French restaurants in America, a stay at the most romantic hotels in America or a round of pints of the best craft beer in America—but those don’t gift-wrap so easily. So, when your gift-giving deadline looms, check out this handy guide to the best Secret Santa gift ideas, with cherry-picked goodies that are perfect for every type of friend. 

Best Secret Santa gift ideas

For the wine lover: Wine Enthusiast electric blue automatic wine opener

For the wine lover: Wine Enthusiast electric blue automatic wine opener

For that friend who just can’t get enough vino, this automatic opener makes it quick and easy to open a bottle (or three—who are we to judge?) over the course of an evening. $29.95 at wineenthusiast.com

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For the animal—and hunk—lover: Tails of Rescue Men 2017 calendar

For the animal—and hunk—lover: Tails of Rescue Men 2017 calendar

We’ve all heard of those sexy cop and sexy firemen calendars, but this 2017 calendar takes a the monthly hunk idea a step forward. Each of the twelve men featured within its pages poses with his real-life, adopted fuzzy friend, in order to raise awareness to the plight of shelter animals. All proceeds, of course, benefit Pillows for Paws, a nonprofit volunteer group that supplies shelter pets with toys, treats and other items. $25 at rescuemen.org 

For the bookworm: Frostbeard studio book lovers’ soy candle

For the bookworm: Frostbeard studio book lovers’ soy candle

Even if you know your pal loves books, it’s not always easy to know their tastes in literature. Instead of getting her a book, bring the seductive smell of bookstore into her home with this thematic candle, whose driftwood/mahogany/coffee/leather scent will evoke her favorite shop. $18 at etsy.com 

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For the fashionista: Anthropologie crescent hoops

For the fashionista: Anthropologie crescent hoops

For the put-together friend who always looks flawless, these chic, simple gold-tone earrings will amp up an already stylish look. $38 at anthropologie.com

For the home cook: Bitterman Salt Co. fleur de sel

For the home cook: Bitterman Salt Co. fleur de sel

Encourage your culinary inclined friend to whip you up a delicious meal by gifting them this delicate French sea salt, whose briny flakes accentuate everything from roasted potatoes to salted caramels. $10 at themeadow.com

For the tech addict: Anker Astro portable power bank

For the tech addict: Anker Astro portable power bank

Although we’re all addicted to our phones these days, you might have that one friend who is super into technology. This nifty little portable charger, which is slim, small and charges iPhones, iPads, Androids and more, will therefore be much appreciated. $23.99 at amazon.com

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For the home bartender: Hella Bitters bar set

For the home bartender: Hella Bitters bar set

Mixology is all the rage these days, so chances are you’ve got at least one buddy who loves to show off his Manhattan-mixing skills. Up his game with this set of five petite bottles of cocktail bitters in smoked chili, citrus, aromatic, orange and ginger flavors. $34.95 at hellacompany.com

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For the caffeine craver: Gimme! Coffee Brew & Blend gift box

For the caffeine craver: Gimme! Coffee Brew & Blend gift box

For the bleary-eyed coffee lover, this set from New York’s Gimme! Coffee is the perfect choice: it’s got a bag of smooth, mild Piccolo Mondo blend, a bag of bold Leftist espresso, and a handy brew guide that will ensure the perfect cup. $32 at gimmecoffee.com

For the world traveler: Atlas Obscura travel guide

For the world traveler: Atlas Obscura travel guide

Online “community of explorers” Atlas Obscura has finally released a hardcover version of its recommendations for really-and-truly off-the-beaten-path, wondrous travel destinations like the South African baobab tree that houses a pub that seats 15 people. The book is a must for any travel lover or adventurer. $21 at amazon.com

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For the art lover: Dover Art coloring book

For the art lover: Dover Art coloring book

Adult coloring books are all the rage, so indulge your arts-loving friend with this one full of masterpieces. From Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” to Edward Hopper’s “Hotel Room,” the classics are all here for your aspiring Mary Cassatt to hue to her heart’s content. $5.14 at amazon.com

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For the nature lover: Duncraft classic window feeder

For the nature lover: Duncraft classic window feeder

Fans of flora and especially of fauna will love this little birdfeeder—it sticks right to a window, affording a close-up view of sparrows, finches and other birds. $15.95 at duncraft.com

For the chile head: Make Your Own Hot Sauce kit

For the chile head: Make Your Own Hot Sauce kit

For heat addicts, this easy make-your-own-hot-sauce-kit is a fun gift idea. Chipotle and guajillo peppers bring heat while curry and cayenne bring spice, and there are even cute labels that add a personal touch to each bottle of the fiery stuff. $34.95 at uncommongoods.com

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For the beer drinker: BottleLoft magnetic beer bottle strips

For the beer drinker: BottleLoft magnetic beer bottle strips

Chances are the hop-head in your life faces an inscrutable problem: a fridge that’s very, very full of bottles. This handy “bottle loft” uses magnetic strips anchored to the top of the fridge to lift up beer bottles and make room for more important items, like, you know, even more beers. $38 at uncommongoods.com

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For the workaholic: Lush Relax spa kit

For the workaholic: Lush Relax spa kit

We’ve all got ‘em: those friends who just can’t step away from their work email/phone calls/etc. Encourage the stressed-out pal in your life to put down the phone and get into the bath, to luxuriate in this kit’s calming, lavender-scented shower gel, bath bomb and Dream Cream. $25.95 at lush.com

For the party animal: Glacier stainless steel hip flask

For the party animal: Glacier stainless steel hip flask

When hitting the pricey clubs, it’s always a good idea to BYO nip of a lil’ something extra. This sleek, stainless steel hip flask slides easily into a pocket or purse, for a gift your party hardy pal will love. $24.95 at outlandusa.com

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