giftIt’s that time of the year again. We can almost smell the custard, taste the sizzling steak, see the couple under the mistletoe and hear the sleigh bells on the roof. It’s time to start decorating the tree, eating more chocolate than you normally can and buying Christmas presents. But with the latter comes problems, especially when you draw the name of the person you haven’t spoken to since Easter holidays in a harmless game of Secret Santa. Funds are too close to the overdraft for comfort and somehow you’ve found yourself to be part of about three hundred Secret Santas. One with course mates, with flat mates, with friends from home, another at work and even one with your extended family. And then what? You’re trapped in the predicament of trying to tell them that you do know something about them, but at the same time, you don’t want them to think that your gift was someone else’s idea. You’re trying to show that you put thought into it, but not too much thought in case they don’t like it. Here are the top Secret Santa gifts for when you’re on a student budget. House accessories Candles, soap, coasters, wall art, you name it. House accessories are a good Secret Santa gift. Though the lucky recipient may not need the said item, it’ll nevertheless make a nice addition to their home. Come May and June, they’ll be looking at their coaster and vanilla scented candle with fond memories of the gift giver – you. Film night hamper Who doesn’t love a night in with a good film? Even if you don’t know the recipient of the gift that well, they’re sure to love it. All you have to do is get a box and fill it with things you need for a perfect night under your comfy duvet covers. Start with hot chocolate sachets and maybe a packet of mini marshmallows to go on top. Combine this with some popcorn or a box of chocolates and the food side is sorted. Depending on who you’re buying for and how much you want to spend, pop in a face mask, some nail varnish and maybe even a pair of lovely warm slippers. Then the only thing you need to decide on is the film, which may require some background research into their favourite genre. Festive jersey This is the obvious one for Christmas, and how could anyone dislike a novelty Christmas jersey? At this time of year you can get them just about anywhere for just about any price. Perhaps you fancy something cute with a polar bear or snowflake, or maybe you’re after something a bit more humiliating, like a red knit with a Christmas tree on the front – buy it. Posters Admittedly getting someone a poster for Christmas is kind of lame, but they’re not that hard to jazz up with a frame so that it looks like a sophisticated piece of art. Around Christmas time there are usually posters being sold at affordable prices. Choose one you like, get a frame and you have a gift which will give any typical student bedroom a cultured edge. Earphones We all know that person who lives for their music. You might be that person yourself. Whether it’s listening to Justin Bieber’s latest album or the newest TED talk, this person’s day isn’t complete without their pair of earphones. This is an easy and cheap Christmas gift anyone will love. Book lover mug A great way to start the day is by tapping your wand over your coffeemaker. Every book-lover has to own this mug. And if you by any chance draw the name of a book lover, then this is the perfect gift for them. It has every first line from every classic you’ve ever loved on it. What could be better than that? Get personal If you want it to seem like you’ve put a lot of thought in, then this is perfect. Choose from a huge assortment of personalised things (pretty much anything) online. If you have enough photos with the person (or just have them on Facebook or Instagram) then you could make a photobook or a personalised calendar. If they have a nickname within your circle of friends, why not get them a t-shirt with it printed on? Depending on the recipient you could also get a personalised kindle cover, phone cover or cushion. Secret Santa rules: it’s fun, cheap and everyone ends up with a present. The budget needn’t stray beyond R50 – R60 and it can be a lot of fun, particularly if whoever you buy for has no idea you were their Secret Santa. Therefore, you could quite easily get that gift that’s probably a bit inappropriate but acceptable. It’s almost always a giggle.