10 Secret Santa gifts under $30 that won't get thrown away
Enough with the gag gifts already! These are all actually useful (and under budget!)
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Is your office or group of friends doing a Secret Santa gift exchange this year? It’s tempting to buy something silly or a gag gift for this type of holiday game—especially because there’s often a strict spending limit—but it can feel wasteful to buy something you know will be thrown away as soon as the recipient gets home.
This year, why not buy something fun, thoughtful and useful for your Secret Santa recipient? The following items make great gifts because they're fun, functional, and highly rated. And they range in price from under $10 to $30, which should be perfect for most Secret Santa budgets.
1. Under $10: A super-handy phone mount
Not only is it unsafe to futz around with your phone while driving, it’s now also illegal in several states. Give your recipient the gift of safety this year with a highly-rated magnetic phone mount for the car! This little gadget from WizGear can mount to any smooth surface, and then you just put the corresponding magnet in your phone case.
2. Under $15: An outdoor wine glass
Whether they’re an avid camper or just enjoy drinking on patios, your recipient is sure to get use out of this insulated stainless steel wine glass. It can keep beverages cool for up to six hours, and reviewers love how spacious the interior is!
3. Under $15: A fun party game
Who doesn’t like a good party game? If you're sick of Apples to Apples, 5 Second Rule is a great pick for just about anyone, no matter their age (they suggest 10 and up)! During gameplay, each person is read a category and has five seconds to name three things in it. It’s wickedly fun and surprisingly addicting, especially when you play in groups.
4. Under $10: A popular creative outlet
Everyone has a creative side, whether they know it or not, and there’s no better way to tap into it than with this unique journal. Wreck This Journal is filled with a variety of weirdly fun activities that will help get your creative juices flowing and allow you to unwind a little.
5. Under $10: Popsockets
If you picked the klutz of the office or your cousin who's never had an uncracked phone screen, Popsocket is the perfect gift. It sticks to the back of any phone or phone case and makes it easier to hang on to a phone with just one hand. If you've got a higher limit, check out some of the fun styles they have. Otherwise, one of these solid color ones will do.
6. Under $20: A fun indoor gardening kit
Who doesn’t like fresh herbs? It’s always a blast to plant seeds and watch them sprout into happy little plants, which is why this indoor herb garden kit makes a great gift. Bonus points if you give it to someone who likes to cook!
7. Under $25: Eco-friendly glass straws
As more restaurants phase out plastic straws, glass alternatives are becoming a must-have item for those who eat out regularly. Get your Secret Santa recipient a useful, eco-friendly gift with these glass straws, which we deemed the Best Reusable Straws in our testing.
8. Under $25: A real, live aloe plant
You can get anything on the internet these days, including live plants. Switch things up at Secret Santa this year by gifting a real aloe plant complete with a decorative ceramic pot. Not only do plants spruce up an indoor space, but aloe is incredibly soothing when applied to burns.
9. Under $25: An adorable animal speaker
How sweet are these mini Bluetooth speakers? They come in a variety of animal shapes, and reviewers say the sound is surprisingly high-quality and loud for such a little device. They’re perfect for parties, beach days, hanging out—really whatever!
10. Under $30: An ingenious popcorn popper
It’s a known fact that popcorn tastes better when it’s not cooked in a bag, but making your own popcorn on the stovetop can be tricky—until now. The Whirley Pop has a neat patented stirring system that lets you make a big pot of perfectly popped popcorn in just three minutes! No burnt pieces, and no kernels left behind.
Prices are accurate at the time of publication, but may change over time.