Make Secret Santa gifts unforgettable

By Kevin Bartelt

The easiest way to insult me is with a generic Secret Santa gift.

Apply these tips and become what everyone’s talking about under the watercooler’s mistletoe. Also, I find it highly unethical your work environment has a mistletoe.


I swear to Jesus in a manger, if you’re even considering using a 20 percent off Kohl’s coupon on some socks, I will have a meltdown during the gift exchange.

The No. 1 way to impress your Secret Santa is to heavily research his or her past — I’m talking coffee with the parents to get the inside scoop followed by a family photo album session. Maybe your Secret Santa threw up during the fourth grade talent show; incorporate that into your gift.

Imagine their reaction when realizing you’ve been talking to their relatives on the phone for hours to come up with this one.

Stalk social media

Spend hours stalking his or her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts to learn everything about your Secret Santa.

If they never deleted their Myspace in 2005, you just found a goldmine of gift ideas. “I know you were a Good Charlotte freak in seventh grade, so … .”

Also, don’t be afraid to include an inside joke that you weren’t a part of. Find a status or photo with a group of friends and pretend like you were there. This can range from Photoshopping yourself into a photo or buying a gift that has nothing to do with your friendship.

“Wasn’t it hilarious when your roommate from Southern Illinois University used to cut holes in red Solo cups? Well, I made one for you.” Consider yourself drastically closer to your Secret Santa/new best friend.

Create a video

Nothing is more sentimental than a Vine. Instead of dividing gifts by gender with a for-him or for-her present, film a personal video with clips of your Secret Santa’s friends, family and loved ones.

You will move your Secret Santa to tears when they see a video of grandma from Texas, who he or she hasn’t spoken to in 10 years. Win over your Secret Santa’s heart with a simple, “You changed my life, grandson.”

Don’t overdo it

You don’t want to come off as overbearing or like you’ve spent weeks thinking about how this can finally form an unforgettable friendship. If all else fails, steal something that belongs to him or her and repackage it as a gift.