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11 secret Santa gifts that will be sure to stand out from the crowd

Here are just eleven fun (mostly techie) gifts that are perfect for your group's secret Santa exchange this year!
November 28, 2017

Secret Santa gift exchanges can be…well, they can be a less-than fun experience. Often enough – though not always – these are things for co-workers, and more often than not, you end up picking a name that you don’t know a whole lot about. Hooray for forced socialization! But never fear! If you have ever seen any kind of tech gadget on this person’s desk, we have you covered.

Here are a few things you could pick up as a secret Santa gift, and have it not suck, for under $25.

Google Cardboard

AR and VR is the future of mobile computing. What’s difficult about VR is that it isn’t cheap. Even the most basic VR headset can cost a good bit of money, just to dip your toe in the water. Except for Google Cardboard that is.

Google recognized the problem of the high-cost barrier a long time ago, and came up with a solution. Google Cardboard is an inexpensive toe dipped into the VR water. It works with many phones, and is highly accessible to anyone who wants to try it out. So this holiday season, give the gift of VR.

Amazon sells what it is calling an “official” Google Cardboard handset for around $15, but there are plenty of options out there that are made of more durable materials and happen to be cheaper. These headsets add things like new materials and straps, but are fully compatible with everything Google Cardboard is. One such recommended option can be found in the link directly below for just $9!

Geek mug

If your gift recipient is one of the code monkeys in your company, there are two constants in life. The first is that geeks love geek jokes. The second is that coffee is the fuel that powers them. A coffee mug that acknowledges both is just the thing to make you the belle of the secret Santa ball. Best of all, it’s only $17.


People lose things all the time. A bluetooth tracking tag is a great, inexpensive gift item that can really change someone’s life. Tile connects to your phone via bluetooth and helps you locate whatever you attached your Tile to. Moreover, if you lose the item in a public place, or outside of Bluetooth range, you will still be able to locate your item – if someone else with Tile passes close by. Tile uses user adoption to expand its coverage, and while it’s not a GPS, it’s the next best thing.

Tile normally costs around $25, but right now it’s on sale for just $20!

A camera lens for your phone

Cameras on phones are so incredible these days, you don’t really need a point and shoot camera anymore. The one problem a lot of phones have is zoom – as in not any. That’s what the Lotustech Universal 8×18 Optical Zoom lens is meant to solve. The Lens itself provide 8x optical zoom with a mounting kit that will work with virtually any phone. This will instantly give you a front row seat at a concert, or an up close view of your kid’s soccer game.

At just $11, this is a super affordable gift that will be sure to stand out.

Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity is a hilarious game that’s a little off base. Okay, it’s a lot off base, but it’s a ton of fun to play with friends, or coworkers whom you are sure won’t go straight to HR. If you have that kind of office, this is a great gift that will provide hours of entertainment. If you don’t have that kind of office, and you still give this gift, you might want to make sure your resume is up to date.

Cards of Humanity will set you back $25, but it’s well worth the cost.

Stranger Things Action figures

Stranger Things is one of those cultural phenomenons that is sweeping the US. Chances are someone in your office is a fan. With Season two fresh in the minds of your fellow cubicle smurfs, this set of action figures could be just the thing to adorn desks of colleagues and coworkers. Just try not to be distracted by the children screaming and running around their desk on the next slow day.

Prices range, but should set you back around $20 to $25.

Maze ball

Speaking of things that might drive you up a wall, a little mental stimulation with some clicking and clacking might also drive away boredom on a slow day. This 3D ball puzzle asks you to navigate a silver ball along a path inside to get to the end. The maze gets harder as you progress, so it’s sure to provide hours of entertainment and/or frustration.

Phone/night light clip

 Sometimes, you need to go out on a limb for a gift like this. The Avantee Cell Phone Holder Clip on Lamp is the kind of gadget that at first defies logic. After looking at it, you wonder how you got by without it. This gadget functions as both a clip on light and a cell phone holder. You can position your phone or light anywhere you need it to be – at your desk, in bed, in the kitchen, you name it.

Mighty Mug

The Mighty Mug takes a wonderful approach to a problem most of us have suffered at one time or another – spilling. The Mighty Mug is a tip-proof mug that simply cannot be knocked over. The secret is a suction cup on the bottom of the mug, but it’s a lot more elegant than that. The suction cup grips the table beneath when the cup is set down, but when you lift the cup, the Mighty Mug releases its grip and picks up quite easily. Set it back down, and punch it, and it holds firm, It really is the kind of thing you have to see to believe. Share the joy of this gift with a coworker and the novelty alone will win you thanks.

Scratch off travel map

If you have anyone in the office who is a world traveller, this might be the unique item you’re looking for. This is a world map that has a scratch off coating. Consider it a bucket-list of destinations for that person who has been everywhere. Visit a country, scratch it off. It’s a fun way to collect your memories, and yes, brag a little bit around the office.

Sunscreen Flask

You could say we saved the best for last, but in truth, had we put this first, you probably would have stopped reading and ordered one for your secret Santa, and yourself, and your best friend, and pretty much everyone else on your holiday list. This is a flask for carrying alcohol, but it is designed to look like a bottle of sunscreen. Imagine being able to bring your favorite Scotch past those pesky security people at concert venues or sports arenas. I mean, watered down beer at a baseball game is great, but let the good times roll, eh?

Okay, it’s not tech, but it’s cheap ($11), fun, and a perfect way to inject humor into your gift giving this season.