Most people are bound to participate in at least one Secret Santa/Grab Bag style gift exchange this holiday season, am I right?

For the last I don’t know…15 years (?!) my extended family has organized a grab bag and oh my gosh, it gets intense. There have been all kinds of implemented rules, themes, price points, mandatory poems, and parameters to abide by. No lie, one year we actually elected a “Grab Bag Committee” to try and square everything away. The shenanigans that have ensued are beyond bizarre and I think we all find the whole experience equally comical & entertaining! No such thing as “$25 limit & GO” for this crew…

Love this crazy bunch so much though! 

Whether participating at work, school, or amongst friends/family, most of us have the same concern …will the recipient like my gift?! And HOW DO I MAKE SURE IT’S NOT PASSED UP IF IT’S WHITE ELEPHANT STYLE (I’m not a big fan of those lol).

If you draw names so that you know who you’re buying for (Secret Santa) or bring a random, unisex gift to be chosen from a pile (Grab Bag), it can be tricky trying to purchase the perfect present! I’ve put together a list of gift ideas that are sure to please — all around a $25 price point. A few are my personal favorites and some of them are your suggestions! (Thanks to those who submitted your ideas via IG stories, it’s fun getting you involved)! Take a peek 🙂 …

1. Keep it COZY! It’s winter & who doesn’t love all the cozy things this time of year? Jessica L. said it best, “I love multi-item gifts because it feels like you’re getting even more!”. I’m with her on that one. Here are few of my fave things to mix & match:

– A fuzzy blanket (Rachel B. agrees!)
– Seasonal candle (Amanda R. suggests Blue Volcano)
– Unique mug
– Soft slippers
– Hot cocoa, coffee, tea
– Dark chocolate
– Gourmet popcorn

Customize it how ever you’d like! You can usually compile this entire gift at a Marshalls, TJ Maxx, or Home Goods and stay well within your budget (Target is great too)!

2. It’s all fun & GAMES. Any kind of game makes a great gift when trying to stay under budget. Here are a few that everyone always loves (bonus: get something that can be played that day & spice up your holiday get together)!

– Cards of Humanity (Thanks for the suggestion Kristen S, always a crowd fave!)
– Monopoly (so many unique editions!)
– Fun puzzle (I’m totally a puzzle person lol!)
– Battle of the Sexes
– Catch Phrase
– Weird Things Humans Search For
– Apples to Apples
– Coffee Table Card Game (LOVE this Lauren A)

Order your games online or grab them at your local Walmart, Target, or Kohls (there are surprisingly really great deals there!)

3. Bring on the BEAUTY! If you know you’re purchasing for a lady, you usually can’t go wrong with some kind of makeup, skincare, or at-home spa treatment.

– It Cosmetics Universal Eyebrow Pencil (Such a good idea, Juliette!)
– Assorted Face or Hair Masks
– Pedicure Kit
– Assorted Perfumes
– Hair Towel
– Body Wrap Towel (great for getting ready in!)
– An Eyeshadow Palette

Sephora also has an incredible selection of Makeup Minis this time of year. The majority of which are all under $25!

4. Kiss the COOK! We spend a lot of time indoors during the Winter and where do most people congregate? The kitchen, obvi.

-Cookbook (something most people don’t buy for themselves!)
– Fun apron
– Measuring Bowls or Cups
– Gift Basket
– Cheese Board
– Herb Keeper
– Serving Bowl or Platter
– Dish Towels

5. Grab a GADGET. Well, these aren’t allllll gadgets, some are accessories & decor items. Regardless, they’re pretty suitable for everyone…

– Wireless Speaker/Bluetooth Headphones (LOVE this one Amanda R!)
– YETI or Swell Water Bottle (Another contribution from Amanda)
– Himalayan Salt Lamp
– Portable Charger (#myjam)
– Smartphone Lens

6. Last min WINS! If you’re someone who’s not into the grab bag scene and is looking for something quick and easy, try one of these gifts. (Just make sure they’re acceptable to bring, sometimes these items are black listed!) 😉

– Gift card. Try Amazon, Target, Movie Tickets (love this suggestion, Kristel), TJ Maxx (YASS, Lindsay!)
– Scratch off lotto tickets
– Bottle of wine or booze (for the 21+ crowd)

With most things in life, preparation is key! I love taking the time to put some thought into my gifts. Having everything ordered by Thanksgiving weekend is usually my goal to avoid that last minute scramble where you feel like you’re spending just to spend – literally the worst!

When shopping online, I always use this site. I’ve gotten hundreds of dollars in cashback bonuses over the years. It’s seriously legit, if you shop online at any point during the year and don’t use it…you’re missing out. Click here to sign up!

Thanks for reading guys! I’m getting so excited for the holidays – I think I’m ready to do some baking next. 😉 If you have any other grab bag gift ideas, leave them in the comments below so others can see!

XOXO

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