Don’t buy your colleagues or family members pointless plastic tat or novelty socks this year. Instead use some or all of your Secret Santa in a more impactful way.
Here are some links to charities running Secret Santa-sized fundraising campaigns and other ideas for doing good within your budget.
Buy a gift for someone else
Support a seasonal gift charity campaign with your Secret Santa.
- Donate £10 to support Book Trust’s annual campaign. “The BookTrust Christmas appeal raises money to send a special parcel to children who are vulnerable or in care, at what can be a hard time of year.” #JustOneBook.
- Help Refugees have an online shop where you can buy gifts for refugees. Choose Love gifts start at £5.
- Buy your Secret Santa a special word via the Ministry of Stories who support young writers. For £10 you could buy scallywag, battenburg or squish (if they are still available). Add £10 to get a printed certificate with an official MoS seal.
- Is there a Christmas event for care leavers or older people near you? Could you buy something from their wishlist? For example, take a look at this national programme of 22 Christmas Dinners for care leavers and find one near you. Each will have their own wishlist (eg Hackney’s Christmas Dinner share theirs on Twitter). This community centre in London is hosting a lunch for their members and asking for donations or items from their wishlist.
- There are lots of other charities which are using wishlists this year to pay for presents. For example, 52 Lives are coordinating wishlists from eight charities as part of their Secret Santa campaign.
- Give a real gift to a vulnerable child in London or Birmingham via The Children’s Society’s Give Joy website. Gifts start from £3.
- Fund a call for help with Samaritan for £5. (You can also fund Five Gold Rings for £25!)
- Make someone a Secret Santa with Action for Children. Get a certificate. #IAmSanta.
- Many charities run virtual gift packages. For example Oxfam Unwrapped gifts start at £5.
- Give the gift of reading – make a donation to Beanstalk + give a book you already love to your Secret Santa.
Buy good gifts
- The Charity Retail Association are again encouraging everyone to be a #GoodCauseSantaClaus and buy gifts from charity shops. Find a charity shop near you.
- Oxfam’s online charity shop is an amazing treasure trove of unique items if you are looking for a gift. You can search by price to fit your budget.
- Some large charities have online shops selling new gifts. For example, RSPB have a listing of stocking filler gifts and Cancer Research UK have gifts for Secret Santa.
- Social Enterprise UK say #BuySocial and get #PresentsWithPurpose. Check out their Christmas catalogue.
- The Ethical Superstore has loads of thousands of Fairtrade, organic and eco-friendly gifts to suit all budgets.
- The Living Wage Christmas Gift Guide – find presents from companies who pay their workers fairly.
- Use the Giving Machine’s Secret Santa generator to run your whole office SS. “Our online generator picks who will buy gifts for who. Shop through TheGivingMachine and spread the Christmas cheer!”
Spread Christmas cheer
Why not pool your funds and do something bigger as a team?
- Reserve someone a place at Crisis at Christmas for £28.87.
- From 26 November you can get involved with Mary’s Meals virtual Christmas dinner table. Look for #BigFamilyChristmas.
- Buy a safety kit or actual bike for a refugee via The Bike Project.
- Support NSPCC’s services by buying one of their Big Little Gifts (£25-£60). You could also support them through their Letter from Santa for £5.
- Twin your office loo via Toilet Twinning for £60. “Santa can’t give toilets but you can.”
- Is there a local toy collection or food bank you could contribute to?
There are also countless fundraising appeals, Christmas jumper days and Reverse Advent Calendar campaigns which you could get involved with as a team.
What are you doing?
Last year, the team I was working in split their Secret Santa. We each gave £5 to the pot to be donated to a Christmas appeal we all agreed on. Then had a budget of £5 to spend on a gift which had to be bought from a charity shop.
- Do you do Secret Santa in your team? Any tips?
- Is your charity doing an interesting appeal?
Please share in the comments.
- Charity digital advent calendars – tips and examples if you are running a digital calendar for your charity.
- Buying an advent calendar for your office? Why not get an Advent of Change produce and support 72 charities.
- Have a greener Christmas. Take a look at Oxfam’s Green Christmas to-do list for lots of tips.