Anyone can pick up a bottle of wine or a pre-made gift basket. Make your Secret Santa gift stand out from all the rest with these simple tips and tricks.

If you're doing a Secret Santa gift exchange this year, a little planning can turn any regular bought gift, into a beautiful creation that looks like you spent a lot of time on it (even if you really didn't). And if it's someone you don't know that well? There's ways around that, too.

1 - Look for Clues

Get a list together of a few things your secret santa will like. Stalk out their Facebook Page and look at their work area for anything that may stand out. You might know you want to get them a bottle of vodka because you heard them mention before that's what they like, but what else? Just a bottle of alcohol is like... Well, meh. You can do a lot better. Are they always eating M&Ms? Do they have a few framed photos on their desk? All these could be used for ideas.

2 - Ask Around

Even if you know for sure what you want to get your secret santa, ask their closest friends, or people you see them talk to at work (or wherever you're doing this gift exchange). They may be able to tip you off to something that you won't find while "looking for clues." Maybe their close friends can tell you about something your secret santa was just saying they needed. You never know. Even if you're confident in your gift, it's still good to ask around, but make sure you ask people who aren't going to spill the beans and tell your secret santa who actually has them. That spoils half the fun.

3 - Be Creative When Buying the Gifts

Again, anyone can buy a pre-made gift basket. Don't do that. Put a little more thought and effort into it. If you know they love hot chocolate and a hot chocolate gift basket is the way to go, then make your own. You can make it personal by filling the basket with all their favorite candies, maybe a coffee mug that would fit them best, instead of just a generic red one that "came with the package."

4 - Don't Just Get One Item

We're not saying spend $50 on this gift and prove you care, but if you're just buying a bottle of alcohol, why not throw in their favorite candies in a drinking glass to go along with the gift? Picking up one item may make it look like you didn't put much thought into it. It's not hard to add a bag of their favorite candies, or something small to tie the gift together. Be creative.

5 - Customize the Gift

Just a little extra time will make all the difference. Wine-lover? What if you put the present in a gift bag that has bottles of wine on the outside of it? Or if you know their favorite color is blue, use blue tissue paper and wrapping paper. It's not that big of deal, but it does make the gift look that much better.

You don't have to do all these things to make your secret santa gift stand out, but putting a little time and effort into your gift-giving can make all the difference. Seriously, you don't want to be the person who gets a bottle of alcohol in a brown paper bag because your secret santa didn't put any thought into it. So make sure you're not the person doing this to someone else.




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