The best Christmas gift ideas for Secret Santa exchanges: Budget-friendly and versatile presents that everyone will love


Stock up on these gender-neutral, fail-safe items from H&M, The Book Depository and more

Nicola Chan |

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As the festive season gets underway, we bet your schedule is filling up with parties and gift exchanges. But with all this fun comes the challenge of finding cool yet affordable gives to give everyone. And if you’re taking part in a Secret Santa or lucky draw, you might not know much about your recipient.

Young Post knows how frustrating Christmas shopping can be, so we’ve come up with a list of budget-friendly, one-size-fits-all gifts that would please pretty much anyone.

Colourful stationery set

We all know studying can be tedious sometimes, especially when you’re staring at a dull page of text. Why not brighten things up, Studyblr-style, with coloured pens, highlighters, notebooks and sticky notes? Available at most local stationery and book shops, these items make both practical and thoughtful gifts. We especially love the quirky animal bookmarks on sale at AEON Living Plaza stores.

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Finding a book that suits all tastes might sound impossible, but it isn’t if you’re smart about it. A lighthearted comic book or graphic novel, for instance, would make a lovely gift for bookworms and non-readers alike. For something a bit weightier, head to the self-help section and choose something with stand-alone chapters. While there are plenty of chain bookstores around Hong Kong, why not support one of the city’s independent book shops, like Bleak House Books and Kubrick? You can also check out online retailer The Book Depository, but you’ll need to be quick; the last day for orders to Hong Kong is December 10.

Scarf or neck warmer

When it’s still warm during the day but chilly in the mornings and evenings, choosing the right outwear can be tricky. While a thick jacket isn’t always necessary, a plain scarf or neck warmer is light and easy to carry around for when the sun goes down. Stick to dark colours if you don’t know your recipient very well, as they tend to work well with all styles. You can find these winter staples at high-street shops like Muji, H&M or Uniqlo, or online fashion websites like Zalora.

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Heat-sensitive mug

The winter season leaves us all craving hot mugs of tea or cocoa – which is why a heat-activated cup is the perfect Christmas gift. The colours and patterns on these mugs change when hot liquid is poured into them, adding some whimsy to your beverage-drinking experience.

You can easily find them on Amazon or Taobao, but be sure to check the delivery dates so your gift doesn’t end up arriving after Christmas.

Scratch world map

This gift is sure to delight travel lovers who are always dreaming of their next big adventure – which, let’s face it, most of us are. The map is coated in foil, which users can scratch away to reveal all the places they’ve explored. They’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as they uncover more and more countries, while keeping their future travel goals in sight.

Like the heat sensitive mugs, these world maps can be bought from Amazon.

Gif via GIPHY

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge