29 November 2023

The festive season is upon us, and with it comes a tradition I love – Secret Santa – and the joy of stuffing stockings with tiny treasures. Every year I wonder how I’m going to stick to the Secret Santa budget and fill those stockings with personalised pressie treats without breaking the bank, but I’m always pleasantly surprised at what I can get with a little thought and a $20 note from THE BASE. Let’s go!


A great stocking is something to look forward to – and, if you plan it out, it’s easy to make the stocking one of the highlights of Christmas morning.

Find a key, personal item that will be the centrepiece of each stocking. Think about your loved ones and their passions to find the perfect personalised present. Look for thoughtful additions to their hobbies or monogram small pieces like wash bags, pens or key fobs. When the gift if small, the thought really does count.

Retro finds such as slinkies, rubiks cubes and water games fit perfectly into stockings and are a lovely way for adults and kids to connect this Christmas as well as providing some offline quiet time during a really busy day. Fidget toys and stress balls or even mini puzzles fill the same gap and I also like to pop in Christmas novelty glasses, headbands, earrings or photo props – encouraging those festive photos.

Beauty products lend themselves to stockings – there are plenty of smaller options and minis around at this time of year that will give your loved ones a chance to try new products or enjoy a small and very thoughtful touch of luxury.
Finally, top it all off with something sweet in their favourite flavour – but keep it out of the sun and away from four-legged family members, especially if it’s chocolate!

What will be in your stocking? Last year, there were quite a few social posts about the hardworking ladies (Christmas fairies) of the house filling everyone else’s stockings and waking up to find theirs empty, despite being firmly on the Nice List. If this was you last year, casually drop your family a link to these hints and favourite finds – or, take the opportunity to spoil yourself with all the little luxuries you usually wouldn’t buy. Top up your handbag by filling your own stocking with miniatures of your favourite handcream or fragrance, drop in a sweet treat that couldn’t possibly be shared, accessorise with a cute new keychain and treat yourself to some post-Christmas me-time with a mani/pedi voucher. You’ve more than earned it!

Fudge gift Farmers, Executive stress putty Acquisitions, Gardening gloves Bed, Bath and Beyond Home Store, Harry Potter wand fairy lights JB HI-FI, DIY voucher book Typo, Drink bottle gift set The Warehouse.


I love giving gifts so find it really hard to play it cool when my Secret Santa recipient is opening their gift. And I’m kind of competitive so always strive to get something that everyone wants to steal. Many of the stocking stuffers already suggested will fit the bill – as well as items that will make their workspace more appealing or spoil them a little every day.

Desk loot is always welcome – I love gifting quirky notebooks, to-do lists and pens from Typo – they make all the hard work a bit more fun and a lot more stylish than the dregs of the office stationery cupboard or the pens swiped off visiting sales reps. Typo and Acquisitions have some hilarious additions including desk plaques, mood cards, mini games and more.

Hand creams and lip balms are another favourite and are inexpensive enough that you can generally fit something that brings a bit of luxury into the budget. Don’t restrict hydration to the outside though – get your lucky recipient off to a healthier 2024 with a gorgeous drink bottle or cater to their caffeine addition with a fun coffee mug. Finish it off with giftwrap and get someone else to write the tag so that the only way they can guess their Secret Santa is the smile on your face.

Stocking stuffers and Secret Santa gifts can so often be overlooked – and end up being hurried and sometimes random collections of stuff that people don’t really know what to do with. But, with a little planning, these tiny packages can make a big splash!