With the festive season upon us, no doubt you’ve heard the calls to take part in the gifting tradition upheld by families, friends, and colleagues alike— Secret Santa. 

Whether it fills you with dread or delight, the convention of giving a gift to a randomly assigned recipient has become common place in Australia. In a recent survey we conducted, we found that 60% of respondents have taken part in Secret Santa, and 1 in 4 will be doing so again this year. 

But fear not if you’ve been recruited into this year’s Kris Kringle. We asked what made people’s best and worst Secret Santa presents list and are here to help. If you need some inspiration on what to gift (or avoid gifting), check out the answers below, they may surprise you! 

The nice
Aussies confessed some of the best presents they received were gift cards, soap or body wash sets, kitchen serving ware and Instant Scratch-Its tickets.

However, there were a few responses that stood out as unique. One person said their favourite gift was photo-shopped pictures of themselves in various historical settings and another revealed they were stoked to receive a bulk packet of zip-ties.

The not-so-nice
Overwhelmingly, the most disliked Secret Santa present was a pair of socks, with perfume or cologne coming in a close second.

Other Aussies said their worst gifts included a bulk pack of hair ties, a bag of clothes pegs, or receiving nothing at all as their gift had been forgotten. But in a true display of last-minute, low-effort gifting, one person revealed their worst Secret Santa present was a re-gifted photo frame that still included a wedding photo of the gift-giver. 

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
Several items surprisingly made both lists! Some said they loved receiving a scented candle, a mug or a garden gnome while others said they re-gifted or donated these gifts immediately.

One thing that wasn’t re-gifted or thrown away was the gift of Instant Scratch-Its tickets, with many of those surveyed saying they enjoyed the chance to win big prizes.

This year’s Instant Scratch-Its Christmas range features three different tickets, $1 Santa’s Li’l Helper, $2 Seas ‘n’ Greetings and $5 Warm Wishes, which is perfect for the 52% who said their budget for Secret Santa is $20.

We also asked participants if they won a top prize on a gifted Instant Scratch-Its ticket, would they share it with the gift giver. Christmas must be the season for sharing, as 67% showed their generosity and agreed they would share the prize. 

So if you’re taking part in a Secret Santa, why not become an Instant Santa! The limited-edition Instant Scratch-Its Christmas range is available at your local retailers now. 

What’s on your best and worst Secret Santa presents list? Watch the video to discover the word on the street and get some more Christmas inspiration.