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secret santa

The office Kris Kindle is tough-going, particularly if you’re given someone you know very little about or you're brand new to the company.

Oh and we forgot to mention that most of our work places also has a money cap on pressies – so it’s just another hoop we have to jump through, in the hopes that don’t totally mortify anyone.

However, we have put together a fool-proof gift guide which will help you navigate through buying one of the hardest presents of the festive season.

1. Pyjamas 


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The Christmas cosy feels have arrived in Primark, and you cannot go wrong with these PJ boxed-sets.

They come in at a cool £12 or €13 each. 

2. Candles


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A good festive candle is always warmly welcomed in the office.

Whether your Secret Santa victim…I mean recipient chooses to bring it home or leave it in work, it is bound to come in handy when someone has fish for lunch.

And if they do bring it home, you know you've just won the scent game and they love it.

You can get gift sets that range anywhere between €7-€20, depending on your budget.

3. Hot Water Bottles

Image credit: Nickynackynoodesigns 

Give your co-worker a hot water bottle with a twist – get their name on it.

The present will be much more personal and if your office is an icebox, the present will definitely be used.

These are slightly more pricey but it's worth the extra as they're handmade, prices start from €23.51 at Nickynackynoodesigns Etsy shop.

4. Keep Cup


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Most of your office will drink coffee, so this is the ideal gift for the caffeine lovers.

It also does our planet a solid as they aren't using non-reuseable cups.

They have a budget to suit everyone and start from prices as low as €13.00/£11.00. 

If you're a UK hun, check them out here and if you're an Irish lass, all versions are here.

5. Stationary 

Image credit: Handmadebyswans

Anyone with a sense of humour will love this stationary heaven made by Handmadebyswans on Etsy. 

Although we work in offices, we tend to forget to buy ourselves the tools we need to get through the day, so your kris kindle will love this.

And the hilarious stationary won't cost you a fortune as this was a steal at €4.64. 

6. President Donald Trump Rubber Duck


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Yes, this rubber duck is actually a thing. You can get a Donald Trump Rubber Duck for £8.99. 

So bath time for your Secret Santa just got a lot more political.

This is a perfect mock present for anyone who dislikes the president or if you have any Americans boppin' around the office.

If your budget is a little bit bigger you can also throw in this: Where's Trump?: Find Donald Trump in his race to the White House. 

You can get the duck and the book £11.99.

7. Notebooks


If there are any Harry Potter fans, these notebooks will go down a charm (excuse the pun).

They are A5 notebooks so they're perfect for work and keeping track of the day.

They very reasonable as you can get the set of three magic notebooks for €11.76 from 's Etsy. 

8. Hand cream


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As the colder weather arrives, people often forget to look after their skin.

If you work on computers all day too, hand cream is essential to keep your skin smooth and soft. 

L'Occitane have a whole range of hand cream for your budget, but the Shea Butter hand cream is a firm favourite in our office and it's €24 a pop.

9. Blankets


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Who doesn't love a good blanket? They are the BEST presents and your kris kindle will light up when they see what you've gotten them.

We are personally LOVING the Primark range and they're such a bargain.

Their collections start from €8 and go up to €20.

10. Stress balls

This is the BEST gift for the office stress head and kinda funny too, if they aren't too touchy about it.

The stress balls start from €12 on amazon, and the one pictured is perfect if you think your co-worker is a little bit pooh. 

11. Dear As*hole: 101 Tear-Out Letters to the Morons Who Muck Up Your Life

Any hot heads in the office? Give them this for Secret Santa. It's little letters they can tear out and give to the people that royally p*ss them off on a daily basis. Just don't go crying or be surprised if you're the first victim of their angry letters.

The tear-out letters are £4.50. 

12. Ostrich Pillow

We could all do with ones of these when office life just gets all too much.

It's hilarious and they will love it, unless they are as dry as a cracker.

It's retails for 12.51 and you can buy it here.



Gavin James is known for his love of Whelan's, his stunning voice which produces banger after banger, and his ability to make friends with pretty much anyone.

The singer-songwriter, who has achieved massive chart success at home and abroad with tunes such as Always, Glow and Nervous, from his breakthrough album Bitter Pill back in 2015.

We sat down for a chat with the man himself, who is the new ambassador for the Cadbury Secret Santa campaign, to chat to him about his "f*cking hilarious" father, his home away from home and his favourite celebrities, among other (random) things.


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James has been known for his love and support for charities, especially Down's Syndrome Ireland, so it's not surprising that he's choosing a generous movement like Cadbury Secret Santa to represent this Christmas.

A Dairy Milk gift can be sent anywhere in Ireland for free, either anonymously or personalised, to someone you love. Frankly, that's adorable. After posting the very first Secret Santa gift of the campaign, Gavin speaks about what drew him to Cadbury.

"I have always loved the Secret Santa ritual; the excitement of sending a gift in secret and the anticipation of receiving a gift anonymously – it’s so much fun! My dad is also essentially Santa." After pointing his dad out to me, I had to agree. He was merry with a white beard.

The artist brings his family and friends with him to gigs any chance he gets: “Its good to be able to bring them away with me. Every time I have a gig in Ireland my entire family goes, I brought my dad to a photoshoot today, which is f*cking hilarious.”

Asking him about his early days of gigging in tiny pubs, and dedicated to his then-rock band, he describes why he transitioned into acoustic songwriting, despite still having an intense love for his electric guitar.

"I started off with my mates in Temple Bar, my hair was huge. I was also trying to sing high but I couldn’t sing falsetto when I was younger, I had a raspy voice back then and couldn’t pronounce the letter 's'.I never try to transition, genres just kind of come on their own, I think."

We're glad he found his niche, his musical talent started for him at a very young age, surrounded by musical talent within his own family. His latest album, Only Ticket Home, hit number one in Ireland and has already surpassed a million streams.

He describes his latest offering as a dedication to the art of "simplicity", with most of the songs only having four chords. 

"They're not trying to be smart. There was one song that didn’t make the album because I tried to record it and it just didn’t turn out right. It was the best song I’ve written in a long time, but it sounded too far away from the right sound of the album. I have it in my back pocket for next year though. I found loads of songs in the cloud, I was chuffed."

"There was like 40 but 33 of them were shit. I usually have 100 ideas but one works. The first idea is always the best song. It’s like a buffet, the first thing you look at is always what you want.”


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James has toured with some absolutely huge names in music, among them are Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan, Sam Smith and Kodaline, to name a few. With all this talent around him, we have to ask which artists have impressed him the most.

"Bands like Vulfpeck are absolutely insane, they’re so good at playing stuff that I absolutely cannot understand. It’s insane, like Stevie Wonder-esque.”

“Foy Vance sang songs next to me, and his voice starts low and aggressively builds up and I don’t even know how he exists. He’s insane.”“When it comes to Secret Santa gifts, Gavin's already done his bit for fellow musicians… and their skin, apparently. "Sam Smith. I gave him aloe vera before, he loved that. He’s a really nice guy.”


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We're sure Sam would say the same about Gavin, but is there anyone in the industry who he has been disillusioned by, who maybe brushed him off? It's a notoriously tough industry, which requires a thick skin for survival. IT seems James has a level-headed approach to the whole 'fame' thing.

"There are people I don’t want to meet purely because it would ruin how I feel about them, people I totally idolise, sometimes they’re just not in the mood and you don't want to annoy them. Everybody I’ve ever met has been really friendly to me though, but if someone isn’t being nice to me, I’ll tell them. I don’t mind saying that to people. It’s easier to be nice."

"I couldn't meet Ryan Adams because I love him so much, and Bruce Springsteen. He’s meant to be the nicest man in the world. I’d love to meet him but I’d be bricking it. I’d probably just say “thank you, Bruce, for all of these songs.”

"When it comes to growing Irish talent, I love David Keenan. He’s class. His lyrics are amazing. He has a song called Laurence of Arcadia with lyrics like;

“You're looking at the last know bar stool prophet to retire early from the trade, I'm going fishing for pearls of wisdom. I'll be dancing through the pissing rain. You're welcome to join me you annoyance, for I find you quite amusing all the same." It's amazing."

Irish artists have repeatedly found success abroad, yet the UK and US markets are infamously hard to break into. Why have some Irish artists such as U2, The Script, Hozier and now Dermot Kennedy made it big over there, and some slip through the cracks?

“The UK is a tough market. It’s a weird one, like the Netherlands kicked off for me because they love a sad song, and I'm good at those. I brought out a Live at Whelans track, and was told it would reach top of the Dutch charts by Christmas. I didn't believe it, because it was a live recording. Then it went number one in the Netherlands, but no one would think of a live recording doing that.”


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His second album, Only Ticket Home, is still distinctly within the style of his debut, and James makes sure that his roots can come across in his lyrics. When he's in Dublin, he loves chilling with his friends in the pub, living out a normal life despite his new-found fame.

Where are his favourite parts of Dublin, and if he had to move, where would he find himself?

“Whelan’s, but I spend most of my time in Temple Bar, even though it’s seven euros a pint.” *shivers*

"Where Doran’s used to be, my mate Robbie owns a little snug next to it, an Irish pub. I always go there because it seems like a little secret spot where I’d just have a pint with my mates.”

“I’ve never been to Coppers. I tried to get in years ago, I think they were closing up. They must have a quota of guys named Gavin or gingers, so I couldn’t get in.” (Can you BELIEVE this Dubliner hasn't stepped foot in the notorious nightclub? We are shook)

“I went on one night out to Nashville to see Ron Pope, and ended up staying there a week.”

“I’d definitely move to Nashville. Very random, it’s musical but it reminds me of Dublin in a lot of ways. I have a lot of friends there, I made a lot of friends there very quickly. It’s cheap too, it’s not f*cking mad, it’s not like Los Angeles. I’m not into L.A. How the hell do people get around there?”

Sounds like this lad has his head screwed on right, that's for sure.

We got two hugs out of him and a Cadbury Secret Santa letter, so we are officially his number one fans.

Only Ticket Home is out now, grab your tickets to see him live in 2019 here.

Don't forget to become a Cadbury Secret Santa and give a little something extra this Christmas- visit www.cadbury.ie/secretsanta and follow all the action on the Cadbury Ireland Facebook and Twitter pages.


Secret Santa gifts can be super hard to nail sometimes, especially when there's a cap on the price. 

You want something that's thoughtful but also something that they will use and not throw away after one use. And you also want to make them happy and jump for joy, yes? 

So, to help you along the way, we've found some fab gifts to get your friends/co-workers/family for Secret Santa: 

1. For the pug lover

Most people are bound to love animals, and what better gift than a pug mug! It's super cute and will be the best mug you've ever seen in the house or office.

Biba's Pug Mug, €8

Available at House of Fraser



2. For the one with a sweet tooth

If you have a friend who just loves old-school sweets, they will be delighted with this! And to be honest, you can't get much better than a hamper full of delicious candy.

Retro Sweet Gift Box, €13.50

Available at Hampers & Co. 


3. For the soon-to-be bride

If your Secret Santa is planning a wedding in the next year, this is the perfect gift. It's the only up-to-date guide if you're getting married in Ireland. Handy!

The Irish Bride's Survival Guide, €14.99

Available at O'Briens



4. For the special friend

If you want to get your Secret Santa something they won't expect, opt for this glistening snowflake decoration. It's sure to make an impact on their Christmas tree.

Snowflake hanging decor, €11

Available at Newbridge Silverware



5. For the make-up addict

If you have to get a pressie for a beauty lover, then look no further. This nail polish is not only super chic but it will carry their nails through the festive season and into New Year's. Who doesn't love some glitter anyway?

Lancome Vernis Christmas, €15

Available at House of Fraser



6. For the nostalgic friend

If you have a friend who loves selfies and adores looking back at old photos, then this personalised mug is the way to go. Either a goofy secondary school photo or a glam girls night selfie is the perfect picture for the mug shot. 

Personalised cup, from €7

Available at PhotoBox



7. For the beauty queen

Nivea is releasing a whole range of gift sets and we think this one is top notch. It will please anyone who takes care of their skin and who loves a good soak in the shower. 

Skin Gorgeousness, €12.50

Available at Nivea