Secret Santa gifts under S$20 that you can easily get online for 5 types of colleagues

WFH doesn’t have to mean you stop connecting with your colleagues.

| Sumita Thiagarajan | Sponsored | December 19, 2020, 11:04 AM

In 2020, office dynamics have shifted, with many of us working from home most of the time.

For those who have not seen our colleagues for almost a year, we might be feeling isolated from our colleagues.

With Christmas around the corner, we can reconnect with our colleagues through office Christmas gift exchanges or virtual gatherings (while practicing safe distancing).

Receiving a gift delivered to your colleague’s doorstop could light up their day, as it serves as a physical reminder that someone is still thinking about and caring for them.

Shopping online securely

When shopping online, not everyone might like the idea of keying in credit card details to different sites.

Paying through secure methods will prevent personal credit card details from getting into the wrong hands, and I often look for PayPal during the checkout process before buying products online.

And if you pay for your secret Santa gift with a Singapore-issued UnionPay Card via PayPal, you can also earn S$7 PayPal credit, from now till Jan. 31, 2021.

Saving money while buying gifts is the best.

If you are still cracking your head over what to get for Christmas, here’s a useful cheat sheet that can guide us through buying gifts online.

To simplify this process for you, the cheat sheet is categorised for five different types of colleagues who might be your secret santee in the office.

1. Colleagues who workout regularly

At every office, there’s bound to be some fitness buffs or sporty folk who enjoy working up a good sweat.

And while socks might seem like a lame gift, long-lasting quality training socks are very valuable.

When I spoke to a colleague who enjoys running and boxing, they told me that they might not be willing to spend on quality socks for themselves, but would appreciate it if someone buys it for them.

Here are some training socks suggested by a colleague that cost S$19 for three pairs of socks:

Photo via

A pair of good socks does not have to be expensive. You can also consider getting these S$5 running socks which are rated 4.48 out 5 stars, according to 146 reviews, on Decathlon’s online store.

Screenshot via Decathlon’s online store

Other fitness vendors that offer PayPal on their site: Gymshark, lululemon, size?, Pro:Direct Sport, JD Sports, Key Power Sports

2. Foodies

Striking a casual conversation with a colleague helps me gauge what kind of food items they would appreciate.

As a person who enjoys interesting new foods, I am willing to pay a premium for snacks or delectable chocolates, such as this S$12 tea chocolate:

In this case, ordering this item from the local chocolate brand, Fossa chocolate, would mean a delivery time of a few days.

Various other local vendors offer food items, even healthier options, such as granola and nut mixes, such as Amazin’ Graze.

Photo via amazingrazesg/instagram

Other vendors that offer PayPal on their site: The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, TWG Tea, The Cake Shop

3. Colleagues with kids

We have a first-time mother at work, who gave birth just this year, amidst the craziness of 2020.

I just casually asked her what kind of gifts parents would find useful (in an effort to find out what she might have on her wishlist), and she told me that it depends on the age of the kids.

For her young baby, she said teething toys (or sensory toys that have different textures) would be something that would be a good gift.

Photo via

She also added:

“You can never have enough bibs, and cloths to wipe drool.”

Of course, if you’re planning to buy gifts for your colleagues with kids, do ensure that the items are safe to use for children.

Other vendors that offer PayPal on their site: Toys R’ us, Mothercare, Mummy’s Market, motherswork, Thomson, Toddley Thoughts, PatPat, Stuckonyou

4. Bookworms

You might scratch your head when it comes to gift ideas for the more reserved colleagues at work.

However, although they might not be as talkative as other colleagues, you might be able to tell that some of them are bookworms.

I know about two to three colleagues who enjoy reading books, and whose tables always have a pile of books on it.

My colleague’s book wishlist on Goodreads. Screenshot via Goodreads.

Using Goodreads, I was able to tell what my colleague currently has on his/her wishlist, and I looked up the books on Book Depository.

Getting books is also a good way to stick to the budget that you might set for secret Santa, with many paperback books costing less than S$20.

Here’s an example of a book on my colleague’s wishlist that I managed to find on Book Depository.

Thank goodness for free shipping. Screenshot via Book Depository’s online store.

If you’re pressed for time, you can consider ordering from local bookstores such as BooksActually.

This would allow you to reduce the time taken for shipping, especially with all that holiday mail being sent.

Other vendors that offer PayPal on their site: Epigram Books, Localbooks Co, OpenTrolley Bookstore

5. Colleagues with pets

At work, I have a number of colleagues who view their beloved pets as family members. Some of them even have separate Instagram accounts for their four-legged friends.

And often when our colleagues (who have pets) are at work, their pets would often miss them, until they are reunited with their pets at the end of a long day of work.

As a person with a pet myself, I often leave my pet with a few toys around the home for them to not be bored when they are on their own.

Here’s a funny dog toy I would consider getting for a fellow pawrent.

Photo via Bubble Pets’ website

Costs less than S$15.


Other vendors that offer PayPal on their site: Kohepets, nekojam, Polypet

UnionPay deals

Less known to most, UnionPay is widely accepted in Singapore, with a wide range of local and global vendors that accept the payment method.

These UnionPay cards have various perks including cash rebates and deals at participating merchants:

UOB UnionPay Card

This card offers a two per cent cash rebate on all spend with no minimum spend and offers up to 21.6 per cent of fuel savings at SPC.

Staycation deal: The first 100 cardholders to register their UOB UnionPay Card could enjoy a complimentary night stay at W Singapore at Sentosa Cove if they charge a minimum of S$2,500 this month to their card. T&Cs apply.

Promotion ends: Dec. 31, 2020

DBS UnionPay Platinum Debit Card

This debit card up to five per cent cash back all year round when you shop and dine. The DBS UnionPay Platinum Debit Card does not charge an ATM fee for overseas cash withdrawals, and is a seamless way to pay in Singapore and Mainland China.

Zalora Deal: New cardholders who sign up online for the debit card can receive a S$30 E-Gift Card.

Promotional code: UPIZAL

Promotion ends: Dec. 31, 2020

BlueSG Deal: Free one month subscription and 30 minutes rental usage (worth S$17.90) when you sign up for BlueSG Basic Plan with DBS UnionPay card.

Promotional code: BSGDBS20

Promotion ends: Dec. 31, 2020

ICBC Horoscope Credit Card

The ICBC Horoscope Credit Card offers up to three per cent cash back with no minimum spend amount. It also comes in 12 different constellations based on Western horoscopes.

BOC Zaobao Credit Card

The BOC Zaobao Credit Card gives you savings on your petrol transactions, Zaobao and SPH newspaper subscriptions, and Buzz kiosks. The card also offers a two-year annual fee waiver for both principal and supplementary cards.

Other UnionPay deals

Tung Lok Group

Deal: 15 per cent off a la carte menu at selected restaurants with a minimum spend of S$120.

Promotion ends: Dec. 31, 2020

ION Orchard

Deal: Spend S$25,000 at ION Orchard in a single day to redeem S$750 ION Orchard cash vouchers and a S$100 Violet Oon voucher.

Promotion ends: Feb. 26, 2021

T&Cs: Valid for any number of combined same-day receipts, valid for all UnionPay Cards. Only available for first 50 redemptions each month

A full list of UnionPay deals can be found here.

The writer of this sponsored article by UnionPay hopes her secret Santa reads this piece.

Top image via STB/Facebook