Secret Santa Novelty & Nice Christmas Gift Ideas

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Is your Christmas gift-giving naughty or nice? From novelty to sentimental, here are the most popular secret Santa gift ideas of 2021

Christmas is coming, and as a student you’ll be thinking outside the box about what gifts to give loved ones and your secret Santa without spending a fortune. We’ve researched the most popular novelty gifts and heart-warming presents to give you ideas for your secret Santa or special someone.

For your naughty list: fidget calendars, ugly jumpers and animated trees are among the most popular novelty gifts of Christmas 2021

Secret Santas are a prime opportunity for novelty presents. The gift of laughter can easily be given under a smaller budget, offering the maximum festive impact without spending a fortune.

Christmas jumpers, moving trees and couple's matching PJs are all common and popular thrifty novelty gift options. Alternatively, get in there early with a creative and funny advent calendar such as this year's top novelty Christmas gift, the fidget advent calendar. Packed with fidget toys, these entertaining calendars have seen a crazy increase of 36,583% since 2020 and are perfect for keeping any procrastinating coursemates busy!

Here's the complete list of the biggest novelty, funny and rude Christmas 2021 gift trends for the mad lads and ladies in your life:


Novelty Christmas Gift Popularity Increase Vs Last Year Difference (Quantity of Demand) Vs Last Year
Fidget Advent Calendar 36,583% 1,829,998
Ugly Christmas Jumper 3,183% 184,672
Baby Yoda Christmas Jumper 717% 17,200
Animated Christmas Tree 394% 48,881
Remote Control Christmas Tree 362% 11,197
Rude Christmas Cards 343% 18,592
Couples Christmas Pyjamas 264% 87,929
Novelty Christmas Jumpers 190% 51,926
His and Hers Matching Christmas Pyjamas 105% 3,757
Christmas Hat 51% 43,998
Dog Christmas Jumper 48% 29,510
Christmas Pudding Jumper 47% 839
Couples Matching Christmas Pyjamas 35% 9,458
Light Up Christmas Jumper 29% 2,851

Based on comparing MediaVision Digital Demand Tracker data between 01/01/2021-15/11/2021 to the previous year.

For your nice list: the most popular sentimental and romantic Christmas gifts in 2021

If you’re looking for something more wholesome, there are plenty of options to give that special someone a fuzzy, warm feeling inside.

This year, we’re spreading the love with gifts of sweet-scented candles, chocolate treats, snuggly socks and indulgent hampers. The top nice list gift of Christmas 2021 puts a unique spin on sentimental gift-giving by combining two classics: candles with jewellery inside! These novel presents have nearly 800% more demand than last year and are the perfect way to show your Mum, sister or uni bestie how much you care.

Here’s the full list of 2021’s favourite heart-warming and sentimental Christmas gift ideas:

Gift Popularity Increase Vs Last Year Difference (Quantity of Demand) Vs Last Year
Candles with Jewellery Inside 799% 30,004
Scents, Soaps and Candles 447% 116,702
Chocolate Christmas Tree Decorations 440% 16,051
Women’s Christmas Socks 192% 9,758
Hot Chocolate Advent Calendar 168% 6,433
Luxury Christmas Hampers 131% 8,584
Christmas Dresses for Women 130% 237,902
Women’s Christmas Jumper 122% 489,809
Bathroom Candles 120% 14,458
Candle Hampers 119% 8,093
Unique Candles 116% 4,948
Etsy Candles 71% 23,182
Chocolate Christmas Tree 39% 7,658
Disney Christmas Pyjamas 33% 1,272
Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas 29% 1,070
Candle Gift Set 28% 48,516


Based on comparing MediaVision Digital Demand Tracker data between 01/01/2021-15/11/2021 to the previous year.

Which city gives the most gifts at Christmas?

We’ve looked at the data and found where Santa’s elves are the busiest: the cities giving the most Christmas gifts, both naughty and nice!

You’re most likely to receive presents in Edinburgh

Edinburgh comes top for gift-giving per person, with one in 143 people shopping for novelty, funny and rude Christmas gifts and one in 475 searching for sentimental or romantic presents. Clearly, there’s something about the city at this time of year, with its markets, lights, concerts and general festive cheer, that gets people in the mood for generous gift-giving.

London comes top for overall gifting

16,600 Londoners are already searching for amusing novelty treats to make their secret Santas smile. 7,510 are on the lookout for more cute, heart-warming and nice Christmas gift ideas for friends and family.

Brighton gives the fewest gifts

Brighton gives the fewest gifts of all the cities we researched. Only around 1,400 people in Brighton are researching online for novelty Christmas gifts and even fewer are looking for sentimental or romantic gifts.

City Population Novelty Gift Interest Per Month How many people are interested in novelty gifts? Sentimental Gift Interest Per Month How many people are interested in sentimental gifts?
Edinburgh 536,775 3760 1/143 1130 1/475
Leicester 552,178 2500 1/221 1010 1/547
Liverpool 901,708 3930 1/229 1630 1/553
Dublin 1,241,953 4720 1/263 2140 1/580
Sheffield 730,158 3410 1/214 1200 1/608
Belfast 630,632 2620 1/241 870 1/725
Newcastle upon Tyne 809,481 3180 1/255 1090 1/743
Glasgow 1,673,332 5070 1/330 1820 1/919
Southampton / Portsmouth 927,916 2590 1/358 950 1/977
Birmingham 2,607,437 6070 1/430 2510 1/1039
Leeds 1,889,095 4730 1/399 1740 1/1086
London 9,304,016 16,600 1/560 7510 1/1239
Brighton 606,909 1400 1/434 460 1/1319
Manchester 2,730,076 4010 1/681 1640 1/1665


Wishing you a Merry Christmas from Fresh!

Fresh offers quality, comfortable and modern student accommodation across the UK and Ireland. Whether you’re planning ahead for the next academic year or looking for a short-term stay, browse our student lets and find your ideal accommodation in top university cities today.

Christmas gift demand data sourced from MediaVision’s Christmas Digital Demand Tracker.
City population data sourced via Statista.
Gift demand per city sourced via Google Ads.



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