Getting roped into a Secret Santa exchange is rarely a good thing. You inevitably end up with the co-worker you didn't realize was on staff or, even worse, the boss. Sure, you could gift a predictable box of chocolates or an innocuous holiday-themed knick-knack, but that would mean you've simply given up. Instead, why not subvert the system and give your secret recipient something they actually want?

To help you achieve these ends, we found 15 distinctly unique gifts for under $20 that will have everyone in your office crossing their fingers that you get their name next year. No doubt the gift you get won't be anywhere near as cool, but as they say, it's better to give than receive.

Secret Santa Gifts for Under $20

    When it comes down to it, you and your office mates are overworked, which is why you eat at your desks and consequently live in your own filth. Make degrading corporate servitude a little more palatable with this cheery desk vacuum cleaner! $20

    fredflare.com

    A Bonsai is way cooler than your average desktop plant, Daniel San. $20

    bonsaiboy.com

    We regularly lament the decline in standards of etiquette and traditional masculine grooming. Help put things to right with Debrett's excellent Guide for the Modern Gentleman. $17

    debretts.co.uk

    Let's face it, no matter how free the office-supplied coffee is, there are tastier ways of getting that daily (hourly?) caffeine fix. $10.

    amazon.com

    OK, so we've seen this in action, and, to be honest, it looks a little terrifying. But in these times of global warming, snow in jar is your only totally reliable way to achieve a winter wonderland. $12

    wishingfish.com

    Gifting a cell-phone charging pen means never having to let your coworker borrow your cellphone charger or your pen ever again. Two birds, one stone. $13

    Hannah Gifts & Collectibles

    Christmas crackers are a much loved British yuletide tradition. Pull apart the cardboard sleeve to unleash a tiny gunpowder pop. Inside is a trinket, a paper party hat and a reliably terrible joke. This is fun. Trust us. $20

    williams-sonoma.com

    Music gifting is a highly subjective business. Take the contention out of process by giving something great that there's very little chance the giftee has heard before, like this fabulous, and critically acclaimed, new compilation of tunes from Congolese guitar legend Franco. $20

    cduniverse.com

    Even the most inept gardener can understand the concept of "just add water." That's about all you need to know for Garden in a Bag. $8

    olivebarn.com

    Save your colleague a bundle by getting them a subscription to that mag they're always buying on their coffee break. $10

    amazon.com