One way I always bring all of my family together over the holidays is with a Secret Santa gifting tradition. Truth be told, it’s the most affordable (and let’s be honest, fun) way to exchange gifts with a large family over the holidays. I generally try to keep gifts under $25-30 at most, so that the kids can contribute some of their own money toward the gifts they’re giving, because I think that’s a valuable lesson for them.

And hey, if the gifts cost even less, all the better!

Thanks to our awesome sponsor JCPenney, shopping affordably for Secret Santa gifts, and all your holiday gifts, is so easy because it’s  a terrific one-stop shop full of amazing deals for everyone on my list —  and for me, that includes babies, grandparents, and some extremely picky tweens and teens too.

If you’re a JCPenney card holder, you’ll also want to take advantage of their upcoming Friends & Family event from November 29 to December 4, which gives you an extra 30% off! That way you can give your loved ones the kinds of gifts you might not have otherwise been able to fit into your budget.

Just ask my kids, who dug into their own pocket money to purchase some of these gifts we found.

Our favorite secret santa gifts for the entire family at JCPenney | Sponsored

While I decided to shop in our local JCPenney accompanied by my girls (who uh, get really competitive when it comes to Secret Santa), you can just as easily shop JCPenney online and  enjoy the comfort of your couch and a warm cup of coffee while you shop.

– Don’t miss the fantastic gift card giveaway for CMP readers! See full details below. – 

Secret Santa gift ideas for the kids on your list 

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Board games | Sponsored

A hot new toy or game (maybe featuring their favorite characters?)

I was amazed to find so many gifts we’ve included on Cool Mom Picks over the years in the store! They had a huge wall of board games (oh hello Fortnite Monopoly) and LEGO sets (Harry Potter!), not to mention dolls, and educational toys galore. Plus, there’s a huge section of baby and toddler toys, including Fisher Price favorites, that are perfect for the little ones on your list.

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Stylish clothes for tweens | Sponsored

A fancy piece of clothing they wouldn’t buy otherwise

Of course we couldn’t help but stop in the girls’ clothing section. My youngest daughter (on the right) is obsessed with fancy dresses, and there was no shortage of those at great prices. As for my fashionista 10-year old, it was super easy to find lots of options for her. The only hard part was narrowing it down to just one thing, but this funky silver quilted bomber jacket won.

Secret Santa gift ideas for the tweens and teens on your list

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: NERF Guns! | Sponsored

One big toy…at the price of a smaller toy

My girls decided that if they picked their brother as a Secret Santa, they’d stock him up with Nerf toysThis one is almost as tall as my daughter! It makes a big impression — but it’s still well within our budget.

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Stylish accessories | Sponsored

Pretty Accessories

For their teen sister, my girls were loving the stylish collection of cool accessories by Mixit, from travel mugs (is your teen onto coffee yet?) and stylish clutches, to bath bombs and candles.

– Don’t miss the fantastic gift card giveaway for CMP readers! See full details below. – 

Secret Santa gift ideas for the grandmas on your list 

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Cozy slippers | Sponsored

Something cozy

My girls headed straight for the slipper section (they know their grandma well), and grabbed these Dearfoam slippers for my mom in stylish colors and patterns. Don’t those mocs look cozy in that cool buffalo check?

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Inspirational jewelry | Sponsored

A piece of special jewelry

They also chose this necklace and ring from the Footnotes jewelry collection, which we’ve featured as a favorite gift in the past. I love how the different sayings make it feel like a personalized gift — without having to spend a ton on a personalized gift. Also, sterling silver!

Secret Santa gift ideas for the cool dads or stepdads on your list 

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Air fryer | Sponsored

A fabulous kitchen gadget

My kids are extremely lucky to have a stepfather in their life who is not only loving and kind and all the things you want a stepfather to be — but he also does all the cooking. (I know, #blessed.) That’s why they headed straight for JCPenney’s home section when considering a gift for him. This Air Convection Fryer is just awesome, and we know he’ll love using it to make snacks for school lunches.

My youngest picked out a countertop griddle, which is such a space saver when you’re cooking breakfast for four kids. And yes, it’s in our budget! Sweet Secret Santa gift, huh?

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Crosley record player | Sponsored

Cool tech and electronics

Now, if you’ve got a father or stepfather in your life who isn’t a foodie, JCPenney has lots of options for them too from clothes to accessories — but you know how much I love finding cool tech for gifts. And one of my favorites brands is here! This Crosley record player is such a great Secret Santa gift idea for a music lover who’s into vinyl. Just add in a favorite album or two, and it makes an unforgettable gift.

Secret Santa gift ideas for teachers who feel like family

Okay, so we know teachers aren’t technically family, but they play such an important role in my kids’ lives, we had to include them in our shopping trip.

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Teacher

A special bookmark tucked into a favorite book

Teachers love books, and my youngest daughter’s teacher is no exception. She’s an avid reader, so my daughter chose to gift her this sweet apple bookmark.

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Decorate a white tie! | Sponsored

A gift that reflects their style or interest

Clearly socks aren’t for the perfect gift for every teacher…unless you’re shopping for Mr. Blair, my 10-year old daughter’s teacher who has quite the reputation for wearing funky attire on his feet each day. He’s also known for his ties, so we decided to get him a plain white silk tie and let my daughter decorate it for him using fabric paints, to make it more personal.

A gift card!

Of course we all know teachers love gift cards, and you can grab one from JCPenney, so they can pick up whatever it is they love best right now.

A secret Santa gift idea for the cool moms in your life

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Inspiration beaded bracelets | Sponsored

My girls know me well! They selected this beautiful Footnote beaded bracelet that’s engraved with “Follow Your Dreams.” (See, they know all I really want for Christmas is sleep, ha.)

Secret Santa gifts for the whole family: Salt Lamp | Sponsored

Self-care gifts

We know that moms often put ourselves last, and any gift that helps pamper her or make her feel even a little more calm and rejuvenated is a great Secret Santa idea. Ever since I first experienced a salt cave a few weeks ago, I’ve been wanting a salt crystal lamp, and, surprise! We actually found one at JCPenney! In fact, the shop has an entire section of diffusers, aromatherapy, and salt crystal lamps that would be perfect for any mom on your list.

Whether you’re doing a Secret Santa with your family this holiday season, or shopping for everyone on your list (lucky them), I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find amazing gifts and fantastic prices at JCPenney. And even better, you can shop online and enjoy more time with the people you love.

About That $100 Gift Card Giveaway…

Extra cool: Win it!  We’re giving away a $100 JCPenney gift card so one lucky reader can shop and save this holiday season too! Just visit the site, then leave a comment below letting us know one thing that isn’t listed here that you’d buy with your JCPenney gift card and why, and be sure to share a link to it from the JCPenney website. 

Do it by Sunday December 2, 11:59pm PST. One entry per household, void where prohibited, U.S. residents only, must be 18+.  We’ll pick a winner on Monday December 3 and announce the winner on Wednesday December 5.


Please read our official giveaway rules for more information. 

JCPenney gift card

Huge thanks to our sponsor JCPenney for helping make our holiday gifting so easy and affordable. And for bringing my family together for a fun afternoon of shopping — with no arguing, whoa! Be sure to check out JCPenney’s awesome deals, and special Friends & Family promotion from November 29 to December 4, allowing JCPenney card members to save 30%!