Secret Santa vending machine erected in Paddington station

A secret Santa vending machine has been spotted in Paddington station as Brits grapple with what to get their colleagues this Christmas.

The inventive present dispenser featured a real-life St Nick who distributed presents based on a tick-box survey of worker types.

It comes as new research revealed sprouts, novelty loo roll and a Simon Cowell mask are among the strangest Secret Santa gifts Brits have received.

Researchers who polled 2,000 UK adults identified some of the weird and wonderful presents they’ve ever received – including cat food and Cumberland sausages.

Other bizarre items include a T-shirt with their work bestie’s face on it, an inflatable turkey and a ‘grow your own boyfriend’ kit.

Commissioned by high street chain wilko, the research also identified the top 40 most popular Secret Santa presents, with a festive tipple taking top spot, followed by chocolate and gift cards.

Sweets, socks, perfume and toiletries featured too, along with photo frames, flowers and make-up.

Julie Fever, wilko Christmas Buyer said: “Taking part in Secret Santa is an age-old tradition and great way to express your creative or humorous side, but also allows you to be thoughtful and sentimental.

“It’s a great way to bond with colleagues and friends, whether new or existing, and whether you are purchasing an item that stands as a long-running joke between pals, or a lovely gift for a more distant colleague.

“If you don’t know your Secret Santa well, it’s always worth taking the time to get to know them and doing a little research.

”Don’t get gifts that are too cheeky or risqué if you want to avoid embarrassment, but a bit of humour never goes a miss.”

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