Secret Santa Gift Tips

Workplaces the country over are partaking in Secret Santa! This means one thing – an awesome, yet invariably cheap gift is required.

In case you aren’t familiar with this popular tradition, it’s when people pick a random name out of a hat (hence the secret) and surprise them with a gift (hence the Santa).

Have a fantastic time, but bear in mind these few words of wisdom.

Follow the Rules

Don’t buy someone an iPod as a Secret Santa gift, even though the limit for gifts was set at £10. Then get upset when you receive a farting pen holder, and suggest that none cares anymore!

Not following directions can make you look like a fool. Ironically, in just about every workplace, there is one person who decides to derail the Secret Santa gift train, to make themselves feel good about their own generosity. This never works.

When participating in a gift exchange, to stick to the set guidelines. You may be out shopping and think that a £60 bottle of Eau d’Issey would make a great gift, but if the rules are to keep it under £10, then that gift has to wait. You may really like the recipient, or even have a crush on them – well, guess what, you still have to follow the rules.

This is not the time to try and prove yourself, Secret Santa is for fun and is not a contest that will go on your progress report. If you still have the desire to give someone a gift in addition to the official sanctioned one, then do that out of hours and away from the workplace. (Good luck, by the way).

Show Some Creativity

Depending on whose name you pull out of the hat, you may feel compelled to give a better Secret Santa gift than the rules allow. But, remember, uphold the Christmas spirit, where the financial limit keeps everyone on a level playing field, this is why you should follow the rules.

This does not mean you can’t be creative. Don’t just walk around the shopping centre searching for an easy solution, try boot sales, second hand shops and craft fairs to haggle out a bargain within your price limit! Being creative is an option to make the budget go further, plus, this time of year there are so many options and sales that going the “normal” route just seems too easy.

If you’re the arty type, a homemade gift done in good taste will seem personal and meaningful. Consider your recipient’s interests when making a gift for them, rather than just throwing together a bunch of scraps. There is a big difference between making something creative and worthwhile, and making something cheap and lazy because you forgot to/didn’t buy something.

Have fun with it! If you just grab the first thing you see with no thought or reason, your Secret Santa will see right through that. Giving a gift is about making someone feel good, not just nodding their head saying, “Wow, an inflatable Zimmer frame….terrific”

Do Your Research

You go to draw a name, hoping you get someone fun, but then end up getting someone you hardly know. Maybe you are the new person in the office, or they are, regardless, you are clueless about trying to pick out a present for a relative stranger.

It’s hard enough finding a present for a person that you do like, let alone trying to figure out a gift for someone you’ve had little interaction with. So what do you do? Well, like all of us, you go back to your desk and stare blankly at your computer screen’s Google search page, thinking, “Where do I even start?” The key is don’t guess and buy some random gift.

There are ways to figure out something to get a person whom you don’t really know, and this requires a little research. Chances are at least one person at your workplace knows a little about them and can give you some advice, if not, ask someone who sits nearby or has lunch with them. If they love sounds, go for the MP3 music hat!

Keep it Light-hearted and Fun

Gag gifts are popular, such as a “Whack Your Boss Inflatable Punch Bag”, and “Willy Warmers” can be amusing, but in general you should always choose gifts that would not be perceived as inappropriate for a group setting. (Well….probably)


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