You either love it or hate it, but when your office holds an annual Secret Santa you don’t want to be the Grinch that doesn’t participate. So how do you handle Secret Santa at work?
When you have no idea who you’re buying for
If you work in a small office then you probably know a fair amount about each of your colleagues, or at least enough to be able to pick a relevant gift. But if you work in a bigger office environment, or you’re new to the company, you might not even know the person you’ve been assigned to buy a gift for. It’s a bit of a tricky situation but you do have two options:
Speak to the people you do know and find out as much information about them as possible – maybe drop an email to their manager asking for some advice on what to buy.
Find a gift that anyone would appreciate, a gift card to the local coffee shop, a few scratch cards that could win big, or just a nice bottle of bubbly for the holiday season!
When you picked your work BFF
We all have our work BFF, they might not be your best friend in life outside of the office but when you’re in that cubicle they are your closest friend in the world. You probably have loads of inside jokes and most of them will stem from office-based frustration or gossip. Given that Secret Santa is aimed at bringing people a bit closer together over the holidays, you have to be careful about giving a gift that’s too personal, or inappropriate for the workplace.
Find something you know they’ll appreciate but won’t make it look like you’re clearly playing favourites in the office. Save that stuff for your own personal holiday card!!
When you get your boss
Now this is a tricky one, even if you love your boss to need to ensure you buy a gift that is completely work appropriate and positions you in the best possible light. Getting your boss a hilarious gift might be funny between the two of you, but it could embarrass them among their peers and fellow managers; it’s best to play safe with this one!
If you’re not keen on your boss, you might feel a bit disgruntled at the prospect of having to buy them a gift this Christmas, but you have to play the game! Who knows, maybe getting them something truly special and personal will help warm up the relationship – it could help your career down the line.
When the budget is too high
So the MD set the budget for your office Secret Santa and conveniently forgot that none of you are on six figure salaries. Ouch! When the budget is too high confide in a few of your co-workers to see if they feel the same – if there are a handful of you feeling strained by the budget, speak to someone in HR about lowering it for everyone. There are more than enough expenses over the holidays – work shouldn’t be one of them!
If you’re not inclined to admit that you’re struggling with money, then it’s time to get creative! A budget is the upper limit of what you can spend, but it’s not necessarily a guideline of what you should spend. Add some personal touches to the gift and invest your time in creating it, instead of your money in buying! Personal gifts are way more valuable anyway!
Above all else, remember to enjoy the holiday season. It’s always fun when a company injects some Christmas cheer into the office, so embrace the fun and get celebrating!!