I’ve just joined a new company and we’re doing a team secret Santa – anything in particular I should avoid?
It’s supposed to be a bit of innocent fun to get us all in a festive mood, but there are potential pitfalls when one participates in Secret Santa at work, people’s careers have been made and broken on the basis of funny and thoughtful or ill-conceived gifts. I’ve compiled a short list of tips based on painful personal experience…
- Stick to the price limit – likely no-one will begrudge a quid or two here and there, but you don’t want to make anyone feel awkward. Those diamond earrings you bought for Jenny are just going to make everyone feel weird – especially Jenny.
- Try to personalise your gift. There’s nothing worse than getting a mini bottle of fizz and chocolates when what you really want is a Star Trek t-shirt… it’s not that difficult to give it a little thought. And if something is personalised you’ll be surprised how pleased Gina from marketing might be (and she LOVES Star Trek).
- Pick up clues. Perhaps you don’t know Dave from accounts very well, but you walk past his desk every day and his screensaver is the West Ham team with their FA Cup trophy from 1980. However misguided Dave’s allegiance may be, this might help you work out what to buy for him.
- Buy something inappropriate. Getting your boss nipple tassels will likely not get you promotion. And if you’ve drawn your office crush, don’t consider this the appropriate time to show your love with a romantic gift.
- Leave it ‘til the last minute. Everyone knows if you’ve put no effort in – get in the spirit of the season.
- Show any disappointment. Yes, Geoff from HR has just given you a Brussel sprout-scented candle and you hate everything about it, but don’t let on. Just take it home and re-gift it to your least favourite family member.
The main thing to remember is, it’s meant to be fun! Enforced fun is the best kind of fun! Happy holidays everyone!