The secret Santa concept – where you are randomly assigned a person for whom you have to buy an anonymous gift – seems tailor made for the office. After all, it’s completely impractical for everyone in an office to buy everyone else a present, even if they wanted to: which they probably don’t.
However, an office secret Santa is also fraught with difficulties and potential problems and can lead to years of resentment, failings out and other stuff that no office, no matter how large or small, really needs. Here are just some of the things that can go wrong.
1.You can’t stand the person you are buying a gift for
It is inevitable that, in any office environment, there will be people you like less than others. The problem with the secret Santa idea is that you could end up being chosen to buy a gift for someone you really, really don’t like.
If it’s someone who has a reputation for bullying or being hyper-critical, the temptation is to get a little of your own back by either buying something you know he or she doesn’t like or by getting something cheap.
My advice is: rise above it. This kind of revenge can be satisfying briefly, but is likely to backfire. After all, if you buy something cheap and worthless, then the office rumors will be about your meanness not about your cleverly orchestrated revenge.
2. You don’t know the person you are buying a gift for
This is only likely to happen in larger offices where staff are spread out on a number of floors. However, it is certainly problematic when you don’t know the person you have been chosen to buy a gift for. It’s even trickier when you don’t really know anyone who does know that person.
In this instance, I would suggest going with a bottle of wine. Unless, of course, they are teetotal or a recovering alcoholic: in which case, that would be a totally inappropriate present. But, as you don’t know them, you won’t know this. It’s this kind of thing that leads me to think the ‘office Secret Santa’ is not a good idea.
3. You receive a gift that you hate
Well, we’ve all received presents from friends and family that we haven’t liked. However, generally, we just assume that they meant well but chose badly. In the office, however, there is another level of thought. You may find yourself thinking ‘is this a deliberate snub?’, ‘don’t they rate my work?’ or ‘don’t they like me?’.
Frankly, the office secret Santa is fraught with pitfalls and, in my opinion, is more trouble than it is worth. If you really want to buy Christmas gifts for someone in your workplace, then I suggest just buying a present or two for those people and give everyone else a card.
About The Author : Karen Greene writes about gifts and gift giving for FindMeAGift, home to unique and unusual secret santa gifts and presents for all the family.