How to survive your first secret Santa at work

What is Secret Santa? Secret Santa is when people at work give each other cheap, fun anonymous presents as part of the Christmas party.

You might be a seasoned expert, or this could be your very first Secret Santa ever. Either way, we’ve got some hints and tips on how to keep it fun this festive season. Buying gifts is a great time to use your problem solving skills, Young Professional style!

Never forget – Secret Santa should be fun

If you don’t feel you can contribute because of beliefs, finances or because of anxiety then speak to your line manager about your concerns. There will be a way to make you feel comfortable, or they can make an exception so you only take part in the seasonal festivities you feel you can do.

How to choose a Secret Santa gift

So you’ve been given your name… who did you get? (Shh, it’s a secret!) Make sure you know the budget, any themes if a theme has been chosen, and most importantly the deadline!

Don’t panic : This gift is not going to get you promoted (even if you do get the big boss) so don’t worry and try not to overthink it.

Think it through : What do you know about the person? What do they like? Do they have a pet? Also think about any thing that might be useful to know. Allergic to dairy? No chocolate. Vegetarian or vegan? Double check food or beauty products!

If you are really stuck you can break the secret Santa rule and ask a friend of theirs.

Be smart : However well you know the person, joke gifts can be tricky to get right. Steer clear of gifts that might embarrass and anything with the title “sexy”.

Note: whilst the gift might not offend the person you give it to, you don’t want it upsetting or offending someone else around the table.

What to buy?

Games : Games are great because they can also be used at the party to bring people together and have fun.

Stationery : please don’t spend £10 on biros. A personalised diary or calendar for the year ahead is a nice idea. What about a power bank for their phone if you’ve seen them struggle for batteries? A picture frame or a plant to brighten up their workspace is a nice idea too – even if they haven’t got green fingers, a plastic cactus can look quite real and fit your budget.

Books : If you know they have a passion, hobby or favourite celebrity why not get them a book? Or how about sharing your own favourite books or movies by getting them a copy?

Experience : Cinema vouchers or vouchers for their favourite shop or restaurant or coffee shop can be a winner too.

Have fun : Silly hats, dancing Santa, Christmas tree onesie (yes please!)…

Finally you can explore local charities to make a donation on behalf of the person. This is particularly nice if you know they are passionate about certain causes. Shop in local charity shops too, if you can, and double the gift of giving.

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