As far as popular holiday traditions go, the Secret Santa would have to be among the last few surviving ones. Yet, in the midst of finishing the end-of-year reports and fighting winter blues, the pressure of Secret Santa gifting at work can be rather distressing. So, here’s our guide to help you find the right gift for the right person.
But first things first, have you ever wondered where Secret Santa originated from? Larry Stewart, an American who anonymously handed out cash to the less-fortunate during Christmas received the nickname of ‘Kansas City’s Secret Santa’. And it is this legacy of anonymous gift giving which continues on as the Secret Santa tradition practised the world over.
Whether you love it or hate it, Secret Santa at office is a good way to end the year, offering everyone something fun to look forward to. Are you ready to navigate the sometimes tricky gift-giving process at the workplace?
For the Boss
Nothing evokes warmth like a DIY gift. Set aside your boardroom differences and gift your boss something that is thoughtful and handmade. Whether it is painting, carpentry, or baking that you count among your many skills, roll up your sleeves and make something from scratch. More than the price of the gift, it is the thought behind it that counts, they say. Gratitude on your mind? No? Well, in that case, you can just pick up a gift voucher!
For the Frenemy
It’s all about appearances in this case. And everyone loves to look good – whether they care to admit it or not. So, how about gifting a face mask to your frenemy? It’s like killing two birds with one stone. On the one hand, it says you care enough to pamper them. It also says that you’re shrewd enough to know when they’re putting their best ‘face’ forward. The market is flooded with options for both men and women.
For the New Recruit
Want to make the new employee feel welcome and at home? How about tickets to a show, an exhibition, or even coffee as the ‘+1’ option? This could give you a chance to hang out, chat and bond. Even if your giftee doesn’t choose you to go with, it will still provide you with enough material for a follow-up conversation.
For the Work Buddy
This is, perhaps, the easiest and least stressful of the lot. You know him or her best, so this should be no challenge. In fact, you can afford to exercise your creativity here – a seemingly innocuous inside joke, possibly – without the worry of causing offence. Or else, how about an office aromatherapy kit? It’s an almost instant stress buster. Everyone on the floor benefits, plus you get brownie points for the ‘inclusive’ thoughtfulness.
For the Intern
Just because he/she is not a permanent member of the company yet, there’s no reason to make them feel left out. Right? Usually fresh out of college and raring to go, interns are a joy to gift to. You can encourage their enthusiasm and creativity with personalised notebooks, cute sticky notes or funky USB drives. Customised laptop stickers and souvenirs are good gifting options too.
For the Opposite Sex
If you feel like you are treading on a pretty slippery surface, we suggest you proceed with care. It is better to avoid any controversial gifts. In other words, no clothes, colognes, diet charts, or prank gifts. Instead find out if they enjoy tea or coffee more, and gift them their favorite brew. Best to keep it simple.
The not-so-secret rules to Secret Santa
While it may not be possible to please everyone, it is just as easy to offend anyone. Therefore it is important to make sure that you are not hurting anyone’s religious, political or personal sentiments with your choice of gifts.
Secret Santa isn’t just about the presents. It is a great way to bond with your colleagues in a more meaningful way. You could use this opportunity to show your appreciation. It’s about spending quality time with your co-workers, de-stressing at the office, and celebrating the end of the year on a positive note. Wish you a Merry Christmas!