The Office Politics Surrounding the Secret Santa Gift

It’s that dreaded time of year again; in offices across the globe, names are being put in hats and speculations are starting around the water cooler.  It’s secret Santa season.   And maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if you hadn’t have chosen a name out of the hat who you hate to admit that you’re not even sure who they are.  Or even worse – you’ve got the boss.  So, how do you make the right choice in the gift you buy, to avoid being hated or sacked, or even worse…regarded as the office cheapskate?

Luckily, many websites do the hard work for you nowadays, giving you loads of choice.   Sites like GettingPersonal.co.uk have great secret Santa ideas for all members of the office, and for all budgets.  We’ve also compiled a list of things to bear in mind as you hit the shops or the internet, on your mission.

Sense of humor

Opting for candy nipple tassels may be a great option for the office joker with a personal life who would put Christian Grey’s to shame, but maybe not so much for the older, Christian lady in HR.  Going for a novelty option can be great to assert fun into the experience, but make sure you get it right, else it will be more than a bit embarrassing. You also need to be careful not to offend anyone, either!

Gender and age

It can be a good idea to get a gender and age-neutral gift, as some secret Santa organizers prefer everyone to just put their presents under a tree, then everyone chooses one.  Good gender/age neutral gifts can include mugs (who doesn’t like tea/coffee?!), fancy chocolate or diary organizers.  Unless you know the recipient well, it’s generally a good idea to avoid an alcohol-based gift, as it’s not guaranteed that everyone appreciates wine as much as you do.

Budget

Has a budget been set for the gifts?  If so, aim to stick to it.  No one likes the person who goes way over the price agreed, as it will come across as an attempt at one-ups-man-ship.  Likewise, no one likes the person who goes way under budget, and puts more thought into what their having for lunch rather than the gift. Most budgets will be about £5-£10, so shop around to find something unique and interesting for your money.  You’ll also earn tons of brownie points if you put a lot of effort into your choice, which can be a little harder if you don’t know the person that well. Take a sneaky look around their desk for any hints; i.e. photo frames, key rings, books etc, to give you a better idea.

Theme

If you do get really stuck, go along with the Christmas theme, and buy your recipient something holiday related.  And that doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a novelty item; scented candles, calendars and personalized Christmas chocolate bars are all great alternatives to avoid the cliché factor.   You could also even suggest sticking to a theme to make it easier for everyone, too.

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