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Should Workplaces Do Away With Secret Santas This Year?

The tradition of participating in Secret Santa gift exchanges has existed in every office I've worked, and it can be a fun way to bring employees together for holiday cheer. There's always a price limit set for the gift (the most I've heard is $25), but I'm wondering if companies should skip the gift-giving games this year.

Most people are cutting down on their gift budgets, and I'm not sure workers would be excited to allocate some of their whittled down holiday money for a co-worker's Secret Santa gift.


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pacenerd pacenerd 8 years
We have a tradition where we can't spend more than $1.08, so something from the 99 cent store and CA sales tax. It's fun seeing what kind of things people bring in
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
I wish they would get rid of completely! I haven't had to participate in one of these since my internship days, and it was excruciating. It's not even a money thing; it's just forced, awkward, gratuitous gift-giving. If I want to buy you a Christmas gift, I will. I don't like being obligated to!
ummyeaitsmarcie ummyeaitsmarcie 8 years
I'd hate to see it go, at least with money being the driving issue behind it. I think it really just depends on your work place and how much you like the people you're working with. Its unfair to say that it should go out everywhere just because it doesn't work at certain places. I loved my coworkers and would be happy to buy any of them a gift.
Advah Advah 8 years
Hoaxerz, I LOVE that idea! I agree Ilanac, it's such a waste of money! I'd rather someone would make a donation to a random charity than get me something I don't need.
Advah Advah 8 years
I didn't know there were Secret Santas at work - I'm SO happy I've never had to do that! I'm already stuck with it in my flat, and I *really* don't want to receive anything from people who very often treat me like sh*t because they get more money than me. :oy:
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that there shouldn't be a secret santa this year - but not for financial reasons only. i've never liked it cause i feel like people are obligated to buy gifts and that's something that i don't believe in. even if it's a little trinket or token, it's still wrong in my eyes to make someone feel like they HAVE to buy something for someone.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
I love Secret Santa! I'm so excited to do it this year ...
i-heart-monster i-heart-monster 8 years
just make it optional. i like the secret snowflakes idea!
Hoaxerz Hoaxerz 8 years
My work does "Secret Snowflakes" during Jan/Feb, where you leave your snowflake a treat once or twice a week. The treats are small like a card or snack, but it is so much fun...especially the secrecy part :).
amers230 amers230 8 years
the store i work at always adopts a family instead of doing some sort of gift exchange. i love it, i usually go to the dollar store and stock up on arts and crafts supplies for the kids. it's not an office setting though, maybe that's why they've never initiated an actual gift exchange.
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
I've never done this for work. We're only 2 people so there would be no secret! :)
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
Wow I'm sad for everyone that has bad experiences with these. We always have such a great time when we do this. We have a potluck or go out to lunch then we exchange gifts. Sometimes it's serious, sometimes gag gifts or last year we each got our person then bought a childrens toy that reminded us of them and we donated them all. it was so fun. Our dept is around 15 people and we're all pretty close so these sorts of things are a good way for us to jsut get together. Anyone remember the Office episode when Michael brings an iPod even though there's a $ limit? Too funny!
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
I honestly don't mind doing them, as long as you know what the person wants and the gift $ amount is reasonable.
Deidre Deidre 8 years
How about no presents at all? I love CoralAmber's idea of contributing to a work party instead. Or, how about the office adopts a family in need and gets them presents instead? Some offices do a little bit of everything, but I don't think that anything negative could come from downsizing in this situation.
alikat07 alikat07 8 years
yes, I always feel like these are a waste of money. Still do the party minus the gifts.
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
Oh and the employer should spring for a masseuse to come in for an afternoon!
CoralAmber CoralAmber 8 years
How about instead of exchanging material goods, employees do acts of kindness for each other? Cheerful notes, going out of your way to help them with stuff, offering to do them favors, helping them pick out gifts for hard to shop for friends and relatives. Then everyone can bring in some treats for a little work party and thank everyone for a great year?
monkeyinabarrel monkeyinabarrel 8 years
yes because they are stupid anyway and the gifts are usually stupid. And someone always ends up feeling embarrassed or upset.
yadiet yadiet 8 years
That sucks caterpillargirl. I've been at my current workplace for 2 yrs and the first year was a 50 dollar spending limit. I loved my gift. And people actually got together to spend time. The employer had a raffle for their employee and i won a Portable DVD player. It was great.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Not because of money, but because they are lame. I have never had a postive outcome from doing this.
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