Author Topic: Secret Santa  (Read 7178 times)

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DaDancingPsych

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 09:34:19 AM »
I agree that it is quite silly. However, I would probably participate, as it would not be my hill to die on. You mentioned that the issue is that everyone is just purchasing gift cards and that seems to not be a surprise. (I agree, it is not.) Being that that is the only reason, I would just participate. I would either just get the gift card and keep it simple. It's just something that I have to do, so just go about it and get it done. Or just make my present a little extra special and hope that others would join in my thoughtfulness. I might place the gift card in a hand made card. Or include some baked goods or candies. Something thoughtful and special, but still playing by the rules. This way I am not rocking the boat over something that in the scheme of things isn't that big of deal.

VltGrantham

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2012, 10:45:20 AM »
I'm completely against the white elephant idea.  If you have a great group of people, it can be fun and even a good way to exchange gifts.  (I loved watching a male boss of mine get stuck with some Hello Kitty items one year--good thing he had girls.)  However, more often that not, it becomes a game that works out for very few people.  I stopped participating in that type of gift exchange when you were supposed to spend like $20 (which I did) but most of the gifts (often with clearance tags still attached) were of the $5 variety.  That same year, someone gave a $20 gift card--that was later found out to have already been used up.

I'm lucky in that we do not exchange gifts here where I currently work.  I understand your frustrations and agree with you.  If you think you could opt out and avoid hurt feelings or ill will, I would.  If you think it would cause issues, I would get the gift card and say nothing more about it.

lowspark

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2012, 11:27:56 AM »
Does everyone in your office participate? How obvious is it going to be if you opt out? Are your coworkers the type to make comments to you or about you for not joining in?

It's not rude not to join in. You just have to weigh the consequences as in how it might affect working rel@tionships.

In my office they do one for just the women. There are a lot of us and maybe half participate. I join in some years and opt out others. Mainly I don't join in because I'm not easy to buy for. I buy what I need/want so when we have to list out things to help others figure out what to buy for us, I'm at a complete loss. I end up getting not-so-great gifts but it's completely my own fault! I end up joining every few years though, just for the social aspect.

Amara

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2012, 04:35:40 PM »
I too hate the white elephant thing ever since I watched a dean "steal" a lovely clock from a low-paid administrative person just because. They do have the potential to be fun if everyone takes it in the same way but unfortunately, as a search though the archives shows, that doesn't always happen.

OP, if you wanted to see if you could change it how about suggesting a food exchange. Instead of listing three things that people want they could list three food-related items (no gift cards) that people would like. These could be edibles or ingredients suitable to cooking/baking or just eating.

NotTheNarcissist

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2012, 05:14:01 PM »
OP, if you wanted to see if you could change it how about suggesting a food exchange. Instead of listing three things that people want they could list three food-related items (no gift cards) that people would like. These could be edibles or ingredients suitable to cooking/baking or just eating.

Or wine! :)

25wishes

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #20 on: August 28, 2012, 06:27:20 PM »
I don't know how many people are in your office, but think how cool it would be if you took all of those "$20" and used them to adopt a family in need for the holidays. I think that would be a LOT more fun (and meaningful) than swapping gift cards.

Maybe feel out some other workers to see what they think? Perhaps you are not the only one who is tired of it.

renfield1969

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #21 on: August 29, 2012, 01:17:44 PM »
So here's what you do...

Participate.  Get the wish list from your "target".  Get her two really horrendous things from a thrift store or garage sale*.  Present them first.  Make a big show out of it.  Then for the third gift, give her the three things she really wants.

*Don't pay more than 50 cents.  And if you want, you can milk it: "I only paid fifty cents for it!  Can you believe it?  I saw it and it made me just THINK of you!"

You never knew I had an evil side, did you?

I love this idea. Whenever anyone in my family asks for a gift card through our annual name exchange, I always create a scavenger hunt of puzzles in order to make them work for it. You can hand your co-worker an envelope with a card that reads something like "Go see the person with the most fishing trophies for your gift." Then they'll have to figure out Bob in Accounting has their gift card. When they go ask him,  he'll hand them an envelope which reads, "Sorry, go see the person with the most grandchildren for your gift." Then they'll have to go see Shirley in Printing. You'll have to know your audience to know how well something like that will go over, but you can keep that going for as long as you have people and/or places to hide envelopes with. My family loves it, and I'm pretty sure many of them ask for gift cards in anticipation of the annual scavenger hunt.

Kiara

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #22 on: August 29, 2012, 01:24:22 PM »
See, I have fun with the list itself.  For my three, I put two gift cards and.....a pony.  I've been doing it for two years, and I'll keep doing it until I get the pony.   ;D  I think last year my #3 was "Yes, I still want a pony."  (FTR, yes....I would seriously be thrilled at getting a My Little Pony or something like that.  Just for the laughs.)

Maybe encourage people to have fun with it?  While there's a lot of gift gards in ours, it's maybe only a third of the overall total.

(And NottheNarcissist....beer is a favorite item for the manager's lists.  :))

WillyNilly

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #23 on: August 29, 2012, 01:44:57 PM »

VltGrantham

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #24 on: August 29, 2012, 01:58:38 PM »
Quote
I love this idea. Whenever anyone in my family asks for a gift card through our annual name exchange, I always create a scavenger hunt of puzzles in order to make them work for it. You can hand your co-worker an envelope with a card that reads something like "Go see the person with the most fishing trophies for your gift." Then they'll have to figure out Bob in Accounting has their gift card. When they go ask him,  he'll hand them an envelope which reads, "Sorry, go see the person with the most grandchildren for your gift." Then they'll have to go see Shirley in Printing. You'll have to know your audience to know how well something like that will go over, but you can keep that going for as long as you have people and/or places to hide envelopes with. My family loves it, and I'm pretty sure many of them ask for gift cards in anticipation of the annual scavenger hunt.

I would think that was so much fun for a family type gathering, but I would not do that at work.  It would annoy the living daylights outta me.

I just hate gift exchanges in general.  It's one of the things that I think make the holidays stink as an adult.  After we got married, DH and I used to wonder why the holidays suddenly became so hard and got harder over the years.  And I think the random gift exchanges are a definite part of it.  It used to be you got a couple of gifts for Christmas, were extremely grateful for them, were items you could actually use or want.  Now everybody has to exchange gifts and those few chosen items you purchased for very close people became stuff for the mailman, co-workers, neighbors, etc.  ACH!  Where does it all end?

I'm so glad DH's family FINALLY gave in to the idea that we stop exchanging Christmas gifts among the adults.  If I could get out of them at work, I'd be eternally grateful.  Thank goodness we have a small staff here.

Kiara

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2012, 02:02:39 PM »
WillyNilly, I would laugh like a hyena and LOVE IT.  ;D   I believe the Secret Santa stuff is a chance to have some fun and luckily most of my coworkers do too.  Makes it less stressful, and there's a lot of snarkiness and laughter thrown around at our Holiday party.

cicero

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2012, 02:45:21 PM »
it truly *does* sound silly. you are basically exchanging 20$ of GC with other peoples. and what if you end up buying a GC for BB&B and then you *get* one for BB&B? seems silly to me.

how do other people feel about it? do you feel that people might be open to doing something else? like donating to charity, as some people suggested?

I probably wouldn't opt out- for the 20$ it wouldn't become my hill, even if i think it's silly

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Jelaza

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2012, 11:30:34 PM »
See, I have fun with the list itself.  For my three, I put two gift cards and.....a pony.  I've been doing it for two years, and I'll keep doing it until I get the pony.

I put a dragon on my lists every year, and most years I get one.  I've gotten stuffed dragons, ceramic dragon figurines and a plastic dragon toy.

CaffeineKatie

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2012, 04:47:49 PM »
Since I hate Christmas gift giving, I would love your office's Secret Santa!  It seems like every store has a rack of gift cards for restaurants, other stores, online services--just toss a card in with your grocery shopping sometime between now and December and don't make more stress for yourself.  Yes, it's pointless, but it's what they expect--so why make it anything else?  Some things are worth making a stand on, but this doesn't seem like one.  And since no one else can be bothered to make this special, why make work for yourself by adding a nice card or extra present/baked good/surprise element?  Save your gift giving efforts for people that matter.

White Lotus

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Re: Secret Santa
« Reply #29 on: September 09, 2012, 06:41:10 PM »
What about people who belong to religions that do not do Christmas -- like me?  I work freelance, so I really don't know how your office would handle that. The faculty don't do it at HugeU where the Professor works, though sometimes staff departments and grad students do.
Seriously -- I wouldn't want to bring people down or make people stop doing something they find fun. This has happened to me: far as I am concerned, have all the Christmas/Chaunnuka parties you want and enjoy.  I just won't come.  I certainly don't want people to stop having them -- but a couple of time I have said I couldn't come -- and a date change was not the answer --and the party just stopped happening.  So -- how does your firm handle the person who does not want to participate because it is against their religion (Secret Santa)?
And how does one get across that just because one doesn't want to go to a Christmas party (carols, trees, etc.) doesn't mean one doesn't want you to have the party and enjoy the heck out of it?
This doesn't apply to HugeU parties because everyone tries very hard to be "inclusive" so it hasn't come up, but it has come up in social and affinity groups.  Ideas?