Author Topic: Cheap Secret Santa  (Read 11977 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Lynda_34

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1135
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #30 on: December 19, 2012, 09:36:16 PM »
We had our Secret Santa on Monday.  I brought in a bag of Starbucks Christmas Roast whole bean coffee, worth $15 - our spending cap.  The gift I unwrapped was an okay bottle of Australian wine.  Then, in the swap part, I ended up with a hideous faux brass pen holder.  It's got a price tag of $16.99 on it, but it screams Dollar Store 1/2 price bin.  I'm furious.  I've put it aside and will rewrap it (with a Dunkins gift card) next year, so someone else can dispose of it.
My evil twin  >:Dwould keep it on my desk all year, let it disappear in November and then regift it. :-*  I don't participate in secret santa if I can possibly avoid it for all the reasons listed here.

oceanus

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 693
  • pronounced o-see-ANN-us
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2012, 09:49:52 PM »
Quote
I bought a James Bond movie, an airline bottle of vodka, and a cool martini glass for an older gentleman,
Love this.  A really creative idea!  :)

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15937
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #32 on: December 19, 2012, 09:52:51 PM »
The presentation was the capper:  I wrapped the items in gold tissue paper, put them in a Reebock box with a Union Jack on the lid, wrapped that in gold paper and put it in a gold gift bag.

The movie -- of course -- was Goldfinger.

baglady

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4650
  • A big lass and a bonny lass and she loves her beer
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2012, 10:04:23 PM »
We don't do Secret Santa at work anymore. Not because there were problems -- there weren't -- but because interest in it just petered out. December is crazy busy, deadlines are shorter than usual, and we didn't want to take the time away from working.

When we did do it, though, it always worked out well. We had a $10 limit, which was just that -- a limit. An upper one. And we did wish lists. We filled out our own slips for the drawing, and there was a designated space to write what we'd like. We usually gave folks lots of options: "Anything Disney." "Anything chocolate." "Amazon, iTunes or Target gift cards." "Art supplies."

None of us paid any attention to what our Santa spent, unless we got a gift card, and that's because we need to know the amount so we can plan on how to spend it! I wouldn't have blinked at a $5 gift card instead of a $10 one -- maybe that's all my Santa could afford -- but in practice, those who couldn't afford to spend $10 didn't give gift cards. They'd make something, or buy something cheaper that obviously had thought put into it -- e.g., a dollar store Mickey Mouse mug for the Disney fan.

Bottom line: I just can't see getting bent out of shape over the quality or (perceived) price of any gift, but especially one from a co-worker who drew my name at random. It's not going to ruin my Christmas if I get a cheap gift from my Secret Santa but Susie gets a cool one from hers.

Now, if Santa forgets to bring me that Red Ryder BB gun, we need to talk.  ;)
My photography is on Redbubble! Come see: http://www.redbubble.com/people/baglady

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12309
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2012, 10:23:27 PM »
The problem with a group that small is that participation will feel mandatory even if it actually isn't.  My last office was about 30 people and it felt like the only way to avoid participation would have been to schedule my vacation around the date... which wasn't announced until after the customary deadline for vacation requests had passed.

The spending range was $35-50.  It was suggested (but not required) that we leave small things on the recipient's desk every few days prior to the party, which was three weeks after the selection of names.

The previous company had a $25 limit for 12 people and the one before also did for 30 people (that was by department).

The company before that also did it by department.  My department's spending limit was $10 and we got really creative with it without it being a White Elephant.  For example, my boss bought a sheet of baseball commemorative stamps for a sports nut, I bought a James Bond movie, an airline bottle of vodka, and a cool martini glass for an older gentleman, and someone bought me a box of chocolates.

Sean's last office experience with one of these ended with a male employee cursing out the (at that point) anonymous person who gave him a $25 gift card to a department store.  My jaw hit the floor at that story.


This is quite possible.  Some workplaces tout it as being "optional" when it really is not.  I once opted-out (it was a difficult year for me, financially, and for other reasons) and there was a lot of unkind gossip about me because of it.

I too would endorse no-more-workplace-secret-Santas.  I also think that it's wrong for the OP in this instance to figure that she knows all the personal financial details of this particular secret-Santa.

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12309
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #35 on: December 19, 2012, 10:24:31 PM »
The problem with a group that small is that participation will feel mandatory even if it actually isn't.  My last office was about 30 people and it felt like the only way to avoid participation would have been to schedule my vacation around the date... which wasn't announced until after the customary deadline for vacation requests had passed.

The spending range was $35-50.  It was suggested (but not required) that we leave small things on the recipient's desk every few days prior to the party, which was three weeks after the selection of names.

The previous company had a $25 limit for 12 people and the one before also did for 30 people (that was by department).

The company before that also did it by department.  My department's spending limit was $10 and we got really creative with it without it being a White Elephant.  For example, my boss bought a sheet of baseball commemorative stamps for a sports nut, I bought a James Bond movie, an airline bottle of vodka, and a cool martini glass for an older gentleman, and someone bought me a box of chocolates.

Sean's last office experience with one of these ended with a male employee cursing out the (at that point) anonymous person who gave him a $25 gift card to a department store.  My jaw hit the floor at that story.



Oops - I hit Post twice, but anyway.....

$50 for a workplace Secret Santa?  I don't spend that much on my own nephew!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 10:26:21 PM by kareng57 »

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 15937
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #36 on: December 19, 2012, 10:42:47 PM »
I totally agree, but nobody felt confident enough to protest it.

Arrynne

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 805
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #37 on: December 19, 2012, 11:07:15 PM »

I think it depends on the "game" and the office culture.  At a former job, we played the white elephant game and there were at least two gifts that were given every year...because they were intentionally that bad.  And it was fun for everyone to see who was going to get stuck with it.  On one hand, you have a bad gift, but on the other, you don't have to purchase something for the following year.  We all had fun with it.  I mean, by nature this type of exchange has people bargaining to get their gift "stolen" right in front of the person that gave to them.  And I think that someone that can't handle the nature of this probably shouldn't play in the first place.  Which is why I hate them for offices.  A family or group of friends may be very in tuned to what others can and can't handle as far as these games, but an office may be too diverse in personality and expectations to do this (even though they are popular for some reason).


We do this at my workplace with an old Milli Vanilli CD. We try to hide it in nice packaging to make it tempting. It's the "booby-prize", but the winner is almost an office hero every year.

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #38 on: December 20, 2012, 01:51:31 AM »
Quote
I think most people see it as "around $25" give or take a few dollars.  Like, a $23 or $28 dollar gift is ok, but a $3 or $75 gift wouldn't be right.

I think that's an unfair, sweeping generalization. You (generic) may know that based on the culture of the people in your group, past instructions actually stated or whatever. But I don't think everyone assumes it's the target. I've been in plenty of those exchanges where it's just the upper limit and you can spend anywhere up to that amount.

I think it's incumbent upon the the organizers or the group itself to agree on what the amount means in each event.


xanne

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 39
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #39 on: December 20, 2012, 09:59:52 AM »
OP here.  We draw names, but we present the gifts to the person we picked.  We are 9 people supporting 500 people.  We work at different locations, but we work very closely together since our work can be very challenging, we depend a lot on each other to support our folks when they are at a team member's site, or to help each other when we can't meet deadlines alone. We know each other pretty well, even though most don't socialize together outside of work. I guess I find the cheap gift disrespectful to a certain extent that it is obvious that everyone else takes a lot of care to find something their person would like.  It really isn't so much the dollar value, as the perceived lack of care.  As much as anything, it is a token of appreciation for the support that we give each other throughout the year.

Daquiri40

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 284
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2012, 10:49:42 AM »
I have a different take on this.  OP mentioned the bad Santa gifter wears nice clothing, etc.

My feeling is that it doesn't matter if the limit is $25 or $10 or $5, the person will give cheap gifts.  Just like some millionaires dress in worn clothing or drive rattletrap cars, the Secret Santa is not a priority to them.  It isn't that they CAN'T give a nice gift, they just don't care to.  The person will buy a cheap gift and call it good.  They are either:  clueless, uncaring, inconsiderate, selfish, bitter, etc.  Nothing will change the person.

Either don't include them or work around them.

We have potlucks every year.  Every year one guy will bring finger jello with flecks of god knows what in it.  He will ask other people to bring expensive to make dishes.  He doesn't see the irony there...and he never will.  He has money but to him, spending it on a potluck for co-workers is not worth it to him.  In his head, we are taking advantage of HIM.

StuffedGrapeLeaves

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 872
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2012, 10:58:41 AM »
I have a different take on this.  OP mentioned the bad Santa gifter wears nice clothing, etc.

My feeling is that it doesn't matter if the limit is $25 or $10 or $5, the person will give cheap gifts.  Just like some millionaires dress in worn clothing or drive rattletrap cars, the Secret Santa is not a priority to them.  It isn't that they CAN'T give a nice gift, they just don't care to.  The person will buy a cheap gift and call it good.  They are either:  clueless, uncaring, inconsiderate, selfish, bitter, etc.  Nothing will change the person.

Either don't include them or work around them.

We have potlucks every year.  Every year one guy will bring finger jello with flecks of god knows what in it.  He will ask other people to bring expensive to make dishes.  He doesn't see the irony there...and he never will.  He has money but to him, spending it on a potluck for co-workers is not worth it to him.  In his head, we are taking advantage of HIM.

I have to agree with Daquiri.  I feel like it's not so much the "cheapness" of the gift that irks the OP and her co-workers, but the thoughtlessness behind it.  If the co-worker brings something thoughtful, even if it's only $5, then it wouldn't be so annoying.

25wishes

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 234
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #42 on: December 20, 2012, 11:01:57 AM »
I have not worked in an office in over 30 years but I just don't see the point in buying a present for someone whom you would not have gifted had you not been "told" to buy them something.

Wouldn't it be nice if the whole office "adopted" a needy family for the holidays or did an Angel Tree sort of thing? Start a new tradition.

onyonryngs

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 362
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #43 on: December 20, 2012, 11:05:06 AM »
you seem to view this as a $25 requirement vs. a $25 limit.  She might actually think these "tacky" gifts are nice and appropriate for an office gift exchange...or maybe she doesn't care. 

To answer your specific questions, I think that if someone gets a regularly priced $25 gift for less than $25, then good for them.  I don't think they have to spend exactly $25.

POD.  If you want everyone to spend $25, you set that as the minimum.

VltGrantham

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 488
Re: Cheap Secret Santa
« Reply #44 on: December 20, 2012, 11:06:28 AM »
Quote
Wouldn't it be nice if the whole office "adopted" a needy family for the holidays or did an Angel Tree sort of thing? Start a new tradition.

I think this is a great idea.  Charities are really struggling these days and can use everything they get.  If you just asked people to contribute towards Toys For Tots or Angel Tree, you could use all the money given to help someone less fortunate and not have to deal with the person who gives the tacky gift.