• Make Sure Everyone Actually Knows How to Do Secret Santa. This might sound obvious, but it’s a pretty logical place to start.

This might sound obvious, but it’s a pretty logical place to start. Therefore, if you’re unfamiliar with the rules, it essentially goes something like this: You make a list of everyone who wants to participate, and put their names in a hat. Everyone then draws out a name, and it is their responsibility to buy a present for that person. The twist is that the whole thing is anonymous, so you won’t know who bought your gift (but you’ll get the satisfaction of seeing your ‘giftee’ open yours).

  • Set a Price Limit.

This is probably the most important part of Secret Santa – setting a budget. The game is supposed to be fun, and Christmas is already an expensive time for most people; therefore it’s not a wise idea to expect people to spend upwards of £50 on a gift. Tune the budget to something small – no more $25 – which is enough to cover a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, or to encourage you to get really creative.

  • Know Your Giftee – and if You Don’t, Keep it Simple

If you know the person you are buying for, then you should try to get something that reflects their personality and their interests – or is relevant to a particular joke that you share. For example, a former colleague of mine attempted to grow a beard that was regularly ridiculed by the rest of the office (in good nature of course); his Secret Santa gift was a small shaving kit.

Even if it is something useless and silly, the idea is to show someone that you know them, and the gift should ideally make them laugh or have some sentimental connection.

  • Avoid Personal Gifts.

Picture the scene: you’ve drawn Katie, that hot girl from accounts who you’ve had a crush on for months. Should you a) Buy her an ironically funny advent calendar that contains tasty chocolate treats; b) A moderately priced bottle of Rose wine; or c) an exotic two-piece of lacy lingerie and a bottle of Dior perfume?

If you chose C, you’re playing the game wrong. No matter how good Katie would have looked in that negligee, the idea is that the game is supposed to be fun – not put somebody on the spot and make them feel incredibly uncomfortable. Anything that can be considered romantic should usually be avoided for this reason, with the general consensus being that you shouldn’t buy anything that you would get for your partner.

  • Have a Sense of Humor

The game is supposed to be fun, and you want the unwrapping ceremony to be funny. If everybody is receiving a tin of Quality Street or a £10 voucher for Next, then sure, it’s nice – but it would also suggest that there isn’t much morale or team bonding going on in your office.

When choosing a funny gift, keep the joke simple, and ideally one that makes sense to everyone – especially the recipient. The last thing you want to do is offend or confuse someone, so if you’re going for a more risqué approach, judge your work environment and be sure that people will find it funny. If you’re going to get your boss a copy of ‘Management for Dummies’, then you’d better be sure that they have a sense of humor!

  • Receive Your Gift Graciously

Which ties into this key point. While you may be preoccupied with buying, don’t forget that you will be receiving a gift as well, and that someone may be putting the same thought and effort as you are into choosing something. Therefore, make sure you are polite and dignified when you open your gift – even if you hate it. In fact, especially if you hate it.

Certainly don’t whine or moan about the shoddiness or ill judgement of the gift to your other coworkers afterwards. Aside from the fact that you don’t know who actually bought it (consider that Jane may have been the one who chose your new self-stirring mug before you tell her how “sh*tty” it is), gossip travels fast in the office and your pettiness won’t reflect well on you.

  • Don’t be Afraid to Mix it Up

If you’re looking for ways to make things a bit more interesting, don’t be afraid to change it up. You can set a theme that everyone has to adhere to – such as Disney films, jigsaw puzzles or onesies – or you can make it more ambiguous by saying all the presents have to be a certain colour.

You don’t have to spend money either; for example, you could do a Bake-Off Secret Santa where you all make delicious festive treats for each other. Or, as Christmas is the time of giving, you can give donations to charity in each other’s names. Be as creative as you want!

Thank you for reading our Tip Tuesday post, remember to connect with us on social media by clicking onto the links below.




About The Author


Ayasha Roberson started Urban SociaLites, LLC in June of 2010, she holds a bachelor degree in Sociology from Richard Stockton College and Masters Degree in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.