Secret Santa hell rolls around again

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There are those who delight in the task of buying someone they’ve barely spoken to in the office a gift worth $10. There are others who would rather munch on broken glass.

We all know why it takes place every year. “Oh, it’s a bit of fun!” Debby from the front desk will shriek. “It builds camaraderie and boosts morale,” we tell ourselves. Like it or loathe it, the task of gift-giving requires some thought – after all, the gift you give can tell quite a lot about you, ‘they’ say.

So, before we skip off to the shopping centres in droves, let HC recount for you the Secret Santa gifts you should avoid at all costs – unless you intend to start the New Year as the office outcast.

Something you got for free, complete with brand logo. Nothing shows you didn’t care about the Secret Santa exchange more than giving something that they could have gotten for free. Show at least some effort people!

Anything with sexual innuendo. Save it for your best friend’s bucks or hens night because absolutely nothing good can come from giving a box of novelty condoms to a colleague, no matter how well received you think it may be. At the very least, it communicates unprofessionalism to collegial observers.

Underwear. A ten-pack of new Bonds could be just what your desk-buddy needs, but it’s a bit too familiar for an office Christmas party. If you’ve already bought it, save it for Dad’s stocking on Christmas day.

Anything that refers to body issues the person might have – namely, deodorant. Nothing is more shame-inducing than being the one to receive deodorant, diet pills, a pack of tissues or breath mints You name it – if it’s from the chemist, time to re-think.

There are dozens of other inappropriate situation-specific gifts, and HC wants to hear your best (or worst!) Secret Santa experiences. Tell us below.

  • Ryan on 2012-11-30 11:39:35 AM

    I would be in the camp that these are just too much fun each Christmas. We need some reasons to laugh in HR. A few years ago, a co-worker (as a joke) offered a signed/framed picture of himself as the secret Santa gift. It backfired on him when the person that received it, loved it, and hung it proudly behind her desk!

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