It’s that time of year again! Thanksgiving festivities have concluded, and everyone has officially begun shifting their attention to Christmas. That means trees are being decorated, lights are being strung and the shopping season is in full swing. However, that also means thousands of Secret Santa gift exchanges will be taking place in workplaces and other gatherings around the country. Here’s a few tips to avoid any awkward Secret Santa interactions with co-workers, friends or loved ones!
First, stick to the budget. Was there a dollar limit put in place? If so, don’t spend a penny more! The price limit was established for a reason. Overspending will reflect showing off or playing favorites. Conversely, don’t spend too little just because the person being gifted isn’t your favorite co-worker (or family-member). After all, it’s the holiday season and everyone deserves a nice gift.
Second, don’t overthink it! Gift exchanges are meant to be fun and lighthearted, not stressful. Does someone in the office love coffee? Try grabbing an inexpensive coffee maker, holiday mug or thermos. Keeping it simple will save you from wandering around the store aimlessly this holiday season.
Third, consider shopping secondhand. Shopping secondhand is an amazing way to get great gifts without breaking the bank. Using our coffee example above, all three of those items could be purchased secondhand for less than $20 total! Secondhand gifting will leave you full of joy and your wallet full of cash. Plus, it’s better for the environment too!
Fourth, know the difference between secondhand shopping and re-gifting. While secondhand shopping is a great idea for gift exchanges, it isn’t quite the same thing as re-gifting. Be careful not to re-gift an item that was given to you via another workplace or family gift exchange as this could result in a rather awkward conversation. In some cases, re-gifting can work well. However, re-gifting can also reflect laziness or absence of thoughtfulness if it lacks context and is a last-minute solution.
Fifth, keep your gifts workplace appropriate. Avoid giving joke/gag gifts unless it has been established beforehand that the recipient doesn’t mind. Receiving a prank gift while everyone else opens a practical or thoughtful surprise can be disheartening. Plus, others may find the gift in poor taste even if it isn’t intended that way. Along the same lines, avoid political gifts, religious references or anything else that could cause a heated debate.
Lastly, your local Goodwill has lots of amazing and thoughtful gift ideas to choose from! Sure, it’s not quite the North Pole but between books, movies, cooking accessories, electronics, games and everything else in store – you’re sure to find an amazing gift at Goodwill for an even more amazing price! Not to mention, the only thing better than a Secret Santa is a Sustainable Secret Santa!