Secret Santa is usually practised in work environments as a low cost alternative to buying presents for everyone in the group or office. Secret Santa participants set a maximum spending budget and then pick out an anonymous name at random from a bowl or hat and then have to buy a present for that person.
The budget is usually set at either five or ten pounds which limits the type of gift that can be bought. There is plenty of provision made online of low cost gifts made for this activity. Although some gifts are nice, it is very easy to end up with items that can only be described as tat and you'd rather have the fiver back in your wallet.
When present buying for people you may not know very well, the temptation is to go for comedy and buy joke presents specialising in varying levels of racial, sexual and gender related humour. Although most people can take a joke and won't be too offended it is advisable to proceed with caution especially if you do not know the recipient well.
Fun presents could be fancy dress items that could be worn at the office Christmas party such as face transfers, hats, wigs and for ladies; shoe bling! Food gifts also go down well, such as a big pot of penny sweets which can be shared with the group or left at the office to snack on in the oncoming year. Presents that can decorate ones desk are also good ideas such as fun desk tidies, pen holders, funky post-it notes, comedy mouse's and fluffy pens.
An alternative idea is gifts that keep giving such as giving the money to charity and letting your recipient know that your gift in your name has provided a family in Africa with clean water or similar. Another gift that keeps giving is an idea such as using your budget to buy a large supply of cheap chocolate bars and giving your recipient one each week, although this is quite a commitment to keep to!
If your budget is slightly higher, food hamper gifts are nice high quality presents which will certainly be well received, as would be a nice pen, a warm hat or a flask for carrying their coffee to work and keeping hot beverages warm on their desk- also helping to save the planet by reducing their use of disposable cups.
It is worth also keeping in mind that you are not only giving a present, you are about to receive one too. If you are feeling cheeky or indeed a bit of a control freak, you could go through a process of illumination and find out who is gifting you and leave some handy hints on their desk which can aid or prompt their decision making!
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