Secret and Dirty Santa’s at work

That time is upon us where a special someone (not necessarily HR) is planning Holiday parties and what to do during the Christmas holiday at work.

We are all familiar with this and sometimes because of past awkward moments of “gifting at work” we sometimes cringe at the thought that it’s coming around again. We wonder, “What is dumb #$% coworker going to make me open in public and how shall I prepare myself to respond?”

I love the game “White Elephant” or “Dirty Santa” and my mom makes us play it every year at Christmas (The Family). It can be loads of fun (with FAMILY).  I suppose it can be fun with coworkers but I’ve never found that to be the case. Some Jack Legg always ruins it and buys something from the local adult book store and pops it in to be cute. It’s not. No one knows how to respond.

How bout when someone decides to go over the spending limit and buys a really great gift to go in the mix. Then you always have at least two who wind up having a knock-down-drag-out over the good gift. Then we have to file workmen’s comp for “Dirty Santa Gone Wrong.”

So, moving on to “Secret Santa” at work. This can be fun and bad all at the same time. Make sure all employees opt in when doing this. There may be a few employees that just can’t afford even a few extra bucks to play along.

Gifting at work is just a sticky-wicked. Here are a few Do’s and Dont’s taken from this great article at CareerBuilder.

Dos and don’ts

Do be careful about buying gifts for your boss. He or she may think you’re trying to gain favor. Don’t give he or she a gift unless others do so.

Don’t indicate an inappropriate relationship by giving a gift that is too intimate.

Do find about gifting policies. There may be a dollar-amount limit or gift giving might be prohibited altogether.

Don’t make a big scene when presenting the gift. The purpose is not to show off for others.

Do give co-workers something that reflects their interests, values and tastes.

Don’t give liquor unless you know the recipient drinks.

Do consider giving a work-related gift, like a nice pen or new planner.

Don’t try to outdo anyone or impress people by spending a large amount of money.

Do remember that gift-giving is risky and sometimes awkward.

Don’t give worthless gifts to co-workers or employees. It’s insulting.

What are some of your ideas to replace these crazy games at Christmas? And let’s hear your crazy stories of “Gifting Gone Wrong.”

2 Comments Posted in Chaos in the workplace, Gifting at Work, policy Tagged gifting at work, gifting gone wrong, Holiday parties at work, , , playing dirty santa at work, secret santa, secret santa at work, , susan avello, white elephant