When December rolls around, office Secret Santa exchanges can be pretty amazing. Really, what's better than shopping for a mystery present and then getting one in return? Of course, the whole thing does have the potential to go downhill quickly: You can get paired with someone you barely known, your gifting partner can majorly overstep the boundaries, or any other of a number of office Secret Santa nightmares might occur.
Fast Company's video "The Most Awkward Secret Santa Gifts" perfectly captures the potential for horror that happens in offices everywhere during the holiday season. Sure, you might be one of the lucky ones who gets paired with Debbie in Accounting and receives a gourmet chocolate basket; however, you might be unlucky enough to get stuck with Steve from Marketing, leaving you with a weird macaroni necklace you have to pretend to like. Then again, maybe you're the tough gifter who needs to reign it in — because no matter what Rick smells like after he gets back from his lunchtime gym sessions, wrapping up a collection of Axe Body Spray is not the answer.
But hey, the good news is that there are loads of valuable office Secret Santa don'ts and corresponding dos we can take away from FastCo's video. Here are 10 of them; use them wisely. May you be blessed with only the classiest and most appropriate office Secret Santas this holiday season.
Scroll down to watch the full video!
1. DON'T: Go Over Budget
While a gift from Tiffany's is on the majority of peoples' wish lists, an office Secret Santa with a limit of $25 is certainly not the time or place for such a gift. It disrespects everyone else who stayed within the budget, and makes the gifter look a little too hardcore.
2. DO: Find Something Unique
No matter the budget, I promise you can find something unique and interesting under the designated amount. Consider vintage stores, places like Kikkerland Design, and Etsy for creative gifting inspiration on a budget.
3. DON'T: Obviously Re-Gift
There are certain limits to re-gifting that should be strictly observed. If you're using the Secret Santa as an excuse to offload weird presents from your great-grandma, it'll probably be pretty obvious.
4. DO: Re-Gift Wisely
If you have a Chanel bag with tags on it that you never plan on using, wrap that baby up!
5. DON'T: Make It All About You
No matter how much an organization may have changed your life, it's more than a little uncomfortable to gift a donation to it in someone else's name if they don't share your views on it. Juuuuust sayin'.
6. DO: Take Care In Being Unconventional
Donating to a cause or organization in someone's name can be a very beautiful gesture, though. If they have pictures of their dogs covering their desk, you can bet an ASPCA donation will make them smile. If they're preaching Clinton's politics over lunch, a donation to her campaign could be thoughtful. Just be careful with these kinds of gestures and make sure it's something they'd be proud of.
7. DON'T: Make The First Pinterest DIY You See
Tackling a crafting project with the hopes of gifting it to someone can be a risky business. Homemade lotion is great and all, but you'll want to make sure it doesn't make everyone in the room want to toss their cookies before you wrap it up with a bow.
8. DO: Use Your Skills
If you're an expert knitter or your family has been making candles for 3,000 years, it's probably a safe bet that your DIY capabilities aren't just a cop-out. Otherwise, there's no shame in sticking to something that someone else made.
9. DON'T: Be Passive Agressive About It
Remember that whole Axe Body Spray thing? That's what we're talking about here. As tempting as using Secret Santa as a PSA may be, don't dampen someone's spirits with your passive-aggressiveness.
10. DO: Just Do It
OK, so maybe you get paired with someone who really annoys you, or someone you barely know. Keep up the holiday cheer and don't let this fact get you down. Pick something non-confrontational, but still interesting. Need some ideas? Try these tried-and-tested office Secret Santa picks. They're sure to make everybody win.
Watch the full video below: