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Secret Santa in the workplace-thoughts?

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by Mimi, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Mimi

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    My husband's office does a secret santa every year. The budget is $10. I really wish this type of thing didn't exist at all. While I understand keeping the limit lower to not put undue financial stress on anyone it's getting more and more difficult to find a decent gift for $10. Not to mention buying a gift for someone you may not know that well.

    My workplace has secret santa as well, but it's optional. I decline because I have enough stress in my life just buying for my family.

    Anyway, just wanted to see how others felt. And any ideas for a $10 gift for a female co-worker would be appreciated. :)
     
  2. danismom79

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    We have it at work, but I opt out sometimes. In the past, I've given or received tea lights, small vase, coffee, scarf, 3D puzzle. I've always gone to Pier 1 for last-minute gifts. I'm not sure anyone really expects anything "decent" for $10, and I don't fret too much about it, either.
     
  3. Mommy For Life

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    I work out of my home office and it's just lil' ol' me here...so I like to give myself a Santa gift of chocolate and a specialty coffee from Peets. :D
    Cost Plus imports carries some cool stuff under $10.
     
  4. funnygrl

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    We do it with a $20 limit, but we exchange when we get there so we don't even know who we're buying for. I've done car wash gift certificates, restaurant gift certificates, and bottles of wine in the past. It's hard! I don't have this year's gift picked out yet. I really don't like gift certificates, but they always work.
     
  5. nanhsot

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    Is it a one time gift giving thing only? At one place I worked it spanned a week and it was totally awesome, and it was the FREE things that were the most meaningful. I would return to my desk and find a steaming hot cup of coffee waiting, or a danish, fresh out of the microwave. I was single then and found a photo of Danial Day Lewis (dating myself here...this from his Last of the Mohicans fame...sigh, he's not so pretty anymore). Etc. It was a really thoughtful and neat way to get to know coworkers.

    I assume it's nothing like that though, but I think it would be neat to incorporate something like that, with at least a cup of coffee that day with a little note from Secret Santa. For the final gift I'd go safe with some lotion or something similar from Bath and Body Works, maybe a pair of earrings or a bracelet, something along those lines.
     
  6. Mom2Will

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    I would make a goodie bag with chap stick, lotion (sample size), add a nice chocolate truffle, etc. Something everyone needs in the winter. Avon has great stuff and quick delivery (at least where I am located)
     
  7. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    If I know the person and something of their taste then I like to give a special christmas ornament as a gift. We have an Anthropologie store in town and their ornaments are unique and because they run $10-20 each they make a nice small gift.
     
  8. Beach bum

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    When I was working and did something like this I did gift cards to Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Panerra. If I know the person, I may go with something more towards their tastes.
     
  9. quiltinmom

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    You can get decent lotion for $10. Food/candy type gifts are usually appreciated. Or what about an itunes card? (If you know she uses itunes.) But you're right...meaningful gifts for under 10 bucks are hard to find.

    Depending on how well people know each other...I tend to be on your side when it comes to secret santa...it's one more thing I can do without. One more meaningless gift for/from someone I don't know, that is often ignored or regifted....better to spend $$/energy on those you really care about. That doesn't make me a scrooge, does it?
     
  10. mmgirls

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    Bookstore gift cards are great, nowadays so many people a kindle or nook.
     
  11. Beach bum

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    For those who can do without Secret Santa, this is what turned me off from doing them (I'm currently not in the work force, so I don't have to do these!).

    Someone got a "great" gift (it was a bunch of lottery tickets) and someone else got $10 worth of hard candy. The person who got the lifesavers started yelling at the party what a crappy gift they got, and on, and on, and on:eek: Talk about a downer! It's a party people, relax! Sure, $10 worth of life savers isn't exactly what everyone wants, but there are worse things you can get.
     
  12. Mimi

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    These are my thoughts and why I don't participate. If you're a scrooge, then so am I. ;)

    I'd much rather see the money used as a charitable group donation. There are many worthwhile causes that help the less fortunate at this time of year that could use a donation of $100-150.
     
  13. JNBryant

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    Before I became a stay at home mom, we had secret santas almost every year where I worked. I was always at a loss because I'm not very good at figuring out what to get my family for christmas, let alone co-workers that I don't really know. I always stuck with stationary sets or gift cards to Panera's or Starbucks. I guess I wasn't the only one at work who wasn't fond of the secret santa thing because one year I got a pack of pencils, lol.
     
  14. denise3099

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    I'd dig 10 bucks worth of life savers. I think that's cool.:eek:

    But a bottle of wine or even a bottle of balsamic vinegar, or something weird like a candle snuffer. One year I got this woman a feather boa. She LOVED it. Or a xmas tree ornament or a toy, or a desk set of a letter opener, or a magnifying glass or a puzzle. I can think of a dozen ways to spend ten bucks. :D
     
  15. TheTestingMom

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    We do it too with a $10.00 limit. I've opted out in the past too. I usually use my $10.00 off $10.00 coupon at Kohls and ended up paying less than a dollar the last two years :D Both years I got fuzzy socks infused with lotion in the make-up section (they come in a two pack) and a cute little bag of mini nail polish or Chapstick that is on clearance.

    This year I found this on Amazon $1.93 including shipping, It's fun and super cute, I ended up getting one for my sister and niece.: http://www.amazon.com/SODIAL--Vinta...8&qid=1354841965&sr=8-1&keywords=owl+necklace
     
  16. denise3099

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    OMG, it was 1.05 with free shipping! How does anybody sell anything for a buck anymore? And they had other cute things for just a few bucks too.
     
  17. Meredithsmom

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    At my previous employer, we did it and had a $20 limit. I thought that was too much, but there were a lot of people who were in it for a "good" gift. Adds pressure to everyone. Then, most people over-spent and then it went to a $20 minimum. Really? That's when I suggested we each buy $20 worth of groceries and donate them to a local food pantry. I was almost shunned from my department. I was the first, and only to date, to ever opt out of the secret santa.
     
  18. MomofSweetOne

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    My husband's work does a white elephant exchange now at the party, and I'm glad. It's hilarious fun, especially when gifts from prior years reappear, and there's no stress over whether people will like the gift.
     
  19. denise3099

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    HA--so much for peace on earth good will to men. You want to feed poor ppl on Christ mas?!?! What's wrong with you! :rolleyes: :D
     
  20. 3kidlets

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    You can get a decent bottle of wine for $10. A Starbucks Gift Certificate. An Amazon.com gift certificate - they can buy a couple of books on their Kindle or put it toward a purchase.

    This reminds me though of last year. My son's 7th grade class had a secret santa exchange - I thought it was strange, but it was his first year at the school so what did I know. The limit was $15. He got the boy he was buying for a cool pen from Brookstone with a fan on top and an iTunes gift card. In return, what did he get from the same boy? 4 boxes of ice cream cones! The boys mom owned a candy store and the cones were from her store! I asked my son if the boy was embarrassed when he opened the pen and iTunes card and all he gave my son was ice cream cones and he said no. The boy just thought it was funny to give ice cream cones. They were in 7th grade last year so you would think the parent would have been a little more involved in the gift giving. And before anyone says well maybe that is all they could afford, I can assure you that isn't the case. My son goes to a hautie tautie prep school and I know the boys family. I felt sorry for my son because he said all the kids in the class got really nice stuff - bracelets, gift cards, etc and he got 4 boxes of cones. I was very relieved this year when we got an email saying they would not be doing the exchange this year. This year they are donating gift cards to kids at a school on the shore who lost a lot from Hurricane Sandy.
     

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