7.12.18

Just for Fun: 15 Quick, Cheap & Terrible Ideas for Your Office Secret Santa

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by Ed





Does your workplace have a Secret Santa gift exchange? Pretty much everywhere I've ever worked has had one. This is the story of why I opt out...


One year I got a piece of marketing promotional material in my mailbox. It was a car company flyer with a punch out car that you folded together to make a little version of whatever model of vehicle they were trying to sell a bunch of.


Now, I'm kind of used to this sort of thing. As a business teacher, people often pass along bits and things that they feel represent cool/unethical/bad/great examples of marketing for me to use. I get forwarded stuff, talked to in the hall, whatever. I like it - it gives me fresh course materials and makes me realize that other teachers find what I teach cool. Or something.


But I soon realized that this wasn't the case.


As I looked at the promotional flyer, I saw a little note: From your S.S.


Seriously. This was my gift.


I don't want to sound like a spoiled ingrate. I probably still will, but whatever. I had spent a lot of time thinking about what my Secret Santa would like. I read the profile sheet over and genuinely wanted to make this person happy. I mean, that's the point - do something nice for someone else. But a cardboard piece of junk mail? Seriously.


My Santa followed this up by actually missing a day and then giving a couple other junk gifts. This was years and years ago, but the general suckiness has lingered. Writing this list was both catharsis and entertainment.


I really do think Secret Santas are great, as long as you don't get any of these gifts...




15 Quick, Cheap & Terrible Ideas for Your Office Secret Santa...


1. Backstage passes to monthly All Staff Meeting

2. Perfume or makeup sample from Val-Pak mailer (or torn from a magazine)

3. Handmade coupon good for “One(1) High Five”

Not awkward!


4. A half-completed word jumble from an old newspaper: "Gave you a head start!"

5. Personalized parking spot located in the shopping centre across the road from your office

6. A literal Mixtape

Depeche Mode AND Spin Doctors?!!?  You shouldn't have...



7. Dealcoholized/Decaffeinated anything

8. A Like/Retweet/Follow on social media

9. Starbucks Card with $1.24 left on it

10. A workspace motivational poster


A workplace classic.


11. Copy-machine waste toner tube with ends cut off and “Monochrome Kaleidoscope” written on it

12. A Youtube link to "Jingle all the Way: FULL VERSION" emailed anonymously with the subject line: Enjoy!

13. Scotch mints and food safe markers with instructions to "Decorate in Holiday colours of your choice!"

14. Setting their desk phone to play Christmas Carols and disabling the mute

15. A printed off Jacquie Lawson eCard from your mom with your name scratched out and theirs written in




Joking aside, we do have some legitimately good Christmas Ideas!  


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