Secret Santas in UK offices need to make sure gifts are tailored, appropriate, on budget and hush-hush this Christmas, according to expert advice.
Researchers from money saving specialists PromotionalCodes.org.uk have revealed nine top tips to being the best Secret Santa Claus, made a list and checked it twice.
Workplaces across Britain will be organising anonymous gift giving to help colleagues get in the Christmas spirit, but some employees might be naughty rather than nice if they don’t follow expert guidance.
The pressure will be on to avoid any embarrassing mistakes in giving what will be many Brits first present, before work shuts down for the winter holidays.
Darren Williams of PromotionalCodes.org.uk said: “The annual Secret Santa gift exchange is a great way to kick start the festive season and a highlight of the year in many UK offices. But Christmas complacency means some employees will take unnecessary risks and make easily avoidable mistakes. Simple and easy to follow advice includes to tailor an appropriate gift as far as possible, to wrap it well and to maintain anonymity. Our list of nine top tips for getting it right really is the best bit of guidance any Santa has had since Rudolph turned his red nose on.”
1. Don’t panic
It’s just a small bit of fun to get everyone in the Christmas spirit, so keep calm and carry on with work as normal rather than stressing over what to buy.
Forgetting would be even worse though, so make a note of who to buy for and complete the purchase as soon as possible.
2. Try to tailor the gift
This is a must when the sender is anonymous; even if there’s no relationship to squeeze suggestions from, make sure the present is fitting to the recipient’s age, gender and any obvious personal preferences.
Consult colleagues who know them better and to take a glance at their desk or social media profiles, in order to generate suitable festive gift ideas.
3. Keep it appropriate
Don’t give something that anybody could interpret as not suitable for work; that’s a no to anything politically incorrect, such as nude calendars or mugs with swearing printed on them.
4. Stick to the budget
Spending a fraction of the agreed limit is a scrooge-move and will leave someone singled out and severely disappointed.
Wildly over-spending is arrogant and will leave the rest of the office envious towards the lucky recipient.
5. Get good value
It’s still simply sensible shopping to seek out the best value for money, which could allow a greater present to fall in budget or help the gift-giver save money without looking cheap.
Wisely shop around by using voucher codes and exclusive offers.
6. Wrap it up
Taking good care over wrapping and presentation is a cheap, quick and easy way to elevate the status a gift – use smart paper (instead of tin foil or nothing at all), neat folds and a bow.
The clue is in the name – a Secret Santa isn’t about showing off or taking credit for gifts; the fun is in the anonymity and close friends can still exchange presents as normal.
8. Don’t take a risk
Steer clear of any seemingly innocent present that’s easy to get wrong and could cause offence, such as sized items of clothing or anything stereotypical.
9. Get creative
Gift cards tick most boxes and are any easy present for all but most Brits are fairly bored of them nowadays
Put any special skills to use – homemade food, knitting or arts and crafts are all great avenues for a homemade present with an added personal touch.