A Secret Santa can be a fantastic way to get people involved in a fun, low-pressure activity. This is even better if you’ve put a bit of thought into it beforehand and have the rules clearly laid out for everyone.
As an extra holiday gift in the spirit of giving, we’ve also included a few do’s and don’ts for an office Secret Santa to give it that extra touch of holiday cheer:
(1) DON’T make it a competition. If you do draw your boss or a senior colleague then go simple: nothing too risky either way. Bland is sometimes best!
(2) DO investigate your target but
(3) DON’T cross the line between curiosity and invasion of privacy. If June has a picture of a cat as her screen saver or a key ring with a Mexican wrestling mask then something along these lines would be a good idea.
(4) DON’T use Secret Santa to further your love life. This probably has the biggest potential for embarrassment and should not be attempted in any case. There is a large possibility that June does not feel the same about you or, even worse, thinks the roses and edible underwear were from someone else causing a whole office drama. Better to wait till the office party for this one.
(5) DON’T think too hard or take it too seriously. Fun and humorous gifts work best but tread carefully, know your audience (see note 2) and set the line accordingly. One of the best Secret Santa’s I’ve seen was a Borat Mankini and moustache given to a PE teacher who wore them over his suit for the school Christmas dinner. Many a laugh was had. Probably wouldn’t have been suitable, however, for the elderly RE teacher.
(6) DO practice your surprised/happy face. Chances are, the person providing your Secret Santa this year didn’t read these great tips and has probably bought you some socks, handkerchiefs or another novelty tie, in which case you will need to smile, laugh and ask them how they know you so well. It will be good practice for the big day when you unwrap the same jumper you gave your brother-in-law the year before.