The Best Office Holiday Gift Idea Ever!

Office holiday gift exchanges are designed to be fun, but in the end, you often end up buying something someone else doesn’t like, need, or want and receiving something you don’t like, need, or want. We keep doing it in the name of “fun.”

Many offices have adopted a “Secret Santa” game where all participants (and participation should always be voluntary) are assigned a co-worker and instructed not to tell that person who he or she is. Everyone buys a gift and everything is revealed at the end, and it’s great fun. Except, at the end you have a gift you really don’t want. (Unless it’s food, in which case you probably want it, but your middle could probably do without it.)

I stumbled across a much better version of this game. It comes from a friend of a friend who tried to track down the originator of her husband’s office tradition, but couldn’t. They gave me permission to share this fabulous idea. Here’s how it works.

To keep reading, click here: The Best Office Secret Santa Idea Ever


(Yes, this is a repeat from last year, but I love this idea so much and I wanted everyone who didn’t see it to get a chance to see it.)


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9 thoughts on “The Best Office Holiday Gift Idea Ever!

    1. I know, that’s why I had to re post it. I posted it way too late in the holiday season last year.

      I didn’t think of it, but it needs to get out there!

  1. This is a great idea. I used to be part of a team that did a gift exchange every year, and it got to the point that nobody really enjoyed it, but it was a tradition so it wasn’t going to stop. Apparently a number of people voiced their opinion that it was time to change it up, with someone even suggesting that they make a collective donation to a charity instead of spending their money on what will ultimately be gifts that go unused. To show that no good deed goes unpunished, they honestly couldn’t agree on a charity, claiming every one of them that came up had a mission at least one person on the team wouldn’t be able to support. I would guess toys for poor kids at Christmas would be innocuous enough, but who know. Needless to say, I won’t be forwarding this to my friend/manager of that team as a suggestion.

  2. Better version of this, put up a wish list from a local charity ( each wish hung separate) limit list by those who wish to participate and these individuals will get to play Secret Santa to a person in need who will appreciate gift. Plus those of us, Scrooges (sorry) don’t have to particiapte and be made to feel bad.
    (Sorry Christmas time was spoiled for me by life circumstances, but giving to needy never goes out of season)

    1. I like this much better. People can participate or not, and there isn’t any forced socialization around the holiday (not everyone celebrates Christmas; do we really have to have this conversation yet again?).

      As for giving your employees anything, a little extra money or paid time off is always good. I don’t need a turkey or branded company junk.

  3. I am going to be in the minority here but I dislike the idea, and I also dislike choosing a family or charity. Here’s a fact for me: I do not buy gifts, nor do I want to have to buy them for any office event regardless of who the final recipient is. My budget is do-able but that is because I do not spend money unnecessarily. I love gifting my few best friends and a very few family members. I am not, however, giving to anyone else except a couple of rescue cat shelters. If that makes me a Scrooge then so be it. But if someone proposed either of these ideas, I wouldn’t think it good. I would firmly decline with no hesitation at all. No one gets to spend my money or say how it will be spent. And “deserving” doesn’t guilt me at all.

    1. You are free to be a Scrooge! No one should ever be forced to participate in a ” fun” activity.

      Some people don’t have room in their budget, some people don’t like parties, and some people’s religion prohibits their participation in any holiday celebration.

      I’m totally good with someone not participating. However, if an employee came to me and said, “I’d really love to participate but my budget is just too tight,” I’d probably hand her $20.

      1. My supervisor actually offered to do that once but I was so humiliated at having to explain why I wouldn’t be attending the office party it just made it much worse for me. I wish they had done nothing at all.

        And I’m really not a Scrooge. I am madly in love with the holidays. I just feel they are personal and want nothing to do with them in the office.

        By the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

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