Secret Santa at your [previous] work?

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Nov 12, 2017
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I am sure many of you have done this at least once in your life. This is the first time I have ever done it.
Honestly, I was not going to but I figured "fuck my anxiety, if I don't try do something like this at least once, I never will". So, the place I volunteer at are having a Christmas buffet and along side that a Secret Santa. For anyone not familiar: you pick out a random person's name from a hat for example, you don't show anyone.. everyone is then given a MAX spend for a gift for Christmas (to keep it fair).

I am really not sure what to get. The person I got is my Head of Operations, and a female. I don't know much about her as I rarely see her because she is always in her own office etc. I know she has a daughter and a dog and that's about all. Obviously I know she is a nice and friendly kind of person, since she has been helping with Volunteer for about 15 years (at least at this place). I think she is about 40 (i hate guessing).

I am really unsure what to get. I was thinking to try get something that is a bit of a joke and I guess novelty.... I am seriously unsure.

What have you got people in the past? What have you received? What have you seen other colleagues get/receive? Did the recipient love/hate it and did you?
 

LilyPink

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I think it's great that you're challenging yourself! I'd be so anxious too! Would it help to know that the secret santa is just one small part of the evening and not usually the thing people talk about the next day? Unless it's inappropriate like "Jim in accounts got me a bauble with sequin panties in it".

I think you can't go wrong with something like a bottle of wine or premium chocolates. If they don't like it they can easily re-gift. I would not like a novelty item as someone who doesn't like to have a lot of belongings.


Edit to add: some stores have whole secret santa section so you can find stuff within budget
 
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Gen

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I think novelty gifts are better for close friends that you know well. What is your price limit?

Totally agree on wine and chocolates. Any kind of “kit” is usually well-received, like a little single-serve of hot chocolate and a little bag of marshmallows in a cute mug, or a sheet mask, lip balm, and bath bomb. Those are also easily re-giftable but are really sweet presents that a lot of women would appreciate.

Do you know her work friends at all? They might be able to give you tips!
 
Oct 5, 2016
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I usually get gadgets and small tools for people. Like a Leatherman tool kit or Sham-wow. You can always make something humorous about those sort of gifts but you know they're happy to have them when the perfect opportunity to use them comes up. Those usually run in the $10-50 range.
 
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I think my brain was thinking too much for a funny and novelty thing and with that in my head, I [ believe it or not ] completely forgot and didn't even remotely consider things like wine or chocolates! Especially the chocolates hahaha. Such an obvious one that everyone likes, and even if she doesn't, I am sure her husband and/or daughter will. Oh my god. I think I was trying to also go for "different" as well - maybe? I really don't know.

The budget is small, only £5 in GBP, so approximately $6.50 or 5.65 euro.
 
Oct 15, 2015
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With my previous Company we did Secret Santa via just our department. The first few years we actually did gift exchanges. My favorite gifts from my Secret Santa at work were as follows:

1. Six pack of my favorite beer and blueberry pop tarts (this is my favorite because it completely caught me off guard and it was two things I had regularly mentioned in daily conversations)
2. Set of drinking glasses and a koozie of one of my favorite teams
3. Pair of sleeping pants with bacon on them which I still have

The last few years before I left; my department just did gift card exchanges

The budget was always around $20-$25

When we did gift exchanges my department was moderately sized so I still knew generally enough about all the people to get something that the person would like. The hardest was a new woman that came in about month before Christmas, but she was a huge Green Bay Packers fan so I got her stuff based on that.

If I didn't really know the person like the OP is experiencing I would probably end up with something practical that are great for being on the road, at home or in the office. So Stationery type items/Glassware/Tech Gadgets
 
May 24, 2015
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The last time I participated in one, it was a cam girl Secret Santa gift exchange organized by SpexyAshleigh some years ago. I’d gotten something for my recipient, however I never got a damn thing from the person who was supposed to be my Secret Santa. Lol. Ouch.....

Prior to that, I did one when I worked at a ‘Y’ daycare center. I bought my recipient the exact items she’d specified on her clues/wish list, and she had the nerve to complain and accuse me of “going to the dollar store” because she’d seen the same thing there. Bitch, I took a damn bus to Target just to get your damn gifts. Get the fuck outta here.

Lol. Despite those occurrences, I’d probably consider doing the Secret Santa thing again though, because I think it’s fun.
 
Apr 17, 2018
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I LOVE secret Santa, but I also love giving gifts! A nice candle in a seasonal scent, a mug with some fancy cocoa mix or nice tea, booze and chocolate is always a good go to, desk calendar, stationary and a nice pen, mini cocktail shaker set- things like that. When I dont know the person well, I always go for something that has function or is edible.
 

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and she had the nerve to complain and accuse me of “going to the dollar store”
This is such a wild thing to get mad about. Even if you HAD gone to the dollar store for her gifts - call me crazy, but I expect to receive dollar store stuff from a secret Santa. You can get more things and really put some thought in. Hell, my family goes to the dollar store for our actual Christmas for that reason!
 

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Love doing Secret Santa!

Agreed that novelty or funny gifts are better for someone you know in person. The wine and chocolates is a good idea but if you're not sure if she drinks or not, you could also get something like a cute mug and fill it with chocolates. People who have pets usually love things that have that kind of pet on an item, like a dog themed mug or something. Anyone who works in an office will usually appreciate things like mugs too.
 
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Nov 12, 2017
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The mug idea I like, and filling with chocolates - that's a great touch.
I saw a mug that has the writing "I'm right. You're wrong. Lets move on" - and with her being the head of operations, so our boss/supervisor, I think that could have a nice comedic (but not one in the same sense I was originally thinking, like for a friend) effect. And it's practical and "ongoing" humour too. Or would that still be too much?

Thanks for all input thus far by the way I really appreciate it.