Why I Hate Secret Santas

The giant creepy Santa that stands outside my office window. Its actually more hideous in the daylight.

Its been a long time since I felt really festive in the run up to Christmas, but this year has been a bit different, with a few more parties (all of which were fun and produced horrid photos. The shoes, by the way, have become a little more comfortable with each wear (and by a little, I mean a minute fraction), but I am still very grateful that I have a pair of Redfoot folding pumps* which I bought a few years ago and are still in reasonably good shape.)

Theres just one thing that I really dislike about this time of year. Secret Santa. Whoever came up with this as a “fun” office activity has obviously never worked in an office. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure its a great activity when you get someone you know so well, and can find a perfect present within the price limit. But I never have. Theres two ways of doing the secret Santa – where you pick names out of a hat, in which case its incredibly likely that you will end up with the person you can’t stand in the office, or someone who has started a week before so you know absolutely nothing about them. The other way is where you pick whether you will buy for a boy or a girl – a generic choice is not always a good thing.

So choosing the gift – thats the first problem. You end up panic buying something that you hope someone will like. And theres the second half. Receiving. Even if you pick the most perfect gift for someone, you’re still going to end up with something picked up at the garage/pound shop. Your reaction can only be a polite smile, a “How cute!/useful!/unusual!” (Unusual is the best choice, it covers a multitude of sins.) and a note to yourself to put it in the next charity bag. (But you won’t, and it will just collect dust at home until you end up regifting it yourself. Its like a hideous cycle!)

The only Secret Santa I participate in is with my Four Feet – someones boyfriend chooses who we all get and messages us on Facebook to tell us who to buy for. It works quite well! An exception to the rule – but then we have all known each other for at least 20 years (Oh. We’re old.)

Whats the worst thing you’ve ever received in a Secret Santa? Alternatively, give me some hope and tell me what the best thing you’ve ever had is!


  1. Vanessa says

    I once bought my Secret Santa a presentation set of fancy vodka, a cocktail shaker, and glasses.
    I received a notebook with a cartoon frog on, some plastic toys, and a huge green plastic alarm clock. Apparently because she ‘just knew I’d love it all’. I was livid.

  2. Rachael says

    This year I got a HUGE jelly mould in the shape of castle plus some cooking chocolate and marshmallows, both of which I’ve put to good use! I have good workmates :)

  3. daisychain says

    I guess I’ve always got lucky…though this is the first year I’ve done an office one and I am dreading what I might end up with…there’s about two people there who I would trust to get something “nice” and they haven’t got me!

    I hated shopping for mine! I got a bloody GP. What do you buy a GP for a tenner?

  4. Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog says

    I hate to reinforce your hatred of Secret Santas but the only one I have recently done was a bloggers one last year and I never got my pressy, even though I sent one. I also vaguely remember one at work many years ago when someone bought one of the girls furry handcuffs for a joke, she burst into tears and ran out the office.

  5. Lil says

    This made me laugh, it’s true – my office Secret Santas have always been hideous! I like ones for groups of friends, but like you said, it helps that we’ve all known each other forever. I’m pretty happy I’ve escaped the office duty this year! xx

  6. Sef says

    We did one in work once. Our limit was a mere fiver. I was delighted to receive Hello Kitty goods (A well known love of mine, am surprised that the husband hasn’t become a regular poster on HelloKittyHell!)

    One of the other girls got a bumper pack of Tena Lady due to a story of a drunken boy who wet himself in her bed, and disbelief that it wasn’t her. She was outraged.
    (In more recent years, we fell out over her being a thief. She deserved the crappy gift in hindsight.)

  7. Lauren says

    Woah, Secret Santa is meant to be serious?! Haha.

    At my old job we used to try and outdo everyone with the stupidest present, and one year my friend (who, to put it kindly, used to be a bit of a crying, emotional wreck at times) received a box of nappies, bottles, baby wipes, talcum powder and a dummy. We all howled with laughter, and she…well, you probably guessed, shouted and cried. And stormed off home. Thankfully she’s no longer a massive dick.

    My worst secret santa gift was a pack of small condoms and a bottle of blue wkd, both of which were never put to any use.


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