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AIBU to hate work secret santa?

(95 Posts)
KitKat1985 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:26:56

So yesterday the subject of secret santa came up at work. I actually love Christmas but work secret santa just does my head in, probably not helped by the fact that we're a large team so the organisational logistics are tricky (although am happy to do it with friends and family). My reasons are thus:

1) We're a big team (30+) and inevitably I don't know quite a few of the staff that well, and if you get picked to buy for someone you hardly know it's really difficult.

2) Whilst you can get some lovely gifts for a tenner, most times usually in secret santa, I end up being bought a generic gift of toiletries or something else with zero thought gone into it (probably because the person buying also doesn't know me very well), that ends up sat in the bathroom for months before being re-gifted.

3) Every work secret santa I've ever done someone ends up getting upset or offended by an ill-judged joke present (you know the type - a mug with 'office gossip' or something printed on it), or even worse, buys a passive aggressive present or something that they blatantly bought from the pound shop or the like because they don't like the recipient.

4) Someone will inevitably forget to bring in their gift on the day or forget about the work secret santa completely, meaning one person in the team gets left without a present during the present opening session and either gets miffed, or worse, worried that no-one in the team likes them.

5) The discussions for days afterwards about trying to work out who bought what.

So Mumsnet jury, I've laid out my reasons. AIBU to dislike work secret santas (or at least just a giant grinch)?

OP’s posts: |
Aozora13 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:30:11

No YADNBU. I also hate work secret Santa for pretty much all the reasons you describe and for the past few years have quietly opted out - last year they didn’t do it, which felt like a minor grinchly triumph

IceRebel Mon 26-Nov-18 08:30:57

It's a bit late to be starting to organise a secret Santa, but since it's only just being broached now just tell people you don't want to take part, it's not compulsory.

Jojoanna Mon 26-Nov-18 08:31:37

Hate secret santa ! YANBU

AamdC Mon 26-Nov-18 08:31:49

I always hated them too and got some pretty crap presents , in fact the only time i got what i wanted was whenni accidentally found out i had a collegue and she had me so we both asked each other what we wanted!grin

KitKat1985 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:33:15

It's a bit late to be starting to organise a secret Santa, but since it's only just being broached now just tell people you don't want to take part, it's not compulsory.

Yes I said to the woman who wanted to organise it yesterday that maybe she should put a 'opt in' list up somewhere and people can put their name down if they want to join in, rather than just assume everyone wants to take part, so I'm hoping she takes heed of the hint....

OP’s posts: |
BarbaraofSevillle Mon 26-Nov-18 08:34:36

Yes opt out. Use the money you would have spent to buy yourself something you actually want. Win win.

JustWhatINeededNow Mon 26-Nov-18 08:35:54

I don't take part for exactly those reasons. I'm really polite about it, but I just say it's about excess tat and wifework that I don't need.

gamerwidow Mon 26-Nov-18 08:36:01

It’s such a waste too. No one really wants a £5 novelty gift and the whole lot ends up in landfill. I hate to be a party pooper but it’s all just a load of crap that we’d be better off without.
The first year I was with my company someone brought me nipple tassels which was ‘hilarious’ when I opened them at the table.

JustWhatINeededNow Mon 26-Nov-18 08:37:25

Yes and I think this year the 'single use' problem and plastics has become much more of a big deal. Mainstream.

NewPapaGuinea Mon 26-Nov-18 08:38:33

We’re doing the present game/yankee swap. That way there’s no stress about buying for a particular person and on the day only those that have brought a present in get to play. If you end up with a shit resent then it’s down to luck rather than who you get paired with.

VenusStarr Mon 26-Nov-18 08:38:56

I feel exactly the same OP! we've had a new team member who is very enthusiastic and has decided to organise secret santa this year. We've not done it as a team before. I told my colleague (different person to organiser) I wasn't doing it and was told I would be seen as a killjoy and tight and to enter into the spirit of it 🙄 ugh.

Also the budget was set at £10 which I think is steep and colleague said oh you don't need to go to the limit, just don't go over! That is another reason why I hate it - you need to get a gift for the value, not whatever you fancy.

I have never had a good secret santa gift, I'd much rather keep my £10 and buy something I actually want. Bah humbug.

IceRebel Mon 26-Nov-18 08:40:55

We’re doing the present game/yankee swap

That's so much better than just a straight secret Santa, as people buy things they might like to steal back. So usually the rude / naff gifts aren't a problem.

Jackshouse Mon 26-Nov-18 08:41:24

Our local soup kitchen has a ‘feed a friend for a fiver’ scheme running. Basically you donate £5 to their charity. Can you suggest that instead?

KitKat1985 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:43:19

I'm feeling slightly relieved that clearly I'm not the only one who feels like this!

And I completely agree about all the wastage as well. No-one really wants a novelty / joke present, and after the initial 'hilarity' it all just ends up chucked in a skip in January.

OP’s posts: |
Theknacktoflying Mon 26-Nov-18 08:46:06

I think you are just overthinking the whole thing .... sometimes Christmas is just going with the flow and buying a bit of tat...

Jellygraph Mon 26-Nov-18 08:46:42

YANBU IMO. I can see why it's a cute and fun idea but I am scarred by my experiences with it and have opted out this year. I have only done it three times (two years at one company, one another).

Time 1)I get given a glamorous young indian lady who always wears her hair up so I buy her some ornate hair clips and feeling that isn't enough a bangle to match one of them. She's dead chuffed. Newish guy who sits next to me gets me. He's off on the day we swap presents and when he comes back in I mention it, and get a blank look.
Time 2)Work in a small team who work shifts. Week of swapping we're all on 1pm-9pm. I get my boss and buy him some fancy cigarettes. Guy who gets me gets me... Nothing.
Woman who organised it asks him why and he said 'I didn't finish work till 9 last night' She said neither did we mate and you didn't start until 1! Again, blank look.
Time 3)I buy a thoughtful gift for my person who I don't know well which as others have said is quite difficult! I Actually asked some of her friends what she might like. I like gift giving!
I get a 'joke' present of.. A box of very cheap brown hair dye-I've seen it in bargain shops for as little as £2. I had been getting grief from the powers that be for having 'unnatural' coloured hair at the time and was in a bit of a feud with them. Hilarious-under budget, and something I would never use.

Rant over. SS sucks!

Osirus Mon 26-Nov-18 08:51:10

I opted out of mine - I hate it and I’ve never done it. Waste of money I think.

whatifI Mon 26-Nov-18 08:51:47

Why not suggest everyone buys a toy for the amount you spend on secret santa and donate to Gem 106 appeal or pass on to a charity instead?

puzzledlady Mon 26-Nov-18 08:52:58

We have a secret Santa but we also have a list of what each of us wants £5 or under so whoever gets the person knows exactly what to buy. Works for us and we still don’t know who bought what. I love secret Santa!

UsedtobeFeckless Mon 26-Nov-18 08:55:17

Small team - not at all Secret as everyone is enlisting each other to find out who wants what! I've narrowed mine down to two and they're both oh-that'll-do present buyers so I'm resigned to disappointment! I'd rather not bother ...

Willow2017 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:55:32

They are fine as long as someone doesn't get the 'hilarious' not 'willy straw' and revealing picture glass set or some other inane present. Its really annoying you go to the trouble of getting something nice or fun for the recipient which would be appreciated and you get £10 of crap in return. I would be stupidly upset that anyone thought i would like that or ever use it.

I also managed to get something that was actualy worth more than the set £ one year in pre xmas sales and i left the price on by accident (i was strapoed for cash and thought it was a good thing they got something they wouldnt have got otherwise)
Cue lots of PA comments at tea breaks about stingy people not spending the full amount had to get the work bitch didnt i hated that place with a passion.

We havent started ours yet either so maybe they arent doing one..i wish!

Poodles1980 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:56:38

We opted in / out last year and we all bought 10e toy for our local charity who help homeless kids at Christmas. It was such a relief to dispense with the stupid stuff

Parky04 Mon 26-Nov-18 08:57:56

Have always opted out. Really can't be arsed with it.

Willow2017 Mon 26-Nov-18 09:00:58

Btw it was only £1.50 below the set spend and worth £5 more!

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