Secret Santa etiquette

It’s the moment every office worker dreads, pulling a name out of the hat and finding out they’re Secret Santa for the boss.

What do you buy – the best bottle of plonk you can afford or a luxury Christmas hamper from Virginia Hayward for them to enjoy over the festive period?

And what about if you get the person everyone in the office goes out of their way to avoid?

Buying Secret Santa gifts used to be a bit of a fun – something that would cause the recipient to blush or a cheap box of chocolates or bottle of wine.

But now it’s got serious. Office experts has put together its guide to Secret Santa etiquette which should help avoid embarrassment and turn it back into a bit of fun.

Set a price guide
The new straight from school starter is not going to have the same amount of cash to spend on a gift as the senior manager who’s worked at the company for decades. So, set a price limit. Five pounds is normally enough to buy something half decent. Setting the price should stop the gift snobbery and won’t break the bank so close to Christmas.

Be diplomatic
If the person sitting at the desk opposite is meant to be buying for the person they can’t stand the sight of, then offer to swap names. It makes no difference as long as everyone receives a gift, and it will prevent uncomfortable exchanges.

Avoid joke gifts
It may seem funny at the time to buy a gift that will get everyone blushing, but just remember, revenge is sweet. When that person pulls your name out of the hat in a couple of year’s time, who knows what gift you’ll be getting.

Do not re-gift
If you’ve kept hold of that awful Secret Santa gift you received last year, don’t re-gift it. Chances are you’ll offend the person who bought it for you last year, and if you hated it that much, the person you’re re-gifting it to is likely to think it’s pretty awful.

Do your homework
If you’re really stuck on what to buy, ask around and find out what the person you’re buying for likes, does outside of work. You may not know them particularly well but someone in the office will.

Safety present
If all else fails, opt for the safety presents. A nice box of chocolates or bottle of wine will always do the trick.