Old Man Winter has a habit of sneaking up on you until he’s right under your nose. This time may be no different. The Covid pandemic has lulled us into a sense of despondency and numbness.
You know despondency is in the air when employees at work talk about “spring cleaning” during winter, are making a beeline to meditation classes, and exchange notes on evading triggers, happy municipal health workers. Not too long ago, the jibber-jabber used to be about year-end travel plans and Yuletide cheer.
The numbness stems from the constant emotional masks we wear to hide our despondency, the constant sanitization of all happy thoughts, and the mental distancing we’ve been practicing with sanity.
Time for a happiness check, you say?
We couldn’t agree more. This prevailing sense of despondency is doing nothing to help business prospects for employers too. Does that sound like one more reason to ring in some badly needed cheer? You bet!
So, what’s the one thing that can lift your employees out of their self-imposed burrows and put some spring in the stride? We think a Secret Santa at work – with or without his elves – can do the trick. Don’t believe us? Read on.
What to keep in mind while planning the perfect Secret Santa event at the office?
The day has finally arrived when your co-workers sit with bated breath, anticipating a gift from their secret Santa. Take a pause. It could be anticipation, or it equally could be anxiety. No one wants to be on the receiving end of a bad gift or the centerpiece of an awkward situation. Besides, you wouldn’t want to be the giver of a bad gift either, would you?
You spend the whole day (working hours, of course) with your co-workers, so you think you know them. Nothing could go wrong, could it? Well, remember that guy Murphy? He has a law that says otherwise.
So, if you do not want “Awkward” to be your middle name, here’s what you need to do. Or don't.
1. Firstly, keep a budget and follow it. You don’t want to present a cheap gift—people will know. Nor would you want to go overboard. Setting some expense limits will help you narrow down your purchase.
2. Don’t buy gifts that can be taken as a token of self-promotion. Additionally, don’t get gifts that could be construed as inappropriate in any way. That one should be a no-brainer!
3. Don’t try to flatter someone with a gift, especially if they are higher up on the corporate ladder. Taking this a step or two further, don’t try to confess your feelings either, be it love or hate. Remember that middle name you wanted to avoid?
4. Don’t gift clothes. Why? Simply because you could go wrong with the size or the fashion styles. There is also the chance of the co-worker finding the gift too informal.
5. Take time to do a little research about your recipient’s interests. This will give you a clue as to what they would like as a gift. Now, who’d have thought?
Now that we have got the don’ts nailed downlet’s take a look at what can be done.
Best Secret Santa Gift Ideas for Coworkers
A perfect gift from Secret Santa combines utility and thoughtfulness in equal parts. Here are some Christmas gift ideas for secret Santa that you can look into this winter.
Are you the kind who doesn’t like to spend time shopping for gifts? Pondering over what to buy or what your co-worker’s interests are?
Relax! Present them with a gift card that they can use however they want.
If your co-worker is South Indian (or, yes, Columbian too!), they would definitely love a hot mug of coffee in the morning to start the day with. Coffee is the lifeline by which some people get through their busy schedules, so they would love to get a French press in their gift box.
With single-use plastics being such a frowned upon thing these days, trendy, reusable carry bags can make great gifts. Not to mention, they are environmentally-friendly.
Get chic with varied patterns, materials, and colors that would really talk to your gift recipient!
People who love to sip on hot beverages on the go will positively love this stylish travel mug. The newest additions are also leak-proof and have a seal that will lock in the contents securely. So, coffee spills on your laptop or important documents, be gone!
Every office has that one person who is frequently misplacing their keys or IDs. This leather keychain with their name or initials etched on the strap would be the perfect gift to go for. You can get these chains in snazzy colors as well, customized to fit your co-worker’s style.
Has it been a hectic year? Has your team or co-worker been bearing some unbearable stress-bearing of late?
Then they deserve to be pampered. Gift them a pack of essential oils, and watch them thank you (silently, since they don’t know it was you) for the rest of the year. There are a host of essential oils to choose from, and apart from the pleasant aroma, they also provide a wide range of health benefits.
Small potted succulents are trotting their way back to office corners and aisles. Aren't they adorable? In Feng Shui, gifting a small, potted succulent is considered to bring good luck to the owners and protect them from negative energy.
Does that mess of cables and earphones strewn across your co-worker’s desk give you major OCD vibes? Gift a handmade cord keeper. They will keep the cables neat and tangle-free. Besides, these are handmade, so they have an exotic feel as well.
Everyone would have encountered, at some point in their lives, the problems with their cable breaking off at the joints. If you know your co-worker is experiencing such splitting issues, then give them a pack of cord protectors. The vibrant colors will add to the aesthetics.
We all have that shutterbug among us who keeps clicking away with his or her smartphone and raining it on social media. Get them a handy smartphone lens kit in their gift box. A standard kit would include macro, wide, and fisheye lenses, along with a compatible clip with most smartphone brands.
Watch out for more photographic activities with this one. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
Some offices also practice Pollyanna gift exchanges. This is a change from the traditional secret Santa gifting, wherein each employee is called to purchase a gift, wrap it, and place it under the Christmas tree. When the time comes for unboxing, each person can choose and open a gift or claim a gift that is already opened by somebody else. This ritual is not as personal as the traditional method, but if managed well, your team or coworkers will have a fun way of exchanging gifts.
Ultimately, whatever gift you may give this season, it is most important to have fun and have everyone in high spirits. Yuletide ho!
This Christmas give your employees a gift of their choice. Explore Xoxoday Plum Today!
At Xoxoday, we deeply understand the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and engagement drivers of people, be it an employee, supplier, contract staff, gig or consumer. We bring simplicity and continuity to a complex, everyday problem.