StashLearn
Get the app
Get the app

Join millions of investors on Stash

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5
Get the app
Life

Secret Santa Do’s and Don’ts: How to Give the Perfect Office Gift

December 13, 2018

3 min read

The good news: Your office has holiday spirit. The bad news? You’ve been tasked with buying a Secret Santa gift for a coworker who you may not know well (or may not like very much).

If you’re assigned a colleague that you know and love working with, you’re golden. You know what they’re hobbies and interests are and what would bring a smile to his or her face. But what does Phil in accounting want? Or Jill in accounts payable?

Don’t let it be a source of holiday stress. These guidelines can help you give a nice gift that will go over smoother than eggnog served in an office mug.

Secret Santa Do’s and Don’ts

Do find out more about your Secret Santa giftee. Consider going straight to his or her direct colleagues to get the skinny. Does he love his dog? Is she crazy about golf? Maybe she’s passionate about vegan cooking. A few minutes and a little investigating can steer you in the right direction.

Don’t spend more than the recommended amount. Many office party organizers will set a guideline, usually around $25. Even if you know that Cheryl in payroll loves cashmere sweaters, do not bust out your credit card to buy it for her. It will make everyone else feel like a cheapskate and Cheryl may be uncomfortable with you having spent so much money on her.

Do include a nice card. A few lines will do. Try something that says, “I see you each day and you bring cheer to the office.” Even if it’s not true, you’re just the Secret Santa, not Human Resources.

Don’t give booze. While everyone loves getting into the holiday cheer, not everyone drinks. You may have a Secret Santa who is sober or struggling. Unless you know that they love a good glass of wine or a certain brand of tequila, steer clear.

Do wrap the gift. It’s the least you can do, for goodness sake. If you’re clumsy, get someone to help you. Don’t just hand over the gift in a paper bag that it came in.

Don’t be lazy. Nothing says “I put zero thought into this” than an Amazon gift card purchased 10 minutes before the event at your local drug store.

Do give thoughtful gift cards. While a generic gift card is a thumbs down, a well-thought-out one can be a wonderful gift. If Jane in legal is a knitter, a gift card from a crafting site or store would show her that you care while letting her choose what she wants. If Bob in ad sales loves to go camping, a gift card to an outdoor supply company could work.

Don’t be a creep. Do not give personal items. Do not give things with sexual connotations. If you think you’re crossing a line and the person may not receive it happily, do not do it. The last thing anyone wants is you spending the holiday party explaining yourself to HR.

Do receive your gift gracefully. Sometimes we get a gift where we want to say, “No really, you shouldn’t have.” Inside we may be shaking our heads and wondering when we can donate the gift to the nearest Goodwill (or garbage can) but be kind to the giver, especially if they were excited to give it to you. Good taste is not a job requirement, but kindness is a skill that will take you beyond the holidays and serve you for the rest of your career.

Investing, simplified

Start today with as little as $5

Get the App

By Lindsay Goldwert
Lindsay Goldwert is Senior Editor at Stash.

Next for you
Why the Holiday Season is The Super Bowl of Retail

Investment Profile

Bonds Worldwide

An International Bond ETF on Stash

Learn more
Explore more articlesChoose a topic to learn more about
Technology pop culture politics Retirement budgeting
Disclaimers

This material has been distributed for informational and educational purposes only, represents an assessment of the market environment as of the date of publication, is subject to change without notice, and is not intended as investment, legal, accounting, or tax advice or opinion. Stash assumes no obligation to provide notifications of changes in any factors that could affect the information provided. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice regarding any issuer or security in particular. The strategies discussed are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes and should not be construed as a recommendation to purchase or sell, or an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any security. There is no guarantee that any strategies discussed will be effective.

Furthermore, the information presented does not take into consideration commissions, tax implications, or other transactional costs, which may significantly affect the economic consequences of a given strategy or investment decision. This information is not intended as a recommendation to invest in any particular asset class or strategy or as a promise of future performance. There is no guarantee that any investment strategy will work under all market conditions or is suitable for all investors. Each investor should evaluate their ability to invest long term, especially during periods of downturn in the market. Investors should not substitute these materials for professional services, and should seek advice from an independent advisor before acting on any information presented. Before investing, please carefully consider your willingness to take on risk and your financial ability to afford investment losses when deciding how much individual security exposure to have in your investment portfolio.

Past performance does not guarantee future results. There is a potential for loss as well as gain in investing. Stash does not represent in any manner that the circumstances described herein will result in any particular outcome. While the data and analysis Stash uses from third party sources is believed to be reliable, Stash does not guarantee the accuracy of such information. Nothing in this article should be considered as a solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any particular security or investment product or to engage in any investment strategy. No part of this material may be reproduced in any form, or referred to in any other publication, without express written permission. Stash does not provide personalized financial planning to investors, such as estate, tax, or retirement planning. Investment advisory services are only provided to investors who become Stash Clients pursuant to a written Advisory Agreement. For more information please visit www.stashinvest.com/disclosures.