Career Advice

Secret Santa…How Not to Get Yourself Fired

Lisa Johnson Posted by Lisa
min read

It’s that time of year.  That very sociable type in the office is organising this year’s Secret Santa and you have drawn a name out of an old Tupperware sandwich keeper.  The worst thing is that you know next to nothing about the person you have drawn.

The budget is $20 and you have NO clue what to buy.

Here is your guide to getting through the Secret Santa nightmare without being called into HR to please explain..

  • These socks are hideous enough to be the perfect Secret Santa gift this year.  Get a photo of your boss, get the socks printed and wrap them with joy!
  • No woman will be offended by The Bodyshop and look they have a Secret Santa range just waiting for you!
  • Pick a Novelty Gift: But do so with care…don’t choose something offensive just because you find it funny, if you don’t know the recipient well, think about something funny but PG like the fridge magnets or the No! slammer button (I got this last year and my 1yo LOVES it!)
  • When you really don’t know someone but you want something with a bit of pizazz… go the hamper: they have a $20 option or if you wanted to cheat, a nice looking $25 option too.  At Christmas, nobody is going to grumble about receiving free treats
  • Keep it classy - This site has links to loads of places to find gifts and has a handy gift guide menu (Xmas gifts for colleagues) although it may take you some time to work out what fits in your budget.  On the other hand, I might just send the link to that Jo Malone scented candle to my partner…

The most important tip I can give you is to not buy anything really inappropriate.  It’s all good and well to bemoan that Australia has become too politically correct and that the morals police are ruining everyone’s fun – but there can be serious implications if you do something that really offends someone and they can accuse you of sexual or racial harassment.  You might find yourself having to defend yourself, or worse looking for a new job if your actions are deemed serious misconduct.  So keep the blow up dolls, the vibrating adult toys and the racial stereotypes out of your Secret Santa lists. 

Be careful with gifts that have graphics that can offend too – especially if you don’t know your recipient and if your company is particularly corporate.  Not only may a coffee cup with F*#& on it not be appropriate for the office, it will probably raise some eyebrows at home if the recipient has kids old enough to read.

But leaving aside the sexy, nude or rude gifts, there are loads to choose from! So there is no need to stress this year,  and with online shopping, you don’t even have to line up with the masses in Kmart!

Note – I have not been paid or asked to recommend any of the websites listed above.  To be honest, I just googled them and thought their offerings were pretty cool; but I have not personally used them.  Although I reckon I will be doing the novelty gift thing from the yellow octopus option!