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Where is the Office Gift Exchange This Year?

This article was written by in Consumer. 14 comments.


One thing I’ve always half-lamented, though lamented more in the past when my funds were a bit tighter, is the office holiday gift exchange. I’ve participated in everything from the Secret Santa to the grab bag to the system in which you can ruthlessly steal the gifts selected by your coworkers (up to three times). In

2008 and the few years prior, my team of ten coworkers generally held two gift exchanges each year, as a summer event tends to lift the spirits around here. In some years, there were as many as three gift exchanges occurring at the same time, each with a larger set of coworkers. But in 2009, we had no summer gift exchange and there is currently no discussion of one in December, either.

I am not going to bring it up.

I participate in events like these to be social, but I’ve never received a gift in which I was interested nor given a gift that the recipient could connect with. That’s a foregone conclusion with the steal-your-selection gift exchange anyway. Most gifts tend to be generic, even if you include “suggestions” for the Secret Santa who selects your name. The most popular items, besides alcohol, are gift cards for fast food chains in the area like Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Everyone in my office has been silent about the possibility of a gift exchange this December when normally these are major events planned well in advance. Perhaps it is a sign of the economy.

Are you curtailing gift exchanges at home or in the office this year?

Published or updated December 2, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Peter

Our office email about the secret santa just went out. I always ignore those emails as I really don’t enjoy participating – it just seems forced. People don’t seem to be quite as enthusiastic about it this year.

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avatar Evan

My office does the stealing of the gift thing – but I am pretty sure the partner does it for his own amusment LOL

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,475 (Platinum)

Reminds me of an episode of The Office where Secret Santa turns into the stealing gift game when the boss sees a gift he likes. My memory may be fuzzy though.

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avatar No Debt Plan

We call it “Dirty Santa” around here — when you steal the items.

It was brought up in regards to our Christmas party this Friday, but haven’t seen anything since then. I abhor the game and idea. “Hey, let me go spend $20 on random crap that no one wants, so I can get $20 in crap that I don’t want!”

Great idea… :-\

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avatar Dubary Brea

I actually am spearheading our Secret Santa this year. Ive noticed recently that ever since I started listening to a Christmas radio station in the office I am much more happier/in the holiday mood. Hopefully I get something I will like by my Secret Santa!

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avatar Money Funk

We’re doing the Secret Santa this year. Although, I have to say, I like the stealing gift thing. Our limit is only $10 – you have to become creative in your shopping for that amount. But it makes for a great time to eat and laugh, break up the office monotony. No curtailing here! :)

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avatar John DeFlumeri Jr

Office gift giving rode out of town with the office parties it looks like.

John DeFlumeri Jr

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