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White Elephant vs Secret Santa
Posted by Insightlink on 10/10/17
With the arrival of fall, everyone is getting excited for the upcoming holidays. This can be a tricky topic in the workplace because you have to be cognizant and respectful of everyone's traditions and beliefs. If everyone in your office wants to participate in a fun winter gift exchange, you now have the difficult choice between two traditions. Should you do white elephant or Secret Santa?
White Elephant Pros
White elephant is fun, silly and light-hearted. It is the perfect option for small offices that don't take the holidays or gift giving too seriously. If everyone has a good sense of humor, you can find some really funny products that can be used around the office for some team bonding even after the holidays are done. You also get to know your co-workers sense of humor and taste with these fun gifts.
White elephant also is a fun activity to do during your holiday party. You get to go around and see what everyone bought and barter to get the best present. It shows how everyone thinks, makes alliances and has fun together.
White Elephant Cons
There are two major cons to white elephant in an office setting: size and appropriateness. If you have a large office with a lot of departments, white elephant can be difficult to play. Not everyone can see what's being opened and keep track of how many times each gift has been stolen. This can lead to boredom and take all the fun out of the game.
You also have to be careful with how silly (and sometimes raunchy) white elephant gifts can get. You need to know that all of your employees can handle the game maturely and that everyone agrees on what is appropriate and what is not. If you think your employees might get offended or not be mature, then this might not be a good option for your office.
Secret Santa Pros
Secret Santa is a fun gift exchange for your office because employees can get things they actually like and want. For example, if you know someone in your office loves camping and being outdoors, you can get them something amazing during the holiday sales at outdoors stores like Cabela's. Or if someone loves getting pampered, you can get them a gift certificate to the spa or to get their nails done. As part of the game, have your employees write down a few things they love to do in their free time along with their name, so the person who picks them has some gift ideas. Secret Santa helps everyone in your office get to know each other a little better and show their appreciation for each other with a thoughtful gift.
Secret Santa Cons
You may need to put some rules on secret Santa to make sure it is fun and affordable for everyone. You don't want to be the person who spends a lot of time and money on the gift and then you receive a present you hate or wasn't thought about at all. Give everyone in the office a reasonable cap on their presents, such as $20-30, so no one goes overboard. You also may want to put in a no gift cards rule to make sure everyone receives a personal and thoughtful gift. Find ways to avoid the stress of present buying and make the unwrapping of presents exciting.
About Insightlink: Insightlink Communications is a leader in full service employee surveys and offers a range of employee survey products and services to fit their client's needs. With over 18 years of experience, Insightlink's reputation has been built on giving organizations the knowledge they need to create effective change using their acclaimed employee research, analytics, benchmarking and survey methodologies. Insightlink's expertise in data collection reporting and analytics takes the pressure off organizations that find data overwhelming and daunting creating reports that are digestible and understandable, simple and easy to understand for organizations of any size and experience level.
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