Even Jerks?

Generosity is the spirit of Christmas, we give until it hurts. And boy does it hurt when you have to buy a kris kringle gift for that annoying office jerk.

You know the one, your colleague that gives everyone the shits, the one that makes you cringe, or as HR puts it, “disrupts workplace harmony.” The loud talker, personal space invader or office gossip. But buying them a gift doesn’t have be so painful, at least not for you…

Instead of a box of chocolates, a gift voucher or an insincere world’s best boss mug, why not give your cringe-worthy office jerk a tongue in cheek gift that make fun of their annoying personal quirks.

As forgiveness is also the spirit of Christmas, by the time the eggnog is finished your office grinch will see the funny side of your little kris kringle gift dig.










It doesn’t matter whether you’re a participant in a Kris Kringle or gift exchange with co-workers, family, or friends, the first thing you want to know is how it works. Some may be familiar with the rules of a secret Santa gift exchange, but many may be new to the concept.

These exchanges are meant to be heaps of fun, so forget over-thinking things. You’re not choosing an engagement ring for your future wife. However, there are a few things to consider when running a secret Santa. Here are some general guidelines to help yours run smoothly.

The first thing to do when organising a gift exchange is to make sure someone is in charge. These things take quite a bit of organising, so without a leader things can get messy. It’s quite an undertaking to take on the leader duty, but there is usually someone in each group who will stick their hand up. It is important for the leader to send out reminders and different intervals to remind everyone as most people tend to be extremely busy at this time of year.

There are two basic types of Secret Santa exchanges. The first one which is just the normal variety where you simply pick names and then each person buys something for the recipient they’re drawn.  Obviously, the identity of the person giving the gift is kept a secret from the recipient until the exchange. Once the presents are distributed you go around in a circle opening the gifts and trying to guess who gave you the presents. In an old school world, people drew names out of a hat, later as technology progressed gift exchanges could be organised over phone or email. But in 2016 its probably easiest to use one of the online generators that are available and take out all the hard work. Try using something like Draw Names or Boog Space. If you can’t decide which option is the best for you, check out this great article from Pop Sugar that compares all of the best secret Santa pickers.

If you want to do something a little bit out of the ordinary or change things up from previous years, you can do a Yankee Swap. (otherwise known as a white elephant gift exchange, thieving Santa or stealing Santa)

This version is slightly different in that everyone has to bring a general gift to the exchange and disguises it, that is, one that could be suitable for any of the person. Then starting with someone randomly, they select a gift from under the tree. Then this continues moving around the circle.
The following recipients can choose a different wrapped gift from under the tree, or steal an unwrapped gift from the preceding person. This process continues until everyone has an unwrapped gift.

Decide on how much each gift will be worth early and notify all the recipients so that they can start hunting for kris kringle ideas. The whole idea is that they are 100% inclusive. Set a price limit for kris kringle gifts that everyone can afford. Also, make the price firm. Some people have a habbit of trying to outdo everyone else by buying a gift that is twice the allocated value. This is no fun and makes the experience awkward for everyone involved. Set a fair budget and ensure everyone sticks to it.

That doesn’t mean buy someone utter garbage because you’re being lazy. Just like buying any normal Christmas present, it’s nice to put a little bit of thought into what that person might like. It can pay to do a bit of snooping around the office, or if you don’t know the person well at all, ask someone who does and they might be able to point you in the right direction. Having said that, sometimes it can be fun to forget their interests and hobbies and just get them something totally random, funny and completely YOLO (hello Yellow octopus! White Elephant gifts are by definition pointless. But there are good pointless gifts and bab pointless gifts, if that makes sense.

Many a secret Santa come undone through people ignoring their ninja side. For a start, use different wrapping paper to all the other presents you put under the tree. This can be a dead giveaway. The other main offender is handwriting, if there are people in your KK that know you well, they’ll spot your handwriting from a mile away. Make sure you mask it!

Why leave the house for a gift that is literally going to cost less than $25? Seriously, think about it!

Is it becoming a financial burden to get presents for your growing extended family. Consider putting the names of all the adults in a hat, then having everyone pick one. If your family is full of kids, skip the gifts for adults altogether and have each child pick a cousin’s name.

: If you get something you don’t like, pretend you do. Grin, thank the person and move on!

: Consider who you are buying for. Secret Santa’s can be a great opportunity to explore the funny side of Christmas. But there is a line, don’t cross it. If it’s your best mate, cut sick! But if you get your boss, then probably keep it under wraps. Every situation is different, so use your discretion.

Christmas is becoming a financial burden for a lot of people these days due to the sheer quantity of purchases involved. A secret Santa gift exchange can be a great way to minimise costs as people only have to consider one person instead of twenty. A phenomenal amount of gifts go to waste every year, so an exchange can also help to combat this.

If you don’t want to get involved then that’s completely fine. You may not be able to afford it, or simply you just don’t like the idea of it. Whatever the reason, it’s OK not to participate. Just make sure that if you want out you let the organiser know before the names are picked to avoid any tension or confusion.

The Cat Lady

Traits:  bookish and a bit of a loner. But really kind hearted, generous. Loves cats and has a picture of her cat on her desk. Shy. Single. 

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