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  • FIRST POST
    Former MSE Debs
    Real-life MMD: Secret Santa standoff
    • #1
    • 25th Oct 12, 12:08 PM
    Real-life MMD: Secret Santa standoff 25th Oct 12 at 12:08 PM
    Money Moral Dilemma: Secret Santa standoff


    Our office is doing Secret Santa again this year with a limit of £15, however, the girls in our office are notorious for over-spending. Last year, I was called a Scrooge for sticking to the agreed limit when nobody else did. I know I can get something decent with £15, especially with the help of MSE, but I'm scared I'll get teased again if I don't spend more. Should I overspend to keep up or risk seeming cheap?

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    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 30-10-2012 at 6:31 PM.
Page 4
  • menorah56
    Secret Santa is a useless gimmick dreamed up by people who actually believe they have 5000 friends on Facebook ! Opt out and make a heartfelt genuine donation to a charity you believe in. The office gestapo will undoubtedly make noises but a 'Real' gift is one given freely and received warmly, unlike those in this childish game of peer pressure.
    • bulletproof_1979
    • By bulletproof_1979 1st Nov 12, 9:15 AM
    • 190 Posts
    • 161 Thanks
    bulletproof_1979
    These forums do make me laugh. I don't think I've ever worked anywhere where the "secret" of who bought your present wasn't revealed shortly afterwards - seems more than a bit anal do to otherwise.

    Also, who are any of us to say £15 is "too much" - it's all relative, isn't it - we don't know what line of work the OP is in, their income etc. so can't really pass judgement.

    As for the problem - it's a ridiculous non-issue - find something nice, spending whatever you want to spend, and don't be drawn on how much it cost, or if you are for some reason, laugh it off as unimportant. Which it is.
    • JayD
    • By JayD 1st Nov 12, 9:58 AM
    • 473 Posts
    • 291 Thanks
    JayD
    Well if everyone knows what everyone else has bought for them then it is NOT a Secret Santa at all. It is a public system of present buying allocation - and obviously the 'public' element has created a bit of a status battle.

    If it is really making you feel unhappy and If you can afford it, then I suggest you fall into line. But I would personally stick to the limit set. If people want to go over it, that is THEIR choice - it certainly would not be mine.

    I think that £15 is more than enough to sepnd on a colleague who you would probably not buy a present for at all, if given the choice.
  • John le Bon
    I think it's a tragedy that a gift in this country is not a gift but a contract. We don't give in order to receive, and if we only do that, I'd question whether we can experience meaningful relationships.

    Too often people give gifts in order to buy you. That will be the primary motivation for the overspend - it's (in part) an attempt to gain control through emotional manipulation. People will feel obliged to the one who spent so much on them.

    Check your own heart next time you give a gift. Why are you doing it? To get something back? To control a person? Or is it because you just want to see them happy?

    And yes...this is endemic in our godless selfish culture. No judgement, but at the same time, we can aspire to something higher.
    • bulletproof_1979
    • By bulletproof_1979 1st Nov 12, 10:25 AM
    • 190 Posts
    • 161 Thanks
    bulletproof_1979
    And yes...this is endemic in our godless selfish culture. No judgement, but at the same time, we can aspire to something higher.
    Originally posted by John le Bon
    Agreed. Perhaps you could aspire to climbing down from your high horse?
  • loulous
    Stick with it
    I'd stick with the budget and if other people have little else to do in their lives than !!!!! about other people then leave them to it!

    Secret Santa is banned in our office for this reason. Instead, on Christmas Eve (a short working day - finish around 2pm) everyone is allocated an item of food or drink (sandwiches, sausage rolls, cola etc.) to bring in and we have a little lunch time buffet at noon! I usually bake the mince pies!
    • silverswan
    • By silverswan 1st Nov 12, 3:54 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    silverswan
    Why don't you all just hand each other £15. That way, you can buy what you want. Better still, make it £100!
  • milvusvestal
    Secret Santa
    Why don't you set an example by opting out of this, a particularly stupid and pointless waste of money?

    Just because, for some, the idea of buying presents the recipient doesn't want is somehow fashionable, it doesn't mean you have to follow the trend. My office used to have sweepstakes for the major racing events, but I made it clear that I didn't want to participate; if others are content to waste their money, it's up to them, but there's no reason why they should inflict their mentality on others.

    I guess maintaining one's image and popularity in the workplace is enough reason for some, but regular things like this quickly get out of hand. Make your stand.
    • katecheshire
    • By katecheshire 1st Nov 12, 10:58 PM
    • 221 Posts
    • 143 Thanks
    katecheshire
    Our limit was £10 - you filled in a form if you wanted to take part and could suggest up to 3 wishes or just put 'surprise'. A good surprise one is to just get a basket or box and fill with mini treats (3 for 2 in Boots is good!); I got a couple of lovely glasses in a sale and added a couple of small bottles of wine (asda 4 for £5) and some chocs. A small bottle of lovely mulled wine syrup, a bottle of not expensive red wine with an orange and cinnamon sticks. Posh presentation makes it look impressive even if you haven't spent that much.
    .
    although if you have an office full of miserable s*ds i would be tempted to opt out!
  • Deano62
    You certainly should not feel guilty. What's the point of having an AGREED limit if nobody sticks to it. I shouldn't be at all embarrassed.

    I suspect ypur colleagues are simply trying to best each other.

    Like someone else responded it's supposed to be SECRET santa!
    • littlerat
    • By littlerat 3rd Nov 12, 12:46 AM
    • 1,672 Posts
    • 3,157 Thanks
    littlerat
    Secret Santa is a useless gimmick dreamed up by people who actually believe they have 5000 friends on Facebook ! Opt out and make a heartfelt genuine donation to a charity you believe in. The office gestapo will undoubtedly make noises but a 'Real' gift is one given freely and received warmly, unlike those in this childish game of peer pressure.
    Originally posted by menorah56

    Secret Santa started way before facebook existed.
  • florere
    Do you really want to give a pressy to these unpleasant people, tell them that you are not going to join in because the Christmas spirit has been lost.
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