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    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 2
    • iclayt
    • By iclayt 31st Oct 12, 9:47 AM
    • 404 Posts
    • 775 Thanks
    My colleague and I have decided not to take part in SS this year - and it's only a fiver limit! We work in a large office just don't want to spend a fiver on someone we barely know!

    Stick the the £15 limit and tell a white lie about how much it cost if you're pressed for a figure. You can gete something really nice for that price. Maybe even try for less
    • sng165
    • By sng165 31st Oct 12, 9:48 AM
    • 226 Posts
    • 194 Thanks
    I agree with many of the other - £5 is more than enough - especially when there is arguing over the spending. Anyway it gets the creative juices flowing !!
    I dont even spend £15 on some of my "proper" pressies - because I save by buying most of mine in the sales throughout the year.
  • kessington
    in our office the limit is £10. some folk moan this isn't enough and it always causes fights - this year 2 senior people who should know better have said they will only take part if they can buy for each other as they don't like naff presents. I shan't be taking part next year if this happens again - only found out about this after I'd said I would this year.
    at my keep fit class where most people are well to do and retired the limit is £3.00. everyone puts a mystery present in, they are all distributed randomly by Santa and everyone goes home happy with a nice jar of jam or similar. Nicely illustrates that the spirit of Christmas is everything I think!
  • Sulevia
    £15 ridiculous, even my family don't get that amount spent on them. £7.50 is our office limit but I always spend way less than that but find a bargain that looks as if it might cost that.
    Secret Santa should be just that. No-one should know who bought what.

  • chocaholicmanc
    Never feel bad about something like this! It is supposed to be secret (and supposedly fun!). If other people want to overspend then they clearly have more money than sense.

    We did away with secret santa in our office and now donate £5 each to buy toys for a local childrens charity. Nobody ends up with a cheap gift they didn't really want and we all get to feel like we've done something lovely and hopefully brightened up these childrens christmas. Suggest that as an alternative and see what they say. Bet they'd stick to £15 then!
    • kalaika
    • By kalaika 31st Oct 12, 10:30 AM
    • 700 Posts
    • 847 Thanks
    ...said they will only take part if they can buy for each other as they don't like naff presents
    Originally posted by kessington
    I think the whole point Secret Santa is the naffness. Our office has a £5 limit. You buy something naff for a colleague, they buy one for you, something odd, something funny, see who gets the best worst present, it's a bit of fun, laugh laugh, joke joke, etc etc, improve office relationships, Merry Christmas, done.

    Personally at £15 I probably wouldn't want to take part, particularly if I had colleagues that called me Scrooge for not overspending. If I felt I *had* to take part I would stick rigidly to £15, and would probably look at spend less than that.
    No trees were killed to send this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced. - Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson)
    • warehouse
    • By warehouse 31st Oct 12, 10:51 AM
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    • 4,579 Thanks
    £15 and it's not secret? Sounds to me like you've got one of those women running the place who we refer to here as an MFI, (Miss F*****g Important).

    As has been pointed out above, it's a form of bullying. Stand up to the MFI and tell them you won't be taking part in the popularity contest this year.
    • rowansway
    • By rowansway 31st Oct 12, 11:16 AM
    • 150 Posts
    • 427 Thanks
    Set a theme - we had a £5 limit last year and a theme of "sparkly". Other themes in the past have been silly socks, scarves.
    • craftycrafter
    • By craftycrafter 31st Oct 12, 11:34 AM
    • 59 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    Good Idea
    [at my keep fit class where most people are well to do and retired the limit is £3.00. everyone puts a mystery present in, they are all distributed randomly by Santa and everyone goes home happy with a nice jar of jam or similar. Nicely illustrates that the spirit of Christmas is everything I think![/QUOTE]

    This sounds like the perfect Secret Santa for nice people.
    • joehoover
    • By joehoover 31st Oct 12, 12:00 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 203 Thanks
    I feel very sorry for you working in an office with people like that, it's pathetic of them.

    Secret Santa's I have only heard of being £5 and buy something silly you can have a laugh over. The cheek of them to call you Scrooge for sticking to an AGREED limit which was pretty high anyway.

    I'm guessing they don't see the fun in a secret santa and actually except something they want. If they want something worth £30 then they should go out and buy it for themselves. it's supposed to fun, a bit of seasonal cheer and they are sapping the whole enjoyment out of it. They are the ones who need reminding of the Christmas spirit.

    Just awful, sorry I have nothing much to advise you, expect to stick to your guns, £15 is generous and you have nothing to feel guilty about.

    I really hope they read this thread and wake up to themselves, have they just been watching Mean Girls and are using it as a lifestyle coaching guide?!
  • full-time-mum
    I hate secret santa. I've always spent time and energy looking for something nice and suitable for the recipient within budget by looking for good deals etc.
    I don't think I have ever received anything other than gifts that look like things my secret santa has been given in the past and doesn't want.
    I think the idea is lovely but it only works in very special circumstances and usually causes so many problems in the majority of cases that I try and avoid them like the plague.
    7 Angel Bears for LovingHands Autumn Challenge. 10 KYSTGYSES. 3 and 3/4 (ran out of wool) small blanket/large square, 2 premie blankets, 2 Angel Claire Bodywarmers
    • pennypinchUK
    • By pennypinchUK 31st Oct 12, 12:20 PM
    • 382 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    So last year everyone agreed to a £15 limit, and everyone (except you) ignored it. Sounds like you're being precious...why not simply rip in to them about the absurdity of their "limit", and congratulate yourself to anyone and everyone about your success in keeping to the rules.
    We do Secret Santa at work, but we also then guess who bought it. Some people always overspend, and some don't spend enough - but it's getting an appropriate gift that is appreciated, not how much was spent. I've got the reputation for getting a bargain for my buck, and therefore if people get something unexpected or a collection of little items they always think it's me; now some people might buy something that was £15 and reduced to £7.50 and stick with that;I would go and spend the other £7.50. Also some people ordering off of the internet include postage charges in their allotted budget, and some add it on. What I'm saying is that I don't know how anyone could know what has been spent, because the same item from two shops, or online could vary wildly. The point is they are at fault for overspending, not you, so I would say stick to the budget; afterall that's what its for.
    Last edited by JBFAN; 31-10-2012 at 12:34 PM.
  • gaily
    How Much???
    Our Secret Santa is always £5, and usually has a theme - silly, romantic, colour themed etc - just for a laugh.

    However, this year, we are doubling it - but not for each other.

    Our company is supporting a kids charity this year, for kids who may not get a present if not for the charities work. (I understand that sometimes the parents will actually give the kids the Charity presents as if they were from them as they are so hard up)

    Therefore this year, I advocate going over the limit within reason, but if you work in an office - have a budget and stick to it. £15 would buy a nice SPA treat for someone. You can always say it cost more, or give them the full rather than discounted rate (but where's the secret in that!)

    If you're interested, our supported charity is KIND Liverpool
    Always on the hunt for a bargain. :rolleyes:

    Always grateful for any hints, tips or guidance as to where the best deals are
  • wanchai
    Head over to the Grabbit board and get something that *should* cost £15 for a fiver, and keep the change, or give it to charity! They sound like a bunch of b*tches who haven't moved on from the schoolyard.
    7 Feb 2012: 10st7lbs 14 Feb: 10st4.5lbs 21 Feb: 10st4lbs * 1 March: 10st2.5lbs 13 March: 10st3lbs (post-holiday) 30 March: 10st1.5lbs 4 April: 10st0.75lbs * 6 April: 9st13.5 lbs 27 April 9st12.5lbs * 16 May 9st12lbs * 11 June 9st11lbs * 15 June 9st9.5lbs * 20 June 9st8.5lbs 27 June 9st8lbs * 1 July 9st7lbs * 7 July 9st6.5lbs
  • Panda 56
    How about suggesting everyone contribute to an NHS lottery syndicate for 2013. That way the money does some good and if you win, you all win together. Just a thought.
    • Barryfan
    • By Barryfan 31st Oct 12, 1:23 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    The clue is in the name - Secret Santa. £15 seems high to me, we do £5 and no-one knows who has bought what. We write down the names of everyone who wants to take part, then these are drawn out by each participant (in secret) so no-one knows who is buying for who - makes much more sense. I would let your colleagues know that you intend to stick to the budget even if they don't - if you get called names again then don't take part next year and tell them why!
    • RuthnJasper
    • By RuthnJasper 31st Oct 12, 1:32 PM
    • 3,292 Posts
    • 7,962 Thanks
    I find it absolutely disgusting that the poor OP was slated by her colleagues for her gift last year. The avaricious bints in her office should be grateful for what they receive.

    Our office limit is £5, and I usually get something small and quirky from or similar.

    I think that if it gets to the point where it's become a chore, humiliating, or a source of contention then it's not worth doing. Just go out for Friday night drinkies after work instead and forget the presents.
    • Surfer
    • By Surfer 31st Oct 12, 1:42 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 79 Thanks
    In the past I have opted out of it by saying I was from another faith as I hate having things forced on me even though I am of the Christian faith. Stick to your £15 and if you are teased, don't do it next year and opt out!
    • snowleopard61
    • By snowleopard61 31st Oct 12, 1:49 PM
    • 731 Posts
    • 1,468 Thanks
    Like almost everyone else on this thread, I think £15 is incredibly expensive for a Secret Santa, and that the OP's colleagues were ungrateful and rude to describe her as a Scrooge - and for sticking to the limit, too, when that's surely the whole point of the limit.

    The easy way out is to spend £15 for something that's reduced and originally cost more. A better would be a strict limit so that this doesn't happen again, and a better still would be a £5 limit all round and a £10 donation to the donor's own choice of charity.
    Life is mainly froth and bubble
    Two things stand like stone ó
    Kindness in anotherís trouble,
    Courage in your own.
    Adam Lindsay Gordon
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