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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 3
    • Augustus the Strong
    • By Augustus the Strong 31st Oct 12, 2:45 PM
    • 296 Posts
    • 306 Thanks
    Augustus the Strong
    Are you nuts? 15 for a Secret Santa is ludicrously high anyway. Stick to the budget if you have to do it at all, and if anyone asks how much you've spent, lie. The whole Christmas present spending thing has gone way out of control as it is. Why waste vast sums on things people probably don't want anyway? If you must buy something, get a small low-priced thing that can be eaten, unless you know what the person really wants/needs.
  • aphanes
    Office politics can be a real B, but it seems to me they don't even deserve a Santa of any sort. It's certainly not in the spirit of Christmas to complain over the cost of a present. I would suggest that you donate your 15 to a worthy charity and put the acknowledgement in as the Secret Santa gift. This is far more thoughtful and at the same time you're not supporting these thankless spoilt children. Maybe you even suggest that this year, all the secret Santa's go to an appropriate charity following last years comments and that people donate whatever they feel appropriate without disclosing the amount to stop their childish need to get one over other colleagues. Alternatively, look for another job working with people who have grown up.
  • lottafizz
    Just spend 15
    Like someone else said if it is a proper secret santa no one will know which gift you bought anyway. BUT if everyone just owns up to what they bought then as you suggested use MSE to find really good deals and offers so that it looks like you spent more than 15. If anyone asks, don't say. Let them jump to their own conclusions.
    • Ebenezer_Screwj
    • By Ebenezer_Screwj 31st Oct 12, 4:08 PM
    • 409 Posts
    • 226 Thanks
    Stick to your guns and say that is all you can afford, or better still have nothing at all to do with this ridiculous nonsense.
    • geordie_ben
    • By geordie_ben 31st Oct 12, 4:15 PM
    • 3,095 Posts
    • 9,140 Thanks
    Stick to 15 but be clever with discount codes, cashback and freebies etc
    Remember, remember, REMEMBER cashback and discount codes!
    Officially Debt Free as of 25/03/11
    • debbiesmum
    • By debbiesmum 31st Oct 12, 4:16 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    Should I overspend for secret Santa?
    Absolutely not - if there is a limit - then that's what you should stick to. If people choose to ignore the limit - that's their decision and NOT a reason to get snippy with someone who sticks to the limit.

    You could raise the issue ahead of any purchases and suggest that EVERYONE sticks to the limit, or, raise the limit! Personally Ithink 15 for an office pressie is more than enough!!
  • patricia elizabeth
    secret santa
    stick to the AGREED amount or like weddings,birthdays etc it'll all get out of hand and do you really wanna belong to the "look what I've spent on b all brigade aren't I flash"
  • Anneg
    Yes, I agree. You should definitely stick to the limit but maybe buy something from a charity shop that still looks new or from an outlet store or from ebay, so that what you buy looks more expensive. I agree - 15 is more than enough. I live in Surrey and my husband does Christmas Santa at work every year to the value of 10. One year he was given an awful calendar which had pictures of chickens on it. Needless to say, it never made it to the wall. What a waste of money!
    • sgt1439hux
    • By sgt1439hux 31st Oct 12, 6:16 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Secret Santa
    In view of the fact that they called you a scrooge try a bit of reverse psychology,make a donation near to xmas of the required 15.00 to a charity of your choice, eg HELP THE HERO's and give the receipt for such a donation to your
    secret santa recipient.

    Then we will see who is the scrooge!

    Xmas is a time for giving, and getting your own back.
    • globetraveller
    • By globetraveller 31st Oct 12, 6:25 PM
    • 2,079 Posts
    • 11,895 Thanks
    I just think a vast amount of money is wasted at Christmas. How many of your secret santa presents given previously did you actually use yourself( and not recycle)?
    I don't do SS but do give to a small charity for slum children. My money is better spent that way.
    • silverswan
    • By silverswan 31st Oct 12, 8:14 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    If it's a big office, I'd ask around to see if anyone else felt like I did, and try to get a breakaway group who'd prefer to 1. all give a tenner to a charity of your choice, or 2. buy lottery or scratchcards for that weekend, or 3. see who could get the best pressie for a tenner in a charity shop.
    Failing that, if you still have to go along with the 15 thingy, you could always get the 50 shades of gray trilogy as it's bound to be appearing in 2nd hand shops soon, and no-one will know what you paid for it!
  • ThriftyGranny
    No, definitely not! Don't be pressured into spending more than the limit especially as the limit is already so high. Secret Santa is supposed to be a fun extra thing not a serious gift. I have persuaded my work to bring it down to 10 and I know some people spend more. If you want to make it look more buy it on a special offer (3 for 2 or BOGOF) then it will be worth more but cost less!
  • airtrafficker
    As everyone else seems to have stated there are 2 problems with your secret Santa:

    1. It's not secret.....!

    2. See item 1.....!

    It the maximum is 15, you've obviously too much spare cash at hand and remember, it's the MAXIMUM limit not the minimum.....! Find something at Poundland and get a life....!
  • Gottodothis
    A few years ago we had a secret santa. The limit was 5 MAX

    We would all try and get brilliant gifts for less.

    I got my boss.....that year he got eggs from my hens and quails eggs.

    He thought it was wonderful and i hadn't spent anything...

    15 is far too much
  • bargain hunts
    Wow! They sound like a lovely group of people to work with
    IF you want to stay in the secret santa I personally would buy them a charity gift (I wouldn't want to buy people like that anything so this would get round that issue)
    Maybe buy something like a mosquito net/medicine/school equipment and give them the proof saying it was more in keeping with the spirit of Christmas. I can't post links but if you google 'Charity Gifts' you should get some ideas
    • sunnyflower
    • By sunnyflower 31st Oct 12, 10:48 PM
    • 277 Posts
    • 128 Thanks
    Take a leaf out of my book..just say NO!! I haven't involved myself in this for years. Everyone knows that I think it's a load of nonsense to spend time, effort and 10 deliberating on what to buy someone, only to get somthing in return that you will neither want or will ever use.
    Conversely, the amateur dramatic group I am in has a Christmas Dinner, we all buy a present for 1, wrap it up, throw it in the communal box, they are then distributed and opened with great hilarity and ceremony
  • Auntyfeefi
    Definately stick to the budget thats why its there or make a suggestion to split the budget - a present for 14 and then set the challenge of the most interesting thing you can get for a pound.
    We did this one year and to be honest the pound gifts held more intrigue and got more attention than the 'proper' present. Its amazing the random gifts you can pick up for a pound! Then the challenge is about who is most creative not who spent most.
  • ladybugruby2

    I think, if you want to participate, then go for it. I've decided never again as I always get pretty rubbish gifts to be honest...

    Anyway, what I have done for the last few years that always goes down well is to buy a beautiful glass Christmas ornament... you can buy them so cheaply off ebay. and as they are clear, go with any decoration theme. They are really cheap but look really expensive when bought on ebay as the same things cost loads in the shops.

    I also tend to add something handmade... so cookies, peanut brittle, etc. Check Nigella's website - she has some lovely, easy to make suggestions. I added in a 3D snowglobe card that I bought off ebay as well as they are much more expensive in the shops. This doubled up as both a gift and a card.

    To be honest, I think you can spend a lot less than 15 and still get a really lovely SS gift and no one will know that you haven't spent as much as that. A bit of clever wrapping also goes a long way - add in some acid free tissue paper, wrap a box nicely and it looks like luxury but costs a lot less.

    Hope this helps. x
    • Uplink
    • By Uplink 31st Oct 12, 11:23 PM
    • 240 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    15 pounds can buy A LOT of coal. Enough for EVERYBODY in the office, and you'll have plenty to spare for "friends" and family
  • anniey
    I'd decline to participate, no need to give a reason.
    (Not that I'm qualified to answer; I happily work alone so dont have to
    field off bull**** from workmates)
    I'd bow out this year, as an experiment, to see if it started a trend.
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