As the festive season approaches, many workplaces will be preparing for their Christmas celebrations. Secret Santa is a fairly established part of this tradition but research shows that many employees would prefer to ring in the changes this year…
How do employees feel about Secret Santa?
We found that although a third (33%) of employees will participate in workplace Secret Santa this year, 30% would prefer not to. Of those who will take part, 36% anticipate giving away the gift they receive, adding up to a whopping £60m+ in wasted presents.
Of the 1,167 employees asked:
- 29% said that there are certain colleagues they dread having to buy for.
- The same amount said that opening their gifts in front of colleagues makes them uncomfortable (29%).
- A quarter have previously had to buy a gift for a colleague they’ve never spoken to (24%).
- Over a third (36%) of workers have received a ‘bad’ Secret Santa gift. These gifts include: a used candle, a laundry basket, washing-up gloves, a toilet roll and a piece of string.
- Groceries also featured heavily in the worst gifts received including mouldy Turkish Delight, an apple, mayonnaise, a cabbage, a jar of Bovril and an already-open bag of sweets!
Impact of the cost of living
Considering the rising cost of living, almost three-quarters (72%) of staff would like to see changes to their workplace Secret Santa this year.
A third (31%) would like to set a smaller limit for donations, with the average budget previously being £15.50 per person. Over a fifth (22%) said that they would prefer to give that money to charity. Based on last year’s Secret Santa budgets, this could mean an extra £37m in the pockets of UK charities.
A charitable Secret Santa alternative
The rising cost of living has affected almost everyone across the UK, with many charities struggling to raise the vital funds they need to continue their much-needed work. Employees who ‘give’ instead of ‘gift’ this Christmas will be making the smart decision to avoid waste and support those more in need.
That’s why the UK Money Bloggers community of over 400 personal finance bloggers and influencers has partnered with Smart Money People to support children’s charity KidsOut.
KidsOut supports disadvantaged children across the UK, whether they have escaped domestic violence or live daily in poverty. Many of these children flee their homes to escape abuse but do so leaving all of their possessions behind.
All donations received via the UK Money Bloggers #GiveOrGift Just Giving page will be used specifically to buy presents for disadvantaged children living in women’s refuges.
Secret Santa generator
Download free printable resources for your workplace at in our Secret Santa pack. These include instructions, a sign up sheet and a poster, as well as donation certificates for employees to hand out at the gift exchange if they choose to ‘give’ instead.
To donate to our Give or Gift Secret Santa campaign for KidsOut this Christmas, visit the dedicated Just Giving page.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with continuing to gift this Christmas but using a Secret Santa donation to buy a present for a disadvantaged child instead, is the much more socially and environmentally-conscious option.