Almost anyone can find use for toilet paper, underwear, or batteries, and these items are often included among the most practical holiday gifts or stocking stuffers (usually from mom). But when it comes to a holiday gift exchange in the workplace, they’re not exactly the most welcome or appropriate choices.
The holidays are one of the few times each year when we get to relax and have some fun with our co-workers, and a holiday gift exchange (aka “Secret Santa”) is a traditional way to celebrate in the workplace. This can be a lot of fun, fostering friendships with coworkers and spreading joy around the workplace. Yet the wrong gift could result in something other than holiday cheer – namely a disastrous litigation or job loss.
Whether it’s a silly t-shirt or a tongue-in-cheek home appliance, the wrong present can get you sent straight to human resources and possibly fired. In fact, recent polls have shown that office gift exchanges aren’t held in the highest regard by today’s working professionals. (Who knew that that hilarious toilet seat cover “gag gift” to Linda from Accounts Payable could be so misinterpreted?)
So, if you’re stressing over what to get Ron from sales this December, don’t fret. FitSmallBusiness has got you covered. The online publication’s editorial staff assessed a litany of anecdotes and cautionary tales to determine the worst Secret Santa gifts this holiday season.
Here, to help you figure out what to avoid as you are doing your holiday shopping, are this year’s 12 Worst Secret Santa Gifts:
- A “How To Bonk At Work” book (Yes, this is an actual publication.)
- Nothing (they forgot)
- A “Bad Luck Brian” t-shirt
- A heated bidet with a remote
- Some batteries
- A used “L” candle
- Maternity underwear
- “Framed bacon” for a vegetarian
- “Hilarious” toilet paper
- Nuts for a co-worker with a nut allergy
- A “crime kit”
- A live guinea pig
“We’ve all seen the highs and lows of the office Secret Santa tradition. Some gifts are perfect for the occasion and others are absolute duds,” said Michael De Medeiros, Special Projects Editor, FitSmallBusiness. “Either way, buying a gift for a familiar office friend or a coworker you barely know can be tricky. It was our goal to shine a light on the cautionary tales that, while humorous, can steer people away from making the same mistakes and keep their professional reputations intact.”
Need some advice on what to give? FitSmallBusiness offers these three rules for Santa-level gift giving at the office:
- Avoid controversy.
- Usefulness is a virtue.
- Thoughtfulness rules.
You can learn more by reading the full The 12 Worst Secret Santa Gifts for the Office report here.
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