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How to WIN at Your Office's Secret Santa Party

Secret Santa is an affordable way to show your office mates you care. The concept is simple: Draw the name of a coworker and leave them gifts (in secret!) throughout the holiday season (or perhaps just give one bigger gift), after which the giver's identity is revealed. There is really no 'winning' in the game of Secret Santa, but you can nail that gift for the co-worker in your office.

Get to Know Your Giftee

Sometimes you draw your office bestie, and other times you'll draw that one person in HR whom you've never met. If you don't know your giftee, ask around the office. Pay attention to what that person wears and perhaps select a gift that best fits their style, such as men's flannel shirts that offer the ultimate in comfort. Try to look for clues about their hobbies and interests by looking at their office space. Catch them by the coffee pot and strike up a conversation. Be curious, but not obvious.

Gifting for a Close Coworker

Selecting your close office pal is almost as challenging as getting someone you don't know. You want to keep the gifts fun and anonymous, but you also want to give something that they will love. Balance your gifts by giving some fun (keep it office appropriate!) gifts, along with something that they will simply love, like personalized beach towels. Keep them guessing by being a little cheeky and very thoughtful.

Bring on the Comfort

If you're at a total loss of what to get your office Secret Santa this year, you can never go wrong with a gift that says “comfort.” Everyone likes to snuggle up and be cozy, so choose a gift with relaxation in mind. Flannel robes and fleece blankets that make you want to stay in bed all day are great Secret Santa gifts. Create a mini gift basket with a cute coffee mug, some artisan coffee or tea, and a gift card to a bookstore. Alternatively, you can go for a food-themed basket with tasty treats, teas, coffee, and a pair of cozy slippers. The point is to find a gift that almost anyone would love to curl up with.

It's the Small Things

For Secret Santa parties lasting over several days or a week, start with small gifts, like little candies or fun holiday-themed trinkets, then lead up to the bigger gift. If you're really sneaky, you can theme the gifts as you go along to create a complete gift basket that's perfect for your coworker. If you selected a friend, feel free to make gifts personal, such as monogrammed hand towels with a funny inside joke. For coworkers you may not know quite as well, keep gifts personal yet professional or mix in some light office humor like a coffee mug with a funny phrase or a silly office decoration like a bobblehead figurine.

Drop Hints

Wrap and decorate your gifts for festive fun by using holiday-themed paper or add a personal touch with a note. You can drop hints by suggesting an embarrassing moment you've had in the office or use riddles to have them guess. If you're particularly sneaky, you can drop the note and make your coworker hunt for their gift. This is a fun way to step away from your desk and into the holiday season. Riddles can be a great way to connect with fellow coworkers and get to know someone new. With a more interactive Secret Santa, you'll create fun office memories.

Dress for the Festivities

Any excuse to dress up and show some holiday spirit brings a festive feel to an otherwise ordinary office day. Wear your favorite Christmas sweater to the final gift-giving event. Accessorize with cheesy light-up earrings, necklaces, and the works. Be silly and show some personality!

When it comes time to give your final gift, see if you can get your coworkers to guess who you have. Remember, if you've confided in your office bestie, no cheating! Make people feel comfortable by keeping a casual tone to the event without being overbearing. You want people to have fun, but not feel forced into something they may be uncomfortable with. So show your flair, be friendly, and see if those clues were good enough to get your giftee to guess correctly.

Bring your best holiday spirit to your office's Secret Santa party this season by delivering thoughtful gifts with an added twist. Keep it fresh with fun riddles, give cozy gifts that any person would love, and bring on the holiday cheese with fun-filled outfits for the big event.

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