Secret Santa

It’s that time of the year again. You’ve just received an e-mail about it and you have to decide if you are going to participate or not. What will you choose?

So, I understand that this action is meant for socialization and for getting together the team. However, it requires buying a present, where in most cases is completely useless and you may even waste your time in order to find it.

There are also cases when lists are being made and everyone can express their requests. This to me has two sides: one – you are no longer buying something useless and two – what’s the purpose of pointing out a present if you can already buy it by yourself? More so, if you can buy it by yourself why haven’t you already? Maybe you didn’t want it enough? Another thing that bothers me is this heavy consumerism that revolves around Christmas, but that’s just another story.

We are not kids anymore. We are grown-ups and we earn our money fair and square, at least some of us. Therefore we would definitely be able to afford whatever it is that we wrote on that wishlist. So why do we participate? We enjoy the spirit, the company, the presents? Why? Truth is you do get to spend some time with other colleagues, but in the majority of cases that I have heard and seen, once the event is over, things go back to the way they were.

My opinion is that activities should be done in order to connect the group and to create a nice work environment. Therefore, I am really fully supportive of that, but I consider that companies should invest more in qualitative and meaningful experiences.

For example, instead of wasting money on each other, we could raise it and make a donation to an orphanage or a charity. What greater activity than uniting people to do something good for the others in need?

Having activities for the sake of having them will just not do it for me. There are lots of people whom would not want to part take in such event yet they feel obliged due to the fact that in the case of refusing to participate they would be seen as outsiders.

This doesn’t seem fair to me. Why should one feel that it’s his/her duty to be a part in this event? On the surface no one is implying directly anything and it seems like a voluntary thing, but is it truly voluntary?

No, not participating will put a label on yourself, meaning you are not a sociable person or that you don’t like your team. Also it could affect your future in that company since you are not behaving like the majority.

I raised my voice this year and it was not the most pleasant thing, I must add. I chose to stand by my word and to believe in my principles, therefore accepting any labels that I might receive back. When you faced this situation what did you say and why?

“The best gifts come from the heart, not the store.” ― Sarah Dessen, Lock and Key

Love, D.

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