Work Christmas Party.... (I Know It's July)

Updated on July 08, 2011
D.D. asks from Goodyear, AZ
16 answers

I would like to suggest a better way of dealing with Christmas gifts. We work with about 30 people. Some don't like White Elephant gifts and some don't like drawing names. Anyone do something different at your office.

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answers from Kansas City on

Not at all trying to be rude, but just don't have the gift exchange. When I was working, I hated for people to gripe about the gift exchanges and they were never satisfied no matter what ideas we came up with. I don't see the point in giving a gift to some random coworker anyway. It's not as if it's really heartfelt. Then they have those ridiculous limits such as, "spend no more than $5". I think it's better to just not do it. Have a potluck or something instead.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

I would say skip the gifts all together.

At my moms office they adopt a struggling family or charity and everyone donates what they can to that rather than giving gifts to each other. Another idea is warm coats, boots, hats and gloves for the family homeless shelter.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

What?! The White Elephant (stealing gift) Exchange is the best!! It's also hilarious when that one god-awful gift keeps coming back every year! One year I picked a toilet plunger. Turns out it was from the office manager which was quite appropriate because I had to deal w/ sooo much sh*t w/ that lady :)

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Skip it, and give something to a charity instead.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

I don't know if it would work in your office but for a couple of years we had everyone put the amount we'd spend on the gift exchange ($25.00) and as a group we adopted a family for Christmas. We found out the ages of the kids, sizes of clothes and about 4 of us went shopping at WalMart & Meijer and got all kinds of, puzzles, books, games, clothes, etc. A few others did the delivery. I remember we gave the parents gift cards for groceries with a card we all signed our first names only...and told them to use it for Christmas dinner. The part I don't remember though is how we found this family...maybe through one of our co-workers church, I'm not real sure. I thought it was great..but you're right, some loved the idea & some didn't. I guess that's why we only did it for two years, but I personally loved it.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Its great you're planning ahead. How about skip the gift exchange and do a catered luncheon instead. Each person can contribute all or a portion of what would've gone for a gift towards ordering food in. Co-workers can mingle as much or as little as they like and focus on the food. Didn't suggest potluck because during holiday season making another dish for another event gets to be a bit much sometimes.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Provo on

Well, make the ones who don't like drawing names come up with a better solution. How else would you do it? You don't want one person favored and someone left out. Draw names and make them suffer. Because you know, your life is ruined if you have to draw names. (*note sarcasm here.)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

No one will agree to everything and there will never be a 100% agreement to any solution.
Get a consensus of ideas, then vote on it.
Then, based on that, choose what is the majority win, per ideas.
And then that's it.
Problem solved.

And yes, for THIRTY people, why not just NOT have, an exchange of gifts?
Just have a potluck meal.

Or, have an office Christmas Tree... and then everyone bring 1 ornament for it and you all decorate it.

And on any idea chosen, delineate an amount to be spent. ie: $10

good luck,

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

My husband's side of the family does not like to exchange gifts. So every year for Christmas we all put $ into a pot and donate it. We have adopted a family, we have donated to Salvation Army, we have taken the $ and purchased a lot of toys and taken them to Toys for Tots (that was really fun w/ my boys b/c we got to do the shopping and delivery and what an amazing experience!!).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Do a gift EXCHANGE of sorts. For example, set a price limit, and have everyone bring in an ornament and do a fun game to exchange them (there are lots of games you could use for the exchange.) You could do an exchange of anything, really... kitchen towels, books, recipes, cookies, plants, handmade items, there are so many things you could do for an exchange... But that way, it limits what the people have to spend, and think about in terms of what to buy. If you limit it to an ornament exchange, it simplifies it for everyone... you only have to get an ornament.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

At my office some of the smaller units exchange gifts among themselves and another unit will put in x amount of money each and then they adopt as many Secret Santa children as possible. The office in whole will have one Christmas luncheon where the office supplies the main dish and drinks (non-alcholic) and everyone else brings a pot luck dish. The office supplies a few door prizes (novelty items ~ usually with our company logo on them ~ Yay!), but we have a blast. Don't worry about it only being July. I am already working on setting the date for our party. I think I am going with December 21st : )

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Adopt a family and have everyone contribute to providing Christmas for a needy family. Presents for the children, full Christmas dinner, a decorated tree. With 30 employees you could do more than one family.

Contact you local Red Cross, United Way, Boys & Girls Clubs, Salvation Army, shelters, etc. - someone will have a family in need come the holiday season.

When I worked at Boys & Girls Clubs in my area the Admin staff did this every year for an especially needy family whose children attended our clubs. We had the Unit Directors select the family and give us particulars about children's ages, clothing sizes and likes and dislikes. We all contributed and our CFO went shopping. The Unit Director delivered everything to the family on Christmas Eve. We never let the family know that it was Admin staff who made the donation - we were the "Secret Santa". It was sooo much fun to see what we bought and brought us closer as co-workers.

Merry Christmas !!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Allentown on

Hi, T:
Don't have gifts. Everyone has so much stuff now.
Just have fun with a planned old fashion social gathering.
Just a thought.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Daytona Beach on

why not instead of gifts everyone make a recipe and bring it in with a copy of the recipe. that way everyone gets a recipe that they might like. other than that, i would suggest either what you are doing or no gifts at all. grown women shouldn't be complaining about having to exchange gifts. if they complain, they can opt out of it, and the ones who don't mind can continue to do it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

At my husband's first "real" job they adopted a family. Which was REALLY hard for us, because we made less than they did (the needy family, that is, since we got a 'card' all about them)! $20 may not be a lot to some people but that was our grocery budget for the week! Including diapers! The receptionist made less than my husband and was a single mom. We had to scrimp and save, and I know she did, and the added expense... oy. I remember crying when I had to choose not to buy the turkey I was planning on and had been saving to in order to meet the company "minimum" donation OR have my husband be "pitied" at work (not a good career move). Even $5 would have been hard for us. But excluding my husband and the secretary everyone else at the 50 person office made 80-150k. Even so, several were deep in debt for various reasons (this was at the end of the last recession, with some people having been out of work for over a year), and were scrimping to make their own kids have a christmas when their mortgages and bills were swamping them.

Especially these days, where people are often in the same boat, aka... dead broke, or struggling to catch up... having a mandatory "spend money" on anything at work can create problems for those who are barely keeping their heads above water.

The following few years were the most AMAZING company xmas's I've ever experienced. The COMPANY (his old company was bought out by a Mormon group) gave gifts to everyone. They had this giant pile of wrapped gifts that people could bid on with monopoly money that the company provided. After they were opened, you could trade, sell, or just grin and say "Mine! I'm sooooo not trading this one!" between others who had gifts. No rules. Sort it out amongst yourselves. Number wise, there were 3 per employee. About 2/3s were home-type gifts (ikea down comforters, mixers, cutting boards, dirt devil, tools, home spa, type... the kind you can get from Ikea or Costco/Sams Club) and 1/3 were total kid gifts (6 barbies all together, lego sets, etc.). The financial person and I spoke later. For the 150 gifts, she had a budget of 5k to spend. They could have just written all of the employees a $100 check, but this turned it into a very fun/festive affair. The COMPANY also adopted a foster family, and for 1k tricked out their christmas. They took the tax deduction as a charitable donation. Best company xmas's ever.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Adopt a family! This is so really really nice to do. My family did this O. year and we adopted a single mom with teenage daughters. It was a great thing to be a part of!
Or you could have an optional participation in Angel Tree (or Barnes & Noble has a book wish tree for kids)....
I agree-the office gift thing is crazy--so many people to buy for!
What our office has done in the past is you buy a $20 non sex-specific gift, wrap it, place on the gift table then draw numbers & you can pick which O. you'd like.

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