By JEFFARAH GIBSON
Tribune Features Writer
ONE thing that can put you in a “grinchy” spirit is discovering the name you drew for Secret Santa gift exchange is a family member you do not get along with or a colleague you are not fond.
The rules for the Christmas exchange are set. You must gift the person whose name you drew; swapping names are not allowed. Your task? Find the perfect gift for a person you least prefer. Tribune Woman quizzed several people who shared personal experiences as well advice on what their course of action would be.
Kayla suggests if you have taken part in a Secret Santa exchange at your workplace, keep things as professional as possible.
“In my workplace and professional spaces I try to be just that, professional. As humans we feel emotion and we act on emotion, so having a person or two in your office space you do not like being around is pretty normal. But for me, these are issues that are minor and fixable, or let me just say it does not affect me as much to change my mood. I would not have a grudge to the point where I would absolutely hate picking any of the names I get in the case of a workplace.
“If I do not know the person that well, or we are not friends, only work buddies; I would leave the gift as general as I possibly can. Maybe a decorative item for their desk or something would be nice or holiday treats. I would not hurt my head about it or think about it too much. Besides, during the Christmas season, I am extra jolly so I try to spread as much cheer and joy as God has given to me,” she said.
Opal said the best way to navigate this situation is to make your gift impersonal and conjure up some cheer too.
“You might be tempted to be really sarcastic or get a gift that expresses distaste but I say refrain. It’s the holidays and you do not have to be a grinch giving a gift. This is not the time to be rude either. And please do express bitter feelings through a holiday card. Hash out your differences another time and another way.”
And if you are stumped on what to give, “gift certificates are the best option”, said Opal.
“That way the person can determine what they want, they can get a gift they enjoy, and you would be relieved of the headache,” she said.
Anya said this scenario is all too familiar for her as her family engages in Secret Santa every year.
“I had to buy a gift for my mother-in-law who I do not get along with. Since that gift exchange, I have been doing it ever since,” she said.
“If it were just me I would not waste my time or money but she is the grandmother of my children and I did it for them. Because at the end of the day she loves them and they love her and honestly it makes her happy to be able to tell people her grandchildren got her such and such and my kids love to present her with the gift. I do not want to teach them to be mean or petty. It is my way of being a mature adult because she knows its my money that bought the gift and she knows that I took the kids to buy it.”
As for Crystal’s take: “How about not participating at all? I on purpose do not participate in Secret Santas because I dread picking someone new I do not like. After all who wants to be a grinch during the holidays?”