More Than a Quarter of Secret Santa Participants Struggle to Find the Right Gift

Secret Santa Statistics

More than a quarter of Secret Santa gift senders struggle to find the perfect gift. This, among other Secret Santa statistics, was the finding of a survey compiled by GB Posters. It confirms that if you’re finding purchasing a suitable gift for a Secret Santa recipient difficult, you’re not alone.

Secret Santa Statistics

The research also found 15% of participants said they felt obliged to take part in the Secret Santa activities. However, almost half of respondents who had taken part in Secret Santa before said they enjoy buying presents for people.

The act of picking names randomly is a popular way to celebrate Christmas at businesses across the US. Participants then couple up to send and receive a gift from a colleague. Then they present the gifts at a gathering like the Christmas office party.

The research also found that this traditional festive gift-sharing practice can be an effective way for co-workers to build relationships. They connect with one another and bond with people they might not otherwise have spoken to.

Secret Santa gift exchanges range from candles and hand cream to ornaments and crossword books. Like white elephant gift exchanges, which are popular among co-workers at workplace holiday parties, Secret Santa gifts should be inexpensive and, ideally, fun and personalized.

What Makes a Good Gift

In the GB Posters’ blog about the survey, Jade Morris, e-commerce executive at GB Posters, describes what makes a good Secret Santa gift:

“It might seem like the easiest route to pick up a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine on your next supermarket trip. But when the Christmas party arrives, you don’t want your giftee to have the worst present in the room.

“Some groups decide to do a themed secret Santa to make it a bit more interesting. Films and music are great themes that can apply to most personalities.

“For the colleague always hogging the office music to play the same album on repeat, or the friend who loves a gallery wall, buy them a framed poster of the album cover or their favorite band to display in their home,” added Morris.

The survey also found that 8% of participants said they enjoy partaking in this gift-sharing tradition and find it an effective way to build on relationships and make friends.

GB Posters advise that to make the most out of Secret Santa, co-workers should be mindful of the gifts they send to their colleagues. Rather than sending a present that is likely to end up in a drawer gathering dust for eternity, team members should take the time to find out what their chosen recipient is interested in, such as their hobbies or favorite drink, so they can send a gift that will be appreciated and help develop a more meaningful bond with recipients.


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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a professional freelance writer and journalist based in the United Kingdom. Since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".

3 Reactions
  1. Gift giving is hard when you know the person really well. It only gets harder when the person isn’t as close and you don’t have the advantage of being able to ask them what they want.

  2. I guess it is always a quest for that perfect gift and it can take some time.

  3. It may be because it is hard to give gifts to someone you hardly know.