Winter seems to be the time of many gift giving holidays. Whether your tradition celebrates Christmas (the Orthodox one is just around the corner!), Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or Western or Chinese New Year, now is a good time to share a little joy, especially one packed in festive paper with a little bow on top.
The gift-giving season is not just for friends and family, though, almost every business culture around the world has its little traditions as well, and saying goodbye to the previous year and greeting the new one is a wonderful occasion to show your employees or coworkers you appreciate them, and all the hard work they do. Bear in mind that it’s not the price tag behind the gift that counts – even if you can’t afford much, a handwritten card will go a long way and let people know they are on your mind.
Making It Personal With Secret Santa
There are many ways to show your gratitude to and for your team – there is always the corporate gift option, but there is also something rather impersonal in a generic token or a promotional company item that stands opposed to the very essence of gift giving.
At .Me, the team chose a different approach – Secret Santa. As Shakespeare said, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, and this approach works for pretty much any gift-giving holiday, with or without any relation to Coca Cola’s biggest promotional campaign, the Santa Clause.
If you’re not familiar with this gift-giving game, here is how it goes: You write the names of all the participants on pieces of paper and put them in a hat, and everyone draws a name. The name you draw is the person you’re buying a present for, and you’re supposed to keep it a secret until you actually present the gift.
You can also do this digitally – there are numerous sites which help you draw names virtually, saving you all the fuss. Try Elfster, Secret Santa Random Name Generator, Sneaky Santa orSecret Santa Generator.
It’s The Thought That Counts
This is an amazing practice because it motivates everyone to learn more about the person they work with, aside from their job description. You become a Secret Santa on a mission to know more about your colleague, to remember all the conversations you’ve had and fish out the information you need to get them a little something that will put a big fat smile on their face.
You can cheat a bit and add bits of information to the names (Tena – book lover, gadget freak, Trekkie, chocoholic), but much of the fun lays in playing a secret holiday agent on a mission to learn more about your allotted gift recipient. It’s pretty much a teambuilding exercise that traditionally ends with a get-together, food, presents, new friendships.
In the end, the best gift of all is usually not the one you give, but all the “You remembered!” and “How did you know” that you get when someone opens a present you got for them.
After all gift-giving is not about what’s beneath the wrapping paper – it is about the time, effort and care you put into finding out what puts a smile on the other person’s face, and that doesn’t come from a prepacked bulk-bought corporate token.
So make it personal this Holiday season 🙂