As Christmas draws near so does interesting office activities. One of them being Secret Santa. Now, what do you do if you get to be the Secret Santa Santa of your sworn enemy? Jane Harper is here to advise you on how to deal with Secret Santa at work.

Hello Jane. Firstly I’d like to extend warm season greetings. Thank you for being my savior on many occasions. I loved your answer to the problem of ‘burping at work.’ It helped me as well. Now I am not someone who is very social. I don’t have friends at my workplace, just colleagues. And I happen to be cordial to them. I don’t have any issues with them, but there is this one colleague that I cannot seem to like. She has been mean to me and often disrespects me. Her tone is rude and I feel the need to break her head every time I see her.

Now since Christmas is approaching, we all have to take part in Secret Santa. As my luck would have it, I am stuck being the Secret Santa to my arch enemy. Everyone in my office is getting pretty things for their special colleague. I have no clue how I should be dealing with this. What do I do? People talk behind my back if I don’t give anything at all. I don’t wish to spend my hard-earned money on some fool who does not seem to respect me at all.


If you are having troubles with a colleague then approach them and talk it out.


Hello Mr/Ms. Sad Secret Santa. Warm greetings to you too. I can imagine what it must be like to have your Christmas activity ruined. Firstly, I urge you not to think of severing head as a Christmas gift (wink wink.) Such situations can be tricky where you are forced to do things for someone who does not deserve it. I suggest you gift small things like chocolates or maybe some flowers. Not gifting anything could make the situation awkward and things could only go down south after that. Write small notes wishing her to have a good day. Do not give her any tasks like singing in the canteen, etc. Once she comes to know that it was you, she could make your work-life worse.

Secondly, if you are having troubles with her then why don’t you approach her and ask her for the reason. As you must have read my previous answers, I always state that honesty is the best policy. If not, you can always ask your HR to come up with a solution for the way you are being treated. I suggest you not take this Secret Santa issue to the HR as they might feel that you could be making a mountain out of a mole-hill. Deal with it practically. Gift her small things that don’t cost much and you should be good to go. Also, don’t ‘not give’ anything because if this goes to the HR as well, they may make you the villain.

Know what? You could actually use this situation to your advantage. Gift her nice things and try being friends with her. Tell her you would like to change how things are going between you two.  I hope your ‘Secret Santa at work’ activity turns out to be great. Remember, it’s the time to forgive and forget. So enjoy this Christmas by hugging your enemies and making up with them.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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