Great Gift Gambits: a Flimsy Approach to Secret Santa Success

Hello and happy to Day 3 of Blogmas, my friends! It is very late on this Sunday and I just spent almost an hour on the phone with my mom, trying to decipher a financial spreadsheet. (In case you didn’t guess, that is so not my sort of thing.) And suddenly it’s 9pm and I need to write a post, so I’m including you in my most recent stress spiral: what Secret Santa gift should I buy for my male coworker that I’ve literally spoken to thrice?

Right!? Last year we did a White Elephant style exchange and all I had to worry about was bringing something cute that most people like! (Spoiler: I brought a selection of local shower steamers and soaps. Big winner.) But this year we decided to do Secret Santa gifts! And the pressure is on! I have to pick something personalized!?

Drawing of a Secret Santa making a "shush" sign while holding a present

Ugh. So here are the things that I’m up to while I’m not at all stressed out about doing a cool and festive thing that I signed up for in my workplace.

First – I’m Not a Secret Santa, I’m a Sherlock Holmes

I mean, why wouldn’t I grab a magnifying glass and a deerstalker hat, stalking around my office on a mission to decode my coworker’s mysteries. Desperation will obviously ensue. Mostly because this elusive male coworker has a private office so I can’t stalk his desk for clues.

I do know that he usually has candy on his desk and he thinks that it’s not healthy to reheat food in plastic tupperware. So that’s something.

Maybe I Can Just Go Generic

When in doubt, stick to the classics – it’s the golden rule of Secret Santa survival. Quirky desk accessories, cozy socks, or a coffee mug. Now… I don’t know if this person drinks coffee nor have I ever seen his socks, because, unlike me, he doesn’t wander the office without shoes on.

One of us is classy and one of us is writing a blog post about our stress. 

Erin, You Love Astrology Though, Right!?

Fair. I do have a balance tattoo on my left ribs. And I also think that the fact that I’m a Libra makes me good at Survivor. (Don’t come at me with your facts! I exist on vibes, not reality!) Which means I could definitely use astrology to figure out the best gift for my coworker based on his sign.

Do I know his sign?


Does this guide seem mostly directed towards women?


The Stealthy Survey

Okay, yes. I get it. Over the next week (because Secret Santa is on Dec 13), it is time to channel my inner spy. I need to enlist the help of office allies, subtly interrogate coworkers, or, if all else fails, maybe just panic and buy this guy some glassware.

Final Thoughts

Honestly, it’s not that serious. I’m prone to overthinking at all times, but this gift will truly be a blip in the grand scheme of things and it’s the thought that counts. 

But I may try to bust into this person’s office on a very important work-related mission on Monday… and also kind of survey his workspace at the same time.

(Note: It’s late and I asked ChatGPT to write a conclusion to this post, thinking I could use it for inspiration. What it wrote is so not my vibe but also so very endearing that I have to let it stand. How does one cite AI appropriately?)

As you embark on your Secret Santa mission, dear reader, remember that even if your gift is as mismatched as office furniture, it’s the thought (and the chuckles) that count. Share your own tales of Secret Santa triumphs or misadventures in the comments below, and let the office gift-giving games begin! May the odds be ever in your favor, or at least flimsily close.

(Ha! Right?! I am obsessed. But also, please do let me know your Secret Santa thoughts, because I need HELP.)

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