The No-Nonsense Guide To a Workplace Kris Kringle With No Awkward Moments
Is there anything more challenging and stress inducing than trying to find an inexpensive gift for a coworker you didn’t know even the name of until last week?
Just one – and that’s being asked to coordinate the Kris Kringle in the first place! So what is the best tactic to nominate or choose an employee to run the Christmas tradition? The trick is to lay down a few ground rules to ensure that everyone involved has a good time, and there are no embarrassing or awkward gift swap moments.
Here are five steps to make sure your workplace Kris Kringle goes smoothly:
- Whip up support
First, you need to get everyone on board. Start by whipping up support with employees that really love the end of year festivities. Once you’ve got a support crew to rival Santa’s elves, even the office scrooge will find it hard to not participate. (Just don’t expect them to ever look like they’re enjoying themselves!)
- Agree on an amount
Suggest an agreed amount as a rule on what everyone will spend on a gift. Bearing in mind that an organisation has varying salaried roles, its important to ensure the amount is affordable for all of your employees. Capping the spend amount also keeps the game fair, and prevents anyone from feeling uncomfortable about what they’ve given or receive.
- Keep it close
Make sure that the people who participate know each other, at least to some degree. One way is to create departmental groups across the business so employees are not left to check the intranet to find out who their gift giving too! If they know each other’s hobbies, like and dislikes, this is likely to keep the exchange thoughtful and personalised.
- Make it mindful
Let’s face it – you can’t stop your colleagues from buying joke gifts. But Kris Kringle is also an opportunity to give a thoughtful and practical gift, rather than something that is likely to end up in the rubbish by the end of the day. It’s even a great time to remind employees of their sustainability values and how they can incorporate them into their gift ideas. If all else fails, opt for the safe gift such as a lovely box of chocolates, desk gadget or cool stationery.
Another important rule is to remind your colleagues of is to not buy anything for a colleague that you’d be embarrassed to show your mum. Gifts that might play on someone’s insecurities, or upset their cultural or religious beliefs should be avoided, as should all gifts that may have a sexual connotation.
- Mix Kris Kringle up
Most people are overly familiar with the traditional versions of Kris Kringle and Secret Santa. So why not do something different this year and play ‘Stealing’ Kris Kringle. This works best in teams or smaller workplaces. Rather than being asked to buy for a specific person, everyone is asked to buy a generic gift. When the gift exchange comes around, give everyone a number. Ask the person with the first number to choose a wrapped present from the selection of gifts.
After the first person has opened the gift, the person with the next number can either open a gift or steal the already-opened gift. But they can’t open a gift and then decide to swap – it’s a gamble! This continues until the last gift is opened and everyone has had the opportunity to open or steal a gift.
Looking for gift ideas for your Kris Kringle?
Did you know that Staples also offers a retail website where you can make personal purchases for your home and home office? At staples.com.au, you and all of your employees can easily shop a selection of great Kris Kringle gift ideas for men and women of all ages. Plus, with direct delivery (free over $55), ordering can be simple job from your desk.
As with all workplace events, its important to maintain a safe environment and ensure employees are aware of Workplace, Health and Safety (WHS) proceedures in place. View our Fight dirty with germs infographic to learn how your workplace can fight dirty against workplace germs and protect employees at a highly interactive time of year.