What kind of 'Secret Santa' are you?

'Tis the season of giving and all that. But what does your 'Secret Santa' gift say about you?

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 16 Dec 2013

This week, in offices across Britain, Secret Santa will be bringing joy and laughter to thousands of bright-eyed and pink-cheeked work colleagues as they celebrate the festive season. With budgets ranging from £1 to £20, thoughtful staff will find the perfect little gift to kick off the Christmas period. Ah, isn’t that lovely.

Well, either that or there will be tears, tantrums and inappropriate tinsel-lined undies flying across the office.

That’s the thing about ‘anonymous’ gifts, they can be personal, pointless or even a bit poisonous. So, what does your Secret Santa gift say about you? And what subliminal messages are betrayed by your reaction to the big reveal?

We asked Kevin Chapman, head honcho at Tinder-Box Business Coaching, to unravel the mysteries of the Secret Santa present.

‘Secret Santa is all about office dynamics,’ he explains. ‘Every present is a reflection of a relationship and even though we are tightening our belts, Secret Santa seems as popular as ever because it is a chance to express something from one to another.

‘Whatever that expression is, when you know the true intention behind it, you have the choice to do something about it.’

Intrigued? Here are the four most popular Secret Santa personality types. What kind of Secret Santa are you?

Secret Santa Style

The secret assassin

Gift given: A book. E.g. a dummy’s guide to management (may blow the £5 budget)

Intent: To tell you something they want to say every week.

Message: Read your colleagues better, listen more and ask others what they think of you.

Secret Santa profile: Sits coldly, like a World class poker player, as the gift is opened.

Secret Santa style

The quiet admirer

Gift given: Luxury biscuit selection (never goes over budget but looks for a bargain)

Intent: To say they admire your style and to thank you for not exposing them

Message: I want to be your friend, let’s go out for after work so I can get to know you better.

Secret Santa profile: Sits quietly blushing in the corner. Of course everyone has their suspicions about who the gift is from.

Secret Santa Style

The festive joker

Gift given: Over-sized, flashing Reindeer earrings

Intent: To make everyone laugh…

Message: I’d work better with you if you lighten up a little at work.

Secret Santa profile: Laughs loudly as you open the gift. Shouts, 'Brilliant or what!?'

Secret Santa Style

The weary worker

Gift given: Toiletries

Intent: To be seen to be joining in

Message: No message, we don’t really have a working relationship.

Secret Santa profile: Will be sitting at the back of the room grumbling that they will be the only one coming in between Christmas and New Year.

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