opinion

'Can we just be honest with ourselves? Office Kris Kringle is the absolute worst.'

I’d like to preface this by saying that I really love Christmas.

My tree is already up (it’s late November as I write this), gift shopping has commenced and I don’t think it’s ever too early to re-watch Elf.

It’s a season that’s all about joy, family, friendship and traditions that we cherish, despite the fact they make absolutely no sense. What’s not to love about that?

But there is one little Christmas tradition I’m more than ready to leave in 2019.

Kris Kringle.

For anyone unfamiliar, Kris Kringle – also known as ‘Secret Santa’ – is a gift exchange between a group of mates or, worse, colleagues. You agree on a spending limit, you pick a name out of a hat and you buy that person a present.

WATCH: Mamamia Confessions – Our worst Christmas gifts. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Oh, and you’re supposed to keep it a secret.

It’s the absolute worst. Allow me to unpack.

1. The spending limit.

Let’s start there. The spending limit for Kris Kringle tends to be around the $20 mark.

secret santa gifts
NO. Image: Giphy

I struggle to think of what to buy people I KNOW and LIKE when there is no spending limit. What the hell am I supposed to get Karen from accounts for a mere $20? Cue a stressful, last-minute dash around the shops. I hope you like candles, Karen.

2. The secrecy.

If you've ever worked in an office, you'll know they're not exactly synonymous with secrecy. We're all just one kitchen chat with the office gossip away from knowing who picked who, let's not pretend otherwise.

3. The shitty presents.

I've never received a good Kris Kringle present. Ever. Last year? Bubble bath (sweet, but I don't own a bath). The year before? A reusable tote bag (I later saw the exact same one in a shop for $1). Another time I got a tea cosy, which was possibly a reference to the fact that I'm British. But while I do enjoy a nice cup of tea, I'm also not 90 years old ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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4. The actual gift-giving process.

secret santa gifts
So. AWKWARD. Image: Giphy

Awkward AF. I'm cringing just typing this. The less said about it, the better.

5. The aftermath.

I'm going to get serious for a second. None of us need any more crap in our lives. And we certainly don't need any more crap in our oceans. And yet when we all inevitably chuck our Secret Santa gifts in the back of the cupboard or throw them away, that's exactly what we're left with. I'm not against the giving of meaningful gifts to close friends and family - but I think if we're trying to limit single-use items, Secret Santa gifts are a great place to start.

I vote we replace office Kris Kringle with a festive trip to the pub. There's no obligation to attend, you can have one mulled wine and go home, or you can have several and belt out 'All I Want For Christmas' at the nearest karaoke bar. You might cringe the next day, but it will still be less uncomfortable than unwrapping a novelty chocolate penis in front of your boss. True story.

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