Following Secret Santa Rules

When it's Secret Santa time, everyone in a workplace draws a name of someone to receive their gift, and the gift giver must keep their identity a secret while finding out just the right gift to present. Since "secret" is built right into the Secret Santa game, do everything you can to figure out the perfect gift while following Secret Santa rules. Ultimately, keep in mind that the idea is to encourage anonymous giving with no credit or praise attached. Keeping Secret Santa a secret allows this Christmas spirit to flourish at work.

Observe the Recipient. If it's a coworker you don't know very well, spend some time studying them. Often you can get clues to their hobbies and family status by checking out pictures on their desk. Look for novels, magazines or even children's artwork to give you a better idea of what they're into. Knowing a little about them makes it easier to get an appropriate gift that is not too impersonal but not too obscure.

Ask Discreetly. If you don't know the person but have an acquaintance with someone in their department, ask a few discreet questions. Mention something that you noticed about the recipient, and see what your friend has to say. Avoid gossiping, of course, but a few well-placed questions could clarify some of the person's hobbies.

Sneak In the Present. The day of the party, bring the present, fully wrapped, in a brown paper bag or plastic bag. Be sure that it is clearly labeled with the recipient's name, but nothing else. Make your way to the table or tree and use your body to block everyone's view. Head to where there are already several presents and carefully bring yours out. Arrange the presents so that yours isn't on top. That way, nobody can be sure which one you've just put on the table or under the tree.

Use Your Poker Face. Some companies include a guessing portion of the Secret Santa game, where a gift recipient must try to guess the identity of the giver. If you have a good poker face, just sit and smile the same way for every present. When it comes time for yours to be opened, you'll look just the same. If you have a terrible poker face, have a plate of food nearby and dive in whenever anyone looks your way.

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