Secret Santa basket(l), Woman looking disappointed(c), Secret santa gift(r)

Yulia Furman/Shutterstock @pearlminks/Tiktok @pearlminks/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘Straight to HR’: Worker buys wine, self-care products for Secret Santa. They’re shocked by what they get in return

'I’d take my gift back.'


Melody Heald


Posted on Dec 20, 2023   Updated on Dec 20, 2023, 12:07 pm CST

Workplace Secret Santa exchanges are not spreading cheer this year.

One worker (@star_hollywood on TikTok) is swearing them off for good after going all out for their recipient, and, in turn, receiving a box on miniature chocolate candy bars.

TikTok user Pearl Minks @pearlminks is joining @star_hollywood in vowing to never participate in another Secret Santa exchange after receiving an unusual gift of her own.

Minks first showed what she got for her recipient. The gift was filled with items from Bath & Body, including two bottles of Champagne Toast Body Cream, a Fine Fragrance Mist, and a candle. She also included in the present a bottle of moscato. Her gift currently retails for well over $56.

Minks, who is Black, then showed what she was gifted: The Story of Ruby Ridges by Robert Coles, which can be found on Amazon for $8, and a six-piece pack of Pop Glitter Pens, which are sold at JOANN for $2.99.

Minks used @star_hollywood’s sound for her video. “I will not be participating at Secret Santa anymore at any job, any workplace, ever again,” he says.

@pearlminks #fyp #foryoupage #foryourpage #explorepage #secretsanta #secretsanta #christmas2023 #workchristmasparty #fypage #glitter #starhollywood #wtf #strongno #grinchmas2023 ♬ original sound – Star ⭐️ Hollywood

The video amassed 2.9 million views.

The Story of Ruby Ridges is about a young Black girl integrating into an all-white school during segregation and facing discrimination among her peers. Commenters expressed shock that the gifter thought it would be appropriate to include it in Minks’ gift.

“The Ruby Bridges book woulda had me straight to HR,” @omganother.username said in the top comment, which garnered over 100,000 likes.

“That ruby bridges book is insane,” @bigdawguni stated.

“I need an explanation about the book. Bc what!?” another, @poisebeautyspa, questioned.

Others urged her to take her gift back. “The wine alone is $15, I’d take my gift back,” one said.

“That happened to me before and I took my gift back and didn’t feel bad,” another recalled.

Minks later shared a storytime video. In it, she said that she spent $20 putting together her present. She said the gift exchange was anonymous and that the workers didn’t say who the gifts were from, only writing who they for.

“When I opened my gift, and I seen this book, I immediately felt some type of way because why the f*ck … would you buy this for somebody?” she questioned.

She said her co-workers likely saw the “frustration” in her face and kept asking her if she was OK. She said she thought the gift was a prank at first. “I thought the real gift was going to come in after,” she added.

She said when she got home, she found a receipt in the bag with the gifter’s name on it. “So I for sure knew who gifted me this at that point,” she said.

The content creator said her Secret Santa was a white person whom she had problems with in the past. “They literally stood behind me and literally sneezed over my shoulder,” she recalled of a previous incident.

She said she called the person out for sneezing on her at the time. “I guess they felt embarrassed. And ever since then, [there’s] been a little tension,” she said.

Minks said that upon figuring out who bought her the gift, she “definitely felt some type of way.”

She said TikTokers validated her feelings about the gift and that the next time she goes into the office, she plans on going to HR about it.

@pearlminks #fyp #foryoupage #foryourpage #explorepage #secretsanta #secretsanta #christmas2023 #workchristmasparty #fypage #candy #starhollywood #glitter #wtf #strongno #grinchmas2023 #rubybridges #storytime ♬ original sound – PearlMinks

The Daily Dot reached out to Pearl Minks via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Dec 20, 2023, 9:00 pm CST