Secret Santa gift exchanges can get really tricky, really fast. Maybe you’re assigned a gift to someone you know nothing about. Sure, some folks could use this as an opportunity to try and get to know someone better while researching what to buy them, but it could be difficult to accomplish in a short amount of time.
You also run the risk of spending time and money to ensure you give the perfect present, only to end up with a clearly re-gifted $15 Starbucks gift card placed in a chipped Home Goods mug.
For a TikToker who goes by Skinny Minny (@skinnyminnyent), there’s a Secret Santa scenario that’s much worse than the aforementioned situation: being selected as the clandestine gift giver for your office rival.
She did, however, share a surprise gift idea for the special person you work with but can’t stand, and several viewers approved of this thoughtful gesture.
“POV: Your Secret Santa is a coworker that’s doesn’t like you. So you give them a handmade gift,” she writes in a text overlay. With a smile on her face, she places her hand inside an empty Christmas-themed gift bag sporting a cute-looking penguin wearing a red Santa hat.
To the tune of a slowed-down version of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” Skinny pulls her hand back as the smile slowly disappears from her face. Her hand cocks back revealing that the gift she intended to give to a co-worker she can’t stand is actually a knuckle sandwich.
She adds in a caption for the clip, “Imma gift these hands.”
Several viewers said that they, too, have had their own trials and tribulations with at-work Secret Santa gift exchanges. One user said they were left giftless one year after the person who was supposed to get her a present ended up forgetting about the exchange altogether.
“Everyone did secret Santa at my work and they ‘FORGOT’ mine when we did the exchange,” they wrote. “Still haven’t gotten it.”
Another person wrote that despite their beef with a healthcare workplace rival, their co-working nemesis actually ended up getting them a pretty nice gift.
“My secret Santa was my med-tech who HATED me, but she still got me a nice knife set for my apt had me so confused lmao,” they commented.
Someone else shared how heartbroken some folks get after participating in a Secret Santa gift exchange, only to be left disappointed.
“My hb got someone a super nice gift. His person gave him used products as a ‘joke,'” one wrote. “He came home so sad.”
Although many found Skinny’s video funny, it prompted serious questions from others, like what do you do when you’re a Secret Santa for someone you aren’t the biggest fan of?
“Wait on a serious note what do you get for a coworker that you don’t really care for,” one asked.
Imma gift these hands 🎁♬ original sound – Str8Gangsta Mack
It seems there’s a dedicated community of folks who share their disdain for Secret Santa online. The Cut published a piece on the employee-themed past-time but also extended the scope of the article to co-working events in general.
The analysis painted a complicated love/hate relationship with office extracurriculars. The piece took a look at research conducted by Philip Hancock, who is “a professor of work and organization at the University of Essex.” According to Hancock, while workers may roll their eyes at these office activities, the same people are pretty miffed when one of these gatherings is canceled or taken away.
“In his research, he’s found that while most people dislike participating in compulsory office fun, they also feel wronged when office fun is revoked,” The Cut stated.
The outlet pointed out how in Hancock’s own workplace he’s noticed this very same phenomenon: “This year, for the first time, the university is not providing Christmas lunch for the academics, for a whole range of reasons that may be legitimate. But even though we all hated the Christmas events, everybody’s now saying the university is just too tight, and they don’t care. Nobody wanted them, but now they’re not there, and everybody’s quite upset about it.”
Go figure. It doesn’t seem like Skinny would be the type of employee to lament the loss of a Secret Santa gift exchange unless she was really hoping to spread some Yuletide cheer with a swift two-piece to her workplace rival’s head.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Skinny via TikTok comment for further information.