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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Waste on joke Christmas gifts at work

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    This year I'm hoping to gracefully opt out of exchanging joke Christmas presents at my workplace. I dislike this little event --the original intent was to wrap something you didn't want and people draw numbers from a hat to choose wrapped up gifts.

    Now it's morphed into a peer pressure oriented event of gift exchange to get a gift that is 'cool" or extra nice.

    Last year, a lot of the "joke" presents ....were in my mind, expensive..wine, beer. We are told to spend no more than $20.00CAN.
    I'm sorry....this is a waste of my own money for people who I don't know well at all. Yes, I work with them, they are mostly nice but they aren't people who I love.

    I'd rather just have a box of chocolates nearby and people can come by to help themselves.

    Oh yea and our staff Christmas luncheon was at the same old restaurant for the last 3 years: a BBQ place with fattening ribs/burgers, some lovely steaks and deep fried pickles. Seriously we work downtown in a city of over 1 million people..... we're not in a rural area/industrial park.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
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    13,129
    So, don't participate. Sounds like the obnoxious Yankee swap things I've had to endure.
    As far as the restaurant, maybe just enjoy the ribs for one meal? Seriously, I don't eat that stuff hardly at all, but my DIL is the general manager of a very well known ribs place here; When we go there, I eat, and i don't worry about it. However, even this place has lots of vegetarian options. Eat a steak and be happy!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    774
    That is a bummer. In our team, we exchange a 20$ value gift. But we do have a list of 5 items we'd like to receive (not suprising I have put sports items at 1st items hihi). But people are also free to get what the want. And we also have the list over a month ahead of our xmas lunch so people have time to shop, and even get more for the bucks if they can find sales.

    As for our lunch team, we always get to choose a very nice fun place taking into consideration those with food allergies. Always fun to be treated with "class". And we also have a huge all office xmas party (evening) with is very chic, with a band, prizes (the biggie is the full paid trip to x destination). Very nice of my job. But I don't go to the xmas big party. Not my type at all. People drool over this. The girls are already shopping for the dress (some bought it already!), etc. I would prefer to use that money (costing a fortune that party) so I can get what I want with the money they'd save by my not going. haha

    Hubby said we're too spoiled as he gets none of this and I should appreciate it instead of complaining. haha His xmas lunch is paid from their activities team money earned throughout the year with sales of coffees, etc. All they get is a BBQ lunch at work!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post
    This year I'm hoping to gracefully opt out of exchanging joke Christmas presents at my workplace. I dislike this little event --the original intent was to wrap something you didn't want and people draw numbers from a hat to choose wrapped up gifts.

    Now it's morphed into a peer pressure oriented event of gift exchange to get a gift that is 'cool" or extra nice.

    Last year, a lot of the "joke" presents ....were in my mind, expensive..wine, beer. We are told to spend no more than $20.00CAN.
    I'm sorry....this is a waste of my own money for people who I don't know well at all. Yes, I work with them, they are mostly nice but they aren't people who I love.

    I'd rather just have a box of chocolates nearby and people can come by to help themselves.

    Oh yea and our staff Christmas luncheon was at the same old restaurant for the last 3 years: a BBQ place with fattening ribs/burgers, some lovely steaks and deep fried pickles. Seriously we work downtown in a city of over 1 million people..... we're not in a rural area/industrial park.
    Totally agree. Don't participate. And if you want to do something nice, bring a homemade baked good. Xmas cookies, cake, whatever, are all inexpensive if made from scratch. And they can be enjoyed by all.

    We have Thanksgiving and Xmas potlucks where I work. People take a plate of food home with then for dinner the evening of, and there are leftovers the next day at lunch. Much more sensible. I think the most I've ever spent was 15.00. The least probably 5.00. (Cheesy mashed potatoes).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,352
    I don't participate in any of the Christmas exchanges or activities at our office. I've worked there 12 years.

    Our company used to treat us to lunch at company each year, but progressively over the years with cut backs we've been reduced to pot luck, which we have to bring our self.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    6,982
    I've worked for over 8 different other employers. The best staff Christmas celebrations -were the potlucks with 2-3 employer sponsored dishes/coffee or a performance skits by some employees themselves. Yes, I've also gone to dreary formal tuxedo dinner evenings for the Christmas staff appreciation dinner. Dearie nearly refused to wear a tux (and he didn't have a suit that fitted at that time in life because of his weight loss) so I ended up chipping in over half of the tux rental. Fine by me since he was such a wonderful sport and equally clumsy dance partner for the evening.

    Aside from this small BBQ restaurant lunch, last year on a different week, there was a fantastic, huge potluck lunch last year which covered 6 divisions of staff with over 200 employees at our work site. (I work within a small group of 15 employees.) Some people really did make a great effort to bring a crockpot of stew, bake bread. I appreciate such efforts from other employees at this time of year.

    In the spirit of Christmas, regardless of whether or not one likes the work peers, I do believe in DIY type of celebrations. It's the closest in spirit to the original meaning of Christmas. And I'm not even religious.

    As for the restaurant meal, there have been better meals... It was based on some of our guys who pull in the bulk of the revenue. And I work for govn't. Yea, you heard me. Not a choice by other employees in the dept. Anyway, I'm being humbuggish already.

    I just started to think about this...when I have a budget limit of $30.00 per family member...because I have a lot of family members to buy stuff.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 11-09-2014 at 03:04 PM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,129
    When I was teaching, we either had a catered appetizer/drinks party at a local restaurant (we paid for the drinks) or someone volunteered to host the party and it was pot luck. I had the holiday party at my house once or twice and it was fun. No one minded that I didn't celebrate THE holiday. We all were looking forward to vacation!
    I didn't participate in the party at my last employer, as it was at my bosses house, way up near the office. I was not about to drive back up there at rush hour, as I always ended my day at a client who lived close to home. She gave us some kind of pitiful hand made gift and some chocolate. The chocolate was nice. No stupid exchanges, though. I do remember one year, when I was new at the second school district I worked at in MA. We had a department Secret Santa and the last gift we opened up, was in front of the group. Someone gave me a box of "Condom-mints," from the condom store on Newbury St in Boston. I was mortified! I later found out it was the mild mannered intern (male)... since I was around 40, I don't think he had a crush on me, as he was young.
    I used to exchange gifts with my teammates. It will be interesting to see what they do at my new clinic. The director is Jewish, and more religious than me. At least 50%, maybe 75% of the clinicians are Jewish, too. I would be happy to not have any reminders of being the "other," but I have seen some Xmas decorations in a storage area. My take is that the admin people would go through the roof if she said no celebration.
    DH's company no longer has the fancy party in town, with a band, etc. Last time, it was at the JFK Museum, overlooking the waterfront. That was years ago. They now have something just for employees, in January. I didn't mind buying a dress for it, and we had to go, because of DH's position. It was fine.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,465
    Quote Originally Posted by shootingstar View Post

    In the spirit of Christmas, regardless of whether or not one likes the work peers, I do believe in DIY type of celebrations. It's the closest in spirit to the original meaning of Christmas. And I'm not even religious.
    Same with me on all points. I'm not religious, either, but consider Xmas an important family/social holiday. (No one gets the concept of Human Light Day! At least not where I live).
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    548
    I work from home and all my team members are located in other states. While I'm not that big on work-related social obligations, I do miss an annual holiday get-together.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    I decline any activities outside of regular work hours, and never join in on the gift stuff. My honey and I don't even exchange gifts so I'm sure not going to buy for co-workers.

    Electra Townie 7D

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    So skip the luncheon (or bring your own food you prefer to eat) and opt out of the gift exchange. I don't like those sorts of things, but many people do - and employers seem to do them to raise morale. I don't see why it's an issue if you aren't required to participate!
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    So skip the luncheon (or bring your own food you prefer to eat) and opt out of the gift exchange. I don't like those sorts of things, but many people do - and employers seem to do them to raise morale. I don't see why it's an issue if you aren't required to participate!
    I think I will go to whatever Christmas luncheon is organized: it is an expression of thx by employer since the organization pays for it. As for opting out of the expensive "joke" gift exchange, I probably will opt out but it will be misinterpreted by some folks. We're a small workgroup and work closely. As I said earlier, I like most of the people who I work with ..they are customer-focused and reliable folks but I don't love them.

    I understand this morale boosting stuff...since I was a manager for other former jobs and know from a manager's perspective what it means to have some social activities that express appreciation for effort. I know people say they want bonuses....well, it doesn't work in our place because we're govn't and under the taxpayers' radar.

    Also though people may grumble about the office Christmas stuff, I actually think a lot of people want some token socially acceptable gesture of appreciation from employer in December. I've seen the remarks across the Internet in other forums over the years.

    Come to think of it, I can barely remember all the people I've worked with daily for my other former jobs. I can't even remember some names and faces...fades over time.
    Last edited by shootingstar; 11-11-2014 at 08:05 AM.
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know whatís in a personís heart.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
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    When I mentor someone and am trying to teach them work boundaries I always tell them "every job you ever have will some day be a dim memory, be engaged when you are at work but always remember 'work is not life, work pays for life'"

    Electra Townie 7D

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,221
    Buy the suggested value of postage stamps, preferably commemoratives, for the gift exchange and call it a day. Practical, useful, small, easy to wrap. Just tuck them into a Christmas card.
    Martha
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
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    Quote Originally Posted by withm View Post
    Buy the suggested value of postage stamps, preferably commemoratives, for the gift exchange and call it a day. Practical, useful, small, easy to wrap. Just tuck them into a Christmas card.
    People actually still use stamps? ;-)
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

 

 

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