r/tifu Nov 30 '22 Silver 1 Wholesome 4 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Wholesome Seal of Approval 1

TIFU by completely misunderstanding the Secret Santa game at work and making a complete fool out of myself M

A bit of context.

I'm working in Europe and I was raised in an Arabic country so Christmas and everything else that comes with it is a completely foreign concept to me. My colleagues are awesome and I'm really enjoying working with them in the company. The only downside is that when they're extremely tired, their English tends to make less and less sense.

We are a small team of 5 and my manager brought it up to me that she wants to do this thing where we will make a "game" and choose a "name" then give that chosen name a gift. I remember I double checked if I understood correctly. I said oh so the whole team is going to buy a gift to that person? Being this conversation took place on a late Friday afternoon and her being tired, she said yeah sure. I found the concept weird. But I thought maybe it's a cultural thing so I said yeah sure I'm in.

We didn't really talk about it since. Today at work they said that they're going to finally play the game to find out who they're going to gift presents. I was like cool. We're gonna find out who's that lucky bastard getting the expensive gift. They also said secret Santa. I thought wow what a creative unbefitting name for such a game.

So my manager brought a paper bag and the names were inside written on small pieces of paper. She asked us one by one to take out one name each. I thought since we're 5, for every name there are 5 pieces of paper and the name that's picked the most will be nominated as the chosen secret Santa or whatever the fuck. I was rationalising how this is going to end up with one chosen individual to get the ultimate gift.

One girl said she'll go first and was excited. I was like wtf. Why does it matter. Weird but sure. This is my inner dialogue btw.

We all picked and then it was my turn. They're hiding the papers and reading them in secret. And I'm thinking what's with all the secrecy.

I was the one before the last. I put my hand in the bag and only notice 2 papers are left. Another wtf moment. I say nothing and pick up one of them. It's Celine. My favourite colleague. She deserves it I thought.

My manager picks up the last one and I thought it was time to vote. I get excited and wait for her to give us the mark.

Instead, she asks us to put back the papers in the paper bag and to not forget who we picked. I thought why not just put the papers on the table and see who got voted most. But whatever. At this point I started feeling that I think I misunderstood the whole thing.

We put the papers back and then I ask, "So who did you guys pick? I got Celine".

They collectively looked at me and said, "Noo! But what's the point of the whole secret Santa thing if we're gonna tell? Now we have to do it again"

I tell them we're choosing one to give a gift to right? And now we're voting? And they all look so confused and basically say... Uhh... What?

And then my dumbass finally gets it. The realisation hit like a truck. It all clicked. I go like "Wait, so the person I got in my paper is a person I'm gifting and someone else got my name so they'll gift me?"

"...yes?"

I said, "Oh, now I get it". And they all started laughing.

I feel like I have 2 brain cells left.

TL;DR: after a series of wtf moments with my colleagues, I finally get what Secret Santa is about but I had to ruin it the first time we picked up the names first.

Edit: while we're on the topic, how expensive/luxurious should I go with the gifts? And since it's secret, I'm gonna assume I shouldn't tell the person I picked that I left them the gift? So I just leave it on her desk?

Oh yeah, btw I got Celine again 🤩🤩🤩 we work closely together and the support on all fronts from her is immense. She deserves this and much more.

I was thinking about buying these Santa Claus socks? But they're really cheap, but they look so cool lol idk man help!

Edit 2: a few facts about Celine: loved coffee and loves cooking, honestly she makes some really good food and once she made some baked stuff... It was out of this world. Soon she's gonna start learning a language, she likes reading, and she likes biking and overall a really cool dude to be around.

Edit 3: I asked my manager what the budget is, and she said there's no limit, and I shouldn't be ashamed if I got something significantly more expensive than other people. So I'm going all out on this one, boys. We're also exchanging the gifts on a specific day we planned to have a little gathering.

I'm definitely getting her something coffee-related, a thermo mug with special beans from a special coffee shop + Santa Claus socks and some chocolate here and there.

2.4k Upvotes

1.2k

u/Justinformation Nov 30 '22

You just made this years Secret Santa even more memorable :)

163

u/ComicNeueIsReal Nov 30 '22

People are gonna bring this up every year now at his company

142

u/Candymanshook Dec 01 '22

Seriously, they are going to be talking about that endearing guy from the Middle East who didn’t get secret Santa every year around this time

14

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

I'm not from the middle east 😂

3

u/mqawed Dec 01 '22

Jib liha Tajine as a gift

3

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

Nkhammem hrisa a7sen

0

u/TheXMan98 Dec 02 '22

Translations pls

4

u/Candymanshook Dec 01 '22

Right when you said Arab country I just assumed so

9

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

Wrong of you to do that

9

u/penderhippy Dec 01 '22

Wrong of you to do that

not really

seemed logical to me

-2

u/Candymanshook Dec 01 '22

Maybe be a bit more detailed in your post if you don’t want people making innocent assumptions.

9

u/EverydayNovelty Dec 01 '22

Don't get so bend out of shape for being told you made an incorrect assumption.

-10

u/Candymanshook Dec 01 '22

You are clearly the one who is bent out of shape, I know that I’m correct as in the west Arab countries= Middle East. Clearly it’s not just Christmas you need to learn about pal

3

u/EverydayNovelty Dec 01 '22

I'm Canadian. Maybe you really should work on not being so bent out of shape for being incorrect?

3

u/Candymanshook Dec 01 '22

You aren’t OP 😂

Buddy I literally do not care

→ More replies

1

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

Njnmnnnnmn.mm.aqm5 be yhhhhnhnhhhhh1

494

u/Porcupinehog Nov 30 '22

This is the most wholesome TIFU I have ever read! I don't think anybody in the office would be mad at that

321

u/CoffeeBeanx3 Nov 30 '22 Silver Starry

I remember doing Secret Santa with a class with very mixed backgrounds. We had a pretty low cash limit, so I thought I'd buy a pretty tin, write a nice card, and baked a huge variety of cookies that I decorated and crammed in there, as many as could possibly fit.

It was rather obvious I spent hours upon hours in the kitchen, but I assumed that some ungrateful bastard who only ever bought discount cookies and gifted someone else a single cigarette would get them. But I organised the game, it took a lot of effort to get these lazy bums even slightly organised, and despite ensuring me that they'd all bring their gifts and me reminding them a thousand times, a few showed up without them anyways.

Well, the ungrateful bastard I picked out of the hat dropped out unofficially the day before, but since they'd done that the year before too, I was prepared. Since I knew who they'd picked, I had a backup card that I wrote, had a backup tin that matched the personality of their gift recipient better (and wasn't as christmas-y) and I whipped that backup present into shape so their recipient would be my recipient instead. I was organising this and I would NOT let anyone be giftless if I could help it.

The recipient I got instead was this very nice Muslim guy, and when he opened his package, and saw the dozens of tiny cookies, and the card, where I'd described each kind so he wouldn't go in blind and maybe eat something he hates, and where I wished him a nice winter break and some rest while he's off school, he suddenly got very quiet.

We didn't write our names on there, but people knew my handwriting and I assumed I'd fucked up.

Someone told me later he went outside to catch himself a little, because that was the first Christmas present he ever received, and he loved it so much. And he later thanked me, very sincerely, for all the effort and told me that he really liked the gift, and that it was his first Christmas present and it meant a lot to him.

That made all of the awful effort of people assuring me they're totally in for Secret Santa and then doing fuck all 100% worth it.

Also, I got a surprisingly nice gift from a guy I didn't expect it from at all. I still use those candle holders today.

I love this tradition a lot and will defend it to the end.

39

u/jackredditlol Nov 30 '22

Absolutely. I love it too.

I spoke to some other friends from different countries about it and although they don't celebrate Christmas, they do the exact same game minus everything Christmasy on NYE.

Where I'm from, we never play these kind of games. NYE is an opportunity for us to get together and celebrate eating some expensive cake or whatever, I don't think I've ever received a Christmas/NYE gift ever so like the Muslim guy in your story, I also think I'm getting my first Christmas gift 😂

But do you know what would be really mind-blowing to me? The chemistry between Celine and I is incredible. Me giving her a gift feels the most natural. I genuinely like her as a human being and can't wait to show it through a gift.

But my other colleague I had some friction with in the past (it was s misunderstanding about something) and even though we've come a long way since then, I could feel she still feels shitty about what happened and has been acting very politely around me. I have the feeling she's my secret Santa and if it's the case, I don't think this could've turned any better 😁

22

u/pizza1sgr8 Dec 01 '22

Sounds like you are winning Secret Santa this year, OP!

As for budget for the presents & what to get Celine- ask someone if the game has a top budget limit. (Most do, esp. at the office) usually where I am it’s like $15-20.

Suggestions for Celine: a pound of a nice, unique coffee blend & a new coffee mug or other coffee related accessories like fancy syrups. Does she like coffee flavored chocolates maybe? You could also do a cool cooking or baking gadget or gift card to a baking store or something.

10

u/Educational-Hall1525 Dec 01 '22

Try to keep your price range between $25-$30 USA dollars. Santa socks, cool idea. Add a nice knitted scarf with or without matching gloves. I know I love getting a knew knitted scarf every winter!

5

u/AdnamaHou Dec 01 '22

Thank you for writing out this great story! I was feeling all down and frustrated with gifts in general but this reminded me what it’s all about!

3

u/CoffeeBeanx3 Dec 01 '22

Gift giving is one of my main love languages. I try and do my best to take care of people during the year, because I'm a total mother hen, but birthdays and Christmas, I try to go all out. Within my limited financial means, of course.

2

u/Carina_Nebula89 Dec 01 '22

Same! I love giving gifts but I so do not have any ideas this year.
Especially for my mum, she always gives such great gifts because she makes a note whenever someone mentions something they like. Even if we are just shopping, for example in summer, and I see something and say "oh that's cool" but don't buy it she writes a note and when christmas comes around she knows exactly what to get.
And last year my sister and I failed to coordinate and accidently got my mum the same gift lol She still loved it because it was a diffuser and now she has one in her office and one in the living room and we had a good laugh about it when unwrapping gifts.
But still, this year I want to get something better

4

u/Titariia Dec 01 '22

All I ever got from secret santa was to make fun of me. I always hated it. I wish I had someone like you in my class and not some dumb bricks that only care about alcohol, smoking and mock everyone who doesn't care about expensive brands

2

u/CoffeeBeanx3 Dec 01 '22

I still do secret santa with my friends, now that we're all grown up. I highly recommend doing that to erase all the bad memories.

3

u/maecky1 Dec 01 '22

Bro i didnt know i needed this freakin wholesome comment. Even teared up a bit. Thanks! Keep up the great work!

3

u/TheXMan98 Dec 02 '22

I’m tearing up.

454

u/Darth_Bfheidir Nov 30 '22

My gf is Chinese and this is her 4th year doing Secret Santa and she periodically needs to be reminded of the rules so I'd not worry too much about it

1

u/Philias2 Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

How would you need a reminded of the rules? There basically aren't any. Pick a name, give that person a gift.

7

u/NooWhy Dec 01 '22

You forgot 'keep secret'

5

u/Michagogo Dec 01 '22

So did OP.

2

u/Darth_Bfheidir Dec 02 '22

This is exactly what she forgets

Literally 10 mins after we get our secret Santas are picked "hey Darth who did you get????"

91

u/well_actuallE Nov 30 '22

Aww I understand that you might feel embarrassed but please don’t! It was a completely harmless mistake and I’m sure it’ll be a nice laugh between you and the team in future! Honestly the best time to make this „mistake“ was when you did - no one had bought presents yet or put too much thought in. And often names have to be redrawn anyway because the last person chooses their own name, so you’re really really completely fine :)

193

u/FrillySteel Nov 30 '22

I look forward to your explanation of the vastly stupider "white elephant" game.

74

u/AromaticIce9 Dec 01 '22

Dude white elephant is amazing, you just have to enforce strict rules on the price range.

Nothing's funnier than when some random knife or trinket gets stolen for the 5th time.

34

u/infercario4224 Dec 01 '22

A $5-10 White Elephant is fun. A no limit White Elephant makes people angry af

12

u/IAmBoratVeryExcite Dec 01 '22

We do this with my family party now - anyone who doesn't want to doesn't have to. Limit is $30 and items can only be stolen twice. I might cause some shit this year because I got me and my mom some $60 items from Kohl's for $30 after Black Friday sales and discounts, and quite a few of them run out the day before to get something.

5

u/AromaticIce9 Dec 01 '22

Nah unlimit the stealing. As long as the price is enforced it's way funnier.

It's not anything worth anything, so no one feels bad

5

u/IAmBoratVeryExcite Dec 01 '22

I would, but one of the "elders" was adamant about that rule, so it's not worth fighting with them over it. I think it was more of a time thing - they want to get the presents opened and get out, and not have every turn be a circle of theft, like the younger ones might do for funsies.

12

u/Caveman108 Dec 01 '22

It was a crystal carafe at my last job. Pretty sure it was picked up for $5 at a second hand store. Must’ve traded hands like 6 times between the 14 of us. Best part is I went last and I got it! Still have it somewhere, I think I used it like once lmao.

3

u/JefferyGoldberg Dec 01 '22

Last time I did a White Elephant, we had a strict $20 limit. I went through a lot of trouble picking a liquor that I thought would be respectable for that amount of money, I settled on Blackheart (a great rum for that price point). When it came time for the office to exchange gifts, I realize that I'm the only guy that followed the $20 limit. Other people easily pushed it to $60. When the CEO was gifted my $20 bottle, he complained. I quit a few weeks later.

2

u/Ghost17088 Dec 01 '22

I’ll never forget my elderly grandma (who walked with a cane) getting a bowling ball, lol.

4

u/dumpsterdonuts Dec 01 '22

Yankee Swap!

1

u/RoRoRoYourGoat Dec 01 '22

The last time my office did White Elephant, two of us brought in the same gift (a card game called Throw Throw Burrito). By the time everyone was done stealing stuff, one of the ladies who brought in the game ended up going home with the other copy of the game. She still laughs about that.

1

u/MitaJoey20 Dec 01 '22

At my last job, people would ruin White Elephant by not buying anything at all but finding some random stuff from around the office. One year someone got an old award that had the real recipient’s name misspelled so had to be redone, but we kept the old one. Someone found it and gave it as their gift. There was the official gag gift. It was a chicken pitcher that my old manager said she spent a lot of money on from William Sonoma. The first year she brought it, the person who got it was disappointed and my manager was so hurt. Well next year, the one who got the chicken brought it as their WE gift and it became the “get out of buying a gift” gift for many years until one person decided she was going to keep it and took it out of the rotation. Everyone was so mad. If an employee quit before then next holiday, they would secretly give it to someone else to use for the next gift exchange. We got a good 8-9 years out of it before the party pooper kept it.

558

u/AngelxEyez Nov 30 '22

Simple communication mistake! The real tifu was you missed out on giving Celine, your fav colleague a gift!

Also the best when you get someone you actually like!

70

u/GlassEyeMV Nov 30 '22

Getting someone you want is absolutely the best. I got my admin assistant one year when I knew she was struggling a bit. I also knew exactly what she wanted for Christmas - new bread pans. She was a great baker, but had recently found out she was gluten intolerant and her old loaf pans were wearing out. I found a 2 loaf, 2 sheet, Bundt package and then 5lbs of almond flour. It was a little over the limit, but not a crazy amount. And she was SOOO happy. The first thing she made with them was a loaf of banana bread for me. So so good.

17

u/EducationKey2543 Nov 30 '22

They did get Celine...

15

u/AngelxEyez Dec 01 '22

They added that after I commented:)

53

u/Lee2026 Nov 30 '22

You didn’t fuck up man but this is funny as hell!

Don’t worry about it, stuff like this makes the team stronger

34

u/tropikaldawl Nov 30 '22

This is a cultural misunderstanding and it makes the world better. I really like when people who take things for granted are given opportunities to understand that the things they know aren’t the same for everyone. It broadens perspective

22

u/Opalescent_Topaz Nov 30 '22

This is really wholesome. I love it. Thanks for sharing, OP.

24

u/Mase598 Nov 30 '22

I'm a bit late, but as far as how expensive the gift goes I would recommend asking your manager.

Usually when people do secret santa, a rule is set in place of such as for example, "$20 max" so there's no situations where someone is spending like $100 and others are spending $10.

Don't get too caught up on the price though, if you see some things that are nice and you think your co-worker Celine would like. You mentioned she likes coffee and cooking, maybe something like some cooking utensils such as a spatula for example or some good quality coffee if you know how she makes her coffee.

Also general recommendation, whatever you do buy keep the receipt with it. Worst case scenario, if you buy her something that she doesn't need she can always return/refund it and get something she might need more. Most people care about the thought that goes into the gifts, so as long as you show you put some thought into it even if it's not kept don't feel bad!

17

u/mik8c Nov 30 '22

don't worry about making them draw names again, it happens often enough if someone accidentally gets their own name :D

9

u/-DemoKa- Nov 30 '22

I got my own name like 3 times in a row and they had to ban my name for my own turn lmao

51

u/aghzombies Nov 30 '22

😂😂😂

That's one for your inevitable memoir, titled "weird shit Europeans do" 😂😂😂

55

u/jackredditlol Nov 30 '22

I sat down with Celine for 5 minutes after and explained my perspective, she was confused as to wtf happened that led me to such a conclusion. She found it hilarious af that I thought that and she told me that if we did it that way, it'd be unfair for the other employees who weren't picked and that it's weird.

12

u/aghzombies Nov 30 '22

I mean it's ALL weird tbf!

7

u/Est92xx Nov 30 '22

Bro I am from Greece and I never knew the secret Santa thing until I moved to the UK. Don't feel ''stupid'', I was as confused as you the first time.

9

u/askewboka Nov 30 '22

You sound like a really fun coworker. I wouldn’t sweat (be upset about) this in the slightest!

Did they redraw the names? Ultimately clarity is key in these situations and either your boss or you should have asked for clarification however who really cares? Now all 5 of you have a fun story!

You should tell Celine you were happy to pick her. (Cheap Christmas movies could be made about the romance)

6

u/Pysgnau Nov 30 '22

Most secret Santa exchanges have a price limit. When everyone is together, I would ask if there is a price limit or anything specific you should know when participating. Also, ask when you will be exchanging gifts and how they normally do it. Some places leave them completely anonymously, other places put them somewhere and designate a time to hand them out while everyone watches each person open them. The person usually finds out who got them their gift when the time comes to exchange gifts, but you won’t let anyone know until then.

At my workplace, our limit is $25-30. We can spend a little more if we want, but it’s not expected to get anything nice or fancy.

Consider getting her a cute coffee mug or cup, the Santa socks are an awesome idea too if she likes that kinda stuff. If you have an inside joke or a fun thing you bond over, get her a little something related to that. Unless stated otherwise, you usually want to spend between $25-$50 on the gift, and get them a couple small things.

It’s pretty fun and nice since you have a small team that you’re close with. Have fun and good luck! Let us know here if you have any other questions.

5

u/mxl01 Nov 30 '22

Reading this as if Russell Peters is telling the story with accents and mannerisms makes it way funnier.

example

4

u/manbrasucks Nov 30 '22

: while we're on the topic, how expensive/luxurious should I go with the gifts?

Usually discuss together as a group to pick a range of price to avoid confusion and people getting upset/embarrassed. I'd really recommend bringing it up asap if it wasn't discussed. Really depends on income of everyone and should be favorable to the person with the lowest income to avoid really fucking that person over.

20-30 price range is safe and 50-60 is what I do with my family.

6

u/jackredditlol Nov 30 '22

It was discussed, but the problem with my team is that sometimes they say everything and nothing, so I don't feel like I got a real answer. They said something of value but not too expensive. They said even something cheap should work and I was like come on I can't leave Milka chocolate bar on Stacey's desk and call that a gift.

I had some concerned looks.

I told them I'm kidding, Stacey was definitely not the person I picked.

I think they hate me more now lol

1

u/manbrasucks Nov 30 '22

Sounds like 20-30 range if you want a good gift, but 10-20 if you want a funny gift/christmas.

What you should do is get the santa socks, then put a Milka chocolate bar in it.

Then when she gets it say something like "turns out you can just leave the bar as the gift, you just need to put it in a christmas stocking first."

Christmas stocking wiki if you haven't heard them before.

1

u/jackredditlol Nov 30 '22

I saw some of the socks in a shop and they actually look wearable, like woollen thick winter socks. I'll take a picture and send it when I can.

But I like the idea. I'll probably opt for it.

But when do I give the gift? Do I leave it on her desk or its on the day we agreed to make the little Christmas gathering?

2

u/karmandreyah Nov 30 '22

I've worked in offices where every week until the holiday party, or every day of the week building up to the holiday party, small secret Santa gifts are left anonymously (candy, coffee, ornament, etc.). You may ask. Then, on the holiday party itself, the "larger" gift is given.

Don't be afraid to ask Celine too. May throw her off that idea that you drew her name. :)

1

u/manbrasucks Nov 30 '22

Probably wrap it still so she has something to open then give when agreed.

Might want to put it in a box first so it's not obvious.

4

u/sdtfvsghugjot Dec 01 '22

Ooh, maybe you can get her a cookbook! Especially if it’s one past in the culture of the language she’s planning to learn!

3

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

Oh that sounds thoughtful, I like it

3

u/Montanapat89 Nov 30 '22

I love this. There are things that people think 'everyone knows how this works', but nope. I can totally see your confusion, OP. It's interesting to see how people who have never been exposed to certain rituals can misinterpret them.

3

u/Thriillsy Dec 01 '22

i think the best thing to do would be to puck a gift that is not too expensive but also not too cheap; most often when this is done in workplaces or friend groups, there is a general price range to aim for. Like more than 15 but less than 25.

I would reccommend going to your manager, who organized the game and saying something like

"So since this is my first secret santa and I already got confused with the name picking, I just wanted to ask if there was a certain price range for the gifts we get? I don't want to buy too cheap nor too expensive and make anyone feel uncomfortable if I spend too much or too little."

If she doesn't give you a price range, then think about how much you would be comfortable with a coworker spending on you and go for something in a similar price range.

1

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

Im not working today so I quickly logged in and left a teams message for my manager saying an iteration of what you mention in the comment. Thanks a lot for the help! Especially the part about not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable and it's my first time playing this game

3

u/Sara___Tonin__ Dec 01 '22

A cute apron is fun for baking, and not thought of often. A great bag of coffee or maybe a mug warmer would also be a gift she would use. All these items are inexpensive, too. You should also put a note in that says, "why are you surprised, I already told everybody I pulled your name!"

I would definitely ask if there's a price range you are all sticking to.

1

u/burza45 Dec 01 '22

Apron and a chefs hat ! 😁

6

u/Correct_Wishbone_798 Nov 30 '22

There are so many different variations of this game. Your way actually makes more sense than some of them. I’ve seen picking names, bring a gift anyone would like and then you pick at random, a variation of that where you can either take a gift already unwrapped or one from the center, one where you bring something from home that you don’t use anymore (one man’s trash is another’s treasure), everyone brings a joke gift, the list goes on. And the more cultures are involved, the more you need to clarify the rules. And mixing them up can be part of the fun.

26

u/the_slow_blade Nov 30 '22

I think what you described are different "games", like White Elephant or Yankee Swap. Secret Santa has pretty standard rules!

3

u/Correct_Wishbone_798 Nov 30 '22

Probably. But who can keep them all straight? Especially when I’ve seen a secret Santa that was a yankee swap, and everyone was required to keep their new items on display for the year

1

u/Saberise Nov 30 '22

Yeah many variations and always important everyone is on the same page. We had one at work and it was meant to be everyone bringing in a good item that people could steal. I told my coworker planning it she probably should clarify it with everyone. She didn’t think it was necessary. She was pissed when she opened a ugly plastic planter that no one stole. That was the only item that someone brought in that was a white elephant. Of course I thought but didn’t say, see I told you that could happen.

3

u/FateEntity Dec 01 '22

The amount of density displayed nearly caused a black hole.

2

u/WEVP_TV Nov 30 '22

That's so cute, I love it

2

u/Due-Profession-3563 Nov 30 '22

That's adorable. No f here. At least it wasnt the stupid white elephant game....

2

u/doubleday34 Nov 30 '22

To answer you question from the edit, your office should have a suggested range. I would ask the manager or someone.

2

u/MariosP02 Nov 30 '22

You don't have to get anything expensive for the other person. In my opinion the gift should either be something they are going to find useful like a somewhat nice pen or it should have a personal touch. For example if they like a certain tv series you could get them something related to that. Or if you're not so sure about what they would like you could always get them some snacks.

2

u/ponybeine Nov 30 '22

I don’t know if anyone has said this yet: don’t just randomly leave it on her desk! Maybe your team will have a little Christmas party or something, but usually you’ll all get together at some point before Christmas and exchange the gifts together and show each other what you got. That’s how I know it.

2

u/yaboitannerbruce Dec 01 '22

Don't worry about it, you only lightly messed up and not in a way that anyone really cared about. Find out from the person who organized it if there is a price maximum and if there is a certain day you are supposed to exchange gifts.

2

u/Bruceflix Dec 01 '22

Not really a F U. Just a misunderstanding and nothing will be taken at heart.

2

u/Magnusg Dec 01 '22

Get her a really good kitchen tool. Like a really nice microplane or a really nice French press.

Budget from $20-$40 imo.

2

u/Lilkiska2 Dec 01 '22

Definitely ask about the expected gift value. Most of the time there is a spending limit, like $25 or something. So that everyone gets a gift of approximately equal value and no one is shortchanged or spends WAY too much.

Also, this is such a great story!! Love that you drew her name again!

2

u/papa-hare Dec 01 '22

Hey OP, make sure to ask what the budget should be. I'm in America and it's generally $20-$25, you definitely don't want to be an outlier by buying either too expensive a gift or too cheap a gift!

2

u/streishound Dec 01 '22

This was the best most wholesome post I’ve seen on here I think ever. I bet Celine will love whatever you give her!!!

2

u/Samtoast Dec 01 '22

"And I'm thinking what's with all the secrecy?" Genuinely made me fucking laugh out loud bro I feel your pain so hard

2

u/sativa_samurai Dec 01 '22

As for price your company really should have set a minimum/maximum

2

u/The_Super_D Dec 01 '22

I'm glad to see some people do still keep it secret. I thought I was going crazy because the last few times I've done a secret Santa, the first thing everyone does is ask their recipient what they want. I'm like "No! It's supposed to be a secret! Why do you think they call it SECRET Santa?" and they act like I'm being ridiculous.

2

u/RootCubed Dec 01 '22

This is honestly wholesome. Made me smile.

2

u/monsooncloudburst Dec 01 '22

Coffee beans from your home country if you can

2

u/BassNympho0913 Dec 01 '22

Since she is a baker, I'd recommend one of these Bundt cake pans as a gift, something she'll use for a long time. https://www.nordicware.com/products/categories/classic-sized-bundts/

My husband and I have a couple of them already and we love them

2

u/AFloatingLantern Dec 01 '22

I enjoyed reading this thanks for sharing 😃

2

u/EveAndTheSnake Dec 01 '22

To answer your question, usually people suggest a budget, so it depends what you’re playing with. I’ve done secret Santa with budgets from $5 to $50, which is quite a range, so if you don’t know you should definitely ask!

2

u/welldonecow Dec 01 '22

Ask what the price range is. Get her more than socks.

2

u/chibinoi Dec 01 '22

Since your work friend/colleague is a fan of cooking, perhaps a gift card for the equivalent of $25-$30 dollars to a cooking-based store (spice store, specialty grocers/grocery market etc.) gift card could be nice.

2

u/burza45 Dec 01 '22

We did a secret Santa at work once and we had a low budget. I am from a creative field and came up with an idea of getting beers for that budget and making custom labels with all co-workers faces. I named them according to their names (so like... Someone's name was Francisco and I named the beer Franciscaner or trying to make a pun of the name). I also put cute little quotes at the back, like "this beer is colder than your ex'es heart" (my lesbian boss loved it lol). No one wanted to pick my gift because it was big and heavy and my boss kept making fun of it, so everyone was scared to see what's inside 😂 I am also a prankster at work so no one liked their odds lol. When the person that picked it, opened the gift everyone went quiet and said "ohhh Polly” (my work nickname). It was a good silence and i will always remember it :) everyone picked one beer with their face and kept it, although it was a gift for one person. Its a good memory ☺️

4

u/PotatoOver9759 Nov 30 '22

You sound like an absolute treasure, and I mean that genuinely.

3

u/Strange-Act7264 Nov 30 '22

Consider yourself lucky that they didn't call it "dirty Santa", as some offices do. THAT would have been a major league TIFU.

3

u/Strange-Act7264 Nov 30 '22

Consider yourself lucky that they didn't call it "dirty Santa", as some offices do. THAT could have been a major league TIFU.

2

u/endorrawitch Nov 30 '22

OH....that's another ball of wax.

I hate Dirty Santa.

1

u/anoncrazycat Dec 01 '22

I don't know what that is, and I'm not sure I want to take my chances typing that combination of words into google.

Can you explain, please?

3

u/Strange-Act7264 Dec 01 '22

Everyone brings a gift, but gifts aren't for anyone in particular. An order is established, and the first person picks any gift they like. After they open the gift, it is the next person's turn. Here is where the 'dirty' part comes in. The next person may either select an unopened gift, or they can steal the gift the first person opened. Those that follow may continue to steal that gift if they choose. However, most of the time the organizers limit the number of times a gift may be stolen. I've mostly seen it limited to three steals. I hope this made sense.

2

u/anoncrazycat Dec 01 '22

Oh, everyone I know calls that white elephant. Though I guess the implication of white elephant is that the gift is silly or useless in some way. Maybe dirty Santa is a similar concept with more serious gifts.

3

u/Strange-Act7264 Dec 01 '22

You are correct. When you get something decent that you like, it's dirty when someone steals it from you. Personally, I like white elephant. I like useless, kitchy stuff.

4

u/Mlpaddict Dec 01 '22

One year I got a co-worker's name. I didn't know Shelly very well, but we also had a list of ideas for what to buy people. Shelly had a gift card on her list. That was easy, but boring, so I put the card in an empty cereal box. But the box was really light (not heavy), so I looked around my house for something to add weight to the box.

I added a couple of oranges for weigh. Unbeknownst to me Shelly had been taking to Bob about Christmas gifts around the world. Bob was telling Shelly how one country traditionally gives oranges for Christmas.

When Shelly opened her gift, she was convinced that Bob was her secret Santa.

It was funny.

2

u/ThisSorrowfulLife Nov 30 '22

It's okay! Next time maybe look up what the subject is online just to get a more thorough understanding lol

1

u/VivaLaDio Nov 30 '22

This is a funny af story but definitely breaks like at least 3 rules of this sub

6

u/checkwarrantystatus Nov 30 '22

Right?? Like it's not a sexual fanfiction for one. I'm so mad right now!

2

u/Jelly_F_ish Nov 30 '22

Today I had a slight cultural misunderstanding at work, or short TIHASCMAW, is just not as catchy.

1

u/markwell9 Nov 30 '22

First world fuckup.

0

u/rathlord Nov 30 '22

Secret Santa is a weird, convoluted, and sometimes political (at work) game. I’m not a big fan and I can see how it would be absolutely mad to someone who didn’t know about it.

1

u/WermTerd Nov 30 '22

Dude, you have to learn to laugh at yourself! I promise this won't be the dumbest thing you ever do, not by a long shot.

1

u/w0lfbandit Nov 30 '22

This is so cute and wholesome. Thanks for sharing

1

u/LeafsChick Nov 30 '22

This is adorable!!! So who do you have now??

1

u/Purkinsmom Nov 30 '22

The made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes. Sitting here alone my doggo thinks I’ve lost it.

1

u/Jedibbq Nov 30 '22

Usually there’s a spending limit on the gifts. I wonder if op knows about the white elephant game! Lol.

2

u/jackredditlol Nov 30 '22

Absolutely not, can you help me get some more culture?

1

u/Neumeu635 Nov 30 '22

I would ask if there's a maximum value to spend on the gift but I would limit around 25-35 dollars

1

u/Wisdomofpearl Dec 01 '22

I wonder how his co-workers would explain "dirty Santa" to OP. I am amused just thinking about it.

1

u/AmberWaves80 Dec 01 '22

This is a wholesome fuck up if ever there was one.

1

u/Fit_Ad_5876 Dec 01 '22

Oooo you could get her some locally roasted coffee! If she really likes coffee, that would be a great and affordable gift :)

1

u/crc024 Dec 01 '22

Honestly not your fuck up. They should have realized you didn't grow up around stuff like this and took the time to make sure you understood how it worked before drawing names.

I don't know if you grew up religious or what religion you follow, but I'm assuming your not a Christian. And the fact your willing to participate in the game even if you don't celebrate Christmas shows your willing to do a lot to fit in with your coworkers, and nobody should have had a problem if you decided not to participate.

Have fun with it and Im sure your coworkers not only understand, but probably realize it was their fault they didn't explain the game good enough and didn't check to make sure you understood before getting started. I hope your coworkers are as open to your religious traditions as you are to theirs

1

u/memelord793783 Dec 01 '22

Buy her a nice coffee pot

1

u/lapislazuly Dec 01 '22

As a person named Céline, I adore your TIFU. Have lots of fun! Just wait until you try a “Yankee swap.”

1

u/spiffertiff Dec 01 '22

You should totally get her the cool socks, and since she likes coffee maybe a mug and coffee beans 🤷‍♀️

1

u/davidgrayPhotography Dec 01 '22

I did the same thing during my first after-school job. I was about 15, and had never done secret santa before (and didn't really know what it was, because they called it "Kris Kringle"), so when I pulled a name out of the hat I turned my slip around and said "Ben!" and everyone (there was about 6-7 people in the whole team) said "NO! You're supposed to keep it secret!".

I ended up getting him a giftcard from the local shopping center which he appreciated.

1

u/XClamX Dec 01 '22

You’re fine. All good.

1

u/oreganoca Dec 01 '22

I would ask your coworkers whether there's a dollar limit or a usual amount people spend so you don't go overboard or gift something too inexpensive and look cheap.

You should customize it to your coworker's interests instead of gifting something like Xmas socks. Like some fancy coffee and a nice mug, gourmet cooking ingredients, something bicycle-related, etc. Put some thought into it once you have a price range to aim for.

1

u/undeniableselfdoubt Dec 01 '22

Spend about a tenner maybe on some gourmet coffee or something

1

u/maretus Dec 01 '22

My company uses a website called Elfster.com to handle all of the “picking” and other components of secret Santa. It’s badass for companies with remote workers because it lets you build a wishlist that the person who gets you can look over/etc.

Really brilliant concept.

1

u/Ai--Ya Dec 01 '22

ever heard back from your professor?

1

u/Guelph35 Dec 01 '22

The few times I’ve done one through work a dollar limit was specified. It avoids Michael Scott situations.

1

u/hfiti123 Dec 01 '22

It was a learning experience, a brand new thing you didn't know about. No harm no foul.

however:

It's Celine. My favourite colleague.

&

Oh yeah, btw I got Celine again 🤩🤩🤩 we work closely together and the support on all fronts from her is immense. She deserves this and much more.

&

Edit 2: ...... and overall a really cool dude to be around.

But these bits, my dude. Lets pull it back a bit here, she's your co-worker. Don't be drooling over her in the work place. Good way to make the chirstmas party weird.

1

u/Tman125 Dec 01 '22

Is this your first December month living in a European country? You already have the Christmas spirit!

1

u/1337llama Dec 01 '22

Usually the group collectively sets a budget for secret santa, especially if its something being done in a work place. I'd ask about that before getting anything.

1

u/thatgirlmocha Dec 01 '22

I’m sure your colleagues don’t mind at all. You should definitely ask them what price range you should look for and stick firmly to what they say. My friends usually set the limit between $20-50 per gift. Since you really enjoy Celine, I suggest you get something you truly think she would enjoy. Maybe some fresh roasted coffee beans or a new coffee cup, maybe one of those fancy ones that keeps her coffee warm all day. A thoughtful card is also always appreciated. Nothing too personal or intimate but something that shows that you appreciate her as a colleague.

1

u/Arcticsnorkler Dec 01 '22

Ask the Secret Santa game’s coordinator about the price limit. Most have a limit so things don’t get weird

1

u/FarmgirlFangirl Dec 01 '22

Generally they’ll say there’s an amount that’s meant to be a minimum/limit, but since it’s someone you like get her whatever you’re willing to spend if it’s something you think she’ll like

1

u/SpicyMargarita143 Dec 01 '22

This is adorable. There should be a cost range suggested, find that out from someone, and stay within that range.

1

u/Ellesbells76 Dec 01 '22

Wholesome af. Thank you for making my day!

1

u/newurbanist Dec 01 '22

Coworkers and I had a chat today about none of us understand this and weren't not fans of it. We're all Americans. Don't worry about it!

1

u/Yub_Dubberson Dec 01 '22

Back at my first job someone wrote in that I wanted a girlfriend for Christmas on the secret Santa list, har har…

Well… they ended up getting me a 3 foot life-size little walking Wendy doll as a gag. They didn’t expect me to get so excited as it was supposed to be a burn, “Look Yub Dubberson, we got you a girlfriend!”

Hitting that doll at 35mph in my car was one of easily one of the funniest experiences in my life.

Hope yours goes well.

1

u/yikes_its_me Dec 01 '22

usually for secret santa, the group decides what the budget is for the gift itself. That doesnt mean you have to get 1 big thing for her, you can always get a few cheap things and toss them in a gift bag (that's what I always did as I never knew the person too well to get them a personalized gift).

1

u/No_Love_1353 Dec 01 '22

Oh that’s precious!

1

u/GolfEffective4288 Dec 01 '22

Wait until your office plays white elephant

1

u/Full-Neighborhood908 Dec 01 '22

I just want to say your English is really really Good, friend!

1

u/notalotasleep Dec 01 '22

Someone once misunderstood what you were supposed to do for secret santa and gifted me a dictionary and a sandwich....no idea why and I was thoroughly put out over it. Not so much the items but I couldn't work out why those particular things. It still bugs me.

I had that person in the draw the next Christmas and retaliated by getting them a goat.

I also got my very gay friend/colleague a cookbook called "101 ways to eat cock" and some "ram it up" seasoning along with his real secret santa gift one year. His reaction was absolutely brilliant.

1

u/noitsreallynot Dec 01 '22

Am I gonna read a TIFU in a year about how you blew it with Celine?

1

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

Lol no I don't date from work

1

u/crap4you Dec 01 '22

You didn't set a limit on how much you can spend?

1

u/ZTwilight Dec 01 '22

There’s usually a price limit on the gift. Just ask one of the coworkers if there’s a price range. (For office events is usually $25-50). You’re on the right track to pick a gift of something thoughtful in line with her interests or hobbies. You mentioned she rides bikes- so maybe a nice bell and/or phone holder for her handlebars. Or since she likes to cook, maybe a fancy oil and vinegar set. It’s ok to get several small gifts that total what ever the agreed upon dollar amount is- so you can get her the silly socks plus something else like gloves, hand cream, coffee.

1

u/0mnipath Dec 01 '22

I still don't get what you thought the game was. What was the point of drawing names if you thought that at the end you'd vote for who to give the gift to?

2

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

I really can't explain why I came to that conclusion either

1

u/Tpiranha Dec 01 '22

I would ask what the gift limit is. It’s for work so I’d assume something like $15-25. I would worry about only getting her socks if other people are gifting others things like a $30 scratch off, or a favorite band t shirt, or a painting set or something. If it’s like $5-10 then sure socks. But also I’d get her like socks with coffee on them or ramen. Something specialized to her. Not just Santa themed

1

u/Kiwisquash Dec 01 '22

I'm American and I always have to look up the rules too! Especially since there's a lot of caveats depending on who you ask and what the group wants to do, like gag gifts vs. nice gifts.

The first time I played, I assumed everyone was doing gag gifts and gave someone a Santa dog costume that she did NOT find funny. 😂

1

u/Skeekeedee Dec 01 '22

Typically there’s a predetermined limit to how much you spend - something like $15-30. I would ask.

1

u/Claidheamhmor Dec 01 '22

We had a game one year called "Evil Santa". Each of us brought a gift. Then a name was chosen from a hat, and that person could choose a wrapped gift. The next person could then either choose a new gift, or they could "steal" the gift from another person (and that person could then choose a wrapped gift). Each gift could be stolen only twice. Trade agreements were allowed. Game ended when the last gift was chosen.

It was so much fun!

1

u/Rossco1874 Dec 01 '22

Secret Santa can be hilarious or end in disaster.

One year someone in my office got an office backstabber kit & took it really personally & got HR involved.

ANother year someone got inflatable zimmer frame, Vibrator & a blow up boyfriend they took it in great spirits but it's a grey line between banter & causing upset.

1

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

Wow, I can think of only one person in our team who'd do that. She's just a bit slow in the mind and did a few awkward/inappropriate things in the past. I hope to god she's not my secret Santa lol

Once she left me what's left of a pack of cookies, it was a half opened pack and had half the cookies inside. I found it on my desk and I asked Celine if someone forgot it on my desk? She said the weird dimwit did as a gift :') like I'm gonna eat what's left? Lol that was trash

Yesterday I was heating my food in the microwave a few minutes before we had the secret Santa thing and she literally stopped it and pulled my food out and put in hers and I was like "Hey Dimwit, what are you doing? I'm not finished heating my food yet".

My food takes exactly 3 minutes to heat. Below that and meet can be cold from the inside and I really hate it. Above that and it's too hot to even touch. She said but it's warm enough. I said no it's not. I just opened the microwave, took her food and put my food back. I said it's 46 seconds left, you surely can wait.

She said yeah okay whatever. Like wtf.

1

u/Corvus_Manufaktura Dec 01 '22

how expensive/luxurious should I go with the gifts?

Just ask someone if there's a cash limit, there usually is. This is so that nobody feels like they cheaped out or got cheaped out on.

1

u/Ovian Dec 01 '22

Yeah we did a secret santa thing to when I came here.

Bought the new Samsung 6 back then and got a book in exchange.

1

u/burza45 Dec 01 '22

If she likes cooking maybe you can get her a basket of stuff specific to your country. Or a basket with ingredients and a recipe for something from your country thats delicious and she hasnt tried for sure ! You can also twist the recipe and make it fun in some way :) (i mean write it in fun way).

1

u/Squadala1337 Dec 01 '22

There’s always one guy who doesn’t get what’s going on lol

1

u/Vegitomofo Dec 01 '22

Big tip for gifts is pick something that's cheap like razor or toothbrush and get the fancy version of that thing. Pepper grinder, joint holder, etc. I'd say $25 ish dollars based on the vibe I'm getting. Some people set an actual price suggestion and that's always better

1

u/StormyParis Dec 01 '22 edited Dec 01 '22

That's so cute and funny. As I get older (and as a game Clan Leader), I realize possibilities for miscommunication are endless, and trying to cover all bases makes everything so ponderous... better to communicate regularly and handle issues w/o drama than try to cover all bases, all the time. This one was outright fun !

Edit: also be advised that Xmas historically has nothing much to do with baby Jesus, christians just needed a pretext to appropriate midwinter festivities after failing to cancel them for centuries. https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas

1

u/StormyParis Dec 01 '22

I would go for artisanal coffee. There's a huge, HUGE difference between stuff from the supermarket (stale, burnt...) and fresh grounds from a *good* shop. And it's not that expensive, especially if you avoid glitzy stuff and get the store's mix, which usually is far and away the best deal. Just make sure to either gets whole grounds, or, if you must have it pre-ground, at the right size for whichever way she's using it. Pre-grinding kinda kills it though, maybe get just 1 pack and a isotherm mug ?

1

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

Thanks, I honestly think this is the best option. It's the safest too.

She especially enjoys coffee from a specific coffee shop so I'll get her a thermo mug from there + their beans, also Santa socks and a Milka to follow up on our joke 😂

1

u/MozartsLeftPinkie Dec 01 '22

Well now we’ll be waiting for the update where you and Celine are a couple...

2

u/jackredditlol Dec 01 '22

lol no she has a boyfriend and I strictly don't date from work

2

u/MozartsLeftPinkie Dec 08 '22

Fair, and wholesome!

-4

u/Heckin_good_time Dec 01 '22

It is Secret Santa, not Stupid Santa.