35% Of Millennials Want To Cancel Secret Santa At Work Because It Gives Them Anxiety

Secret Santa is an integral part of office holiday culture at this point. You draw a name from a hat and hope to God you didn’t pick Steve from accounting because you have NO idea what you’d get him. Yes, Secret Santa is corny and vaguely annoying, but is it anxiety-inducing? A good portion of millennials seem to think so.

35% of millennials want Secreta Santa canceled. A survey of 4,000 people by Jobsite found that 35% of office workers between 23 and 38 wish that Secret Santa didn’t exist and they didn’t have to take part in the tradition at all.

We’re spending way more than we can afford. The struggle is real when it comes to paying rent and bills, putting food on the table and gas in the car, and covering all of our other expenses on an average (or less than average) salary. That’s why 73% of millennials admitted that they ended up spending way more than they could actually afford on their Secret Santa gift.

There’s too much pressure. A little more than a quarter — 26% to be exact — of respondents said that they had to dig into their savings in order to pay for their Secret Santa gift. Not only that, but 17% said they felt pressured not only to participate but to come up with a good gift for the colleague they chose.

There need to be stricter spending limits. If offices aren’t going to ban Secret Santa, Dr Ashley Weiberg, a psychology lecturer at the University of Salford, insists that there should be spending limits put in place so that no one feels left out or ostracized. “The spirit of giving – especially at a seasonal time of exchanging gifts via Secret Santa – is something we’d hope can be expressed in many ways and it’s worth remembering that where this involves financial contributions, not all colleagues have the same disposable income,” she said. “This can mean that an individual’s contribution or lack of one is labeled ‘stingy’ where actually they may not be in a position to contribute. Clearly this is unfair and creates stigma.”

It shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Christmas is about joy and happiness, not stress and anxiety over buying your colleague a Christmas gift. It’s unlikely that offices will ban Secret Santa outright, but perhaps everyone needs to take things a little less seriously. Anyone expecting a massive gift from someone you sit adjacent to in an office is ridiculous. We’re all adults here, right?

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