A study has revealed that millennials at workplaces would rather not participate in Secret Santa celebrations because they spend more than they can afford at the risk of being called stingy.
It's Christmas season again and that means you can already hear whispers of Secret Santa from every corner. And a new study shows that this is a cause of anxiety for a lot of millennials who especially want this holiday tradition to be banned in office spaces.
My take on #secretsanta. At work, I participated in it. Did my research and bought really customised gifts for my Santee. In return, all these 3 years, I received really disappointing stuff, felt it was an obligation for my Santa. Therefore, no more secret santa for me. Kthxbye— Yatin Gupta (@iYatinGupta) November 26, 2019
A study conducted by Jobsite revealed that the younger office workers experienced a financial strain participating in special events like birthday and promotion celebrations, especially Secret Santa.
This annual Christmas tradition, if you didn't already know is when a group of friends or in this case, colleagues get together to exchange gifts anonymously. Everyone is assigned a person that they must buy a gift for.
I pray that my stores rich ass customer who decided to participate in our work secret Santa got me. 😂🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/1AIs7shX4t— Luis (@loouuiiee) November 26, 2019
This practice has left a serious dent in the pockets of the employees and according to the study, "Younger workers are feeling so pressured to contribute that they are dipping into their savings or going into debt in order to chip in."
It has found that the employees are regularly contributing more than they can afford due to the fear of being called "stingy." But it was found in the study that contributions by millennials add to 34% more, with a total of £151 per year spent on 17 colleagues celebrations, which represents £7,111 over a career.
Payday is today y’all 🤪🤪 but we ain’t splurging bc I got a Friendsgiving, secret Santa at work, and 80 family members for Christmas. Hoy comemos agua.— Rubs (@rubytrod) November 22, 2019
The study goes on to say, "The ramifications of young workers being left out of pocket are not just financial but can also cause a rising tide of resentment amongst employees."
Employees are even being called out for not contributing and 17% have also experienced allegations of stinginess relating to their contribution, resulting in a sense of shame within the workplace. Due to this, the study reveals that one in five workers would rather not have celebrations at the workplace.
Although the millennials are the ones who have to bear the brunt of the Secret Santa ritual, they are also the ones who acknowledge the benefits it brings in the form of uplifting employee morale. But they also believe that this age-old tradition needs to get with the times.
Dr. Ashley Weinberg, a psychology lecturer at the University of Salford, said, “The giving and receiving of gifts is a natural part of our make-up as social animals. Having the chance to share our appreciation of colleagues and to celebrate positive events is really valuable – just as long as this is done fairly."
We have a Secret Santa thing at work. You’re not given a person to buy for, you just put a random gift up to $20 in the mix and they’re distributed at the Xmas party. I’m thinking a $20 donation to Extinction Rebellion.— Heath (@HeathC) November 25, 2019
Alexandra Sydney, Marketing Director at Jobsite, said, "When it comes to Secret Santa, again this should be “opt-in” rather than a requirement, and a budget range can be agreed from the offset to avoid any awkwardness."
She goes on to say that these celebrations are done to create a sense of togetherness and not to pressurize and alienate the employees.
when everyone at work started signing up for secret santa 🥴 pic.twitter.com/XJCQ1Mqr7f— . (@kaaitlinn_) November 21, 2019
But it looks like the Secret Santa ritual is here to stay.