A Secret Santa gift typically falls into one of two categories. In some cases, a lucky recipient receives something they find genuinely helpful and puts to regular use. In others, everybody has a good laugh at a novelty gift before it’s banished to a desk drawer. There it will remain, forgotten and gathering dust, until the recipient resigns or moves house.
How you feel about that depends on how you view the Secret Santa tradition. What matters most – the quality and practicality of the gift, or the experience of the exchange? If you feel strongly about the former, a voucher is a helpful compromise. It ensures that the recipient can pick up something that will enhance their life in some way, even at a comparatively low value.
All the same, isn’t a voucher just a little … well boring? Let’s talk about the pros and cons of gifting vouchers to a Secret Santa recipient.
Advantages of Gifting Vouchers for Secret Santa
There are undeniable advantages of gifting vouchers in a Secret Santa draw. If you’re wondering if this is a good idea, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of sticking to this failsafe option.
First and foremost, vouchers require little effort. Most of the time, you can pick one up online and have it delivered to the recipient’s phone or email account in seconds. It’s a helpful backup plan if you left your shopping to the last minute, or do not know your recipient very well. Just bear in mind that the whole point of Secret Santa is to get to know somebody.
All the same, you are unlikely to know all the ins and outs of somebody’s circumstances. A voucher may be more helpful than you realise. If the recipient is walking a budgetary tightrope, it may provide a welcome opportunity to regift or purchase another present for free.
Drawbacks of Gifting Vouchers for Secret Santa
Of course, for every benefit of gifting vouchers, there is also a drawback. The Secret Santa overlords demand balance in all things. Let’s consider why gifting vouchers at a Secret Santa exchange may backfire horribly.
So, Person A has opened their gift. It’s an executive bottom scratcher. Everybody has a good laugh, the use of the tool is mimed to much amusement … then into the bottom drawer it goes. Now Person B opens their gift, and it’s a £10 gift voucher for Amazon. This may cause resentment among other recipients. After all, they would have found that much more helpful than a bandana emblazoned with Michael Gove’s face.
That’s assuming that the recipient will be delighted, anyway. Gifting a voucher may seem like a way to avoid offence, but it can easily lead to hurt feelings. The recipient may have been looking forward to seeing how well their colleagues, friends or family members know them, and what they thought they’d enjoy. Instead, they’re left with what could be considered the most generic and impersonal gift of all. They may be left wondering if they are considered dull, difficult or just plain unworthy of appropriate consideration.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal choice as to whether you gift vouchers to a recipient. Here at Secret Santa Gifts, we tend to err on the side of avoidance. To us, a voucher doesn’t fulfil the spirit of this tradition. All the same, there’s a time and a place for everything. Make your own judgment call.