Secret Santa Gift Exchanges are a fun way to make new friendships in the office. Here are a few things to ensure a successful Secret Santa Exchange.
Draw Names: Make a list of everyone who wants to participate and put their names in a hat. Then have each participant draw a name. Make sure to remind everyone to keep their identity a secret.
Set The Standards: You can encourage Secret Santa's to give a small treat each week during the holiday season ( candy, coffee, etc - see our ideas below) to build intrigue, or some groups prefer to do just a single gift at the office party. Either way setting a budget is probably the most important part of Secret Santa to make sure everyone is treated fairly. The game is supposed to be fun, and the holiday time is already an expensive time for most people so budget to something small and encourage people to get really creative.
Choose Gifts: Even if it is something useless and silly, the idea is to show someone that you know them. Encourage participants to find out a little bit about the person they're surprising so that they can give things that are in line with their tastes and interest. The gift should ideally make them laugh or have some connection.
Mix It Up! If you are looking for ways to make things more interesting, don't be afraid to mix it up a bit. Set a theme that the gifts have to adhere to such as Disney films, puzzles, nature, food,or you can make it more ambiguous by saying all the presents have to be a certain color.
You don't have to have people spend money either; for example do a Bake-Off Secret Santa where you all make delicious holiday treats for each other. Or try the White Elephant version, where you find something you have to give your person.
The Big Reveal! At the final gift exchange, the gift tag should reveal the Secret Santa's identity.
Some ideas we have for your gift exchange
For years, Twist Office Products has been doing a toy drive for the Children of Aunt Martha's Children's Shelter.
The children receiving gifts are children receiving services at the Children’s Reception Center. They range from age 0 – 17, and are referred by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, local police, the juvenile justice system or other child welfare agencies.
Many of these children are entering the child welfare system for the first time. These will be the only gifts they receive this holiday season. Twist is excited to say the toys from the drive were delivered this morning, and nothing fills us with more holiday spirit.
We wish you a very merry holiday season, from our Twist family to yours.
This ingenious guide to holiday party etiquette was created by an employee to make functions, family or not, just a little bit more bearable.
Normally used when vying for a promotion or salary raise, this rubric is a light-hearted attempt to poke fun at the cutthroat competitive nature of moving up in corporate America.Examine it now to facilitate your upward path to party success, and replace "tequila" with "eggnog".
*note some names have been changed
There are a few things you should consider when shipping perishable goods to make sure they arrive intact.
We would like to thank our good friends at 3M, Scotch Brand for sharing these tips with us on their blog
Keeping track of dates and time is important if you want to beat the holiday rush, but equally important is taking advantage of some time saving shortcuts.
Here are some tips sure to help.
Addressing Made Easy
You can make short work of long mailing lists by using Avery Address Labels and free easy-to-use programs such as the Avery Wizard for Microsoft® Office or Avery Design & Print Online to create professional looking, custom-printed address labels in minutes. Visit avery.com/templates to find out more.
Check Your Zip Codes
Don’t let an incorrect zip code send your mail in the wrong direction. If in doubt, just go to www.usps.com and click on Look up a ZIP Code. Once you’ve got your mailing list in order (with full addresses and correct ZIP Codes) use the Avery Wizard or Avery Design & Print Online and get step-by-step instructions to mail merge your mailing list and print onto labels in minutes. If you don't have a spreadsheet with all of your names and addresses, you can start with our pre-formatted files for Microsoft® Excel or other database programs.
Reuse those boxes
Got a used box that would be perfect for something you need to ship, except it has its original shipping labels or other markings all over it? No problem. There’s no need to scratch off the old labels—all you need are Avery Shipping Labels with TrueBlock® Technology and free Avery Templates to format and print the new shipping address. You can also make old boxes look like new by covering up old markings with Avery Brown Kraft Shipping Labels. And because Avery Shipping Labels completely cover up everything underneath, your packages look neat, legible, and professional.
Avoid Post Office Lines
Why go to the Post Office when you can calculate and print official USPS postage right from your own PC? You can print postage using popular Avery 5160 Labels and Avery 8160 Labels at www.avery.com/postage, powered by Stamps.com. For new customers, check out the special introductory offer (valued at $100).
Did you know that the third Monday in December is usually the busiest mailing day of the year? The Post Office will deliver more than 20 billion pieces of mail this holiday season, meaning packages will likely take longer than usual to ship. Who needs the added stress around the holiday wondering if your perfect present gets to the recipient in time?
For domestic delivery through USPS, make sure your packages are sent before these dates:
2015 USPS Holiday Shipping Cut Off Dates Calculated for December 25, 2015
Holiday Dates to Remember
Thanksgiving—Thursday, November 28, 2013 (Federal Holiday)
Hanukkah— Wednesday, November 27, 2013 thru December 5, 2013, from sundown to sundown
Christmas— Wednesday, December 25, 2013 (Federal Holiday)
Kwanzaa— Thursday, December 26, 2013 thru January 1, 2014
New Year’s Day— Wednesday, January 1, 2014 (Federal Holiday)
Each year at this time we invite our employees, customers, vendors, friends and family to join with us in collecting toys for the children who end up spending the holidays at the Aunt Martha's Children's Reception Center. These children have been removed from their homes due to abuse and/or neglect.
There are numerous toy drives during the holiday season. Many are for children of low income families. While all children are very important, they are spending the holidays surrounded by family and friends. The children at Aunt Martha's are not. Spending time with these children, you can see the heartbreak and desperation in their eyes. They are unsure of their future and what the next few days, weeks and months bring. Where will they be living? Does anyone love them? Are they valued by anyone?
Your small gift or donation can show these children that someone does care! The children receiving services at the Children’s Reception Center range from age 0 – 21, male and female. Gifts for any age is appreciated. We can arrange for our drivers to pick up your gift, or you can drop off gifts at 945 Edgewood Ave, Suite A. Wood Dale, IL. 60191
For more information on Aunt Martha's please go to www.auntmarthas.org
This blog post was originally posted on the Smead Organamics blog
Coping with holiday stress is a huge concern for many people. Many people try to pack months worth of activities into just 6 short weeks. Most individuals admit to having stress directly related to this time of year. For mental and physical health reasons, coping with holiday stress is very important. In fact, there are four holiday stress-inducers that you can try eliminating to make your holiday season actually feel like a holiday:
By: Audrey Thomas, Certified Professional Organizer®
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