Secret Santa, a group activity to give gifts for Christmas with an element of surprise. You pick a name at random and have to shop for whoever it is you’ve selected. Usually there’s a budget involved and maybe even a wish list if you’re lucky! My issue with this though is the waste we’re creating by buying cheap and rubbish gifts.
I’ve recently reached a point where I’m very aware of the possessions I keep in my life. What brings me joy or has a memory attached to it, what is something I’m holding onto for no reason. I don’t want to keep receiving tat, which could very well be the definition of Secret Santa. On top of this, setting such a cheap budget on this festive affair often just encourages junk to be bought and thus thrown away, contributing to consumerism waste.
My work is hosting a £1 gift giving, I plan on buying someone chocolate, at least this won’t be wasted. Last year I received plastic pipes that made a drinking straw. This essentially amounted to me adding to the plastic waste that is already so huge. As funny as it may be to give a silly gift, is it really something we can afford to keep doing with the direction our planet is heading in?
I 100% do not want to seem like a scrooge here, I am definitely up for Christmas fun, I love the season! But there must be a better way to take part in a Secret Santa activity without creating so much waste. Suggestions I’d throw out there:
• Setting a reasonable budget so people don’t have to get cheap tat, maybe £10?
• Buy your gift from a charity shop, this way you’re recycling items and not adding to product waste. You’re also contributing to a good cause!
• Keep gifts you’ve received in the past that you didn’t like and use them as Secret Santa presents. This may sound a bit tight, but actually if you think someone else would love the gift and it’s still new, why not recycle it?
• Buy local products, this way you’re supporting a local market and contributing positively to the economy.
• Make your gift, this will probably mean a lot more to the recipient and gives you a chance to throw in some creativity!
• You could make a donation in their name to a charity, maybe a bit of a cheeky gift, but probably something that will go a lot further than cheap rubbish.
• Lastly, what about an edible gift? Everyone loves some chocolate or biscuits and even if they don’t, you can bet someone in their family will eat it!
I’d be interested to know your tips for reducing waste in a Secret Santa giveaway.