Secret Santa gifts under €20 (even if you hate everyone in the office)
Beauty: Little parcels and tubs of goodness can help bring some office cheer
The Nails Inc Sparkle Baby Bauble Gift Set (€13)
The office Secret Santa is an annual source of deep cringing stress in ritual form. It is a tradition in which, in order to create cohesion in an environment where people have to smell one another’s (inexplicably always) tuna-based lunches, gifts are forcibly exchanged.
You take around 20 of your hard-earned euro, sweated from your very skin with toil and the crap you have to put up with from the guy at the next desk who listens to Journey on repeat, and you non-consensually spend them on someone you either don’t know you dislike yet, or who you actually currently dislike. Because if you receive a pack of golf tees from Donal in accounts, though you loathe both golf and Donal’s cabbagey smell and squeaky shoes, the office isn’t on the cusp of anarchy, right? Right?
If you happen to actually like the people you are enclosed with all day in a box-like structure (lah-dee-dah), then there are plenty of beauty gifts under €20 to choose from.
Perhaps Claire the receptionist – whose good side you must always keep on lest she steal the Asos orders you very unprofessionally have delivered to the office – might like a lovely Aromatherapy Associates Precious Destress time bauble (€14.45). The bauble contains a little bottle of lavender destress oil. It’s perfect for Claire because, even though you once heard her answer the office phone ‘Hello Facebook?’ because she was looking at her profile while working, she never shuts up about how stressed she is.
Perhaps Sinéad, your office’s unpaid intern who is fresh out of a business and French degree she’s still paying for, and who shares an apartment with nine people, would be cheered by the NAILS INC Sparkle Baby Bauble Gift Set (€13). It contains a cute little sparkle polish so that Sinéad can admire her own hands as they fly across the keyboard and make tea for free. She might also like a Catrice Kaviar Gauche Brush Bag (€6.75) for her makeup brushes, because she wears every item of makeup she owns daily to cover up the broken dreams in her eyes.
James – the guy who unfailingly leaves the office every Thursday evening in GAA shorts the length of hot pants while drinking a pint of whole milk direct from the carton – might benefit from a Bulldog Skincare Duo Set (€13 from Boots). His delicate, pale skin is flayed positively crimson and rendered flaky from taking cold sliotars to the face weekly in the depths of winter. A bit of moisturiser would really help him out, though he doesn’t know it yet. So, would a longer pair of shorts, if you can find a pair under €20.
Finally, for Amanda from HR, who clears her throat approximately every nine seconds, and who you see each morning putting makeup on at her desk with a brush so manky it looks like she’s applying her makeup with a parsnip, there’s the Real Techniques Cleansing Brush Palette (€18.99). Hopefully it will shame her into washing them, at least once. That’s money well spent.