worst-secret-santa-gifts.pngOnce again, the dreaded long-awaited secret santa circus is back in town, and office workers everywhere are wracking their brains to come up with an idea that will prove their worth as employees. If you're currently struggling for inspiration like so many others, here are some clues on what NOT to buy for your co-workers:

Chocolate body paint: This 'saucy' goop has been the gift of choice by the office perv since about 1990. Not funny then, unspeakably tacky now.

The ostentatiously over-budget item. This person is getting more than their fair share of the salary cake and doesn't care who knows it!

The pound-shop special: invariably chosen by someone who's bitter about their low wages. Bonus points if they get the boss...

The obvious freebie: we've all seen it sitting on your desk for the past six months. Re-gifting is bad enough, but this really takes the mince pie.

The cop-out: interpreting the brief in the most literal way, this unimaginative so-and-so has ignored the spirit of the game and popped to the nearest shop for a £10 voucher. Zzz.

The subtle hint: If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything - event it's said with a present, e.g. a weight loss manual or 'freshening' body spray.

The outright insult: Guessing at someone's size is almost always a recipe for trouble, so don't buy clothes unless you know the recipient's size for a fact.

The attempt at humour: Never assume that a colleague will share your sense of humour, especially if it's at their expense. They may laugh at your jokes, but will they really appreciate a hair dying kit if they've just started going grey?

The stationery-cupboard special Unless you work in a retail desert, there's no excuse to raid the office supplies for a last-minute gift. Some have attempted to make stress balls from misappropriated rubber bands: nice try but no cigar. 

Desk decorations: Unless your office party falls very early in the month, buying a festive ornament or other overly Christmassy item for a colleague is a waste of money: they'll only be able to use it for a week or so. 

Ever received a groan-worthy, inappropriate or otherwise abysmal secret santa gift? Let us know!

[Image: Kevin Dooley]