In Quest To Ruin Everything, Many Millennials Want Secret Santa Banned Because It's Too High-Pressure
Look, I’ll be real here: This millennial finds Secret Santa to be profoundly boring.
If you like it, that’s fantastic. There are only so many rooms I can put Bluetooth speakers in. I’ve also been told by my wife (repeatedly, really) that I don’t need any kind of candy or anything like that. It’s not my thing. If I’m roped in, I guess you’re getting … well, a Bluetooth speaker, probably from my last Secret Santa session.
I don’t exactly feel like the whole thing is high-pressured, however. I don’t feel that the eyes of the office or church group are upon me, waiting to castigate me for how much I spend on these gifts. If you like what you get, superb. If you don’t, well, there you go. I’m not calling for it to be banned.
I don’t know if this is a thing with American millennials, but over on Albion’s shores, a study by U.K.’s Jobsite found that there’s massive discontent with Secret Santa rituals, and not because of boredom. In fact, the pressure that they create has led to 35 percent of millennial workers saying they ought to be banned.
Because apparently, if millennials don’t like something, nobody can do it.
Part of the problem may be — well, let’s face it, is — misplaced priorities.
In a Nov. 8 blog post, Jobsite revealed that 26 percent of young workers had actually incurred overdrafts or gone into their savings to buy gifts for office Secret Santa parties or other “whip-rounds.”
So, why is this? Well, apparently, “[t]he average millennial’s whip-round is 34% more expensive, with their average contribution reaching £9 (and a total of £151 per year, compared to £7 / £99 per year for all workers).”
Let me translate that for you: The average millennial decided to spend 34 percent more than other workers on “whip-rounds.” This is probably because 17 percent felt they were being judged for their contributions and 73 percent say they’d “contributed more than they could afford to an office celebration.”
“As a result, one in five (20%) workers believe that such events should not be celebrated at all in the workplace and 35% of Millennials would even like to see them banned (25% of all workers),” Jobsite reported.
However, the average millennial’s ability to withstand cognitive dissonance knows no bounds: “despite the financial and emotional pressures – The likes of ‘Secret Santa’ are here to stay, as the majority (61%) of UK office workers think they are good for morale, 60% believe they help build a healthy rapport amongst colleagues and a further 64% assert that gifting between employees is a sign of respect and appreciation.
“Interestingly, those aged between 22-38 were more likely to acknowledge these benefits (67% vs 62% on average) – despite being more likely to be on the receiving end of some of the negative side effects of contribution. This implies that while office celebrations carry value, they are in need of a modern-day rethink — especially as two fifths (42%) of the UK workforce deems them ‘old-fashioned’.”
So here’s a plausible explanation Jobsite doesn’t really explore here: Millennials like Secret Santa games (or “whip-rounds” — whatever floats your HMS Pinafore) more than other workers, which means they might spend more on them. And they feel pressure about this because … they’re overanalyzing this, just like everything. They should probably learn some financial continence here and move on.
Good conclusion? Nope: “As a result, one in five (20%) workers believe that such events should not be celebrated at all in the workplace and 35% of Millennials would even like to see them banned (25% of all workers).“
I’m not quite sure how these two questions are different and suspect it’s because of unclear writing by someone who should be taken aside by their editor. Anyway, that’s still a minority of millennials. We should celebrate that, right?
No, because there are plenty of millennials who believe that what we should do instead is Elizabeth Warren this whole Secret Santa thing.
”A significant proportion of young workers feel like the business should shoulder the burden — rather than adding to the pressures of individual employees. Millennials in employement particularly agree with 24% asking for dedicated company budgets to avoid chipping in, compared to 21% across all UK workers surveyed,” the website read.
You know what? Fine, you’ve convinced me. Ban Secret Santa. Just freaking ban it. Let’s get Jeremy Corbyn into 10 Downing Street and he can offer Britain’s millennials Secret Santa debt forgiveness.
We can export it over here once Sen. Elizabeth Warren takes over the Oval Office. And one day, we’ll talk about how Christianity colonized offices and forced millennials into bank overdrafts in order to buy gifts for office parties.
There’s another possibility, although I’d just as soon not discuss it out of fear of offending millennials. Instead, I would ask them to contribute what they can, don’t worry about what other people think of them, don’t ask their employer to chip in for their Christmas gifts and remember that their job isn’t contingent on whether or not they spent £8 or £15 on their “whip-round” gift.
Radical stuff, this. However, the prospect of the rest of my generational cohort wanting to ban Secret Santa is almost enough to get me to embrace it. Bring on the speakers, folks! Merry Christmas to all, and to all an Echo Dot!
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