In many offices, the mention of Secret Santa sends shivers down spines, and grumbles of frustration “Ugh, what on earth am I going to get Neil from accounts for a fiver…”. At GearedApp Secret Santa has become the highlight of the year, and can be quite an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved.
We started our Secret Santa routine 2 years ago. Just like any other office, the concept is simple. We use an online tool to randomly assign a secret giftee to each person. We set a fairly substantial budget of £15, with a couple of weeks to get your presents in order. Both years the team have shown that their enthusiasm and out-of-the-“gift”-box thinking doesn’t just apply to our projects… and they have not disappointed.
The highlight of last year was when developer Armand’s Secret Santa, Facu, gave them a gift that was more of an experience. Their present contained a clue which only they would understand. This led them around the office on a treasure hunt, only to reveal a heartfelt letter that brought everyone in the room to tears! With that emotional experience still in fairly fresh our memories, we did not expect such extravagance this year. How could anyone beat that?!
This year, the very same Secret Santa (Facu) upped the ante. 2 days before our gifting, Intern David received an anonymous email from “GearedApp Secret Santa” asking him to download an app that was attached to the email. We all thought it might be spam so ignored it, only for David to receive another email reading “Secret Santa knows all. Don’t be afraid. Trust me, download the app”.
On the day of Secret Santa there was already excitement in the air. We’d just been to an Escape room, and there was anticipation the whole day to exchange gifts. We got started with some amazing and heartfelt gift sharing, and lots of hugs all round. Finally, it was David’s turn to open his app… and we were all greeted with a horrific, screechy rendition of Jingle bells played on recorder on loop, and a multiple choice quiz for him to complete. David successfully managed to answer the questions, with a bit of help from the team, and received a code (and at last the music stopped)! Joining the dots, he noticed a combination padlock on his gift, quickly entered the code to open his gift – lots of lovely goodies that were right up his street.
Facu did it again – trust an app developer to build his very own Secret Santa app… and we don’t know how he is going to deliver next year!
What’s more, we had even more excitement when Armand decided to “get Facu back” with another treasure hunt, cunning clues and directions to hidden spots around the office, with everyone standing by and cheering Facu on.
Well, the GearedApp team really have raised the Secret Santa bar high this year… We feel incredibly lucky to be part of such an enthusiastic and open team! I am already sitting on the edge of my seat for next year.
If you’d like to read a little more about the GearedApp team, check out our other recent blogs on Sammy’s work placement, and the GearedApp Story. Get in touch today if you’d like to hear more about working with us!