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How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

Last post Tue, Nov 11 2008 8:28 AM by loves2cook. 19 replies.
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  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 8:44 AM

    How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    I had planned on doing some VERY inexpensive gifts for coworkers this year, as I always do. This is my first Christmas at this place. DH is laid off right now and I was planning on being very frugal all the way around. Now they've mentioned drawing names. A dollar amount hasn't been mentioned yet. Even in our families, except for the little ones, we don't do gifts except for a fun game of gift exchange..with a low dollar amount set.

    At work, they've already mentioned all of us pitching in to order food out around the Thanksgiving holiday. I've bowed out on that because I can eat much cheaper by bringing food from home. Would I be rude to also say I don't want to participate in drawing names?

  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 9:04 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    I was in a similar situation a few years ago with a "secret sister" group, and it was a terrible feeling. I figured that it would be best for me to just tell the name-drawing coordinator the truth. I could "beat around the bush" and come up with some lame excuse, but I decided the truth would be the best, most forward way to deal with it.

    I told the person that I was in a financial bind, and I would be unable to come up with an appropriate, deservimg gift for someone whose name I'd draw. I also said that if money wasn't so tight, I would participate happily. But since these were lean times, I'd like to bow out as graciously as possible.

    I thought I'd get a lot of grief for not being a "team player" but amazingly, the coordinator was very gracious.

    I hope that it works for you. I know the feeling--like people will think you are party-pooper or a Scrooge--when in reality, that is not the truth at all.

    Stacie

    http://holdinghandswithmyhoney.blogspot.com/
  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 10:16 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    Thanks slk2042,

    I am going to be upfront about it. I really appreciate your input!

  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 11:46 AM In reply to

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    Before you decide to bow out of the drawing, here's an alternative you might consider: talk to your boss and suggest setting a low dollar limit for the gift exchange. At my office we used to exchange gifts costing $10 or less, and when we did Secret Santas in school the limit was $5. I think the exchanges are more fun this way because it encourages people to use their few dollars creatively. You could even propose that all gifts exchanged be either homemade or secondhand. This would allow not just you but all your coworkers to take part in the festivities without taking too big a hit in the wallet. It's possible that there are others besides you who would rather not spend a lot of money on the name drawing, but no one else has the nerve to speak up about it--so you could be doing them all a favor.
    My Ecofrugal Living blog: ecofrugality.blogspot.com
  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 12:00 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

     I'd find out the limit before you ask - where I work, the limit is $25 for a week of gifts, for 4 small gifts the first 4 days of the week - usually free to a couple of dollars - and then one larger gift on the last day, but a lot of people spend less than $10.  Also, our gift exchange is completely voluntary, and only about 1/4 of the staff actually participates.

  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 12:16 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
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    • Los Angeles County, CA
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    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    It was like that where I worked, and I was always the odd ball because I didn't want to participate because of the cost, but did to try and get along and be that team player. Otherwise it was face getting the cold-shoulder treatment. My co-workers seemed to have unlimited funds, whereas there were years when money was very tight  for me, and I spent more money on the co-worker gifts than on anything for a individual family member. It is the lack of understanding on the co-workers part that I don't like when someone says they can't participate.   Edey

    Edey's Vintage and Current Needlework Blog

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  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 12:47 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    I took part in a cookbook swap on another forum this past fall. We had a $30.00 limit for the cookbook(s). After I signed up I found out that we were also expected to add other little gifts to the box containing the cookbook. By the time everything was done it came close to $50.00 not counting the shipping & handling.

    Don't get me wrong. I love getting a new cookbook, but I don't like to spend that much money on a swap for someone I haven't met in person.

    They are doing a Christmas swap. I told the truth about why I was not going to take part. I said that I'd had to replace a water softener (I really did & it was close to $2,000.00) and Mom was having a lot of dental work (It was around $2,000.00 also) and that I didn't have a lot of extra funds.

    I think that if your swap is $10.00 or less, you might be able to find a nice gift. If your swap is for more than that amount I would say that your budget is stretched to the max.

  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 3:14 PM In reply to

    • rolo
    • Top 50 Contributor
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    • Joined on Wed, Apr 4 2007
    • Michigan
    • Posts 1,932

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

     Oh, I SO dislike these things in the workplace.  I am so glad we do not do that.  We donate any sum we want to the Giving Envelope and the money is used to support a local charitable organization.  The donations can be made year round, not just in Novemver or December.


    Lorrie

    "People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost." ~~ Dalai Lama XIV -

  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 4:08 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
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    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    This is my first xmas at my place of work and we are doing secret santa.  up to $25.  here is it hard to find cheaper things, no target! lol. so $20 - $25 is reasonable.  I have done secret santas at other places.  I don't mind if it is reasonable.   Our firm is generous and doesn't ask for anything.  They are putting on a xmas party at no cost to us.  Dh's work  the staff party is $75 a ticket so we don't go.

    Plus they do charity events too.  I think the secret santa thing is a way to bond the office together.   though a suggestion has been raised for people next year everyone puts that money towards a  needy family at xmas. 

    I don't mind  secret santas if it is a reasonable price and you aren't being hit up for things like birthday all the time.   I plan for it as part of the xmas budget.  I work in sm. firms though.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Sun, Nov 9 2008 4:57 PM In reply to

    • Toni B.
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Apr 5 2008
    • Seneca Falls NY
    • Posts 3,826

    Re: How do you get out of "drawing names" at work?

    slk2042:
    I told the person that I was in a financial bind, and I would be unable to come up with an appropriate, deservimg gift for someone whose name I'd draw. I also said that if money wasn't so tight, I would participate happily. But since these were lean times, I'd like to bow out as graciously as possible.
    This advice maybe easier than you think. Everyone is apprehensive these days. It would be nice if they did an anonymous poll and asked everyone if it's feasible to even have a gift exchange. When you're concerned about how to afford gifts for your own family, the last thing you need is added pressure at work. I also agree with Virginia Needlewoman, that you have to be careful about the "unspoken expectations" that quickly get out of hand.
    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in Stages of Life
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