Millennials would slay ‘Secret Santa’

Let’s start here: I am no fan of segmenting — or segregating — people by generational cohort, meaning slicing and dicing into Baby Boomers, Millennials, Generation X, Y, Z or whatever academics dream up next.

I don’t want to go all Uncle Sam on you, but weren’t we better off when we identified as Americans, rather than some sub group? How many ways can we be divided before we lose a sense of cohesion and national identity?


Academics find use in assigning titles to groups of people who: were born during a specific time frame. They supposedly have similar characteristics and behaviors and are quantitatively  different from the other generations.

Millennials don’t like Secret Santa

There is some truth to this, I guess, but not a lot. 

More of your beliefs are formed by parents and geography and economics rather than a birth year.

But maybe I am wrong. A recent study has found Millennials don’t like “Secret Santa” practices in offices because they find it “stressful” and anxiety producing.

It is too easy to ridicule Millennials, and many have. But let’s be fair: Are they listless couch surfers living in their mother’s basement? Or are they the hustlers working three gig jobs to make ends meet while they work on the next killer app that will billionaire them?

The eggheads anointed mine the Silent Generation. How well does that fit me? Riiiight.

OK, the British job-hunting website, Jobsite, has found Millennials want a safe space when they are exposed to a “Secret Santa.”

What a bunch of wimps, you may be thinking. But wait.

Offices like “Secret Santas” because they are inclusive — everyone gets something — and the costs theoretically are controlled by having a ceiling on what staffers can spend (although there are always showoffs who break the limit, sometimes causing bad feelings.) But it would not be Christmas without some bad feelings, right? 

And because we live in a hypersensitive era, “Secret Santa” is sometimes deChristianized by making it a “Holiday Pollyanna.” (We won’t talk about which holiday it is, but we all know, right?)

Millennials dislike “Secret Santas” because almost three-quarters of workers between 23-38 say it costs them more than they can afford.

Well, that’s not good.

There are more than a dozen office celebrations — such as birthdays, engagements, retirements and “Secret Santas” — during the year. That costs employees about $100 a year, Jobsite estimates.

About one-quarter (aged 23-38) said they were angry at the organizer for not considering their financial situation. About 17% reported allegations of stinginess relating to their contribution. This results in a sense of shame within the workplace. (I guess what you give is not that “secret.”)

One more thing to worry about.

As a result, one in five workers would like the celebrations banned, with a dsproportionate one-third of Millennials against them.

About one-quarter of Millennials would like to see the company provide presents.

Free stuff. Who don’t like that? 

18 thoughts on “Millennials would slay ‘Secret Santa’”

  1. HAPPY SATURDAY !!!
    Pallie,
    We’re in trouble. We live in what is supposed to be a perfect world, and we – you and I are not perfect. My wife may give you an answer, but I doubt that you need one.
    The young don’t seem to have a personal life with any person. Sure, they exist and live and co-habitat, but they don’t really get to know anybody. Sad. What are we without real, genuine human contact. You hear it every where you go from everybody out there. “I LOVE this, that, these and those and everything. I know that I’m a bit different. I LIKE a lot of this , that, these, but not so much those and definitely not everything. But I do LOVE people.
    In my life time, I shared time and money at the work place with my fellow coworkers. It gets to a point when, by (unanimous) decision, that there will be no more raffles, cookies or any fund raisers for the kiddies. It was all replaced with lottery drawings. But the camaraderie remained amongst the team, and the secret santa replaced the polyanna at the Christmas office party. Unless the young are introduced to our strange habits and leftover fond memories, they will continue to be the distant outsiders that they have become.
    Tony

    1. Hey Tony – I remember us being taught that we live in an imperfect world, and was told that we needed to try to make it somewhat less imperfect by doing a daily good deed, In Stu’s and my world, it’s called a Daily Mitzvah. Sounds like you tried to accomplish the same thing.

  2. A great gift from Secret Santa for most of today’s young people would be a lesson from you, Stu, on how to talk English without the obnoxious word ‘like’ being used. A typical conversation goes something akin to this… “Like, I was totally surprised, when he, like, told me he was, like, crazy about me.” When did today’s youth become Valley Girls?

    And in a totally unrelated gripe, can’t cashiers at the Wawa and most other places be taught to say “Thank you” instead of “Have a good one”? My response to “Have a good one” is always, “I hope to. I’ve been eating my bran.”

    Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah

    1. Funny Vincent I have no problem with “Have a good one.” because I often say just that. My gripe is when I say “Thank you” (Why am I thanking them, I don’t know), they say “No problem.”
      NO PROBLEM! What’s that?

      1. I agree with you about ‘no problem,’ which actually implies that you bothered them, but they got over it. And ‘have a good one’ is a substitute for something pleasant such as ‘have a nice day.’

  3. Not a good idea. The White House just did this and look what happened. Cong. Schiff said that Trump had withheld the gift for Ukraine’s ambassador until he got a bigger gift back from him for himself, and that the Whistleblower had overheard someone whisper to someone that Trump had demanded this of the ambassador seven times. Sen. Sanders said the Secret Service should seize the gift meant for Kushner and send it to Hamas. Ex-VP Biden said nobody could give a gift to anybody until they had first given $50,000 to Hunter. Sen. Warren corrected this to “$50,000 to everybody.” Ex VP Biden then asked who had moved the White House to Iowa, that it used to be in Indiana. Speaker Pelosi said it was a sad day for America, but Trump must be impeached for Abuse of Christmas. Congresswoman Waters just said “Impeach! Impeach! Impeach!” Senate Majority Leader McConnell said “Humbug.”

  4. Thanks for defining “generational cohort.” Hadn’t a clue?
    Secret Santa where I worked would have been a joke.
    The centennials I know are unlike the way they are generalized.
    Like all of you I dislike breaking us down into categories.
    Now Xmas Pollyanna @ my nieces is different, though some minor back and forths’.
    It has a limit of 30 or so dollars. Since the selection you pick can later be lost there can be some frustration if taken too seriously. Not me! I don’t play!
    Actually, I use to but the noise is too much for me. I sit in a quieter part of the house and turn off my hearing aide.

  5. TODAYS COLLEGE STUDENTS AND WHERE ARE THE PARENTS

    Duke Students Who Hijacked Alumni Event: Punishing Us Would Hurt Us Mentally
    Activists who stormed the stage were shocked when alumni in the audience dared to heckle them.
    ROBBY SOAVE | 4.20.2018 8:01 AM

    Duke
    Screenshot via The Duke Chronicle
    Two dozen student activists crashed an alumni event at Duke University on Saturday, using a megaphone to make their demands and drown out the speaker, Duke President Vincent Price. The students were surprised to discover that their interruption had irritated many alumni in the audience, some of whom heckled the activists and turned their backs while the demands were read.

    Now Duke’s administration is considering whether to discipline the students, whose behavior unquestionably violates university policy. That doesn’t sit well with them: Protest leader Gino Nuzzolillo accused administrators of aggravating the mental health problems of student activists. The administration’s letters informing students that they are under investigation have had the effect of “exacerbating any pre-existing mental health conditions,” Nuzzolillo told The Duke Chronicle.

    The protest happened during an alumni event reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Silent Vigil at Duke, a series of student-led sit-ins on campus. Nuzzolillo and his comrades sought to channel the spirit of the Silent Vigil, although their protest was anything but silent. About 25 students stormed the stage inside Page Auditorium while Price was speaking and chanted, “President Price get off the stage,” and “Whose university? Our university,” until they had command of the room. Then they read a list of demands, which included raising the university’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, hiring more faculty members of color, and spending more money on counseling services.

    The Duke Chronicle reported that some in the audience supported the students, while others did not:

    The protesters received mixed reactions from the alumni in the audience. Some alumni did nothing while others booed loudly or clapped in support. Many alumni stood up and turned their backs to the stage, some shouting vulgarities—the protesters reported hearing racial epithets.

    The protesters noted that they were surprised by the extent of the alumni’s negative reactions. [Student organizer Bryce] Cracknell added that he was disappointed that the administrators focused more on stopping the students than angry alumni, Cracknell said.

    “Instead of actually going to the alumni and saying ‘that’s not appropriate’ or removing them from the space, they were more worried about us,” Cracknell said.

    This was not an uncommon opinion among the protest’s leaders. Nuzzolillo expressed disappointment that the adults “whose job it is to care for us” failed to do so.

    Readers may find it remarkable that these students expected the other people in the room to applaud and validate them for derailing the event. The students also think the university should refrain from punishing them because any punishment would contribute to their mental health problems. According to Nuzzolillo:

    I think we are particularly concerned that the University knows that by sending these conduct letters out that they will be concerning the students and that they will be exacerbating any pre-existing mental health conditions and, like Bryce said, traumatizing and starting new ones, especially after Saturday’s issues. I think that among the many things that we share in common with the administration, the number one thing is that we all want to see this University be better and be more accommodating and make changes. We’re not sure why they’re not taking that approach too and reaching out to us in good faith rather than initiating a conduct process.

    These students want to have it both ways. They want to fight injustice, engage in civil disobedience like the activists of yore, and thumb their noses at the administration. At the same time, they want administrators to make them feel safe and comfortable, shield them from criticism, and play the role of the protective parents. They want to be celebrated as resistance fighters and treated like trauma victims. The student activists of 2018 require a lot of hand-holding as they overthrow their oppressors

  6. TODAYS COLLEGE STUDENTS AND WHERE ARE THE PARENTS

    Duke Students Who Hijacked Alumni Event: Punishing Us Would Hurt Us Mentally
    Activists who stormed the stage were shocked when alumni in the audience dared to heckle them.
    ROBBY SOAVE | 4.20.2018 8:01 AM

    Duke
    Screenshot via The Duke Chronicle
    Two dozen student activists crashed an alumni event at Duke University on Saturday, using a megaphone to make their demands and drown out the speaker, Duke President Vincent Price. The students were surprised to discover that their interruption had irritated many alumni in the audience, some of whom heckled the activists and turned their backs while the demands were read.

    Now Duke’s administration is considering whether to discipline the students, whose behavior unquestionably violates university policy. That doesn’t sit well with them: Protest leader Gino Nuzzolillo accused administrators of aggravating the mental health problems of student activists. The administration’s letters informing students that they are under investigation have had the effect of “exacerbating any pre-existing mental health conditions,” Nuzzolillo told The Duke Chronicle.

    The protest happened during an alumni event reflecting on the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Silent Vigil at Duke, a series of student-led sit-ins on campus. Nuzzolillo and his comrades sought to channel the spirit of the Silent Vigil, although their protest was anything but silent. About 25 students stormed the stage inside Page Auditorium while Price was speaking and chanted, “President Price get off the stage,” and “Whose university? Our university,” until they had command of the room. Then they read a list of demands, which included raising the university’s minimum wage to $15 an hour, hiring more faculty members of color, and spending more money on counseling services.

    The Duke Chronicle reported that some in the audience supported the students, while others did not:

    The protesters received mixed reactions from the alumni in the audience. Some alumni did nothing while others booed loudly or clapped in support. Many alumni stood up and turned their backs to the stage, some shouting vulgarities—the protesters reported hearing racial epithets.

    The protesters noted that they were surprised by the extent of the alumni’s negative reactions. [Student organizer Bryce] Cracknell added that he was disappointed that the administrators focused more on stopping the students than angry alumni, Cracknell said.

    “Instead of actually going to the alumni and saying ‘that’s not appropriate’ or removing them from the space, they were more worried about us,” Cracknell said.

    This was not an uncommon opinion among the protest’s leaders. Nuzzolillo expressed disappointment that the adults “whose job it is to care for us” failed to do so.

    Readers may find it remarkable that these students expected the other people in the room to applaud and validate them for derailing the event. The students also think the university should refrain from punishing them because any punishment would contribute to their mental health problems. According to Nuzzolillo:

    I think we are particularly concerned that the University knows that by sending these conduct letters out that they will be concerning the students and that they will be exacerbating any pre-existing mental health conditions and, like Bryce said, traumatizing and starting new ones, especially after Saturday’s issues. I think that among the many things that we share in common with the administration, the number one thing is that we all want to see this University be better and be more accommodating and make changes. We’re not sure why they’re not taking that approach too and reaching out to us in good faith rather than initiating a conduct process.

    These students want to have it both ways. They want to fight injustice, engage in civil disobedience like the activists of yore, and thumb their noses at the administration. At the same time, they want administrators to make them feel safe and comfortable, shield them from criticism, and play the role of the protective parents. They want to be celebrated as resistance fighters and treated like trauma victims. The student activists of 2018 require a lot of hand-holding as they overthrow their oppressors

  7. To clarify from the outset: I am 53 years old, hardly a millennial (technically, I’m pretty sure I’m on the cusp of Gen X). That being said, I have never cared to exchange gifts, or donate to charity, or do anything else of that nature in work. Yes, I will be social if the occasion arises and I am so inclined, such as going to lunch or even dinner for a special occasion. However, I draw the line there. I don’t go to work because I want to spend the majority of my waking hours with the people there. I go to work to earn a living. If I want to give someone a gift, I give it, but I’ve never been one to participate in a Pollyanna just because everyone else is doing it. I’m really loathe to do anything remotely like that. Same thing with charity. I earn my pay, then I spend it as I see fit. Making donations from my check to make my boss look good that his department participated in a corecion-based donation system has never been something that I could stomach or participate in. I donate to charities, but I do it from home. Work is for work. It’s all so… Disingenuous.

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