Worker says co-worker gave her secret Christmas present to another employee

Navigating secret Santa gift exchanges at work can be difficult or even annoying for many employees, but one TikToker says her co-worker made her exchange less awkward by sharing her gift on the same day.

TikToker Alexis Starling (@ughstarr) works as a school counselor and has decided to take part in a week-long Secret Santa gift exchange at her school. The gift exchange is structured so that each participant gives and receives a $5 gift on the first four days and gives and receives a $20 gift on the last day, Starling explains in one of her recent TikTok videos.

On the first day of the exchange, Starling hid the gift for her imp recipient, a teacher, in her classroom. Later she saw that the teacher had brought the gift to someone else’s closet.

“I wrote her name here. She scratched it out and wrote the other teacher’s name,” Starling says, showing off the gift bag in one of her videos. “You gave away the gift I gave you the same damn day?”

The TikToker is visibly annoyed with the teacher, adding in the video that she might not bring “anything else” for the rest of the week.


Why am I always treated so badly with Secret Santa LOL

♬ Don’t touch my hair – Until then

Several viewers applauded Starling for taking back the gift, while others couldn’t get over the teacher’s decision to cross out her name and write the other teacher’s.

“For her to scratch out the name is behavior gone haywire [crying emoji]’ one viewer commented on the video.

“With a new BAG she could have at least played it off [laughing emoji]’ wrote another user.

Some viewers commented that they no longer participate in Secret Santas at work because of colleagues like the teacher.

“That’s exactly why I’m not participating,” said one user.

Another user commented: “Always say no to gifts at work. ALWAYS.”

In another video, Starling explains that the pixie swap was optional.

“You didn’t have to register. If she didn’t have money, she didn’t have to sign up,” Starling says of the teacher. “She made an executive decision to sign on.”

The TikToker says she took the gift back, as many viewers pointed out, because she wanted to confirm the teacher was reusing her gift, not just the bag. She says it was “a slap in the face” that the teacher not only reused her gift but left it in the same gift bag. Starling also argues that instead of leaving it in the teacher’s area for everyone to see, the teacher could have been more discreet.

In the video, Starling reveals that the gift was a mug that reads, “Sounds like a problem for you.” She chose the gift knowing the teacher really likes mugs. In the cup she put some cocoa, which the teacher apparently took before she just passed the cup on.

@ughstarr in reply to @ana_ken154 ♬ Original sound – Alexis Starling

The TikToker says there is no excuse for the teacher’s behavior and that she plans to raise the issue with her. She adds that she likes the teacher and thinks the teacher will be “very, very, very, very crunchy” when she finds out that Starling happens to be her secret Santa.

Starling says she considered reusing the same gift bag from day one, crossing out the second teacher’s name, and rewriting the original teacher’s name. She also considered stopping giving gifts to the teacher until the final day, when Secret Santa’s identity is revealed.

In another video, Starling says she decided to reuse the same bag for her next gift. But as she was on her way to deliver her gift, she met the recipient of the teacher’s imp, who said she heard the teacher passed Starling’s gift on to her.

@ughstarr in reply to @msnita83 ♬ Original sound – Alexis Starling

Starling says she didn’t want to be “the Grinch who stole [her] Secret Santa Christmas,” but she confirmed the rumors to the woman. The woman sided with Starling and agreed the teacher’s behavior was “crisp,” according to TikToker.

Instead of giving that day’s present to the teacher, Starling chose to give it to the woman who missed her first present due to the repeat gifting incident, she says. The TikToker plans to give the rest of the gifts to the teacher, but says she’s yet to decide how to call them.

“I want them to know that I know,” she says.

The Daily Dot contacted Starling via TikTok comment.


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*Initial publication: December 15, 2022 7:37 am CST Worker says co-worker gave her secret Christmas present to another employee

Jaclyn Diaz

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