Woman Slammed for Giving Co-Worker 'Condescending' Secret Santa Gifts

A woman who ignored her co-worker's Secret Santa gift requests and instead bought something she hoped would "broaden her horizons" has been widely criticized for her actions.

The issue of unwanted Christmas presents was previously highlighted in a 2019 study conducted by Finder, which estimated an astonishing $15.2 billion was wasted on unwanted gifts in the U.S. that year.

Some 61 percent of Americans surveyed as part of the research admitted to getting at least one unwanted gift over the holidays, which equates to roughly 154 million American adults.

The study also found that just 31 percent of people hold on to the unwanted gift, followed by another 31 percent who plan to re-gift their present and another 20 percent who plan to exchange it.

Quite what will happen to the gifts given out by an anonymous user posting to Reddit's "Am I The A**hole" subreddit is anyone's guess.

It wasn't so much that she knowingly purchased unwanted presents for a colleague but rather that she ignored the handy list of suggestions the co-worker had shared prior to the gifts being handed out.

Gift lists are an increasingly common concept when it comes to Secret Santa draws, with participants eager to avoid receiving something that will otherwise go unused.

According to the woman posting, her colleague, "Sara," put together a lengthy list of gift suggestions that included a "bunch of books" along with things like "socks, tea, and candy."

However, Sara's colleague was left "disappointed" with the suggestions as she said she is usually good at giving "really cool gifts" and the items on the list were "just blah things." She became even more unhappy when, after looking up the books Sara asked for, she discovered they were all "romance novels." That was when she decided to take matters into her own hands.

"I felt kinda cringe buying her romance novels so I looked at the common themes and found a really good fantasy novel to buy her instead," she wrote. "It has a romance in it too. I figure if she likes to read then she'd be happy to broaden her horizons and branch out."

In addition to the book, she purchased some tea and a pair of "Baby Yoda socks"— despite Sara expressing no interest in Star Wars or sci-fi of any kind for that matter.

Come the day of the gift exchange, the woman was shocked to see Sara looking "visibly confused" when she opened her gift. "She changed her face to be surprised/happy but this really bothered me," she wrote.

Worse still, she later overheard Sara in the break room "complaining saying she didn't get why someone got her these things" and after that saw her give the Baby Yoda socks away to someone "for their kid."

The woman said she was "really bothered" by this response as she had "put thought and effort" into the gift. Yet few, if anyone, responding to the post had much in the way of sympathy.

"Get over yourself," Curion commented. "No, you disliked her taste so got her something you would have liked instead of something she would have liked."

Burninginfinite branded the woman "condescending," while anon28374691 said: "You got someone something they wouldn't like because you think you have superior taste...you are certainly an a**hole." Leftytrash161 wrote: "The point of feminism is choice sweetie, that means your coworker is just as entitled to her tealight candles and romance novels as you are to whatever it is you're into."

"She was so condescending that it made me mad," ailsa08 said. "Like, why does she talk like her interests are better than Sara's?"

The best summation came from a user posting as Due_Detail_8511. "The only thing you know about this woman is that you felt superior to her so you got her a gift you had no reason to think she would like," they wrote. "Then you were mad she gave it away!"

Newsweek has reached out to the original poster for comment.

The debate comes hot on the heels of several similarly festive-themed online discussions, including one which saw a couple earn the backing of the internet after deciding to purchase a series of gifts for their nieces and nephews designed to deliberately annoy their parents.

Another woman, meanwhile, was applauded after she said she would refuse to cook the Christmas turkey if her spoiled stepdaughter ended up spending the holidays with them.

Woman looking unhappy with Christmas gift
Stock image of a woman opening an unwanted Christmas gift. A woman has been blasted online after ignoring her co-worker's Secret Santa gift picks and choosing a present of her own. Lifehdfilm/Getty