Millennials seem to be confused by the difference between anticipation and anxiety. The snowflakes of the country don’t like to do anything that might cause them to step outside of their comfort zone.
Secret Santa has been a tradition for years. Everyone participating puts their name into a hat. Everyone draws a name, keeping it secret. They have to buy for the name that they draw. No one knows who their Secret Santa is, making it fun and anticipatory. Now, however, Millennials are looking to do away with the tradition because of the anxiety that it inevitably causes.
There shouldn’t be anything terrifying about the practice of Secret Santa. It’s a cost-effective way to handle buying for the holidays so that you don’t have to get everyone a present. There are even ways to make it easier. People can make wish lists of what they want. This makes it even easier to buy for the person you have no clue about in terms of what to get them. This alone cuts out any anxiety that could be attached to the holiday tradition. Plus, there’s a budget set so that there’s no fear of spending too much (or not enough).
A study was actually done recently to show that there were negative effects of Secret Santa. Millennials were found to be the ones to suffer from anxiety as a result of the workplace Secret Santa. Somehow, it’s not even surprising that it was from this demographic. They seem to know how to ruin a good time faster than anyone else.
Jobsite was the one that commissioned the study. They found that some of the younger workers spend more than what they can afford on colleague gift-giving. Plus, it’s all happening because they don’t want to be judged.
Millennials have actually reported that they are feeling judged about how much money is being spent on the gifts. As a result, they spend more than what they can afford so they don’t get perceived as being cheap or stingy. The result: A one-way ticket to Anxiety Central.
The study showed that 26 percent of young workers will dip into their savings or get an overdraft on their checking account just to get into the gift exchange. Meanwhile, millennials will be 34 percent more expensive. This sounds like there are a few problems going on, none of which should be to cancel the tradition. One, it sounds like people need to get a bit of help with budgeting. Two, there needs to be a clear limit set so that no one is overspending. They’re too busy overthinking the whole process, which is where most of the problem lies, to begin with.
In addition to anxiety, there’s another emotion that’s popping up. It’s not joy or appreciation. It’s anger. That’s because around 25 percent of the employees that fall between the ages of 23 and 38 are angry at the Secret Santa organizer for not considering their financial situation. So, rather than asking for the limit to be lowered or, you know, saving up some money, the millennials would rather dig into their savings account every year and dip in for an extra dosing of anxiety.
It’s not just Secret Santa, either. If you were thinking that this was a simple case of being a Grinch, it’s not. The study showed that 20 percent of workers believe that birthday presents should be excluded in the workplace, too, as a way to diffuse the financial anxiety.
If finances are that big of a concern, it seems like they may need to make a few savvier decisions about their life. In the meantime, they’re coming across as party poopers who don’t know how to live in the moment and celebrate with their co-workers. 10 years from now, they’re going to be complaining about why they don’t have any joy in their life – and it’s because their younger selves got rid of it as a way of minimizing some of their stress.
The party poopers, or 35 percent of millennials involved in the study, would prefer to see the Secret Santa banned from the workplace entirely.
Dr. Ashley Weinberg, a psychology professor at the University of Salford, says that she agrees with the study. She feels that anxiety could be reduced by establishing spending limits. Finally, a voice of reason. She feels that Secret Santa can deliver a whole range of emotions, including humiliation if the cost of the gift doesn’t measure up.
The spirit of giving has never been so over-thought by a group of people. Set a price limit, grow a thicker skin, and enjoy the season.