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Millennials Complain 'Secret Santa' Gives Them 'Anxiety Issues,' Study Shows

Christmas gift exchange inflicts 'fear' in snowflake millennials, a new report has found

 on 18th November 2019 @ 1.00pm
secret santa is triggering  anxiety issues  in snowflake millennials © press
Secret Santa is triggering 'anxiety issues' in snowflake millennials

The Christmas workplace tradition of "Secret Santa" is triggering "anxiety issues" in snowflake millennials, according to a new study.

For the generation of 22-37-year-olds, the annual gift exchange incites "fear" due to the "pressure" involved, according to a report commissioned by job searching website Jobsite.

The study found that millennials are terrified of being viewed as "stingy" by their colleagues and complain that it makes them feel "anxious."

A psychology lecturer at the University of Salford, UK, Dr. Ashley Weinberg, is now calling on companies to enforce strict rules on the practice.

Dr. Weinberg says offices should have stringent spending limits for the Christmas ritual.

Participants of Secret Santa exchange gifts anonymously after picking names out of a hat, meaning everyone receives one present each.

the annual secret santa gift exchange incites  fear  in millennials  the study found © press
The annual Secret Santa gift exchange incites 'fear' in millennials, the study found

The study found that younger workers usually spend more than they can afford on presents for their colleagues, with many feeling "judged" over their level of expenditure.

26 percent of young workers to dip into savings or their overdrafts to contribute to the present exchange, the report found.

While the average millennial's whip-round is 34 percent more expensive than gifts from older generations. 

Just under a quarter of employees born between 1981-1996 said they felt "angry" at the person organizing a Secret Santa for not considering their financial situation.

17 percent said they feared facing allegations of being called "stingy."

Dr. Weinberg said told The Telegraph that social media may be behind the "anxiety issues" faced by millennials.

"If you've grown up in a world where social media is at your fingertips and those kinds of social judgments are being made fairly constantly, suddenly you're even more aware of what others might be thinking," Weinberg explains.

"Naturally that's going to spill over into all kinds of areas, particularly something that can be a social taboo when you think about maybe not giving, or maybe questioning why people are giving.

"I think there can be a bit of that, and naturally, it does lead to anxiety for a lot of people."

dr  ashley weinberg is now calling on companies to enforce spending limits on secret santa © press
Dr. Ashley Weinberg is now calling on companies to enforce spending limits on Secret Santa

According to Dr. Weinberg, the gift exchange has become an increasing source of anxiety for young people, who fear "humiliation" if a present is not well received. 

He said companies should prioritize their workers' "well-being" over presents during this year's festivities.

As a result of the anxiety, one in five workers believe birthday and Secret Santa presents should not be celebrated at all in the workplace.

35 percent of millennials would even like to see them banned.

[RELATED] Liberals Call for Ban of 'Problematic' Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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tags: Christmas  | Santa

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