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Introducing #GiveOrGift, my campaign with UK Money Bloggers and BT MyDonate to give you the choice to donate to charity instead of getting a gift from your Secret Santa.

If you think Secret Santa is all about keeping the kids in the dark as to the true identity of Father Christmas, you’re so far off you may as well be at the North Pole.

Secret Santa is when you pick a name of a colleague out of the hat and have to buy them a fun Christmas pressie for the office party, normally with a five or ten-pound limit.

Many people love the idea, and it comes from a very money saving motive – only getting one present for one colleague rather than many for more.

It can work. But in my experience you rarely get the name of someone you know well. This leads to guessing which cheap gift would be great for Julie from Accounts who you’ve only met twice. And chances are you’ll receive something you don’t want or need from your mystery elf. If I’m honest, I’d rather they just didn’t bother.

“It’s the thought that counts!” you say. Well, the Money Advice Service’s Christmas Survey revealed that each person gets presents with an average value of £54 that are unused and go to waste each year. That’s more than £50 each which could be put to better use. I’m confident Secret Santa is part of that amount.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s an option where that money won’t get wasted. Where it can make a difference. Where the thought really counts.

What is #GiveOrGift?

This Christmas the UK Money Bloggers community I run has teamed up with the fantastic BT MyDonate website to suggest an alternative – #GiveOrGift

At your office – or even with your friends or family – when you put your name in the hat you get to choose whether you want your Santa to buy you a gift or give a donation to charity instead. It’s up to you.

Where the money will go

The UK Money Bloggers community have picked six charities as part of the campaign, each representing a different cause. The chosen charities are:

  • The Trussell Trust
  • Shelter
  • Citizens Advice
  • Children in Need
  • Stand Up To Cancer
  • DEC

We’ve partnered with BT MyDonate as they’re the only site which doesn’t make a profit from your donation, so all your money (except for a card transaction fee) will go to the charities.

Money is split equally between all the charities, so a £5 Secret Santa donation plus Gift Aid will mean each charity gets just over £1 each.

How to take part in #GiveOrGift

First up, please do tell your friends and colleagues, talk to your HR teams at work and spread the word on social media.

It’s really easy to take part, we’ve got sign up sheets, instructions and posters available to download at UKMoneyBloggers.com/GiveOrGift – everything you need to run a #GiveOrGift Secret Santa at your office or with friends and family.

You can make your donation via our BT MyDonate page at BT.com/GiveOrGift.

Give or Gift Charity Secret Santa


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