Gift-giving has become one of the most prominent Christmas traditions in the Western world. People around the globe exchange presents with family, friends, co-workers, colleagues and acquaintances once a year as part of the larger Christmas festivities.

However enjoyable this process is for some people, it can be difficult to know when you should stop! Giving a gift to close friends makes sense, but areas such as the workplace can be substantially trickier. If you buy gifts for your boss, or for close co-workers, does this mean you need to buy something for everyone?

Rather than leaving you to sort this out for yourself, we’ve put together a few suggestions as to how you might best be able to work through the sometimes tricky tradition of gift-giving.

Secret Santa

Also known as Kris Kringle, this is possibly the best-known of the various gifting traditions. When participating with a Secret Santa, you are provided with the name of a co-worker, friend, acquaintance etc. who you need to purchase a gift for. Likewise, another random person is provided with your name, to get a gift for you.

The people involved need to keep the name they’ve been given a secret, of course—otherwise, the purpose is defeated. This can potentially lead to a great deal of fun, as the people involved may not know each other particularly well and need to figure out what to get other people, without giving away too many clues.

NB: It’s wise to set a few ground rules. There should always be a Secret Santa price limit (e.g. no more than £10 spent) and there should probably be a few ground rules laid out about what constitutes “funny” as opposed to “completely inappropriate.”

Group gifting with a Gift Basket

This can be particularly effective in a workplace setting—rather than giving out multiple small gifts to people, you could invest in one large Christmas gift basket which is left in a public area for everyone to enjoy.

In these cases, it’s probably to best to opt for hampers that are largely made up of small, sweet treats that can be easily spread distributed. Hampers with larger items (that can’t be easily split) may lead to office arguments…something best avoided, particularly over the Christmas period.

Additionally, this will probably not work as a sole gesture in an office that has a tradition of Secret Santa or other form of gifting—you will probably still be expected to participate, so make sure that you are a good sport about it.

Giving to a Charity

It’s very easy to get caught up in the commercialism surrounding Christmas, and forget about its real meaning. So giving to a charity to help the less fortunate can be a key part of keeping the focus on these aspects of the season.

This can be done a number of ways; at the office, a collection could be taken up in lieu of a Secret Santa arrangement. In the family, each member might make a donation to a charity of behalf of another member, rather than giving a direct gift. A number of different charities provide options for such giving over Christmas, so select the charity group that you feel is most appropriate.

Don’t let yourself go into debt—or get too stressed—this Christmas by buying gifts for absolutely everyone around you. Set yourself some reasonable limits, and stick to them. After all, Christmas is about more than presents!