Advent Calendar 2014: Day Eighteen

by Steve

Secret santa present

The Secret Santa process is a funny old one. I do like it as it involves buying one present rather than many, although in the office environment I don’t generally plan on buying presents for everyone I work with anyway. I’ll happily bring in some doughnuts and a round of drinks at the pub, but I don’t think I’d normally go much further than that. That would just be odd.

But the Secret Santa thing is just a bit of fun, right? It is also, of course, a source of unnecessary stress, wondering what on Earth to buy, whether someone might take offense with what you do buy, and whether to go over the budget set, because you really can’t buy much worth giving for five quid these days.

Receiving can be difficult too. Rare is the Secret Santa gift that you actually want. The is a high likelihood that you will get some sort of plastic tat. Or a mug. You may well get some smellies of some sort or other. I got a deodorant and shower gel gift set three Christmases running at one office. I started to worry that I must stink.

This year I got a big panettone, lovingly wrapped in a torn-up copy of Time Out magazine. I appreciated my Secret Santa’s resourcefulness in terms of presentation. I also appreciated getting a consumable, rather than the usual desk clutter or deodorant/shower gel combo. Cake is always good. Especially fancy cake.

I also managed to keep the Secret Santa gift I gave secret, and not find out who bought mine. That’s the spirit of the thing, I think. I didn’t appreciate colleagues being so open about who they were buying for. That isn’t Secret Santa. That’s just Santa. And maybe not even that.