Every year, I fail at Christmas. Three years ago, I bought an entire box of Christmas cards to give to all of my coworkers, family members and friends. I got distracted by one thing or another, and the cards were never sent. Two years ago, Christmas crept up so fast, I ended up baking brownies and sending them to my family. And then I did the same thing last year. But this year, I get an A++ for Christmas. Until yesterday.
Here is the dilemma. My company had their office Christmas party last week. My department was a little boring in the fact that we basically sat around in silence eating cookies, mac and cheese, and possibly spiking the eggnog (that’s just about the craziest thing we did). Meanwhile, the department down the hall had an ugly sweater party, and they played Christmas carols, ate pizza, played games, etc. My department does a Secret Santa every year. I decided not to participate. I’m still fairly “new” to this company, and I only know a couple of people fairly well. Plus, I’m nearly broke now after finally, for the first time ever, getting each and every one of my family members and friends a Christmas present. Once the party was over, I thought “Okay good. I can now focus on family.”
Flash forward to yesterday, and my coworker Katie hands me this giant Christmas bag. It’s a full/queen plush blanket. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever owned. If I thought getting up early in the morning every day was hard, it just got a hell of a lot harder with this blanket.
I didn’t even think to get my boss and Katie something for Christmas. I THOUGHT THE SECRET SANTA WAS FOR THAT. I blatantly chose not to participate for this very reason. So now, of course, I have to get them a gift by tomorrow.
It gets worse.
My other coworker, Michelle, whom I don’t particularly like very much, but I tolerate, also gave me a gift. I was praying to the gods all evening last night hoping it wasn’t going to happen, and voila, a gift was handed to me this morning from her. So in order to not look like a dick, I have to get Michelle something too.
What is the point in Secret Santa if we are just going to give all of our coworkers presents anyway? That is the reason behind Secret Santa – to include everyone. When we were in elementary school and we did Secret Santa, you got your person the gift, we all exchanged them in the classroom before Christmas, everyone got a gift and went home happy, and that was that. I didn’t slip other kids in my classroom a gift on top of my Secret Santa gift. That would be cruel and insensitive.
Exchanging gifts at work is painfully awkward and confusing. If you get one person a gift, you feel obligated to get the rest of your coworkers gifts as well, even if you don’t know them very well. That’s why I was thankful for the Secret Santa – I didn’t feel like I had to get anyone anything if I wasn’t participating. The only thing I did partake in was bringing Peanut Butter Pretzel Bark to the party, which was basically my gift to everyone. This job is costing me a fortune this year.
Please feel free to share any Secret Santa horror stories in the comments. Or go ahead and be bitter with me.