Friday, December 10, 2010

The Joy of Office Secret Santa

Every Christmas the girls in my office used to do a Secret Santa swap. We are a small office, so this usually worked out to be four admins, the receptionist, and the token female CAD worker that my company keeps on hand to fend off affirmative action. A few years ago, we made the unfortunate decision to end the Secret Santa tradition. The reason had something to do with saving money, or saving time, but I can tell you that one year I received a cookie jar in the form of a cat wearing a Christmas sweater, so it sure as hell wasn't my idea to pull the plug. Cookie jars shaped like cats in Christmas sweaters were put on this planet, and the clearance aisle of Ocean State Job Lot, to be made fun of. I talked about that cookie jar for months. I photographed my cat looking at that cookie jar with an expression on his face that said "I hope you didn't bring this broad home for me." Right up until the moment that the Salvation Army truck hauled its ugly ass away, that cookie jar brought me tidings of great joy.

And that, my friends, is the beauty of the Secret Santa swap. Sometimes you get something good and sometimes you get something horrid. Sometimes the woman who wears Gucci boots pulls your name, and sometimes it's the woman who wears pink corduroy overalls. Life is a crapshoot and Secret Santa is filled with crap. But at least it gave us a few minutes of giggly anticipation and holiday cheer in the conference room, and to me that was well worth the twenty-five bucks.
I bring tidings of great joy, and a tinny version of Don't Worry Be Happy
Now the only tradition left is that all the girls chip in to purchase a gift for our Branch Manager - a gift that usually costs us more than the $25 Secret Santa swap would have. He is supremely wealthy and we are all terrified of him. How the holiday joy abounds! My thought is that he could probably live without another gift card to that place where you get your hair cut by a woman in spandex shorts, and we could reinstate our little gift exchange. Perhaps then, instead of wanting to stick my foot out as he walks past my cubicle with yet another new golf club perched upon his shoulder, I could tip my hat, tuck a festively wrapped Big Mouth Billy Bass underneath my arm, and head gleefully into the conference room.