Well, it’s nearly Christmas, and you know what that means, don’t you?
It means I’ll send this Yuletide-themed bunch of words to Jenny, and she’ll post it in mid-May to make me look like a twat.
She’ll also keep taunting me with the phrase “Jammie Dodgers”, knowing I can’t buy them in New Zealand.
But the other thing it means is that the workplace tradition of the Secret Santa has come around again. Along with other workplace traditions, such as getting drunk at the office party and snogging someone regrettable.
My Sant-ee this year was a fairly new employee, a few decades younger than me. Also, female. This meant the usual hilariously-unfunny gag bloke gifts were off the table. Anyone want to buy a pair of novelty boxer shorts, unworn?
So, to increase my odds of finding something she liked, I grabbed a bunch of random things. Things that got more random as I looked for those last few things to fill a Christmas Box o’ Crap.
So I wrote her a letter to try and explain my thought process.
Which then became a blog post, like what you are reading now.
But first, this:
This is a cat in a Santa hat. His name is Bastard Claws. He’s not a fan of Christmas.
The Big Haul o’ Crap!
First off in the parcel there are Instant Kiwis, which are colourful bits of cardboard with a minor chance of winning you money. Yay! Money Cash! Sawbucks! Dineros!
These are of course the same scratch-and-win tickets sold worldwide, which help you get rid of your pocket change for a worthless piece of cardboard, and nails full of silver foil. The ones I found had sheep on them, because New Zealand is nothing if not massively clichéd.
The top prize is NZ$10,000. If she wins, her Secret Santa will suddenly forget to be anonymous.
Then there are stars attached to a post-it note. Zelda, my supervisor, threw them at me one afternoon in a fit of pre-Christmas jollity. I retrieved then from my desk, my computer keyboard and the 8,000,000 other places they lodged themselves to brighten up the parcel. It was either that or glitter, and screw glitter. Glitter sucks. It’s like the evil dictator of decorations.
Glitler, if you will.
Next, there were edibles. (Not the semi-legal ones, no.)
My Sant-ee is vegetarian, so I went with Frooze Balls. Frooze Balls are what happens when a stoned hippy decides to make a snack with whatever he or she can find in their pantry. This flavour is FUDGETASTIC! I looked it up, “fudgetastic” is not a real word.
They contain nuts, and I’m not sure if she has a nut allergy. Please be assured I was not trying to murder her. Free of animal parts, though!
Next to the Frooz Balls are some Gourmet Jelly Beans. These are not FUDGETASTIC, but are bloody delicious. They don’t even use ground-up cow hooves in the manufacturing process, so that’s a point in their favour.
I took a horrible photo of them.
(Editor’s note: “It could be ewe”. My sides.)
She also got a mug. Getting a mug for your Secret Santa is a clear sign the person who drew your name doesn’t really know much about you. It’s like getting socks from your great aunt. ‘Hey, everybody drinks SOME sort of hot drink! Quick, to that kitschy gift shop!”.
This mug has David Bowie on it, because he was awesome. It is suitable for tea, coffee, or even one of those awful powdered soups that students drink because they cost like, 40p each.
Don’t use it in the microwave, though, as that apparently can tear a hole in the fabric of space-time, or something.
Inside is both a single coffee pod for the office Nespresso machine, and a green tea bag I swiped from the Level 10 kitchen, as even more proof that I had no idea what her hot drink preference is. Hell, she might drink chai, or kava, or the blood of her enemies from a skull. She has a bitchin’ 80’s punk haircut, so possibly the latter.
There was also supposed to be some sort of lip gloss/shower gel/generic cosmetic product in there, but those things cost like, 87 pounds each for 0.05ml of wax and generic fruit scent. Someone is ripping you off, ladies!
I also found her a shot glass, covered in jandals (flip-flops? Whatever you Brits call these):
(Editor’s note: Do you know what these are called? I do.)
Because… tourism, I guess? Unlike the mug, the shot glass is not useful for putting hot beverages in, and is considerably smaller. However, it is useful for pouring small amounts of fermented liquors into to get responsibly squiffy.
Or, if you don’t drink spirits, a quirky vase for a single flower.
Then there was the inflatable banana.
I know what you’re thinking. Why do people make inflatable bananas? What is the use of an inflatable banana? And why in the name of Andy Warhol’s backside did I buy a co-worker an inflatable banana?
Santa has no idea. It’s the very definition of an “impulse buy”. All I know is that I was in one of those stores that sell eighty-billion things for pocket change, and there it was. On a rack with a dozen other inflatable things, like inflatable swords and inflatable Uzis and inflatable saxophones.
I went with the banana, for no readily apparent reason. She can now inflate it and put in on her desk, where it will gather dust and get in her way.
Or even better, she can inflate it and put it on someone else’s desk. Without telling them why.
Just say ‘You know why you deserve this” and walk away.
And finally some stickers, for sticking on things. One is hearts, for things she likes. The other is bees, so you she stick them to herself and shout “I’M COVERED IN BEEEEES!”, which breaks the tension on a bad day, or livens up a party.
Pro tip: Can also be used to make a hairless cat look festive, but you didn’t hear that from me.