the circular runner

Secret Santas Suck…And They Shoudn’t Be Secret, Either

In humor, life, observations, Uncategorized on December 15, 2011 at 12:17 am

Look, I’m cheery. I am. I don’t like forced community put upon me by holiday parties at work, but the holidays themselves are nice, great even. I wholeheartedly accept the power of the Santa or the Dreidel or claymation Frosty the Snowmen to make people feel warm and fuzzy inside. I don’t even mind the music I have to put up with in every store I enter–unless it’s The Little Drummer Boy–THAT SONG IS UNBEARABLE!! But then there’s the Secret Santa thing, and that just makes me sad and angry. I’m ok with the idea in the abstract, but where I work, the Ladies (and yes, they are all ladies) have decided that we have to give presents and that we can’t give gift cads or money. AND that we have to keep it secret until the day of the party when we all have to watch each other open each other’s gifts. Yes, this has the makings of sadness.

I point out that my enemies in this are ladies because, rightly or wrongly, I have noticed a gender divide on the question of gifts. I usually hate these kinds of divides. I am not a subscriber to the men are from mars and women are from…where are they supposed to be from again? See, I don’t even know the title of that stupid book. But there might be a real difference between the sexes when it comes to gift-giving philosophies. First off, I’ve never met a guy who said he didn’t like money for a gift–never. And gift cards, most men agree unless they are hard-core cash lovers, are almost as good. But I have met many a woman who, like the Ladies at my job, resist the practical beauty of cold hard cash and/or gift cards. Why? I ask this simple question.

Look, I understand the principle involved in this stance. It kind of sucks when you see spouses giving each other money. And maybe I get it with siblings, too. In both cases, we’re talking family members, intimates. Hopefully, you know your family well enough to know what to buy them.  But really? With people you work with, people you don’t know well, why not give cash? The guy I was assigned this year is a nice guy, a good person, but I see him once a month at staff meetings. I know he’s a new father. I know he drinks coke. That’s it. And good reader, these two facts don’t give me much to go on as far as what to buy him. Should I give the guy a case of coke and a baby bottle so that he can get his son started early? Should I buy him…Fuck, I don’t even know him well enough to make ridiculous over-the-top jokes about what I should give him.

So screw it. Screw The Ladies and their principled stance on gift-giving. Screw the Secret Santa silliness. Tomorrow, I’m going to talk to the guy and I’m going to break it down for him: he needs to tell me what to buy him OR he needs to accept a gift card from Babies R Us or Target or some other store of his choosing. And let me say this now: I’m not only doing this for myself. I do this for men everywhere who want badly to give money and/or gift cards to strangers at their workplaces. God bless us. God bless us all.

  1. your stance on this is the right one. kudos that you are able to mine the circumstance for both sadness and anger, I only end up with anger.

    take a firm hand and end this in 2012. the only advice I can give you is that you should make them pay an emotional price in 2011: show up late, and storm out early. i’d bring a pint of vodka and screw the lid off, with a bit of ceremony, at the get-go. let me know how it goes. also consider wearing an offensive t-shirt for the secret Santa party: “show Santa your tits” in white arial font on a black cotton back. keep me posted.

    • i will. i will also consider your sage counsel. look, this isn’t some kind of war on Christmas i’m waging here. this is a battle to protect the sanctity of cash-gifts. i hope you can agree with me here that the history of x-mas is full-up with the bad taste of secret-santa supporters. does the world need one more useless object under the maximum 25 dollar price? no, my friend. i will do my part. i will not give my coke-loving, new-dady some shit-present that he is too polite not to throw away. i will give him usefulness. i will give him and my colleagues nothing less than the gift of honesty.

  2. I refuse to do Secret Santa. It’s always a miserable experience. So, that said, I really enjoyed this post. Easy to relate to and very funny!

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