What your Secret Santa gift says about you
Secret Santa, Kris Kringle, Office Morale Booster, it's all shite
There is nothing in this world more insufferable than an impromptu Secret Santa email hitting your work inbox. The subject line will say something unbearably quirky like "Secret Santa - No Grinches Allowed hehe!" and with that, you're asked (forced) to participate in a deeply unnecessary tradition.
The body of the email tells you which coworker you're expected to devote the impossible task of spending £10 on and then you're left out in the cold, naked and afraid, scouring the internet for job opportunities that seem like the workplace environment would never do anything as torturous as Secret Santa, which never comes to fruition since the notice period far exceeds the dreaded date of gifts being exchanged in the kitchen.
Now you've got to figure out what Keith from accounts is interested in, without making it overly obvious that you've got him in Secret Santa. You ask around his department, finally settling on a quick Instagram creep for a glimpse into his hobbies. Terrific! He likes cheese! You're going to get him a pair of novelty slippers because nothing matters also he's never going to know that it's from you. Success, you've survived another year of the dreaded Secret Santa process.
But wait, what's this? There's a gift waiting on the table with your name on it. Someone has bought you an empty goldfish bowl. What? The? Fuck? Does? This? Mean?
Relax, we can figure this out. Here's what your Secret Santa gift says about you.
One singular bottle of wine
Look, it's not terrific news. If you get a bottle of wine from your Secret Santa, it means you're a secretive loser who's impossible to get a gauge on. One singular bottle of wine, not even gift wrapped, just plonked in a blatantly recycled gift bag that still says 'To Joan, Love Lucy', whomever they are. You're putting on a brave face to the rest of the office as they laugh and scream over their superior presents, the in-jokes and silly season hijinks in full swing, b you're livid as you realise that you must come across as a massive bore, despite putting very decent chat into the kitchen interactions while the kettle slowly boils each morning. Some monster has your number. They know that you pretend to be busy when there's a work night out. You hate everyone and everything in life. Nothing can penetrate your desire for misery. You'll drink that wine, alone and bitter. It will be delicious and you will savour every drop. Merry fucking Christmas.
A £10 gift voucher
'Should've just given me the £10 note tbh', you think to yourself as you put the card back into its tiny envelope, then put that envelope back into the larger card and then put that back into the larger envelope. The mundanity of the action causes you to question yourself in ways you never intended. All of your fears are correct. You are excruciatingly boring. You wear the same format of clothes every day, eat the same thing for lunch, even park in the same carpark space. Routine is important to you, but it's getting in the way of your ability to truly feel free. The corporate world has eaten you up and spat you out, leaving little to work with in an outside environment. Your colleagues don't know you, not really. They know a version of you that changes depending on the climate you're thrown into. You crave work nights out so that you can show a side to yourself they don't often see, but then it's back to business the next morning at 9am, formalities reinstalled. Live a little. Get an adult scooter. Drink several beers. Be free.
A personalised item
*Yoda voice* Quirky one you are. Always up for banter, that's you. As a massive legend, people will notice you're gone when you finally leave your current workplace. This year you've been gifted a personalised mug, with - get this - your MUG on it! Hahahaha. Oh the banter, it simply never stops. You're always the first to rally the troops for after work drinks, never saying no to a free bar. Sometimes you'll test your popularity by emailing around a link to sponsor your upcoming charity run, to which nobody pays any heed, but that's all just part of the banter. You can't be a gigantic legend in work and expect anything in return, that's simply not how it works. You give, give, give and they take, take take. You'll use that mug every day, laughing heartily before each sip as you see your giddy little face smiling back at you. Wait a second, is... is that your face on the mug in the picture as well? Oh wow. This is incredible. You are truly loved and understood by your colleagues.
This doesn't say as much about you as it does the gift-giver, to be quite honest. They're boring as hell and socially awkward. They don't understand that Secret Santa doesn't actually matter, it's just a workplace obligation to keep everyone ticking over in perfect unison like the conformity-hungry little sheep that they are. You're actually pretty decent to be around, you've just been screwed in this particular instance. Precisely seven months ago, you were talking about a new diet you'd heard of, one that involves eating nothing but egg salad sandwiches for every meal. It sparked quite a debate at the desk, with the resident office comedian chiming in that it sounds like an 'eggcellent' idea. You haven't thought about it since, because you are a normal human being, but your Secret Santa has. He/she went online and ordered a book about the diet and paid well over the regulation £10 budget as they are legally insane. Now you're stuck with a shit present and a deep dissatisfaction with your ability to get your personality across. It's not you, it's them.
An assortment of Christmas paraphernalia
You might want to sit down for this one, as it's bad news. You are *that* person. You know, the point of reference in the office. The benchmark of anything when conversation runs dry. The one who is just the right level of aloof for people to paint your blank canvas with anything they desire. You're nothing, but everything, if you get me. Your enthusiasm for the company is staggering, as is your attendance at social events. You haven't missed a single one, not that anybody has noticed. If someone needs help with their computer, you're on hand to work your magic. You're beige, part of the furniture, not hugely offering up anything more than complete agreement with everything. A yes man/woman. Secret Santa will confirm that when you get an assortment of Christmas paraphernalia, which you'll wear all of to the Christmas party because you don't want to hurt the gift-giver's feelings, who spent all of twelve seconds buying the assortment of shit in a discount shop. Don't panic, you can turn this right around. Get a funky haircut and people will definitely start to notice you more.
A tabletop game
Congratulations, you are the stereotype. You are a Dad. You like beer, festive socks, a jazzy tie and watching the footy on telly uninterrupted by the rest of your pesky family. You hold an intimidating upper management position, so your Secret Santa played it safe and has somehow stumbled upon the perfect gift for you. When you were growing up you always wanted a football table, but things were tight at home and you didn't really have the necessary square footage available. Now you've grown up, made something of yourself, somehow talked yourself into an important job and have successfully communicated to your coworkers the main attribute of your personality, which is that you like footy. This is the best Secret Santa present you've ever gotten. It almost makes you feel guilty that you didn't put in much effort for the gift you bought for your Secret Santa. Still, Jenny from sales will probably still like her pink rubber gloves and accompanying bottle of washing up liquid. It's funny. But rude. But funny.
An inside joke
You're a lone wolf in the office and luckily your one friend has been assigned as your Secret Santa, which is beyond coincidence because he/she rigged the whole thing. Remember that one time you had a cold, so you were drinking hot water with honey and lemon in it? But you accidentally squirted some lemon into your eye and it was stinging, then it looked like you were crying so word got around that you were crying and everyone laughed but not at the level the would've done with someone popular, it was kind of a testing-the-water laugh to see if you can handle banter? Turns out you can't. Still, it gives people something to associate you with since you're basically mute the entire time. 'Crying Guy' is your nickname and it gives you anxiety because you don't want any of your colleagues to know a thing about you. Your life begins when you leave the office, straight home to play computer games with strangers on the internet. You're happy, though. Sort of.
You are the worst person alive and everyone hates you. This wasn't even a purchased gift, your Secret Santa had the sock left over from last year and just threw some wrapping paper over them, but not before farting right into both socks. The smell will have dissolved by the time you open them, but the sentiment won't. You're a nightmare to work with, loud, obnoxious and always microwaving inconsiderate things in the kitchen. Everything you do rubs people up the wrong way. Everyone's talking about you behind your back, saying things like "Ugh", "I hate him/her with my life" and "It should've been him instead of *person that was recently fired*", but it's not all bad news. You've got a promotion on the way, which gives you scope for upping your irritating antics without fear of retribution. Go nuclear, be the thundering c-word you want to be. Life's too short to be polite, tbh. Start a cult. Skin a live rat. Support Brexit. Eat turkey on Christmas Eve. Be free.
A lump of coal
Oh, watch out, we've got a big trickster on our hands here. You're a live wire, aren't you? Always up to mischief, doing your best to break up the workday in any way that you can. But it doesn't always lighten the mood, in fact, you can sometimes annoy your coworkers with your pure-intentioned pranks. One more clingfilm over the toilet bowl trick and you're going to be leaving work with your belongings in a box, sonny Jim. You tread a fine line between providing entertainment and irritation, but for now, you're crushing it. Keep it up. Sure, your Secret Santa present has taken one hell of a beating while everyone else around is enjoying their thoughtful gifts, but that's the price you have to pay for being a certified legend. You don't need presents to feel loved, your colleagues appreciate your lunacy year-round. Keep up the good work, champ. Plus it's going to be a cold winter, but now you're sufficiently prepared. Every cloud :)
A selection box
Be warned, this is not a fun and thoughtful gift. This is an intervention. You have a problem and it needs to stop. Every time there's free food in the kitchen, you're up there like a lightning bolt on speed. When it's someone's birthday, you neglect to write a heartfelt message in their obligatory card, but you'll take full advantage of the cake that's been gingerly sliced up for all to enjoy. You never bring back any duty free sweets from your holidays, nor do you avail of the 2 for 1 biscuits in the shop around the corner for everyone. You're mean. This isn't a selection box, it's an ultimatum. You need to start pulling your weight around the office or you're dropped. Management are aware of your sweet tooth and they're not best pleased. 2019 better be different for you, otherwise you won't be ringing in the new year with an active LinkedIn account. Step it up, buddy. You're on thin ice. Bring in some free food or you're headed straight for the harsh confines unemployment office.