Has anyone ever received (or given) a good secret santa present?
I ask in all sincerity because if I get another scented candle this year, so help me, heads will roll.
I'm not a complete Scrooge, really I'm not. I understand the secret santa concept and it's a nice one. I like receiving presents as much as the next person.
But, I ask you, is being forced to buy a present for a complete stranger really what Christmas is all about?
Can we not just tear up our $10, tell our intended recipient face to face that we don't know them well enough to buy them a thoughtful, useful or welcome present and thereby cut out the middle man? Because, honestly, candles (and I'm not bashing candles - they're delightful, read on), while generally lovely... as a present... well they're kind of the equivalent of petrol station flowers on your birthday. You might as well suprise someone with a Blandy McBland from the Blandstore and top it off by giving it to the wrong person just to really underscore the point that you don't know anything about them, nor do you care to.
This year I have to give a certain someone in my office a present costing $10 or less. This secret santa deal is taking place in my new office. Where I haven't yet worked. The person in question works in a different department to me and it's reasonably likely that I'll never meet him before I have to buy the present so... what the hell do you get the 30-Something Male.
I was discussing the dilemma with Judd just today and I came up with what I thought was the rather cunning plan of buying him a cigar. Who doesn't like a cigar? Fat, brown and it always seems like a good idea at the time, right? Plus it's the sort of thing you don't buy yourself so it's a nice surprise. Leaving aside the fact that no decent cigar was probably ever made for under $10 I was pretty chuffed with my idea.
"What if he has lung cancer?" Judd asks.
Because she's an optimist, is Judd.
And yes I know that the chances that this person has lung cancer are very slim but... what if he does? I have a horrible vision of this guy demanding to know who bought him the present, tracking me down and using one of those contraptions you hold against your voicebox to demand in a creepy Stephen Hawking-esque voice "Is this some kind of a sick joke?"
So the cigar is out.
Booze, what about booze? Many a fine bottle of $10 wine I've enjoyed, right?
But... what if he's an alcoholic? What if my Christmas present is what puts him back on the wagon... or off the wagon... or whichever means he comes to work with vomit on his sleeves and a bottle in his pocket?
Please, people, can we not just declare a truce and giveth each other some cold hard cash this year? I think we all know it's what Jesus would have wanted...