It’s that time if year again when the office starts discussing Secret Santa. Every year I vow that this year I will not get involved. It’s not because I’m a scruge or tight with my money, it’s because it causes me too much anxiety.
It all begins when I pull a colleagues name out of the hat. Great, it’s always that one person I get each year who I don’t really want to buy for because it causes this anxiety. The new person, the vegan, the weirdo or the most obnoxious person in the office who we all hate or that one person who will humiliate you if the gift is not up to scratch. Then theirs the receiving of a gift. That eccentric colleague who goes way and beyond to be outwardly creative to full tackiness and I’m praying they don’t pick my name from the hat either.
Every year I spend more time researching Secret Santa gifts than I do my own families Christmas gifts! Those wasted hours spent searching for the perfect gift and occasionally going over the gift budget, only to receive a naff gift that looked like it was picked up at a charity shop the day before.
Occasionally I’ll get the ‘joke’ gift which has far too much thought and emphasis placed on it, I feel guilty that one of my colleagues has gone to so much trouble to be entertaining. The worse part is yet to come, now I have to open my present in front of all my colleagues as I try to hide my horror as a happy smile. Then I watch will shame as the person who opens my gift with the same look. That gift that caused me stress and anxiety, the gift I overspent on, trying to be perfect, the gift that kept me awake at night, the gift I’d be thinking about for weeks. I just hope this year I get a bottle of wine and someone wanting the same thing.