Not-so-secret Santa

Posted in: Work stories, Christmas

I'm going to assume you're all familiar with the concept of Secret Santa gift-giving. OK? Good, because I wasn't.

The first time I was part of a Secret Santa was several years ago with what were my high school friends. I had never heard of the concept before, and this was a time when Google wasn't yet a verb. I didn't think to ask everyone about it either because the premise seemed rather simple and self-explanatory on the invitation to that party: bring a gift for a person whose name will be given to you. That covered both the 'secret' part (nobody else knows who is getting a present), and the 'santa' part (giving presents, just like Santa would for Christmas). Satisfied with the implied explanation, I went off in search of the present for the person I was assigned.

Then I messed it all up when I put my name into the 'from' field of the present label.

The Not-So-Secret Santa, by Tiffany A. Snow

I made that mistake only once, making sure to exclude my name from any label, or in the case of workplace Secret Santas (no assigned person), to omit the label entirely. My new work is doing a Secret Santa for the entire floor, and given how well my fortunes have been with my new role, I was very eager to join-in on the festivities. So eager in-fact that I found a gift early and added it to the Secret Santa box last week. You're also asked to write your name on a sheet so that people know later on who contributed and who can take part in the gift exchange, and this is where my eagerness has once again threatened the meaning of the word 'secret' in Secret Santa.

You see, my gift is the only one in the box.

Secret Santa box
♪ All by myself... ♫

There's no label, so there was no danger of me writing my name on it, but when my name is the only one on the 'I participated in this year's Secret Santa' sheet, and there's only 1 gift in the box, anybody with some basic deductive prowess can trace that present back to me. It also doesn't help that my present has been the only one in the box for the last 3 days, with a few more days left to go until the actual event, giving people plenty of time to familiarize themselves with that one present.

So it looks like I'm not going to be able to fulfil the 'secret' part of Secret Santa again this year :|

On a different note, doesn't that picture above look kinda... sad?