Christmas is just around the corner and for the office-based gentleman this means the hell of the Secret Santa. That annual ritual when you buy a complete strange a gift and receive something utterly useless in return. More like Secret Satan. So here’s a guide to you get through this awkward period unscathed.
Many is the year when we have argued over the budget, over the so-called random draw for names, and – subsequently – over which of you heathen bought me Woolworths bath salts for the third year running. Ring a bell?
My advice to any gentlemen who is offered the chance to take part in the workplace Secret Santa is this: Feign illness or death for the whole of December to avoid it, however, this might also mean you miss the Christmas party and the night out at your local. With that being said, you may therefore be forced to swallow your pride and brace yourself for the forthcoming unpleasantness.
To make it as painless as possible make sure that you are the one setting the rules. The usual suspects might not like you trampling all over their territory but stick to your guns. If you have real guns, more the better. Ensure that there are no swaps, a fixed budget and strictly no whining – on pain of death and/or unpaid overtime manning the phones on Christmas Day.
Once you have the name of your target, act swiftly. Navigate to your nearest clothing store and buy them socks. Then take the rest of the day off to celebrate. You are the king of Secret Santa and you deserve it. In fact take afternoons off for the run-up to the great unveiling, telling colleagues you are Secret Santa shopping. They will understand and will cover for you. On the big day burn your gift before opening it. Not only will this save the inevitable disappointment, but it will also hopefully set off the fire alarm which will result in you and your fellow employees all get the rest of the day off to celebrate.
By the time you’re all back in the New Year everybody will have forgotten how you wrecked Secret Santa and you will have escaped for another year. Well done. High-five.
You stay classy.