November 28, 2009

X-Mas Time At The Office

Black Friday has come and gone, and we're full bore into the Christmas season. I realize that this causes a great deal of stress in many people, but if you're careful not to take it too seriously and remember that you don't have to be "in the spirit" constantly, you can breeze right through it. And why wouldn't you want to enjoy the month? After all, look what follows it. Three entire months of bitter cold, snow, days on end without sunshine and crushing abysmal cabin fever.

So, if you look at it that way, December seems like a great month. And it can be. There are parties to attend, family gatherings to go to, and best of all, at least two showings of ... Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer ... the Rankin/Bass production!


Bumbles, Bumbles, Bumbles!

Good times, but not the subject of this discussion. Actually, there is a down side to the Christmas season, at least for me. And that is the office Christmas party. As I've mentioned, Christmas is for friends and family, and the people that you are caged in with for 8 or 9 hours a day, five days a week, are neither. I've never seen the purpose of having to spend your free time with people who you already see more than anyone else during your waking hours. These gatherings are invariable stilted and awkward for everyone involved. Fortunately, the shitty economy is doing it's part to eradicate these hellish events.

But there's always some goody two shoes in any office who feels like everyone has to do something to share the holiday spirit. And thus, we are seeing the rise of a particularly odious office Christmas social event ... the Secret Santa. You all know this one. Everyone drops their names in a hat and you get to pick, totally at random, some other poor soul you work with, and have to get them a present. If you're lucky, you'll draw the name of someone you are at least familiar with, and may have a chance of getting that person something they would actually like to receive. But I've never been that fortunate. I always draw someone I either have never talked to, or in the worst case scenario, don't even recognize their name.

The most terrible of these Secret Santa events for me was the one year I "gifted" a co-worker with an Amaretto gift set, and the guy turned out to be a devout Muslim. Ooops! And I'm sure there are a lot of stories that are even more awkward than that. The point is, that no one really likes what they get at a Secret Santa exchange, and I was thinking this morning that if we're going to be forced to continue these things, we ought to make the gifts so bad that they're almost masterpieces of bad taste. So, I did some looking and came up with the following. Most of these gifts are in a reasonable price range and guaranteed to be unwanted.

Shut The Hell Up Gum - $2.99
Give this to your cube mate and maybe he/she will cram his mouth so full that they'll stop talking about their kidney stones long enough that you can get some work done.

Dog Shit Calendar - $13.99
A lot of people have pets. Most people eat too much during the holidays. Hang it on the refrigerator to curb your appetite. Two levels of perfect.

Fetus Cookie Cutter - $9.99
For that special pregnant cookie lover. Make a batch of oatmeal raisin to enhance the gift.

Gay Accent Breath Spray - $5.99
There has to be at least one gay person in the office. A thoughtful gift in so many ways.

I can almost guarantee that you'll be the "talk of the office" when you're on the giving end of any of these fine products. But just be prepared to have that career track you were on altered just a smidgen.

Happy gift giving!

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