it’s bad enough that i have to buy christmas presents for my family. now that i’m back in an office, there’s a new hurdle i have to cross during the holiday season: the white elephant gift exchange with co-workers.
i don’t even know what to buy people i know. my mother is basically impossible; our brains are wired differently, which pretty much guarantees that everything i buy her, she takes back. actually, she does that with everything from everyone, but that’s another story entirely. my father is a bit better, although he never says he wants anything. he likes whatever i give him, but he never uses it. my fiancee? she insists she doesn’t want me to buy anything, which of course makes me immediately think there is something i should be giving her, something free, yet special [actually, she's really great about the whole xmas thing, which is one more reason why i love her]. and let’s not even talk about the 20 other people that i don’t even think about buying presents for…it just makes me sad.
as you can see, panic and abject desperation are my constant companions during christmas. anonymous gifts for coworkers raise things to a whole new level.
do i buy a gag gift? something nice? for a woman? for a man? if i buy something nice, will it make me look like i’m trying too hard? if i buy something cheap, will i wind up looking like a loser? will there be ramifications when it comes time to think about bonuses? if my coworkers find out which present is mine, will it reflect poorly on me? this is not a straightforward situation, people. it is fraught with peril.
let’s not even talk about the fact that the holiday party has snuck up on me like a ghoul in a haunted house: silent, terrifying, and ready to suck the flesh from my bones. this means that i went shopping after work, at the last minute on the night before the party. did i find anything? please.
i decided i’m going to give a gift that i bought for someone else. once the deed is done, i’ll just go and buy another one, and no one will be the wiser, right? right?
[no ryan…Santa will know]