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The perplexities of “secret” Santa December 11, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Ireland & the Irish.

Secret Santa, Kris Kindle, Kris Kringle, Secret Snowflake – call it what you like – is a thing I can’t stand. What I’m talking about is this lark of a group of people getting together and deciding that instead of everyone buying everyone else individual gifts, they’ll put names in a hat (or other handy hat-like receptacle) and one person buys a gift for one person. That way everyone gets a gift and you don’t have to buy loads … yadda …yadda …

Is it just me or is the most Jaysis frustrating thing ever effing invented ? Secret Santa my arse … because the guy or gal who bought the thing for you is bound to seek it out and nod approvingly, complete with admiring smirk, at the present they bought for you while on the other hand you are desperately trying to hold back the vomit inducing contempt for the hunk of junk they’ve just given you … and are even more mad at the fact that they would think you’d like something like that !!

My main bones of contention are thus :

(1) Secret Santa (or as it is inevitably but yet lovingly called in my workplace “Saycret Santeee”) is neither secret nor Santa like … everyone will end up knowing who got what for whom and it’ll cause ructions at the Christmas party … “Jaysis you should’ve seen what Seamus bought for me … I wouldn’t dress the dog in it !” Nor is the idea Santa-like. Santy is a giver of gifts that people actually want ! Letters are written with explicit instructions of what’s required (oh and a surprise please !) So when Sheila from accounts gives me a pair of orange-grey knitted mittens with butterflies on them, you quickly realise that that item wouldn’t have been top of my wish list … and there was me thinking I was going to get something that I didn’t immediately assign to the depths of my attic !

(2) When it comes to Secret Santa shenanigans with families – which my family have recently taken a fit of – there are oh so many places where it all just goes horribly wrong. First the “organised one” arranges everything and pulls the names from a hat and you inevitably get paired with someone you didn’t want to have to buy for – What in the name of soggy mince pies am I going to get so and so ? So you end up swapping – or asking are swapsies allowed (cue endless debate) – and buy something totally unimaginative, inevitably last minute and therefore defeating the whole purpose of using your imagination when buying a gift someone would really appreciate.

(3) What’s the deal with the price limit and where to set it ? Is €100 too much if it’s your family – is €20 too little if it’s your work mates … “I’m not paying €20 for that f*cker from personnel – you should see what he got me last year !” And what if it is a larger amount like €100 and your present – thoughtful and appropriate as it may be – is only worth €78 ? Do you buy them lots of fill-in presents for the remaining €22 ?

It takes the surprise out of Christmas. Don’t we all remember being handed a parcel on Christmas morning (or the day before if you’re like my fair wife) not knowing what the Jaysis it was and delighting in slowly unwrapping it – as opposed to your brother or sister saying “Here’s that DVD you wanted !” Secret my arse … Multiply this by 4 this year and you see something akin to which I’m faced with … one Kris Kindle each for work, family, mates and bridge club (OK so the last one is a white lie …)

Bring back buying little, thoughtful, inexpensive pressies for everyone – and get rid of the smiling nod in the direction of your anonymous gift’s recipient and the dubious feelings that ensue on both sides. Bring back thoughtful Christmas pressies !

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1. deb - December 12, 2006

The Jewish museum at which I work is holding a near-farcial “Mystery Maccabee” event. It’s all too awful. I feel your pain.

2. Rambling Man - December 12, 2006

thanks for the comment deb – to make matters worse, my friends have decided that instead of doing the traditional “I buy for Y and you buy for X” – this year they’re buying for “a man” or “a woman” … WTF !? Now I have to buy a €20 present suitable for a woman … any hints ?

3. ams - December 12, 2006

we were talking bout this in the pub last night.

I once bought this freak I worked with a spin the bottle shot glass set and a leopard print thong. However his wife thought that the present had came from the girl that sat besider her darling and rang her up going beserk!!!!

a good present for a woman this christmas is a book called “the goddess guide” by Gisele Scanlan. I’ve bought about three copies for pressies. its all about fashion and travel and womeney things and costs 17.99 in chapters. Youd have to see it to understand but even the guys i showed it to thought itd make a perfect present for their sister type person!

4. Rambling Man - December 12, 2006

thanks for that AMS – did i see that being reviewed on Richard & Judys book club maybe ?

5. ams - December 13, 2006

oh god dont let that put you off!

6. slykid - December 21, 2006

The Rambling Man himself some years ago bought me a very cheap and nasty spin-the-bottle set of shot glasses. Needless to say I’ve never used them and they collect dust to this day on a shelf in my kitchen!

I loath Kris Kindle also and have my staff outing tonight. In protest I’ve just stuck a tenner in an envelope with his name on it. The best present of all I think you’ll agree. I, no doubt, will be getting some plastic shite that I’ll regift next week.

7. Rambling Man - December 21, 2006

it wasn’t as bad as the “liverpools greatest goals” video that donegal fella bought me … wonder what ever happened to him ?

8. Debbie - December 22, 2006

Ah so that’s why you didn’t come up for Erasmus dinner this year?? Nothing to do with being a new Daddy at all.
If above you mean my fair husband…he is at this moment out shopping for a very un-kris-kindle like, very expensive and worthwhile gift for his darling wife.
Cool blog Anto – first time I’ve read it.
Happy Secret Santa’s xx

9. Rambling Man - December 22, 2006

thanks gubnait – miss ya’ll up there

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