At least it wasn't a necktie

We do a Secret Santa thing in the office every year. We usually exchange the presents at a special dinner, but last year it was cancelled due to weather and lack of interest, and tonight may not be any better.

Every year I try to do something pretty special for my giftee. For all but two years, I’ve given them paintings. Originals, hopefully with a subject that the giftee has some emotional attachment to. Every year, people joke that the next year they are going to cheat so that I pick their name. That’s very flattering. My giftee this year was pleased as punch. (Since so many cancelled on dinner, we’re just bringing gifts directly to the giftees’ desks.)

So what do I get every year? A necktie. Despite my going to every social function that we have here, and talking plenty, there is one thing that everyone here knows about me – “He’s that guy who wears ties.”

This year was different, though. Someone who I’ve never seen before in my life walked into my office to give me a gift. Apparently, she works in a different office, and has been an employee for maybe a few weeks. I had to pretend I knew who she was.

At least she didn’t give me a tie. She gave me a Zippo lighter. It’s beautiful.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I’m quitting smoking.

If she had noticed you smoking previously and got you a zippo I’d say she did indeed put some thought into it. If she has only been there for a few weeks she gets bonus points for this. But yeah, it sucks to do office secret santa stuff sometimes.

I have been at my current job for about a month now and we are doing a secret santa and dinner thing which would be great if I had been here for 8 months and knew all sorts of stuff about the people here. Unfortunately since this is not the case I just kind of guessed at what would be an appropriate gift so my secret santa is getting a box of Godiva and a $20 gift card to Barnes & Nobles since she has mentioned that it is her favorite bookstore. I think that is pretty good considering I’ve talked to her maybe half a dozen times in the last month and learned nothing about her personal life at all.

Yes, but you can use a Zippo to light candles and burn off stray threads on your sleeves or cuffs, and it makes a cool noise when you flick it open.

Indeed, if that’s the case, then it was very thoughtful. What I think the more likely scenario is is that she asked someone about me, who answered “He wears ties and he smokes.”

In years past I have gotten a soap dish and a long-distance calling card.

We don’t do Secret Santa anymore.

A soap dish could be nice. That doesn’t mean it was, but it could be.

A long-distance calling card? :eek:

Jesus, what are you bitching about? Someone you don’t know makes some effort to get something you’ll like, and she fails to have ascertained that you’re thinking about quitting smoking? Office gift exchanges aren’t where you should be looking to have your emotional needs fulfilled.


I half-expected someone to post something like that, but I didn’t expect it to be you.

I was merely sharing an amusing anecdote, not bitching.

Well, I guess that was the surprise that your secret Santa gift wasn’t.

Heck, I carry a Zippo (Brushed brass Armor model) and I don’t smoke, it’s just cool to have the <grunt> “MacTech Make FIRE!!” </grunt> ability onhand

And set fire to ties you don’t like.
We did this once where I work. The person who organized it was all excited about it. The stipulation was that your gift has to be there by the 23rd. The only person who did not have their gift to the office by that time was the person who picked the organizer’s name. She brought it in on the 25th, the organizer would not be working again until the weekend after Christmas so she was the only one who did not get a gift before Christmas. On top of that her gift was obviously something she got for free and wrapped it up as a last minute idea. She later gave her another gift which was something she obviously some trinket got at an after Christmas clearance sale. The organizer was pissed and said she would never volunteer to do that again. It wasn’t about greed, we had a $10-$15 limit, it was about the fun of having something to open before Christmas and that one person couldn’t even manage that. There always seems to be one bad apple who ruins it for everyone. No one else has wanted to organize a SS for fear of being the one who gets that same person as their SS.

It was!

You could have gift wrapped it in spoiler tags, though. :wink:

We had a $10 limit, so I got an AT&T long distance calling card for $10. The guy who gave me the soap dish also pulled my name for the calling card.

He was a bit…odd. Maybe he wanted to see how well I could fake joy and enthusiasm.

The lighter now has a purpose!

I hear this in the voice of Zoidberg. :slight_smile:

To be fair, I have quite often been in a store that had interesting/unique ties and thought, “tdn would probably like that.” It’s less about ties in general and more about distinctive ties, though I think.


I must say that the ties I’ve gotten were anything but cheesy. They are all quite brilliant, in fact. The one I got last year was a Jerry Garcia, which matches my style perfectly. I got it from the woman to whom I gave the painting today.

We did a secret Santa here. I really didn’t know what the guy liked so I decided to try a little subterfuge. Several times did I bring up the upcoming gift exchange. Several times did I discuss how it could be hard buying people things and the kind of stuff I usually get versus what I’d use. Several times did he just nod or talk gift exchanges in general. So he got a gift card for being unhelpful.

I use one occasionally to call people from work; not a bad gift from my perspective.

I hate secret Santa. I give a lot of gifts at Christmas. All the people on my team get a gift. My boss too and usually his boss if I know him. Besides giving my team gifts, I buy them lunch.

But I hate giving gifts to people I either don’t know, or don’t care about. I don’t mean to be a Grinch, but the bottom line is: If I haven’t purchased a gift for you, probably I didn’t want to give one to you.