Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Christmas as a Social Obligation

Even if you're a total slacker, as I've been this year, this Christmas stuff is hard work! I've shopped for a grand total of about two hours, and I'm exhausted already. I'm also belatedly remembering that shopping within a week of Christmas is less than optimal in terms of selection. Can I just say "Amazon for everyone!" and leave it at that? Heck, even my Dad does Amazon, as the picture below will attest:

But of course, for the people at work, Amazon was not an option. Tomorrow is the pot luck and the Secret Santa. So tonight I went looking for an appropriate gift for this particular person. I'm not even sure which one she is, but I've got a cheat sheet. I hope she likes what I found at Walgreen's for her. I know I do.

The Secret Santa thing is relatively painless, and I was happy to do it. But what about the other 15-or-so people in the office? Just yesterday I contributed a pittance to an alcohol-based gift for my boss. I don't really approve of the choice of gift, based entirely on my own hangups, but my boss seemed to appreciate it. I'd rather have gotten her something myself, but I didn't want to be socially awkward about the whole thing. It's a little hard sometimes to gauge the local norms when you're the new person. So I chipped in, and that was that.

Until this morning. That's when one of my supervisors handed me a nicely wrapped gift pack, one of those fun food-plus-drink-plus-mug things. It was much appreciated, especially since I've been wanting a new mug for work that has never had coffee in it. I hate coffee, and I'm on a tea kick at the moment in my cold office.

So that was great, but a little embarrassing, because I wasn't expecting to exchange individual gifts other than the Secret Santa one and the group gift to my boss. But within five minute of receiving the mug, I was also given Christmas chocolate, a candy cane and a homemade knitted Christmas wreath pin by two other co-workers.

Whoa! Should I buy a token gift for everyone, then?

Tonight I decided that my pot luck contributions will have to be sufficient for the office at large. But I bought a similarly-themed gift for the mug-bringer, and a gift card for my other supervisor, and a different gift card for my boss. If I overdid it, I don't think anyone will mind. I'm pretty sure I'm not underdoing it now. Much.

So guess what I'm contributing to the pot luck, aside from cranberry relish?

Got it in one, didn't you? In case there's a reader out there who has missed my October and November rants about this obscure yellow vegetable, these are rutabagas.

And look! I scraped my thumb peeling them!

And you want to know the ironic bit about all this last minute preparation? I'm probably going to miss most of the office party. I've got part two of that self-actualization seminar all day. Who knows when it will break for lunch!


1 comment:

Becky said...

Ah yes...the awkwardness of the office-based Christmas. I'd almost forgotten! I was thinking about you yesterday. I came across a snack food I'd never seen before...pumpkin flavored nuts. Some kind of coated thing. Sounded interesting.