A little secret: About Secret Santa

Back in the day, when I worked for a large organisation here in Edinburgh, each department had its own Christmas ‘do’ We’d get a half day off from work to go out for a meal, drinks, ice-skating, visit the Christmas Market – whatever we wished to do as a group. In my department it always fell to the newest member of the team to do the organising. For some reason, unbeknown to me, I was asked to do the organising two years in a row. That meant lots of diplomacy in choosing the venue, booking it, collecting deposits, and sorting out any disgruntled guests. It also meant organising the Secret Santa.

Those of you who have ever had the pleasure of organising a Secret Santa will now be nodding in the knowledge of what I’m about to write. It was always quite a challenge. And not least in the year that I managed to miss someone out! The horror!! I had put everyone’s names in to the hat – or so I thought – and we did the draw. All was well until a few days later when a colleague mentioned that she thought that I missed a name out of the hat?! I’ve no idea how she had managed to work that out, but right enough, I had missed one. And not just anyone. I’d missed out the office PITA… Not worry, we did the draw again. As I was the organiser I decided to be the last to draw out a name. Everyone gathered round and pulled out their wee slips of paper, faces giving nothing away. It came to my turn and I pulled out the last slip of paper. It had my name on it. As in, my own actual name. I had pulled ‘me’ out of the hat! My face gave nothing away.

I thought, for the briefest of moments, about confessing. But then I realised that I could buy myself something that I actually wanted. And that’s exactly what I did. I blew the budget, and bought myself a gorgeous porcelain angel for my tree. I’d had my eye on it for a while and thought that this would be the perfect excuse to treat myself. The shop, sadly no longer in business, gift wrapped it for me and I asked my mum to write the gift tag. On the day of the lunch party I popped my gift in to the Santa Sack. I sat down to lunch, opposite The Boss – she who must be respected. The moment came to hand out the gifts. Squeals of delight and polite ‘thanks’ drifted around the group. Until it came to my turn. I slowly pulled my parcel out of the sack and started to unwrap it. People started to look on as they realised that I had been gifted something really rather beautiful. Gosh and wow filled the air. I beamed, delighted at my gift, exclaiming that my Secret Santa had been excellent in their choice of gift. I looked at it carefully, taking in my angel. Simply perfect!

Remember that I was sitting opposite The Boss? A lovely lady who is still a very dear friend of mine. Well, guilt took over me and I later confessed as to who my Secret Santa was. The look of horror on her face is still etched in my memory to this day…

There are lots of lots of fabulous Secret Santa goodies in The Wise Old Owl. Head on over for a browse. I can gift wrap them for you.

And I’ll even write the gift tag for you, too. C xxx

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