At last, I have done well in a secret Santa. Usually, I go to great lengths to buy someone the perfect gift within the budget, only to be given utter rubbish in return.
Of course, I know to give is more important than to receive, but there are limits.
One secret Santa sticks in my mind particularly. The limit was £20 per person, which is generous for this sort of thing, so I figured things would go well.
The name of the person you had to buy for was given out in advance. I was allocated a dear friend to buy for who is stylish and who has to dress rather formally at work.
To my amazement – and, later, his delight – I found him a pair of Paul Smith cufflinks for £20. (Thank you, TK Maxx.)
Damon, meanwhile, was given a gay friend to buy for whose favourite drink is vodka. He bought him a limited-edition, Pride-themed bottle of Absolut, decorated in a rainbow flag design. Cue a happy face.
Other recipients received champagne and red-letter-day vouchers…
What did I get? A novelty bobble hat and a £5 box of chocolates.
“I was hurt, because I felt that the friend who gave me the gift didn’t care enough to try to please me”
Yes, I know I’ve mentioned this before – let’s just say, the scars run deep. I was hurt, because I felt that the friend who gave me the gift didn’t care enough to try to please me.
In fairness, I guess she just got the wrong end of the stick about the gift-giving. (That she caught me putting the hat in a bin as we left the restaurant probably hurt her too.)
Mind you, I could have done worse.
Once, for a secret Santa at work, Damon’s colleagues had a £15 limit. Imagine his disappointment when he was given 15 items from the pound shop. (They also went in a bin.)
Now, though, I have done rather well in the work secret Santa. One of my team bought me Michel Roux’s book Cheese.
It’s a gift that says she gave it some thought and picked something I would like. I’m chuffed.
What’s more, I’m now full of ideas for cheese-themed meals I can serve in the coming months…