SECRET SANTA vs. ACTUAL SANTA

The next holiday custom you have to be super-cautious of is presents, which can go one of two ways in a workplace-Christmas-party scenario. Santa Claus is Western civilisation’s chosen embodiment of the Christmas gift-giving tradition, a mythical figure based on a child-abusing pagan fertility god who Coca-Cola wisely transformed in to the loveable, rosy-cheeked holiday patriarch we know today. Santa Claus’ supposed function is to keep a detailed dossier on the behavioural patterns of every child in the entire world, then, in the space of 24 hours over Christmas Eve, deliver gifts accordingly via reindeer-powered, levitating bobsled.

The modern-day workplace interpretation of this is: “pick a name from this hat, and buy them something under $10”, to which we say, YES! Everyone’s a winner, nobody’s out of pocket and there are no awkward thankyous! You’re free to play with your no-name brand Nerf blaster, or water your teapot cactus to your heart’s content, free from Christmas guilt. But the danger lies when party organisers go that one step too far and assign a member of the team to actually dress up as Santa Claus and give gifts out as per Christmas mythology. We’ve found that a loose-fitting red velvet suit, leather boots, and a giant sack full of pointy plastic objects don’t necessarily mix so well with a bottomless bar tab. And you don’t want your CFO encouraging Penny from marketing to sit on his knee and whisper in his ear even on a normal working day, let alone when he’s drunk and dressed as a pagan fertility god?