Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Secret Santa

In the run up to Christmas there are 2 words that I dread hearing.

Secret. Santa.
I will break out in a sweat and look for somewhere to hide.

I hate it. Hate it hate it hate it.

Not the concept you understand, I get that. I just hate it.

(Did I mention I hate it?)

Here are a few reasons why:
- I will invariably end up with the most difficult person to buy for
- I will end up with the person I know the least about
- I will end up with someone I really don’t want to buy a present for
- I get in the biggest stress you will ever see when it comes to buying presents for people
- I have had 2 particularly rubbish Secret Santa experiences

I can get myself in what can only be described as a tizz when it comes to buying people presents. I think it’s just that I really want to get it right. I want to get them something that they really really want. But I also don’t want to have to sell a kidney to be able to afford to do it. And if I can’t think of anything that is really ‘them’ I just go into Defcon 1 panic mode.

You see what I really want to avoid is just getting that token gift. You know. The smellies (although having said that, if you want to get me something from Lush then please feel free to do so) or the random 3 for 2 gift from Boots. Although they’re alright gifts they’re just not very personal, know what I mean? (Unless the person has a penchant for mugs and cuddly cats. Which I do.) I would rather someone saved their money. Or more importantly I’d rather I saved my money. I would rather get something that I know they really wanted but it cost a bit more, than getting them the token gift.

Couple this way of mine with the fact that I never get the person I want and you do not get a pretty mix.

Then you had to add in to the mix the bad Secret Santa experiences which both occurred with the group of girls I’m friends with:
Secret Santa Experience Number 1 – We all picked out of hat. We set a £10 limit. I got the person I wanted, knew just what to get them. Sorted, bish bash bosh. Went to the meal to exchange gifts. Left the fricking present at home. I may as well have clubbed a baby seal, my poor secret santa person had to sit there while everyone got their presents, completely empty-handed, whilst I wanted to sink into the ground with embarrassment and shame.

Secret Santa Experience Number 2 – This one’s a classic, you’ll love it. We all picked out of a hat. We set a £10 limit. I didn’t get my ideal person but I had a sudden stroke of genius when I saw a hardback book by an author I know she liked. Full of smugness I turned up to the meal with the present this time. As we all opened our presents my person screams out “I ALREADY HAVE THIS BOOK!!”


Where you brought up or dragged up? Where I come from if someone gets you something you already have you don’t tell everyone. You smile and say thank you and think how funny that the person got you something that you really liked, you just liked it so much you’d already got it for yourself. What was I supposed to do with that comment?! Oh excuse me while I whip out my mobile bookshop and choose you something else. Cue feelings of misery and guilt that I’d ruined the Secret Santa experience by getting someone something they already had. As we were leaving I said to this person “Do you want me to exchange the book and get you something else or, you know, do you want the money?!” AS A JOKE.

Guess what?

She opted for the money and gave me the book. I stood there a little dumbfounded as the transaction took place. “Is this really happening?” I thought to myself. But happen it did and I went home £20 out and a book that I didn’t even want to read.

From that moment on I swore no Secret Santa.

And I thought I’d got away from it.


Stitch and Bitch ladies said “Let’s do Secret Santa!”

I tried to get out of it. I even explained how stressful I find buying presents and my bad experiences. But to no avail. I had to do Secret Santa.

We picked names out of a hat. We set a £10 limit and said we had to get each other something craft-related (meaning the Boots 3 for 2 was completely out of the equation should things get really tough).

And I got the person I wanted least.

The person who does the least crafting and comes along more for the bitchin’ than the stitchin’. If it had been anyone else I would have know what to get them. But not this person.

Cue Defcon 1.

I ended up in Hobbycraft, the night before the exchange, clutching at the boyfriend’s coat. “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO GET!” I said some what desperately before rampaging up and down the aisles like some kind of demented person.

In the end, on the verge of total meltdown, I made my decision. Some aida. A book of different cross stitch motifs because I knew if she did cross stitch she would rather make up the picture herself. And some pink felt hearts. For no other reason than I just liked them.

I was so demoralised I didn’t even care anymore. I went to that night’s Stitch and Bitch a broken woman.

But she loved them! And even if she didn’t she did a good job at hiding it and as long as I don’t have the guilt and the embarrassment and the shame feelings I consider it a Secret Santa well done.

What was that?

Oh what did I get?!

Well since you asked nicely.

I got a crochet hook and some balls of wool because 2010 is going to be the Year of the Crochet. 2009 was the Year of the Cross Stitch and I feel the need to spread my creative wings.

And I got this craft pad from Sublime Stitching with 75 iron-on transfers so I can get my embroidery groove on. I’ve been in love with this website for a while now so was incredibly pleased to get this present in particular. I’m now hunting around for things to embroider.

Do I still have a morbid fear of Secret Santa?

Hell to the yes.

But I could be persuaded to do it again?


Tabiboo said...

I just wanted to pop along and say 'Happy Christmas' and a very merry new year.

Nina x

The Curious Cat said...

ooo gosh...I realised some people hate secret santa but I never knew to what levels you could take it...! I think the thing to remember is - it is meant to be fun so you can just get something silly if all else fails and then just relax - it is never going to be spot on...that is the whole point and where some of the fun and interest lies... anyway I'm glad it worked out for you this time round! :) Life's rich tapestry and all...xxx

Petit Filoux said...

what a brilliant post!!!! I'm not a fan of secret santa either, i always pick the person i know to least which does make it really difficult doens't it?! with all the economic situation malarchy at work, we didn't end up doing it this year in the office - i was so amazingly grateful, you can't even imagine!! The worst thing about it is that i work with blokes mostly, so i know i would have got something rubbish back!