Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Not-So-Secret Santa

One of the front office traditions (that we can print) is our annual holiday lunch, complete with a "Secret Santa" gift exchange.

I should explain that in addition to sharing the joy of the holiday season, we also exchange insults and do all that we can to embarrass each other. Hence, the sentiment that leads to one of the party's highlights...the Newbie A Cappella Performances.

Each year, any new full-time staff members are required to sing a song in front of the rest of the group, and the musical renditions range from mildly entertaining (B-Mac rapping Ice Ice Baby) to downright humiliating (a 6'6", 340-pound Will doing I'm A Little Teapot).

This year,
Baby Alexa and BTI graduated from the ranks of interns to join the full-timers (which now officially makes him BTFTE, but that doesn't have the same ring), and we've been joined by newcomer Matt Slatus. Brian regaled us with The Dreidel Song, and though he did a much better job than Cartman, it was a bit unsettling that he needed to read the words off a sheet of paper. What a meshugeneh. Matt then belted out a version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame that would have ended up here if we were in Chi-Town. And finally, Alexa did Nicky Pizza proud by turning Dominick the Donkey into a raucous singalong.

Next up came the gift-giving. With Ricky serving as Santa's helper, our "secret" gifts were doled out to the appropriate parties. I air-quoted the word secret because although it originally started out as a random drawing, it seems that people just kind of pick who they want these days, or put a name back in the hat if they don't want that person. I have to tell you... I'm all for this type of target marketing. It really makes everyone happier in the end.

I don't remember everything that everyone got, but some of the highlights included hand sanitizer for KJ, a not-so-limited edition of Return to Glory for me, pint glasses for Mahoney and Pat, Vlad giving his son a razor, and Steve getting Michael Scott's World's Best Boss mug (we think he gave it to himself, but no one really knows for sure).

And then came the coup de grace.

For those of you that don't remember, the highlight of last year's shindig was when, due to a name-selection snafu, Gary was told

I drew Gary's name this year, and originally planned to again give him the name of tradition, of course. Then, after rooming with
Captain Underpants in Indy, I decided to go a different route. I (cough, cough) noticed that GP could use an upgrade in undergarments, so I decided to be a good Samaritan and help him out. I had to guesstimate the size, of course, but I'm pretty confident that I was on target (size 7X).

See for yourself:

Just to be on the safe side, we did some actual tests, with as close to the real thing as we could get:

Needless to say, he was thrilled with the gift. He didn't say much -- he seemed awestruck, really -- but I could tell by the look in his eyes that I had given him exactly what he'd asked Santa for. It's a pretty amazing feeling to know that you've given someone the perfect gift. Something they want so badly, they don't even dare to imagine their dreams might come true. Those are the holiday moments that warm the cockles of my heart. I kind of feel like a more generous version of Ty Pennington. You're welcome, GP. You're welcome.

All in all, another wonderful holiday celebration in Cyclones Land.

Here are some more pics:

And speaking of The Office, ours will be closed from the 25th through the 3rd, but we'll be back on the 4th, and ready to roll for our 10th season. We have some cool announcements coming your way in the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned.

Until then, enjoy the holidays, and have a safe, healthy, and happy New Year!

-- Dave


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