The Weirdest Secret Santa Gift Ever…

The Weirdest Secret Santa Gift Ever…

After having child no 2, I worked part-time doing admin for a lovely charity in the City (of Laaandan). It was a really nice place to work, and I loved it.

One Christmas, we did the usual Secret Santa within my ‘team’. The team was mainly women and the boss man of our little team was, indeed a man. He was a nice man, maybe in his 50’s… very odd a little bit odd at times, but who isn’t. It was difficult talking to him sometimes, he seemed very quiet and a bit reserved. He was the sort of man I imagined stayed indoors a lot, didn’t own a TV and read old books all day. He looked at me like he thought I was an annoying child.

The budget for Secret Santa was really small, as it was a Charity, understandably. £2 per person. I found a really lovely gift for my SS recipient, as you do. I wrapped it up and wrote a label in bold handwriting so she didn’t know who bought it. On the day of the exchange, everyone looked at the little pile of presents to find the one with their name on it. We all stood in a circle and opened the wrapping simultaneously.

As I peeled the wrapping paper off my gift, I couldn’t really tell what it was. It was something flat and light. As I pulled it completely out of the packaging, I felt confusion wash over me. Inside the festive wrapping paper was….. ……..wait for it……

No really…….. sit down……..  get ready……

A. Gift. Bag.

Like, you know, a GIFT BAG that you buy to put a gift into.  Someone had wrapped up a gift bag for me. Was this a joke? If it was, I definitely didn’t understand the joke. I tried to mask the confused look on my face by smiling and looking pleased. I peeked inside the gift bag, in case there was an ACTUAL gift inside. Nope. The bag was still flat and in the cellophane as it was in the shop. Everyone by now was holding up their gifts and telling each other what they’d got, laughing and joking. I stood silently looking at my Gift Bag, smiling still in case the person who bought it was watching me. All of a sudden it dawned on me that Odd Boss Man had clearly bought this for me. Who else in their right mind would buy someone a gift bag as a present?! To be fair, it was a very pretty gift bag. Very girly, with flowers or butterflies or something on it. It had a massive £2 label on the front, and was from M&S, which was the shop just outside the tube station. I pretty quickly worked out that Odd Boss Man had clearly walked into the shop, panicked at what to buy the irritating young female co-worker he probably despised. He probably clapped eyes on the gift bag and thought, brilliant, £2, job done. Maybe he thought it was a hand bag.

One of my lovely colleagues called out across the circle… “Jo, what did you get??” I didn’t know what to say… so I slowly held up the gift bag, smiling, as everyone in the circle turned to look at me. She looked confused too. Thank God.  I think she sensed my awkwardness so she changed the subject.

Afterwards we went back to our desks where Odd Boss Man sat opposite me. I couldn’t regale the team with the weirdness of the gift because he was RIGHT THERE looking at me. I popped the gift bag in my top tray and kept trying not to laugh every time I looked at it.

At some point that day he made a comment about me liking my gift. I said it was lovely. It was…  Very pretty. He looked pretty smug. I wondered if he really thought it was a hand bag.  Seeing his happy face at buying something I liked was sweet. Made me feel bad about it being so weird though, I never would have told him the error of his ways and burst his bubble. But it will always be the best Secret Santa buy ever. I often wonder if he ever bought anyone else a gift bag as a gift, because it went down so well!

I used the gift bag a month or so later, to put a gift in. I felt the bag needed to fulfil its purpose in life.

So anyway, I will always remember the time someone bought me a gift bag.

*It wasn’t this exact gift bag, this is a random pic from eBay. But you get the jist.

**I wonder if this post wins an award for the most uses of the words GIFT BAG???

gift-bag

 

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CHRISTMAS REALITY WITH KIDS!

CHRISTMAS REALITY WITH KIDS!

So, it’s allllmost December. Up til now you would have been in one of 2 camps:

Camp 1: It’s not Christmas yet. Calm the f*ck down.
Camp 2: It’s the season to be jolly, ding a ling a long long, *vomits tinsel*

Anyway, even those in Camp 1 cannot deny that December is almost upon us and therefore it is ALMOST BLOODY CHRISTMAS YOU ABSOLUTE GRINCH!

For parents, Christmas is joyous, it’s the time of year when you get to see your darling children’s little faces light up at the magic and wonder. You get to feel the anticipation of the day and all the excitement over again from when you was a child yourself.

Sometimes, the reality of Christmas isn’t quite what we imagine when we plan it out in our heads. Especially when involving Toddlers. Please see list below. I write this to prepare you for the reality. You are not alone!

christmas

Expectation: Excited Christmas countdown
Reality: Hearing “How many more sleeps til Christmas?” every day for what seems like 87 days

Expectation: Old school advent calendar
Reality: Nowadays its Elf on the Fricking Shelf. Exciting for first few days, annoying after that. Especially when you forget to move the Elf and have to get out of bed to do it.

Expectation: Christmas wish list wrote by child
Reality: Christmas list wrote by child amounting to over £5,000 worth of gadgets. Erm, what happened to wanting a hula hoop and a board game?  Having to prepare child that Santa can’t get you a Playstation 4 for every single room in the house, sorry about that dear.

Expectation: Watching your child in the Christmas play at school. How magical.
Reality: Watching the top of your child’s forehead in the school play because they’re at the back and you can’t see their face because TALL STAN in the other class is in front of them.

Expectation: Yummy food to be shared by family – boxes of Christmas choccies, drinks, nibbles…. joy
Reality: Toddler doesn’t care if it’s Christmas and WILL eat all the celebrations before you get to even smell them. Lucky if any Christmas treats make it to mid-December.

Expectation: Buying all your gifts in the January Sales or throughout the year thus being very prepared for this yearly festive period.
Reality: Did I mention panic buying? Buying crap that they don’t need just for stuff to open, of course your child needs more marbles for their stocking!!!!!!!!!!!! BUY BUY BUY

Expectation: Buying perhaps a Festive Jumper for the kids to wear on the day
Reality: Child needs a costume for the school play, a jumper for jumper day, to wear red green, and a special shade of brown on another day, money for the Christmas party, snacks, and a heap of other crap that you could do without

Expectation: Happy days visiting friends and relatives
Reality: Tired kids, enduring Uncle Ian telling you a story that you’ve heard 34 times already, downing alcohol to make it all bearable

Expectation: SNOW… children frolicking and squealing in delight at the white wonder before them on Christmas day
Reality: Cold, soggy if you’re lucky. They want to go and play on their new bike/scooter/skates in the pissing rain. Beautiful!

Expectation: Buying gifts for loved ones and wrapping them with care
Reality: Panic buying in mass and wrapping in haste when you realise it’s the day before Christmas Eve and you still haven’t got your shit together!

Expectation: Taking kids to visit Santa in his grotto. A nice picture as a keepsake.
Reality: Standing in a queue for 158 minutes to see a man who doesn’t even resemble Santa… Kids are scared shitless and cry. Picture is laughable.

Expectation: A beautiful Christmas Tree and house decorated beautifully to fill you all with the season of goodwill
Reality: A tree that looks like a child decorated it BECAUSE THEY BLOODY DID and decorations that are all REALLY high up otherwise the Toddler eats them. Tree ends up on side quite a lot and you wonder if maybe it looks better that way?

Expectation: Waking the kids at 8am on the big day because you’re so excited and want to see them opening their presents already!
Reality: Kids wake you at 3:06am and you wonder how you’ll make it through the day

Expectation: Kids playing with new toys all day, happy, laughing and full of wonder and joy
Reality: Kids are over tired, excited, full of sugar, and ungrateful. Especially Toddlers.

Expectation: A fantastic dinner
Reality: Squeezed around a table, hard to eat without hitting people with your elbows. Kids would rather have a Happy Meal

Expectation: Children have lovely new toys / gifts
Reality: Where on God’s Green Earth am I going to put all this stuff????????

So from me to you on this chilly November day. Merry Christmas parents. Hang on in there 🙂 x x

 

www.theunsungmum.com

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