Nasty, Brutish & Short

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Is it time for an increase in the office gift exchange amount?

December 7, 2007 09:28 AM

It always goes like this: Someone says "What limit should we put on it?" and then someone else says "Twenty-five bucks."  And then we all have to run around trying to find a crappy $25 gift for the person whose name you pulled out of a hat.  Well, it's been $25 everywhere I've ever worked, since I joined the "real" workforce.  Ten years ago.

The problem is there is nothing anyone actually wants that only costs $25.  One year I had this metal framed candle thing that I was going to give my secretary, and then my sister told me it was a gift that said "Hey, I stopped for gas on the way in to work this morning, and realized, oh crap, I have to get you a gift."  That that metal framed candle thing had cost me $25 at TJ Maxx!

This year I have a new firm and a new secretary, and the bright office idea is that we are all supposed to list three things that cost $25 and put that on the piece of paper with our name on it that gets drawn out of the hat.  The theory is that way, we'll all get something we want.

But there's NOTHING I want that costs $25.


I could find a lot of books I'd like that cost less than $25, also some tools, plants (not that those are too easy to find in December, but I like a nice poinsettia).

Jordana   ·  December 7, 2007 12:36 PM

I beg to differ, NBS. There are a lot of things you want under $25.
1. Wine
2. Wine
3. Wine

TinCan/TopSoil/Typhoid   ·  December 7, 2007 12:53 PM

Well OF COURSE I want wine, but I don't think I can ask for that from a workplace gift exchange. Can I? And besides, what if the wrong person draws my name? You know I'd end up with some hidious rosé and that's not going help with the "getting you something you actually want" idea. And yes, I do know there's supposedly some big rosé revival going on these days, but I still think rosé is disgusting.

The only way to ask for wine is to put down something very specific, and that would just look obnoxious.

As for tools, I have what I need. Books, I have no room for any more books. Plants--especially a houseplant--would actually work. We need houseplants for showing the house, and I could actually use one in my office, now that I think about it. Is it too much a pain to ask someone to cart in a houseplant in the middle of December?

Anonymous   ·  December 7, 2007 02:33 PM

Here's my list:
1. 750ml plastic "travel" bottle of Wild Turkey 101 proof Bourbon.
2. DVD copy of Monty Python's "Life of Brian"
3. Two boxes of ammunition, .380 ACP, 95 grain, full metal jacket.

Very politically incorrect, but that's the kind of gift I usually give myself. I usually add a $20 bill as the fourth item...just in case they feel uncomfortable ordering any of the first three. Usually I wind up getting the cash. Last year's movie was a little racier, so #2 is a real possibility this season.

Mark Miller   ·  December 7, 2007 06:39 PM

Darn! I wonder if that gas station takes returns!

ollie   ·  December 7, 2007 08:32 PM

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