Evolution of the Christmas gift exchange

Many companies and organisations in Singapore, including non-Christian ones, have the practice of organising Christmas gift exchanges for their staff.

Here's how it used to work many years ago: people would be told to purchase a gift, dump it onto a bag which gets passed around and each person would have his turn for a "lucky dip". Most of the time it would turn out to be an unlucky dip or you may end up getting your own gift (that's either a good or bad thing depending on what you wrapped up). Nobody knows who contributed the cheap, unwanted gifts anyway so nobody would bother to buy anything nice.

Then, to avoid people giving cheap, crappy stuff rules were implemented:
- the gift must be at least a certain dollar value, say a minimum of $20,
- they assign numbers to the gifts to ensure that you don't pick up your own gift and to indirectly hint to you that if you give a cheap gift it can be traced back to you.
Now that people can't give rubbish, they have to crack their brains over what to buy. Some would buy gift vouchers to save themselves the trouble of thinking. Others, not knowing whether the lucky recipient would be male or female, give unisex items like towels, mugs and floormats which people are so delighted to receive. *sarcasm*

I would think the problems were pretty much solved by enforcing the above 2 rules but, no, they were still insufficient. The rule makers next insist that:
- as part of the Christmas spirit, you must put in some thought into what you buy therefore gift vouchers are not acceptable,
- since nobody likes receiving towels and mugs, each person would make a wishlist of 3 items not exceeding a certain dollar value and another person (either know or unknown to the chooser) would pick up the wishlist and purchase any one of the 3 items to be wrapped up for the choosy chooser.
Finding a item on the wishlist can be very difficult and stressful depending on how choosy your chooser is. And if you do manage to locate a shop that sells that item, god help you, it may be very expensive and the cheaper range is sold out!

I hate Christmas gift exchanges and I'm sure many other people do too judging from their sort of gifts they would give if there were no rules.

If I should be so "lucky" as to be selected to buy a gift for someone who has backstabbed me, I shall buy him a knife. When he asks me what it is for, I shall say either,
a) "Oh, this is a replacement for the bloodied one which you stuck in my back," or better still
b) "This is a magic knife. Let me show you what how it works. Close your eyes..."
*evil laughter*


fufu said...

yeah it's suck ya!! if there's any coworker you dislike... and of course you dont wish to get the gift from him/her nor let your gift reach his/her hands =p