Thursday, December 08, 2011

Ba Humbug Bums Out This Secret Santa

"Aren't we forgeting the true meaning of Christmas? You know, the birth of Santa."~ Matt Groening (1954 - ), The Simpsons
If homemade isn't good enough
then I'll find more useful holiday
I had an eye opening experience today.  We are in the middle of "Secret Santa" season at work, which means we spend a lot of time sneaking into an assigned person's office and leaving them gifts and a clue as to our identity (at least that's the idea).  Then we spend a whole lot more time going around to all the participants, look at their gifts and clues, and then try to guess  the name of their "Secret Santa."  It's tedious and I participate to make the list of names look impressive.  Plus I like to give.  And I like to recieve.

Earlier in the year I got a new serger and so I've decided to make my friends' presents.  They can be as simple as a shirt or as elaborate as a jacket.  For my Secret Santa I decided to make something very simple (I can't say because a participant has access to this blog).  It was fun and on her list.  So I spent the last two days cutting and sewing and had it delivered to her this morning.  When I saw her later she was the grumpiest person ever.  No acknowledgement that her Secret Santa had brought her anything.  She wasn't happy, grateful, or even willing to make mention that she had gotten something.  Even when several of us started talking about Secret Santa, she said nothing.  There was no sign of the gift in her office.  It was as if it was not worth showing.

My sewing is not that bad.  I've made performance-worthy dresses and wear-worthy tops and skirts. Perhaps she didn't think the lighthearted theme was her style, and that I can understand.  But to not make mention of it at all! Plus act all Ebeneezer! Now I've gotten some gifts that don't really fit my style, but always been appreciative and worn them at least once.  I've always proudly showed them to everybody because somebody took time out of their lives to look for something for me.  When they're handmade they're more valuable.  People really put their hearts into those projects.

Yet, I remembered a few years ago I had made my friends' Christmas gifts.  The exact thing I had given my Secret Santa recipient. I had spent weeks cutting and sewing and spent a lot of time and money picking the designs.  However, on Christmas Day (or the whatever days we exchanged gifts), they stared at it as if it was a disappointment.  Sure they tried to hide it, but it's obvious when they don't get excited right away.  I didn't say anything, nor did I say anything when I saw my gifts in their garage sales the next season.  Style is one thing, but in each case I got the distinct feeling it had to do more with the fact that my gifts were homemade.  I'm not sure how to overcome my own personal disappointment in other people's value system.  But I know that it won't stop me from making the very best Christmas present I possibly can.

No comments: