BFF 250 : Secret Santa
Not another Secret Santa. Not another season of happy-happy-joy-joy from her co-workers. Christmas cookies of all shapes and sizes would be doled out, Christmas taffy, and Christmas fudge, and Christmas cakes; the list went on and on. Her co-workers spent incredible amounts of time and energy trying to outdo one another when it came to Christmas treats.
And then they had to outdo one another within the constraints of the Secret Santa. Why knit that hat and scarf? Why create the origami whatever that will be relegated to the top shelf of the cubical, forgotten all year and thrown away the following October. Why knock yourself out when all I really want is to win the lottery!
The self indulgence of the season seemed to overtake common sense and ended up with a January self loathing season. January, the season of complaints; my clothes are too tight, my face has broken out or has too many wrinkles from eating too much sugar, or with the extra weight gain – the thermostat is set too high and everyone is far too warm. January, the new year’s promise is to regret last year’s indulgence.
Tuesday morning, another meeting. Setting up the holiday agenda. Names in the bowl for who will be the Secret Santa selection process. Another waste of time eating into our productivity. Another gorge fest since the first meeting of the Holiday Season is usually kicked off with yummy goodies from the local bakery.
She dragged herself into the conference room to attend the meeting. Clip board in hand, ink pen over her ear, and coffee mug in hand she pushed through the doors.
What?! Fruit and plain bagels?! Yogurt? Honey? No cupcakes or muffins or rolls or sprinkles? Fruit?
John, the CEO was standing at the white board. They all shuffled in taking their seats with a muffled din. “As many of you know, this is my first Christmas post heart attack. At my doctor and wife’s urging, we are going to do things a little differently this year. At least here at the office.”
“I’ve done some soul searching. Yes, I really do have a soul and it’s not so black that I can’t talk to it anymore.” He chuckled to himself. “In years past we have toiled to outdo one another in baking and gifting. We have gone over the top with our Christmas party expenses. And it was a lot of fun at the time.” He looked around the table, each of them felt his assessing eyes. “I would propose a new way to look at this Holiday Season. I am about to change how our company does business with the community and I would like you all to spear head this new wave.”
Presently she stood up. As head of Human Resources, it was her duty to track this meeting and present it’s recap. “After three hours of discussion and deliberation we have come to some new insights as to which way this company will proceed in the years to come. As for me, I haven’t been this proud to work here since my first day of hire.” She beamed at the table of people looking at her. “It has been determined that we shall work directly with several community outreach programs. To pay for the extra employees hired at this time we will forgo the Christmas party in favor of putting those funds towards allowing others to be employed. To gather those people who would want to be employed from these programs, and we will contact them all, we will host a dinner for them. Rather than spend money on Secret Santa, we will purchase food specifically for the dinner and any excess to be donated to one of the local food programs. Rather than take our Christmas bonuses, we will allow the company to defer 25% to a time when the company has recouped any losses and allow all part time employees health benefits, especially any of those we retain after the holiday season. Part of our weekly hours will be donating time to the local schools, as needed. As a company and as department heads, we agree to invest in people. For people are the best long term investment you can make. Without the community, we have no company. We are beginning with this, the Christmas Season, to demonstrate our joy of brotherhood for all mankind.”