The joys of working in an office at Christmastime. All the silly annual rituals you're expected to take part in: the office after-work drinks, the departmental Christmas meals, the lunchtime buffets, and of course, the exchange of secret santa gifts. You know the score: you draw a name out of a hat, and pick a gift for that person to a set budget. They (ideally) never know it was you who bought their present... so go as crazy as you want. Or, you know, be nice and buy them something you know they'll love – but where's the fun in that?
If you're stuck for ideas, here are a few random – but awesome and altogether secret santa-worthy – gifts that anyone with a sense of humour should get a kick out of, all available for under a fiver.
Inflatable Boxing Gloves, £4.13
Giant inflatable boxing gloves. What more can I say, really? Could perhaps be an ideal solution to office squabbles. Or you could maybe use them to knock some Christmas joy into the miserable scrooge that sits in the corner. Every office has one. [Buy here]
Face Mats, £4.80
These 'face mats' have become a bit of a party piece phenomenon in the last couple of years. Part beer mat, part facial humiliation system, you clip 'em on your nose and hey presto, you're magically transformed into a moustachioed freak of nature. They are pretty hilarious though, and might make the office party that bit more bearable. [Buy here]
The Crap Secret Santa Gift Book, £4
How transgressive. It's a book that actually acknowledges itself as a crap secret santa gift. It's also weirdly sentient and scarily accurate. From the back of the book:
Look, I never signed up to this 'Secret Santa' crap. If I had it my way we'd spend the money on a paddling pool and fill it with gin, or a pool table or something. And I'm sure you're great, but in all honesty I'm not really sure who you are. That's why I pretended to be on my phone in the lift the other day.
Anyway, seeing as it's compulsory, I decided to get you this very expensive and interesting book, featuring such things as:
- Tips on how to survive the office party
- Stupid games to play in meetings
- Examples of things I could have got you instead of this book
- A picture of a swan
Let's face it, you're only going to leave this behind in the pub or give it to your weird nephew you're secretly terrified of, so stop complaining.
Oh, and Merry Christmas.
I needn't bother listing anything else really because this is clearly the best gift anybody could buy for secret santa. [Buy here]
LMAO Stamp, £4.44
This piece of work is boring. LMAO. Your workplace rules are boring. LMAO. These printer instructions are boring. LMAO. An office pal might appreciate being able to LMAO their way through a day by LMAO'ing every piece of paper that comes their way with this handy LMAO stamp. LMAO all day long. LMAO LMAO LMAO. [Buy here]
Five on Brexit Island, £3.85
We all read Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' books as a kid, right? Some genius has rekindled the tales of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy with a modern-day twist. There's a few to choose from, but Five on Brexit Island has to be the best, covering everyone's favourite go-to political outrage of 2016. There's also Five Go on a Strategy Away Day, Five Give Up The Booze and Five Go Gluten Free. [Buy here]
It is the night of the referendum and the Five have retired to Kirrin Island to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, fed up with the rancour of public debate. George is firmly a 'remainer,' whilst Julian, who is in the 'Brexit' camp, is tolerated on the grounds that Anne cannot bear to go camping without him. (Timmy, largely apolitical but not keen on cats or rabbits, joins them too.)
The night is tempestuous in more ways than one. George has managed to rig up a satellite link with the mainland so they can keep abreast of the news, and they sit huddled around the fire, amidst some tension, as George's initial hope that the 'remainers' will triumph proves premature...
Meanwhile, a violent storm whips up. The damage is apparent as the new day dawns and George declares a new meaning for Brexit: Kirrin Island is exiting Britain...that is, until the red tape becomes too much of a challenge and their happy life together is under threat.
Bed Farts Eradication Mints, £2.99
This is a gift that could perhaps be taken in the wrong way – but let's face it, sometimes, you draw a name out and it might just be, shall we say, not your favourite person in the office. You don't want to be too offensive, but perhaps you want something that's a little jokey; a little snarky. Voila: mints that suggest they fart a lot in bed. Yes, it's immature; no, you're not 12 anymore... but come on, it's funny. [Buy here]
'I'm a Twat' Mug, £4.99
On the other end of the spectrum, maybe you do want to be outright mean to your designated secret santa recipient. Maybe they are a massive twat – or maybe you know they can take a bit of banter rather well. This mug that happily proclaims them to be a twat is just the thing. [Buy here]
The Ladybird Book of the Sickie, £3.49
Books are the new black this year, it would seem, especially with the rise of these hilarious adult reimaginings of popular children's books. The Ladybird Book of the Sickie is the perfect gift for that one person in the office whose desk is always inexplicably empty at least twice a month. Usually on a Monday, or the day after they've posted photos of their "MaDD NiTE OuT!" all over Facebook. [Buy here]