Be a Slightly Less Disappointing Secret Santa

Whew. Glad you clicked here before continuing your online shopping at work. Take the forthcoming advice from someone who uses “being green” as an excuse for being too cheap/lazy/both to mail holiday cards this year. It’s been kind of a rough one considering Sarah Palin became an author and I became more cynical and willing to drink rail liquor in any libation with an umbrella.

I digress. We’re nearing the birthday of the Baby Jesus so instead of baking him a cake, you’ve chosen names of co-workers (that haven’t been laid off) to spend your post-tax dollars on. Skip the candles and scented salts for your secret Santa gift this year. You need to find gifts that strike balance.

For the Boss

If you chose your boss, or a ‘superior,’ you need to select something that says, “Thanks for not canning me,” yet “I can barely afford a gift because of the sweatshop salary you pay me.”


Might I suggest fake lottery tickets? Your boss’ expression will roast your chestnuts when s/he thinks they’ve hit it big.  Picture it: boss scratches off a ticket and begins envisioning yacht trips to the Mediterranean while lighting Cuban cigars with euros (because they’re stronger than the dollar). You boss begins sashaying—almost as if on air—to his/her boss’ office to give the international, one-finger sign for “I quit.” Along the way, your boss stops at specific cube farm stalls to impart snippets of truth, each unique and cold, like a white Christmas snowflake.

In an inexpensive instant, you’ve created a scene straight out of It’s a Wonderful Life. Granted, the five minutes of euphoria will result in a lifetime of regret, bankruptcy and loneliness; however, staying present is the most important gift of all.

For Cube Creep victims

We talked a while back about this cretin of the cube farm. If you selected someone
constantly victimized by the slithering snoop who sidles into a cube farm stall from behind, get them the See Behind Sunglasses.

Not only will this allow the victim time to pull up an actual work-related document, or quickly close a steamy instant message window, they will also look cool. I’m talking Fonzie cool. Other benefits:

  • See who’s checking you out as you walk to the copier, file a sexual harassment suit, retire at 40
  • See who’s mocking you as you walk to the copier
  • Make people believe you truly do have eyes in the back of your head

Your value at work will never be questioned when you give the cure for the cube creep.

For the folks in finance

Christmas is about goodwill towards men (I guess misogyny never takes a holiday) and compassion. Let’s face it, nothing says “do me” less than calc
ulators and number-crunching. If you selected someone from accounting, consider a spirit-lifter. How about the morale boosting ‘Accounting!’ pennant?

Make them feel like people appreciate whatever it is they do in that funny-smelling corridor of the building. Bonus? The green is a glorious reminder that money does, after all, make the world go round. Who knows, you might just find a couple extra zeroes in your paycheck, especially if the recipient is really good at manipulating numbers.

Thank me later.

For the non-believer

More and more, companies are hiring people who refuse to accept that the Virgin Mary rode a sleigh from the North Pole, lead by a red-nosed reindeer, to give birth in a barn to a Jewish carpenter in Bethlehem where a morbidly obese man in red owned the biggest toy factory in the world. He called them elves, but once they unionized it was later revealed to be child labor. They toiled year-round making Playstations and iPhones. They had bad arches from painfully pointy, flat shoes and a medieval HMO.

Anyway, these co-workers exist today because of Barack Obama. Our moral fabric continues to unrav
el thread by thread, especially in the fly-over states and France.

If you selected the non-believer and completed sensitivity training, consider the
Politically Correct, All-Inclusive, Non-Denominational Generic Winter Holiday Countdown Calendar. Because even those who are going to burn for eternity in the fiery pits past the River Styx deserve a little ray of sunshine.

It’s guaranteed not to be offensive!

For office bathroom offenders

We’ve discussed office bathroom etiquette already so there’s no need for elaboration here. If you selected any officemate who:

  • does not courtesy flush
  • does not wash their hands
  • talks on the phone while getting down to business
  • hangs out while you’re trying to do your business…

…then get them the Talking Toilet Paper Dispenser. Before giving this generous and
helpful gift, pre-record with the following messages accordingly:

Non-courtesy flusher: “Your sh*t does stink. Please flush.”

Non-hand washer: “Enjoy the swine flu immediately after you walk out of here.”

Cell phone stall caller: “Hey, person on the other end of the line! Suzy started pooping and thought to call you.”

Dilly-dallier: “Listen, those crows feet and blemishes will still be in the mirror tomorrow. If you don’t leave in five seconds we’re going to both feel awkward.”

You think I’m joking? I am. Kind of. All of these gifts have been given by me at one time or another and that’s why I work from home most of the time. You can find them online at and

P.S. The inflatable plastic fruitcake tastes better than a real one. Happy holidays!

ThinkGeek Giveaway: Blunt Desktop Signs

Embrace your frustration. With this set of thirty desktop signs, reminders of the daily banality you experience may actually make you smile. This feeling will feel cripplingly short-lived as a co-worker or manager comes around the corner and gives you more work to do. Introducing ThinkGeek’s Blunt Desktop Signs:

“So proclaims one of the thirty wit-ridden and heart-spoken desktop signs in this set. ThinkGeek is confident these signs will turn your frown upside down. What else do you have to look forward to during your prosaic, tedious, gratingly slow days at the office? Nada. And we understand that you are probably too emotionally sapped to muster the energy to occasionally tell your co-workers to bugger off and die in a corner. That’s why we think you’ll love these perfectly messaged signs. They’ll let your office mates know how you really feel without you even moving your lips!”

To win this prize, all you’ve got to do is tell us story about your boss. You can tell us a story that demonstrates how much of a great boss they are, or how they’re so bad that they’re known as Satan’s Little Helper. Just make it funny. I don’t enjoy reading things that aren’t funny. Make sure your email address is correct–it’s only visible to Envato staff, and we need it to tell you if you win. See this post for terms and conditions.

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 Post Tags It ain't pretty, but they are! *** I shot out of my mother's womb ready to write The Great American novel and then its screenplay adaptation. Beyond that, I'm all about seeing the world from the saltwater, one session at a time. I also like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... and not because they taste like chicken.


  1. Rondal on the 24th December

    Terrific article, Michelle. I’m already planning my list for next year’s round of shenanigans. But what about freelancers, what woud you recommend they give their clients along the same cheeky lines as mentioned above?

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