gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

A Gradult at Work: Secret Santa

Pre-op Santa.
With Christmas fast approaching the vast majority of Gradults in the workplace will be taking part in Secret Santa. I assume everyone knows the drill, pick a colleague out of the hat and buy them a gift for a pre determined amount. My office went for the lower end of the spectrum, up to and including £5. Buying a decent present for someone for less than five pounds is no mean feat, if it’s a close friend or a housemate then there is often a myriad of in-jokes to help the process, when it’s someone you barely know from the other side of the office, it makes it extremely tough.
The rules at our place seemed to be very strict, if you draw a man then you get them some alcohol, pick a woman and you give them a ‘bath bomb’. There must have been five bath bombs knocking around the office today, in fact I think it was the best the office has ever smelt. Do they even sell bath bombs at any other time of year? The Body Shop doesn’t enter my radar until about the 21st December, if by then my mum hasn’t given me detailed instructions of what she wants I will find myself nervously entering the best smelling shop on the high street, gingerly sniffing soaps with no real conviction before buying the first thing the shop assistant suggests. It’s a safe present, a cop out really.
Talking of safe presents, I took the alcohol route. I bought my colleague as much Southern Comfort as my fiver allowed (literally two mini bar bottles) seeing as it is the only drink I have ever seen him order, but interestingly he still doesn’t know his Secret Santa was in fact me. Maybe the call centre is upholding the sacred integrity of the Secret Santa process or maybe due to the financial restrictions everyone is a little bit ashamed of what they bought but there has been barely any talk of who actually bought each other’s presents. This has in turn created a climate of fear whereby no one wants to say a bad word about their novelty gift incase the Santa is sitting next to them.
In case you’re wondering, I received a matching Jack Daniels coaster, tumbler and stirrer set, with a mini bottle thrown in. My secret Santa had played it very well, not only had he fashioned a half decent present out of five pounds but he must surely have known that even if it was my worst drink in the world, no man will ever admit to not liking a drop of whisky. That would be tantamount to declaring you’d have preferred a Christmas flavoured bath bomb instead.

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