1. Five holiday parties down, one to go (two, if you want to count my family’s Christmas gathering on Saturday). It’s been a busy December, to say the least. I blame most of this on Corporate America. At my old job, our holiday parties were minor affairs, to say the least. The entire office, which included my former company and the other company that worked in the same space, would go out for a nice lunch, and my boss, who owned both companies, would give us a box of cookies and a Lettuce Entertain You gift card. Then, sometime between November and March, my company specifically would go out for lunch and call it a holiday party, after which we were free to go home for the day. Also easy peasy.
My new company is much larger than my previous company, and I’ve quickly learned that we celebrate the holidays here VERY differently. In addition to a company-wide holiday party two weekends ago at a fancy pants loft space in the West Loop, this past Tuesday my team had its own holiday party, and in the middle of next month all of the teams that report to my VP will have another holiday party. Excessive celebration, 15-yard penalty. I suppose an abundance of holiday parties is the very definition of a first world problem, so I’m trying to not complain too much, even though three different company parties does seem a bit out of control.
I was also surprised to discover that, at least on my team at my company, we are all expected to get each other gifts. No one exchanged gifts at my old company, so I was completely unprepared for this. I have a small team, fortunately (four people, including me), so this didn’t break my gift-giving budget, but the fact that I was financially prepared to buy gifts for my team certainly didn’t mean I was mentally prepared for it. You think you know someone, man, and then you go to Macy’s to try to find them a Christmas ornament and suddenly all bets are off. I obviously spend a substantial amount of time with my coworkers, given that they are, you know, my coworkers, and we all spend roughly 40 hours of our weeks together, but apparently that alone doesn’t teach you much about another human being. Holiday Lane at Macy’s on State Street has tons of ornaments, so I was able to eventually find something I thought my coworkers would each like, but I really spent most of my time finding ornaments that I thought would go over well with people I had already finished shopping for. Of course.
2. All of this year’s gift giving has really brought my insecurities about my inability to wrap presents to a head. It’s seriously embarrassing, you guys. It was one thing when I couldn’t wrap a present to save my life when I was in high school or something, but I’m 26 years old now and my present-wrapping abilities are on par with those of your average seven year old. I’m sure the fact that I paid approximately 99 cents for the one roll of wrapping paper I own doesn’t help, but that’s hardly the root of my problem (the root of my problem being, “I have no idea what I’m doing.”)
I realize this is 2016 and I am probably one Google search and three-minute YouTube tutorial away from having the ability to wrap presents like the grownup I allegedly am. And yet, I continue to insist on attempting to wrap gifts without help and then berate myself for having ugly presents. I’ll go ahead and put that on the list of things I need to learn before Christmas 2017, along with literally anything about my coworkers’ interests and hobbies.
3. My Christmas vacation starts tomorrow, and it’s not like I was going to blog between now and then anyway, so: Happy Holidays to all! I’ll see you after Christmas 🙂
Who wants to teach me how to wrap presents?
Do you exchange gifts with your coworkers?