It is true that there are more pleasant things to do with your time than trying to think of something to give your office Secret Santa, particularly when you have no idea who the person really is, and even more so if the person generally makes your life harder. But that is no excuse for gifting them a crappy, creepy or cringey gift.
Office Secret Santa is more than just the colleague you have randomly drawn out of a hat. Come the big day, it’ll affect all your colleagues, and long term could be a blight on your office space for a year.
Browsing the current Secret Santa options out there I am genuinely worried about office parties this year! It seems co-workers around the globe are going to be confronted by endless sweary mugs (which surely cannot be actually used at work), or things adorned with genitalia. Which again, surely can’t be used at work and should lead to some serious chats with HR.
To help get you through the work Christmas do with less willies, *unty mugs and meh desk mood flip charts, here are my suggestions for excellent gifts everyone can enjoy.
EL CANARIO HOT CHOCOLATE - from Brindisa (specialty Spanish food hero!), is the best. A little like a gift for everyone, it’ll stave off caffeine overload, and sooth stressy afternoons. Also, a little treat for you, if you head to their Borough location to buy it, you can have a gorgeous food outing whilst you’re there.
GAMELY GAMES - this games company is based in Brighton and are so incredibly sweet. Their games are created to get the family together to share a jolly good laugh. Perfect for anyone with a family and definitely won’t get you in hot water with HR.
LA CHAMBRE AUX CONFITURES - Any jam from here. My favourite is the lavender honey, but whilst in the store I tried at least 15 different jams and all were absolutely delicious. Had there been more room in my bag, and money in my pocket, I would have gone home with them all.
And don’t forget this little gem of an idea - LUCKY DIP CARDS. Not only will it give them a whole year’s worth of experiences to do, it’ll spice up your office chit chat content month to month as they draw each new card. I’m biased, as I created the game, but I would really rather hear about Darren’s ‘Watch the Sunrise’ scheming rather than his Friday night conquests…!
And if you know, I mean, just know (!) that there's a colleague who can’t resist gifting a basic filthy mug, I think it’s an excellent idea to pick up an emergency lovely fern (the type that has long dangly leaves…) to provide some necessary cover for when the boss walks by.
Now quick, rush out and do your present shopping before the streets descend into Christmas madness.
I have had a few conversations recently which have lead back to the question of dreams. It’s odd to say, but I don’t really have any. Growing up, I never dreamt of winning the lotto, my wedding day or travelling the world. And as an adult, when talking with my husband about our future, dreams are noticeably still missing.
I felt uneasy about the idea that I didn’t have any dreams, so I mulled it over until I came up with what I can best describe as dreaming in feelings.
I don’t dream of having a wardrobe full of gorgeous clothes, having a perfectly toned body, or an enormous house (well, occasionally I do dream of living in a stunning Regency house, but only for a moment). For me, the work and time needed to acquire and maintain these is far from ‘dreamy’. But when I think about what I have gained in my life and what I still strive for, it becomes clear that what I dream of is to feel excited, special, loved, entertained and proud.
I’ve suspected for a very long time that New Year’s Resolutions are the worst! As we speed through July, reminders of New Year resolutions are flooding in. It seems everyone is taking stock of where they are against what they set out for themselves in January, and are rapidly setting Summer Goals as a way to try and gain traction before the end of the year.
No more please! New Year’s Resolutions don’t work…and I’d suggest that although they have a better chance of success, the Summer ones don’t either. A few interesting pieces of literature have led me to firmly believe that ‘mini’, 'shared' and ‘fun’ goals are the only way to reach the end of a year satisfied and energised to do it all again when the new year starts.
Compelling information shared by Daniel Pink in When, the Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing, suggest we fall prey to setting New Year's goals as January 1st is a fresh start day, whereby we feel the best version of ourselves is possible.; however by February 64% of people will have already given up on their resolutions. He also breaks down the importance of coffee, naps, planning for mid slumps and the importance of looming deadlines. All fascinating and insightful in explaining how and why some things are successful, and others are not. Though all these things I have never heard associated with setting and achieving resolutions!
And whilst not scientifically proven, the endless stream of supportive comments confirms for me, that Hannah Bullivant’s diagnosis of the negative slant generally put on resolutions actually drives us away from doing them, as “they make us feel crap”. Who wants to lose weight, think about losing weight, or tell your friends you want to lose weight?! However, if you wanted to nourish your body instead(!), how much nicer is it to yourself, to talk about with friends, and to actually do?!
From both sides, scientific and anecdotal, both Daniel and Hannah focus on the need to break things down into small goals and to frame them in a way that sets you up to succeed (that is, positive and achievable!). It’s time to forget the 11:45pm New Year’s Eve scramble of negative things you want to achieve, and jump into interesting and exciting things to do that’ll get you to the end of the year with joy sparkling in your cheeks.
LUCKY DIP CARDS
EXPERIENCE INSPIRATIONS AND STORIES