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Thursday, December 23, 2004

Big reveal: The work gifts of 2004

And now it can be told. The gift I got for all my co-workers was...Sea Monkeys!

For the record, here are the gifts I have bought since I joined our group nearly six years ago:

1999: Homemade chocolate chip cookies. I hadn't quite grasped the concept of the gift thing, but I was working on it.

2000: The year of the $3.99 presents. I set out to buy toys and other cute presents at various discount stores (Big Lots!, Ollie's) that were of good quality but all of which cost exactly $3.99. That price was set when I decided on the first few gifts and realized they were all the same price. Some of the gifts (like the light-up yo-yo) were vastly overpriced, while others (like the big fish pillow) were real bargains. I only bought a few of the gifts with specific people in mind. For the rest I sat down with the pile of presents and a list of names and tried to pair up people to presents. We had a lot of fun that Christmas, and we have the pictures to prove it.

(2000 was also the year of the Christmas Eclipse, and I got everybody eclipse glasses for the event. I have a great picture of a bunch of people posing in their glasses - of course, since they're designed to allow you to stare directly at the sun with no ill effects, nobody could see a damned thing.)

2001: Oversized coffee mugs filled with little treasures. These were those giant-sized latte mugs the size of soup bowls. Each one contained a collection of trinkets - a magnet, three or four types of marbles, a Sacagawea dollar, some Hershey's Kisses, and a lottery ticket. These were all wrapped up in either a little pouch that I bought from an arts & crafts store (from their now-defunct "rock collecting" area) or a small glass jar (because they didn't have enough pouches.) Quite a lot of thought went into what was essentially a last-minute gift idea.

2002: Tools. We were in the process of disassembling our area, as I have mentioned earlier, and I thought it would be clever to get everybody small, cheap tools, multi-headed screwdrivers or little needlenose pliers/wirecutter/pocketknife combos. I liked the latter, because it was technically banned at our new location, and I felt like being subversive. I used my pocketknife extensively during the move to cut the flat rope that was being used to bind our stuff to the pallets. Other people still have their screwdrivers and use them from time to time.

2003: Hand-painted ornaments. I have already written about these extensively here.

And for next year...who knows?

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