Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


Happy Corporate Holidays!

Filed under : Life in general
On December 12, 2006
At 12:25 pm
Comments : 21

Would it be too Seinfeldian if I started a post by saying, “OK, see, this is what I don’t understand?” Too late, I guess. Anyway, you may have noticed that we are in the midst of the gift-giving season, aka, the holidays. Most of these holidays are Christian, but that’s a post for some other day. That day being later this week.

But what confuses me is the whole office gift-giving thing. It’s fraught, I tell you, fraught! I am in the middle of the totem in my department. There are a couple of people above me, a couple of people below me, a couple of people at my level. What exactly do you do for these people? I should also share that the adults in my life and myself have sort of stopped exchanging so these are actually the only gifts I will give that aren’t toys or American Girl gift cards.

It used to be that the head of the department gave gifts to the staff and that was it. That worked for me. I mean, you work hard all year, here’s your tangible thank you. But somehow it has evolved into everyone gives everyone and then you have to start thinking, “is this really a gift when the amount I spent is commensurate with your position in the company?” Or perhaps, “why am I spending all this money on your gift when you make four times my salary?”

But I would like to share how I solved this problem, dear readers. It was tough, but I arrived at a fair & tasty solution. Yes, I now just bake for everyone. I go to the Container Store or sometimes Target and buy fancy packaging (I should really just buy them all iPods with what that costs me, really) and make sure it all looks just spectacular. And I don’t just bake cookies, either. I make something really difficult like rugelach (my advice to bakers: don’t make rugelach) or something really pretty like mini-cakes. Here’s the important thing to remember. You can’t put a price on effort! Well, you can, and bakeries do it all the time. But no one I work with will ever be able to say, “man, she only spent $5 on ingredients and $7 on this tin and ribbons.” Because I spent my whole Sunday baking, people. And that’s just priceless. Of course, I make my boss’ cake the tastiest. Shhh. I like to think the extra ingredient is brown-nosing.

Ministry – Work For Love


21 Comments for this post

  1. Go Away! says:

    Can I expect a mini-cake in fancy packaging on Thursday? Never mind, I’ll just buy myself a scone…

  2. kay says:

    Baking was going to be my suggestion. It’s the only solution in all this madness.

  3. KP says:

    I want mini cakes! I want mini cakes!

    And Mr. Kp ate your cookie last time.
    (That sounds filthy doesn’t it?)

  4. Jan says:

    Fraught with what?

    And I can vouch for the deliciousness of Bec’s rugelach.

    That sounds really dirty.

  5. Celia says:

    I used to bake mini loaf cakes. Everyone seemed very appreciative. However, now I have 70 people that I “work with” and it’s just not possible to keep up. Last year I switched to chocolate-dipped pretzel sticks but they really weren’t very attractive or appetizing. Also, I had to make a metric ton of them because you can’t give people just one. This year, I am doing white chocolate snowflake lollipops. It’s just a token. For the people I actually need to give a GIFT to (the folks who report to me, the ones who support me directly), I’m back to the damned drawing board…and tempted to bake them loaf cakes.

  6. Becca says:

    Look at all the dirty talk going on while I was cleaning spyware off my computer! Luckily my computer skills are as dandy as my baking ones.

    GoAway, why no, but I was going to drag you to Williams-Sonoma for some new pans. That’s just as good, right?

    KP, that was a Hamentaschen and it was for Purim. I think Kay had one too. I guess it didn’t make it home to Nigel.

    Jan, the possibility of an office politics faux pas, naturally.

    Celia, I did loaf cakes one year and if I don’t find new pans with GA, I may repeat myself. Luckily we’re a cozy seven.

  7. Sarpon says:

    Gifts of food are perfect, and infinitely preferred to gifts of hideous office decor from subordinates which must be forever after prominently displayed, lest one risk hurting the feelings of an excellent secretary with execrable taste.

    Please bear this in mind when you visit my office and see the pink silk roses and the pewter photo carousel on my credenza.

  8. Pious B says:

    A Happy Festivus (in keeping with the Seinfeld theme) and a Freilach Chanukah (in keeping with the Pious B tradition). I look forward to seeing you soon!

  9. Becca says:

    Sarpon, you are making me rethink the picture frame I got for my boss for his birthday this year. But it’s classy, I just know it!

    Aw, Pi, you came to my comments, you sweet thing. A hearty todah rabah and the same to you. CHALLAH!!!!

  10. Alex says:

    Criminey! Two music posts, followed by a post on baking?

    I guess I’ll just sit here, smile, and nod a lot.

    And offer that I’d be perfectly happy to eat either rugelach or hamentaschen (even if hamentaschen in December would seem to be jumping the gun a little).

  11. Becca says:

    No, no, it’s about office politics, I can’t help it if the comments are about baking.

    Trivia question: what do my hamentaschen and rugelach have in common? Besides being 300 calories each? Raspberry! Raspberries are God’s berries, you know. Mmm hmmm.

  12. Alex says:

    I see your point, Becca. If only I had an office….

  13. twenchi says:

    Well shoot, now I want cake, or cookies.

  14. Becca says:

    Alex, maybe that nice Celia will save you a loaf cake.

    Twenchi, try to get a job at my office by Monday.

  15. Emeraldmph says:

    Sheesh. I’m giving a card to my boss and taking my subordinates out to breakfast. Politics be darned.

    I would bake except that there’s a “wellness” initiative going on here at my employer (an HMO), so there’s an inordinate amount of finger-wagging in response to yummy treats– it’s grinchtastic, I tell you. So I’m just sending my boyfriend home with them to share with his siblings.

  16. Go Away! says:

    24 hours, Becca – get baking!

  17. Soxy says:

    Not to change the subject, but do you have any spyware cleaning suggestions? I just dropped $80 on something that didn’t even work.

  18. Becca says:

    Emerald, what’s wrong with breakfast? It’s the best meal of the day!

    GA, the good news is, I already bought the pans. The bad news is, I’m not baking until you’re back in that new England they have.

    Soxy, holy hell, what didn’t I do? But if you’re looking for free programs, I used five of them. Of course, by the time I ran them I had already found the malicious files myself as well as editing my registry and getting rid of restore points that would have brought the whole nightmare back. Otherwise, my computer wouldn’t even run so that I could use the free programs. For the record, once I was done I used:
    *Spybot Search & Destroy
    *AdAware from Lavasoft
    *ATF Cleaner (gets rid of temp files)
    *AVG Anti-Spyware
    *Hijack This (just tells you what’s there, you have to figure out what’s bad, I wouldn’t use it unless you have some idea what you’re doing)

    And for the love of crikey, I’m never using IE again. Never never never.

  19. Emeraldmph says:

    Becca, nothing wrong with breakfast! I would call it my favorite meal except I’ll be honest here, I’m on WW because I never encountered a meal I didn’t like. Anyway, the politics comment is because my desire to buy my boss and my colleagues presents is zippy.

  20. Soxy says:

    Great, I’ll add them to the list.

  21. Sarpon says:

    Pity me, oh Jewballers. I’m using a different browser, and I mis-typed “” three times before I got here. And there’s nothing new.

    That. Is. Sad.

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