Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Secret Santa

I know I said I wouldn't be posting until after Christmas, but I guess I lied. You see, we just finished exchanging our final Secret Santa gifts at work and I feel compelled to write about what a fabulous time I had with Secret Santa this year. First of all, you should understand that at the theatre where I work (and many theatres all around the country, actually), the cast and crew are from all over, and since we literally only have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day off to celebrate the holiday, we sort of have no choice but to make each other our "family." People rush home to see their actual families, but as far as doing holiday-related things together, we're pretty limited. That's one thing I love about playing Secret Santa- it brings two people together who might otherwise not have been close. Whether it's a member of the orchestra getting to know someone on the deck crew, or a lighting designer developing a closer relationship with a dancer, you can't help but be better off in the end. What I LOVE most about Secret Santa at AMT is that people often hide their presents backstage for others to find and when they do, the recipient will shout, "Thank you, Secret Santa!" to which EVERYONE backstage will reply in unison, "YOU'RE WELCOME!" Hilarious, right? I love it.

I'm not sure how you've done it in the past, but we get really into S.S. at AMT and even create a full "Secret Santa Questionaire" for each participant to complete. When we draw names, we actually draw out a completed form, so that people who don't know each other well will still be able to purchase or make gifts that are personalized. This year, when I drew the form out and looked at it, I saw that the person I'd selected had made a special request. Rather than complete his form with all his favorite hobbies, foods, etc. he'd asked me to do nice things and deliver presents to the people who had decided not to play the game this year. Whether they'd opted out for financial reasons, or they just didn't want to play, my person wanted his Secret Santa to make them feel special and included in the game anyway. I was so touched and the more I thought about how best to execute his request, the more I realized I needed to include him. So, I did. I made him deliver all the presents, while I still tried to remain "Secret." Sometimes it was simple. For example, "Deliver this coffee to the conductor." Other times it was more complicated, like the time I made him go caroling around the building before he could deliver the treat. And my personal favorite, I made him a "mistletoe hat" and instructed him to collect as many kisses as possible. When he had enough kisses, he could deliver the treat (which happened to be Hershey's kisses). He even let me take a picture of him:

What a good sport! In the end, it was the most fun I had playing Secret Santa and I owe it to my generous friend! You're probably wondering what Secret Santa has to do with fashion or style and while the previous portion of this post isn't exactly geared in that direction, you'll understand when you see what my Secret Santa got for me:

It's a vintage cocktail ring from the 1960's. Did they nail it or what? First of all, it's totally fabulous, but the fact that it's vintage makes it even better.

And now I'm actually going to sign off for the next 2 days and celebrate Christmas!

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