Sometime back, around a month ago, a brainwave hit me. Some of my colleagues at work are good friends too. And I thought, why not get christmas gifts for them? The more I thought about it, the better I liked the idea. The cynical ones among you will say that I had fallen victim to the good ol' "'Tis the season" marketing. I must say I did feel I belonged to be doing some kind *christmas shopping* too. But more importantly I felt good about about getting a chance to show my appreciation to them for making my life so much more nicer at work!
So I went shopping. Getting gifts for the women-folk was easy. All women love cosmetics which pamper. For the men-folk, it was tougher. Finally I settled on chocolates and neutral things like coffee-mugs and photo frames. Then it was off shopping for the tissue-paper and the gift bags. Okay, I admit. I love the gift-buying, the gift-wrapping, in general, the works about the whole process of gift-giving.
I decided Wednesday would be the D-day to give the gifts - some people were taking Thursday off and Friday onwards, the holidays started. So on wednesday I left slightly early for work, sneaked my gift-bags in and left them on the various colleagues' desks. And returned to my desk with happy contentment. When my colleagues came in, they were pleasantly surprised! Ah, isn't it even more nice to give gifts when the recepient has not been expecting it at all?
And then came the surprise of the day! Some of those colleagues had decided to surprise me with x'mas gifts on the same day too!! And hey presto, there I was, getting gifts! Ah, isnt it lovely to get surprise gifts too :-)? Now I have a haul of chocolates, cosmetics etc. etc. to give me company during the holiday season!
Some of you might argue that the true beneficiaries are the giant corporations which encouraged us to exchange gifts in the first place. Hmm, maybe. But I confess - I feel good!
You might have read my post on 20 random things about myself. Point #4 was reinforced recently. I had gone out for lunch with a couple of my colleagues to a restaurant called "The Fish Market." It was the first time that I was going there and I was curious about the food. I ordered a sole (as expected, fish was the main item on the menu) and after it arrived, I took a bite and declared it tasty.
Then I set to actually work on it. After a couple more bites, I decided that it really was very nice-tasting and looked up to see how my colleagues were doing. And there sat my colleague (and friend) P, looking at me with a huge grin on his face. And he said, "Were'nt you just thinking - 'do I really like it? Hmm, maybe. Let me try a bigger piece. Mmm, it actually tastes nice. Should I use the sauce. Yes, the sauce makes it better' - before you looked up?". I promise, I had not said a single word to anyone. Apparently my ultra-expressive face can be read like a book :-(! Now you know I what a terrible liar I would make.
As Thursday evening approached, many of us at work were discussing our holiday plans. I casually remarked to my colleague C that I was going shopping on one of the days, probably to one of the factory outlet malls near my house. Then C asked me if I wanted to go to her house, further up north, instead? She said she could take me around shopping. Only thing was, I should get to her house early, as the parking lots at the mall got full pretty early. I hemmed and hawed a lot. I was supposed to meet her on Friday - and seriously, who wants to get up early on the first day of vacation? However, being a true-blue shopper, I finally decided to go. Besides, I have never spent time with any colleague outside of work before and I was curious to see how the experience would be.
Like a good girl, on Friday, I actually woke up early, drove the half hour to get to C's place and by 9.40a, we were off. I must tell you, there were pretty good shopping outlets near C's house. Have you seen a Ghirardelli chocolate outlet store before? Then there was an Old Navy outlet store too - with everything SO inexpensive! And lots of other stores too. And in spite of non-stop walking, we were having a wonderful time. I had thought that I should be back home by 4.00p at the latest.
How wrong was I? At 4.00p, we were in the theatre watching Memoirs of a Geisha. Then dinner. Then some more shopping. By the time I got back home, it was 9.45p! Though C and I yack a lot at work too, I dont think we have had so much fun together before!
Merry Christmas folks :-)!