Christmas is here! Christmas is here!
All our gifts before we unwrap! Had a great time out with my friends from work (yes, they are too close to me to just be labelled colleagues!) do do Secret Santa. We did one session last year, when there was just five us in the team. This time round we have 10 of us all from top to toe and it was even better because instead of drawing lots with shredded paper, we used the super useful Secret Santa helper website called Secret Santa Organizer.
It is super recommended for anybody who is looking to buy presents for each other because it comes with a list for you to edit to help you tell your Santa what’s on your wishlist so you don’t be too disappointed. Some people still get photo frames nowadays, not that I don’t appreciate it – but it really is just a little too thoughtless for Christmas guys.
It’s almost like a note to the receiver saying “Here is me telling you that I don’t really care about getting you a gift”.
For those who are curious as to how Secret Santa Organizer works, a main admin adds all of the participants into the list and then the system just randomly selects your recipient for you. You will be able to edit your wishlists from time to time (with a time limitation before date of event). It helps alot because you will be able to sort of grasp what is useful for your recipient, so you don’t end up buying random gifts that may end up in the shelves for the next 5 years. When it was finalized, this was what I saw on the site when I logged in.
My surprise recipient was…..
For those who are curious as to how you get to put in stuff in your wishlist, here is a sample of my wishlist.
It’s just a glimpse of how things work with the site and you can see I was very detailed ad specific (and I would choose to say helpful) with my gifts. Super demanding Natalie right here. Must be big boxes la, big lines la, grapes also must be Korean la. But yes you get the idea. You get to edit your wishlist from time to time and the site notifies your Secret Santa each time you edit the page.
Our budget for the exchange was a minimum of RM 30 and maximum of RM 50, just so we can put a bit of thought into it. Had our secret meetup at Hokkaido Ichiba at Gardens. We had about 10 of us so we decided to take the room (at no extra charge!) so it could be a little private.
FYI, this isn’t a team building session. We made it a point to meet up every now and then outside work. Can’t repeat how many times I have to say I’m so happy to have met this group of people I can REALLY call my own friends.
The early comers – we had ourselves dressed in Christmas colours. Ai phing chose a yellow because that was the most festive color attire she could find in her closet. Nick was writing a card to the recipient of his gift with his left hand so it wouldn’t be obvious.
We also brought wrappers and photos from our Wall of Fame in the office to just talk about what has happened throughout the year. Everybody had to share their most memorable event so far with the company.
Syazwan and Mei Fenn meeting after a long time! We still find ways to work together even after we parted ways so its super surreal to just be together as one again!
First class dinner view over a construction site pfft.
My part-time carpool buddy Jocelyn. She drops by my house almost every morning now that my guard greets her by her name.
“Good Morning Jocelyn”. I doubt he even recognizes me at all.
Love round tables because we can all carry the same conversation.
Everyone had to leave their fully disguised gifts in our own Kakao bags so nobody can recognize the Santa wrapper.
Got a little fuzzy inside when I saw that Mei Fenn had our photo as her wallpaper. #truelove
In every social event there will be an anti social session where everybody is just stuck with devices.
At this point of time, my device was the camera.
Some came with their gifts wrapped in their own so they all had to wrap theirs again in another corner.
We all brought tape wrappers and extra bags just incase cause we KNEW people would come unprepared.
Our designated wrapping corner pfft
It’s time to give the presents – while waiting for the food!
Wawan self elected himself to be the real Santa this time round.
The rest of the boys got a little impatient and just had to start being Santa.
So we had three Santa’s in the house.
Everybody arguing and guessing who got which.
Mei Fenn was delighted to receive TWO presents! We all wished we got her Santa!
Ai Phing couldn’t stand WAITING to ope her present she just had to ask “CAN I OPEN IT NOW”. Of course we all denied the request pfft. Everybody had to open it one by one and had to guess who Santa was. The funniest part of the whole session is that we all could guess who bought what just by seeing which item they chose.
My gift was pretty heavy when I shook it abit – wonder what is it!
First one to go – Syazwan! Melissa got him this year (she got Wawan last year too!) and was totally lost as to what to get for him so she asked for some help. Did some stalking and found out that he was looking for a pair of lifting gloves! Mel quickly went to get them and his face when he unwrapped was priceless. All he could say was “O.M.G”. Believe it or not he wore the pair of gloves throughout the whole dinner. Hilarious! Thanks to his huge hint he left on Instagram his Santa managed to get a good gift
Mei Fenn got FIVE shoeboxes and a photoframe with us in the photo. Her Secret Santa was no other than her #gbff Noel. I love shoe compartments, or any compartments actually. So I was SO HAPPY in her place. I wish my Secret Santa got me shoe boxes too.
I absolutely do not excel in wrapping gifts, and unwrapping them either. I knew who it was from once I opened it cause Mei Fenn now works in Tony Moly. And I got my Aloe Vera gels and masks. She was getting highly concerned that I wasn’t using anything for my face (cause skin is aging from now, apparently) so she was determined to get everything aloe vera for me. Thanks!
Jocelyn had a couple of things on her wishlist too – and she got that one that was at the bottom of her list, and it suit her SO WELL. An oversized jumper from HnM by Syazwan! It was the perfect item to be on Jocelyn. What a foxy. The other items Jo had on her list was a snapback, and some aloe vera gel. I think Wawan picked well though.
Alexa requested for cookies/brownies, giftcards, mug with xmas messages, candles or a notebook with a nice cover. She got a cute and presentable notebook of A5 size from Jocelyn. Love love Typo gifts! I guess Alexa didn’t really want a pony after all
Finally it was Ai Phing’s turn – and she got her dream mug! Such a sweet colour that Nick went high and low to search for. Did you know it takes alot of trouble to look for a pink mug. No? Me too. Ai Phing finally has a mug for the office, with a cute little cover to boot!
Forever optmistic Nick!
His wishlist was also granted (among gift cards, environment friendly mug, notebooks) - his Secret Santa got him three different notebook of various sizes. Man, I could also use that!
Noel was the last to go, but was the only one who didn’t have any of his wishlist items granted. He asked for either an angpau OR a Christmas Tree. His Secret Santa Ai Phing thought it was too odd to just buy a Christmas Tree so she got him body wash and a box of chocolates.
Dinner for the night : Sukiyaki!
I forced my Sukiyaki into a nabe where we boil down the rice and make it into porridge like texture. It was sukiyaki so the soup was extremely salty/sweet so we ended up pouring a whole glass of warm water to dilute the taste a little. Turned out perfect!
My very own colleague turned ohana!
Can’t choose which photo to post so I’m just going to put up both of them