Secret Santa.

Ranjan went inside the gift shop. The gift shop was located inside of a newly built shopping complex in the vicinity of his office. It was  the day before Christmas and he had to buy a gift for one of his colleagues. Their manager initiated a secret Santa game to be played in their office. Everyone had to comply and most of them were very happy with it. They were high on Christmas spirit and did not mind presenting a gift for their fellow colleague on this occasion.

The rules were pretty simple. First, the gift had to be unisex as nobody knew whom this present would be destined to and secondly, the price should be within 100 bucks to maintain similarity among presents for employees of all categories and economical stature.

After entering the shop, Ranjan went to the gift card section. He could find beautiful cards specially made for this occasion but if he decided to buy one, he had to cut down from the gift budget, so he dropped the idea of buying a gift card and concentrated on the main gift item.

He moved on to the next section of the gift shop. It was having crystal show pieces to decorate different sections of a room. He could not find anything which met his choice and the budget constraint. He continued looking into the other nukes and corners of the gift shop for the gift which would meet both the criteria of the game. He failed to secure a gift of his choice. He was having a preconceived notion that no one could find any presentable gift for this occasion within 100 bucks. It was the irrational limit set by the managers. They should have thought practically about how much it would cost to buy a gift for someone now days. He was reassured that his preconceived notion was correct and finally he thought to conclude his journey to find the gift in that shop.

He could have tried looking for the gift in other shops but he was convinced from his past experience that, in this shopping complex that the result would not be any different of more searching. Nothing would come by in 100 bucks that he would like. He finally decided to end the search and went to the near supermarket store to buy a small box of celebrations chocolate. He asked the sales person to wrap it in paper and ended his shopping.

He went to office and put it in the designated place in the cafeteria where everyone had to put their gifts anonymously. Later on that day, human resource representative would play the game of secret Santa and those presents would be drawn by individual employees participating in that game. Ranjan put the chocolate box over there and went to his desk to start his work for the day.

He was busy attending client meetings and entirely forgot to attend the secret Santa game. He sat in his glass cubicle and could not notice outside. Some of his colleagues asked him to go to the cafeteria for this game but he procrastinated leaving his desk due to some urgent work and entirely forgot about the event.

Later in the evening, the human resource representative, who was driving the secret Santa event, came to his desk. Ranjan greeted the young man inside. The human resource guy put a gift on Ranjan’s desk and said “As you did not come to the event, we had this one gift saved for you. Please accept it”.

Ranjan thanked the guy and also apologized that due to some urgent work he could not participate in the event. He also confirmed how he would be eagerly waiting for more of such events in the future.  Ranjan looked at the gift on his desk. It was wrapped in a simple white paper. On further notice, he realized it was wrapped in office printer paper. The very idea disgusted him. “No wonder, no one picked this up” he mumbled.

He thought that the person, who brought the gift, did not consider spending 5 bucks to wrap it in a gift paper properly. Reluctantly, he took the gift and started unpacking it. When he opened the gift, he found out a beautiful handmade woolen scarf. It was a very nicely knit woolen scarf. He checked it thoroughly and could not find any tag claiming that this belonged to any known or unknown brand. He was assured that it was handmade by the person or his/her family member for this occasion.

He was very glad to have received this as a gift. He did not only receive a nice gift but also realized the essence of gift giving. It is not always money that matters, but the love and effort you put into it to bring smile into others face.

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