Years ago I was invited to a holiday office pot luck breakfast for just the secretaries where I work. We were told to bring a dish and a wrapped gift of not more than $15. I'm not much of a traditional breakfast eater but I was willing to play along in the spirit of teamwork and getting to know my counterparts.
I had a hard time decided what to gift to get that would fit such a diverse group of women that I didn't know well, but opted for a cute little basket that I filled with some fancy treats and trial size lotions and potions. It was hard to make it nice and not break the $15 limit. As it was I spent a little over $20 and hoped I wouldn't get in trouble.
The only other secretary in my department opted not to come so I had pretty much been ignored the whole party (so much for getting to know people). We were all given numbers to determine what order we picked our gift out of stash. I was dead last. There was a lot of squealing as each gift was opened in order. I was completely put to shame by these lavish gifts that obviously cost upwards of $40. I sat nervously by breathing a sigh of relief every time my gift was passed up. As the numbers were winding down no one paid attention as the lady in front of me picked her gift--not the one I brought--leaving me with my own gift.
One woman roared, "Who brought these?!?!!" Finally it came out that the other lady brought the gift she picked out and I brought the gift I picked out. The women were furious that we picked out own gifts even though basically that is how the numbers worked out and we were told to switch with each other.
The following year I politely declined to partake.
The Fine Print: Wishing you a sweet holiday and not a shame inducing potluck greedfest! Stamps by A Muse Artstamps, brad from the Eyelet Queen, and fancy schmancy ribbon from my stash. BTW, I gave the glass paperweight to my grandmother in law who thought it was fabulous and gave it a place of honor in a cabinet with other glassware. Although I did miss having it on my desk at work because I could threaten to break people's skulls with it.