Giving and receiving

My Secret Santa package arrived and it was good. I opened the box and discovered three items wrapped in newspaper (reuse!), with instructions on the order in which to unwrap.

Stick
Strangely, it was easier to plug into a USB port than a real one.

Gift #1 was a USB stick. Wait. It was a stick from a tree with “USB stick” scratched into the bark. WTF, worst Christmas ever!!!! I cried for several hours, before mustering up the physical and emotional strength to open the next gift.

Four
One Direction would actually be improved if they replaced Louis with a sheet of lined refill.

Gift #2 was a CD of Four, the fourth album by One Direction. Despite having previously moaned about One Direction gifts, I was actually really happy to receive Four. While I do enjoy the musical oeuvre of 1D, I’m not enough of a fan to actually buy their albums, but Four is a good pop recording and represents a new stage in the boy band’s evolution. And besides, “Steal My Girl” is really decent tune.

My Secret Santa also went to the effort of blanking out all appearances of Louis in the CD booklet after I expressed my dislike of him. This was a really kind and thoughtful, because if I’d seen L. Tomlinson’s likeness, Christmas would have been ruined again.

USB stick
The perfect accessory for the modern girl.

Gift #3 was an actual real USB stick, a nice 16GB thing that I can use to put thing on. Hooray! Christmas is saved!

My Secret Santa also included a letter that old his amazing story (so far), and in a way that was the best part of package.

Oh, apropos of nothing, I was alerted to this vlog by a dude who is describing what he gave his Secret Santa person, and what he received. By total coincidence, the gift he gave his Secret Santa person was exactly the same as the gift I received. But obviously he wasn’t my Secret Santa as that would mean it wasn’t a secret and would somehow spoil the fun or something. But I’m sure that the person who received his gift was really happy to receive and it and may or may not have literally rolled on the floor squealing with delight. *wink*

On the flip side, my Secret Santa recipients enjoyed the present I got for them. It was hard because they were a business, but in the end I think I got something that a group could enjoy.

By the way, NZ Post and Secret Santa fans have donated more than $6000 to the Christchurch City Mission. The mission also gets all the gifts intended for people who didn’t keep up their end of the bargain and send a gift. So everyone has a happy Christmas!

Merry stuff

It’s Secret Santa season, and I’ve again taken the plunge and signed up for NZ Post’s very well organised NZ Twitter Secret Santa.

But I have a fear involving Secret Santa and One Direction. Every November (deep within Q4, the time of year when the best pop is released), One Direction release a new album and, despite my best intentions, I usually end up tweeting about it or something to do with the group around Secret Santa time. This year it’s been my newfound appreciation for Liam, due to his amazing production-line selfie-taking process:

My fear is this: my Secret Santa person will see a 1D tweet and think, “Oh, she must be a huge 1D fan!” and then gift me something like a thin book with a name like One Direction: Their Life in Pictures, full of various photo agency snaps of the quintet with scarves and haircuts outside film premieres. I would be genuinely upset by this for two reasons:

1. No one wants One Direction merch. Not even actual One Direction fans (especially not 1D fans). What the merch represents is not why people like One Direction. It’s not a keyring with their faces on it; it’s their music and their #cheekybantz. And, curiously enough, those things can be legitimately enjoyed for free online.

2. Novelty gifts are a heartbreaking waste of resources. George Monbiot wrote a piece about the short, pointless lives of novelty gifts and their impact on the planet. It made me think of all the weird novelty gifts I’ve received over the years. They all eventually end up in the bin or are taken to the local recycling shop. There’s a bit of science that says that people enjoy experiences more than objects. I keep seeing tweets from ladies saying “Something nice from Lush would be ok” and I think, yeah, some nice bath stuff would be really enjoyable.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. When I come to buying a Secret Santa gift for my person, I just think “Is this something I would like to receive?” If the answer is hellz yah, then that’s the thing.

One Direction Colgate
Get out of my mouth, Louis.