Yes, I'm slowly adjusting to post-holiday routine, trying to catch up on Christmas stories. You know what they say--better late than never having anything new to read on this page.
At work, the secretaries have a tradition of hanging stockings in the main office. Each one has a name on the felt, carefully written in glitter glue. As the stocking held by my post was becoming disheveled with the tearing off and reapplying of names as people came and went, the two other secretaries in my main office took it upon themselves to replace the worn stocking with another, one new and without any bad karma.
They decided this while running errands for our department party. They wanted it to be as similar to the others as possible, for it would be unforgivable to grant me one with, say, faux fur, which does not receive glitter glue kindly. Many factors had to be weighed, many options considered. And then they settled on one.
Proud of their acquisition, they wasted little time before revealing it to me upon their return. Here it is, in comparison to one of the others.
They claim this was the best they could do. Cynical as I am, I choose to believe that there were hundreds in the former style at the store, identical to the six earmarked for other office and support staff. Once they set eyes on the stocking that was similar but for the fact that it hung nearly down to the floor, however, they preferred to give the department a challenge. After all, no one can look in the face of this supposed greed and pass up the opportunity to fill it with any number of questionable finds. I comforted myself--perhaps I would end up with some good fodder for next year's white-elephant exchange.
Many, upon entering the office, were aghast as mine stood in comparison to the others. Initially one of the instigators would take the high road and explain how this came about, but then they preferred watching me have to defend myself against such a large stocking. They especially enjoyed playing dumb in the face of my explanations, as if they had nothing to do with the arrival of a four-foot stocking.
Early in December I noticed two awkwardly wrapped gifts already residing in the big toe. Cautioned by my superior, I was not allowed to investigate too closely until my last day before break.
Items began appearing mysteriously, some deposited while I was away at lunch, others when I departed for the night. A pom-pom was given and resided at the top to hide prying eyes.
When the reveal came, others were equally curious, as mine had filled up faster and more substantially than the others. I was ready with a trash can nearby, as every once in a while someone would slyly drop in an item that was questionable.
Inside was found six pairs of rubber gloves (in green and white), a Christmas tree pin, a yo-yo, a snowman beanie, a small glass dish from the 'free' pile in the hallway, a leftover stash of yarn (always welcome whatever the state of usage), a profusion of candies, and $1.28.
I also received a small Precious Moments-esque nativity scene, an opened box of mint green tea, paper clips in a beaker, yellow play dough, Sweet'N Low, soy sauce, plastic utensils with napkins, barbecue and onion ring dipping sauces from Burger King, a spider ring, and silly putty. Truly the sacred and the profane were met in my stocking.
And the two wrapped gifts? A pair of Christmas socks from the woman I competed with for dominance in holiday stockings. The second was a set of coffee filters, suspiciously similar to those numerous packages that reside near our coffeemaker.