For most of us, this will be our last week at work before the big day finally arrives. The merriment here at John Lewis has already begun - the office is decked with red, white and green garlands from Pulp and the office party is imminent. Being Christmas professionals, it will of course be in the best
Despite loving the festive season, I do find Secret Santas quite taxing, especially when there's a tight budget involved. The key to a good Secret Santa is humour. It's a great opportunity to be a bit cheeky with your choices and raise a smile amongst your colleagues, but beware of anything that might mortally offend. An office Secret Santa witch-hunt is the last thing you need as you wind down! On one memorable occasion, a particularly loud colleague was presented with a union jack thong, and the rest of us never heard the end of it.
So for the chap who managed to grow a lustrous moustache during Movember and is now very attached to it, how about a moustache comb for £5? Keen bakers will surely appreciate the home-made cookie stamp for £7, maybe conveying a subtle hint that a batch of biscuits for the office would be appreciated? I've often plumped for the goldfish soap, especially when I don't know the recipient well. If you feel in anyway awkward about how your gift might be received, travel pass holders are a safe choice; lip balm or a mug always go down well.
The great thing about Secret Santa is that if you get it wrong, the recipient may never know your true identity – especially in a big team. And if I'm ever on the receiving end of a duff gift, then it goes straight in the re-gifting drawer for next year.
This is Mr Christmas, signing off for the festive season and wishing you a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year!