REGINA – The secrecy of the Secret Santa system in Regina’s SaskTel offices has been called into question, after a flurry of leaks led to full public knowledge of who was buying presents for whom within 3 minutes of the secret draw.
“This is my favourite thing I do as social coordinator all year,” said Crystal Bertrand, who has run the Secret Santa for 5 straight Christmases “I try really hard to make this a fun thing, and having the person who gives you a present be a surprise is a big part of that. That’s why I use ink that can only be revealed with blacklight, and we had a two key system where both Beth in accounting and I had to be present to open the safe with the Secret Santa info. But I guess it didn’t work.”
Very few of the people responsible for the leaks have come forward, but that has not stopped employees from pointing fingers and assigning blame. Most of the no-longer secret Santas blame the fiasco on people’s general inability to “keep their traps shut”, though there is a small but loud minority that claim the problem is systemic.
“The whole thing is an inside job,” claimed Walter Shutt. “Once you get into the Secret Santa system it’s nothing but rot and corruption all the way down. Do you think it’s a coincidence Megan never got me in the 3 years we’ve been doing this? No, she pays Crystal under the table to give her the name of anyone but Walter, just because I asked her to come to the Pickle Barrel with me that one time.”
Other employees think that the leakers should step forward and be lauded as heroes. “It should be public knowledge,” claims Mary-Anne Beauchemin, a strident free-speech advocate and assistant manager of marketing. “If I know Gary in finance has me, I don’t have to tell everyone in the office that I want a new canister of bull clips for Christmas. I can just tell Gary. Why does everything in this office have to be a secret? WHAT ARE WE TRYING TO HIDE? Also, the price limit should be five dollars, not thirty. I’m not made of money.”
Despite widespread disillusion about whether it is even possible to have a truly secret Santa, the SaskTel marketing staff still all looked forward to the gift-opening ceremony, where each of them planned to open their personalized Tim Hortons gift card with great enthusiasm.