‘Tis Better To Give…

“Hanukkah came early this year! Which it sometimes does.”–Richard Lewis

Every year the office where I work holds a holiday party. Well, technically it’s me and my coworkers, not the office itself which, being a large open space, is great for facilitating parties but terrible at planning them and when there’s a potluck only brings a measly tray of pencils.

Since I’ve worked in the same place for several years my name has gotten on a lot of mailing lists, and I’ve noticed that companies sometimes send stuff addressed to me. Technically I’m not allowed to accept gifts from companies it’s a non-profit organization—and also we have a generic holiday party because it’s a non-prophet organization, but that’s another story—although most of the time it’s little stuff: a few measly pencils, a writing pad. One company sends several calendars with a medieval painting for each month and if I ever leave this job I’m gonna find a way to get on their mailing list.

And most of this stuff—especially the calendars—I pass on to coworkers. Also I’m not in a position to make any purchasing decisions so I can honestly say I’m not influenced by any of it.

Last year as the holidays approached a box addressed to me landed on my desk. It was from a company we do business with and it was unusually large. I assumed it was swag I could pass around to my coworkers. When I opened it I found this:

In the lower lefthand corner you’ll see a ruler I got from somewhere, or that maybe was something the office brought to a potluck, just to demonstrate that this is at least sixteen inches of baklava. And I’m a bona fide baklavaholic. Or baklavolic. It’s an amazing food: crispy and chewy and sweet and nutty, and great for winter which is balaclava weather, but that’s another story.

Still I knew it wasn’t technically for me and that I shouldn’t keep it for myself even after I opened it and found this:

That’s eight different kinds of baklava.

So I contributed it to the holiday potluck. I didn’t say I brought it and left it very discreetly among the homemade items, and some other store-bought items that others brought.

I feel slightly guilty that my contribution wasn’t purchased, although it is the spirit of the season to not just receive but also give. And if I should feel guilty about anything it’s that I sampled every type of baklava myself. Some of them twice.


  1. Alien Resort

    Did anyone ask who brought the baklava?
    Alien Resort recently posted…How Plucky EscapedMy Profile

  2. BarbaraM

    Man, I would have sampled everything too! You could have taken them out of the box and put them on a plate to hide the fact that there were some missing.

  3. Tom

    You did the right thing!


    The right thing would be to send me a sample of each!

  4. Teresa Fidalgo

    Great review. This one was a hard one to review in that anything you say spoils the story and series. I liked this one. It’s a bit slow at the start, but does pick up and dang the war. ^_^

  5. Allison

    Ooh – fun present! And useful! I used to get a lot of calendars from customers. Several of them gave me hats or t-shirts. I once got a scale replica of a wind turbine, but my favorite was from a shipping company – they did boat cargo. It was a Christmas ornament – one of their boats with shipping containers bearing their logo, and glitter snow adoring the whole thing. Corporate swag is fun!

  6. Bryce Warden

    “non-prophet organization”….well played! And I think tasting one of each (minimum) was appropriate, I’m impressed you shared them at all. Cool ruler too.


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