‘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.

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13 Comments

  1. Alien Resort

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

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      No one asked. There’s so much food at office holiday parties anyway that there’s not enough time to wonder where any of it came from.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That’s good thinking. I put it out on the table before I started sampling them. I was nice enough to give everyone else a fair chance.

      Reply
  3. Tom

    You did the right thing!

    Almost.

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

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      If I could I would have shared a sample of each, but if you’re looking for something to spruce up this Christmas, well, you’d probably want a spruce tree, but there’s also baklava.

      Reply
  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. ^_^

    Reply
  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!

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      Corporate swag really is fun and I’ve collected a fair amount of junk over the years, but the baklava stands out as the best thing I’ve ever gotten.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      That ruler has been with me since I started. And I decided there were a few things on the main table I also wanted to sample so I didn’t want to stuff myself on baklava.

      Reply
  7. Ann Koplow

    I’m no prophet, Chris, but I know that every post of yours will provide a delicious assortment.

    Reply
    1. Christopher Waldrop (Post author)

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your prophet-able thoughts.

      Reply

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