Pastry swap

I'm done with the Christmas parties.

Well, I'm done with having to deal with a lot of them. Last year I had to deal with at least six, although I only attended three of them. This year, I had to go to one, and it was the party I helped to organize (and volunteered to host, despite me just coming from Kuala Lumpur two days prior). Well, there's this other Christmas party, but I went there halfway through - apparently there was an invitation and I was not aware of it at all.

It's a good thing. You don't have to stay up very late and worry about going to work the following day. (The second Christmas party was a daytime affair, even.) You, however, can't escape the gifts. Now, that is not a bad thing, of course - gifts are always good unless they're clearly regifts. But you have to go home, and if you don't have a vehicle, going home carrying bags of things is a struggle.

This year I got a paper bag of imported pasta and spaghetti sauce from a colleague who works for a supermarket chain, and baby wash from another colleague who works for a pharmaceutical company. (Baby wash. Am I giving birth any time soon?) And then there's the usual ham, part of the gift pack we always give away to those attending the Christmas party I hosted.

The rest are pastries.

The first one was some brownies, I think. I say "I think" because, amidst the confusion of having to bring home so many things, I left it behind at the venue.

The second one was a loaf of banana bread, from a colleague whose son always bakes these things. I never had the chance to eat it; my mother finished most of it. Not a problem, because I've had it before. And banana bread - no matter who makes it, the taste almost always is the same. That one was moist to the point of splotchy, though, which I like.

The third was, well, Marks and Spencer chocolate chip cookies. This cannot fail. There's a reason why their products go around on every Christmas party you attend, especially if it's not one of those extremely posh ones. It does the job, and it does the job well. Every year someone would give us the chocolate digestive cookies, and we would have a hard time getting a piece because the chocolate would stick and we'll end up with lots of cookie crumbs.

This time, though, it's chocolate chip cookies, from someone I've worked with a lot this past year. It's not yet opened, because we're afraid of the ants.

But then, these things are designed to last for a while. You don't have to eat everything before Christmas. There's a reason why these products can last for three months. When the new year rolls in and you fill shitty, you eat one of these baked goodies, and you remember who gave it to you and why. Why? Christmas. Because we have to give someone something somehow.

And what have I given them?

There were tins of cookies on reserve, so I got three of my colleagues those.

And that's it.

Perhaps I do feel terrible, but then, I don't have the car to bring all those cookies around. Or the means to give many people all those pastries. I'm still of the mindset that you only give particular people particular things. My family, my girlfriend, my godkids.

And then I realize I might have gotten them sucky gifts.

The fourth was, finally, fruitcake. Fancy hotel fruitcake. Nutty, fruity, alcohol-y fruitcake, from the publisher of the publication I (yes) write (yes) for (yes). I might get a slice, because I need consoling.

And your responses...

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