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We all love the Office Christmas Party. It's a time to celebrate with the people who you go to war with everyday in the office, and determine whether or not they are worthy of some token of your esteem.

In years past, I've always been a believer in the concept preached by Homer Simpson:

You can usually never go wrong with a reasonably priced bottle of vino or otherwise. In years past, I've enjoyed both giving and receiving the gift of fermentation.

Image: Lance Ballance-Townsquare Media
Image: Lance Ballance-Townsquare Media

This was a gift I received from my coworkers a few years back, and I always reciprocated.  However, my generosity definitely backfired one year, and made me realize that not everyone is as appreciative as most.

One year, I had purchased bottles for most of my co-workers, and remembered what I had bought for each of them. I never liked getting everyone the same thing, as it seemed to me that it was better to try and individualize the gift giving. One of my co-workers (who we shall call...Brad), however, was not as accommodating. Apparently, the bottle of wine that I purchased, was not quite up to his standards, as was apparent when I gave it to him.

"Oh, I usually don't drink American wines...I'm an oenophile, and prefer to drink French or Italian Reds." (I got him a Napa Chardonnay)

I responded..."Oh, well, you didn't respond, so I got you something I thought you would like."

"Yeah, well. Thanks, anyway..."

After a couple of hours, I noticed a very familiar bottle on the desk of another co-worker (whom I had also gifted). I asked who got it for her. "Oh, Brad gave it to me...isn't he sweet? He said he'd picked it out special for me..."

I was incredulous. I picked up the bottle, feigning admiration, when i looked underneath it, and saw the initials that I had placed on each bottle, so I knew who would get which one. Brad had regifted the wine I had given him...and even had the audacity to LIE and say he'd picked it out especially for her. All I could say was "Wow, that Brad sure is incredible.." "Yeah, he sure is."

My gag reflex had just about reached it's pinnacle.

Later that day, I saw Brad and asked if what he had done with the bottle. "Oh, I put it in my car..." I looked with a smirk, and replied, "Well, then you need to be careful. I think Debbie broke into your car." I smiled, and walked away...

So, the lesson is...if you're going to regift, try and do it outside of the same circle of people from which you received the gift originally. Otherwise, it makes things VERY awkward in the office.

Postscript. Brad and Debbie were engaged a year or so later. They broke up a couple of year after that...apparently, you can't change a leopard's spots.

CHECK THEM OUT: 100 years of Christmas toys, gifts and fads


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