The “Friend” Secret Santa 2020

Shutterstock / Oleksandra Naumenko © present

Like a lot of workplaces, the “Friend” office runs a Secret Santa every Christmas.

When we were all still in the office, this involved picking a colleague’s name out of a hat, and heading off into town to pick them up a gift.

The gifts would go under the office tree until Christmas Eve, when we’d get together to open them before heading off for lunch.

It was exciting!

Here we all are last Christmas, posing for a rare team photo:

Photograph courtesy of “The People’s Friend”

A little different

Of course, this year was a little different.

But that didn’t stop us!

Fiction team’s Abbie took on the administration this year, using to randomly assign us all people to buy for.

Then, it was up to us to make sure the gifts got to their destinations. Luckily, we’re all experts at online shopping now . . .

Photograph by Iain McDonald.

Digital Ed Iain

“Secret Santa delivered this to my door. It certainly solved the problem of what to eat for breakfast on Christmas Day!

“I’ve eaten most of these now — though I am proud to say there are still one or two still in the cupboard. Just not for long . . .”

secret santa

Photograph by Liz O’Rourke.

Knitting Ed Liz

“I love reading, and I was thrilled to bits with my present.

“Whoever picked this knows my tastes well and I suspect is a book lover, too. Mind you that could be just about anyone from the ‘Friend ‘ office!

“The only problem I have is deciding which book to read first.”

secret santa

Photograph by Abbie Phillips.

Poetry Ed Abbie

“When I opened up the package that arrived for me, I found a beautiful gift bag inside which I definitely plan to use again!

“And inside the bag, I found . . . ‘The Midnight Library’ by Matt Haig!

“It’s about a library filled with books that tell you what your life is like in alternative realities.

“It sounds great and I can’t wait to read it! The perfect Christmas gift.”

secret santa

Photograph by Judey Struth.

Production Ed Judey

“I must have been on the nice list this year as Santa came up trumps. Someone knows me very well!

“It’s just lucky you asked for this picture when you did, because the chances of this still being in one piece after the weekend are slim, to say the least.”

secret santa

Photograph by Alan Spink.

Fiction team’s Alan

“I first read Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ two decades ago.

“As someone who loves to write as well as read, I look forward to delving into the updated edition from the straight-talking master storyteller.”

secret santa

Photograph by Manon Gandiolle.

Illustrations Ed Manon

“When I first went onto the “Draw my name” website, I took Abbie’s advice of creating a wish list to ‘give [my] Secret Santa a handy hint as to what kind of thing you might like” very seriously, and clicked a huge amount of random objects that the website was suggesting.

“First, because it was fun. Second, because I thought I was being helpful. In hindsight, I probably looked very demanding and I hope I didn’t overwhelm my Secret Santa!

“Having suggested such a wide range of ideas, coupled with the fact that I have a goldfish memory and didn’t remember what I clicked on, I had zero clue about what I would receive! 

“I was pleasantly surprised by this book, and absolutely love it! It’s full of handy tips, and Christmas was the perfect time to receive it.

“I’m ready to turn all those tips into New Year’s resolutions.”

secret santa

Photograph by Eddy Gardiner.

Production team’s Eddy

“I’ve been meaning to pick up ‘The Stepford Wives’ for (literally) years, but somehow still haven’t haven’t got round to it.

“So thanks, Secret Santa!”

For more from the “Friend” team, click here to read our blog.

Iain McDonald

Iain is Digital Content Editor at the "Friend", making him responsible for managing flow of interesting and entertaining content on the magazine's website and social media channels.