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This day has been sponsored by : Kai Emile Schaller

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Week 6 Day 3 - "Secret Santa"

This week is Secret Santa week. It spans from Monday through Thursday... so I thought, Wednesday is a good day to present it. For those of you who are not familiar with the "Secret Santa" idea, here's how it was organized here:

The names of all staff & volunteers were put on a little piece of paper and then each of us drew a name. We are the "Santa" (i.e. the one bringing gifts) for the person on the piece of paper. But the other person does not know who is giving the gifts to them... hence "Secret Santa".

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday we all had to put a little gift into a box with a name tag of who it is for, and at lunch time, Allan distributed the gifts and we could start guessing who our Secret Santa is. I was the Secret Santa for Adrienne, and got her a lottery ticket and xMas deco on Tuesday; a mirror and chocolate money on Wednesday; and a pocket backgammon game & Lindor chocolate balls on Thursday. From my Secret Santa, on Tuesday... I received no gift. The way Allan explained it, two people at the table were without gift because the afternoon cook, Rosita, and the night guard, Don Ademar, had not arrived. The two people were Cynthia and myself. This helped my guessing a lot. As soon as Rosita arrived, she began telling me that my Secret Santa was probably Don Ademar. She had such a big and telling smile on her face, that there was little room for doubt... My first gift was a mug. I had bought myself a huge mug saying "Costa Rica" for my tea, and Sarah had brought me a little coffee mug (and coffee!!!) from Colombia. Hence, the conclusion that I was a "mug person". On another day, I got sweets.

On Thursday night, we had the xMas dinner and exchanged the "big gift". On the picture, you can see me in my Santa outfit next to the box full of gifts to distribute. In order to receive the big gift, one had to guess their Secret Santa correctly. It was my turn to guess, after someone else had guessed I was their Secret Santa. To my surprise, Meri thought I was hers. Over the last couple days we started calling each other "amiga secreta" but I just thought it was a running joke. She on the other hand was very suprised that it was *not* me. Rosita had a xMas bag for me with a beach towel and a heart shaped musical jewelry box with a necklace. Adrienne guessed a few wrong Santas before she figured out it was me. She was sitting near me over lunch a couple times when she made remarks about how puzzled she was over her gifts and how she had not clue who her Secret Santa could be. Ironically, I also had a beach towel for her, one that had the Costa Rican flag on it, said "pura vida" and Soccer World Cup Germany 2006... I thought this was an appropriate mix. Just in case, I added a Harry Potter DVD.

For the occasion, all staff exchanged their usual uniform for a personal outfit (see the 2nd picture on Friday), and the cooks did not have to cook. Instead, Fanny made the salad & dessert, and we had lasagne delivered. Also, we had alcohol free sparkling drinks from champagne bottles. Irving kindly invited Sarah along for the dinner.


For today's sponsors

Familie Schaller... gibt's das bei uns auch? Geheime Weihnachtsmänner? Ich hatte davon schon gehört, aber kann mich nicht erinnern, schonmal teilgenommen zu haben. Meine Kollegen in Rumänien machen das jedes Jahr. Ich glaube, die nette Idee ist, daß jeder ein Geschenk bekommt, ohne das sich jeder für jeden in Unkosten stürzen muß. Jeder zieht nämlich einen Namen, aber keiner weiß, wer seinen eigenen Namen gezogen hat. Wir hatten drei Tage Zeit, unseren geheimen Weihnachtsmann zu erraten. An den drei Tagen haben wir zum Mittagessen kleinere Geschenke ausgetauscht.

In meinem Fall, mußte ich mir Geschenke für Adrienne ausdenken, die ich gerade ein paar Tage kannte und von der ich außer Alter und Herkunft (17jährige kanadische Hong Kong Chinesin) nur wußte, daß sie gerne filmt. An drei Tagen habe ich verschiedene Kleinigkeiten mit Weihnachtsdeko oder -süßigkeiten kombiniert. Mir wurde das raten gleich am ersten Tag erleichtert, da zur Mittagszeit genau zwei Geschenke fehlten: das von der Nachmittagsköchin, Rosita, und das vom Nachtwächter, Don Ademar. Rosita konnte man ihr Geheimnis von der Nasenspitze ablesen. Sie hatte beobachtet, daß ich Tassen mag und mir eine geschenkt.

Am Donnerstagabend hatten wir dann ein festliches Weihnachtsdinner und haben die "großen" Geschenke ausgetauscht. Dabei mußte man seinen geheimen Weihnachtsmann zunächst korrekt erraten, um an sein Geschenk heranzukommen. Originellerweise habe ich sowohl ein Badehandtuch verschenkt als auch geschenkt bekommen.

Irving hat freundlicherweise auch Sarah zum Weihnachtsdinner eingeladen.