Today was an exciting day for the Releasing Potential Staff Team as we were looking forward to a very special event, which had involved planning, secrecy and creativity. It was the staff ‘Secret Santa’ giving of presents. My colleague Karen, has now refined this special occasion into an art form.  Karen sent out these instructions:

The Six Easy Steps:

  1. Buy gift 
  2. Wrap gift 🎁
  3. Take gift to the stationery cupboard next to the office in Chichester. 📎✂✏(please ask Poppy if you are not sure where the cupboard is)
  4. Remove relevant named label from its backing.
  5. Stick the label onto your wrapped gift.  
  6. Place the labelled gift into one of the bags.

All gifts will need to be placed in the bags by 3.30 pm on Thursday 20th December, as they will distributed after training on that day. 🎅

It was a very clear list of instructions which had involved Karen writing the staff list, printing out the sticky labels, providing the two sacks for presents, writing clear instructions and emailing staff.  As I reflected on this process it reminded me of my teacher training which reiterated that ‘prior planning prevented poor performance’. This process does not seem very creative however through Karen’s dedication to detail it created the opportunity for staff to be given a random named colleague with which they had to buy a present for. This is where the creativity began as staff put thought and effort into every gift, taking time to consider what their colleague would appreciate or make them laugh.  In addition to wine, beer and chocolate the gifts included; toilet training instructions, a personalised staff handbook, foot pedicure set, in car vacuum cleaner and some with personalised messages.

One person’s gift of planning and communication created an opportunity for the rest of us to display love and appreciation to each other.  The song ‘What a Wonderful World’ was first sung by Louis Armstrong in 1967, it has a great line which says ‘I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do but what they are really saying is I love you’.  We rarely create opportunities where we are able to express our gratitude to each other and I for one have appreciated the ceremony of Secret Santa, as I see the staff team take pure joy in the giving and receiving of presents.

What did I receive……I was given a tea pot with the Releasing Potential logo printed on the side.  The person who gave me this gift knew me well as I believe the tea pot can be a source of joy and a gift to others.