ONE of the pleasures of Christmas is receiving the perfect gift; the surprise present you didn’t know you wanted until you opened it and you really, really love it.

That is the Holy Grail of the festive period. So, let’s instead talk about undoubtedly the worst Yuletide tradition probably happening all over the country right now and that should be banned immediately.

Secret Santa.

For a start the name is all wrong. First, you ALWAYS know who bought you your Secret Santa gift . . . and it most certainly is never from Father Christmas.

For those of you unfamiliar with the excruciating concept, ‘enjoyed’ through gritted teeth by workers all over the UK around this time every year, it is simple.

A group of workmates draw a name out of a hat (in secret) and then have to choose, buy and wrap a gift for that person.

The presents are later opened in a toe-curling public ceremonial gathering, as nervous colleagues gather, each trying to guess who has bought their particular gift.

Except you just don’t have to guess. It’s so obvious. Just look around at your colleagues.

There are always poker-faced exceptions, but most people perk up, while at the same time trying to look casual when you come to open their gift.

It is usually very easy to suss out the buyer. But then it turns into a weird a game. You have the choice of whether to pretend you like it, clearly demonstrate you think it’s terrible or (unlikely as this is) express genuine delight that you’ve been given the perfect present.

There are broadly three types of Secret Santa participants.

They are:

The Rebel. They didn’t really want to take part, but also didn’t want to say no and certainly didn’t want to go to any effort. So, they just bought the first thing they saw within budget. Like a deodorant, or batteries, or a tiny executive office desk toy.

The Try Hard. They want to impress the recipient with their gift and put far too much effort into actually buying something nice. And usually over budget. By ten pounds.

The Joker. Usually a he, this person will just buy the first stupid novelty item (usually ‘adult’ and certainly inappropriate) they lay eyes on, then wrap it in a Lidl bag, bound by 20 metres of Sellotape.

Then after the charade of opening their gift, there are those who will at some point in the day, or the day after if they really have a steely resolve, make sure they find out directly or indirectly, as nonchalantly as possible, if they liked their Secret Santa present.

The whole thing is a complete waste of time, money and brainpower and needs to end.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, but please do me a favour – how about suggesting to the powers-that-be at your work that next year, instead of Secret Santa, everyone just sits around the office eating their own feet?

I can promise you that it will be much more fun.