Speaking of finding the perfect gift, I was stumped about what to get Cayden. The problem was, with him living so far away and having to limit what he could fit in his suitcase, I couldn't just get him the usual Christmas presents other girlfriends can defer to when it comes to boyfriend gifts. I couldn't buy him DVDs unless I bought the UK version and had them shipped to me for a pretty penny. But what was the point of buying him UK DVDs if he was going to move here eventually? I couldn't buy him nice sweaters or a nice jacket because they're too bulky to travel with. I'd already given him a bunch of Dallas sports merchandise, so another Mavericks shirt was out of the question.
I was stumped. I Googled every form of "long-distance gift idea" and "boyfriend gift idea" and "gifts for men" combination I could think of, which is how I ended up creating the 2011 Long-Distance Relationship His and Hers Gift Guide. I finally had something to work with.
While little kids across the country were counting down the days to Christmas, I was counting down the days to Cayden's next visit. I wanted the days to fly, but at the same time, I didn't want the Christmas season to end. I hated how after Christmas all of the decorations and Christmas music seemed stale and out of place. I was psyched that Cayden would get to come over for 10 days, but I wished it were the 10 days leading up to and including Christmas. At the same time, I wanted him to be here for New Year's. And St. Paddy's Day. And Martin Luther King Jr. Day and President's day for that matter. One day, we'd have that luxury. Until then, we'd just have to take what we could get.
I needed something to keep me busy and in the holiday spirit until he got there. Lucky, that "something" came in the form of the office Christmas party. While other companies celebrated the holidays with eggnog and a gift exchange, my company hosted the Christmas Olympics. Literally. Events included Cubicle Decorating, Christmas Skit, Christmas Song, Bake-Off, Scene-it Competition and a Texas Hold 'em Tournament. We were split into two teams: Team Jobs and Team Zuckerberg. I was on Team Zuckerberg, and I was going to win.
I started decorating my cubicle a week and a half before the party. We had to chose a theme, so after toying with the idea of "Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Griswold Christmas," I finally landed on a sure-fire winner: A White Trash Christmas. I gathered inspiration from the Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia (If you haven't seen that, DO IT), and I went to town.
I started with a classy, redneck fireplace.
Then I added some wall art, including a wreath made out of toilet paper, beer and bean cans.
Then I put up some pictures of the family.
Brought this Build-a-Bear I like to call Joe Bob.
Then I made this handy snowglobe. (And yes, that's Nascar wrapping paper in the background)
Next, it was time to put up the tree.
Oh, and don't forget about the mistletoe!
Last but not least, I traded in my comfy computer chair for a lawn chair. It was the icing on the cake.
When I was happy with my trashtastic cubical decoration, I got right to work on the group skit. During a meeting, we'd designated people to lead the different events and I called dibs on the skit before anyone else could. I had a brilliant idea. Intervention: Rudolph has a Coke problem. Coke-a-cola, of course. The fizz burns his nose, hence why it's always red.
My coworker, Tina, was in charge of organizing and planning the Christmas Song portion of the competition. She had a great idea to do a mashup of the Carol of the Bells and the Chipmunks Christmas Song (Christmas Don't be Late) complete with helium-infused voices. But then we caught wind that Team Jobs had a similar idea, so it we needed a last-minute plan of attack.
"What if we rap?" I said. "I can rewrite the lyrics to 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' and then we can trick them. We'll start with the Chipmunk song, and then we'll all scream 'REMIX' and break out in a rap."
Everyone gave me the thumbs up and I got to work. After rewriting the lyrics, I decided to do a mashup with a few different Christmas songs.
Here's the final script:
[Everyone stands in rows as if they're in a choir. Cup your hands in front of you, choir style. Start singing the Chipmunk song in high-pitched voices.]
Christmas, Christmas time is near. Time for toys and time for cheer....
[All the guys scream "REMIX!" Then 'Santa' busts through the choir and and everyone else sways like ganstas]
Now this is a story all about how
my wife turned my world upside down
I'd like to take a minute just sit right here [pats knee]
I'll tell you how I became the man on the sled with nine deer
[Everyone sings: You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen...]
In west North Pole metroplex, born and raised
at the Toys R Us is where I spent most of my days
It's chilly out, windy out, colder than cool
no, that's no an icicle, it's only drool
[Everyone sings: Baby, it's cold outside...]
When a couple of flies, they got caught in my hood
the buzzing in my eardrums almost sounded good
dropped a beat, wrote it down with utmost joy
and thought, "Hm, I think I'll call this 'Little Drummer Boy.'"
[Everyone sings: ba-rum-bum-bum-bum...]
I whistled at this chick when she came near
Her T-shirt said "Guess" and she had "Juicy" on her rear,
If anything I could say this chick was rare
But I thought, nah, forget it, "You ho, stop right there!"
[Everyone sings: Here comes Santa Claus. Here comes Santa Clause. Right down Santa Claus lane...]
She told me not to yell and then asked for a date
and I yelled to the lady, "Can't wait! See you later!"
Looking up at this woman, it was finally clear,
she would be the mother to my flying reindeer.
[Everyone sings: We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!...]
For the Bake-Off portion of the Christmas Olympics, I decided to make Oreo Cookie Truffles, a recipe I found on Pinterest. Only three ingredients: a bag of Oreos, cream cheese and white-chocolate. Joey had made them for his office party earlier that week and they were to die for.
It's safe to say that training for the Christmas Olympics helped keep my mind off the fact that Cayden wasn't here yet. Instead of missing Cayden, I dedicated my time to making sure Team Zuckerberg crushed the competition.
The Christmas party took place on Dec. 16, a week and a half before Cayden came back. The party kicked off with a staff-wide lunch at Margarita Ranch. Yes, margaritas were involved. Sadly, Team Zuckerberg lost to Team Jobs in the Texas Hold em and Scene It competitions. (I blame said margaritas and the following Vodka Tonics.) But my sexual frustration and dedication to winning paid off in the end. My Oreo Cookie Truffles won the Bake Off. My White Trash cubicle won the Desk Decoration Contest. Our Rudolph-Coke-Intervention skit beat Team Jobs. And, although the coworker who played Santa was so drunk she couldn't read the lyrics, we managed to pull out a win in the Christmas song category. Team Zuckerberg won the gold. Our prize? An extra day off work. Unlike the actual Olympics, both teams ended up winning the same prize, which pissed me off more than it should have. But an extra day off work meant an extra day with Cayden, and that was all that mattered to me.