The Bronto marketing department’s annual lunch and white elephant gift exchange gives our whole team the opportunity to show off our creative sides – and our funny bones.
The gifts up for grabs ranged from the fitting to the head-scratching. We had a bronto-shaped cellphone dock and pasta scooper, an oversized flask and a fluffy blanket to help us North Carolinians keep warm when the temperatures drop below 60° (stolen multiple times), a taco cookbook and Patron pairing and something that I think might be a fertility statue coupled with a Target gift card, because why not?
This year’s lunch was held on Friday, December 15, at Piedmont in downtown Durham with all sorts of seasonal goodies on the menu, including a beet salad with robiola and mustard greens, charred radicchio with sunchoke chips and a choice of seared tuna, fried chicken or cheese spoonbread for the main course. The great food and welcoming setting provided the perfect opportunity for Brontos old and new to get to know one another, including one team member who will be starting soon and another who is returning (my guess: he missed the White Elephant exchange).
We began our game as we nibbled on our dessert of lemon pie and marshmallow pot de crème. Some people approached the game with a clear strategy in mind: They made sure not to steal any item that hadn’t already been stolen once so they could lock it down (two steals and the item was off the market). Those angling for bottles of wine were definitely in that camp. As in past years, our leader Susan Wall had to remind everyone to not “hide” their gifts, and we enjoyed hearing the story of one of our colleagues (who shall remain nameless) who once licked a gift to keep anyone else from stealing it.
We also had people with their eyes on the multiple board games circulating the room – and those who just went for the silly stuff (like a collection of dollar store snowman decorations and a cat handbag with a set of plastic claws). Luckily, we’re a polite crowd – most of us apologized if we snatched up someone else’s gift.
Our lunch is one of many festive activities held at Bronto in December. Professional services also hosts a homemade white elephant gift exchange, and our ugly sweater event took place later that Friday at our Uber Occupy event. Brontos take their ugly sweaters seriously – no recycling the same secondhand sweater from years past. They embellish with headgear and tutus and shop at places like Tipsy Elves. My favorite ugly sweater was worn by a colleague who found a sweater festooned with cats that appeared to be leaping off of it. Because … cats.
While it may sound a little cheesy, it really is a gift to be a part of a team that can come together both for our customers and for each other. Here’s wishing you and your family the very best this holiday season from all of us at Bronto.