With temperatures plummeting into the negatives earlier this week, it’s safe to say that the holiday season has officially arrived in Chicago. While other cities may measure the arrival of the holidays by the amount of tinsel and stockings hanging around, Chicagoans typically base this assessment on how many layers are required to leave the house.

At RIVS, we’re all layered up and ready to spread the joy of the season. Fortunately for us, it seems like we’re not alone in our holiday spirit. CareerBuilder recently found that three in five employers are throwing company holiday parties for their workers in December and more than half expect them to be the size of last year’s party or slightly bigger.

In a hilarious twist, CareerBuilder also polled professionals to find out the most unusual gifts they had ever received from a co-worker. Answers ranged from 50 pounds of fresh Louisiana shrimp, a toothpaste squeezer, a painted concrete chicken, and camouflage toilet paper. Inspired by this list and unable to resist polling my quirky counterparts, here are some of the most unusual gifts Rivians have received over the years:

“A two foot Armadillo with a cowboy hat.” – Bill

“A $5 Starbucks gift card at the bottom of a 3ft poster tube. I think it was a leftover poster tube!” – Kelly

“One time for ‘Secret Santa’ I got a creepy ceramic cat that was bought from a thrift store. I actually like it though and I still have it.” – Ava

“The funniest gift I received was from a coworker at an old job and it was a large caricature drawing of me.” – John L.

“I once made a comment to a co-worker that I liked to drink on cross country flights if I didn’t have anything else to do. She picked up on it and bought me 4 four packs of airplane sized Sutter Home wine bottles for a Secret Santa gift. Very clever!” – Marc

“I had a gift exchange back when I worked at Fazolli’s in high school. My manager gave me the Princess Bride on DVD because ‘I was such a fan.’ I had never seen the Princess Bride. Also, once I was dating this girl around Christmas, and we had not been dating very long. She gave me a book of abstract poetry and a book about hallucinogenic drugs.” – Bryce

And here I thought the strangest gift was going to be that time I was given lemon-shaped soap on a rope from an old boss.

What are some of the strangest gifts you’ve ever received from a co-worker?

Image used under Creative Commons from GirlieErin.

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