Talk of this friendly figment soon turned to that of Santa. One coworker complained about a tradition that her husband's family has where two elves leave gifts and a note a couple days before Christmas. Everyone agreed that you have to be quick on your feet to answer questions about why Santa might have given a gently used bike, the gift labels from Santa are in your handwriting, or Santa uses the same wrapping paper as Mom and Dad. I laughed along, sharing stories from my own childhood and empathizing with my coworkers.
It was a great lunch hour, furnishing some overdue bonding. I didn't realize that I'd been taking mental notes on kids and family traditions until I was walking away, and I skipped a step when I realized that I might never be one with my coworkers in hiding Santa's wrapping paper and mixing up reindeer feed.