Secret Santa & Donoghue v Stevenson

donoghue v stevenson - secret santa

I had an email from the Carbolic Smoke Ball store a few days ago. What fun!

It ran as follows:

Dear [The Michael]
When I did Articles in a City law firm, there was no such thing as 'Secret Santa'. Secretaries would kick-start the season by pinning sprigs of holly to doorways, but fee-earners never really entered into the festive spirit.

Nowadays, it's different. Fee-earners are encouraged to embrace rituals like 'Secret Santa' because it fosters team spirit. Allegedly. For those of a humbuggish disposition, it can be a trial.

Secret Santa? Pah!!

In my typical Scrooge-esque manner, I’ve opted out of our office’s SS this year. I’ve twice bought a piece of tat to give to a colleague I neither know nor care anything about, only to get an equally meaningless piece of tat back.

I wonder how Oscar Wilde would have viewed Secret Santa?  Perhaps that to do it once would be an adventure; to do it twice would be a trifle silly, but to do it three times would be a fricking joke.

Or something like that. 

p.s. I recently bought a genuine D. Stevenson ginger beer bottle … at auction. One of only two in the world, I'm told. Do you, or does anyone you know, have an interest in starting a museum of unusual legal artifacts, perhaps to go on tour around schools and colleges? So far, the museum's got er ... one old bottle to its name.

Be careful not to take that one down the bottle bank!!  Winking smile

Hmm. I wonder who got *the* bottle. (I probably should read the case again; I haven’t since I was an undergrad in the first year – presumably it was adduced as a piece of real evidence?).  Maybe the judge took it home as a candle holder at the end of the trial?

Still, imagine taking that one on the Antiques Roadshow.  It’d be bound to get Fiona Bruce’s juices going, I’m sure!


  1. Ahhhh, maybe I should double check the old bottles I inherited with the garage of my new house. Although I fear they're more 1980s milk and soft drink bottles than iconic ginger beer ones. Acht well...


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