Andy,

It was hard trying to pick out a theme for your Secret Santa gifts because you give us so many avenues that we could work with.

For instance, one theme your Secret Santa could have gone with would be you becoming Doug's brother-in-law and giving his sister-in-law a promise to promise to marry her ring. To complex.

Your Secret Santa could also talk about your nickname being the "shelf" or perhaps the fact that you have a fivehead instead of a forehead. To obvious.

Of course your brother turning good teams like the Georgia Bulldogs and the Indianapolis Colts into teams that just did not do so well during the time your brother played with them could be another motif. To bad.

Yet another possibility would be using the label Fred gave you a few weeks ago of "The Flaming Wimp," not to mention you being a devoted and misguided Microsoft disciple. To personal and to lame.

While all of these themes describe you adequately, you are best known for something else. Please open the gift marked #1 and read the title out loud to learn what your theme is.

Now that you know the theme of your gifts, your Secret Santa has decided to try to help you with overcoming your inability to make it to work before early afternoon or at least to cover up the fact you are sleeping in.

Here is just a sampling from email you and others have sent in the past few months of some great excuses you have used for coming late to work.

Don't forget the great house hits like "I have house stuff to do" that you used on August 17th, 19th, and 20th, not to mention you having to do a "ton of errands for your house" on September 2nd. Finally, or so we thought, you used the "I have a final walk-thru" excuse on September 18th, but you came up with even more excuses such as "having to see your insurance agent" on December 7th. Another house classic was "having to show your house because there are no others like it" that you used December 14th. Additionally you said you "had to finish moving" on September 28th.

Once you moved to the outskirts of Chattanooga, an entire extra set of excuses were at your fingertips such as "being stuck in bad traffic on 575" that you used on September 25th and your excuse of waiting for the furniture people on September 22nd.

Some other classics that have awed your fellow employees are your excuse of you taking a day off so you "might do some work from home on DLA and the Web Deployment IRaD" from November 25th, the "temperature in my office is approaching Hell" from November 24th, and the "picking up your parents from the airport" from October 6th.

The excuses of "I'm running late" that you have used on several occasions including August 31st and November 19th and "I have a headache" from November 11th caused your Secret Santa to get you your next gift.

Your excuses have started to lack originality. Open your second gift that is the envelope marked #2. This gift was originally published by the Washington Post on April 14, 1994 that was a contest in which readers were asked to submit excuses for missing or being late to work.

Some favorites of your Secret Santa include:

Finally, now that you have the book, "I am not Going to Get up Today," and a list of new excuses you can use, now it is time to try to help you overcome sleeping in late. Open the gift marked #3. This alarm clock does not need batteries or electricity (two excuses Secret Santa believes you would use), you simply need to wind up the clock and you are good to go!

I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year "Shelf!"

Yours truly,

Secret Santa