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Senate Preps for Secret Santa Swap (the Sequel)

With the fiscal cliff negotiations threatening to ruin everyone’s holidays, senators are getting their Christmas cheer on now, gathering Monday for another anonymous gift exchange hatched by Minnesota Democrat Al Franken.

Franken threw his first Secret Santa affair last year, a bipartisan lovefest at which 62 lawmakers shared the likes of trucker caps, craft beer, gourmet chocolate, hot sauce and actual coal. “I got a really great book from Sen. [Joseph I.] Lieberman,” Franken said of his personal haul, though he insisted that the ultimate objective was to “create comity and good cheer in an institution badly in need of both.”

Sens. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., Tom Udall, D-N.M., Michael B. Enzi, R-Wyo., Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and John Boozman, R-Ark., have signed on as co-hosts of this year’s festivities, which 60 solons plan to attend.

And even though the same spending cap — $10 per gift — remains in place for the participants, it sounds as if the caterers are going all out.

“The feelings of bonhomie and good cheer will be enhanced by eggnog and other holiday treats, including a fruitcake that the Senate kitchen started on two months ago,” Franken enticed potential revelers in his invitation.

Email pics of any pols you spot bearing packages to

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