It’s that time of year again… time to don a red hat with a white puffball, start singing countless holiday jingles and become a Secret Santa! Sure, there’s a zillion and one things to get for everyone on your list, but Secret Santa is a refreshing, fun way to add some holiday magic back into your grown-up life. Secret Santa is exciting! You have no idea what you’re getting, and you get to give someone totally different a gift, without zero stress about if they’ll like it or if this object if really representative of all your love.
Plus, you can add a really awesome accomplishment to your bucket list by participating in the world’s biggest Secret Santa exchange.
Reddit, the large internet forum, currently holds the Guinness World Book of Records for it. Last year, nearly 90 thousand people participated, including celebrities like Bill Gates and Arnold Schwarzenegger. This year, already almost 170 thousand people, from across 179 countries, have signed up!
This will be my third year participating. You don’t have to be a Redditor to join – the Secret Santa exchange is its own website. And if you get addicted, you can take place in any of the other wacky gift exchanges they run during the year (the sock exchange, ugly mug exchange, and awesome smell exchange are some of my favorites)
I’ve received wonderfully dorky things. I have some beautiful paper decorations in my room that came from Germany. A poem about Anne Boleyn. A Tardis cookie jar, Tardis notebook, Doctor Who bookmarks, and a hand-painted watercolor of a Direwolf with the words ‘Winter is Coming’. (The Tardis cookie jar was especially fun, as the box it was delivered in kept making the swooshing noise til I opened it.) My nerd self is delighted, because I’d never be so indulgent to buy these things for myself. My favorites have been the ones with the personal touch, like the poem and the hand-painted picture. It’s kind of nice to know a perfect stranger actually put some thought into you, another stranger.
And you get to pay that forward. It’s so much fun to surprise people and be surprised in return. You can even sign up as a rematcher, for those people whose Secret Santas drop out and don’t send them anything. Or you can choose be matched up with an international recipient for some multicultural gifting.
It’s not too expensive, either. Obviously you can spend however much you want, but the average is around $20-25. Of course, if you’re Bill Gates and get me as a recipient, you can cut me a nice big check… that I would then feel guilty about and donate to charity. (Sigh. Pesky conscious, ruining everything)
So sign up, if you want to add a little more magic into your holiday and someone else’s. Remember to fill out the form that asks you your preferences with all sorts of details. Otherwise who knows, maybe you’ll just get socks. Which are still awesome. But they could have been geeky socks! Think of the possibilities!
Happy holiday season, fellow Santas.