Christmas is coming, and with it the advent of snow, shopping, and all sorts of holiday excitement. People get caught up in the spirit of giving, and seek to show appreciation to friends, family members, and even colleagues during this special season.
The Secret Santa Exchange
One of the ways that friends and business associates seek to give to each other in true holiday spirit is through a Secret Santa exchange. The concept is simple—-all of the participants of an exchange are placed in a name draw, and other participants select a person to give gifts to. As part of the secret component, this person does not disclose who their gift recipient is, and they go to work selecting gifts and labeling them anonymously to engage in the fun.
At the end of the gift acquisition and distribution period, participants get together to open their anonymous gifts and try to guess who their “secret santa” was.
Sounds fun, doesn’t it? While you are not required to participate in a secret Santa event, it does make the holiday season feel a bit more special, and it adds to the excitement and anticipation of what is yet to come. Here are some other fun things to know about Secret Santa events and how they can spice up your holiday season:
1. It’s a Western tradition
No one knows when or how secret Santa events actually got started, but this Western tradition involves giving gifts in secret to other members of a club, revealing oneself when the event and gift collection are over and gifts are about to be revealed.
2. The tradition has different names in different places
While we may call it a secret Santa event here in the United states, participation has different names in different places. For instance:
- In Ireland it’s named after Kris Kringle
- In Austria it’s called Engerl-Bengerl
- In the Philippines, it’s called Monito-monita
- In the Dominican Republic, it’s called Angelito
- In Germany, it’s called Wichteln
Regardless of its name, the celebration and event are anticipated by many, and participation produces a warm, fuzzy feeling for all involved.
3. There are few rules
In a secret Santa situation, the only two rules that participants abide by are the parameters related to gift items (dollar amount, personal interest directives, etc.) and the fact that participants need to remain anonymous until the unveiling.
4. Poland has a national day dedicated to secret Santa gift giving
On December 6th, you can expect to get additional holiday gifts from an anonymous benefactor, due to the fact that it is “St. Nicholas Day” across the land. Polish children have two reasons to be excited for their upcoming holiday season, for they have two days on which to receive gifts.
5. The practice has moved to schools and workplaces
While gift giving used to be a tradition that was shared among family members, the practice of secret Santa participation has moved to schools and workplaces, helping to keep the cost of gifts lower for those purchasing while adding additional holiday cheer to otherwise exempt places. Children and adults alike have the opportunity to get to know fellow students and work colleagues in a fun and festive way while getting into the holiday spirit.
How will you choose to participate?
If you have the opportunity to participate in a secret Santa gift exchange, take the opportunity to get to know colleagues, friends, and fellow students a bit better while contributing to the joy of their holiday as well. We wish you all a happy, healthy, joy-filled holiday season.