Type ‘Secret Santa’ into a search engine and you’ll be met by page upon page of gift ideas, name generators and even a twelve-step set of instructions (with photographs) explaining how this concept works.
For anyone who has been living in a cave for the last few years, the idea is simple: people wishing to participate enter their name into a draw (with, for example, their work colleagues), pull out a name and then become that person’s Secret Santa, buying them a present for a set amount of money and then giving it to them anonymously. Having a Secret Santa scheme in place avoids the awkwardness of not knowing which co-worker/friend from the school gate/neighbour to buy for and how much to spend.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be happy with the name you end up with in the draw. No doubt it can be particularly galling having to hand over your hard-earned cash to buy a present for a colleague who has made your life miserable in recent times (even if it is only a fiver).
However, when it’s done well, amongst a group of people who are fairly close, Secret Santa can be great fun. The cheekier members of the gang are likely to go around in the weeks prior to the big handover trying to convince their companions to swap names with them, usually because they’ve got a great present idea in mind for one particular person. Then there’s inevitably someone who uses each lunchtime as an opportunity for a military-grade interrogation session, trying to find out who everyone’s Secret Santa is.
At the get-together where everyone hands over their presents, much hilarity ensues where gifts match the personality of their recipient perfectly, particularly when these are combined with ‘in jokes’ that the receiver is happy to laugh along with.
Generally speaking, the price tag for a Secret Santa gift is relatively small: perhaps £5 or £10, and many retailers now stock suitably priced (and rather lovely) gifts advertised specifically as ‘Secret Santa’ items. Taking part in a Secret Santa scheme should be a way to spread the magic of Christmas without breaking the bank…
..which brings us neatly to the point of our Calendars 4 Kids campaign. Whilst there are some very expensive Advent calendars on sale this year, it’s still possible to buy one for £1 or less. So whilst you’re out shopping as Secret Santa this November, why not also pick up an Advent calendar and donate it to your local food bank? Not only do you get the feel-good factor of giving another anonymous gift, the child who receives it will be filled with gratitude (perhaps even more so than when Margaret from Finance opens your carefully chosen, novelty-shaped bath bomb).