I am so excited to write this blog. I’m actually grinning from ear to ear as my fingers are eagerly typing away. I mean after all, it’s not everyday a person gets to participate in breaking a Guinness World Record!
I am a bit of a competitor. It’s one of the reasons I started running (the other of course was to stay in shape). But I also LOVE spreading holiday cheer. So when I heard about Reddit’s Secret Santa, I wanted in.
If you haven’t heard about Reddit, it’s a social media and entertainment site. At first glance, it looks like a massive blogging site. But it’s more like a collection of stories that users have voted on. I didn’t find out about Reddit until last year in July even though the site actually went live in 2005.
I was late to learn about RedditGifts too. I talked about the uniqueness of the idea in my Daily Dot Com segment. The giant online gift exchange started in 2009 with over 4,000 participants. The order was tall yet simple: get as many people as you can to help break the world record for the largest holiday gift exchange.
People more than answered the call. And last year, the exchange had even more participants.
“44,805 internet strangers from 130 different countries put their faith in one another and sent gifts around the world. Pretty awesome, right?”
You are probably noticing a trend here. Each year the goal gets bigger. So for secret Santa 2013 the goal was a whopping 100,000 participants! And yes, my friends, I was part of that number. I was Secret Santa #76938
Not everyone shared my enthusiasm. A fellow reporter was a bit concerned about the safety of it all…mostly because people are tasked with ‘cyber stalking’ each other in order to find the perfect gift. I heeded his advice and proceeded with caution.
I have to give it to Reddit, it’s not easy organizing such a task. For the last 5 years, I’ve been coordinating the secret Santa gift exchange at my job. I had 30 people participate this year. I can’t imagine having 100,000 people.
When I got into work this week Monday, I was more than happy to see this gigantic box on my desk. I knew right away what it was. My gift had finally arrived from my ReddidGifts secret Santa! I had been making such a big deal about it, everyone crowded around my desk to see me open the box.
Inside, was a handwritten note and a board game called Quelf. But NO mention of who my secret Santa was. One of our editors said, “oh that’s the best game ever.” Then someone else said, “you are going to have so much fun playing that. That’s a really good gift.”All I could think about was who sent the gift. Just so I could say thank you.
I was matched with a young lady in Kentucky, who described herself as a person that likes HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and Cosplay.
I immediately sent her an anonymous message letting her know I was her secret Santa and that it was my first time participating. She responded the next day and said she was a newbie too and just as happy about playing.
Shopping for her was stressful and fun. I wanted to get her a gift that she would like, something that was from Alabama, since that’s where the gift was coming from, and something that was reflective of her personality based on the description she gave me. It was no easy task. I didn’t know ANYTHING about her.
I could have purchased something from the RedditGifts marketplace, where people can shop for all sorts of cool clothing, games and trinkets. Ultimately, I decided on a leather bracelet with gold wing pendants. It was my effort of playing off the ‘Dark Wings’ episode in Game of Thrones, season 3. I didn’t get a note from her. I hope that doesn’t mean she didn’t like her gift. I more than met the spending limit of $20 and per the rules, I mailed the gift by Dec, 20. I checked the delivery confirmation and I know it was received. I really hope she liked it. And I hate not knowing.
Which is my only negative criticism about the RedditGifts secret Santa. It’s totally up to the Santa to reveal their identity. So while, I revealed my information to my giftee –my Santa is still a secret.
I have tried to figure out who my secret Santa was. But without so much as a username it’s pretty much useless. If he or she is reading this right now…Merry Christmas and thanks so very much for the gift.