Secret Santa becomes exciting online

Justyce Mirjanovic

Secret Santa is a fun way of exchanging gifts and adding a little more creativity to gift giving, because the person one is buying for usually is not one they know very well.

Reddit, an entertainment, social network and news site, has taken the idea of secret santa to a whole new level by creating a way for people to exchange gifts with individuals from different states and countries.

“Small, personal Secret Santas are fun, but you don’t quite get that thrill of the chase or the anticipation because you have absolutely no clue who your giver is or even where they’re from.” said senior women studies major Alia Kuykendall.

To sign up for Reddit’s secret santa, one has to make an account and answer a few questions about their likes and interests. When it gets closer to Christmas, Reddit pairs people up and gives the individuals another’s likes and interests.

“Getting gifts from friends and family is boring and predictable,” said senior chemistry major Nicholas Williams. “Reddit fixes this by connecting you to a randomly-selected person from anywhere in the world and with only a small amount of information, you are tasked with buying a gift.”

There is about a two to three week time frame in which gifters need to send their gifts off so the owners receive them in time for Christmas.

Reddit has hosted the largest Secret Santa ever known and hopes to break their record every year.

“I’ve participated in Secret Santa because I love the challenge of finding out what your recipient would really like and I love the thrill of anonymous gifting,” Kuykendall said.

There is no minimum or maximum amount of money that one is required to spend.

The Reddit gift exchange started in 2009 and took flight from there. Reddit went ahead and added Arbitrary Day– the halfway point between the year — and has since had random gift exchanges because people seem to love it.

“I would like to [participate in Reddit’s Secret Santa] because it’s a fun little thing to do but in such a global way,” said senior history major Zachary McCann.

Kuykendall has participated in one Secret Santa and one Arbitrary Day. She received Doctor Who gifts and Portal jewelry because those were her interests she had put down.

She hopes to participate in the Secret Santa this year but said it depends how her bank account is feeling.

“For exchanges like these I personally would want to get my recipient something nicer, which a lot of times means more expensive,” Kuykendall said.

Reddit’s gift exchanges will always be free to participate in. They recommend one to spend at least $20 on a gift, but guarantee that everything goes straight to the giftee.

“Secret Santa is usually disappointing, especially when you get someone from work that you don’t really care for,” Williams said. “Using the biggest, anonymous social networking site, Secret Santa suddenly becomes exciting.”