Ahhhhhhh…Christmas-Time. The time of giving, and receiving. As you’re probably already aware of, there is more than one way to give/receive gifts. It’s not just a perfectly (or not-so-perfectly) wrapped gift from a family member. Sometimes it isn’t wrapped at all, and it’s anonymous. Sometimes it’s wrapped and you receive it and then it isn’t yours anymore. I’d like to touch on those today, in the spirit of the holiday.
Secret Santa. When someone you know gives you something, but you don’t know it was them. Or sometimes someone you don’t know giving you something. Secret Santa is pretty cool in general. It teaches you to be happy with what you receive when you don’t know who it’s from. Imagine if your family exchanged gifts using the Secret Santa method. Not knowing which parent or grandparent it came from might change your perspective on the gift as a whole.
One small issue I have with Secret Santa is often times I have no idea what to get the other person. I don’t pick up on hints well, so I need to explicitly know what they want, otherwise I’m concerned they won't like what they get. Plus, if you’re not a good secret keeper, then SECRET Santa probably isn’t for you. In general, I can keep a secret like the vault at Fort Knox, but if I’m getting you something and trying not to let you catch on, I’m pretty awful at that.
White Elephant (Gift Exchange). This method of “gift-giving” is not all that fun to me. People say it’s fun to buy a generic gift and give it away, but for me personally, I think it’s kinda dumb. The concept of getting something random isn’t the problem, it’s the concept of in most instances this “gift exchange” consists of people “stealing” the gift from you. Weird. If you’re visually happy with what you got, it’s pretty likely that you won't have it for much longer.
In general, this is a fun alternative to regular gift-giving, or even Secret Santa. But it’s definitely not for everyone.I like to stick to conventional gift giving practices. And if I want to gift uniquely, I’d get that person something only they would like, something custom for them. The concept of a random gift is messy, and can be ineffective. In my opinion, it doesn’t represent Christmas well, and is more of a party game that can be done any time of year.
But relax, it’s Christmas! Gift however you want! The season is a season for gift-giving, and seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they get whatever it is that they get. Whether its deliberate giving, Secret Santa, or even White Elephant, I can guarantee there will be smiles and good times. And that’s what gift giving is about. After all, in the Christmas season, the objective is to be joyful. And if you achieve that, then you’re doing something right.