The secrets of being a good Secret Santa

December 10th, 2009

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Classes are almost over, snow is starting to fall, and Max Flessner and Rachel Szuch are graduating (I mean that in a good way guys, I swear).

The best part about the Christmas season, or “holiday season” for the more politically correct out there, is that Santa comes to visit. For those of us who have either had “the talk” with our parents or listened to that meaniepants in third grade (you know, the kid with the older brother who ruined it for everyone), we know that Santa can come in many forms.

Whether he’s a jolly old saint, your parents, a creepy old guy at the mall whose beard glue is starting to wear off, or Tim Allen, one thing Santa is always associated with is gift exchange. Arguably the most fun form of gift exchange is Secret Santa. If you’re unfamiliar with it, Secret Santa is where a group of people throw their names into a hat (preferably a big, funny one) and then choose a name and get a gift for that person whom they pulled.

Secret Santa is pretty common among students, and we here at the award-winning Carroll News are no exception. I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that a group as creative, knowledgeable, and sleep-deprived as us would be great gift-givers …  but more on that later.

The key to being a good Santa is getting a gift that’s personal. Giving a gift that relates to their personality or something that they’re involved in is always a good idea. If they’re not cool enough for you to know on that level, then make them a macaroni nametag, everyone loves those.

A cool feature to add to the game is to put a limit on how much money you can spend on the gift or make a rule that no money can be spent at all. This rule has gotten more popular over the last few years, however, those stimulus checks threatened its growth for a little bit.

The best Secret Santa gift idea that I have is a morally-questionable one, but that’s never stopped me before. If you can’t spend any money and can’t think of any clever ideas then you can always steal, err … “take” something the person already owns and “re-gift” it by giving it back to them. After all ‘tis the season for giving, so why not take it a step further by taking and then giving back?

Try to choose something that he or she will notice is missing so that when you give it back it’s a huge relief. Maybe make a fake Facebook profile for the missing object and send the person a friend request, then click “like” on all of his or her status updates.

You can get really clever if the thing that you steal is a Santa-related item (bonus points awarded if you take it years in advance).

Just to recap the last few paragraphs: it’s a great Secret Santa gift to steal a toy Santa from someone then give it back to them.

By the way, as a staff we selected the John Carroll community for Secret Santa. (Told you I would get back to it.) We delivered 21 times this year … you’re welcome.

I’m just kidding, we picked our Aunt Sue. We used Photoshop to make her a card and then put it on page four with “Award-winning tradition continues thanks to Aunt Sue.” She said we’re her favorite nephews and nieces.

That’s not true either. We just did our Secret Santa within the staff. Sorry to disappoint our 400-plus Facebook fans who weren’t in on the action. Maybe we’ll make a new video for the fan page next week to provide you with some entertainment during a much-needed study break.