We recently got a chance to speak to the organizer of Delhi’s coolest Secret Santa so far, Anisha Saigal, and here’s what she said.
How does this work?
1) You’re required to send in your consent, yes or no and your complete mailing address, cell phone number and a small note (less than 140 characters, not 140 words or 1400 lines or something) of things that you like. It could be anything. Sample note-
“24/F. Is a vain bookworm (avoids poetry). Loves Moleskine stationery and fridge magnets. Can’t eat candy ‘cause braces. Digs silver trinkets.”(exactly 140 characters)
2) You’ll be assigned a Santa/Santee at random and their note and address will be forwarded to you. Essentially, your stalking should end here. Please don’t get creepy. However, you can subtly look the person up and figure out what they’d like. You’d be paired with someone you don’t know (ideally, but Facebook) so you can actually enjoy the experience of anonymity (if there’s one).
3) You’ve to purchase/prepare/throw in a gift in the range of 600-800 INR. Not more, not less. Commitment to this can cost you some money, you’ve been informed.
4) Write a handwritten letter (not more than one side of A4 sheet please), along with your Christmas wish and why you’re choosing the presents you’re choosing (so if you get to know your Santee digs edible undergarments and you send some- although I don’t recommend that, you ought to explain how etc).
5) Don’t sign off with your name under the gift/letter! The idea is your Secret Santa/Santee shouldn’t know where the gift came from, so if they don’t like the gift they don’t come down to me and ask for your address to beat you up.
6) Make sure you utilize one of those PA Apps that help pick and drop your gift for free. You need an Android phone for the same. I can give you free codes etc so you don’t have to shell any money on delivering the gift. Ideally, your gift should reach no later than 5 January 2016. Although, Christmas happens to be on 25 December so we’d like you to plan and give your consent as soon as possible.
This is so cool! How did she come up with the idea?
“I studied at a convent school where Secret Santa was one amongst the several rituals we’d have every year, all the way up to 5th grade. Back then, the teacher would write everyone’s name on a piece of paper and whosoever’s name you’d draw on your turn, you’d have to give a gift to them. I remember receiving a plastic egg-laying chicken three years in a row between 2nd and 4th grade! I missed having these little traditions around Christmas each year since I completed school. Also, I was aware of the Delhi Secret Santa revival in the form of a Christmas gift-exchange activity with someone you don’t know on Twitter, way back in 2013. However, I had missed the last date to register for that particular year. I waited all of last year for a similar re-grouping, but the page has been inactive since. This year I decided to take things in my hand and put this event together. The response has been phenomenal.”
“You’re welcome to join in, or not. But, remember, this opportunity doesn’t come knocking twice. And, our selection process to let you in on coolness is very selective.”
But would this be any different from what she did in school?
“I’ve incorporated two things which I believe would add the option of personalizing the tradition. One, where everyone leaves a short bio, about their likes and dislikes or anything else that they’d like to share about themselves with those who’re going to be gifting them. This will be interesting as everyone will have some nugget to look at before purchasing or putting together a gift for someone else. This is also to take steam off those who are usually clueless about what to get other people as gifts. The second thing that we’ve asked all our participants is to personalize it a bit and add old school touch by writing a letter with the gift. This letter to a stranger should tell why you’ve chosen what you’ve chosen for them, and anything else they’d like to share with a stranger. It’s aimed at trying to revive the art of writing to someone, which is not purely through the keyboard (I’m working on a similar project called 'Letters by Snobster’ on tinyletter.com/snobster where people can sign up and I mail them letters every fortnight and we have a dialogue, purely via exchanging mails and no Instant Messaging involved).”
“I have been made aware that there are a couple of people running their editions of Secret Santa currently parallel to mine, I am proud of the fact that mine’s the most neatly organized, and also the first one to emerge in the city, this year.”
“The idea has been interpreted in several ways by different people- and I for one am thrilled to see how it’s shaping up. There are those who’ve been very mysterious by just stating their profession and then there are others who’ve gone as far as stating what they would like to be gifted for Christmas by their mysterious Santa/Santee.”
So why wait? Register to become someone’s Secret Santa, and let someone else be yours, by signing up here
PS. Check out this super cool note along with some FAQs that she’s added.
So go, hurry! Sign up now!