By: Gabriela Yareliz
I heard someone at the entrance of Bath and Body Works talking about how he needed a Secret Santa gift under $35 when the employee asked what he was looking for. It has been a while since I had heard about Secret Santa, but now I hear the phrase floating around more, given the season. People aren’t always fans of this whole draw-a-name-from-a-bucket situation. It really sucks when you get someone you don’t know well or aren’t fond of.
I recall when I was a kid, my church was doing it. I don’t remember the details because I was probably seven or so, but I had an adult assigned to me. Some Sabbaths, we would get a token or two, and then, on the date closest to Christmas, we would get the final gift. I remember that I received a Play-Doh set on that final day. I was enthralled. I remember that the person who was assigned to me wasn’t someone I normally interacted with much, but after that display of generosity and thoughtfulness, I saw them differently. Long after that exchange, I remember exchanging smiles with this person and saying hello. He was no longer a stranger.
Regardless of how you feel about these gift exchanges, I was reminded by this memory of how an act of generosity or thoughtfulness can change the tone of an entire interaction. Giving changes things. Let’s remember to give generously.