Secret Santa

Image via iStock

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.

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

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