Article by Kamille Jude

With the holiday season just around the corner and generosity in the air, what better way to bring loved ones closer together than with a Secret Santa? Although not everyone celebrates Christmas, the premise of both giving and receiving gifts is one that resonates within the entire Bearcat community. Oftentimes, groups of friends, sports teams or even classes will come together to partake in this holiday tradition. The game works by randomly drawing a name from a hat that contains the names of all those participating––and whoever you get is the person that you will be anonymously getting a present for as their Secret Santa. Arguably, the biggest advantage of having this group-organized event is that you can focus more of your efforts on getting a gift for one person, rather than getting many smaller gifts for several people.

Upon asking students to recall anecdotes from their Secret Santa experiences in their respective sports team or classes, this is what a few ISM students said:

A senior, Selina D., who is part of the varsity basketball team:

“When I was a freshman, I picked a senior for my Secret Santa. I was so terrified because I knew my gifts had to be good otherwise I’d be known as that ‘lame freshman!’ My first gift for her was terrible, to be honest – the theme was “something to wear” so I got reindeer ears. On the last day the theme was “something inspirational” and I got her a copy of the movie ‘Coach Carter’, so I’d like to think I made up for it.”

As we can see from Selina’s experience, she was able to move out of her comfort zone in interacting with someone who she wasn’t necessarily close with. This highlights another benefit of Secret Santa as it helps you get to know someone whom you otherwise might not have been able to. Selina also added: “This year, as a senior, I’m gonna make sure that all the slips of paper have my name on it.”

Senior Sophia L. on the varsity volleyball team Secret Santa:

“My Secret Santa this year was Sophy M. and finding gifts for her was really fun! Since she is really into athletic tape, I got her wraps and rocktape. She also had me and her gifts were very sweet. We had a Sophia connection.”

Senior Bea H. on Biology class Secret Santa:

“The person I got was someone who loved iced tea, and when I mean loved, like REALLY loved, to the point that I heard he would bring jugs of iced tea to school! With that being said, I bought him all the different types of powdered iced tea flavours I could find in the grocery and gave that as my Secret Santa gift, which the whole class drank together at the end.”

Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas or partake in these gift-giving festivities, make sure that you let your friends and family know you appreciate them over this break; gifts don’t always have to come in packages.

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