Culture

New Zealand Has a National Secret Santa

Even the Prime Minister Is Doing It.

By Kady Ruth Ashcraft ·
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New Zealand has ambitious plans for this upcoming holiday season. Over 3500 people have signed up for a nationwide Secret Santa gift exchange. It’s stressful figuring out what to give Raquel in accounting who you’ve never had a conversation with. Imagine what it’s like to get Raquel in Auckland who you’ve never even met? But I’m guessing the people who’ve signed up for something as precious and cheerful as a nationwide Secret Santa are expert gift-givers.

The idea started out rather modestly back in 2010 when a New Zealander named Sam (he's so legendary, they only gave him a first name) made a public call on twitter for his fellow Kiwi followers to do a gift exchange. It steadily grew in popularity and a few years later, became state-sponsored when the New Zealand Post offered to be a central hub for the exchange and distribute the gifts so that participants don’t have to disclose their address.

There are a few rules set up that people are asked to follow. The gift should cost around $10 (New Zealand dollars) and to get a sense of what to give your recipient, you’re asked to check out their tweets and see what they’re into. Hopefully you aren’t matched with someone live-tweeting whatever the New Zealand equivalent of Infowars is. The Secret Santa website also clearly states the New Zealand Post accepts no responsibility for inappropriate gifts. No sending sex toys to strangers, okay guys?

To add to the hype, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tweeted earlier today that she has signed up for the exchange.

Best of luck to the person who picks her name and has to get her a gift. She doesn’t tweet very often, but in announcing her participation in the event, she called herself a “ridiculous lover of Christmas.” Other than that, looking at her twitter, all she really talks about is politics. Go figure. Maybe a DVD set of The West Wing for her?

Also, considering New Zealand’s human population is dwarfed by the sheep population, there’s a good chance someone in there is going to be tasked with finding the perfect gift for a sheep. May I recommend a nice baaaah-ttle of wine [EDITOR'S NOTE: YOU'RE FIRED].

Kady Ruth Ashcraft is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and Amtrak Princess. Follow her on twitter @kadyrabbit and tweet her pictures of your pets.

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