It’s not a secret that I have a love-hate relationship with the social media site reddit. At times, reddit can be a fantastic resource for news and information; and at times, it can be a haven for cyberbullies, griefers and stalkers. I’ve experienced both sides of the issue.
So let’s talk about the positive side for a second.
Every year, as part of my personal “Chucksmas” holiday traditions, I participate in reddit’s online “Secret Santa” gift exchange. It works like this. Person A gives a gift to Person B, who gives a gift to Person C, and eventually Person A receives a gift from person ZYXWVU or something like that.
In the past, I’ve sent out some awesome gifts, and Santa has sent me some seriously sweet swag in return. Reddit recommends that the average cost per gift be about $20, but some Santa redditors go above and beyond that, putting together some amazing gift packages and thoughtful prizes to their gifties.
It’s a fun little diversion, inasmuch as you get this feeling of being a kid once more – of waiting by the mailbox, wondering what Santa might bring to you. You provide some information about your likes and dislikes, shirt sizes and allergies, favorite sports teams and hobbies, that kind of thing. Then, after reddit has gathered all the participants, matching day occurs. You are matched with another person from somewhere around the country (or around the world, you have that option to select if you choose), and then it’s gift-arranging time.
Oh, and it’s not just average Joes and Janes who participate in this exchange. Some redditors have confirmed that their Santas include Microsoft founder Bill Gates, rap legend Snoop Lion, Star Trek: The Next Generation vet Wil Wheaton, and other famous people of note. Yeah. Indeed, this is fun.
Now it’s expected that all redditors who sign up for the Secret Santa event complete their part of the game, and in the past reddit has set Guinness World Records for the most number of people participating in an online gift exchange. And yes, I have a Guinness certificate (two of them, in fact) for participating in the record-setting events.
But for those who do NOT complete their end of the exchange – in other words, they get a gift and then walk away without reciprocating to their giftie – that’s when the second part of the exchange kicks in. That’s when the “rematchers” step forward.
Rematchers are people who are more than happy to send gifts to the shafted gifties. You can be a rematcher for up to three different “shafted gifties,” although one year I received a special exemption that allowed me to be a rematch Santa to TWENTY different people. That was fun, and it made me feel good in sharing happiness with others in this way.
So yesterday I signed up for the exchange, along with signing up for the maximum of three rematchings (hey, I’ve got a car to pay off by August 2018, my budget can only go so far this year).
But if you want to participate in this online sharing experience, and you think it would be fun to swap gifts with total strangers and make their holidays a wee bit brighter … go to this link and sign up for the 2017 Secret Santa gift exchange.
Ah, the Chucksmas tradition begins again.