Go virtual this year with Secret Santa Claus

Photo by Deva Darshan

These days most things happens virtually like shopping, studying, even working. This year Santa might remain virtual, too. The favourite tradition we once knew might change and bring new Christmas experiences among us.

What exactly is Secret Santa?

Secret Santa is mainly practiced in many workplaces. It is an interesting and fun way to get closer to your colleagues at work by giving them a small gift. It can also be a fun tradition to start with friends and family as well.

Every year people try to come up with something special for the ones they care about, as well as their colleagues, in these cases Secret Santa can be a interesting and very helpful tradition. One of the best things is unwrapping a small gift and wondering who bought this gift for you.

The traditional Santa Clause brings a lot of joy and happiness to all of us. Colleagues gather, fill a bowl with their names written on paper and draw the name of the person to whom they are supposed to buy a gift. In most cases, the person receiving the gift doesn’t know who it’s from, which, described by many people, is the best part of the tradition.

People spend a lot of time searching and wondering what to purchase for colleagues because they might not know them very well – they try to find out what they like and at the same time they try to come up with something original and interesting.

This year, me and my colleagues at the hotel decided to give each other gifts. Most of them got a person with whom they are not particularly close with. At this point, they’re wondering what to buy or what they can prepare for them. Then, they end up purchasing mug with chocolate bar. 

But didn’t Covid change our thinking? Last year and the year before due to the pandemic, the tradition of virtual Secret Santa was created, allowing us to preserve and in a way, keep a beloved tradition. This year, the virtual tradition might remain. Everything goes virtual – including Secret Santa, a much-loved tradition near and far.

This year, Santa Clause might knock at our phone screens instead of our doors once again.’ shares Hally, a receptionist at the Clermont Hotel, Charing Cross, who this year will do virtual secret Santa with her colleagues.

These days everyone is busy whether with work, school, lectures and exams. They do not have the time to spend looking for any gifts and most of them want to do it fast, even though it always takes a lot of time to choose the gifts and think what your friends and close ones might like, as well as your colleagues. 

This year, the reception Team of the Clermont Charing cross has decided to do a Secret Santa and give presents to each other. They were more than happy to share with us why they chose it and what was the app the used for the Secret Santa

Svetlana Hayre, the front of house manager at the Clermont Hotel, Charing Cross shares that she had done an online Secret Santa last year and it’s easier and better option for everyone. It doesn’t take too long to prepare and makes it easier to give the gift this way since some of the staff will fly away and they will not be present on Christmas.

‘We work in a very intense work place here and during Christmas time the hotel is full and i completely understand that some of them might not have any time and some might be even tired.’ shares Svetlana Hayre.

In everyone’s busy daily life, the unique idea of Secret Virtual Santa is a real gift. The Secret Santa does everything for you. A simple team meeting is enough to decide when and how to make the Secret Santa. Then everyone announces who wants to participate in the game and the budget is determined at the same time.

All you need is the right application to help you create a secret virtual Santa Claus, your colleagues emails and a date on which you will give the gifts. Thanks to the app, the recipient can choose and create a wish list and you have the chance to find out what they like and you can pleasantly surprise them.‘ shares Camila Decosta, who is the assistant manager and the organisator of the entire Secret Santa.

It is not like an UmetaWorld where you will be able to hear the voices and see people, but it will make the experience of Virtual Secret Santa as exciting and as easy. Everyone knows the time of the online meeting on teams and does not have to worry about being late because it will happen virtually. Forget about sneaking around the desk of your colleague or asking random questions from their friends!

After the meeting, everyone will receive a questionnaire about what they like and prefer. The person giving the gift can ask additional questions without the recipient knowing who they are. 

In the virtual Santa Claus, you have a chance to choose virtual gifts as well, such as a subscriptions to one of the most used applications these days. Give the gift of a festive mood with music to and give a Spotify subscription. Or gift a Netflix subscription to a loved one. You can also choose to send a gift which isn’t virtual through a courier. Keep in mind that if you choose this option you will need to consider the delivery charges as well as how long it will take to be delivered. Make sure all the participants in the game have established the date of opening gifts.

Image: Dafni Belcheva, Caption: The Tree of the Clermont Charing Cross

Even though there is a chance of making virtual presents, the Clermont Charing Cross Team decided to make real gifts and leave them under the tree of the entrance on the 19th of December.

Words: Dafni Belcheva | Subbing: Lumi Leinonen

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