Secret Santa: A Burden or a Blessing?


Numbered Secret Santa gifts for the holiday season. (December 2, 2016). While many people love Secret Santa events during Christmas time, others believe that it can be a cumbersome activity to portray the importance of materialism in society. (mr_sweetis)

As the holiday season approaches, the pressure of gift-giving comes along with it.

We all know the stress of trying to find the perfect gift for family and friends. Due to the pandemic, shipping has become an even longer process; combined with the holiday season and the limited supply of everything, it can be difficult to buy anything in time for celebrations. 

Along with having to worry about what to get your loved ones for the holidays, businesses and school organizations have started the “Secret Santa” tradition that many either love, or hate. Secret Santa is a Christmas tradition where a group of people pick a name out of a box from which they have to give a present to. No one knows who got who (coining the name ‘secret’) which makes this tradition exciting. Usually, groups set a spending limit which entails the maximum amount of money the group can spend on their gift to their receiver. 

Many claim that this creates a perfect opportunity to spend time as a group without having to worry about spending so much money on buying everyone an individual present.

“I think it’s fun because instead of individually buying a ton of people gifts, you can buy one person a gift and still spend time with your friends,” Maddie Clemons, a senior at Lambert stated. 

While there are many positive aspects of secret santa, there are some who believe that secret santa is a burden and not worth the anxiety.  

“I think secret santa sucks,” Avery Haney, a senior at Lambert said. “Secret santa ruins the concrete foundation of gift giving. Giving gifts to others is personal and special…and not to mention it’s not prompted and there’s no restrictions or expectations you have to reach. Secret santa on the other hand is entirely forced from the beginning. And let’s be honest, you usually get someone you don’t really know…and when that happens, I go cheap.”

I agree with Avery and Maddie on many of their points. While the initial idea may seem very cute and practical, when it comes to strangers, it can get hard trying to find a cheap gift for someone you don’t know. 

“I think secret santa super fun and fresh time, but only when everyone knows each other in the group otherwise it’s like you get a single scrunchie and you have to pretend like you’re really happy about it after you spent $25 on a cute blanket and they put minimal effort into it,” Eshitha Narayanan, a senior at Lambert High School stated.

For Secret Santa to be an exciting holiday experience, I honestly believe it depends on the situation and the people who you will be with for the gift exchange. It is true that I would rather spend more time and thought about what to get for my friends and family, but I can see the excitement I could receive from a casual Secret Santa.