T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even your lovely co-workers, your parents, siblings or spouse, or that new group of friends from the gym that you just met three weeks ago …
There are two versions of Secret Santa. The first is the Origin Story of the practice of ‘Secret Santa’ AKA Kris Kringle. And it is a chronicle of kindness. In the 1970s, an American philanthropist called Larry Dean Stuart started a practice of anonymously giving out small amounts of cash to needy people. He continued to give significant amounts of money away to those in need - especially during the holiday season - until his death in 2007.
Lovely Jubbly. Warms the Heart
The other type of Secret Santa is the Holiday ‘game’, Kris Kringle (which is, as it happens, the OG name for Santa Claus.) Arguably, KK makes gift-giving more economical, mysterious, and fun. Usually played with your workmates, but sometimes it’s a good option for families, especially when there are a billion cousins, Aunties, Uncles, Step-relatives, Nieces, Nephews and… well, you get the idea.
Here We Go, Kris Kringle: The 6-Step Protocol.
It isn’t rocket science, but it is amusing. Get ready for the cliched idiom …. If you’ve been living under a rock for twenty years and don’t know how the story goes, this one is for you.
Step 1: Grab a hat, bucket, or even a bucket hat (!), bag, bowl, an old sock, a new sock, or anything that can hold several pieces of paper with your family members'/colleagues'/gym buddies' names on them.
Step 2: Have your peeps form an orderly queue starting from the base of your paper-names vessel. (Sound official? Yeah, ‘cos it is.)
Step 3: Let the people (including yourself) place their hands into the vessel. One person at a time, please! They should rummage. Really get in there. Take no prisoners. But do take a name. Look at the name. Remember the name.
Step 4: Put on your dancing shoes and shimmy down to us here at Pulp to gather a personalised gift for that name you literally just pulled out of a hat. (If you can’t find your dancing shoes, slip on your typing gloves and start clicking to peruse the curated links.)
* Side note: Make it your mission to impart what we call ‘Quality Kringle.' Something that often gets lost in the end-of-year euphoria/panic is the idea that ‘novelty’ presents can actually be meaningful, funny, affordable, classic and beautiful! You're covering all the bases! Go you!
Recipient Profiling and Proposed Gifts
Answers to the question “What do you get for ….”
The Tea Lover: Gorgeous and colourful Robert Gordon cups with handles
The Coffee Lover: Ritual Latte Cups
The Full Smellovision Aficionado: Nez Reflet incense holder and plate
The Word Brainiac: Twisted Word Search
The Number Brainiac: Twisted Sudoku
Anyone with a Nose: Delicious-smelling Botany candles 🕯️
The Thirsty Fisherperson: A Fancy Fish Flask
The Person Who Eats Everything with Chopsticks, OR The Person Who Does Not Yet Know How To Use Chopsticks: Literally Chopsticks. But really cool ones.
The Guitar Hero Who Opens All The Bottles At Parties: Gentleman’s Hardware Guitar Bottle Opener
The Book Worm Who Likes to Read By Candlelight: Library Candles
And Now Back to the Steps List
Step 5: At the designated time, approach the person attached to that name with a gift chosen from the above list and hand it over with a smile and gentle, friendly hands.
Step 6: Sit back and quietly bask in the energy of gratitude from that person when it is revealed that it was you. Be aware that you have made their day distinctively cheerful.
An End To Gift-Giving and Deciding Madness.
Pulp Philosophy decrees that for every excellent and thoughtful Secret Santa you give, you will gain Good Karma tenfold.
The anonymity of Kris Kringle gift-giving is more emboldened and purposeful. You may have never had to think about Uncle Ben and his love for picnics. Or your cousin with an obsession with butterflies. Now is the time. KK is the perfect practice to honour their personalities.
Honing in on one specific person and one specific gift might just be the answer and antidote to the shopping lunacy that happens every November and December.
That’s us. Battling meaningless gift-giving. One gift at a time.