Commenters on Reddit.com banded together to create the largest secret santa gift exchange ever attempted, with 5,000 global participants, three times the prior world record. Even more amazing, the gifts were not entirely terrible!
You can look through the presents on Redditgifts.com, a site created spontaneously by users of the Condé Nast news-sharing website. Apparently sending holiday cheer to strangers on the other side of the planet frees people up to take gifting risks they would never attempt at the office secret santa — or just wouldn't care to. Some of the better ones, culled mainly from this writeup by Antonio Cangiano:
- A brand new electric guitar, with amplifier.
- An undisclosed gift worth $2,000.
- More than $600 as an emergency fund for this grateful woman's service dog, matched by Reddit.
- A make it yourself dildo for the recipient's girlfriend (he, uh, requested something like this and was thrilled. OK!)
Though the suggested gift value, inclusive of shipping, was $15, the declared average per gift stood at $35 as of yesterday, so these outliers actually give the flavor of a broader trend of generosity.
That said, not everyone has been a good elf; a "few hundred" of the participants have missed the deadline to mail their presents, according to Cangiano's post. Then there were gifts like...
- The person who gave four paperclips as a gift;
- An iTunes gift card (recipient apparently doesn't use iTunes — we'll take it though!)
- More in this thread about how you shouldn't be rude about your lame gift.
But given an experiment involving thousands of strangers sending presents to each other over the internet, what's surpising isn't that there were a few jerks and some hurt feelings, but that there were so few. We were almost attempted to try and stage our own, before we realized that like half the things in our secret santa gift guide are illegal to send
(Pic: Antonio Cangiano)