For more years than I can remember I’ve been a Secret Santa. As a Secret Santa I pick someone in need of a little holiday magic and do something special for them. The goal is to deliver the magic in a way that the recipient can’t confirm who did the deed. Then if I’m asked about it I deny, deny, deny. My Secret Santa identity must remain a secret or the magic vanishes. I’d give more details of some past deeds or gifts but then the secret would be out of Santa’s bag so to speak.
Last December my normal holiday cheer was tainted knowing it would be my dad’s last Christmas. However, Christmas was my mom’s favorite holiday so even when it feels blue I still celebrate because it helps me feel closer to her. In keeping with my Secret Santa tradition I was trying to decide who I’d bring a little ho, ho, ho too.
It wasn’t obvious that any of my friends needed a holiday happy infusion. Perhaps my own sadness impeded my observations. Then one day when I was picking up a gift card present at a fast food restaurant the cashier was a man with a disability. He had a huge smile on his face but his co-workers seemed to ignore him. It appeared he had a hard life.
Once I was back in my car a feeling overcame me – this man was meant to get my Secret Santa gift. But I had no idea what to do for him. I didn’t know what might surprise him or bring a little magic to his life. I decided to give him money. I went to the bank and got a little more cash than I’d normally give a stranger – enough that it hurt a bit but in a good way. I then put it in a card with a Santa on it that I signed Santa Claus. I went back to the restaurant wearing my chenille Santa hat, handed him the card, said Merry Christmas and quickly left before he could open it.
The surprised look in his eyes filled my heart with happy. I wasn’t sure if this man would buy himself or someone else something, or if it’d pay a bill. All I knew is that it would help him in whatever way he needed it too. And that was the magic of this gift – knowing it might help him and realizing I didn’t need to know how it would help. This was one of my favorite Secret Santa gifts.
I’m sure the Secret Santa recipients feel a little extra holiday magic but for me this annual tradition fills my soul with the spirit of Christmas too. It’s a double blessing.
I’m challenging each of you to be a Secret Santa and invite your friends to join you. You can help someone, known or unknown, feel the magic of Christmas with a surprise deed or gift. And remember that the magic you feel expands by keeping your Secret Santa deed a secret.
I’d love to know if you plan to do something – but of course you can’t tell us what you did or the magic of the secret will disappear. So, leave a discrete comment below and share your happy 🙂