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Bonny Albo

Singles' Secret Santa

By November 17, 2011

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A few days ago while researching an article I'm working on about the history of advice columnists, I came across a piece about the man who took over for Ann Landers, Jeffrey Zaslow. The journalist commented on Zaslow's reach, including his ability to ensure that no letter to Santa went unanswered by asking his readers to pitch in.

That got me thinking about being single during the holidays, and how to feel connected to the world if you don't have family nearby (or even if you do and aren't close). I know that, for the years I was single and childless, I really had to get creative to feel like I was a part of something bigger than myself. For many years, I volunteered at soup kitchen -type events on Christmas Day, and as a teen I helped deliver care packages to local low income families for organizations like the Salvation Army and Meals on Wheels.

All of those activities made me feel good, and I was more than happy to share what I could. Call it selfish or whatever you'd like however, but more than once all I really wanted was a gift under the tree that I didn't buy for myself. Other years, I wanted nothing more than to have a reason to go buy or make a gift for someone else, taking my time to share something memorable.

Many of you can probably see where my brain lept to next: a secret Santa exchange. It seems like a natural conclusion, yet the logistics and legal issues stopped me from moving forward. Yes, I could use something like Elfster to create my own Secret Santa gift exchange for all of you, my dear readers, and I seriously considered it. But then I did a search for other, similar, random gift exchanges, and found that Reddit has their own gift exchange, and they're trying to break the Guinness Book of World Records this year for the largest Secret Santa exchange ever.

So without further ado, I invite you all to join me in this year's Secret Santa exchange at Reddit. I've used my referral code here not to get anything from it, other than to give you all a (cursory) connection to me and my account, without any access to my personal information. Unless of course you sign up by the deadline (November 25th) and get me as a match, or I get one of you in turn.

What I do suggest, for those wanting to partake, is to read the fine print carefully before signing up. No one but your matched gift giver will have your contact information, but they will have your address and both first and last name. As well, if you don't send a gift (and keep proof of such), your full name will be posted on the Reddit site for all to see.

Having said all that, there were some pretty amazing gifts shared through this process last year. If nothing else, check those out and let me know what you think. Good idea, or not?

November 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm
(1) dave08 says:

I’m doomed… Help?

As most of you reading my posts would know, I have a huge crush on a girl named Ali. We just started school and she didn’t move, thank god!

But was it a ploy by the devil?

I go on the bus this afternoon and talk for a bit to her (i’m in the seat ahead of her.)
This huge senior (nearly obese) takes the seat next to me and crushes me.

Ali convinces him to switch with her. Good. But now I’m all nervous, and my hands are cold. We chat some more and I don’t skip a beat. My stop is next, so we switch seats so I can get out easier. The bus driver floors it and my hand (PURELY ACCIDENTAL!!!) hits her boobs. Not hard, but I got really really nervous about 300 yards from my stop. People who were watching giggled. One kid offered me a high-five. I mouthed to Ali, “Hit me.” And she barely hesitated to make it look like she punched me hard in the ribs. (She did punch me, but not hard.) It was my stop. so I got off. One girl yelled, “Yeah you better run!”

So obviously there are severe problems. Very severe. Second day of school and I might already get sent to the Dean and kicked out?

Every girl on my bus will look at me and think “perv”?

and worst of all, I ruined one of my best friends trust, and probably my chances of ever dating her!

So here are my questions:
Should I just tell Dean Flynn it was an accident, and explain the situation? (after all, my hand was sideways, not a grabbing motion at all)

Should I apolagize to Ali, or should I keep my distance for a bit, keep my distance forever?

Obviously if Ali understands its an accident, then my name will be somewhat clear, and most people will forget I’m there.

And… Will I get sacked by Seniors if they hear?

Help immediately!!!

November 28, 2011 at 11:19 am
(2) flirtpartner says:

Thanks for this really nice article. I think this is a good idea!

December 6, 2011 at 7:56 pm
(3) Arjun Srinivasan says:

Hi Bonny,

Reading your post reminded me of a short post that I posted on our company blog on what to do on Valentine’s Day if you find yourself without a date (http://www.eventsndates.com/blog/2011/02/11/how-to-become-more-attractive-on-valentine%E2%80%99s-day/) . The gift exchange is a fun idea and we will recommend it to our single users next year, since we’re too late for this year. Thanks for sharing your idea, and can you please post a follow-up on how it turns out?


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