There are 8 people in my team at work. Out of these 8, who are all in the age group of 24 to 33, 5 have not opted in for the Secret Santa program for the upcoming Christmas. And I don’t blame them.
While there are many reasons why people don’t participate, the most common one is that they do not receive back a gift despite having put in efforts to buy and lovingly wrap a Christmas gift to whomever they were Santa for in the past. And they have endured this snub several times over the years. Reason: a bunch of lazy snobs who opted in for the program but did not do their duties of a Santa. They receive their gifts with open arms but somehow don’t show the same enthusiasm when it comes to give back.
One coworker stopped participating when he stopped receiving gifts for three Christmases in a row. Nowadays he gets finicky at even the slightest mention of a gift. You can call it bad luck, but this is not a lottery system. The participants here are real live people who have all the necessary resources to buy a gift and be faithful to the system. The program is greatly foolproof because it randomly pairs two people and expects that both of them do what they are intended. Calling it luck is like advocating for a person who did not think it was necessary to spend few minutes at Amazon.com.
I believe that the Secret Santa program is one that improves the liveliness of the holiday season as we end the year with happiness all around. Receiving a gift may not be uncommon for many, but it can be the only thing for that person who may be on the brink of a life breakdown. Receiving a gift, albeit from a stranger, but in good thoughts can easily be the best thing that happened to such a person the whole year. It can lift their morale and make them start the new year with more positivity. And breaking the heart of such a person is not cool.
Therefore, I’m calling out those who have done this sort of a thing at least once. You may have your reasons but if you think about them, you are being ridiculous. It’s not just about you. Because of them and the cumulative nature of their action’s consequences, today, fewer people are participating. Which means only fewer people are going to be excited about receiving something this season. If the trend goes on, there will be no more office Secret Santa programs.
I’m calling out because the times we live in are getting worse. Alienation and desolation have peaked and people are getting more and more individualistic and isolated, thanks to the always-online culture and a lack of social mixing.
I’m calling out because giving must not be perceived as a luxury of only the rich. It must be perceived as the only virtue there is.
And if such a program contributes to the low spirits of a person, it’s better if you become “a moron” as organizers of the program at my work like to brand them.
So, this Christmas, I appeal to you to participate and help bring smiles to people’s faces as we end 2017. If you have already signed up, you have my congratulations. If you haven’t and are reading this post now, there’s still time to talk to your HR. It doesn’t matter if you receive a gift or not, but knowing that you have made the day of a person is enough appreciation and that’s what matters.