Local Secret Santa Family Makes Christmas a Little Merrier

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Paula Green

Sometimes during the holiday season it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle; as a result, the true joy of Christmas can be overshadowed.  However, one extended North Hills family really enjoys sharing their Christmas merriment.  Instead of exchanging gifts amongst each other, they pull together and buy presents for a family in need.  This is the seventh year that they are embarking in this selfless act.  The gift buying is always done anonymously, so to respect their privacy, we aren’t going to reveal their names.  We are going to simply refer to the kind-hearted shoppers as “Secret Santa.”

There are 18 family members that are involved in this Christmas project.  One of the family members explained how this fun-filled tradition all came about, “Prior to Secret Santa, we used to have a family grab bag where we would spend a specific dollar amount and buy something for that person.  We got to the point where we were purchasing yet another sweater or yet another pair of gloves, so we decided to take that money and shop for a family.”

“We contact one of the churches that we belong to and ask if there is a needy family that we could help. We ask the church to provide us with the ages of the children and a list of what they would like from Santa.  Once we have the list, then the fun begins!  The Secret Santas meet one evening after work at the store to shop which typically takes several hours, depending in the families’ needs.  We try to ensure that everyone has a gift to open.  One thing we like to do is to add a cookie mix, new pajamas, and the book, The Night Before Christmas.”  These gifts are marked: ‘Open Christmas Eve.’  Once all the gifts are purchased, we wrap them, tag them with the child’s name, then deliver them to the church for the family to pick up,” Secret Santa added.

The seven year tradition has been well-worth it for this generous clan.  They have learned that it is in giving, that you receive.

Secret Santa shared with us what a wonderful experience this really is. “This gives us such a great feeling to know that we can bring some Christmas joy to a family.  We enjoy spending time together as a family shopping; it takes a few hours, as there are lots of ideas.  We have so much fun doing this; I don’t think we’ll ever go back to the family grab bag.  We hope the families enjoy the gifts as much as we enjoy shopping.”

“If there are other families out there who are tired of the family grab bag and need an idea, get together, call your local church or food bank and go shopping for a family in need. You won’t believe how much fun you will have!”