Twitter Secret Santa – 2013 edition

by Diane on 03/01/2014

You all know how much I love the NZ Twitter Secret Santa, right? So here’s how it all turned out this year:

What we sent

As you might remember, we sent out four parcels this year. One from Kai and one from me, plus one each on behalf of the chicken and the cat. Here’s what the receivers of out gifts said about them:

  • Thanks so much to my incredibly thoughtful Secret Santa – if you’re out there… I LOVE YOU
  • Someone did research! Nice work my #nzsecretsanta.
  • Thanks so much to my secret Santa! Your stalking skills are impeccable, everyone be jealous of me.
  • LOOK AT WHAT MY #nzsecretsanta GOT ME!!!

Yesss, I call that a success! Seems like everyone liked what they got. It was fun finding out what they liked, even though not all of them revealed a lot about their personality online. I’m glad we could make them smile for a brief moment, and hopefully they’ll still think of their Secret Santa every now and then when they use/look at their present in the future.

What we received

There are two contestants for best present for our household this year, and that’s my Secret Santa (if you’re reading this: You’re awesome!!!) and the person who was Secret Santa for our chicken Ingrid (You’re awesome too!!!).

My present

Here’s what I got:

My Twitter Secret Santa gift: awesome post-its and the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014.

My Twitter Secret Santa gift: pure awesomeness!

It’s the Lonely Planet Best in Travel 2014, some really awesome post-its, and a cute butterfly card with lovely German text inside. This is totally me, since I’m heavily addicted to post-its, and I love traveling. I have quite a few clues on who sent it, but somehow I’m still unable to find out. I’m totally torn between wanting to know, since it must be such an awesome person doing all this research to get me something I would love soooo much, and not wanting to know. I kind of like the thought that there’s a stranger out there, who was determined to make me happy, and succeeded.

Ingrid’s present

Her gift is right on par with my one when it comes to awesomeness. Here’s what she got:

Ingrid's Secret Santa present.

Ingrid’s Secret Santa present.

She got a little Christmas tree, and parrot food! We didn’t know that parrot food is a real treat for chickens, and it turns out that both Ingrid and Gerda absolutely love it. I would have never thought of getting parrot mix for them, so I’m really glad that her Secret Santa did the research. Whenever we sprinkle it on the ground, they go absolutely crazy for it, it’s great to see them so happy about their present. They were a bit indifferent about the Christmas tree though, but that might have been because they were distracted by the parrot treats.

Here’s the peaceful Christmas Eve party at their house:

Chicken party with parrot treats and tree.

Chicken party with parrot treats and tree.

Ingrid also got two cute egg cups, to present her eggs to us in a stylish fashion. Well done, Secret Santa!

Max’s present

Our neighbour’s cat missed out on a present for the second time in a row, he was disappointed (ok, maybe he wasn’t really disappointed, it might have been that Kai and I felt more sorry for him than he did for himself). In the first two years he got super cute presents, this year he was less lucky. However, thanks to NZ Post and a couple of sponsors being on board this year, he still got a present! And because he’s a nice cat, he shared it with us. We gave him some extra cuddles to make up for it. And getting a sponsor present is certainly better than not getting anything.

Max with his present from a sponsor.

Max with his present from a sponsor.

Kai’s present

There’s no way to make this sound like he got something nice, so I’ll just say it: he got a $10 Pak’n’Save gift card. In a plain envelope. No card, no letter, no explanation.

Pak'n'Safe voucher.

Pak’n’Save voucher.

For those who don’t know: Pak’n’Save is a cheap supermarket/discounter in NZ. The next branch is 12.5 km away from where we live. There is nothing creative in getting this voucher for him, there has been no effort put into gifting him something he might like. It’s not about the value – the $10 were a recommendation for participants, but we would have been totally happy if they sender had stayed well under the budget, as long as if they had put some thought into what their recipient might like. I even think that vouchers are perfectly fine, as long as they are for some place the giftee can actually use it for. But I can’t even recall the last time Kai might have been to a Pak’n’Save store; we tend to shop at our local supermarket, places in town, or order our groceries online.

It’s not that Kai’s tweets and his blog posts (there’s a link to his BloginBlack in his Twitter profile) don’t give any clues: it’s very obvious that he is quite geeky, aviation crazy, and loves traveling. Even if someone is determined to go down the path of a voucher, they could get plenty ideas of better places for Kai than Pak’n’Save, just based on what they can find about him online.

When Helen visited us just before Christmas, we were wondering if there could be a hidden deeper meaning behind this (if there is, it’s not obvious enough, we didn’t get it). Suddenly Helen said: “There’s a new huge Pak’n’Save in Blenheim, I’ll probably go there during the Christmas break”, and an awesome idea was born: Helen took the gift card, just to see how far it would get her in making Kai happy.

Here’s what she got him:

Helen's present for Kai, paid for with his Pak'n'Safe gift card.

Helen’s present for Kai, paid for with his Pak’n’Save gift card.

So, with $10 at Pak’n’Save you can get the ingredients for a cheese cake, Hershey’s kisses and chocolate coins! This is three presents, for the exact same amount of money! I agree that a cheese cake wouldn’t have been the best choice to send via mail, but it shows that something can be done without forking out a lot of money. I’m glad that in the end Kai got something he liked and that made him happy!

I can only stress again, that Kai’s disappointment was not caused by the value of the gift card (as some people implied on Twitter), the monetary value could have been zero if the person had put some effort into what they had sent. In the end Twitter Secret Santa is about making people happy, not about getting away with the least effort but with the potential to receive an amazing present for yourself.

Bonus present: Jennifer’s gift

Just like last year, Jennifer used our address to receive her Secret Santa present. She’s a kiwi living in Australia, and Kai sees her regularly when he works up at the Gold Coast, so it made perfect sense to get it sent to us.

She also got something that I would rate as a pretty perfect present for her: a Marvel pencil case!

We did a fun unwrapping session via Skype, and it was nice to see her so happy about her gift.

Jen D January 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

My gift was awesome! I can’t wait to get my hands on it. You need to make sure Kai doesn’t “accidentally” forget to bring it over for me :) I’m going to keep it at work, I think!

Trees January 4, 2014 at 1:40 pm

I love this post! I have to admit that the chickens do look pretty happy celebrating Christmas and I’m glad to hear Kai did end up getting some things he enjoyed with the Pak n Save gift Voucher – yah for Helen!

Alys Titchener October 21, 2014 at 1:58 pm

Hey Diane, I am looking after NZ Secret Santa again this year, and wondering if you’d mind if I link to your blog posts as part of our official Comms.
DM me if you’re interested.
Thanks :)

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