By: Karen Ng
December 16th 2018 was the date of the Neill-Wycik Secret Santa. Everyone gathered in the cafe, their gifts carefully wrapped in festive papers. All the gifts were placed on the table in the centre of the group while everyone waited excitedly for the gift-receiving to begin. The event had a small and modest turnout, but everyone seemed relatively happy to be there, and was looking forward to taking home an exciting new gift. As the last few people arrived, the rules were explained – the exchange would be a White Elephant-style Secret Santa. For those unfamiliar with this type of Secret Santa, the basic rules are as follows: each person brings a gift, which is unlabelled. Each participant then gets to choose between selecting a gift from the pile to unwrap, or “stealing” an already opened gift from another participant. If your gift is stolen, you get to choose again (with the exception being you cannot steal back what was immediately just stolen from you).
Each person took their turns, mostly focusing on the pile of unopened gifts in front of them rather than stealing gifts from everyone else, except the final participant, who stole a set of whiskey stones from someone else to avoid having to open the gift they that had brought themselves. The victim of the theft then opened a flat-looking gift, which when unwrapped appeared to be just a piece of cardboard, causing a lot of confusion. Upon further prompting, the cardboard was opened to reveal several lottery tickets!
Other gifts include what appeared to be a box of diet coke (but turned-out to contain a bottle of wine), scented candles (of various aromas), a winter-themed mug and ornament, and warm hats and socks for winter.
Hopefully, everyone enjoys their gifts from the exchange!