Secret Santa Gifts Students Holiday Joy


Arshia Sista

Junior Kady Lin and sophomore Carol Chiang hug each other after the annual Secret Sister hosted by Canta Bella members. They both received each other as their Secret Sister and were able to enjoy some snacks like cookies and a “Canta Slay” cake after.

As the December holiday season ramps up, certain traditions return year after year. The finals week rush to review a semester’s worth of algebra. The scent of students’ Starbucks coffee cups before first period. The sight of pajama pants increasing as the weeks go on. The many students participating in the popular Christmas activity, Secret Santa.

Secret Santa is a tradition in which each member of a group is randomly assigned another person to purchase a holiday present for. The catch? The recipients do not know who is giving them their gift, nor what they are receiving, until the day of the gift exchange.

Senior Ama Loukili is participating in a rendition of the activity with her choir, Canta Bella. Being an all-female choir, Canta Bella calls their version “Secret Sister” and uses the activity as an opportunity to strengthen bonds among choir members, according to Loukili.

“You get to get a gift for somebody who most of the time you usually wouldn’t get a gift for, and it’s just fun to see things about people that you never realize,” Loukili said. “Then you have the same thing happen to you, and it’s just really thoughtful.”

While Secret Santa can be used as a means of bringing people together, it can also serve as a way for already close-knit friends to spend time together and reminisce about their friendship.

“Getting a gift can be very personal, especially if you add personal touches or if you remember something that the other person once said a long time ago,” sophomore Alexia Choi, who is participating in the activity with her immediate friend group, said. “It’s nice to see that your friends remember things about you and listen to you.”

Another group participating in Secret Santa this year is track and field. Since they are a spring sport, engaging in the activity helps bring the team closer together during the off season, according to junior Yuvan Kuriseti.

“It helps me really think about how my teammates usually act, how they behave and the little things they might do,” Kuriseti said. “It gets the team to know each other better outside of the season, so when people are feeling down, then they might have more people to reach out to.”

However the game is executed, Secret Santa stands strong as a heartwarming holiday tradition, one that is sure to foster feelings of goodwill.

“There’s something about knowing that this thing that you bought them is going to be something that they keep for a while and something that reminds them of you, even if you guys weren’t necessarily close,” Loukili said.

Are you participating in Secret Santa this year?


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