The joy of gifting

The joy of gifting

Christmas is synonymous with Santa Claus, gifts and spreading the festive spirit. While the white-bearded man with a red coat goes about his work in a secretive manner but remains evergreen in the hearts of both the young and the old, there are others who are an embodiment of him in an atypical way and make Christmas merrier.

Of the many festive traditions that come with Christmas, the game of Secret Santa, which is played by all age groups, is an easy way to spread cheer among the people around you. Classmates in school become best friends through this game and at corporate companies, this game is taken to a whole new level.

Text 100 India has been letting its employees play this game to indulge them in a relaxing festive environment. Since there are a lot of employees who are away from work on Christmas, this game is followed two weeks before Christmas. 

Varsha Vishwanathan Varier, an employee of Text 100 India, explains, “We were 20 of us who played this game and it was a total blaster. Through the week, we kept writing notes for our ‘child’ and gave small gifts like chocolates, desserts or a cup of green tea and kept them on their desks.

On the final day (we finished it on December 18), we revealed our identity and exchanged the main gifts.” She says that it was an exciting Christmas environment that prevailed at her office, and adds, “We as a team got closer and this definitely helps in better team bonding.”

Most of these companies have been given a makeover with Santa figures, Christmas trees and balloons and the game is played with much fun and fervour. Sam Mathew, a software engineering analyst at Accenture, says, “We started playing Secret Santa from last week.

It has been a fun affair, with people leaving clues around and even indulging in some pranks. I remember the look on a Keralite teammate’s face when he got a tender coconut one afternoon!

There’s even a group of guys who are trying to figure out who has got whom and they’ve actually gone through the trouble of maintaining a mapping sheet.

Also, we have a couple of trouble makers who are giving gifts and clues randomly to mislead people. Our bays have been decked up and our workplace has become a fun place altogther.”

This tradition of Secret Santa is not just a game but an interactive activity that builds vibrant work culture believes Vedantu Innovations Pvt. Ltd. Anand Prakash, the co-founder and CHO of the company, says, “Secret Santa is a game that really brings out the spirit of the holiday season. For us Vedans, it offers an opportunity to spread the Christmas cheer in our office. Everyone is involved, excited and puts on a creative hat to surprise his/her ‘secret child’.”

Pankti Desai, a consultant at one of the noted companies, played this traditional game with 70 team members and she says it was a big celebration.

“Through the week we secretively gave small gifts, even ordered food from ‘Fresh Menu’ for our ‘child’. On the final day, we had choirs and other fun activities, after which we revealed the identity and exchanged gifts. This is one of the best games that keeps you engaged and have a good time at the usually monotonous work place.” 

But this game has another side too. What if the ‘Secret Santa’ fails to delight his/her ‘child’?

Tazeen, an employee of a well-known bank, explains, “Some of us did not receive any gifts from our Santa. In such circumstances, the manager gives us gifts and he becomes our Santa.” Secret or revealed secret, this game at the corporate levels is promoting the team spirt and replacing the term colleagues with office confidantes.  

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