Great Expectations

Alisha Shinde
Saturday, 23 December 2017

While many of us get exactly what we want from Santa, a few get Christmas gifts that leave them baffled

The tradition of giving gifts on Christmas can be traced back to nativity of Jesus described in the Bible. Back then, it is believed that the three wise men, navigating their way following the North Star, brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for baby Jesus.

Centuries later, the concept of giving gifts still exists, but the gifts have changed drastically. During this time, colleagues, friends and family often get together to play a game called Secret Santa, where they pick from chits with names of the participants and anonymously buy them a gift. Is that a good thing? Well, let’s read on to see.

Falguni Panchmatia, a Digital Marketing student, was in an awe when she saw an envelope neatly tied with a bright ribbon in her mailbox. She says, “I wasn’t expecting any mail, because I hardly ever get it. But there it was, an envelope addressed to me.  I just couldn’t fathom the idea of receiving mail in today’s digital world,” she recalls. Once she opened it, she found a letter with confetti that gave details of a trip to Goa that she was gifted. She says that so far this is the best gift she’s ever received. “I guess I have been good this year and Santa really liked that,” she says jokingly. She reveals that she got the pleasant surprise from her parents.

For Esha Sayaji, compliance analyst, a rather unusual gift was waiting at her desk one day at work. “Of course I was excited to see the gift I had received from my Secret Santa, who isn’t?” she says. But to her surprise, when she opened her gift, all she saw inside was a LED disco bulb. “While all my teammates received gifts according to their interests or hobbies, I was stuck with a bulb! I am clueless about why my secret Santa thought this bulb would be an appropriate Christmas gift for me?” she laughs.

Sanaya Musani, a baker who took part in the Secret Santa game with her friends describes her experience. The rules were quite simple — all the gifts were wrapped in newspapers so there was no way we could identify who bought which gift. She found a small flat box with her name on it. “Like an excited child, I unwrapped the gift only to find the most disappointing gift ever. It was hoping to find some small jewellery inside the small flat box, but no. It was a blue box with ear buds,” she says, adding, “I was taken aback. Why would anyone ever think of gifting ear buds as a Secret Santa!”

But giving in to human nature, when she saw other people receiving combs, soaps and other ‘not gift worthy’ items from their secret Santa, her misery lessened.

Aarti Athavle, a content writer, is celebrating an early Christmas this year. She says she eagerly wanted an iPhone and was ready to settle for a rather old version because she wanted to get rid of the phone she has and was even saving for it. But her Secret Santa probably heard of her plans, and decided to fill her heart with joy. “I woke up and saw this pretty bright blue box by my bedside and I knew my Secret Santa had visited me. When I opened the box, I could not believe that it was an iPhone 8 plus. My generous Secret Santa also gifted me a spa voucher,” she says.

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