Today’s guest blog post is brought to you by Andrew Frame (@NapierInFrame), self-described office worker, writer, cricketer and dad. A Secret Santa veteran and regular Good Santa, he’s agreed to share his best NZ Secret Santa Story. Take it away Andrew…
Secret Santa time has delivered two very special gifts to me over the years .
My @NZSecretSanta tale is a bit of a tangled one, but one with lots of caring and plenty of feels.
For a communication network that allegedly makes people more cut off from reality and social interaction, Twitter has helped me meet some of the most wonderful people both online and in real life and @NZSecretSanta is at the pinnacle of putting the SOCIAL into social media.
Having admired it from afar for the first time in 2012, I took part in my first @NZSecretSanta in 2013.
I was actually out posting my Secret Santa gift off when my wife went into labour with our daughter, who was born three hours later – two speedy deliveries and bundles of joy in one day!
The following year was a bit of a big one for us.
Not only were we looking after our infant offspring, but my father passed away suddenly and we also bought our own home.
Like most people these days we tweeted, facebooked and blogged these experiences – The celebrations, the tragedies, the highs and lows and received wonderful support from our online and real life friends throughout that year.
Considering its auspicious timing the year before, I looked forward to the next @NZSecretSanta as a reminder of the good times and distraction from the bad times.
Now, the trick to being a great SMSS (Social Media Secret Santa) is you have to be a bit of a ninja and investigator. The person you are given to be Secret Santa for can’t know you’re doing it – it’s all very sneaky-sneaky.
Fortunately, most people leave less-than-subtle hints on what they would like (“Mmmm Chocolate/Coffee/Aston Martin V8 Vantage!” etc.…). Others just leave it up to the elves, but very good SMSS’s delve deeper and come up with something unexpected and wonderful.
What my Secret Santa got me in 2014 was far more special than I could ever imagine.
The parcel arrived on my doorstep on a Friday when I was home early from work (speaking of ninjas, I’m pretty sure our NZ Post courier driver is one – Drop, Knock, GONE!).
My wife told me not to open it until Christmas Day.
I lasted just under 24 hours.
While she went down to the shops and left me minding our sleeping daughter, I snuck a look at the parcel – expecting it to be wrapped up inside the box it was sent in.
It wasn’t and what I saw made me start crying.
This is what was in the box:
I had an EXCEPTIONAL Secret Santa!
Whomever they were, they had scrolled through my 80-odd blog posts at the time (that poor, poor, Secret Santa…) and found the post I wrote about losing my Dad earlier that year.
More importantly, they read one of the last paragraphs and did something my Dad never got to do – soldered up a pair of angel wings for my daughter – his “Little Angel”.
It was a beautiful, heart-felt gift and I still thank them today with every ounce of my being. Somewhere in New Zealand’s Twitterverse someone hopefully got a lifetime supply of good Karma!
But it didn’t stop there – I couldn’t resist spreading the good cheer and immediately tweeted a picture of the gift and a link to the blog they got their inspiration from – The response was phenomenal!
This is probably the only time that I’ve ever “gone viral” (other than that unfortunate case of Chicken Pox the year before…).
115 “Favourites” (people “liking” the post), 30 “Retweets” (people sharing it with their followers) and those numbers were still climbing!
My site – www.Napierinframe.co.nz , which usually gets only 10-20 views a day (50 if I write something very popular), blew out to a massive 542 views on the Saturday I posted the link and a further 110 on Sunday.
The positivity and love was wonderful – and all because of one little heartfelt gift.
Thank you, my Secret Santa!
That is why I believe in @NZSecretSanta and look forward to it every year!
I hope you all have the Merriest Christmas, the Happiest New Year and the sluthiest and most surprising Secret Santa experience!