Culture

New Zealand Is Doing A Country-Wide Secret Santa, Continuing To Be A Cute Parody Of Itself

#NZSecretSanta is the best place on the internet right now.

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When I tell people I grew up in New Zealand, people throw around the same cliches and gimmicks. Was my house in Hobbiton? Was my school surrounded by sheep? Am I best friends with Flight of the Conchords?

But, while generalising about an entire nation and culture is a fairly shitty thing to do, in this case I don’t really mind. My family home was on the side of a volcano, I went to school with more than one person related to Tim and Neil Finn, our teachers devoted class time to watching Lord of the Rings, I take every opportunity to talk to the Conchords, and I know all the words to the haka.

If you’re going to live up to a cultural stereotype, there are worse ones than New Zealand — a country that’s known for its beautiful landscapes, lovely people, and protests where politicians occasionally cop a dildo to the face.

Never forget.

It looks like I’m not the only one living up to this quaint but lovely reputation either. New Zealand is currently in the midst of an adorable country-wide secret santa — Kiwis are being matched up online by NZ Post, getting hints for gifts from each other’s Twitter accounts, and mailing little surprises to one another in time for Christmas.

Everybody has just found out who their assigned picks are, and I’m fairly sure that #NZSecretSanta is the happiest place on the internet right now.

Though the campaign is getting a whole lot of attention today with international reports from the likes of NY Daily News, Metro and BBC, it’s actually not that new. NZ Secret Santa has been running in some form since 2010 when one great citizen started running it by himself through Twitter. It was eventually then picked up by the national post service, who now have a small team devoted to ensuring it all goes ahead without a hitch.

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I highly recommend you head to their website to see more excellent photos like this.

Just under 2,000 New Zealanders have signed up to the service this year and they’ll be sending off their presents on December 4. You can keep an eye on Twitter after December 15 to see what people have received. They’re usually pretty good.

Until then, here’s a reading of my favourite Kiwi Christmas book to kill some time. Santa eats meat pies in a holiday bach and his reindeer are sheep called Jason and Wayne. Enjoy!