In The Spirit Of Giving

New Zealand Had A Nationwide Secret Santa, And Even The Prime Minister Got In On It

"A very Merry Christmas ... from your not very secret Secret Santa."

We love tinsel and trappings as much as the next Elf on the Shelf devotees, but here at A Plus, we believe that true wintertime magic comes in the form of connection and human kindness. Over the next month, come back and join us in raising a glass to those who give — because what's December without a little holiday spirit?

New Zealand held a nationwide Secret Santa gift exchange this month, and not even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern could resist getting in on the fun — as both her given and received gifts were revealed on Twitter this week.


According to the Huffington Post, New Zealand's postal system has held the exchange since 2010, with 3,600 people taking part this year. Participants are given the Twitter handle of the person with whom they've been matched, to get an idea of what gift they would like, for about $10.

It looks like Prime Minister Ardern may have gone a bit over the suggested limit with her gift, as a mom named Rebecca Terry revealed on Twitter this week. The package contained bath and body products, a book for her two daughters, and a pin which gave away her identity.

"I also travel quite a bit for the job that I do, so I've included a wee memento from my last trip," Ardern wrote in the card. "Not too many people have these, but I wanted to share mine." The APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) pin was reportedly given to world leaders during this year's summit in Da Nang, Vietnam.

In case there was any doubt left that Ardern was, indeed, the Secret Santa, she replied to Terry's post on Twitter, writing, "I am so glad it made it! A very Merry Christmas to you and your girls, from your not very secret Secret Santa."

Prime Minister Ardern also shared a video of herself opening her own Secret Santa gift. According to the BBC, Ardern's gift from her assigned Secret Santa didn't make it to her, but a "Super Secret Santa stepped up" for her. The gift was revealed to be a handmade Christmas tree ornament.  

"There are only four people who have one of these," the sender wrote in the accompanying note. "Me, my actual, proper Secret Santa recipient for 2017, my mum and now you."

Ardern said she had yet to decorate her tree this year, so this would be her first Christmas decoration, adding she would put it at the top. She later posted another video explaining that there had been a "mix-up," and she received two Secret Santa gifts. The second gift was a piece of artwork from a student named Zara.

"I'm going to hang this in my office," Ardern said. "It's absolutely beautiful."


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