It’s the season of celebration and gifts all over the world. The joy of getting gifts elates one’s heart. And now, the joyful season of the year is coming to an end, it is time to end your requests and pranks to your Secret Santa if you are playing the game with your near and dear ones. For those who don’t know what Secret Santa is, it is a Western Christmas tradition in which members of a group or community randomly assign a person to whom they give a gift.
As celebrations form the essence of Malayali hearts, they always find a way to come together and have fun even if they are spread across the world. The online community Plusinte Shantha Claus is such a platform where Malayalis worldwide, from Japan, the US, Israel, Singapore and Portugal, come together to celebrate.
Group administrator Saswath Suresh, a research scholar at IIM Kozhikode, says this is their third season of the game. “We started off in 2013. Most of the members are online acquaintances since 2006.Santa was changed into ‘Shanta’ to give it a fun, Malayali aspect. We start the game in November with an online registration. Through a software, we randomly allocated each other’s Santa without manual intervention. The Santa will have a secret buddy who will keep on receiving gifts. And there is no limit to the gifts. The games end by December 24. The secret Santa can send messages to everyone through an email ID provided which maintains the sender’s anonymity.
We also ensure that the gifts reach the buddy through their postal address by the end of the game. We also have a tracking system. It is really fun to connect to Malayalis across the world and keep the Xmas spirit alive through a digital portal.”...