Why I’m crying about my Reddit Secret Santa story for 2020

I need to share a story about this craft project I worked on.

I’m a member of a site called “Reddit”, referred to as “the front page of the internet”. It’s a site where people have conversations and share stories, images etc. Everything from the news to hobbies.

Every year they do a thing called “Reddit Gifts”, which includes a Secret Santa exchange. I decided to join in again this year, my second time.

The person I drew had an interest in Dragon Ball Z, of which I knew nothing about. Thankfully one of my wonderful friends was more familiar, and explained about the show. Essentially there are 7 balls to collect, and if they get them all they can make a wish.

At the time I had just started learning how to make my own christmas baubles, so I thought it was a perfect opportunity to make some for him. I included it with another ornament of the reddit logo, and a character called “One Piece” from another show he watched.

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When I sent off the gift, I included a little card that wished him a Merry Christmas, and that as he’d found all of the balls he was able to make a wish.

Fast forward to today.

Since Christmas I’d been wondering if he’d received the gift, and had emailed him to find out. I’d heard nothing, and finally assumed my present had sucked. I was disappointed, but accepted it and moved on.

This morning I opened my email to find a message.

Over the Christmas period they had unfortunately lost a family member to COVID-19, and had been in mourning. He’d stayed off technology accordingly.

To quote his email:

“The message and dragon balls meant so much to me in such a rough period. I cannot express my gratitude. I used my only wish for your family to be safe and Covid free and most importantly having a safe new year.”

– Reddit Secret Santa

The first time I read it I thought he had used his wish for his family, and emailed him to say that my thoughts were with him and his family, that I hoped his wish would come true and they would all stay safe and well.

Then I re-read it and realised that he had spent the wish on MY family. What a beautiful, thoughtful, kind and selfless act!

I immediately emailed him again thanking him profusely, and returning the sentiment.

To get a bit poetic and romantic for the moment, I’m struggling to find the words to explain how thrilled I am that something I could have made could have been timed so well, and had such an impact. Something that I thought was a bit gimicky, and wasn’t sure if it would be well received at all.

It’s made me grateful for the reddit community, for my friends, for the kindness of strangers, for a hobby with benefits beyond making “pretty things”.

I’m not entirely sure how to wrap this up now, but please stay safe and well everyone x

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