A couple of weeks ago, a seasonal discourse started on Reddit, where folks post links and vote to move stories lower or higher in the site's rankings. Any one inquisitive about a Secret Santa present exchange? More than 4,500 Reddit members in 54 states joined up. They were given a Reddit user name and address, and infrequently a note from the recipient-to-be about dislikes. As gifts arrived and recipients posted footage and thank you notes online, it became clearer that Reddit has become, to these people at least, far more than simply a reports site. Erik Martin, a community boss at Reddit, recounted many Secret Santa’s seemed to have pored over the history of links and comments their recipient had posted on the site for clues that would yield the ideal present concept.
Some took it a stage further and did what Martin calls "a small friendly Net stalking," looking up addresses to get recipients' real names and tracking down their mates on Facebook. Judging by notes and photographs posted by recipients, Secret Santa’s did good. Many present packages included items reflecting well-liked Web subjects like bacon, narwhals and undead. Many others concerned hand-crafted copies of Reddit's mascot a little alien guy rendered in blown glass, clay, metal, beadwork, felt, paint on canvas, carved soap, yarn and more. Maybe not the best way to collect Christmas gifts for boyfriend or girlfriend, but still fun, nonetheless.