After an incredible and unanticipated success the first time round we've had a whole year to plan a bigger and better secret santa this year. While I'd love to be writing about how we've used that year to be organised and prepared well in advance, I have to be honest and admit we've stuck to the wonderful Christmas tradition of leaving everything till the last minute, again. But, that doesn't mean things won't be bigger and better anyway!
Bigger - last year after a few weeks of signups we reached 200 santas, we're still counting this year but just days after launching we're already approaching the first hundred! To help us make this a huge success again don't forget to invite you friends and family to take part!
Better - our first attempt wasn't without problems. With 10 drop locations spread over the city and gifts being dropped off at random, some locations become overwhelmed and some didn't receive any. We'll be announcing the locations we're working with shortly but we can tell you things will run much smoother than they did last year!
More charitable - one of the most common questions we were asked last year was about the charitable aspect. This year we're proud to announce our support for Edinburgh Sick Kids, we're aiming to raise £500 via our JustGiving page. If you'd like to be a Christmas angel - help us reach our target!
If you've not already done so, now it the time to sign up!
In November 2014 the first spark of Edinburgh Secret Santa began when @EdinBlogger tweeted the idea of organising a Secret Santa exchange for Edinburgh bloggers. This was picked up by @MDChristie who was, at the time, secretary of @EdinRotaract, a social and volunteering club and part of Rotary International. After a rushed website was thrown together and a few pleas for help were sent out, Edinburgh Secret Santa was gaining momentum.
We realised things were getting exciting when the press began asking to talk about Secret Santa; lunchtime phone interviews with newspapers and live radio shows at 6am were a new experience, but something we were both thrilled about. We pushed back the final sign-up date into December as BBC Scotland wouldn't cover a Christmas topic in November.
We knew we wanted Secret Santa to be a force for good somehow, to help local businesses or charities, but how we could do this all in such a short time scale wasn't clear. We spoke to local Rebecca Christensen of the local business network Love form Indie Street who as able to connect us with several local businesses who were keen to partner with us. We arranged to use these local shops as gift drop-off locations, the hope being we could encourage our santas to shop locally for their gifts.