Reddit’s community does a number of things really well, and one of them is Christmas. The clamorous digital hivemind’s redditgifts faction hosts a massive secret santa every year. The tradition started in 2009, and in 2012, more than 44,000 people participated – and the holiday exchange is on track to have an even bigger year this time around.
The rules are simple: spend at least $20, ship your gift before December 20, and be gracious. Users can write a list of gift suggestions to help their secret santa pick an appropriate present.
And one user this year already received her secret santa surprise: a gift from noted mega-billionaire and apparent Reddit fan Bill Gates. Opening her gift (a stuffed cow with a donation to Heifer International, which is a charity that provides livestock and training to in-need communities, plus a book of travel photos) the user didn’t realize that “Bill” was Bill Gates until she saw the picture he took holding up her present with a sign for her.
The user wrote a blog post detailing her reaction to the gift (overwhelming, unadulterated excitement), and how it took her a while to figure out who it was coming from.
“I thought Bill sounded like a friendly fellow,” she wrote. “In fact, I had this whole image of this poor guy named Bill trying to navigate my wishlist full of makeup, nailpolish, glittery things to buy me. Quite frankly I felt bad for this “Bill” since I’m a self identified pain in the ass to shop for. I finally opened the card and realized that “Bill” (I use quotes, because like I said, I still didn’t realize that this was THE Bill) had donated to a charity on my behalf.”
Gates’ present was thoughtful and very in the spirit of the gift exchange, and just confirms that you never know who will pop up on Reddit.