For the last three years, online collective Reddit has set and then bested its own Guinness Book of World Records record for largest Secret Santa gift exchange. But now, with only one week left, the site is mired at 80 percent of its stated goal — enough to get them the record again, but short of the 200,000 Secret Santas they were hoping for. Has Reddit’s reach finally exceeded its grasp? And if so, what does it mean for the future of online Christmas?
In 2013, Reddit achieved over 85,000 Secret Santas, in 2014, they set the bar at 200,000. But as the clock ticks down, only somewhere in the neighborhood of 160,000 people have signed up.
The Secret Santa program functions by providing enlisted Redditors a name of another Redditor — a stranger — and they all get and give gifts to their chosen name, usually picking something based on their past history of site-based comments and posts. Such celebrities as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bill Gates have participated in past years, and with the hype, Reddit was hoping to massively exceed their previous efforts. Of course there is still time, and there’s always a big push right at the end as people love to wait for the last second. So this could still happen, but it might need a Christmas miracle.