Michael Bradley/Getty Images
Stacey Leasca
November 30, 2017

You may think that stringing up a few lights makes you good at Christmas. We hate to break it to you, but you’ve got nothing on the country of New Zealand.

That’s right, the entire nation of New Zealand is totally owning the Christmas spirit by hosting a nationwide Secret Santa program that is guaranteed to bring joy to everyone involved.

More than 3,600 people in the country have signed up to take part in the national gift exchange, according to the Secret Santa program, including Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

This marks the seventh year of the program, which was started in 2010 by a guy named Sam (just Sam, no last name), who simply put out a call on Twitter asking if his fellow citizens would like to take part in a gift exchange. The program became so popular that the government took notice and made it a state-sponsored event.

The rules of the exchange are fairly simple. As the site states, participants must first use #nzsecretsanta to tweet and @nzsecretsanta to talk to the elves running the show. Next, they must link their Twitter account to a New Zealand Post online account. Next to-do is to spend a little time following the matched giftee to find out what they like, and then buy or make an awesome gift for about $10.

The Best Gifts Under $10

Participants are supposed to send their gift as soon as possible so the elves can get to work, and then all they have to do is wait for their own gift to arrive (and tweet a photo of it to share the joy with the world).

If you don’t live in New Zealand but still want to participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange, you can join Reddit’s worldwide gift program. Each year thousands of people, including Bill Gates, sign up to exchange gifts with total strangers they’ve never met. It sounds crazy, but it truly does encapsulate what the holidays really are all about: spreading joy.

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