The Secrets Behind Secret Santa

The Atlantic NHS chapter has drawn for this year's event.



The NHS chapter meets early in the year. Juniors and seniors meet about once a month for NHS discussions.

Ariel Clark, Editor

As the holiday season approaches, festivities rush to meet the masses. From caroling to decorating trees, people tend to celebrate in their own unique ways in order to bring joy onto others. Wanting to share in these joyful traditions, the Atlantic High School hosts many events leading up to the winter break. Whether this be the classroom trees or Secret Santa, students can participate in many ways that spread the holiday mood.  

The Secret Santa tradition in particular has been hosted by the NHS students for decades. Its idea hasn’t changed much throughout the years, remaining consistent on its simple rules and efficiency. Students will be assigned one random staff member (whether this be a teacher, custodian, secretary, or para-educator) to deliver gifts to on the weeks following Thanksgiving. Educators will be given three clues along with their gifts in order to guess who their Secret Santa is. After each student is given an assigned educator, they’re allowed to take a second one if they wish, since there’s always more staff than students. Gifts can range from bought items, to crafted items such as drawings or other hand-made items.

Various members of the NHS team feel this tradition is a great way to celebrate festivities. “I think it’s a good way to give back to your teachers and other staff members,” first-year NHS member Shayla Luke said. She believes the tradition has become secular with time, meaning less about religion and more about giving back. “With the season you want to be celebratory and be festive,” said Luke. Heather McKay agrees with this sentiment, saying “I don’t associate Santa with a religion.” McKay has been a participant of the event in previous years. She believes that if anything changes, it should be determined by the students.  

NHS Secretary Hana Holtz is excited for the event. “It’s a good time,” she said. She finds it easier to get gifts for teachers that she knows, since then she can determine what gift would be a good fit for that teacher. This idea is shared by ag teacher Eric Miller, who says students then “can get them gifts that are a little more personal.” Miller has participated in the event for seven years, and believes that it runs smoothly.

NHS President Reagan Pellett also believes the tradition remains “very unique” and has no need for change. However, she feels students could do more for Teacher Appreciation Week. Finance teacher Rhonda Hawkins agrees that it could be easier on students to buy things as a group. Hawkins said the event can be a time-consuming event for some, and students tend to take on a financial burden when getting gifts for teachers. However, she also believes the event is interesting and exciting for all involved. “I think it’s a fun tradition and I enjoy it,” Hawkins said.  

Second-year NHS member Tyler Moen finds the tradition to be entertaining as well. “It’s fun because it’s like a little game,” he said. Moen finds it easier to give gifts around this time of year, since they can have a theme of being Christmas-based.  

All together, this event is a great way for students to give back to their educators. A large majority of participants enjoy the traditions and festivities, allowing it to thrive and continue throughout the years.