Play #nzsecretsanta on Twitter

8 November 2016

Player registrations open on Thursday for the online Christmas game NZ Secret Santa.

NZ Secret Santa, known as #nzsecretsanta on Twitter, is an online version of the well known Christmas game when people give an anonymous gift and get one in return. The game has been going for six years and has a dedicated following on Twitter. It was started in 2010 by tweeter WebSam and for the past few years has been facilitated by New Zealand Post.

“We’ve made a few tweaks here and there for 2016 and we’re hoping this will be the best year yet for #nzsecretsanta,” says Aj Sheterline, head web elf at NZ Post.

Changes include altering the matching algorithm so it takes the history of the player into account, a new website design and a new badges system.

“There’s still a large element of randomness to the matching, but we’re trying to ensure that someone who has been a good Santa for many years isn’t matched with someone who was a Bad Santa last year.”

Bad Santas are people who sign up to play but then don’t send a gift. Under the rules of the game, gifts for Bad Santas are given to charity instead.

This year the charity to benefit from #nzsecretsanta will be CanTeen. Appropriate Bad Santa gifts will go to CanTeen, and if Good Santas feel generous, they will be able to purchase an extra gift to go to CanTeen too.

Players who should have got presents from Bad Santas won’t be left empty handed and will be sent a present supplied by NZ Secret Santa sponsors instead.

“The Bad Santa gift stash is overflowing this year,” says social media elf, Libby Greatnews. “We’re lucky enough to have over 40 sponsors donating some incredible gifts, from Chromecasts to books, DVDs to unique works of art.”

You can register for NZ Secret Santa between 10 November and 24 November at the NZ Secret Santa website