Tis the season for Secret Santa's. Love them or hate them, schools, offices, community groups, and more are embarking on the holiday tradition. Secret Santa's can be difficult or awkward at times, especially if you don't know the person you have selected. Other times, it is a perfect fit, and everyone walks away ecstatic. Whenever I am participating in a Secret Santa, I tell people to just get me food, or chocolate specifically. You can't go wrong with that, in my opinion, unless there are allergies. For the most part, that's exactly what I'll receive, and I am satisfied. One year, however, someone went the extra step to find something hilarious and personal, and I have never forgotten it.

Back in high school, a group of friends wanted to hold our own little Secret Santa. When it came time to exchange the presents, I received my chocolate along with one or two other small things, but the final part was what stuck out the most. With the gift was a miniature of Burl Ives' Sam the Snowman from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 

Conor Walsh
Conor Walsh







The iconic character has been gracing our television screens since 1964, and filling our hearts with Christmas cheer each year; however, this was a very specific present. Earlier that month, I was in a Christmas performance at school where I was dressed up as Sam the Snowman. I repurposed an inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume, added a vest, bought an appropriate hat, and wore fake white facial hair reminiscent of the character.

Conor Walsh
Conor Walsh







Seeing the little plush was like seeing a "mini-me" in a way. It was a sweet gift, and it was certainly a highlight of that season. It just goes to show that you don't have to go too expensive or over the top to come up with a thoughtful gift. Sometimes all it takes is just paying attention to the little things.

So, Hudson Valley, what have been some of your most memorable Secret Santa gifts?

You May Be From the Hudson Valley if Your Christmas Card Includes...

If you included any of these things on your Christmas Card this year, or anytime really, I think it is safe to say you are from the Hudson Valley.

25 Sweet Shops In The Hudson Valley

This list will go through the multitude of options that are available in the Hudson valley for those who've got a real sweet tooth for anything from chocolates and candies to cakes and pastries.

25 Hudson Valley Locations and Events To Visit During The Holidays

This Gallery is about holiday events that one should visit. Not only events but also great destinations in the Hudson Valley that are must place visits.

Hudson Valley Decides if Die Hard is a Christmas Movie

As one person mentioned in the comments, “this is literally asked every year,” but it needs to be asked until the ruling is unanimous! In regards to those in the Hudson Valley, it is getting close. A few people came to bat and gave examples as to why Die Hard carries the yuletide spirit.