What is Secret Santa and where does it come from?

What is Secret Santa and where does it come from?

In Renjer’s Christmas game Secret Santa you can gift a friend a package of our delicious wild game jerky! You pick yourself if your friend should receive elk, deer or our all time classic reindeer.

…but what is Secret Santa? 

Secret Santa is a Christmas tradition known and practiced in plenty of countries in the Western world, including Great Britain, the United States and Scandinavia. While it is also known as Kris Kringel or Kris Kindle  in Ireland, German people call it Wichteln in both Germany and Austria. In the latter one it’s regionally also known as Engerl-Bengerl

The German term wichteln refers to what a Wichtel, a wight, does, a good deed. While the Wichtel is present in many nordic fairy tales, the Weihnachtswichtel is a particular one, who brings presents to people just as Santa Claus. In modern stories the fairy tales are often mixed up and the little wights end up being Santa Claus’ helpers.  

While the Kris Kringle and Kris Kindle both originate from the  Austro-Bavarian gift-bringer Christkindl (“Christ child”). The game is even known by Romanian language speakers in Spain, Portugal and Latin America, where people call it amigo secreto (“secret friend”) or amigo invisible/invisível (“invisible friend”).

What many people might not know is that the origin of the game is in Scandinavia. 

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In Swedish, the tradition is historically called Julklapp, which is a combination of Jul, historically the winter solstice and nowadays the word for Christmas and klapp – to clap. Julklapp also means Christmas present. 
In an old Scandinavian tradition, participants clap or knock loud and through then gifts anonymously in the room. On the presents can be hanging funny phrases or poems describing the person who gets the gift.

The German name wichteln on the other hand comes from . 

But now enough about history and origin.
Enjoy your Julklapp-game.

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