New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has taken part in the countrys nationwide Secret Santa, a scheme where complete strangers send each other gifts in the post, authorities said on Wednesday.
New Zealand Post has been running the scheme for the past seven years, reports the Guardian.
Each festive season New Zealanders send and receive gifts, sharing pictures of the results on social media using the hashtag #NZsecretsanta.
This year is the first time the nation’s leader has taken part. Ardern said that being a “ridiculous lover of Christmas” she could not resist.
On Tuesday, Ardern posted a video on Twitter showing her opening the gift she had received – a homemade Christmas tree decoration. The gift from her allotted anonymous giver was delayed, so she said a “Super Secret Santa stepped up” to send her a present.
— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) December 19, 2017
By Wednesday, Ardern’s gift had reached its destination, with the owner Rebecca Terry posting an acknowledgement on Twitter.
As well as a book and some body cream, the gift included an Apec pin and a card that gave away the identity of the sender.
Ardern replied saying she was glad the present, “from your not very Secret Santa”, had made it, the Guardian reported.
The scheme was started in 2010 by Sam Elton-Walters, who matched strangers on Twitter to send Secret Santa gifts to each other in time for Christmas.
Participants would drop hints of their interests and hobbies via tweets or more directly, write lists of gifts they would like to receive.
When the endeavour became too big for Elton-Walters to manage, he handed it to New Zealand Post which assigned a team of 10 “elves” to run it.
In 2017 New Zealand Post said more than 3,600 people had taken part. In 2016, 8 per cent of those involved were “Bad Santas” – participants who registered to receive gifts, but failed to send any.