Playing Santa

Dec. 19, 2002, midnight | By Amina Baird | 18 years, 1 month ago

Blazers attempt to replace Jolly Saint Nick without thinning their wallets

For all the naughty kiddies expecting coal in their stockings this gift-giving season, have no fear. There's a guaranteed way to get a present this year. Regardless of pouting, crying, shouting or lying, there is always the option of a Secret Santa.

This year, Silver Santa Service is spreading the holiday spirit by handing three Blazers red hats, white beards, jingle bells and $5 to venture into the commercial world and find the goofiest gift for their "Christmas kid."

Silver Santa Service selected the chosen three on the basis of a few questions about their personality, such as, "Do you wear socks? Why or why not?" From the responses, Silver Santa Service compiled three sets of clues. Each Santa received the clues for their Christmas kid but didn't find out the identity until the Santas gathered on Nov 25 to exchange gifts. Join them in their trials and tribulations, their journeys, and their genius. Santa Claus is coming to town.

Toys "R" a must

Date: Nov 19, 4:30 p.m.
Location: Wheaton Toys "R" Us
Secret Santa: Junior Jake Herndon
Mission: To purchase gift for senior Elizabeth Camacho with the following clues:

Words to describe herself: Small, dedicated, hardworking

Activity she enjoys: Dancing

If she could take one person to a desert island, it would be: "Justin Timberlake because he is cute, funny, perfect, and romantic."

Herndon dubiously looks over the clues in his hand as he walks towards the store. "What could spice up this person's life?" he ponders aloud.

Inside, sorting through "look, Mommy, I can pee" baby dolls, fireman's hats, and plenty of small plastic weapons, something catches Herndon's critical eye. A familiar hot pink draws him from the diaper aisle to the rows of "Gymnast" Barbies and "Palm Beach" Barbies standing at attention on their tiny toes.
Herndon, aghast at the multitude of bitty babes, spots the perfect gift for his dancing, Justin-loving friend. Herndon smiles triumphantly as he lifts N*Sync #1 Fan Barbie off the shelf, only to spot the "dancing and grooving" doll's hefty $9.89 price tag.

Fifty minutes later, after searching every square inch of this child's paradise, Herndon settles for a slightly different gift: a beige and red doll-sized bag. "I picked it because my person is small," Herndon explains. "It's like a briefcase…and that's a symbol for being hardworking and dedicated." An incredibly practical and useful gift, the cleverly named "Tiny Tote" could carry two or three dried beans, a button, or even better, a pet poodle zapped down to the size of a quarter.

Shopping for a dwarf

Date: Nov 20, 3:15 p.m.
Location: Century Plus–Most Items $1 Store, Silver Spring
Secret Santa: Senior Elizabeth Camacho
Mission: To purchase gift for freshman Mac Kpadeh with the following clues:

Words to describe himself: Athletic, funny, outgoing

Activity he enjoys: Playing football

One of the seven dwarves is that is most like him: "Sexy, because he is sexy and so am I."

"Sexy?" Camacho asks, bewildered, as she enters the Century Plus dollar store. "There is a dwarf named Sexy?"

Camacho pauses to breathe in the mixed smells of cheap cologne, new plastic and spices. As she roams aimlessly from the soap and cleansers aisle to the lingerie, Camacho comes across some choice merchandise. A pair of planet-patterned "Cupid boy" underwear may be just the thing her sexy, dwarflike Christmas kid needs.

Still unsure that she has found the perfect gift, Camacho turns a corner to discover a bin full of balls. She excitedly selects a gray-and-yellow football with a texture reminiscent of an old tire.
Down $4, Camacho walks over to a giant box of bandanas, and selects an American flag pattern. "It's your country," she says. "Represent." Red, white and blue just aren't Camacho's colors, however, and she soon abandons patriotism for a black address book, presumably for her sexy Christmas kid to keep the numbers of all his girlfriends.

Date: Nov 21, 5:00 p.m.
Location: Woodmore parking lot, headed for CVS.
Secret Santa: Mac Kpadeh
Mission: To purchase gift for senior Jake Herndon with the following clues:

Word to describe himself: Yes
Activity he enjoys: Standing in my lawn
What he would do with 50 cents: "I would buy everyone in the world a puppy, or I would make a phone call if I didn't want my caller ID to show up and I didn't want to call collect because I think that's kind of rude, especially if you have 50 cents."

Looking up from his clues, Kpadeh walks toward CVS. First stop: dog-food aisle. He selects a large can of Pedigree. "I think he likes dogs," Kpadeh says. Next, Kpadeh finds a green Christmas tree-shaped tray. "It's a tree," he says. "He likes standing in lawns. There are trees in lawns." Despite the vagueness of the clues, Kpadeh seems to have a clear picture of what he wants.

With $3 to go, Kpadeh peruses the novels, tempted by titles like Flesh, Blood and Orchids, but moves on to electronics. "I'm looking for a phone card. He is talking about collect calls . . . " Kpadeh trails off as he spots a $3 phone jack. Apparently this will do.

Christmas morn on Blair Blvd

Date: Nov 25, 12:05 p.m.
Location: Blair Blvd
Secret Santas: Jake Herndon, Elizabeth Camacho, Mac Kpadeh
Mission: To exchange gifts and see which creative Claus came up with the funkiest, kookiest, weirdest present with his or her $5.

Camacho heads the present procession treading slowly toward the main stairwell. If the three secret santas are at all excited, they don't show it. Sadly, not one of these kids woke at 5:00 a.m. in anticipation, and there's certainly no milk and cookies for this Santa Service. Faces blank and pointed to the floor, the students look more like hostages than St. Nicks. Only Herndon looks truly cheery as he awaits his mystery memento.

Camacho watches her Christmas kid, Kpadeh, fish for his present. Kpadeh is simply pleased with his football and address book. "I'm happy," Kpadeh says. "I like football."

Next, Camacho receives her gift from Herndon. The lady Claus's reaction to her "Tiny Tote" is "Awwww, I thought it was so cute. I saw it at Target yesterday too."

Herndon, on the other hand, cannot claim to have seen his gift in the aisles of Target. Staring, befuddled, at his present, Herndon admits that he does not own a dog. However, the chow may be useful for something else—perhaps fuel to heat him in the cold December weather. No matter what, this gift will not be going under a tree. "I'm not picky or Christian," Herndon says contentedly.

From little black books and little beige purses to cans of dog chow and trays for human chow, sexy, dedicated, athletic, hardworking and "yes" Blazers got their fill of cheap and goofy gift-giving without the stockings or the coal.

A lesson learned from these Blazer Santas: the weirder the better. And where there is cheap, there is usually weird. So, anyone who has pouted or cried, don't give up hope. Take a hint from these Blazers. Make like a Santa and spend what little you have on the wackiest, the wildest and the weirdest. Make it good, for goodness' sake.

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Amina Baird. Amina is pretty cool, she is kinda tall and she just got a tattoo she is supposed to be doing something but i think she is procrastinating. She enjoys long walks down blair blvd with a man who shaved his beard and she eu7uh78hgyt More »

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