Secret Santa delights Canadians with lavish gifts and poems

MONTREAL (AFP) – A mystery anonymous Santa Claus sent gift cards worth C$250 (S$258) with poems to several hundred residents of a neighbourhood in western Canada, reports said on Saturday (Dec 26).

“Woke up to find this on my step with a very large gift card. It appears my whole neighbourhood got one,” Edmonton resident Leigh-Ann MacNaughton said on Facebook alongside a picture of a three-verse composition about hope and solidarity. “I have been crying all morning” she said.

Around 400 similar envelopes were dropped on Dec 24, and each contained a C$250 Walmart voucher, residents told local media.

Ms Elisha Tennant, who lost her job during the pandemic, also welled up when she opened one of the mystery packages.

“It was just very heartwarming and touching that someone would do that,” she said on Friday, according to broadcasting company CBC. “To have something like this, I mean, that’s a month of groceries for us.”

The poem offered soothing words about the possibility of a better year after months of hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic and a mounting worldwide death toll.

CBC reached out to an e-mail listed at the bottom of the note, which was signed “Secret Santa”.

The apparent benefactor replied: “I decided to do it because I know that lots of people have had a really tough year and I had the means to help out.

“I hope the gifts gave people a sense that the world is good and there is a brighter future not far ahead.”

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