A new way to spread holiday cheer coming to Kearney

Secret Santa (Kearney Local)

Secret Santa... it's a simple, common concept but this time, it is happening city–wide.

"It does a couple different things for the city of Kearney," said Kearney Local partner, Chais Meyer. "It allows individuals in the community to get to know each other a little better. So, we have an actual gift exchange and then we also are able to help families that need it this season."

Participants can choose to be a part of the classic secret gift exchange or register to buy a gift for a family in need.

"We typically try and think what would the community want to make Kearney, Nebraska be better, more fun, even connect the community even more," said Meyer.

If you choose to participate, you will not know a whole lot about the person you are shopping for.

"The first name, the sex of the person they're buying for, the age, their primary interest and then their favorite color," said Meyer.

Kearney Local encourages gift giver's to wrap the presents... but how you do it, is up to you.

"We'll be putting out suggestions on how to wrap the gifts," said Liz Chvatal, Kearney Local partner. "So, you can duct tape wrap them, you can put them in bubble wrap, I mean have as much fun with it as you want. Make the person have to cut open the box. It's fun holiday season event. It doesn't need to be super serious, just have fun with it."

Gifts will be dropped off and picked up from MONA the weekend of Dec. 16.

"The pickup day is going to be pretty festive, fitting in with the holiday season," said Chvatal. "It'll be pretty cool."

To participate there is a 10 dollar registration fee or 15 if you want a shirt.

"That helps us get everything organized for the event, this is a massive event," said Meyer. "This could potentially have hundreds or even thousands of people,"

Then, the Santas are asked to buy a gift locally priced between 15 and 25 dollars.

"That way if two people buy gifts for each other there's not an awkward difference where one person spent five dollars and another person spent fifty."

"These events do run with the people in the community itself," said Chvatal. "So, the more people that sign up the bigger these events can be and the more continual they can be."

If you would like to get involved, registration is open now through December 15.

To follow this story and all of Jessica Stevenson's local news coverage, find her on facebook and twitter.

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