The Christmas season officially began Monday as Rutland’s Secret Santa announced his annual gift-giving.
For more than a decade, someone has spent the days after Thanksgiving handing out Christmas cards with gifts of cash to random, unsuspecting people in downtown Rutland.
“In the years since this experimentation was inaugurated, with small gifts of currency stuffed inside cards heralding Christmas, the joy it has brought me has grown exponentially,” Santa wrote in a letter deposited at the Herald’s office late Monday. “The elation and nerviness I feel when delivering each envelope is equated only by the thought of witnessing the discovery of the contribution inside. It is a pleasure, the anticipation of which I revel in for the remaining 52 weeks of the year.”
This year, Secret Santa wrote, he is handing gift certificates to some of his beneficiaries. He said he is also continuing the practice he added two years ago of picking certain members of the community and mailing them $100. He said he chose three people to receive the mailed gifts this year.
“Each was selected for their quiet caring and devotion to the community, and the people within it,” he wrote. “Whether each beneficiary might need these dollars more than others is less the point than to let them know that their benevolence and love are recognized. I have no doubt they will put these tokens to good use.”
Secret Santa granted the Herald an interview in 2009 on the condition the reporter preserve his anonymity — he said his own family doesn’t know about his holiday activities. In the letter dropped off Monday, he thanked the Herald for recording his deeds and sharing his thoughts.
“In the grand scheme of things, these gifts are but a minuscule effort to sow some good in the soil of Rutland, and acknowledge the virtuous behavior of a few people,” he wrote. “But it does seem we are the better for it — I know I am — and that Rutland continues to become the better for all the efforts from a wealth of good people who love it.”