Our world is in trouble, people. It doesn’t seem to matter where you’re from, or what news you’re allowed to see, it all seems bad. People are being attacked based off of religious beliefs, persecuted in their own countries due to their governments, hated for being born a certain gender, race, or in a certain country. There’s fights over global warming or the absence of it, the treatment of humans and animals, what constitutes a human right and what is deemed wrong, vanishing natural resources. The world is a very big place, with billions of people, and billions of differing perspectives from thousands of cultures. Fact of the matter is we will never ALL get along. It’s nice to think about the world getting together in one giant hug and hanging out peacefully, but realistically we all know that’s never going to happen.
Fortunately, one thing that has made the world feel a bit smaller is the internet. I can just as easily speak to someone in Sweden as I can my next door neighbor. I can watch American news and shows on my TV, or watch shows and read news from all over the world on my computer. More easily than ever can I access information that before was non-existent to me, or I can just chill out on a website and look at funny cat videos from Japan.
One such website that I frequent is Reddit. Although a fun website, Reddit has been in the news for not so good reasons in the recent past. However, there’s one shining star that warms my heart, and that is Redditgifts.
Redditgifts is a year-long gift exchange platform that’s most notable for its “Secret Santa Gift Exchange” during the holidays. This is my second year joining in both the aforementioned exchange, as well as the “Holiday Card Exchange”, and this year I decided to go international with both exchanges.
Last year I only went international with my card exchange, not the gift. I ended up sending a card to South Korea, and received a card from Estonia.
I’m not really into or very good with geography, so it may not surprise you to know that I had no idea Estonia was even a country. Now imagine my amazement when I got this card in the mail, from someone I don’t even know, from a country I didn’t know existed. I ended up looking up Estonia just to learn more about it, especially after seeing how beautiful Tallinn looked on the card. Included was a handwritten letter from the sender, who seemed really cool and even said I could hit her up if I’m ever in the neighborhood. (Not likely, but it was a nice offer nonetheless.)
For my recipient, I made a handmade card with that included all her interests, and she seemed to really like it as well. It was easy for me to make, because I had some of the same interests she did.
This year, my card went to the Ukraine to a girl that also shares some of my interests, including some TV shows and music. My gift went to Germany, to somebody who is into animals and ‘Supernatural’, one of my favorite shows.
I’ve never been outside of America, so to have all these gift and card exchanges all over the world, is awesome to me. The big plus of feeling like I could probably get along with some of these people, makes it even cooler. It proves that no matter where you’re from, we all do have some commonalities. Thanks to Redditgifts, it’s easier to see that, and it brings us closer together.
It’s too late to sign up for the holiday exchanges, but Redditgifts has different exchanges all year long! From calendars, to magnets, Dr. Who to Star Wars, check them out and I’m sure you’ll find an exchange that fits you!