The Reddit Secret Santa is an annual event that holds the Guinness World Record for largest Secret Santa. I didn’t participate last year, but I was determined to 3D print a gift for a stranger this year. I signed up and was matched immediately, and was also assigned to someone else as a giftee.

The Gift I Gave

The person I was assigned was an avid high-powered rocketry enthusiast, so I figured, ‘Why not print out a rocket?’

1Photo provided by giftee


I didn’t hear from my giftee for a little while and got nervous that my package got lost! Luckily, he had actually written a substantial post and taken a bunch of pictures, which had me totally thrilled.

Here’s his post and pictures:

I am so happy with my first Reddit Secret Santa. It was not long after the matching that I got a message from my Santa saying the gift had been shipped, and also the phrase “let me know what you think and we can go from there”. I had no idea what that could possibly mean and was excited with curiosity. A few days later I opened my mailbox to find a fairly large package that weighed almost nothing. Seriously, it felt like an empty box. Now we all know that when it comes to presents, the heavier the better… but in this case it turns out light-weight was the goal.


So I open a beer and grab a kitchen knife and holler to my roommate to come check out the package. His first words were “dammit I knew I should have done Secret Santa!”. I carefully slice the packaging tape, which days before was expertly applied by Santa himself. I open the box to a 1-page note which I read and then place aside. Underneath some of the packaging paper I finally uncover the first part of the gift: a beautifully printed, all in one fin can. I quickly discover the next four pieces: two body tubes, an adapter bulkhead and a sharp, pointy nose cone. I had never seen anything like this before, and now I was the lucky owner of one: a 3D printed model rocket.


I immediately gathered my things and waltzed over to the rocketry lab across the street to gloat to my friends about the new craft. And they were jealous. There was an interference fit initially, so I got to work sanding. When it all fit together nicely I went down to the hobby store to buy the necessities: a parachute and the largest model rocket motors I could find (D-12). I also swung by home depot to pick up a steel rod for use as a launch rail.


Now I know what you’re waiting for, but no I have not launched it yet. I am out of town working on a research project, then spending the holidays with my family. I plan on launching it right when I get back on the week of January 4th. Stay tuned! Empty, the rocket weighs only 88 grams, so a D motor should give it a nice kick.


This gift is really special. Somehow, a really cool guy (well, Santa) from Virginia was able to send me the best gift I could ask for. I am really passionate about high power rocketry but have actually never done model rocketry, so this was a new experience for me. I also think it was the smallest rocket ever assembled in the rocketry lab. In the photo album, you can see the body tubes of some of the rockets we build sitting on the table.

Thank you Secret Santa, you rock! Merry Christmas to you!

The Gift I Received

Everything at once! Everything at once!

My Secret Santa sent me a 3.6 lb. package, which immediately grabbed my attention when I saw the tracking info. What could it be?

Cats & Kittens : A Coloring BookCats & Kittens : A Coloring Book

Turns out, it was a bunch of stuff! Check it all out! My favorite was the bag of Andrew Jackson Jihad coffee, which I didn’t even know existed.

Andrew Jackson Jihad: The CoffeeAndrew Jackson Jihad: The Coffee
DSC_0003Grip Chalk! Awesome!

DSC_0004 DSC_0007-2 DSC_0006-2 DSC_0005