To provide Christmas gifts to needy children, who otherwise would receive little or nothing for Christmas. This program is run under the auspices of the Department of Social Services.

Secret SantaHow It Works:

Church members and friends sign up to “adopt” a particular child each Christmas season. They may specify the age and sex of the child if they wish. A list of especially needy children is obtained from the Framingham Department of Social Services (DSS).

Each social worker fills out a wish list for the child, giving their first name, age, sizes, favorite colors, what they need and what they really want for Christmas.

Gifts are wrapped, labeled with the child’s name, and placed in a bag with the child’s code number (for the benefit of the social workers). They’re brought to church on a specified Sunday, and delivered to DSS the following day for distribution in time for Christmas.

Although no direct interaction with the child is possible, it gives a wonderful feeling to think that the child’s holiday is brighter because someone cared enough to get gifts especially for him or her.

UU Principles:

Speak Out for Children (1996) – to help provide a nurturing environment for sound growth and development.

Youth in Crisis (1990) – to remedy the lack of loving familial and other support structures.


Sign-up begins in November each year. Children are assigned to “Santas” as soon as possible. Gifts are brought to Church the second week in December.


Anyone can participate. “Adopting” a child is a serious commitment, gifts are counted on so following through is essential. Those who do not want to shop may donate money for a child, and someone else will do the shopping.


It is good to get at least one “fun” item for each child, as well as some necessities.