They start to pop up every year around this time, and I've already seen it a few times on my Facebook feed the past week or two.

The "Secret Sister Gift Exchange" posts have returned!

My first reaction was that it was just dumb. I've done Secret Santa things before with a group of friends or coworkers. In college if we were too poor to buy something for everyone we just got together and drew names from a hat. Here at the office, we do a big White Elephant exchange rather than a traditional "Secret Santa". But the thing is, if there were 10 of us in the group, everybody just got ONE name, or everyone took ONE white elephant gift. How would signing up for this "Secret Sister" thing results in "6-36 gifts in return" ?

I don't pick fights on Facebook, so rather than call my friends out on this fact, I just let it go. Lately though, I've noticed more people commenting that the entire thing might be a scam, or a hoax, and most likely illegal.

Here's a tip for everything in your life: CHECK SNOPES FIRST.  The website addressed the viral craze, and said it's basically a modern version of the old-fashioned chain letter. They also cited the US Postal Service and pointed out that chain letters are illegal.

My soul-sister Lady Di even found an article from CNN that made it sound even more sinister - by signing up for one of these, you could be putting your personal information out to people you would rather not have it.

If you want to do a Secret Santa, don't get involved with strangers on the internet, just get some friends and hope you don't get the gag gift during the White Elephant exchange.

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