After a long, exhausting online semester and a lockdown that seemed endless, we finally found ourselves in the last month of 2020- without even realizing it. Just when everyone thought Christmas and New Years’ Eve won’t be the same this year, we at DJLIT, the literary society of DJ Sanghvi College of Engineering came up with a truly unique online event – to lift people’s spirits up during the holiday season and kick off the new year on a positive note. The event, called “You’ve Got Mail” – was an interesting culmination of the very popular Christmas tradition “Secret Santa” and the long-lost art of letter writing. Here’s how it worked: You first register, get paired up with a stranger, write a letter to them and receive a special, personalized one (based on your interests) yourself too, at the stroke of midnight on 31stDecember, 2020. And that’s not all: we even had a lucky draw for all the participants, where 3 lucky winners had a chance to win exciting prizes from our styling partner and sponsor, Solidknits – an eco-friendly clothing brand that offers top- quality comfortable yet elegant products and without whom, carrying out this event wouldn’t have been possible.
No sooner than the end semester examinations ended that our committee sprung to action – every department having meetings, planning and coordinating in perfect sync to make sure we ended the year- and carried out our Literary society’s maiden event for the next term, in the best possible way. It started with the editorial team brainstorming their way into making a very fun and quirky Google form for getting those registrations rolling in, and the creatives team working simultaneously on some stunningly beautiful Christmassy templates that set just the right tone for our social media presence. Announcements took place on the 19th of December – soon after which the publicity and social media team took over, going all out to spread the word and making sure our unique little event reached the maximum people. The last date to register was the 25th of December, and we were thrilled to have received a whopping 247 responses by then – the prospect of starting the new year reading a wholesome and heartfelt letter from a complete stranger, receiving season’s greetings surely got people all excited to participate, after all. For some inspiration, and to encourage more people to break through that inertia and write a letter, we got our editorial -team to post a sample letter on our Instagram page. By 27th, which was the last date to send in the letters, we successfully created the hype, set the festive mood, laid the groundwork for the big day and got every single person – including committee members who participated – get super excited like little kids, and everyone couldn’t wait to receive their own little personalized gift waiting for them in their inboxes at the stroke of midnight.
The real heroes behind the scenes, or Santa’s little helpers were the events, logistics and technical teams – who took care of all responses, pairing up of strangers, scheduling the mails, formatting email drafts so that we all get our letters delivered just in time on the 1st of January, 2021.
This event made people to actually sit down and write a letter again, pen down their thoughts, awaken the lost writer in them. It made people pause, reflect for a moment from their daily rut, reflect about the year that went by, about what they’re hoping for in 2021; make a genuine effort to grab their unknown recipient’s attention span for longer than the time taken to scroll past a post on Instagram; make a genuine effort to make an unknown person’s day. And they did – as we all counted down to 2021 and people’s inboxes were filling in, every person who wrote a letter received one addressed to themselves – from wholesome ones, to downright hilarious and witty ones, by the end of the event almost everyone either had a laugh, found some really cool recommendations/ links or just had an interesting story to tell. All in all, it turned out to make for a joyous and wholesome start to the year, just as we hoped it to be.