Dmitry was very surprised to see how many students had gathered in the dining hall for this “secret Santa” event. When he had first seen the announcement, he hadn’t even understood what it meant. He was vaguely aware of what Santa was, mostly because of the red-and-white costumed men that he saw when walking around the Christmas markets at home, but none of it made an appearance at any of the holiday celebrations his family hosted or attended so he had always assumed it was another odd Muggle thing. Having Santa at a wizarding school, and a secret one at that, mystified him.
He had asked Nathan to explain, but that didn’t go the way he expected, either. According to his roommate, Santa was actually an American thing, not just a Muggle thing. That didn’t seem right to Dmitry - what value did wizarding children have in believing that an old man hid gifts in their fireplaces? - but Nathan was of Muggle blood, so he had to trust he knew what he was talking about.
Nathan had then described “secret Santa” as being not about one specific person, but everyone becoming a Santa to give each other secret gifts. Again, this both made much more sense, and no sense at all. Why would you give a secret gift instead of just talking to the other person and getting whatever they wanted? And why not just call it a gift exchange? Also, why was there a two-galleon limit? Were they expected to just buy each other trash and then pretend to be happy receiving more trash in return? This was baffling.
Dmitry had still signed up to participate, though, because he was trying to learn about American culture and make more connections at school, and being assigned to give a cheap gift to a random student seemed like a questionable but effective way to accomplish both of those things.
Fidgeting with his gift box, the collar of an intentionally red shirt peeking up from the neck of his robes, Dmitry looked around the tackily-decorated room for the student he had been assigned to. In the end he had written home and, at his request, a matryoshka had been sent to him. It was a simple one from one of the magical street vendors, featuring designs that shifted to make the doll’s painted faces and attire change each time it was taken apart. It was fine, he supposed, but boring, and a very cheap touristy version. Finally, he spotted the student he was meant to be giving it to and walked over, announcing himself with a “Hallo! I am your Santa” as he held out the box. Hopefully they weren’t an expert on matryoshka and wouldn’t be offended.