A new trend making the way across the country involves people putting together gift baskets of goodies to leave on strangers doorsteps, with a tagline of “You’ve been ninja’d”. The concept is essentially to deliver a gift basket to someone’s doorstep, ring the doorbell, and then disappear quickly without being seen (like a ninja), in an effort to keep the gift anonymous. The gesture came about as a way to spread good cheer and kindness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Items in the gift basket may include a little bit of everything including wine, snacks, makeup, gift-ware, clothing, books & more.
According to participant Erika Brittany Shelvey, it’s basically a giant game of ding, dong, ditch. Except you leave a gift. Most towns and cities have Facebook groups called “wine ninja”. These groups serve as a central information centre where everyone who would like to participate posts their address and people can just choose a random address or someone they know.
Erika is just one of many ninja’s leaving gifts for people. She has left 16 gifts on doorsteps (11 this evening alone) in the Shilo and Spruce Woods area and she doesn’t plan on stopping just yet. “I love giving gifts so this wine ninja’ing is right up my alley! A lot of people post pictures of their gifts saying they have had a bad day and we’re so grateful, and that’s where the joy comes from” said Erika.
Brandon’s Samantha Krystal Shupe and her family are also participating. So far they have made 6 wine ninja bags, 2 maternity bags, and 6 kids activity bags. They selected 3 wine and 3 kids ninja bags to go to people that they knew and the other 3 were random. Her kids picked a number between 1-11 (address lists on each page) then an address that didn’t have a symbol and then they delivered. Her kids played the ninja’s. For the maternity gift bags, she created a post asking for addresses or someone to nominate someone expecting so they can be included as well. These they put names in a hat and dropped them off!
“It’s a great activity to lift everyone spirits, it’s been fun for our family” Samantha told bdnmb.ca. “The admins for the pages are amazing and do a great job on updating the lists” she added.
The Brandon Manitoba Wine Ninjas Facebook group page can be found here. A recent thread was also started on the People of Brandon Facebook page with pictures and postings of various gift baskets being left on doorsteps and links to different groups within the city.