the purest trend!

This New Wholesome TikTok Trend Is Reminding Everyone The Reason For The Season

Influencers have started sharing their Angel Tree hauls and it’s so fun to watch.

TikTok influencers are giving back — and going viral for it — this holiday season.

If you or your kids have ever seen those “haul” videos on TikTok, you probably feel one of two ways about them. You either can’t tear your eyes away as an influencer unpacks their shopping bag or package, or you absolutely despise them because they make your kids’ Christmas lists become a lot more expensive.

But what if the haul wasn’t encouraging your kids to ask you to spend more money, and was instead teaching them about the season of giving? TikTok influencers like Clara Peirce (@clararpeirce), who produces lifestyle content, have made it a trend to anonymously “adopt” kids this Christmas to buy gifts for. It’s super wholesome, especially compared to a lot of other influencer stuff you’ll see while scrolling.

Peirce gives back by participating in an annual program run by The Salvation Army called The Angel Tree, which provides gifts to hundreds of thousands of kids whose families in need who otherwise can’t afford to keep up the illusion of Santa Claus. She posted a TikTok about it last year that went viral, and with this year’s video, she said she hopes all the views mean that a lot of of fans are donating as well.

Peirce told Scary Mommy that she’s been donating to Angel Trees her entire life, and didn’t realize there were so many people who were unaware of this method of donating. The virality of the original video in 2022, which received 31.5 million views, shocked her.

“I had no idea that that would happen,” Peirce said. “But it was even more heartwarming to know that more people were reached by it ... the positivity surrounding the response was just really, really nice and really inspiring.”

Peirce’s video this year, which has gotten over one million likes, allows you to follow her as she picks her “angels” off the tree and shops for them. The kids she “adopted” ranged from little ones to teens, and they asked for things like remote control cars, LEGO sets, Barbie dolls, perfume, and makeup. She also got them all travel-sized toiletries as stocking stuffers and clothes she thought they might need.

In order to buy the kids as much as she could, she shopped at stores like Ross and Target so she could find marked down items from popular brands and other deals.

“This is what influencers should be doing,” one user commented on Peirce’s video.

And a lot of influencers have followed in her footsteps — many creators, both with large followings and not so much, have posted about the gifts they’ve gotten for kids through the program and a similar one run by the USPS called Operation Santa. The special part of toy drives like these ones is that each donor gets an idea of what the kid wants, needs, or likes, plus their clothing sizes, so the presents they receive will likely be exactly what they wanted to get from Santa.

Influencer Serena Neel (@serenaneel) posted a video of herself shopping for three girls who asked for a few essentials, but also had “wish lists.” While they did ask for some makeup and craft kits, their wish lists still included a lot of items most would consider to be necessities, like body wash and pajamas. Neel told her viewers that she had a lot of fun shopping for the girls as she filled a cart with presents for them and their older brother.

A lot of the other Angel Tree hauls you can find on TikTok also consist of toys and necessities like clothes, toiletries and winter jackets. New York City-based TikTok influencer Dutch (@dutchdeccc) posted a video of the haul of gifts he purchased for four different kids, and explained he wanted to get them as many things as he possibly could — especially the essentials, but also toys he thought they would like.

“I hate regular hauls from influencers but I EAT UP angel tree hauls every time,” one user commented on Dutch’s video.

You might assume that some creators may be replacing their shopping hauls with Angel Tree videos for the sake of getting views, and Peirce even told Scary Mommy that she was hesitant to post her video last year because she didn’t want to seem “performative.” Good intentions or not, there will be a lot more kids waking up to presents from Santa Claus on Christmas morning than there would have been otherwise. Plus, there’s no one who knows how to shop quite as well as an influencer does.

If you want to participate in one of these toy drives, there’s still time. USPS Operation Santa has their last call for applicants on December 18. But don’t worry — you can do it without filming a TikTok.