XKCD Fora Secret Santa gift exchange!
With SpaceMilk and __jess's resounding success with last year's gift exchange, and with the holiday season approaching again, we thought it'd be a good idea to do this again.
In case you're not sure what a Secret Santa exchange is, Wikipedia (as always) has a useful article. The short version, though, is that everyone in the exchange is randomly assigned another member to anonymously send a gift to, and everyone gets a gift from someone else. It's really that simple, and it's a pretty great way to do some holiday-spirit-raising.
If you want to take part, we're making that easy, too! First, we are again restricting participation to those who've been members for at least 3 months or so. If you joined during or after September this year, we do apologize, but we want to make sure everyone involved has a fairly good understanding of the xkcd fora community, and this is a simple (if imperfect) way to do so. If you joined the fora before September and want to take part, there's only two things you need to do in order to get involved:
1. Respond in this thread! Post here, with the answers to the following questions:
Are you okay with getting packages explicitly stating "from the internet!"/crazily decorated:
Favorite xkcd comic:
Any food/jewelry/otter/duck allergies:
Any other pertinent questions/comments:
Any question(s) you'd like other participants to answer: (This is a good idea if there's something particular you need to know about your recipient, because asking them directly is a bit of a give away)
2.Send a PM to ThinkSweet with your full, real name and home address. This is really, really important, because without this information there's no way to get your gift to you! If sending things internationally and/or overseas isn't an option for you, please mention that as well, so we can take that into account.
After that, it still doesn't get much harder. On November 20th, we're stopping sign ups and starting to randomize everything, and will send you a PM with the name and address of your recipient. Once you have your gift packaged and ready to send, please snap a photo, just in case your Deadbeat status is called into question (more on this later). Also, mentioning it in thread is a good idea, so we can keep track of things. We're asking that you try to do this by December 1st, which will give everyone about a week and a half after finding out who they're sending to, and leaves lots of time for the postal systems of the world to work.
Once you receive your gift, please plan to take and post some photos here so we can all see!
If you're thinking this all sounds really cool, but you're a starving student, have other financial commitments, and/or just bought a new yak and can't afford to do this - don't worry! If you chose to buy something for your gift, you shouldn't spend more than $20 on it. Really, though, there's no need to spend anything at all - the best gifts aren't the expensive ones, but the ones with thought and creativity. Take a look through last years thread, and you can see some of the very awesome and very inexpensive gifts people sent and received. However, do bear in mind you may draw a forum member from another country, and international shipping can be expensive, particularly for larger and/or heavier packages. If shipping internationally isn't possible for you, but you'd still like to participate, mention it in your PM and we'll find someone more local for you (if possible)
It's only fair to warn you that there are a couple points where things might go wrong. First, while this is an internet forum, for this to work your real name and address will be known by ThinkSweet (who's handling the deluge of PMs), Cathy (who is running the organizational system) and whoever your Secret Santa is. We won't share your personal information in any way, shape, or form that's not needed for this exchange. Since you're giving out your real identity, if you're a minor, it's strongly encouraged that you check with your parent(s) and/or guardians first. While there's no way for me to make promises about your Secret Santa, most forumites seem to be good people, and hopefully they won't sell your information to spammers or something.
Second, it's possible that you could send a gift, but never get one. It's an unfortunate truth that there may be some people (Deadbeat Santas) who sign up, but fail to send a gift. To help deal with this, anyone who has holiday spirit to spare can sign up to be a Super Secret Santa. These awesome people are volunteers who agree to send a gift to someone who sent a gift but never received one. This is also why we're asking you to mention in the thread when you've sent your package off, and to take a photo or something just in case it gets questioned.
If you've got any questions, feel free to ask in the thread or PM Cathy, ThinkSweet, or myself for answers. I'd also suggest looking over last years thread. __jess and Spacemilk did an absolutely amazing job of organizing this last year, and that thread is full of ideas, tips, suggestions and general awesomeness. I'll be keeping this post updated with suggestions, answers to questions, participant lists, and anything else useful.
Signed Up Santas!
Signed Up Super Santas!