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zadidoll

Secret Santa 2014 input wanted

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Granted we're just at the beginning of 2014 and we still have... about eight months before I open up Secret Santa for sign ups but I want your input now.

 

One of the things that was brought up by the mods to me was that one of the requirements for the 2014 sign ups should be that when it comes time to shipping that a tracking # is to become a requirement and the tracking # must be sent to me or to a "Santa Elf" to confirm that the package was sent withing the two week time frame. In the past it has not been but due to several packages not being sent out until after the December 16 ship date and one not being sent out until JANUARY.

 

Another requirement is that when you do send the package that on the exterior shipping box you write down your username here on MUT or write from your Secret Santa. This is due to some members sending their real name but forgot to include their username so their giftee had no idea who it was from other than the person's real name but weren't comfortable posting that person's name.

 

Suggestions? Comments? Questions?

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I think it would be nice for the Santee to acknowledge (in a timely manner) that their gift arrived safely, either through a PM or on the reveal thread. This way the Santa has confirmation that the package sent, was not stolen or lost in transit. I know for me personally, it was a relief that both my Santee's (nails & regular) were quick about letting me know that their packages arrived safe and sound. :)

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I think all these suggestions are great.  I was one that had a santee not post for a while in 2012 about receiving the gift and it made me nervous that it got stolen or lost.  Then my 2013 Santa didn't include her username, and she beat all my family and friends in the best gift.  I wanted to shout her name with glee, but didn't feel comfortable doing so.

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I'm on board for all of the suggestions! [1) Tracking # sent to Zadi or a Santa Elf, 2) including my username on the package, and 3) letting it be known that my own gift arrived safe and sound.]

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Originally Posted by Elizabeth Mac View Post
 

I'm on board for all of the suggestions! [1) Tracking # sent to Zadi or a Santa Elf, 2) including my username on the package, and 3) letting it be known that my own gift arrived safe and sound.]

 

I think all of these are great suggestions.

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Hi all, I realize I am newer here and couldn't participate this last year because of the dates, I think I had enough posts, because I open my mouth to much with my fingers!! : ). Anyway, I would like to participate this year and if you need any kind of help or what ever I would be glad to do. So, that's why I got on here early to let you know. Just PM me ifmyoumwould like me to participate.

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Originally Posted by Spiritwind10 View Post

Hi all, I realize I am newer here and couldn't participate this last year because of the dates, I think I had enough posts, because I open my mouth to much with my fingers!! : ). Anyway, I would like to participate this year and if you need any kind of help or what ever I would be glad to do. So, that's why I got on here early to let you know. Just PM me ifmyoumwould like me to participate.

 

Once it get close to opening sign ups I'll be sending a mass pm reminding people. :) I know I have women chomping at the bit for this year's Secret Santa and we're MONTHS away!

 

What I wish we did was a Secret Cupid but that's obviously too late! Maybe a Secret Easter Bunny?

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Originally Posted by zadidoll View Post
 

 

Once it get close to opening sign ups I'll be sending a mass pm reminding people. :) I know I have women chomping at the bit for this year's Secret Santa and we're MONTHS away!

 

What I wish we did was a Secret Cupid but that's obviously too late! Maybe a Secret Easter Bunny?

@allistra44 in the Secret Santa thread suggested a Christmas in July theme, so Easter or July would work!

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I think Christmas in July sounds good! That puts at least 5 months before Christmas! I would be glad to help with this if anyone wants to do it. I have not done one, but I have Been an event planner in the past and I realize this is all on the computer and such and communication, but I do have a lot of time on my hands right now and would love to help! If someone would lead I'd make a good second. Or if someone would tell me how it's done I would do it. What do you all think?

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Originally Posted by Animezing View Post

I think it would be nice for the Santee to acknowledge (in a timely manner) that their gift arrived safely, either through a PM or on the reveal thread. This way the Santa has confirmation that the package sent, was not stolen or lost in transit.

I know for me personally, it was a relief that both my Santee's (nails & regular) were quick about letting me know that their packages arrived safe and sound. smile.gif

Yep, agree with this! My Santee was nice enough to post right away, but I felt so bad for all the people wondering if their gifts were received!

 

Also...and I don't really know how to say this without sounding too Scrooge-y and unwelcoming but...I was thinking maybe the requirements for joining could be slightly tweaked? I think last year you had to join by October & make 50 posts, which is reasonable in itself but I saw some new people to the site just posting like crazy for a few days to get to 50 and then not really posting anything.  Again, I got lucky with my Santee & she had tons of posts + a wish list, but I can't even imagine how hard it would be to shop for someone who basically just joined the site to participate in Secret Santa. Half the fun is stalking your santee via the site! 

 

I'd be in for Christmas in July or Easter or whatever, too. And will definitely help organize! 

Really, I just miss the Secret Santa thread & want it to be active sooner than November. ;) 

 

ETA: I don't mean to imply that newer members shouldn't be able to participate! After all, we were all new once. 

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I get what you're saying about the 50 posts minimum. Another one could be that they have to be a member of MUT for at least three months before sign ups (which will again be in November) which means.... A July 1 deadline.

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Originally Posted by zadidoll View Post
 

I get what you're saying about the 50 posts minimum. Another one could be that they have to be a member of MUT for at least three months before sign ups (which will again be in November) which means.... A July 1 deadline.

Yeah, that would work too! :) It seems early, but I don't think 3 months is too unreasonable. 

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If sign ups begin November 1 again, it might help if there is a one week sign up time and then three weeks to shop before the shipping time period begins in December. With all the postal delays around the holidays, I had a couple of things that I ordered for my santee literally take weeks to arrive. I ended up having to ship at the very end of the two week shipping period in December, and then my package that I sent with 2 day priority shipping took over a week to arrive in my santee's town. It was really frustrating, and an extra week to shop in November might help out.

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I get what you're saying about the 50 posts minimum. Another one could be that they have to be a member of MUT for at least three months before sign ups (which will again be in November) which means.... A July 1 deadline.
I like this idea! Stalking was fun and I was lucky to have a Santee who posted often. I like the wishlist/do not want list as well but I thought the most helpful thing was the "survey" we came up with. It was nice to find out my persons favorite colors, snacks, allergies, etc. since that helped me personalize the box a little better than just making it all Christmasy I'm totally down for another Secret Santa party :)
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I would like to throw out a vote for Flash Secret Virtual Spring Break! Say, one week to sign up and two or three weeks to shop/ship. Is there any way MUT rules would allow forumites to run their own mini mystery swaps (most likely with more limited signups, like a certain number of people, and maybe themed or with rules like four items consisting of two VDay/one anti-VDay/one wild card, which comes to mind because it's a swap I'm doing right now) like this? It's allowed on another forum I'm on (and I'm currently panicking because I'm overdue to send my BDay stuff out because I haven't even been able to shop SO MUCH SNOW AND ICE), so it made me wonder if we could do that here. As for SeSa this year, another thing to consider about the timeframe is the fact that we have another abbreviated shopping season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It's a whole day longer than last year, but that's still a tight turnaround if we get our swappees at around the same time as last year.

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I like the suggestions so far.  Tracking and including a username seem like good ideas.  I also like @usofjessamerica 's idea about making a survey to fill out and post.  That was very helpful when shopping for my santee.  

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Would it be too much to make the wishlist/survey a requirement? Like, maybe you have to have a wishlist posted before you can sign up? 

 

Also agree with @bellatrix42 on the shorter sign up period so we have more time to shop. So many places take longer to ship around the holidays & it's kind of nerve-racking not knowing if your packages are going to arrive on time or not. I'd rather just start shopping as early as possible! :)

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Would it be too much to make the wishlist/survey a requirement? Like, maybe you have to have a wishlist posted before you can sign up?  Also agree with @bellatrix42  on the shorter sign up period so we have more time to shop. So many places take longer to ship around the holidays & it's kind of nerve-racking not knowing if your packages are going to arrive on time or not. I'd rather just start shopping as early as possible! :)
One thing I don't think people realize can be a serious problem on the wishlist front is keeping it vague. Some people might think it's more helpful because it leaves options wide open, but some of us (okay, me) go into meltdown mode when we don't have specifics to guide us. We overthink everything like whoa, and then we're paralyzed.. To pull an example from elsewhere, "I like tea" is a problem for us. "I prefer herbal tea, and I really like licorice root. I would love to try the Aveda tea with it!" is easier to deal with. Or "I like sweets" is bad, but "I like sweets, but I don't eat dairy or gelatin, and I love fruity stuff" narrows things down (*way* down).

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Originally Posted by meaganola View Post


One thing I don't think people realize can be a serious problem on the wishlist front is keeping it vague. Some people might think it's more helpful because it leaves options wide open, but some of us (okay, me) go into meltdown mode when we don't have specifics to guide us. We overthink everything like whoa, and then we're paralyzed.. To pull an example from elsewhere, "I like tea" is a problem for us. "I prefer herbal tea, and I really like licorice root. I would love to try the Aveda tea with it!" is easier to deal with. Or "I like sweets" is bad, but "I like sweets, but I don't eat dairy or gelatin, and I love fruity stuff" narrows things down (*way* down).

If I remember correctly, I think this last year the wish list was done away with because in previous years people were disappointed that they didn't get exactly what was on their list.  It's hard to find a balance, I guess

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Originally Posted by bellatrix42 View Post

If sign ups begin November 1 again, it might help if there is a one week sign up time and then three weeks to shop before the shipping time period begins in December. With all the postal delays around the holidays, I had a couple of things that I ordered for my santee literally take weeks to arrive. I ended up having to ship at the very end of the two week shipping period in December, and then my package that I sent with 2 day priority shipping took over a week to arrive in my santee's town. It was really frustrating, and an extra week to shop in November might help out.

 

THIS.  I ordered something for my Santee right after she posted about it (not a thing on her list but the way she talked about it!) and since it had to come from the UK it took aaaages!  I had everything else ready to go and was shipping out Christmas Eve!  Of course, she didn't mind- and I used an elf, but I felt so bad!

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Originally Posted by gemstone View Post
 

If I remember correctly, I think this last year the wish list was done away with because in previous years people were disappointed that they didn't get exactly what was on their list.  It's hard to find a balance, I guess

 

That's true- I dunno, for me, it sounds silly to sign up for a secret swap if you are going to be upset that you didn't get exactly what you wanted.  If you want a very specific product, buy it yourself?  Part of what I love is getting something I wouldn't have bought myself and seeing what people come up with!

 

Going on with the tea thing- it feels constructive to be like "I love tea, but I prefer black over green!" or something like that- still specific enough, but not "I want the Harney and Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice"!

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So maybe a wishlist with some specifics but also a message saying that the wishlist is a guide for your santa, not a required shopping list.  

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Originally Posted by LadyK View Post
 

So maybe a wishlist with some specifics but also a message saying that the wishlist is a guide for your santa, not a required shopping list.  

 

I agree with this! 

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totally agree with upping the amount of time that one is required to be a member - i guess it just irks me when people join and post a bunch in a short amount of time just to get in on the fun.

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