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zadidoll

Secret Santa 2014 input wanted

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Honestly, I think worrying about the spending limits is kind of pointless. Mainly because...there is no way to really know how much someone actually spent.

Like, for this round I already have an entire Popsugar box full of stuff just from my own personal stash of samples and things I bought but never used. And then I just placed a Birchbox order with all points. So I have a decent amount of stuff already and haven't actually spent a dime. Some people are probably going to look at that and think I went way over budget, but I didn't. :)  

 

I know there were people last year feeling uncomfortable with their gifts, thinking they weren't going to be good enough (me included). But did we see how happy everyone was with their gifts?! I don't think I saw a single reveal post last year that wasn't one of us raving/gushing about the great & incredibly thoughtful gifts we got. I've never received a more wonderful gift in my life and never stopped for a second to think about how much it cost. 

Cliche but it really is the thought that counts. 

 

I think the bottom line is that people should spend what they're comfortable spending and no one should ever expect a gift worth more than $25. 

 

ETA: for the record, I'm not trying to tell people 'Don't feel insecure!' Believe me, I know that's not always possible! 

Edited by allistra44
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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.

 

 

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.

 

In other news, have either of these items been re-addressed in regards to the timeline?

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Honestly, I think worrying about the spending limits is kind of pointless. Mainly because...there is no way to really know how much someone actually spent.

Like, for this round I already have an entire Popsugar box full of stuff just from my own personal stash of samples and things I bought but never used. And then I just placed a Birchbox order with all points. So I have a decent amount of stuff already and haven't actually spent a dime. Some people are probably going to look at that and think I went way over budget, but I didn't. :)  

 

I know there were people last year feeling uncomfortable with their gifts, thinking they weren't going to be good enough (me included). But did we see how happy everyone was with their gifts?! I don't think I saw a single reveal post last year that wasn't one of us raving/gushing about the great & incredibly thoughtful gifts we got. I've never received a more wonderful gift in my life and never stopped for a second to think about how much it cost. 

Cliche but it really is the thought that counts. 

 

I think the bottom line is that people should spend what they're comfortable spending and no one should ever expect a gift worth more than $25. 

 

ETA: for the record, I'm not trying to tell people 'Don't feel insecure!' Believe me, I know that's not always possible! 

This. 

 

I don't think we will ever stop the "uncomfortable" feeling of "is my gift enough?" simply because we all care.  I, as I'm sure everyone else as well, wanted my Santee to feel like this was the best gift ever and that I put everything together with her in mind.  Will she like this polish?  This color?  This candy?  This wrapping paper?  I had a blast and I did go over the limit, but I also got some great deals, shopped from my stash, and didn't care one bit about the extra money I spent, I just wanted her to love everything.

 

I loved everything that I got, and like someone said, I didn't see anybody that didn't rave about their gift, whether it was closer to the limit or obviously over the limit.  If we pick this apart and make tons of rules and limits and groups, it won't be as much fun.  I understand that this wasn't intended to be about the money, but about the feelings of inadequacy, but even with tiers, or groups, I think we will still have those feelings. 

 

I just hope that we continue the Nails Secret Santa for this year...I only participated in that one and we had an amazing group of ladies and it was SO much fun.  I loved every minute of it, so I wish to keep that part.  :)

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I just hope that we continue the Nails Secret Santa for this year...I only participated in that one and we had an amazing group of ladies and it was SO much fun.  I loved every minute of it, so I wish to keep that part.  :)

I already stated my opinion on the other part of this post (short version: totally agree.  I honestly *hope* my Santa only spent the limit even though I know the value of what was sent was far over it!), but I wanted to chime in on this part.  Yes yes yes!  It's not so much that I want a *separate* Nails Secret Santa.  It's more that I want another one *in addition to* Original.  It could be exclusively eyeliner, bath products, tea, cat toys, or office supplies for all I care (just not hot sauce or gardening supplies :) ).  

 

Really, this is what it boils down to:  I just want a reason to go buy things for people.  I already have my brother's Christmas present (Kickstarter + comic cons = you get your shopping done at weird times), and everyone else but my dad gets the same things year after year (but figuring out what to get Dad is a doozy), so I look to forums to give me my fun shopping-for-other-people experiences.  If I could sign up for multiple slots on the original Secret Santa, I would, but since it's one per person, I'll just go with hoping for two separate ones.

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Opinions!  I got some.

 

I don't think tiers are necessary.  IMO, if you are the type to be disappointed in a gift, then you need to not participate.  To me, that is just so incredibly wrong and ungrateful.  What happened to the thought counting?  I saw lots of people give less stuff but put more thought into the wrap, presentation, cards, etc.  Sour grapes is so unbecoming.  I also sent gifts to many other people on the thread and on MUT in general because it was fun for me so I pretty much stuck to my budget for my real SS.  I do know that if I had an SS that participated, I probably would have went way over...but that's my choice, dont you think?

 

There was a little questionnaire in the nail polish swap that I thought worked really well for our group.  I can see where that type of thing would be harder for the regular group as makeup and hair products are common gifts.  I have no good suggestion for how to go about that.

 

I am all in for requiring so many posts/length of time on the board to participate.  I also agree with a rule that any participant let someone know they received/sent their gift.  I, personally, don't want a repeat of having to repeatedly pm my giftee to ask if she got it.  I think I may have even had to ask one of the elves for help in that.  I forget.

 

I know I will once again sign up for SS Nails because oh em gee I had way too much fun on that thread.  I have never enjoyed a thread more than that.  It totally was like a slumber party.  And I don't think a single person on that list was disappointed in their gift...if they were, they were good at hiding their feelings.

 

I just for real hope that my giftee for this year is a fun person who actually participates because my giftee's lack of participation in the thread was my only disappointment.

 

I liked the feeling of spontaneity, camaraderie, and joyfulness on that thread very much.

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First -- yay I'm glad there will be another nails secret santa. It was a lot of fun and I'm not going to be traveling so much this year, so I can be in more. Hopefully, my recipient won't be trying to swaplift a circular swap box this year (or actually steal one and get banned from MUT right after Christmas -- it made me so mad and I'd just emptied my stash for her -- grrr) so I'll know if she liked her gift!

 

Second -- I was more concerned that people might opt out of SeSa because they don't have the same access to "free" stuff -- stashes, points, etc. -- that others do. I don't think anyone here was anything but thrilled to bits with their gift, so there's no reason for anyone to not participate. But if the consensus is that isn't an issue, that's fine by me.

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I missed this last year but I wanna do it this year! Anything I need to do to get ready? Do you have to have trade history? Imma have to get to trading if it is!

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I missed this last year but I wanna do it this year! Anything I need to do to get ready? Do you have to have trade history? Imma have to get to trading if it is!

Assuming it's similar to last year, it will be a certain post count & a 'joined by' date. Since you've been a member since last year & you have 430 posts, you should be fine!  :)

 

I believe if someone has negative feedback from trades that could potentially prevent them from joining, but you don't have to have any trades. 

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I missed this last year but I wanna do it this year! Anything I need to do to get ready? Do you have to have trade history? Imma have to get to trading if it is!

Here's the post with all of the rules, but to cut to the chase:

 

General rules:

  • Members who participate must have a minimum of 50 posts.
  • Must be a member of MUT for at least one month (since October 1, 2013).
  • Members must be in good standing with no serious infractions and/or no negative trade ratings.

So, basically, no trade history requirement beyond no bad history, but I would recommend that you go ahead and start trading!  I think this whole forum is more fun when you have that sort of interaction with fellow forumites.  

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Woohoo thanks! I'm a really bad trader because I always open all my stuff right away to at least test it and I don't want to send people used stuff. But shopping for someone else I can do!! :)

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I've never formally traded anything but I've sent things back and forth with people and done a few polish swap boxes.  You didn't used to be able to get feedback for informal trades, but now I think anyone can leave you feedback without a specific trade thread to point to.  Not sure about that though.

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Woohoo thanks! I'm a really bad trader because I always open all my stuff right away to at least test it and I don't want to send people used stuff. But shopping for someone else I can do!! :)

Heh.  You obviously haven't been around here long enough to develop a strong subscription habit!  I think I now have *three* silver Cynthia Rowley eyeliners since I have multiple Birchbox subs.  Or GWPs:  When Sephora puts out a good GWP bag, there's a frenzy around here with people trying to stock up on samples of a particular product in the bag.  I think the Blitz Kits items were *major* players in Santa packages last year, whether as items to go in the packages or items to be traded for other things to send!

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Heh. You obviously haven't been around here long enough to develop a strong subscription habit! I think I now have *three* silver Cynthia Rowley eyeliners since I have multiple Birchbox subs. Or GWPs: When Sephora puts out a good GWP bag, there's a frenzy around here with people trying to stock up on samples of a particular product in the bag. I think the Blitz Kits items were *major* players in Santa packages last year, whether as items to go in the packages or items to be traded for other things to send!

Ha! Subscription boxes are the one thing that I've resisted. One of them was tempting me last month (I lurk the threads to see what people are getting...that Henry Bendel one was hard to resist) but I feel like it's a black hole I don't need to get started with or I'll never give it up!!

Edit: was it Henri Bendel? The one where you got a gift card!

Edited by bsquared

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I've been away from MUT for quite some time due to health issues but I'm so excited to start thinking about this years Secret Santa. I had so much fun last year and can't wait for this year. :)

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Having twice had buddies who didn't participate AT ALL, I would really love participation to be a requirement.  I do not kid.  I for real honestly cannot figure out why a person would even sign on for something like this if they don't intend to participate in the fun.  Frankly, it bugs the crap out of me.

 

I also think a public reveal should be a requirement.

 

I don't know if the people who don't participate even have any idea how un-fun their lack of participation makes it for those of us who buy for them.  It's very disheartening.

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Totally agree, @DonnaD.  If not a requirement, at least a strong warning that there is a huge emphasis on this nowadays.  I think a big issue here is that participation wasn't really A Thing until the 2013 Secret Santa, and that was the first time we even had a discussion thread, so, no, people from previous years *don't* understand how important participation has become, even if it's not in this thread (that is, posting elsewhere on the forum, so we can stalk get ideas from all over the forum!), and I think some people popped in solely to sign up and then dropped out of sight until reveal time.  Not only is it more fun, but it helps us put together more personalized experiences for our recipients, which is more fun for everyone involved, even the people who aren't directly involved in the present itself!

 

ANYWAY.  I'm hoping that the introduction of the year-round chat thread (spoiler:  it's going to open on August 1st!  Get ready!) will help cultivate chat outside of the exchange periods so it will feel natural for everyone to hang out, and it will help break the ice and ease people not currently in the discussion thread(s) into the chat culture we have going on over here once the exchanges officially start.

 

(There *will* always be someone who doesn't participate in the chatter threads, but, seriously, lurkers, it's a fun way to kill time and make MUT buddies!)

Edited by meaganola
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I third the participation vote, and I also think there should be an emphasis on how many posts they have and when they joined. I think it needs to be more/longer than was done for instance in the Summerswap. It's very difficult to shop for someone when they have few posts, and mostly posted replies to other people. Very little can be stalked in these instances. Another problem is having someone who used to post in the past, but dropped off later. Hard to manage this type of thing, but it makes shopping for items they still want difficult.

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Yep. I agree with most of these posts and pretty much stand by what I posted earlier in the thread. 

 

1) Increased post count + membership time. I know earlier in the thread, @@zadidoll had mentioned a cutoff of July 1st & I think that's fairly reasonable. As far as posts go, I'm thinking we increase to 100. [On a related note, would it be insane to do 50/100/x amount of posts in a certain time frame? I remember looking through some of the sign ups last year and while they did have 50 posts, it was 50 posts over several YEARS.]

 

2) Participation should be STRONGLY encouraged, if not mandatory. Isn't there a rule with the circular swaps where you have to login/post every x amount of days? I vote we adopt that rule. Obviously there's not much we can do if people aren't participating after the assignments go out, but maybe it could affect their ability to sign up for future Secret Santas. 

 

3) Shorter sign up window + longer shopping time. I think most people already know if they want to participate or not...a week (maybe 10 days?) should be plenty sufficient. And if people are going to be out of town or something, they can always message a mod ahead of time & let them know they want to sign up. I really liked having more time to shop for the Summer round & would love to have that again for Winter, especially since shipping can take longer around the holidays. It was a LITTLE long though, so maybe 4 weeks? 

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3) Shorter sign up window + longer shopping time. I think most people already know if they want to participate or not...a week (maybe 10 days?) should be plenty sufficient. And if people are going to be out of town or something, they can always message a mod ahead of time & let them know they want to sign up. I really liked having more time to shop for the Summer round & would love to have that again for Winter, especially since shipping can take longer around the holidays. It was a LITTLE long though, so maybe 4 weeks? 

Summer is probably a nice time to have a longer shopping window since there aren't as many sales as there are during the holidays. But I did find myself procrastinating for the beginning half of the shopping window for summer, so I wouldn't mind if it was a little shorter.

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I also think a public reveal should be a requirement.

 

 

I agree with this 100%!

My FGC hasn't posted her reveal even though she received her box almost 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure why she hasn't posted, but at this point I don't think she will. It makes me a bit sad and frankly it took some of the fun out of the exchange. I hope she liked everything I sent her.

 

ETA: I agree with the shorter sign up window and more time to shop. Requiring being a member by July 1 is a great idea.

Edited by bonita22
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Summer is probably a nice time to have a longer shopping window since there aren't as many sales as there are during the holidays. But I did find myself procrastinating for the beginning half of the shopping window for summer, so I wouldn't mind if it was a little shorter.

I was thinking of making it longer on the other end...cutting into the shipping window. Just so people can take advantage of the Black Friday deals & still get the things they ordered in time! Last year I almost missed the shipping deadline because I was waiting on some things I ordered to get to me.

 

ETA: I guess on that note, I'd like a shortened shipping window :) 

Edited by allistra44

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I agree with this 100%!

My FGC hasn't posted her reveal even though she received her box almost 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure why she hasn't posted, but at this point I don't think she will. It makes me a bit sad and frankly it took some of the fun out of the exchange.

I'm worried my Summerswap person won't post hers...it's a big bummer  :(

 

I was thinking of making it longer on the other end...cutting into the shipping window. Just so people can take advantage of the Black Friday deals & still get the things they ordered in time! Last year I almost missed the shipping deadline because I was waiting on some things I ordered to get to me.

 

ETA: I guess on that note, I'd like a shortened shipping window :)

Yeah that works too. Either way I'll procrastinate, so more time either way is a good thing!

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