First, the dates of the 2009 - 4th Annual Secret Yuletide Gift Exchange!
2009 Secret Yuletide Gift Exchange
Secret Yuletide Signups Accepted: Monday, November 2, 2009 – Sunday, November 29, 2009
Secret Yuletide Partners Drawn: Monday, November 30, 2009
Secret Yuletide Gifts Created: Monday, November 30, 2009 – Sunday, December 20, 2009
Secret Yuletide Gifts Given: Monday, December 21, 2009
Secret Yuletide Partners Revealed: Monday, December 28, 2009
SECRET YULETIDE GIFT EXCHANGE GUIDELINES
SIGNUPS: The Secret Yuletide Gift Exchange is open to everyone, which means you don’t have to be an OBOD member to participate in the exchange. To signup, simply send me a PM requesting to take part, and PLEASE include an e-mail address you can be contacted at and I will add your name to the signup sheet. Many gifts can't be sent via PM, so it is best to send them via e-mail... don't worry, I don't sell e-mail addresses, share them with anyone else or send you SPAM or other unwanted fowards.
PARTNERS: Once signups have completed, I will notify each person, via e-mail, letting you know who you will with whom you have been paired. Remember, this is supposed to be a secret so please do not reveal your identity to your secret partner, as that will spoil the nature of the exchange.
GIFT CREATION: Some gifts ideas could be a poem, a picture, a story, a ritual, a recipe… anything which you feel the other person might enjoy receiving. This shouldn't be a contest or competition... It truly is the thought that counts here. Even a simple note of encouragement and blessing or a sincere compliment is a gift in and of itself.
GIFT SUBMISSION: Once your gift is created, please pass it along via e-mail to me. I will hold them all until December 21st, when I will distribute them to all participants at the same time. Please be sure to remind me who the gift is for, so it will be easier to submit them to the proper recipient.
THE REVEAL: On December 28th, I will publish a list of everyone’s secret partner, so you can thank them personally.
BE TIMELY: There’s nothing worse than the feeling that you’ve been forgotten, overlooked or aren’t important, so please be sure to get your gift in on time so that everyone can have a joyful and festive Yuletide celebration.
HAVE FUN: This is a great opportunity to get to know a fellow forum member a little bit better and share some joy and happiness with each other. The goal is for everyone to feel welcome, loved and blessed this Yuletide season and to pass that feeling along to others. By signing up, you are choosing to share a part of yourself with someone you may or may not know, so enjoy the experience!
QUESTIONS: If you have any questions, please contact me via PM or e-mail and I will be glad to answer your questions. I don't get online as much as I used to, so please be patient. I’d hate for a question to not get answered because I didn’t log in regularly.
SECRET YULETIDE GIFT EXCHANGE FAQ
- Q) Will these gifts be made public? What if my creation is something deeply private or personal for my secret partner?
A) At the end of the exchange, once the partners have been revealed, participants will have an opportunity to thank their secret partner publically or privately. Sharing the gift you’ve been given will be a personal matter left up to individual choice.
Q) What if I know this person outside of the forum and would like to hand-deliver it to them?
A) If you know someone outside of the forum and choose to hand-deliver the gift to them, please let me know so I can mark you down as having completed your exchange. However, please remember that no money should be spent in making these gifts. It’s not about the size or cost of the gift, but the thought behind it.
Q) I don’t have any talent to speak of: I can’t draw a stick figure, I’m not creative, I can’t rhyme, I can’t cook and I can never get my rituals right. What do I have to offer? I don’t want someone to hate my gift, but I’d love to be a part of the exchange. What can I do?
A) We understand that not everyone has found their creative spark, but again, this exchange is about the thought behind the gift, not the gift itself. Perhaps you have a blessing, or ritual, or poem, or story, or picture or something else which touches you deeply and means a great deal to you. Feel free to pass this along with a word of encouragement to your partner. Sometimes, it only takes a small smile to light up a large room.
Q) Why is the signup period so long? What if I forget I’ve signed up?
A) The signup period will last almost an entire month because not everyone logs into the forum on a daily basis and we want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to participate, who would like to do so. Once the signups have completed, I will contact everyone to let you know with whom you’ve been paired, and I will send reminders as the deadline grows closer, to ensure everyone receives a gift at the same time.
Q) Do we have to wait until the 20th to submit our gift? I’d love to participate, but I plan to be traveling during that time and I won’t have access to the internet to send the gift until after the exchange is over.
A) No, you don’t have to wait until the 20th to turn in your gift. You will have a full 3 weeks to create and submit your gift to me and I will distribute them at the proper time.
Q) How are the partners paired up? Do you choose someone for each person or can we list preferences of who we’d like to give a gift to?
A) Everyone will be paired up randomly through calculations made in an Excel worksheet. You will not get to choose who you will be paired with, after all, part of the fun of this is learning more about other people on the forum.
Q) Does your gift have to have a Yuletide theme or can it be about anything?
A) No, your gift doesn’t have to have a Yuletide theme, or any theme for that matter. Your gift should be a reflection of your partner’s personality, tastes or interests. After all, that is part of the process in learning about your partner and all part of the nature of this exchange.
Q) Could I ask someone else to create a gift for me to give to my secret partner…? If so, how would I go about doing that?
A) There is no restriction on how you come about acquiring your gift as long as it’s legal and doesn’t cost any money. The choice of asking someone for help will be left to your discretion and that person’s willingness to assist you. For instance, if you want to give a poem to your secret partner and know someone on the forum or outside the forum who is skilled in that area, it will be up to you to contact that individual and acquire their services, but please, do not pay someone to create the gift for you… again, money should not be a factor in the quality of the gift given.