I’ve had people asking me to do the Secret Santa thing again after last year. I’ll be perfectly honest about last year’s results; I got some great stories from people who got gifts that they absolutely loved and I got a few stories about people who got stiffed on a gift. (Here’s the link to last year’s event and some reactions.) Overall, I’d say that the experience was positive for people. For myself personally, there was a lot of work involved on the back end; and while I don’t mind taking on that workload, I simply don’t have the bandwidth at this time to juggle that. So, there are a few changes this year.
First, I’m going to use Drawnames.com to handle the organizing and assigning people to be Secret Santas. The site has gotten some favorable reviews (including from Lifehacker) so I thought it was a good choice. Plus, it requires the minimum amount of information without all the awful ads of other sites.
Second, this means I will have to add people to the Secret Santa list by their email manually. I’ve set up a Google Form for you to submit your name (first name, last initial) and email address so I can add them to the list. Again, your information will be kept secret by myself and disposed of when this is over. I will add people as I get them within the time frame that this is ‘open’ as listed below. (You will want to add the domain ‘drawnames.com’ to your ‘not spam’ filter or equivalent.)
Third, as this site handles the matching, it will be up to the Secret Santa to contact their person for a mailing address. I won’t be privy to these communications, but it really means that in signing up for this, you will need to be on the ball in contacting your person and getting their gift details. I will have the ability to nudge folks who haven’t heard from their Santas, so people are not completely out of luck. But in signing up, this is what you are signing up for!
Fourth, I think this thing only handles 85 people on a list. I hope I’m wrong, but it means that the first 84 people will be in and anyone beyond that may not. Last year, 75 people participated so that should give some perspective on the range of the contest. So, there may or may not be a hardcap on participants.
Fifth, I’m sure hoping this all works out well. And with that little hope in mind, here’s the skinny:
- The form will be open until 11:59pm on Friday December 17th OR until filled (in case 85 is the hard cap for participants)
- You will receive your gift target’s information on December 18th. This will include a wish list and the option of asking questions anonymously of your gift recipient. It’s up to you to find out their contact information to send something. You can email me if you haven’t heard from your person in a few days.
- Gifts should arrive between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- $10 gift limit (Go over at your own discretion.)
So, good luck to us all! Happy holidays!