Well hello! It's that time. Time for our annual Secret Santa (I know, I know..Halloween hasn't even happened yet). THE 8th ANNUAL BROKE AND BOOKISH SECRET SANTA OMG.
So, I guess I'll just get to what you reaaaaally care about -- signups! But before we get started, three things:
1. Please only sign up if you are truly interested and are committed to sending off a package (on time). No seriously, stop and think before you sign up. Can you commit to this? Will you have time and money for it? We have only had a few problems each year (and some got resolved) but I'd like to not have to spend my time chasing people down -- seriously. It's a bummer for the person who doesn't get a package and a bummer for me to have to hunt you down for months after. And guess what....you don't get to sit with us anymore. I keep track of that stuff and no Secret Santa cheer for you if you are Naughty Santa.
2. In all the years past, I've always gotten all pairings done within 48 hours. I (Jamie) currently have a 3 month old and I was debating whether or not Secret Santa was even going to happen this year because it is a HUGE undertaking for me and it literally takes me 2 full days to do the pairings. SO this year....please be patient...the pairings will likely trickle out in a few days, with the help of Jana this year, rather than the marathon session I normally do. I hope you can understand! Also, please be gentle if it takes me a little bit to answer emails. BE THOROUGH IN YOUR QUESTIONNAIRE so I don't have a ton of people emailing me asking specific questions to be relayed. I probably will not have much time to go back and forth to ask about specific likes and dislikes as I did in the future (unless it's really important). Please utilize the hashtag to ask questions in hopes your person answers or use their person of contact.
3. A word for people outside of the US/Canada who want to participate: if you are outside of US and Canada just know I can't guarantee that you will get somewhere even remotely close to you. I try to work it geographically for you (and I work realllyy hard at it) but it all depends on who signs up and where they are from. That said we typically have a decent number of signups from England and Australia and a bunch in Europe. The past two years, as a courtesy, I made a note on this post, that I updated daily, wherein I listed the countries of people who had signed up so you would know where you could potentially send to. So, just be aware, if you sign up and are outside of the US/Canada...I will try my best to pair you with someone close-ish for shipping...but no guarantees. Last year I had some people not realize how much shipping costs would be, so if you are unsure, do a quick check with the countries that I list to see how much it might be.
Countries outside of US/Canada/UK that people have signed up from so far: Italy, Russia, New Zealand, China, Sri Lanka, Netherlands, Denmark, Czech Republic, France, Belgium (updated 11/9)
4. I'm capping it at 400 participants this year because I honestly can't commit to doing more than that!
Things You Need To Do
1. Send an email to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com answering the following questions BEFORE November 10th with the answers to the following questions:
*BEFORE November 10th means 11:59pm EST on the 10th though if they slip in the wee hours of the morning while I'm sleeping I'm okay but please don't yell at me when you are past the deadline any later when I'm pairing and I say no...I have extended it too many times in the past but with 400+ participants last year I have to shut it down sometime, sorry)
- Full Name & Address
- Blog URL/Twitter username/Youtube channel/Instagram username/ (any social media that will be helpful for your person to get to know you)
- List 10-15 books you'd like to read or a link to a wishlist (please mix it up with older and new releases -- aka maybe things that aren't just available in hardcover right now). DO NOT ASK FOR ARCS please. If your SS wants to throw some in there because they saw it on your Goodreads wishlist or something that's fine but once we had someone ask for mostly ARCs and not everyone has access to an ARC fairy. Also, make sure your Goodreads profile or Amazon wishlist is public at least for the time this runs. Double check that your links work if you are viewing them LOGGED OUT.
- Genres you read the most:
- List of your bookish preferences (a few fave authors, things you WILL NOT READ, does not prefer used books, prefer hardback or paperback, if you are okay with them not getting you something on your wishlist if they think you will like it etc.)
- Please give a few things you like or things about yourself (to help with your goodie). See below for examples in the guidelines.
* Suggestions for things to add that could be helpful to tell your Secret Santa for the little gift: general info about yourself, if you celebrate Christmas, hobbies you have, your passions, music you love, things you will not eat/are allergic to, smells or flavors you do not like, shows you watch/favorite movies, things you collect, any fandoms you are part of, if would love something native to where your Secret Santa lives, coffee/tea you like, favorite colors, foods you love, your style/aesthetic, favorite animals, things you are obsessed with, etc. etc. Also maybe if you have an e-reader and would be willing to get ebooks or a gift card. Just really anything relevant to your interests that could help them.
- Would you be able to send internationally if needed? Please answer
A. Yes, I can.
B. No, I cannot.
C. Would prefer not to but will if needed
(if you are outside of US and Canada just know I can't guarantee that you will get somewhere even remotely close to you. I try to work it geographically for you but it all depends on who signs up and where they are from. You can check in here where I will be updating this post to see which countries are represented if you are unsure.
- Are you:
a) Under 18
b) Over 18
- Have you participated in this Secret Santa before or is this your first time?
- Please choose what "level" of package you will be sending out (I will be pairing people with similar answers so please understand
by choosing an answer I'm expecting that to be what you send out ):
a) 1 book and a small gift/candy
b) 1-2 books and a couple goodies
c) 2+ books and goodies
- Is there somebody that your Secret Santa could contact if they have a question for you? Please ask that person before you put their twitter handle or email address here. I get a LOT of emails to me trying to figure out specific things (ie: what's their favorite color? What GoT character is their fave? Do they have this Funko pop?) to make a great package for their Secret Santa so this might be a little less work for me to be the middleman going back and forth and asking the questions and supplying the answers.
- Any questions, comments or additional things your Secret Santa should know?
2. When you receive your Secret Santa match: go play Santa and buy your prezzies -- please read the guidelines below. Send it out no later than December 15th (perhaps earlier if you are sending internationally). The earlier the better as the mail is always slow during the holiday season. IF SOMETHING COMES UP PLEASE EMAIL ME. Communication is super for me.
3. After you send off your package, please email TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com letting us know you sent it off WITH DELIVERY CONFIRMATION/TRACKING). Email us again when you receive your package. (Unless there are questions, I will not be responding to these emails due to time but will filing them away). If you have not received your package by January 1st please then email us and I will attempt to contact your Secret Santa. Please understand I will try my damndest to work it out but there is only so much I can do in the event someone decides to be naughty. Karma is a biotch though..maybe they'll get their toes run over by Santa's sleigh.
4. FOR EXTRA FUN: We are going to use the hashtag #TBTBSanta again on Twitter & Instagram for this event! We'd love to hear and see through pictures and tweets your entire process -- maybe a sneak peek of your Secret Santa skills in action (a picture of something you are sending, the wrapped picture, the box) and we'd LOVE to see your goodies as you get them!
SOME VERY IMPORTANT GUIDELINES AND SUGGESTIONS
1. Books can be new or used. Use your discretion as far as used books go but please be kind and don't send something you wouldn't want to receive. They should be in VERY good condition -- like you can't even tell if it was read.
2. When I say "goodies" I do not mean free swag or promotional items. If you want to add that kind of stuff in AFTER you also put in some thoughtful and kind goodies that you thought your person would love...I'm all about that! But when it says books + goodies...the goodies should not JUST be stuff anyone could have picked up at a convention or something.
3. Be thoughtful: 99% of the time the gifts are really sweet and thoughtful and what you would expect but occasionally someone just throws random crap in a box and ships it off to fulfill their end. Don't be that guy. Gifts should be wrapped and there should absolutely be some sort of note in it. Please do not ship directly from Amazon or elsewhere to them (unless you talk to me first...in the past there have been issues that I totally understand where this needed to be the case).
* If you aren't sure what kinds of things to add for goodies peruse the #TBTBsanta thread on Twitter or Instagram to see pictures of packages from last year. Lots of good ideas that will probably help you!
* If you are from outside the US or Canada, be aware that you might have to send internationally due to the fact that there are significantly more US participants and I may not be able to pair you up with someone closer.
* Be sure to thank your Secret Santa when you receive your package via social media or reach out to me for their email!
* Feel free to grab the button to put on your sidebar or make your own!
Please ask any questions in the comments!!