I want to talk about something ridiculous (Secret Santa)


I feel like some sort of animal that is gone and returns annually for Secret Santa. It's a ritual. Or maybe a habit.

I need help this year though.



Oh yes, I'm serious. I'm not starting it quite yet, but I started it early Sept. last year and I want to get some feedback and input from the community before it gets rolling again. This year, I'm pretty sure I'll do it with Nicole again, like it was in 2008.

Brace yourselves, this may be a long read.

What are things that should be changed?

Like I know in past years, some people have not gotten packages, and even though I implemented the Elf system, often that falls through as well. Any thoughts on what could be done as a step after that? I've tried reimbursement; like sending an Elf something in turn for their service, but usually Elves don't want reimbursement, they do it out of kindness, and then they get busy around the holiday season.

What about newer/unknown members?

Regulars usually want to be a Santa to someone they know, but every year, new and unknown people join, and often because they may not be on the blogs much, and therefore not as invested in the community, the packages don't get sent or they're kind of half-assed because they don't know the person well. They also don't have really great communication with me like if I send them an e-mail, I sometimes have to wait a while for a response, and sometimes I don't get a reply at all. I know there's been talk about just NOT allowing unknown people to join. I don't know if that's fair, and I don't even know what kind of guidelines we could set for that, but what do you think?

The Questionnaire

What do you think of it? Can it be improved? What questions should we add or take out?

Right now I want to add
-do you smoke?
-do you have any piercings?

This is last year's questionnaire. (ignore the last one, that's just for sorting. :P)

Real name:
Address including country:

Willing to ship internationally?

Some of your favorites/stuff you want:
-colors/color combinations:
-guilty pleasures:


Are you stalkable? (flickr, wist, facebook, etc please provide links!)

Do you have pets?
Any shirts you want?
Shirt size?

Anything else your Secret Santa should know?
Pick a number (1-20):

Ok, that's all I can think of now. If you have something to bring up, please do so, and those who haven't participated in SS before are welcome to make suggestions. I thank you if you read this entire thing! :)

PS- I'm posting this at 3:30am EST because I've been doing/am doing RA training and orientation and that stuff lasts aaaall day and this is the only time I have. :P I'll bump it in the morning and if i have breaks!

Watch this
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mike bautista
mike bautista profile pic Alumni

Also, I think the community did a good job of giving each other their own questionnaires. That turned out alright. Maybe just health-risk stuff?


yeah i have a list of people who haven't done so in the past few years. I clear them after a year though because I don't want to hold that over them for too long for a mistake they made a year ago.

ir0cko profile pic Alumni

shakes fist


don't shake your fist. it happens, and life happens. it's understandable. and as long as they told me beforehand that they weren't going to be able to send, they don't get listed because I feel like they were responsible and respectful enough to give me warning and time to get an Elf before the deadline.

hey, someone please bump this in the afternoon because i won't be around.


or i'll bump it myself because we got an unexpected lunch break. :)




Brian are you on lunch yet? I have off til 2 and me and Becca are going to CVS after we eat lunch in a little bit.

tracerbullet profile pic Alumni

yup! text me when you leave


this is not ridiculous. you are sweet


ok i'm eating lunch now and becca's power napping but text me if you want to do something laters.

ps- sorry for derailing this blog, but brian started it!

B 7
B 7 profile pic Alumni

I wanna do this this year!


I definitely want to participate again, though I feel like I'm not done participating from summer yet (my first package went to the wrong country and was never heard from again and the second one is en route, I hope). :)


as far a s new/unknow people i got someone who didn't even have an account this summer... at first i was a little pissed, but then i embraced and had fun sending stuff to a total stranger

spacesick 2

I agree with everything hanna said, and disagree wholeheartedly with her detractors.


I was expecting something more ridiculous than this.


yay Ben! :D

awesome Becky! that's terrible! hopefully your recipient gets it soon!

whatever, I'm still anti-Mitch.

haha well last year when i posted the blog in september, everyone was all 'wtf, it's too early, you're crazy!' so. yeah. :P


I will dropkick anyone in the face who said such things to you, Hanna!


I like the system that's getting worked out here.

Bramish profile pic Alumni

I reckon I might be in again this year, although the package I got from abeadles years ago will take some beating.


I like getting this started early because it gives me time to get funstuffs together. :)

Mya Jamila

I'm with Becky on funstuffs count. I think I need to stock up on some things.


it makes sense to pair the new people with other new people for their first swap, just so someone reliable doesn't get screwed, but new people should definitely be in it.

I agree with this! I've missed Secret Santa the last couple of years....but I think I'd like to do it again this year!

rbthatcher profile pic Alumni

I sent an email request last year to be a part of SS but it got lost in the ethernet...I just don't want to be left out this time around!!!


im a new person..... hides

celandinestern profile pic Alumni

I did it last year when I was pretty much totally unknown here and I'm glad I was allowed, it was lovely both receiving and sending.


BenjaminBot, you're new, but you've been around a lot in the blogs and such! I'd have no qualms whatsoever being your SS or you being mine. :)


never got anything from the summer santa swap :-\

anyway, the questionnaire mentions music and books, but it doesn't mention MOVIES :D


I think its a great idea but how would you know about updates n stuff you could easily miss it on the blogs could you not? :\


Polyester Jones on Aug 16 '10 at 7:45pm I'm finally going to do it this year! it'll be my fifth Christmas on threadless but first secret santa. The summer one was a lot of fun.

exactly the same here!!!

jet approves

it makes sense to pair the new people with other new people for their first swap, just so someone reliable doesn't get screwed, but new people should definitely be in it.

myteemo profile pic Alumni

I've never participated before, but think I will this year. Maybe Santa should have a naughty list and if someone doesn't send their gift in a timely manner that the elves approve of then that person's name goes into a blog of shame and gets bumped infinity.

myteemo profile pic Alumni

or something.

the czar

I think I may do this this year

myteemo profile pic Alumni

Also, sorry I didn't get a chance to meet up with ya before you went back to Philly. Stuff has been stupid crazy lately. I want to make another day trip to Philly sometime in the near future so hopefully we can meet up. I'll bring the DC posse with me. Hopefully this time Philly doesn't give me a parking ticket. :(


I probably won't do it this year because of money stuff, but we'll see.


Also, I've been on the end of some half-assed gifting. I still have no idea who my SS was from a few years back, but I'm almost positive it was some random new person that never came back to Threadless ever again. I mean, there wasn't a name on the package or a note or letter or anything. The mailman may as well have just been my SS.

But I guess I can't really complain because it's been so long ago and I love my moleskine (which is the gift I received). All I'm saying is that, even if you give one small something, the gift will be infinitely more meaningful if you at least include a personalized note/letter or crayon drawing or SOMETHING.


That probably makes me sound a bit more bitter than I actually am.


starts crayon drawings

Alvin, I'd feel the same way; I'm sorry that you had a bland experience like that!!! :(

Also, if you were my SS and you sent me a poem, I'd be over the moon and it wouldn't have cost you a thing.


That sounded stalker-y.

But, I'm also one of those people that as a child would've been happy with a pile of dirt for a present. I was far more interested in the fact that my husband took me out for window shopping in Downtown Disney for my birthday this year than about the ipod dock he gave me when we got home. :)


Haha, it's fine. It's done and past. Just a warning to any new participants who think they can get away with half-assed attempts.

Aw, that sounds fun. I can only imagine how crazy Downtown Disney in Florida must be. And yeah, a good dining experience/night out with friends and family is all I could ever ask for on my birthday.


it might be good to ask if there are people that know a good amount about you. I don't know if anyone mentioned that yet. I didn't read the comments


mgill52 on Aug 17 '10 at 6:29pm it might be good to ask if there are people that know a good amount about you. I don't know if anyone mentioned that yet. I didn't read the comments

That's a thought. Sort of like a reference. :)


Thank you so much for the response you guys! I promise I'll read through everything tonight and get back to everyone!


Aww Matt, I'm sorry you felt that way... especially cuz I was the recipient of your awesome package. I only participated cuz Adam talks about you guys all the time and I feel like I know you all even though i'm not on the blogs that often!! But it was fun!!

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