10th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa

Posted October 23, 2019 by Jana in Uncategorized / 8 Comments

Surprise! #TBTBSanta has moved to That Artsy Reader Girl this year! I am SO EXCITED to be hosting this festive, cheerful, joyous Christmas event that has become such a tradition over the last ten years! For those of you who are new, for the last few years Jamie and I have hosted this together over at The Broke and the Bookish but she has decided it’s best for her to step away this year. So I’m doing it solo!

For the most part, this event will run as it always has. There have been a few small additions to the rules, though, as well as some clarification on things so please pay careful attention even if you’re a #TBTBSanta veteran.

Important Info:

1. Please only sign up if you are committed to sending off a package (on time). Really think about whether or not you’ll have the time and the money to send a thoughtful gift to your recipient–one you’d be happy to receive yourself. I really don’t want to hunt you down for not sending your package, or for sending one that does not meet the guidelines for the event. Think of how heartbreaking it would be to put time and effort (not to mention money) into curating a lovely box for your recipient, only to to be forgotten by your own Secret Santa. I keep track of those who do not follow the rules, and those people are banned from participating in the future.

2. I’m pairing and managing this event by myself this year, so please be patient with me. The pairings will likely trickle out over a few days. Please be understanding if it takes me a day or two to answer emails. Be as thorough as possible in your questionnaire (no amount of info is too much) so I don’t have to relay information between you and your Santa/recipient. Please utilize the event hashtag to ask questions and hope your recipient responds, or reach out to the contact they provide. You’ll get answers much faster this way.

3. A note to people outside of the USA: Please understand that I can’t guarantee that you will be paired with someone even remotely close to you. I try to work it out geographically, but it all depends on who signs up and which level of package they have signed up to send.

Countries are divided up into mailing groups to help with shipping costs. If you live in one of the locations listed below, you will be placed in that mailing group and could be sending to any of the countries listed in that group. If you sign up for a package type that nobody else close to you has signed up for, you might be placed in a different mailing group. If you are unsure as to whether or not you can afford the shipping, please do a a little research before you sign up. I will continually update this post with a list of countries where participants are from so you can see where you might potentially be sending your package.

Countries outside of the USA that people have signed up from:
– Canada
– Europe Mailing Group 1: UK & Ireland
– Europe Mailing Group 2: Mainland Europe (Belgium, Denmark, France, and Italy so far)

4. I’m capping this event at 400 participants this year.

5. I can’t ensure that you do not get paired with someone you’ve been paired with before, or who you’ve been paired with in other swaps/gift-giving events. It’s just too hard for me to juggle that while also trying to pair you with someone you have at least something in common with.

Sign-ups close at 11:59 PM MST on November 12th!

(Although, let’s be honest. I’m not going to be pairing while I’m sleeping
so if you sneak in on the morning of 11/13, I won’t mind.)

How to Sign Up:

Send an email to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com answering the following questions. (NOTE: Please do not attach a Word or other kind of document to your email. Just copy and paste your answers directly into the body of the email. It’s so much faster for me.)

  1. Full Name & Mailing Address (Exactly as it should appear on the mailing label)
  2. Please choose what level of package you will be sending to your recipient (I will be pairing people accordingly, so plan to send out what you choose here. Please note that ARCs have no monetary limit and will, therefore, not count towards the book quantities listed here. Think of them as a fun bonus if you choose to include them.):
    a) 1 book and small gift
    b) 1-2 books and a couple small gifts/goodies
    c) 2+ books and small gifts/goodies
  3. Blog URL/Twitter username/Youtube channel/Instagram username: (Include any social media or online presences to help your Santa get to know you. You MUST be active on at least one platform.)
  4. List of 10-15 books you’d like to read, or a link to a wishlist: (Please include older and new releases and please do not ask for books that have not been released yet. Make sure your Goodreads profile or Amazon wishlist is public at least for the time this event runs. Double check that your links work while logged out of your account. Please keep your wishlists separate if you participate in other swaps/secret people events.)
  5. Genres you read the most: (Specify YA, adult, etc. as well.)
  6. List of your bookish preferences: (a few favorite authors, things you will not read, if you prefer hardback or paperback, if you don’t care about book format at all, if you are okay receiving something not on your wishlist that your Santa thinks you would like based on your questionnaire, etc.)
  7. Food and other allergies:
  8. All the things about yourself: (Please tell your Secret Santa about yourself. The more they know about you, the better job they can do picking out your additional small gifts/goodies. For example: general info about yourself (job, age, school/major, family, pets, etc.), if you celebrate Christmas, your hobbies, your passions, music you love, smells or flavors you like/do not like, TV shows you watch, favorite movies, things you collect, fandoms you’re a part of, if you would love something native to where your Secret Santa lives, coffee/tea you like, candy/snacks you like, favorite colors, shoe/sock size, favorite patterns, your style/aesthetic, favorite animals, things you are obsessed with, etc. Also, if you have an e-reader and would be happy to receive ebooks or a gift card mention that. The more info in this section, the better. I literally rejoice when I see a lot of words here.)
  9. Would you be able to send internationally if needed? (This question mainly applies to people in the USA, since I can’t guarantee that you will not be sending internationally if you live outside the USA.)
    Please answer with:
    A. Yes, I can.
    B. No, I cannot.
    C. Would prefer not to but will if needed (be careful with this one, as you could be shipping ANYWHERE)
  10. You are:
    a) Under 18
    b) 18+
  11. Have you participated in Broke & Bookish Secret Santa before, or is this your first time?:
  12. Please provide the contact information (name and Twitter handle/email address) of someone your Secret Santa can contact with questions about you: (This person does not have to know you well. They just have to be able to contact you with questions so I don’t have to relay information back and forth between you and your Santa. Please ask this person before you put their twitter handle or email address here so they are not confused. If you have no idea who to ask to be your contact, post to the event hashtag and ask for volunteers. You’ll find one!)
  13. Any questions, comments or additional things your Secret Santa (or I) should know?

 

Things You Need to Do:

1. When you receive your Secret Santa recipient: Have fun playing Santa! Please read the gift guidelines below. Send your package out no later than December 17th (perhaps earlier if you are sending internationally). The earlier the better, as the mail is always slow during the holiday season and it would be nice if it arrived before Christmas.  IF SOMETHING COMES UP PLEASE EMAIL ME. Communication is super important.

2. After you send off your package, please email a tracking number to TBTBSecretSanta (at) gmail (dot) com (this is required). Unless you have questions, I will not be responding to these emails.

3. Email me when you receive your package. Unless you have questions, I will not be responding to these emails either.

4. Be sure to thank your Secret Santa when you receive your package. You can do this via social media or reach out to me for their email address. I know this should go without saying, but we’ve had some ungrateful people in the past who never reached out to their Santa to thank them or even acknowledged that they received their gift. That’s completely unacceptable, not to mention rude.

5. If you have not received your package by January 3rd please email me and I will attempt to contact your Secret Santa. Please understand that I will try my very best to work it out, but there is only so much I can do if someone decided to be a punk.

6. FOR EXTRA FUN: We will use the hashtag #TBTBSanta again on Twitter & Instagram for this event! It’s so much fun see pictures and tweets throughout your entire gift-giving process — maybe a sneak peek of your Secret Santa skills in action (a picture of something you are sending, the wrapping paper you’re using, the box, etc.) and we’d all LOVE to see what you receive!

 

Gift Guidelines & 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. ARCs have no monetary value and should, therefore, only be included in addition to the number of books you committed to send.

2. When I say “small gifts”, I don’t mean free swag or promotional items. If you want to add that stuff in after you’ve put in some thoughtful goodies because you think your person would really love those swag/promotional items, wonderful! Please just make sure that those additional goodies are not JUST things anyone could have picked up at a book event or received from publishers in the mail.

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. I’ve seen people receive expired face masks, for crying out loud. Don’t be like that. Gifts should be thoughtfully chosen based on your recipient’s questionnaire and wrapped nicely. There should absolutely be some sort of note included.

4. Please do not ship directly from Amazon or elsewhere (unless you talk to me first).

5. If you aren’t sure what kinds of things to add for the additional small gifts, peruse the #TBTBsanta thread on Twitter or Instagram to see pictures of packages from previous years. There are lots of good ideas!

Please ask any questions in the comments!!

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8 responses to “10th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa

  1. #12 of the how to sign up — Is this necessary? I honestly don’t mind getting questions about myself and it seems a bit weird to ask someone to be your contact person when they’re not the ones involved. I suppose that means if I can’t get a contact person, I can’t sign up then?

    I think the information that we are to give seems enough to pick out a present or two plus the idea of Secret Santa means you might get things you don’t necessarily like, right?

    I’ll have to think on this.

    Have a lovely day.
    lissa recently posted…The witch who loves cats & bunnies

    • Jana

      Having a contact person is not a requirement to participate in this event, but it’s very helpful. TBTB Santa is in its 10th year, and over those ten years we’ve had to relay hundreds of messages between Santas and their recipients. It creates a significant amount of extra work on my end to have to be the ping pong back and forth, so your contact is helping me by keeping track of one person so I don’t have to keep track of 400+. people myself. Not all of these emails from Santas have been about the recipient’s gift preferences. For example, say your Santa mails off your box and can see from the tracking that it was delivered but you never mentioned it on social media or reached out to thank them. Was it delivered? Was it lost? Or maybe there’s a problem with the link you provided to your wish list, and your Santa can’t access it. Maybe there was a typo in the mailing address you provided, and the P.O. won’t accept the package so your Santa needs to check to make sure the address is correct. And yes, there is the chance of receiving things you don’t like because of the nature of Secret Santa, but I think we’d all rather not waste our money on something (or disappoint our recipient) if we have the option not to. Some people like to check and see if they can surprise their recipient with a certain book, and sometimes they need clarification on food allergies. I’ve seen it all. Having a contact allows your Secret Santa to remain a secret until your present arrives, which is all a part of the fun. If you would rather your Santa reach out to you with any issues or concerns and are ok with knowing who your Santa is before you receive their reveal, then just indicate that in your answer for question #12 and it’ll be fine.

  2. I loooove this! I couldn’t participate last year, but I can this year – although I had to get the boyfriend’s permission, haha. Just sent off my mail! :D Can’t wait to see what “kind” of person I’ll be going on Santa-hunt for! :D

  3. Hailey

    I was wondering if there are going to be backup Santa’s like they have on the reddit Secret Santa in case someone decided to be a buttface and not send a present. I’d be down to be a backup Santa and I’d also like to know that if I end up with nothing I have a way to still get a present.

    • Jana

      Yes, I have a short list of people who would be willing to be substitute Santas. :) I’m not publicizing this widely because I don’t want people to get it into their heads that they can sign up, get a present, and not send anything out because someone else will take care of it. Please email me at the TBTB Secret Santa email and let me know you’d be willing to be a sub. That’s so nice of you. :)