Dear QT3 members – lurkers and posters alike – it’s that time of year again when we set aside our creative differences and (at least somewhat) Internet anonymity to give each other something truly special: the gift of knowing there are real people out there cyber-stalking you. Wait, that didn’t come out right (but I think you know what I mean). QT3 Secret Santa is a non-denominational gift-giving game in which you are secretly paired with another QT3 member to whom you are tasked with giving a gift, and paired with (possibly) a third person who sends you one, too.
For reference, here are the previous years’ compilations of Secret Santa:
2007 The Qt3 Secret Santa Thread
2008 Qt3 Secret Santa: The Return (deadline to register: October 15th)
2009 QT3 Secret Santa Part III: Better Than the Last Sequel
2010 QT3 Secret Santa: Episode IV: A New Hope
2011 QT3 Secret Santa: Episode V: Santa Strikes Back
This year, we’re going to change the rules a little bit, so even if you’ve participated in the past, please read this post all the way through.
Deadline: The cutoff date for participation is Sunday, October 21, 2012. After this date, I (fire) will post all of the participants’ handles and begin matching Santas with Santees (secretly, of course).
Personal information: Please note that the exchange of personal information with any other QT3 members is not required, and that any information you send to me (the organizer) will remain strictly private. I will not disclose personal information to anyone other than your Santee unless you expressly give me permission. In previous years, there were some QT3 members who were asking for other people’s addresses to surprise them with gifts. Please understand that in order to protect people’s privacy I simply can’t do this.
‘In!’: To participate, post in this thread saying you’re in, and also send me an e-mail (or PM) with the needed information (see below). Participation includes being a Secret Santa for someone, and also being someone’s Santee.
Address, shipping, wishlist: Please e-mail to me (fire.qt3 at gmail) the information listed below. When you send an e-mail please include your QT3 handle! Although you can PM me (especially if anonymity is important to you), I would strongly prefer an e-mail from you because of the limitations on the QT3 PM system. Last year there were 65 participants, and with 60 seconds between PMs it took a very long time to PM everyone. So, please e-mail me. Send me your address and shipping preference by Sunday, October 21, 2012. Sadly, if I don’t have your address and shipping preference by the deadline, I can’t match you with anyone.
[li]Your mailing address. You can leave your name out.[/li][li]Your shipping preference. The choices are: Domestic (to your home country), Continental (in your continent); International (anywhere in the world). If you have no preference or don’t mention your preference, you will be placed in whichever bucket I find most convenient for me.[/li]li Your wishlist, if you have one, or want to share one with your Santa. You can also post your wishlist in the thread (publicly) if you like. Having (and sharing) a wishlist is not required.[/li][/ul]
Getting a Santee: After the deadline, I will send you (by e-mail or PM – a reply to whatever you used) your Santee’s address and wishlist, if provided. You will be responsible for getting a gift to your Santee. If you are shipping internationally, plan ahead, and get your gift out at least three weeks early. International shipping (especially around the holidays) can take extra time. Your gift should arrive in time for Opening Week (December 17, 2012). No freeloaders! If you don’t give a gift, we’ll know.
Giving a gift: There is a $20 minimum gift value; no maximum. You can send gifts directly from a retailer, or from your home. When you send your Santee’s gift, e-mail (fire.qt3 at gmail) or PM fire so she knows you sent your gift. Posting in the thread saying you sent your gift is not mandatory (and you may, inadvertently, give away something about your secret pairing!).
Receiving a gift: When you receive a gift from your Secret Santa, it’s helpful to post in the thread saying you got it – it puts your Santa’s mind at ease. Or you can e-mail or PM me, and I’ll do it for you.
Requesting a gift: You can subtly or not-so-subtly talk about things you’d like to get in this thread, although that in no way means you’ll get what you ask for.
Keeping track: We’ll keep track of who is participating at the top of the thread. The list will be in alphabetical order. After the exchange, fire will post a summary of the Santa to Santee pairings, and links to the opening posts.
Opening Week!: On the week of December 17, 2012, we begin opening gifts. Have a camera ready so you can snap a picture and get it in the thread!
Previous offenders: If you have participated in QT3 Secret Santa in the past and did not send a gift, you are ineligible for participation this year. Sorry.
Problems: If you encounter any difficulties, or have any concerns during the process, please e-mail (fire.qt3 at gmail) or PM fire. I’m really friendly, I promise.
____ Post in the thread!
____ Send fire.qt3 at gmail address and shipping preference (by October 21, 2012)
____ Receive Secret Santee information (by October 28, 2012)
____ Send gift to Secret Santee (International: by December 1, 2012)
____ Send fire.qt3 at gmail shipping confirmation
____ Receive Secret Santee gift (before week of December 17, 2012)
____ Post in the thread about gift received
____ Take pictures of opening gift, and post them (Week of December 17, 2012)
____ Have fun!
So that you won’t have to search for it, here’s the official empty mailbox:
Finally, a shout-out to Ryan Markel who was the previous years’ chief organizer for QT3 Secret Santa. Unfortunately, he couldn’t organize nor join us this year. Ryan is the original Secret Santa master and without him, this thread would not be possible. So – thanks, Ryan!