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I love coordinating the Secret Santa event each year, and believe, that for the most part, it has been successful. I love the reveals and the shopping for the fluffs and I love pairing up the participants.

I diligently keep track of everything surrounding SS -- when gifts are received, when reveals are done, etc. etc. I call, email and pm SS participants to see if they've received or sent their gifts and also to ask questions provided by their buddies.

But, each year, we still seem to have participants that disappoint. Some do not send out their gifts. Some do not provide reveals. Some do send gifts, but very late or sometimes there are problems with the mail services -- especially when mailing overseas.

Each year, I, and other SM Elves, have sent out last minute gifts when a buddy has not received presents, and I have been unable to reach the original Secret Santa. A couple of times, this has been in vain, as the original SS did send gifts at the last minute. But often, the gifts that the Elves have supplied are the only ones that the Buddy received. When the Elves step in, we never tell who we are or who the original SS Buddy was as often I am the only one that knows why the SS was unable to complete his/her buddy obligation.

This is meant to be a fun event and for the most part, I think that everyone enjoys it -- whether or not they are able to participate.

But my heart breaks for those that have painstakingly participated and put thought into the gifts they have sent, but no reveal is ever done -- no word of thank you, no acknowledgement, etc.

And then there are those that are still waiting for their gifts even though the buddy has affirmed and been worried that the gifts are lost in the mail. In those cases, the Elves have not stepped in, and I am always at a lost as to whether or not we should.

There are a couple of new rules that I want to add to next year's SS Event -- but these will not necessarily help with the majority of the problems.

If there is not a reveal or if the buddy does not fulfill his/her obligation as a SS, then they are not allowed to participate again. Most never ask to and usually are never seen on SM again.

I'm truly at a lost as to what to do to ensure that everyone has a great experience with the SS event. If others have suggestions - please let me know. And, if someone else wants to coordinate the event, that would be fine too, although I do enjoy doing it. I just feel so sad about some of the participants that have not received their gifts yet and about the ones whose buddy does not provide a reveal.
 

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Lynn:

Please know that the vast majority of us absolutely LOOOOVE Secret Santa and getting/giving presents for our fluffs. I appreciate everything you do around this and hope that a few who don't fouler through for whatever reason don't discourage you.

Thank you for what you do!
 

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I have participated twice and have never had a bad experience but it must be so disappointing for those that do :(

I think maybe people need to be regular posters to participate - as regular posters are way less likely to go missing when its reveal time or sending the gifts time.

Lynn, you do such an amazing job with SS and it upsets me that some people can ruin it so much for you and their buddies/SS's!!
 

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That is such a shame that some are unable to follow through.
Allthough for the most part, it seems to go really, really well!
I agree with Orla about being a regular poster to participate,
as none of us would ever go missing! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Honestly -- the regular poster part is something that I want to put into the new rules for next year -- although we have had problems with people that were posting regularly at the time they signed up.
 

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I have participated twice and have never had a bad experience but it must be so disappointing for those that do :(

I think maybe people need to be regular posters to participate - as regular posters are way less likely to go missing when its reveal time or sending the gifts time.

Lynn, you do such an amazing job with SS and it upsets me that some people can ruin it so much for you and their buddies/SS's!!
I agree with Orla. Someone should be a regular poster in order to participate. Do you think they should also be around for at least 6 months prior to the event? I know many (esp. new) members may not like this, but it's just a thought.

Lynn, this was my first time participating in SS as I didn't feel I knew everyone enough last year to participate, but I really enjoyed it and I think you do an amazing job esp. with everything that you were going through in your personal life. I hope you do continue to coordinate it.
 

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Awwww..Lynn!! You are my fairy godmother! You have such a difficult job as the coordinator, I can only imagine all the stress you endure! I am sure there are even more complexities we do not know about that occurs behind the scenes. i know that we really appreciate everything you do for the SS to happen, and we appreciate all your kind Elves who are so generous to step in and help. I participated in SS 3 times now... I understand that people have real life to deal with and we are all busy so sometimes postings/mailing/reveals are late..but it also puts you and the Elves in such a tough spot bc you dont know if and when you should step in.....i am so so sorry Lynn!!!

I dont know how to make this better except to enforce the existing rules strictly (mailing dates, reveals, delivery tracking no, etc). But, i think things like this will always happen...life happens! things rarely go as planned....but i do want to tell you that i am sooooo grateful to know someone like you - you are sooo selfless and are sooo devoted to making everyone else's Christmas enjoyable...thank you Lynn and the Elves!
 

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Honestly -- the regular poster part is something that I want to put into the new rules for next year -- although we have had problems with people that were posting regularly at the time they signed up.
Lynn, I don't have any advice. I just want to tell you, again, that I think you always do such a wonderful job with the SS.

I don't understand how someone could not follow up and reveal and thank their SS for their gift. I thought that was already part of the SS rules.

I, unfortunately, could not participate this year, so I am not sure what the final rules were for the limit of spending on the gifts. However, I do wonder if some still went over the limit in spending this year. I really couldn't read all the reveals, although I had wanted to ... but, I did see many, many lovely and thoughful gifts. For myself, I've always felt a gift should be a gift ... and, not compare who got what, or how much. But, in reality, it does bother some. I see it in families and others ... and, I don't mean anyone on SM. However, for whatever reason, there is no excuse for someone not to at least thank their SS for the gift they received ... if the received it.

I do have one question. What specifically makes one a regular poster?

Thank you, again, Lynn, for all you do. Actually, thank you does not seem enough. You are a very special woman.
 

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Awwww..Lynn!! You are my fairy godmother! You have such a difficult job as the coordinator, I can only imagine all the stress you endure! I am sure there are even more complexities we do not know about that occurs behind the scenes. i know that we really appreciate everything you do for the SS to happen, and we appreciate all your kind Elves who are so generous to step in and help. I participated in SS 3 times now... I understand that people have real life to deal with and we are all busy so sometimes postings/mailing/reveals are late..but it also puts you and the Elves in such a tough spot bc you dont know if and when you should step in.....i am so so sorry Lynn!!!

I dont know how to make this better except to enforce the existing rules strictly (mailing dates, reveals, delivery tracking no, etc). But, i think things like this will always happen...life happens! things rarely go as planned....but i do want to tell you that i am sooooo grateful to know someone like you - you are sooo selfless and are sooo devoted to making everyone else's Christmas enjoyable...thank you Lynn and the Elves!

:goodpost:Beautifully said, Alice.
 

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Lynn, you put so much time and effort into Secret Santa every year. I am so sorry that once again a few people didn't follow through. The majority of the participants did follow the rules, though, and really appreciate your hard work.

I belong to another, larger forum that does a gift exchange several times a year. They have made the rules tougher and tougher (now you are banned if you don't send a gift out), but there are still a few who disappoint. I just played Elf over there and sent bows to a member who never got a gift.

As I mentioned in another thread, they require that every participant send their package with tracking information. That information has to be sent to the coordinator when the package is sent out so there is no guessing if a package has been sent or received. I think a rule like that would make it easier for whoever organizes SS next year.

Since "regular poster" is hard to define, how about only allowing SMC members to participate? Donating members are vested in SM and tend to stick around.
 

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Lynn

Dear Lynn:

I chose not to particpate because I have 5 MALTS :w00t: that would have not been fair to SANTA :HistericalSmiley: but I must say that I truly enjoyed all the reveals and pictures! I thought it was a lot of fun and I can only imagine that coordinating this event is not easy.

Please continue doing it and just make sure to have a deadline set. Perhaps an earlier date ????

I loved the event and I really think the elves were SUPERB!! :aktion033:
 

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I dont know much about the rules, but I know at my moms work when they do secret santa, they have to put in cash (like whatever the limit is) to insure that everyone gets something. Then, when their SS gets their gift, they get their money back. Does that make sense? Its like an insurance deposit...
 

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Lynn, I am just floored by your generosity of time and money towards this event. I loved praticipating in this year's exchange (my first!). I appreciated the Elves so much for all of their lovely gifts as well and I would hate to see SS stopped because of a few.
 

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Lynn.. you do an absolutely amazing job of coordinating the SS event! ( know there's a lot of time consuming work involved and you do it sooo well!)
I can see that MOST do follow the rules and totally enjoy it. Many of us who didn't join still loved seeing the reveals! I didn't participate because I had too much 'possible-life issues' that might have caused me to be late or last minute have to back out and I didn't want to take that chance and create more work for you or disappoint anyone.

Hopefully I will be able to join next year and will go into it knowing I possibly might get disappointed but it wouldn't deter me from participating because the 'odds' are small... and it is just so much fun! It's a chance I'd take. I just feel so badly for those who got 'slighted' and it isn't fair. I don't know that you can do anything to 100% guarantee all will follow thru. That's , unfortunately, some of the down side to human nature.

Don't know if this is a good idea or not but maybe warning that those who didn't follow thru will be publicly listed? (Except of course those who contacted you with good reason for last minute problem> illness etc) I'm talking about those who completely ignored the rules.

However, Lynn all in all I hope you realize how much the majority appreciate all you do and really do enjoy the event!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for your support. I don't feel unappreciated -- just very sad that a few have not followed the rules and that their buddies have been disappointed.

There are a couple of people, in particular, that had not posted on SM in almost a year but had previously participated in SS (for 2-3 years) without any problems. My better judgement wanted me to be able to tell them no because they hadn't posted in so long, but I know that they had always enjoyed SS and had never had an issue, so I went against my instincts and I was disappointed. :(

Most of the suggestions are already a part of the rules. I do make the deadlines for mailing earlier each year, but still, people mail when they have time.

I think Marj's suggestions are the best. She's been pushing for only paid members to be allowed to participate for years. I'll have to see what Yung thinks about that idea. Also about having to mail or send with tracking info.

I just feel so bad for those that have yet to have a reveal of their gifts and also to those that are still waiting on their gifts. Common courtesy would indicate that a simple "thank you" is the least that one could do.
 

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Well I don't think that only paid members be a part of SS thats just not fair and having tracking is the best route. Plus it will show up right away that the tracking number is even valid. Tracking is pretty automatic on a parcel in Canada plus you can also insure it for a few more dollars. Is this not what its like in US? Since this seems like an easy solution.
 

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Lynn, I just wanted to say thank-you for all the effort and time you have put in to organize the SS for us. I had a blast with it and I am sorry that there are a few bad apples that spoil it. Unfortunately that always seems to happen with events like this. I know I had it happen a few times when I was running my Mom forums. But I agree there should be some rules in placed. Maybe like a tracking number that each person has to send to you and you can plug into the spreadsheet to keep track of. I also like the paid members only idea as well.

xoxo
 

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society isn't comfortable with race, and race relations, so saying black women are hot or anything like that, still makes some people uncomfortable. I think theres actually pressure for some guys to not like black women, or admit it. I've heard a few too many guys say they "admit" they like black women like its something they should be ashamed of! People need to quit it, but the idea is still supposed to be that black women aren't as acceptable as other races.

what in the heck does this have to do with ss??? This must be spam....
 

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lynn

this was our first secret santa we participated in and we loved it. I think having the people participating in ss emailing you the tracking number is a great ideal. Thank you for what you do!!!
 

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Lynn, This was my first year participating as i just joined this wonderful group in march. I thank you for everything you have done and everything you did in putting this together , all the time , thought and work you put in and i thank all the elves as well. I for one mailed my gift to my buddy a couple of days after the deadline because of my burned foot , but i got it out. i still havent seen a reveal and that saddens me but at least i know it was recieved and hopefully my ss buddy is enjoying her gift. I enjoyed watching all the reveals and dolce enjoyed his pressies so so much . I think the tracking number rule is excellent that way if the tracking is not given to you by a specific date then u can take that person off and hopefully assign to someone else or something. Things do happen and sometimes things come up but for me being busy doesnt cut it cause most of us are and a few min to at least say thank u shouldnt be that much of a burden. I dont agree with the just paying members because there are many members that are not paying members that were great ss buddies that should not pay for others that werent. I do think that it should be only for ppl that post most of the time though. It doesnt have to be everyday but normally.

I think u do a wonderful job as the SS coordinator and i want to thank you and all the elves for a job well done , u all made many fluffs very happy. i love you.
 
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