You asked for miracles - I give you The Washington. Post. December 22, 2015 9:32 AM   Subscribe

"Quonsmas organizers — this year there are three: julen, a participant since 2007 and volunteer since 2009, articseal and phunniemee — keep Quonsmas running through spreadsheets and hard work. They ensure it’s an egalitarian swap, of gifts between $10-20 made between two people regardless of how long they’ve been Metafilter members or how often they post (though Metafilter membership is a requirement for joining)." Nice writeup in The Washington Post's blog, The Intersect.

By Mefite Katherine Arcement.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome to MetaFilter-Related at 9:32 AM (29 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

Yay, nice writeup for a really lovely tradition.

I've been reading the Secret Quonsar thank you thread for an ongoing boost all season. Mefites are so thoughtful, and all glory to julen, arcticseal, and phunniemee for running the show!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:36 AM on December 22, 2015 [11 favorites]


🎁🎁🎄🎅❄️ 🎁🎁

It really is a lovely writeup.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:38 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


That's really nice! Secret Quonsar and the cookie swap are things I really love about this place, although I don't participate in either (because I am beyond terrible at mailing things in a timely fashion or ever). Such excellent traditions.
posted by rtha at 9:52 AM on December 22, 2015 [5 favorites]


Oh, that's neat! Nice writeup.
posted by zarq at 10:33 AM on December 22, 2015


needs quonsar tag
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:40 AM on December 22, 2015 [22 favorites]


I was surprised there was no quonsar mention in the piece, but maybe quonsar himself would be too alarming for the Post's readership.
posted by languagehat at 10:50 AM on December 22, 2015 [24 favorites]


Good use of a Die Hard quote.
posted by maxsparber at 10:51 AM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


That was just the nicest thing to read after an immensely shitty few days. Happy Quonsmas to all!
posted by DarlingBri at 10:59 AM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


Awwww, I love Quonsmas. Getting a gift from someone who is sort of a stranger on the web is really fun, though I have come to think of y'all less as strangers than as my special invisible friends from the Internet. Pretty sure you're all real, though that description makes you sound like Jimmy Stewart's bunny pal. Julen and other elves are terrific; many, many thanks.
posted by theora55 at 12:39 PM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


Secret Quonsar makes my world a better place. So thankful for all the facilitators and participitators!
posted by mochapickle at 1:05 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh. That's the best. Thanks for posting, joseph conrad is fully awesome, and Katherine for writing!
posted by minsies at 1:06 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Excellent!
posted by brilliantine at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2015


OMG squee! The present I sent my seekrit quonsee is one of the instagrammed photos! I loved what I got and it looks like my quonsee liked what she got! Awesome sauce!
posted by Lynsey at 2:45 PM on December 22, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is excellent. I'm always glad when I see MeFi getting attention outside the usual circles, but this was unexpected, and it perfectly captures what even the most secular amongst us like about this time of year -- the magic of connecting with strangers and feeling cared for outside of the usual contexts of life. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 3:03 PM on December 22, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm so sad I forgot the sign-up this year! :-/
posted by jgirl at 4:08 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey! My Instagram is on there, sa-weet! And yes Lynsey, I love my gift very much!

Quonsmas is better than real Christmas for me - the extra time researching and spending focussed effort on the perfect gift for a stranger and then the new connections forged from a starting place of kind generosity and sharing is really something else entirely than going down a list of family and friends you feel obligated to get gifts for. Its much more enjoyable and rewarding.
posted by Fig at 6:57 PM on December 22, 2015 [2 favorites]


I only did secret Quonsar once, but my Quonsee apparently liked my gift and I loved the gift I got. I'd have done it again but this is a bad time for me and always miss the window.

But this is an epically cool thing, and I'm glad we have it.
posted by eriko at 7:38 PM on December 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quonsmas

Quonsaa, surely
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:24 PM on December 22, 2015 [9 favorites]


I was surprised there was no quonsar mention in the piece, but maybe quonsar himself would be too alarming for the Post's readership.

When I was describing the history of the swap, I thought explaining why secret quonsar is named thus - i.e., Quonsar, the swap name vote, and the deeeeep feelings around the swap name 5 years ago (and maybe now) - would be too tangential. So it is my fault it is not there, not her's!
posted by julen at 8:36 PM on December 22, 2015


Wow 'quonsar' now looks like it's spelled wrong.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:21 PM on December 22, 2015


Why is it named that actually?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:29 AM on December 23, 2015


Why is it named that actually?

Short Answer: Because of the Cabal*.

Long Answer: Because of the Cabal*.

* Cabal may not exist. Always check with your doctor before use.
posted by marienbad at 6:06 AM on December 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


How great!

I had my annual pre-holiday meltdown last night - I hate decorating the tree and being a Guess Culture person, just kind of threw myself around the house for 10 days before picking a fight with my husband so he would offer to do it (this year and from now on, whee!). We ended up having a family decorating night worthy of a Nancy Meyers rom-com. My heart is full, thanks to my IRL and Metafiler families.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:58 AM on December 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Quonsaa, surely

Quonukkah.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:01 AM on December 23, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am bad at mailing things but I love the time and attention so many of you take to do this. Cheers to you all!
posted by emjaybee at 11:42 AM on December 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why is it named that actually?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:29 AM on December 23 [+] [!]



http://mefiwiki.com/wiki/Secret_Quonsar

posted by Julnyes at 1:17 PM on December 23, 2015


The shorthand history of how it came to be known as secret quonsar:

When the swap started, it was using the prosaic secret santa nomenclature. At some point Quonsar took a break from the site, and some folks missed him/his presence/his impact, and decided to start calling the Secret Santa secret quonsar in his honor. It caught on with some folks; others were were backing alternate nomenclature like secret snowflake, secret shmoopy, secret santa, etc. Some people also objected on philosophical grounds that naming it for a user might set weird precedents, being an insider/outsider or newbie/old-timer split , and I believe that someone did bring up the"What if he comes back? Won't that be ... weird?" issue and that was hand-waved away.*

So there was a vote and the secret quonsar terminology had more than half of all the votes, and it became the official terminology

*of course, Quonsar did make his triumphant return to participating regularly, and handled the whole thing (discovering there was a new site tradition named in his honor) far better than I might have.
posted by julen at 6:17 PM on December 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


the secret quonsar terminology had more than half of all the votes

...and with a little help from Pretty Generic, i voted 97 times.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:47 PM on December 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought it was a great article. This year has been fraught at work, the last quarter just ramping up the stress, so having SQ to participate in has been great for me to forget my woes and focus on others. SQ gives, even when you're not giving. For me, it wouldn't be the holidays without Quonsmas.
posted by arcticseal at 10:40 AM on December 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


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