Planning for secret quonsar, 2016 edition October 18, 2016 7:55 PM   Subscribe

If it's October, it's time to plan for this year's secret quonsar swap! The secret quonsar swap is - for the uninitiated - our holiday-adjacent wintery gift exchange (Read About it on the Wiki). Let's talk details!

This is the proposed schedule for this year's quonsartastic festivities:

November 1-9: Swap Signup Period.
November 10: Randomization Hamster Wheel Fired Up
November 11: Folks get notified about who they drew (This is a Friday.)
(November 24: American Thanksgiving)
December 2: Shipping Deadline (This is a Friday.)
December 27: Second Chance Senders will not be needed because all gifts will have arrived*

We anticipate these swap groups:

Anywhere/International (You can receive a gift from or send a gift to anywhere on Earth, including your own country)
US Only
Canada Only
UK Only
Europe
[Folks'll have to lobby for AUS only or AUS/NZ)

The spending guidelines will be $10-20 again.

What do folks think?
Other suggestions about improving the process are also welcome!

If you are concerned you might miss the announcement of the swap signups being open (due to exams, Halloween hangovers, pumpkin-cossetting, creeping holiday stress, record-breaking pie-making attempts, work demands, taking a break from the grey, possible alien abductions, addiction to election threads, binge-watching How It's Made, et cetera), you can sign up to be notified when secret quonsar signups are open. You don't have to sign up anew every year - you stay on the list until you ask us to take you off the list! Every year, when the signups go live, you will get an email letting you know. Signing up for this list is NOT signing up for secret quonsar - just to be notified when sq opens each year.

* we can dream! If a gift has been eaten by the customs/postal machinery, one of our wonderful second chance senders - volunteers who send someone whose gift never arrived a second gift - will step up to send a second gift out. These folks are the unsung heroes of quonsing, and should be lauded near and far.
posted by julen to MetaFilter-Related at 7:55 PM (106 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

Oh thank sweet baby Jesus, Quonsmas is near!
posted by msali at 8:03 PM on October 18, 2016 [2 favorites]


IT'S THE MOST QUONSICAL TIME OF THE YEAR!

I'm good with everything you say.
posted by deezil at 8:03 PM on October 18, 2016 [3 favorites]


Two thoughts crashed in my brain: omg not a minute too soon!!/how is it already SQ time??
posted by Room 641-A at 9:11 PM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yay! I was wondering if we were going to have SQ to be an election antidote. I am so glad we are!
posted by janell at 9:41 PM on October 18, 2016 [1 favorite]


So is the recurrent reminder thingie new, or was it available previously? I.e., have I probably already signed up for it (last year or earlier)?
Thank you, Julen, et al.! Even though I have only just gotten my Halloween decorations up, this pleases me. Happy advent of quonsar season, all!
posted by obloquy at 10:56 PM on October 18, 2016


Yay! Quonsmus is coming!
posted by SisterHavana at 1:13 AM on October 19, 2016


How in hell's name is it nearly Quonsmas time?? But also, yay! I love Quonsmas, although I had the sparkle dimmed a teeny bit last year when my very naughty quonsee* never acknowledged my gift in any way. But my amazing Quonsar halcyonday more than made up for it with the lovely box of delights she sent me. (I'm still using the glass nail files! They are indestructible!) I think my favourite part is the stalking did I say that out loud

* In my neck of the woods Santa brings the naughty children a lump of coal. What do wayward quonsees get? A lump of Marmoset poop?
posted by billiebee at 2:00 AM on October 19, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay \o/
posted by Faintdreams at 2:24 AM on October 19, 2016


My god does time fly! I'm in
posted by infini at 2:55 AM on October 19, 2016


I was so very sick last year I didn't participate for the first time in FOREVER and I'm so excited it's that magical time agaaain.

Then I get my giftee's details and I freak out because I'm so very bad at gifts. But I love all my quonsmas things!
posted by Trivia Newton John at 3:55 AM on October 19, 2016


Woohoo! I'm excited!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:04 AM on October 19, 2016


Yes, Obloquy, you are all signed up!

It's easy to forget that (a general) you has added yourself to the notification list, so each year, I go through and cull out duplicate signups before sending out the "Signups are open!" email.
posted by julen at 5:40 AM on October 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


I LOVE SECRET QUONSAR!

I say a variation of this every year, but this is for all MeFites. You don't have to be one of the long-time regulars or know what a $5 noob is. You can be one of those folks who only lurk on one of the subsites. You don't have to have posted a FPP or have a bunch of favorites or be espousened 100 times.

Hearts grow 10 sizes at MetaFilter Secret Quonsar time, and this year it will be a lovely palate cleanser after all that awful election stuff.
posted by kimberussell at 5:54 AM on October 19, 2016 [21 favorites]


Woohoo!
posted by bondcliff at 6:20 AM on October 19, 2016


Mentioned SQ at a meetup a few weeks ago and I've been anxiously watching for this post ever since. Yay QuonsmasTime!
posted by angiep at 6:40 AM on October 19, 2016


I say a variation of this every year, but this is for all MeFites.

This is so so so correct! I have quonsed to and been quonsed by mefites I didn't know pre-swap (new folks! lurkers!) and it only makes it a richer experience. Secret Quonsar is for everyone here!
posted by phunniemee at 7:01 AM on October 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've heard rumors that Secret Quonsar is rigged by the Hamster Elite who control the WH*.

*Wheel of Hamster
posted by Kabanos at 7:19 AM on October 19, 2016


Yes! Quonsmas is truly the best time of the year!
posted by domo at 7:51 AM on October 19, 2016


Yay! I am excite! :D

My amazing Totoro/Singin' in the rain mashup crafty art from Catch as catch can last year continues to fill me with gleeeeee every time I look up from the internet and see it on the wall.
posted by halcyonday at 8:01 AM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


STILL THE BEST THING I GET FOR MY BIRTHDAY! (signups begin on my birthday)

HOORAY FOR QUONSMAS.
posted by bibliogrrl at 8:43 AM on October 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yippee! Secret Quonsar was one of the only things that made the holidays bearable for me last year, so I'm very much looking forward to this year.
posted by minsies at 8:58 AM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yay!
posted by ellieBOA at 9:16 AM on October 19, 2016


Can we possibly extend the signup period by one day? I am concerned that some of us will be in election freakout mode and forget to sign up and then ELECTION WILL HAVE RUINED QUONSMAS.
posted by corb at 10:06 AM on October 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yay!!! Signup finger ready!!
posted by holborne at 10:22 AM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Holy-whack-a-moley! How did I see mince pies in Sainsburys and not be reminded it would soon be Quonsmas?
posted by biffa at 10:53 AM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hrm. It's true that I didn't factor in the pure vacuum-beast that is the USA Presidential Election into the schedule.

I really want there to be that additional full weekend for shopping, etc, because it gives people a little more breathing room and yoinks away some of the excuses for running late.

As a compromise: when I add my traditional Voter Experience comment in Election Thread #19302353: The Quickeni--oh is that a 2018 ad already?, I will drop a reference to secret quonsar and link to the relevant MeTa. It's not perfect, but people obsessing enough to be neck-deep in the elections thread will have a prompt.
posted by julen at 10:58 AM on October 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


Instant mood lifter!!
posted by initapplette at 11:05 AM on October 19, 2016


Thanks for going above and beyond, julen. Hopefully we all get there!
posted by corb at 11:05 AM on October 19, 2016


🎶Sim-ply ha-ving a wonderful Quonsmastime!🎶
posted by Mister Moofoo at 11:29 AM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I want to not be in Mister Moofoo's group, please.
posted by Etrigan at 11:39 AM on October 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hooray! I took part for the first time last year and am so excited to do it again this year! Finding a gift for my quonsee was so much fun.
posted by theseldomseenkid at 11:55 AM on October 19, 2016


Is there any reason not to open up the signup period now or in the relatively near future instead of having to wait for a notification two weeks hence? I mean, if there are two weeks of hamster tasks that need to be completed before signups can begin, I can understand that. But if it's relatively straightforward to get things ready for signups to come rolling in, why not have the signup period as long as possible without impinging the actual shopping/mailing phase?
posted by drlith at 12:24 PM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is it too early for Quonsmas music, Etrigan?
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2016


I was a wayward quonsee last year because I got my gift literally one day before my personal life got so chaotic (this is a euphemism for "extremely sad and weird") that I'm only just now pulling up out of it. It was one of the most prescient and thoughtful presents I have ever received and it came from a total stranger! Now it hangs on my bedroom doorknob, and I flip it around based on the current status of my menstrual cycle.

What I'm trying to say is that if you hand-shaped, stitched, stuffed, and sent a double-sided happy/angry pink plush uterus (and ovaries) for quonsmas last year, enclosed a wonderful note along with it, and never heard a damn word from your dumb, ungrateful quonsee: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for bringing such sweetness and light into a very dark time. I look at your gift and smile quite literally every day. Whenever my niece comes over, she grasps a plush ovary in each hand and dances with the ute like it was a person.

What I'm also trying to say is yay secret quonsar!
posted by amnesia and magnets at 12:44 PM on October 19, 2016 [14 favorites]


I've never quonsed. Perhaps this year I shall.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:45 PM on October 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


Part of the purpose of the run up is for people to have some input into the process, to identify things that can be fixed/bettered/changed before we get into the actual sign-up period.

Now is the time for people to:
  • point out any issues with the process they encountered last year
  • lobby for or find out if other folks want swap groups for areas like Australia Only, Australia/NZ, Asia, South America, the Moon, etc
  • ask questions about the way things work
  • have space to question my stranglehold on the quonsing
  • put it on their radar, and to make sure they'll have the bandwidth to do this in November/December
posted by julen at 12:53 PM on October 19, 2016


Woo!
posted by griphus at 1:53 PM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am excite!
posted by capricorn at 1:58 PM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


So every year that I read the SQ post and see julen's name I chuckle to myself, because "julen" in Norwegian means Xmas* and I think wow, I wonder if she is just SUPER into holidays...

(I've never participated because I'm a boring and busy soccermom with no quirky homemaking hobbies and fear my gift would be nowhere near cool enough. I enjoy reading about the amazingly creative things that people receive, though - a knitted uterus, case in point!)

*more specifically, the Xmas period
posted by widdershins at 2:01 PM on October 19, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've never done SQ because of lots of stupid reasons that are mostly in my head. Last year I did the cookie exchange and it was awesome. I didn't screw it up and both sending and receiving were wonderful experiences. So this year I am in for SQ.

Thank you julen (and any others working behind the scenes) for your work on this.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 2:32 PM on October 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


I signed up last year for the first time and had so much fun! I'm really not sure what I enjoyed most--figuring out what gift to send, or opening my own package! If you're on the fence about participating, I say take the plunge and do it! I can't wait to find out who my Quonsee will be this year. Thanks to julen and other helpers for all you do--you are appreciated!
posted by bookmammal at 3:50 PM on October 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh yes! phunniemee and arcticseal are back on board for making this happen again this year, which is awesome. They are awesome.

widdershins: So every year that I read the SQ post and see julen's name I chuckle to myself, because "julen" in Norwegian means Xmas* and I think wow, I wonder if she is just SUPER into holidays...

Hah! The nickname comes from something unrelated, but my DNA says I'm 44% Scandinavian and I do ... enjoy much of the Christmas season... (Not you, dogs barking jingle bells, not you.)

(I've never participated because I'm a boring and busy soccermom with no quirky homemaking hobbies and fear my gift would be nowhere near cool enough. I enjoy reading about the amazingly creative things that people receive, though - a knitted uterus, case in point!)

Oh! A well-thought out gift is just as good as a creatively made thing is just as good as a gift that provides a look/feel/taste of your area is just as good as something the giftee has always wanted! A big chunk of the sq joy is simply the act of getting a present from the internet. Everything else is gravy.
posted by julen at 4:13 PM on October 19, 2016 [6 favorites]


Fuck me but I love Quonsmas. *Kermit arms*
posted by wenestvedt at 4:43 PM on October 19, 2016 [5 favorites]


Here's me, putting my hand up for an AUS/NZ group. It worked really well last time (I think...)
posted by ninazer0 at 6:58 PM on October 19, 2016


AW heck, I'm in again - it's been a delight every year, and those of you who volunteer to manage it are so on top of everything - thank you.
posted by Miko at 9:32 PM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm so excited!

If you are feeling shy about trying it, go on and do it. It's a lot of fun and julen, phunniemee, and arcticseal are awesome and make it really easy.
posted by mochapickle at 10:57 PM on October 19, 2016 [1 favorite]


Don't be shy! I've gotten a lot of wonderful gifts through SQ, but the best present of all is - you're always getting a present!

I've had bad Christmases - but knowing that I had a SQ gift coming, that someone across the country had picked something out for me with thought and kindness - it's always really perked me up. Key ingredients: a lovely note! It doesn't have to tell who you are! It can be short! But it's always so wonderful. Also a present! A present you didn't pick out for yourself!
posted by corb at 11:06 PM on October 19, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm also keen for an Aus/ NZ group too.
posted by poxandplague at 12:15 AM on October 20, 2016


Yay!
posted by cozenedindigo at 12:26 AM on October 20, 2016


Yes! It's the most quonsical time of the year!
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 4:26 AM on October 20, 2016


I am not going to miss out this year.
posted by PearlRose at 9:20 AM on October 20, 2016


If anyone is interested, I've been doing a bit of Santa Claus-ing for several years: as a gift to Metafilter in general, I'm willing to give some lucky MeFite the chance to impress your kids with a personal visit from Santa.

I'm in Northern Virginia (Alexandria), so folks reasonably close by only please --- driving far in my full furry red suit can get pretty weird! Memail me to see if we can coordinate a visit.
posted by easily confused at 9:40 AM on October 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've never participated because I'm a boring and busy soccermom with no quirky homemaking hobbies and fear my gift would be nowhere near cool enough. I enjoy reading about the amazingly creative things that people receive, though - a knitted uterus, case in point!

Not for nothing, but just getting a gift from a random person is pretty cool. Like, the fact that this random person took time out of their day to do ANYTHING is cool enough for me. I've loved the stuff that's been handmade, and I've loved the stuff that's been ordered from a website, and I've loved the stuff that's been picked up from a local shop. Because they've all meant that somebody out there wanted me to get thing to make me happy, and that's awesome.

If a gift has been eaten by the customs/postal machinery, one of our wonderful second chance senders - volunteers who send someone whose gift never arrived a second gift - will step up to send a second gift out. These folks are the unsung heroes of quonsing, and should be lauded near and far.

This happened to one of the gifts I was supposed to get one year, and my second chancer is forever one of my favorite people, even if I've never met them. Seriously, every time I see their name on Metafilter, I think "hey, that's the person that sent me that cool extra gift."
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:37 AM on October 20, 2016 [6 favorites]


widdershins: If you're busy you're busy but I don't think I've ever received anything homemade but I have had some lovely gifts over the years, some paua shells from NZ, locally made coasters from Texas, my Canadian mug which I use most days in my office and other stuff I still use. I just ask for some object from the giver's locality and usually buy something which I hope is appropriate from where I live, often this is local food though I think it has been other things (ie if the giver says 'no food').
posted by biffa at 11:44 AM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


(I've never participated because I'm a boring and busy soccermom with no quirky homemaking hobbies and fear my gift would be nowhere near cool enough.

I have for I think the last three years running bought people books from Amazon, shipped from Amazon.

The nice part about us all being Huge Nerds is that I don't think anyone is going to turn their nose up at a book.
posted by griphus at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2016 [8 favorites]


YES!!

I am also a boring and busy (band)mom and I have done this for years and it has always been fun. I have never made anything. I always angst about my gifts not being cool enough.
posted by jeoc at 3:10 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


We are still working our way through the most delicious barbecue sauces and rubs that raisingsand sent to me last year! I'm so excited for this.

If you're even thinking about doing this - DO IT.
posted by lyssabee at 4:16 PM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hooray! I love when Quonsar climbs through the mailbox each year! I missed last year for health reasons, but I'm looking forward to rejoining the Quonsmas herd.
posted by MsMolly at 4:36 PM on October 20, 2016


Oh! If you have any concerns about participating but don't want to talk about them publicly, please feel free to MeMail us to talk about it.
posted by julen at 4:41 PM on October 20, 2016


I can think of no better way to celebrate my 10 years as a Mefite than to finally do something more than just post - I'm in!
posted by NoraCharles at 5:46 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


so good! I'm still enjoying gifts from quonsmas past, and look forward to the challenge of finding a good gift to send out this year
posted by cubby at 6:53 PM on October 20, 2016


I'm also thinking about participating this year for the first time, and like widdershins, I'm having gift anxiety.

I just ask for some object from the giver's locality and usually buy something which I hope is appropriate from where I live

Ok - who's up for a crucifix made of weed?
posted by bibliowench at 7:43 PM on October 20, 2016 [9 favorites]


Doesn't that break up when you hammer the nails in?
posted by biffa at 1:23 AM on October 21, 2016


I've never done this before but this year I'm in!
posted by daybeforetheday at 2:26 AM on October 21, 2016


OH MAN I'm so excited!
posted by brilliantine at 6:29 AM on October 21, 2016


My only comment on the official planning stuff is to say a hearty THANK YOU to julen and the other quonczars for making this happen every year. It seems to bring out the best side of Metafilter and I really appreciate it.

For those on the fence about participating: There's no minimum quality standard, you won't get rated or forced to justify your choices. The schedule is such that no one expects you to hand craft a bespoke whoozit that's custom-fit to your quonsee's whatzits.

If you have the physical and mental energy to read your quonsee's "guidance," and the disposable income to obtain a $10-$20ish item that doesn't violate reasonable prohibitions* in the guidance, and get the item in the mail by the deadline, then you have what you need to successfully quons. It's not that there's anything wrong with not quonsing (there are plenty of good reasons not to), but if the only thing holding you back is the fear that you'll do it "wrong" somehow, I hope it helps to know that that fear isn't really warranted.

*The "guidance" is just "guidelines" really, but obviously don't get people things they are allergic to or specifically don't want (unless they are like "I don't want anything that is not a handtatted jabot**") .

**if RBG were my quonsee I would be way too intimidated to make her a handtatted jabot.
posted by sparklemotion at 9:42 AM on October 21, 2016 [5 favorites]


I want to take part but *may* be moving to another state somewhere in the early-to-mid-December timeframe--meaning my shipping address may be kind of uncertain. (Won't know for sure until late November.) Does this mean too much potential confusion to take part? Is there a good solution that I'm not seeing?
posted by Lyme Drop at 9:44 AM on October 21, 2016


Nthing encouragement to join up if you're considering it! Last year was my first time and I found the whole thing goofy & delightful.

That said, I had a quonsmas anxiety dream* last night: I dreamed that I drew corb as a quonsee, and got her a debate trophy that said “world’s best corb” to acknowledge her heavy lifting in the election threads, but then I freaked out that she might not want something IRL that has her mefi name on it & so peeled the plaque off the trophy base and replaced it with a stuffy poem of thanks that hid her mefi handle in it (“not with partisan rancor but with...” etc.).

Clearly I’m overdue to step away from those election threads. Also I’m looking forward to figuring out how to engage with the world in more lighthearted ways again--SQ is gonna be a nice pivot opportunity for that.

* Results not typical; I was already gonna be having an anxiety dream about something. For real, Secret Quonsar is totally low-key.
posted by miles per flower at 9:51 AM on October 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


I want to take part but *may* be moving to another state somewhere in the early-to-mid-December timeframe--meaning my shipping address may be kind of uncertain. (Won't know for sure until late November.) Does this mean too much potential confusion to take part? Is there a good solution that I'm not seeing?

This is a tricky situation. In the past, when we've had similar logistic conundrums, there have been 2 solutions:

1. Being able to clearly say "I will be living at X address until December 2; I will move to Y Address on December 3." This gives your sender a target to aim at (usually the second address, delivery at which won't be affected if the package is delivered by turtle).

2. Have an alternate address for the package to be sent to: work, school, trusted friend, parent, sibling, child, the local package store, to be held at the post office, etc. Some people plan on saving the package for Christmas and opening it on that day in a glorious double-dip of holiday fun, which may offer more destination options.
posted by julen at 6:58 PM on October 21, 2016


Handtatted jabot is my new favorite phrase.

Hooray for Quonsmas!
posted by ocherdraco at 9:05 PM on October 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm looking forward to this. Last year was my first Quonsmas, and this time I will do better.
posted by zorseshoes at 1:06 PM on October 22, 2016


Also, the system worked well for me.
posted by zorseshoes at 1:14 PM on October 22, 2016


Last year was my First Quonsmas, and I am so looking forward to this year. So. So. So!
posted by Gotanda at 9:04 AM on October 23, 2016


posted by zorseshoes

That reminds me, I got great Kentucky-themed items last year and if I hadn't hung up my official Churchill Downs horseshoe I can't imagine how much worse this year would have been.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:24 AM on October 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I look forward to this every year now. Count me in!
posted by cellar door at 3:22 PM on October 23, 2016


I would really like to do it, but I can't figure out what shipping address to use. I won't be in the same place for more than 10 days between now and mid January. The latest I'll be at my own house will be Dec 11, which seems rather tight.. and I'm also here only for at best 36 hrs, most of which are Sunday and thus useless for picking up packages.

Can I send from wherever-I-am and receive at Mr. Nat's in AZ?
posted by nat at 6:00 PM on October 23, 2016


You do not have to send from and receive at the same place (or state or country or continent!); you absolutely can pick a stable address (e.g., work, home, parent's home, best friend's house) where packages can be delivered - a place that you can retrieve the package from a week or two after it actually arrives (or have it brought to you).

This has been done before - by college students, by folks traveling back to their home country for the holidays, by people who travel a lot for work, by people moving, etc.

I'd add that that is your plan to the guidance section so that your sender knows that if you don't acknowledge it's arrival right away there's a reason.
posted by julen at 6:32 PM on October 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I attest to having had to do this for the past couple of years (but not this year :)
posted by infini at 1:38 AM on October 24, 2016


I've never participated because I'm a boring and busy soccermom
Hey, I'm literally sockermom and I participate every year! I love quonsmas. Thanks for all that you do, julen and arcticseal and phunniemee and all the other elves.

This really is my favorite part of the season. I've given handmade gifts and store bought gifts, things from Amazon and from Etsy, from Marshalls and Target. Local stuff, mass market stuff, whatever. And while I definitely enjoy and very much appreciate the gifts (one year I will never forget because I was so low and it was the only thoughtful thing I received that year) - the fun part is doing something for another mefite.
posted by sockermom at 4:29 AM on October 24, 2016 [7 favorites]


Oh, and anyone who wants a card this winter (whether in the Quonsmas season or after) should just MeMail me their mailing address. I love trafficking in physical mail, both coming and going.
posted by janell at 1:06 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


the fun part is doing something for another mefite.

Amen. I think sometimes people forget this part, and it's the key to a happy quonsmas.
posted by smoke at 1:15 PM on October 24, 2016 [2 favorites]


If you're having a year where you're depressed and getting out of the house to shop seems like too much effort, you can totally still quons! One year I sent my Quonsee stuff from Think Geek, because it matched up really well with their list of interests. I think the gift was enjoyed as much as the time I mailed someone an entire map of the world I had purchased at an elementary school auction. Don't opt out just cause you think you can't pull off one of the cool gifts you read about in the Quonsmas threads. If you get your Quonsee something that matches their interests they'll love it, no matter where it comes from or whether it's handmade.
posted by MsMolly at 4:20 PM on October 24, 2016 [6 favorites]


I'm so glad it's time for Quonsmas! I've been pretty down, and checked MetaTalk specifically hoping there'd be mention of Quonsmas, so that's awesome. I still use the two hot sauces that my Secret Quonsar sent me last year. :)
posted by culfinglin at 5:34 PM on October 24, 2016 [3 favorites]


Oh hi! I've been away from Metafilter since I started my PhD, and it's been a sad, lonely time. I'm done now and finally coming up for air, so I can't think of a better way to reintegrate. Stoked!
posted by Eumachia L F at 2:38 PM on October 25, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just want to chime in about how much I'm looking forward to this years Quonsmas. I still have novelty shot glasses left over from last year so can't wait to find someone to unload...err... GIFT them to.
posted by ninazer0 at 9:51 PM on October 25, 2016 [1 favorite]


I am so excited about Quonsmas. I was thinking about it the other day and thought it might still be too early. Hurray!

I think everything worked well last year.

How long does it normally take things to be sent overseas, and is it crazy difficult? I am wondering if I should opt for the "send anywhere" choice..
posted by needlegrrl at 5:59 AM on October 26, 2016


I did International the first couple of times, and the Postal monkeys were kind in terms of delivery times. Maybe a week or ten days UK - Canada in the second year? But what I would say is that the costs of posting internationally can end up being as much as you're spending on the gift, so maybe take that into account. I decided to stay within my zone last year and it meant I could spend more on what I was actually buying the person, and also I didn't have to get quite as drunk before I went to the Post Office.
posted by billiebee at 6:39 AM on October 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


International shipping times can really vary. We've seen things arrive in a week and things arrive in a month - or more. In some cases, your recipient has to make it to a city/town to retrieve their mail, which adds a bit more time. Some years, specific mail services struggle more than other years *cough*Canada*cough*2015*cough*

Shipping Internationally also means your package is going through two customs services (one perfunctorily, one ... less so) which can add time to the shipping.

It is also generally more expensive to ship, yes, although you may be able to find vendors within their country that can ship some items to them without having to endure the travel+customs
posted by julen at 9:24 AM on October 26, 2016 [3 favorites]


nternational shipping times can really vary. We've seen things arrive in a week and things arrive in a month - or more. In some cases, your recipient has to make it to a city/town to retrieve their mail, which adds a bit more time. Some years, specific mail services struggle more than other years *cough*Canada*cough*2015*cough*

Good to know! Any specific rundown from organizers or participants on what the issues were with Canada in 2015? I'll go back to the thread for 2015 myself to have a look. I was thinking of going international.

Assuming that, I'd be inclined to check out what national mail/customs rules and regulations are if I were to be shipping to someone outside of Canada, obviously.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:29 PM on October 27, 2016


And, just like that, the blues lift away and a gleam of Quonsmas joy illuminates the keyboard.
posted by theora55 at 1:56 PM on October 27, 2016


I would say that almost everything sent to Canada (particularly from the US and UK, which were the most common senders) took 2-3 times longer to arrive at their destination last year than in previous years, and some intra-Canada packages were taking twice (and sometimes more) as long to arrive as well.

It seems to have been an issue with Canada Post - maybe they were overwhelmed? Maybe the logistic ferrets were in a slowdown strike? It's hard to know if this was a 1 time thing or a sign of fewer employees/logistic issues that will persist, hinestly.

Generally, if you sign up to possibly send/receive internationally, you have to have a bit more patience that folks shipping within their own country. You may not get your package for weeks simply due to shipping/customs, etc.
posted by julen at 2:41 PM on October 27, 2016 [1 favorite]


Generally, if you sign up to possibly send/receive internationally, you have to have a bit more patience that folks shipping within their own country. You may not get your package for weeks simply due to shipping/customs, etc.

Cool. So, if I do that, it's just a case of me getting on it early and super fast. Prepared to be patient to receive, and prepared to move with dispatch to send.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 5:17 PM on October 27, 2016


Shipping times are occassionally weird and unpredictable. Sometimes people send us their tracking numbers, and we've all (well, the quonsczars and the sender) sat there for days watching a package sit in an Iowa City postal sorting facility for a week on its trip from Tallahassee to Charlotte.

(For folks outside the USA, that's like sending a package from Rome to Sofia via London. Or Sydney to Brisbane via Townsville. Or Rio to Brasilia via Belem. )
posted by julen at 6:01 PM on October 27, 2016


I'm in!

I also learned last week I'm getting divorced, so am kinda thinking my quonsmas gift might be the only one under the tree, so...no pressure. (I'm kidding, at least about the pressure, I always enjoy being one of the Quons sar.)
posted by maxwelton at 11:55 PM on October 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


Sorry to hear that maxwelton. My first Quonsmas was a few months after I was separated. I spent most of the time in pieces, but the wonderful fraula sent me perfect things that still make me smile, and it was one of the only moments of joy I remember from that time. When your heart is sore, for any reason, a complete stranger doing something nice for you is hard to beat as a reason to keep hopeful that maybe life will be ok.
posted by billiebee at 1:11 AM on October 28, 2016 [8 favorites]


There was a christmas 3 years ago where it was my quonsar's choice of maple syrup and pancake mix that was a miraculous godsend on so many levels. thank you mysterious mefite from Vermont
posted by infini at 3:00 AM on October 28, 2016 [1 favorite]


There are exactly 550 unique MeFites signed up for the secret quonsar notification list.

65% of the people who signed up since I posted this MeTa were already signed up, however 1 in every 3 people provided a different mail address (if it looks like a typo-change, you'd get an email). I always keep the most recent submission.
posted by julen at 11:48 AM on October 29, 2016


I know it's a lot to ask, but can we please, please have a Google-free way to sign up this year? Please?
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:16 AM on October 31, 2016


Oof.

It's a little late to add a formal alternative, or put together a homegrown tool. We run things off google drive spreadsheets and a gmail account in order to make it work for multiple people to make it run. So even if you emailed us at the gmail account or memailed me, we'd still be storing the info on google.

We are going to have to have a different solution in the future. We're getting too big for google to handle our signups reasonably. The problem is that if I wrote it myself, it'd take 3 years, and pre-rolled programs that do this are poor fits for our requirements.
posted by julen at 2:34 PM on October 31, 2016 [1 favorite]


I see your point. But I feel lousy about giving so much info to Google. I don't feel good about having done it previously and I feel worse about possibly doing it again. That's why I asked this last year.

I'm... not sure I'll be able to participate. Please don't take it personally. Y'all are great.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:36 AM on November 1, 2016


If you memail me I will send you something from somewhere to your unknown location Too-Ticky. I empathize with the thought, but nobody should miss out on SQ
posted by infini at 11:22 AM on November 1, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yes yes yes I have memailed you!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:19 AM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Um, julen, I think my SQ and I have accidentally sorted ourselves out. Not quite the surprise of the secret but inclusive and everyone needs an unexpected gift from a stranger far away.
posted by infini at 10:17 AM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


wait, scratch that. My SQ and I might be doing a mini meetup this week (like WTF LOL OMG)
posted by infini at 11:21 AM on November 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to have drinks and dinner with Too-Ticky and Mr T

next time we'll get coordination sorted out for a bigger meetup
posted by infini at 1:42 AM on November 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Remember guys, never be afraid to send a present for Christmas to an internet stranger in another land. You might just discover a new friend at an old age.
posted by infini at 1:44 AM on November 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


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