secret quonsar 2010: Signups Are Open! November 15, 2010 4:55 PM   Subscribe

It's secret quonsar time again, but this year we're doing it in two flavors: Anyone/Anywhere and [My Country Only]. The randomized draw will be on American Thanksgiving, November 25, and the send by date is Tuesday, December 6. Please sign up by 11:59 PM EST on November 24. Spending Limit: $15.

We're using Elfster again this year.

Signing Up
If you already have an Elfster account, you can sign in and join this swap.

When you sign up for a new account or look at your existing account, please make sure you include your MeFi handle, AND your address. Your real name would also be nice. I've set it so that only the people who draw you (and me) can see those addresses. They will not be public. This will make it much easier for your giftor to send you a presents. Last year, we had to remind an astonishingly large number of people to provide their addresses up front.

Elfster offers the ability to link to wishlists or provide some guidance. Your giftor would really appreciate some guidance, even if they're off reading everything you have ever written on MeFi.

Once signed in, you can edit your name, your email address, and mailing address by clicking on Profile in the magenta header and clicking the Edit button in the information header; you can add wishlist information by clicking on the "Add to Wishlist" button and entering free-form text ("I like anything that depicts ostriches!") in the facebooky/twittery box.

Picking Your Country Only or Anyone/Anywhere
When you create an account, you will be asked to enter a name. This can be anything you choose, but it's usually your handle or real name. If you wish to swap ONLY within your country, add (Country Name) after your name (see above for how to change your Elfster name if you already have an account) . For example: Julen (US) or Julen (UK) or Julen (Australia) or Julen (Canada). If you are open to swapping anywhere, just put in your name or handle without any parenthetical country.

If you are the only person to specify your country only, we will not be able to match you, and no swap for or to you will be made.

The Rules
If you failed to send your giftee a gift last year, don't even bother signing up. You've been banned from this year's festivities. You can try again next year, but two strikes and you will be out. If you don't send a gift this year, you will be banned next year. You will get only one second chance.

If you find that you can't participate after signing up but before the draw, after all, then go back to the Exchange Page. On the left hand side, look for "You are Participating". Beneath that text, there is a link to change reply; you can opt out there. You won't be included in the swap, and you will earn our undying approval for being a fine, responsible member of the community.

We are happy to follow up on your behalf after a suitable period has passed - to check in with a giftee to see if a gift has arrived, or to check in with a sender to see what the status is. We'll bug people for addresses or to find out what a handle is.

Communicating With Us
Although Elfster has made private messages more visible this year (I totally missed some last year - so sorry; they weren't being forwarded to my mail unlike messageboard messages (and weren't obvious in the UI). So Please use mefi mail or to the gmail account secretquonsarswap to contact us.

The signup link!
http://www.elfster.com/exchange/view/4041379/00c6fe/

[previously this year: Pre-Signup Discussion]

Also: ThePinkSuperhero is spearheading the awesome gift drive again this year! Why not do both?
posted by julen to MetaFilter-Related at 4:55 PM (255 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks for organizing this, julen (and yay for the second year running of ThePinkSuperhero's gift drive).

going to sign up for Anyone, Anywhere. Only live once, right?
posted by arnicae at 5:04 PM on November 15, 2010


Thanks for setting this up!!! Off to delete any reference to US in my handle.
posted by bearwife at 5:04 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm in. Join the club.
posted by elder18 at 5:06 PM on November 15, 2010


I have signed up, there is some other jessamyn on Elfster already so I'm the one with firstnamelastname, wishing for moss.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:12 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm in. Name's the same over there.
posted by deezil at 5:17 PM on November 15, 2010


Also, yay for this being thread 20,000 in MetaTalk. How awesome.
posted by deezil at 5:19 PM on November 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


The spending limit on the Elfster page is $10.00, but the MeTa post says $15.
posted by jedicus at 5:23 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm keen but clueless (and international compared to the majority, I think).

Is the gift supposed to be identifiably local? Should it have SMALL COUNTRY TOWN IN NSW emblazoned on it?

I ask this because my first thought was to send someone a kangaroo scrotum coin purse with SMALL COUNTRY TOWN emblazoned on it. I would love to receive a kitschy tacky gift like that but I can appreciate the fact that others wouldn't.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:24 PM on November 15, 2010


Also, yay for this being thread 20,000 in MetaTalk. How awesome.

Yeah, that's really cool.
posted by stoneweaver at 5:33 PM on November 15, 2010


okay, i signed up! yay!
posted by janepanic at 5:34 PM on November 15, 2010


Thanks Jedicus! I just fixed it over there to be $15.

malibustacey9999: "Is the gift supposed to be identifiably local? Should it have SMALL COUNTRY TOWN IN NSW emblazoned on it?"

It can but doesn't have to be local; I've usually been able to tell after perusing my giftee's fine contributions to this website whether one of my gift ideas is something they'd be happy to get.
posted by julen at 5:38 PM on November 15, 2010


Signed up.

Hope whoever I draw is looking forward to a slightly worn out, asthmatic house cat, because this one has just about reached it's Lifetime Yap Yap Yap Yap Yap Limit. I'm going to seal it in a box tonight, I think, just to be ready.
posted by maxwelton at 5:43 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've signed up. Can't wait till exchange day! Thanks so much julen!
posted by angiep at 5:47 PM on November 15, 2010


sorry to sound like a noob (especially if this question has already been asked...) but how will we find out who our exchange person is? will that be some sort of notification through elfster?
posted by janepanic at 5:52 PM on November 15, 2010


yes, what janepanic said. anything us n00bs should know?
posted by fillsthepews at 5:59 PM on November 15, 2010


I think my once-secret real name is now out there for my offspring to Google in the future. But my first secret quonsar exchange is so worth it! I can't wait!
posted by theredpen at 6:01 PM on November 15, 2010


Signed up. Sounds like fun.
posted by lampshade at 6:01 PM on November 15, 2010


You've convinced me. I signed up. And I normally hate shopping, but I'm weirdly excited about buying a gift for someone I will never ever meet.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 6:06 PM on November 15, 2010


Wait...before i sign up. I just want to know if theres a difference in how i see the market value of my crap vs your perception of it.

I dont want to send a lot of it, and then find out the recipient thinks i spent too much on it.

So how much should be good to send for $15?
posted by hal_c_on at 6:07 PM on November 15, 2010


SQ sign-ups and my office's Secret Santa draw in the same week... i love a challenge.
posted by gursky at 6:27 PM on November 15, 2010


So how much should be good to send for $15?

Last year I bought a cool summer-dressed-Santa Christmas tree thing which, with postage, came to about US$15 after conversion (can't remember the total, about NZ$20-22 I think?). Nicer than I'd buy for workplace secret Santa but less than I'd buy for my in-laws. I figure that the limit is US$15 so buy something or somethings that come to about that limit, giftee perception be damned.
posted by shelleycat at 6:28 PM on November 15, 2010


Signed up! This is exciting!

I vastly enjoyed the CD swap (looking forward to winter edition, when it shall happen) and this will scratch my itch of "random crap in the mail"!
posted by Askiba at 6:29 PM on November 15, 2010


Signed up. maryr was taken (not shocking, I was surprised it was available here) so I am maryst. Yes, this time or year makes me even more mary than usual.

Oh! Question! What is the policy on home-produced goods? Or non-shrinkwrapped bulk goods?
posted by maryr at 6:40 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm in. Thanks for doing this again.

I was stiffed last year (I forgive you, whoever you are. I'm sure you had a good reason.) but due to the hard work of the organizers my name was given to someone else. They sent me some amazing barbecue sauces from Virginia (or maybe W. Virginia). Now that it's been a year, I would love for whomever sent it to fess up so that I can a) thank them and b) buy some more of that sauce.
posted by bondcliff at 6:40 PM on November 15, 2010


Are we supposed to make our elfster handle the same as our MeFi name?
posted by radioamy at 6:51 PM on November 15, 2010


Also I am unclear about where I am supposed to put the (USA) - in my "real name" or in my "username"?
posted by radioamy at 6:53 PM on November 15, 2010


How are some of you having only one name when it's making me put in two names? Is there a set of cheat codes?
posted by theredpen at 6:57 PM on November 15, 2010


Oh, this sounds delightful. Due to ethics rules (I guess) we don't do secret Santa at my job. I have so totally signed up.
posted by SMPA at 7:07 PM on November 15, 2010


Under "real name" I put iamkimiam as first name, (UK) as last name. Then I put my full, real name as the first line of my address.

You are welcome to do exactly the same. I like presents.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:10 PM on November 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm very excited!

SMPA, your company is a victim of overly-political correctness! I'm Jewish and the term "Secret Santa" doesn't offend me. (My company don't do it either but I think it's just because we're lame!)
posted by radioamy at 7:11 PM on November 15, 2010


janepanic: "sorry to sound like a noob (especially if this question has already been asked...) but how will we find out who our exchange person is? will that be some sort of notification through elfster?"

fillsthepews: "yes, what janepanic said. anything us n00bs should know?"

You will get a notification in the email address you provided who your giftee is; I'll also post in this thread when I run the draw and the picks are available.

If you get someone in another country and are worried about customs or time of delivery, you can always shop online in stores in their country and have it delivered to them to cut down on shipping times/concerns.

I've traditionally found that the process of getting to know your giftee was a lot of fun and interesting.

radioamy: "Are we supposed to make our elfster handle the same as our MeFi nameAlso I am unclear about where I am supposed to put the (USA) - in my "real name" or in my "username""

You just have to put your mefi handle somewhere in your name field OR your address fields. Put the USA in the username field; When I'm setting the country restrictions, that's what I see.

theredpen: "How are some of you having only one name when it's making me put in two names? Is there a set of cheat codes?"

Try putting a space in the second field.

Mail Question:
Can I put my Mefi ID in parenthesis in my elfster name space? Will it try to make me swap only with other people living in [MefiID]?

This is OK. I do the restrictions by hand and I'll know if it is a real country or mefi id.
posted by julen at 7:11 PM on November 15, 2010


So, I put my real name in the first line of the address form because I'm still pretending I'm pseudonymous. Does that work?

Also, Julen: thanks!
posted by bluedaisy at 7:12 PM on November 15, 2010


Yay! I didn't get anything last year, but it was nice and fun to see my giftee enjoy what I sent. Signed up, and hoping for better luck this year. :)
posted by gemmy at 7:13 PM on November 15, 2010


Last year was fun, so I'm in again.
posted by gaspode at 7:15 PM on November 15, 2010


Askiba: I vastly enjoyed the CD swap (looking forward to winter edition, when it shall happen)

I'm waiting to do the next CD swap until after the holidays. Early January.

posted by carsonb at 7:29 PM on November 15, 2010


FYI, it didn't like a space in the second blank for me, but I was able to use a period.
posted by maryr at 7:52 PM on November 15, 2010


maryr: " Oh! Question! What is the policy on home-produced goods? Or non-shrinkwrapped bulk goods?"

Whatever you want to send is fine. I think we've had a discussion in the past and most people here would feel comfortable with that.

You should also note that Elfster has a section, next to the wishlist, called Do Not Need. In that field, I have "nothing scented or edible unless it's on my wishlist, because I have sensitivities." If you have any kinds of allergies or anything, you might want to put that in there. And be sure to check for your giftees' Do Not Needs.
posted by IndigoRain at 7:59 PM on November 15, 2010


Yay! I love secret quonsar! Last time was super, and I hope this time will be just as swell!
posted by Diagonalize at 8:13 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm in again. I love secret quonsar and I am really easy: I like everything. I like random stuff and I have deplorable taste, no wish list, no preferences and everything is totally cool by me. Wheee, random present from the internet time! Happy dance!
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:23 PM on November 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


Ooooh I'm so excited! Getting secret gifts from secret people is something I want to have happen more than just once a year!
posted by kthxbi at 8:36 PM on November 15, 2010


I've traditionally found that the process of getting to know your giftee was a lot of fun and interesting.

Seconded! I've been looking forward to this.
posted by dreamyshade at 8:57 PM on November 15, 2010


I got a great gift last year from moutonoir, who hasn't participated much in the site since then. Perhaps someone gave her a lousy gift?
posted by ColdChef at 9:13 PM on November 15, 2010


I enjoyed the postcard and shopping bag exchanges so much, I think I am addicted to sending stuff out to MeFites all over the world... and of course, receiving stuff in the mail. I'm in, and thank you julen for organizing this.
posted by misozaki at 9:23 PM on November 15, 2010


Woo hoo! IN!
posted by SisterHavana at 9:23 PM on November 15, 2010


I've been delighted by every gift I've gotten, whether from my wishlist or not. :) My first year was a handmade rainbow kitty (I love you annaramma!), my 2nd year 2 zombie books off my wishlist, and last year a bento box, some stickers and erasers not from my wishlist. :) It's neat how people who don't use my direct wishlist figure out things I'll still like!
posted by IndigoRain at 9:24 PM on November 15, 2010


Oooh yay! I loved playing last year.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:16 PM on November 15, 2010


I had way way way too much fun shopping for davejay last year, and got a really sweet thank you note from him that I still look back at and smile about every so often.

So TOTALLY in.
posted by mollymayhem at 10:19 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm in!

It's my first time.

Be gentle.
posted by twirlypen at 10:20 PM on November 15, 2010


Made it this year, yay! Anything but socks.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 10:28 PM on November 15, 2010


yay !! I'm in.
can't wait to pick out something original and lovely for my secret quonsar
thank you julen for organizing this !!
posted by seawallrunner at 10:33 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm still using the gifts that my secret quonsar gave me: a nifty Stanford tote bag (great for my computer and cat...but not at the same time!), a Stanford magnet, and yummy scented English Tea Rose bath doodlies.

Woohoo!
posted by chara at 10:46 PM on November 15, 2010


I'm signing up. I hope I get something this time, damnit.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:05 PM on November 15, 2010


Signing up.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:25 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in.
posted by maurice at 3:19 AM on November 16, 2010


Signed up.
posted by keli at 3:32 AM on November 16, 2010


Seekrit Quonsar is awesome, and thanks for organizing it. What makes you think Theora Fifty-Five is not my real name? I thought about dropping the -Five after the divorce, but getting my hyphenated name changed on all my IDs was such a pain, I decided to keep it. My postal carrier is fine with it.

I am so in. Happy Fishpants to all!
posted by theora55 at 4:31 AM on November 16, 2010


I'M IN. I'm not sure I did it right, but here's hoping I remember to check later. Bed, sleep it off etc.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 4:37 AM on November 16, 2010


and I'm in!
posted by the cydonian at 5:49 AM on November 16, 2010


Thanks for setting this up again. I'm definitely in!
posted by thejanna at 6:18 AM on November 16, 2010


Passing this year. Third time is unlikely to be a charm.
posted by scruss at 6:28 AM on November 16, 2010


Yay, I'm totally in this year!
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:49 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in!

(And I think you non-sock people are crazy! Who doesn't like fuzzy-wuzzy socks?)
posted by JoanArkham at 7:03 AM on November 16, 2010


*puts JoanArkham on the Naughty List*
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:24 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in!
posted by dirtdirt at 7:32 AM on November 16, 2010


I have socks on my list, but not avocados. I guess I should add: kitschy local weirdness is okay!
posted by vespabelle at 7:33 AM on November 16, 2010


In for the first time. Whee!
posted by ZakDaddy at 7:35 AM on November 16, 2010


First time. Looking forward to teaching my daughter to say "quonsar" and looking even more forward to my wife having no idea what it means.
posted by scblackman at 7:37 AM on November 16, 2010


Me umpteen.
posted by rudster at 7:42 AM on November 16, 2010


I can't for the life of me work out the wishlist. It seems to only let me add specific products rather than a description of things I kind of like. Seems a bit rude to request specific things (or is it?) so it's nice to have suggestions.
posted by mippy at 8:03 AM on November 16, 2010


Hey I am so psyched to take part in Secret Quonsar. In past years I didn't feel I could afford it, so I'm especially glad to be in the exchange this year and looking forward to it. Thanks julen!
posted by Miko at 8:03 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm having the same trouble as mippy with the wishlist. It looks like a link but it's not meant to be.
posted by Miko at 8:05 AM on November 16, 2010


Is anyone else getting spammed every time someone posts a message? Even after I followed the link the change my preferences and unchecked all the boxes.
posted by smackfu at 8:07 AM on November 16, 2010


Ah, I've worked it out now!
posted by mippy at 8:07 AM on November 16, 2010


I LOVE PRESENTS.

But even more, I love GIVING presents. I will totally make myself broke in attempt to give awesome gifts. It's a problem.

Hooray for the internet! Thanks for setting this up!
posted by bibliogrrl at 8:07 AM on November 16, 2010


Secret Quonsar was great last year, I am very much looking forward to it again.

Also: Fie on you, people who sign up and stiff your giftees! That's a real jerk move.
posted by usonian at 8:24 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in! My username there is the same as here, and my actual "NAME" there has my real name, with (USA) as part of my first name. Did I do it right?
I like most things. I guess I like handmade stuff, or crafty stuff, and anything that might show up on Design Sponge or Giant Robot. I am excited to shop for my quonsar-ee!
posted by chowflap at 8:29 AM on November 16, 2010


Ooh, also, everyone who likes Etsy things should check out MyEtsyWishlist, from MeFiProjects. (No disclaimer. I don't have any idea who primer_dimer is, but I like being able to make an etsy list).
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:33 AM on November 16, 2010


Oh...that's a really short amount of time in between signing up and shipping....given my gift idea (appropriate for all!), I'm not sure that's enough time for me...can I still join, or will not sending by December 6th really get me in trouble?
posted by zizzle at 8:37 AM on November 16, 2010


It seems to only let me add specific products rather than a description of things I kind of like. Seems a bit rude to request specific things (or is it?) so it's nice to have suggestions.

You can just type a thing and not include anything in the URL box, that's what I did. It's a bit of a hack, but it works okay.

Is anyone else getting spammed every time someone posts a message?

Yeah, that's happening to me also.

Oh...that's a really short amount of time in between signing up and shipping

I'm not sure I understand. If you have a gift idea that's okay for anyone, can't you put it in a box now, point it at the post office and just put an address on it when you get your SQ person?

Who doesn't like fuzzy-wuzzy socks?

We have a local sock place that has a huge blow-out sale once a year. If you get me socks they will be not as good, cost you more, and not be what I want. I did get random socks one year and that was fine, but probably enough random socks for me. Also there was the year that no one knew what to get me [some terrible teen year] and so everyone got me socks. So to me, they just stand-in for "I do not understand you, here's something that everyone likes, don't be ungrateful and not like them and ruin the holiday for everyone else." I am aware this is not normal. It requires a fair amount of fortitude for me to sign up for a gift exchange at all, actually.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:44 AM on November 16, 2010


will not sending by December 6th really get me in trouble?

If they get it by Christmas, who is going to complain?
posted by smackfu at 8:52 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in. I would like a horribly expensive gift that breaks all the rules. Like an F-22 or some hashish. Or a baby monkey (pig would be optional).

I mean, don't get yourself arrested, but you know... also, don't disappoint me, eh?
posted by heyho at 8:52 AM on November 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Luckily I have never been stiffed for quonsmas, so I am happy to participate again this year!!

Not sending out your SQ present is a seriously jerky thing to do ...
posted by Julnyes at 8:53 AM on November 16, 2010


heh. The divergent wishing box is pretty confusing!

How to Work the Wishlist

1. Click Profile in Pink Header (top button)
2. Click Add to Wishlist Button (middle of page)
3. Under Add to Wishlist there is a text entry field that says What are You Wishing For in grey text. This is both a search box and a text-string to display box.
4. To provide general gifting advice (e.g. "I like anything that comes in the shape of donuts ... except donuts."), type that phrase into that box and press the wish button beneath it.
5. To search for specific items (e.g. gummy-covered bacon), type that phrase in the box and press search, and go forth!

In other news, it's pretty exciting to see the explosion of signups!

Early next week, I'll look over and try to identify if we have any orphaned country-only folks and see what we can do about getting them covered before the draw!
posted by julen at 8:53 AM on November 16, 2010


zizzle: "Oh...that's a really short amount of time in between signing up and shipping....given my gift idea (appropriate for all!), I'm not sure that's enough time for me...can I still join, or will not sending by December 6th really get me in trouble?"

I suspect most giftees wouldn't object if they say, got a card or letter in advance that said essentially "Your gift is coming, but i wanted to let you know that it might not make it there by the date!"

smackfu: "Is anyone else getting spammed every time someone posts a message? Even after I followed the link the change my preferences and unchecked all the boxes"

I'm looking into this, and trying to figure out why this is happening.

Are you seeing signups, or just when anyone comments to the general feed. (To fix that, go to your Profile, then click on "Edit" next to Information in the left navigation area, and then to Email Notifications tab. Then after resting your clicking finger, you can turn off email notifications. I'd ask everyone to keep "Send me an email when someone asks me a question, when someone answers a question that I've asked or when someone suggests a gift to me." checked.)
posted by julen at 9:00 AM on November 16, 2010


I was seeing these: "username posted a message for 2010 Secret quonsar Gift Exchange." It does seem to have stopped now, so maybe they just have a lag (which is dumb). I got three messages after I updated the settings, but none lately.
posted by smackfu at 9:09 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in again! yay! this is always so fun...
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:11 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in! I'm really excited about this, and looking forward to making something or getting something nifty for my secret person!
posted by lriG rorriM at 9:20 AM on November 16, 2010


I have added a load of things to my wishlist but these are just so I personally remember to buy them. At some point. And I work very close to many shops so I should be able to get something cool for my giftee. Jessamyn's getting toe socks.
posted by mippy at 9:27 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm not sure I understand. If you have a gift idea that's okay for anyone, can't you put it in a box now, point it at the post office and just put an address on it when you get your SQ person?

I can't say too much without spoiling it, but it is slight amount more complicated but totally worth it gift if I can pull it off, which I won't know for sure for another two weeks.
posted by zizzle at 9:27 AM on November 16, 2010


OMG, jessamyn. I think I'm in love...
posted by JoanArkham at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in! :) Is it weird not to make a wish list?
posted by bardophile at 11:16 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm in.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:27 PM on November 16, 2010


OMG WE BROKE SANTA!

Elfster appears to be failing under the MeFi Effect. I'm sure it will recover!
posted by DarlingBri at 12:57 PM on November 16, 2010


Cool. I'm in.

No, I didn't join just now for the Quonsaring, I'm just moving on from my old handle. References available upon request.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:26 PM on November 16, 2010


Huh. I thought going through and futzing with wish list after joning, but before RSVP-ing, would keep it from spamming the replies. How annoying that it went back and grabbed those after I RSVP'd anyway. Ohwell.
posted by galadriel at 3:31 PM on November 16, 2010


Can't wait! Thanks for all the hard work Julen!
posted by amelliferae at 3:46 PM on November 16, 2010


Man, I'm afraid to just tell you what I want. I want you to find something I didn't know I wanted. Like love, or a male ponytail. But not those things, because I just realized I wanted them.
posted by mccarty.tim at 5:07 PM on November 16, 2010


I'm in, but was silly and didn't make my handles the same. I'm in elfster as hannahroseb, though the name in my profile should make it clear what my MeFi name is. Yay for surprises!!
posted by Polyhymnia at 5:12 PM on November 16, 2010


I look forward to Quonsmas each year.
posted by cobaltnine at 6:35 PM on November 16, 2010


Yay! Secret quonsar! Signed up and ready to shop!
posted by googlebombed at 6:41 PM on November 16, 2010


I'm in.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:59 PM on November 16, 2010


Hi everyone!

Please make sure you add your wishlist items and helpful guidance under your profile (click Profile, and use the wish list functions on that page) and not in the "2010 Secret quonsar Gift Exchange" box on the front page that says "Share Something With the Group..." That goes to everyone and isn't associated with your profile/wishlist. That way your eventual giftor can easily access that information!

(I'm compiling a list of helpful (to us) suggestions for the Elfster folks when we're done; they've made some improvements since last year, so they might appreciate more suggestions!)
posted by julen at 7:20 PM on November 16, 2010


In. Now I shall knit a dishcloth for some lucky mefite!
posted by zennie at 8:05 PM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm in, and I'm happy to serve as a backup gifter if needed.
posted by exceptinsects at 10:38 PM on November 16, 2010


Yay! I'm excited!
posted by lunit at 6:35 AM on November 17, 2010


Hah! Last night I got home from erranding and husbandface came galloping out the front door bellowing "Quonsar is nigh!" My soul curdled that day.
posted by Lou Stuells at 7:24 AM on November 17, 2010


I'm in like something that is very much in.
posted by owtytrof at 7:52 AM on November 17, 2010


Anti-sockists are safe from me, if only because December 6th is too close for me to get a pair of fullsize socks knitted (I have 2 exams, a paper, and a presentation before then). Hope my recipient likes jam. I made a *lot* of jam this year.
posted by catlet at 8:17 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm too guess culture to make a wish list. Somebody is potentially going to haaaaate me.
posted by rainbaby at 8:26 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


(I'm compiling a list of helpful (to us) suggestions for the Elfster folks when we're done; they've made some improvements since last year, so they might appreciate more suggestions!)

One thing that really confused me was that it looks like they took the year out of the swap name now. I have all the old swaps on my account, so my email settings are now this mess. See if you can figure out which one is for this year.
posted by smackfu at 8:47 AM on November 17, 2010


I'm in!
posted by domo at 9:44 AM on November 17, 2010


Got locked out of Elfster yesterday and tried to go in again today - no dice. Seems really unstable!
posted by Miko at 12:46 PM on November 17, 2010


I'm in! I love sekrit gift swaps. And gift swaps of all kinds, really.

How does one volunteer to be a second-chance gifter? I've got the gifting bug, and I know how much it sucks to get stiffed on these things.
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:08 PM on November 17, 2010


Question: I hate going out and buying "new" stuff for people, but because of my job (selling stuff on ebay) I always have a lot of weird old stuff in my collection that I, and presumably a lot of folks on metafilter, would consider kinda cool. Would it be ok to put together a package that was something like (off the top of my head)....oh, an issue of Scientific American from 1915, some turn of the century stereoview cards, a comic from the 1950s, some obscure 45s with song titles that make you say "I just gotta hear what that song sounds like!".

Kosher, or lame?
posted by the bricabrac man at 2:13 PM on November 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


To me that sounds kosher except maybe the 45 which wouldn't be that useful w/o a record player. The rest can be appreciated on their own which seems okay to me. I may or may not be getting something new for my giftee.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:25 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Kosher, for sure--I'll likely do something similar.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:39 PM on November 17, 2010


Yep, one of the great things about the $15 limit is finding things that are good gifts but that you don't have to pay for.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:54 PM on November 17, 2010


Kosher, or lame?

I hope that's kosher because I would LOVE things like that. In general it seems like a great idea to think creatively and not necessarily assume a gift has to be a brand new item that was bought for cashola.
posted by Miko at 3:48 PM on November 17, 2010


Silly question - how does one pronounce Quonsar and Quonsmas?
posted by radioamy at 4:12 PM on November 17, 2010


I pronounce it Qwan-sar, like it's related to Kwanza, I guess.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:50 PM on November 17, 2010


Totally Kosher if done appropriately. In my opinion, I generally don't mind used books, but I think consignment/vintage clothing would be much more borderline.
posted by cobaltnine at 5:24 PM on November 17, 2010


bricabrac man, I hope you're my quonsar. That sounds super rad.
posted by mollymayhem at 6:58 PM on November 17, 2010


I'm in.
posted by starvingartist at 7:02 PM on November 17, 2010


rhiannonstone: "How does one volunteer to be a second-chance gifter? I've got the gifting bug, and I know how much it sucks to get stiffed on these things."

Send a meMail to IndigoRain or me! Hopefully we'll have no need of you because everyone will find the perfect gift, send it early, and the fine postal employees of nations around the world will speedily process it through the mail, delivering it to our doors with alacrity and a doffed hat in cheerful holiday joie de vive.

the bricabrac man: "Kosher, or lame?"

Kosher, so long as you've done a little MeStalking and Wishlist Viewing to figure out if your giftee is likely to not hate what you're sending.
posted by julen at 8:13 PM on November 17, 2010


delivering it to our doors with alacrity and a doffed hat in cheerful holiday joie de vive.

I'd rather they just bung it in the letterbox personally. Heh.
posted by shelleycat at 9:57 PM on November 17, 2010


I'm in! Soooo excited!
posted by honeybee413 at 10:10 AM on November 18, 2010


In!
posted by Dragonness at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2010


My husbando and I are signing up! I did it in 2008 and it was really neat.
posted by Tesseractive at 12:16 PM on November 18, 2010


I'm in. I somehow missed the others. Been waiting to join up this time around.
posted by MsLgean at 1:21 PM on November 18, 2010


I'm in, buster.
posted by Sublimity at 6:07 PM on November 18, 2010


I'm in!

Anyone have a suggestion as to a good way to add an Amazon wishlist link to Elfster? It would certainly make someone's life easier.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 12:03 PM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but isn't secret santa supposed to be more random than that?
posted by smackfu at 2:05 PM on November 19, 2010


zizzle: "Oh...that's a really short amount of time in between signing up and shipping....given my gift idea (appropriate for all!), I'm not sure that's enough time for me...can I still join, or will not sending by December 6th really get me in trouble?"

You won't get in trouble, but it would be really nice if they got your gift before New Year's.

bardophile: "I'm in! :) Is it weird not to make a wish list?"

No, but you might list some things you're interested in if your Mefi profile doesn't have anything, for those of us who are not super-clever. I was totally frustrated last year by my giftee who had no interests/wishlist and after stalking his posting history, still couldn't find anything he liked. I ended up sending some Archie McPhee novelties and hoping for the best.

smackfu: "they took the year out of the swap name now. I have all the old swaps on my account"

Whoops, that's not Elfster's fault. When I was running it I put the year in the title. Maybe Julen can edit the name of the swap?

Lulu's Pink Converse: " Anyone have a suggestion as to a good way to add an Amazon wishlist link to Elfster? It would certainly make someone's life easier."

You can link to anything in your wishlist! Just put the link for your Amazon wishlist in the URL box and your text (say, "My Amazon Wishlist") in the text box. :)
posted by IndigoRain at 2:27 PM on November 19, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sweet! And just in case anyone hasn't seen, it is now possible to buy Kindle books for someone else! Even if they don't have a Kindle (which I do). Check it out!
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 3:49 PM on November 19, 2010


In! It was heaps of fun last year, and holy poo, over 380 folks signed up for 2010! julen, you're awesome to have taken this on (thank you so much!).

(I'm still hoarding my last bit of melon scented body wash from my Seekrit Quonsar of 2009, though I've yet to use the pancake recipe included with the gift. No pancakes in an entire year. 'Tisn't right. Shouldn't be tolerated. BAD MEFITE.)

(And thanks for the heads up re: adding one's Amazon wishlist to Elfster, IndigoRain - I'm embarrassed to admit I'd been struggling with that as well.)
posted by arachnid at 5:22 PM on November 20, 2010


WOW! 380! I don't have a count for 2009 but we've more than doubled the 2008 participation! SQ Wiki Page.

Ah, I just checked Elfster, last year we had 252.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:46 PM on November 20, 2010


I WOULD LIKE TO INSTEAD SIGN UP FOR NOT-SO-SECRET-QUONSOR
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:15 AM on November 21, 2010


"And just in case anyone hasn't seen, it is now possible to buy Kindle books for someone else! Even if they don't have a Kindle."

Why would you do this? Why would someone like me, who doesn't have a Kindle, want a Kindle book? What would we do with it? I guess this goes for all player-specific things, like iAnything formatted stuff.

Unless you inverted it, and meant 'people without Kindles can now buy Kindle books for people who have Kindles.' That makes sense.
posted by cobaltnine at 8:21 AM on November 21, 2010


I think it probably refers to books for people with reader devices that aren't Amazon's proprietary Kindle, like the Nook or the e-Reader.
posted by Miko at 10:27 AM on November 21, 2010


Okay, that also makes sense. (I suppose more sense to people with e-readers, who thus keep abreast of the what-can-read-what craziness.)
posted by cobaltnine at 12:33 PM on November 21, 2010


Potomac Avenue: "I WOULD LIKE TO INSTEAD SIGN UP FOR NOT-SO-SECRET-QUONSOR"

Cool! Maybe he'd like to participate in the event named after him!
posted by IndigoRain at 1:03 PM on November 21, 2010


Actually, we're only at 218 people so far. But! The country-only swaps for UK and US are good to go (you can still sign up for these, of course, but there is a good complement already - more people would make it more awesome.)

We only have one Canadian signed up for a Canada-only swap, so it'd would be lovely if a few Canadians chose to go Canada-only instead of Anywhere.

As a reminder, please sign up/specify anywhere or [your country] by Wednesday at 11:59 PM EST. The randomized draw will be sometime on Thursday.
posted by julen at 5:01 AM on November 22, 2010


Since Canada is also part of anywhere can't you just manually match one of them at random? I chose anywhere and I'd be just as happy to have someone in NZ as elsewhere, it's just that I'm happy with elsewhere as well.
posted by shelleycat at 11:48 AM on November 22, 2010


Presumably the person who has chosen "Canada" doesn't want to ship outside of Canada, so it might not really fix it to just pair them with "anywhere" since it messes with shipping.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:50 PM on November 22, 2010


No but they ship to someone inside Canada who then ships to someone else where ever. And someone willing to ship inside Canada (or where ever) ships to them. It's a chain rather than reciprocal. Personally I think it's best for people prepared to ship where ever to also recieve from where ever, but in reality only one orphan person isn't going to make any difference. If you get two then they can just ship to each other and three makes a chain, but there are going to be only a tiny handful of singles like this so might as well just work them in.
posted by shelleycat at 1:28 PM on November 22, 2010


I can't weave in someone to send to one group and receive from another group. It turns out that I don't have access to swap information before the swap, and that includes location/address info. All I know when doing the swap is what they've indicated in their Elfster handle.
posted by julen at 3:19 PM on November 22, 2010


Darn. That makes it more difficult! I guess you just have to let them know right before the swap and they can decide to either drop out or take the chance of sending internationally. There's only so much you can (or should) do to accommodate all the individual preferences.
posted by shelleycat at 4:10 PM on November 22, 2010


What if we had people write their country along with - Anywhere (for example mine would be Deathalicious, United States - Anywhere). That would indicate I'm willing to send anywhere but am in the US so can be paired with a United States only quansaree.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:15 PM on November 22, 2010


Er, quonsaree.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:16 PM on November 22, 2010


Deathalicious: "What if we had people write their country along with - Anywhere (for example mine would be Deathalicious, United States - Anywhere). That would indicate I'm willing to send anywhere but am in the US so can be paired with a United States only quansaree"

This is way more complexity than I'm willing to sign up for.

Having to juggle different restrictions for folks based on sending and receiving will add lots of complexity to the process, be much harder to double check for errors before doing the draw, and would be a nightmare to plan for. Plus one of the reasons some folks chose to do country-only draws was so that they'd get a gift from within their country (for a variety of reasons).

As it is, right now, it's going to be pretty straightforward. For each person, I will go in and check/uncheck all other users they shouldn't draw/be drawn by. So when I get to my name (I chose anywhere), I'll go and deselect everyone who says US(A), UK, or Canada. Then when I get to someone who chose UK only, I'll deselect everyone who specified USA, Canada, or didn't specify (indicated Anywhere). And so on. Then, after I get some sleep and/or pie, I'll double-check my work to make sure I didn't click awry, fix my errors, and run the randomizer.
posted by julen at 7:07 PM on November 22, 2010


I'm not talking about different restrictions, I was just thinking of something that will address the issue of you not being able to see the country of origin for people who were willing to send anywhere. If someone puts "Canada - Anywhere" in their profile, that poor other person in Canada will have someone to exchange with; that's all I'm saying.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:30 AM on November 23, 2010


But I understand this is already a byzantine process you're going through (for which we are very thankful) and I can understand not wanting any more headaches to deal with.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:32 AM on November 23, 2010


julen, I have some Karmic debt I'd like to pay down. If you know of a random person or 2 who did not get a gift last year, I will Seekrit Q them this year, in addition to my regular Seekrit Q giftee. It might be way too much work to make this happen, when you are already doing so much, but it's rotten to get stiffed by Seekrit Q, and, as I say, I have plenty to atone for. Merry Fishpants!
posted by theora55 at 11:47 AM on November 23, 2010


I am in, and very excited. I wish I had a longer, crazier posting history to dig through. I guess I've got to edit my profile creatively, now.
posted by snapped at 2:33 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


In. I'm super excited, but I feel like it'll be impossible for anyone to top my Secret Quonsar from last year who sent me the best gift EVAR (toodley doodley, I'm looking at you). I'm definitely stepping up my own game this year, that's for sure.
posted by Go Banana at 4:45 PM on November 23, 2010


I'm in, looking forward to it. Thanks!
posted by analog at 6:52 PM on November 23, 2010


Dear Secret Quonsar: Despite my recent posting history, please do not send me maxipads.
posted by maryr at 6:58 PM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Delurking on MetaTalk to say I'm in too.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:16 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whew! Almost missed it this year! I've been lucky the last two SQ's, so I'm hoping to continue the trend!
posted by thatothrgirl at 12:21 PM on November 24, 2010


Where can I see who's been naughty?
posted by Dragonness at 2:10 PM on November 24, 2010


I almost missed the signup this year.

I love the suspense. :)
posted by sandraregina at 6:42 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dammit, I missed signups by 28 minutes. :/
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:29 PM on November 24, 2010


I'm working on the settings right now with an ETA of randomization/picks at about Midnight.

It's taking longer than I expected because I basically have to hit 239x239 checkboxes, and my browser is sometimes struggling from over-checkboxization. Also, my relatives seem to expect me to say things other than "Good pie!" and "Yeah, that's crazy." Weird, I know.
posted by julen at 2:17 PM on November 25, 2010


Sorry, the sq draws are not ready yet.

I apologize to everyone for the inconvenience. We grossly underestimated how much time it would take to define the restrictions to enable multiple groups, and as a result, I've gotten very little sleep and spent an exorbitant amount of time clicking checkboxes since Wednesday midnight. (For each person in the draw, I have to set whether or not they can draw each of 238 names. The draws seem to be finding each and every one of my errors!)

After 2 disasterous draws in the early part of this morning (both of which I've revoked), I've decided that I need to get some sleep before doing a final quality check and doing a good quality draw towards midnight tomorrow night.

Some other notes: I had to delete people who joined after the deadline or who were in country groups of 1, because you all showed up as people whom restrictions would have partially applied to (i.e. you would have gotten gifts but not sent any), and it would have caused me to start over to include you.

If you've gotten a draw notification message or 2, I apologize, especially if you were thrilled with your draw.
posted by julen at 2:18 AM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all of your effort with this, Julen!
posted by sascha at 2:36 AM on November 26, 2010


I had no idea Elfster was such a bitch, Julen. Clearly the little sprites that run the place didn't eat enough pie to be complacent.
posted by Mizu at 3:30 AM on November 26, 2010


Thanks for all your efforts and sorry this has become such a burden.
posted by nightwood at 5:24 AM on November 26, 2010


Do what you have to do, no worries, the anticipation is fun!
posted by thinkpiece at 5:37 AM on November 26, 2010


I don't know how Elfster works on the inside, but in the spirit of being that annoying person who hovers around making useless suggestions, I wonder: can you manually assign pairs? Because perhaps with all this complication it would be easier to write the names on slips of paper and put them in various buckets and hand-draw the pairs, then assign them online and just use the other functions of Elfster? Just a thought.
posted by Miko at 5:59 AM on November 26, 2010


Dear Secret Quonsar: despite my favorites history, I do not like everything indiscriminately. I just like a lot of things.

Julen, take the time you need! Good luck - sounds painful with all the checkboxes and crashing browsers.
posted by olya at 6:03 AM on November 26, 2010


Thank you for doing this Julen! Sorry it's being such a pain...
posted by JoanArkham at 6:09 AM on November 26, 2010


I got my pick - can I start getting a gift for them now? Is this the final final one?
posted by mippy at 6:49 AM on November 26, 2010


Aw, that's a real pain. My husband wrote a small program to handle our family's small round robin gift exchange, and for just us it takes about twenty tries to make the draws come out right if anyone insists on special terms ("But I already BOUGHT a gift for X, you have to give me X in the draw!")

Good luck, hope it works out next time. So sorry it's such a headache for you.
posted by galadriel at 6:57 AM on November 26, 2010


mippy: I got my pick - can I start getting a gift for them now? Is this the final final one

I think Julen's done a few rounds of picks trying to get things matched up properly, so I'm going to assume we should wait until she comes back and says Go!

Poor Julen :(
posted by DarlingBri at 7:06 AM on November 26, 2010


I'm getting a gift for my draw, even if this isn't the final draw! Because I really like this one.
posted by felix at 7:22 AM on November 26, 2010


Julen, you are wonderful for doing this! Surely someone around here is a programmer who can come up with a program for next year that can make this easier.
posted by Mouse Army at 7:22 AM on November 26, 2010


What a pain! And thanks, Julen, for all the work going into this.
posted by schnee at 7:44 AM on November 26, 2010


(erm, for clarification - the 'what a pain' was in reference to all the extra work Julen has to do to get this to work well and make us happy to receive random boxes of fun in the mail when there are much better ways to spend a holiday!)
posted by schnee at 7:48 AM on November 26, 2010


Now I have to think about what to get my work Secret Santa too. What to get a drag queen with political interests that's under £5?
posted by mippy at 7:50 AM on November 26, 2010


mippy: Now I have to think about what to get my work Secret Santa too. What to get a drag queen with political interests that's under £5

Union Jack false eyelashes, obviously.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:55 AM on November 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


Thanks everyone. I don't want to blame Elfster too much; I don't think they understood quite what we needed/wanted, or they wouldn't have suggested that tack.

I'm not sure where that last draw came from (automatic maybe? Maybe I didn't click the undo draw like I thought I did. Who knows?), but it was broken as the others. I can't find a way to send an email to everyone in the draw explaining what is going on, so I'm going to try to zip through double-checking data now so this can all be set right.
posted by julen at 7:58 AM on November 26, 2010


Julen, is there anything any of us can do to help you?
posted by sascha at 8:00 AM on November 26, 2010


julen, at the end of all this, you will have to let us know if there is some way we can send you thank you cards, Christmas cards, Quonsar cards, and candy.
posted by maryr at 9:31 AM on November 26, 2010 [3 favorites]


OK. I've just grabbed everyone's email address at Elfster (Ability to send out a message to swap members by clicking a button has jumped to #3 on my list of improvements to elfster, right after "Use the label tag" and "Let the admin approve the swap before you send out notifications!") , and sent out an email from the Secret Quonsar gmail address explaining what's going on. After I do the final "It's Good!!!!" swap tonight, I will post here, and send out an email to those addresses.

Some of the addresses were clearly spamcatcher/signup addresses, and 2 might be fakes, but I think it's a good way to notify most of the people. I wish I would have thought of this at 5am when the second swap failed, but I was way too tired to spend an hour cutting and pasting email addresses at that time.

There's no need to do anything for me. I've got leftover pie, and honestly, just making sure everything works correctly is what will make me happy.
posted by julen at 9:47 AM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all your work on this, julen.
posted by gaspode at 10:52 AM on November 26, 2010


If it takes a few days for you to do this then take a few days, don't drive yourself crazy and miss out on sleep! It's not like it really matters if it takes a bit longer, there's plenty of time still for quansmas shopping (and this is coming from someone who always has Christmas sorted really early).
posted by shelleycat at 11:15 AM on November 26, 2010


(oh and I mean that in a you're awesome and deserve to be happy instead of frazzled kind of way. the work you're putting into this is amazing!)
posted by shelleycat at 11:28 AM on November 26, 2010


Yeah, julen, don't be too worried about this. Afterall, all you people stop existing when I close my eyes.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:15 PM on November 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


What a shame that elfster's interface is so horribly broken though! I wonder if they are aware that this is terrible advertising for their product.
posted by felix at 1:38 PM on November 26, 2010


felix: "What a shame that elfster's interface is so horribly broken though! I wonder if they are aware that this is terrible advertising for their product"

To be fair, we are an edge case; the restriction feature was basically designed so people could set 1 or two restrictions (don't let my spouse draw me; don't let the person who picked me last year draw me again) - not 30 or 50 or 185. I'm willing to be they've never tested someone who was dealing with 3000 checkboxes at once, or more.

That said, the option I rejected for being too much [whatever] to manage (having multiple swap groups) has developed a healthy sparkling halo that occassionally emits a Nelson Muntzian "Ha HA".

Thanks for your support everyone! I am definitely taking my time about doing the final check. I'm actually about halfway through the list right now, and am off to feed some cats, snarf some pie and take a short nap before finishing up.
posted by julen at 1:58 PM on November 26, 2010


I think seperate swap groups will work next year but only becase we've done this year. Going into this we didn't know what groups people would need, how specific should it get or what kinds of numbers there would be. But now we can see how it worked this year and can use that as a guide setting up custom groups in the future. As it stands that solution needed more data to be really feasible. It sucks that getting that data includes so much pain, but I think it will pay off.

Having different groups may also help the single person problem because someone could always sign up for more than one group. For example, if I see only one person in the NZ only group and I'm in NZ, then I could sign up for that group either instead of, or in addition to, signing up for the anywhere group.
posted by shelleycat at 3:00 PM on November 26, 2010


I think in the 'Ok Go!' email julen should include her address so we can send her thank you treats for all of this crazy fiddling.
posted by sweetmarie at 4:37 PM on November 26, 2010


Yes, definitely! Please don't lose sleep over this, julen, it's supposed to be fun for everyone.
posted by misozaki at 4:39 PM on November 26, 2010


Julen is truly kicking ass at this. It was hard enough to run the swap the last 2 years and I didn't even try any of this restriction stuff. I'm sure I'd be pulling my hair out by now and am truly grateful for all her hard work!
posted by IndigoRain at 4:52 PM on November 26, 2010


Julen, you're our hero!!
posted by olya at 7:20 PM on November 26, 2010



I just sent an email out to this import, but The Latest Pairing is Good!. Go forth and stal --- ah, investigate your draw, and then send them something wonderful.

shelleycat: "I think seperate swap groups will work next year but only becase we've done this year. Going into this we didn't know what groups people would need, how specific should it get or what kinds of numbers there would be. "

This is very true. Although next year, I would suggest having multiple Elfster (or other service/app) groups is the way to go. We could use a pre-signup thread to gauge interest in different country-specific groups, and create those groups as soon as we had 2 or 3 interested parties. It would be far easier a solution than the restriction business, and be more fool-proof.

I really don't need anything special! If I had stopped to think about what usually happens when complexity is imposed on a simple technology, I would have stopped myself before I got to the point where I was creating an advocacy group against checkbox abuse in my head. (Seriously. I was going to call it AACA - Advocates Against Checkbox Abuse - which makes a delightfully dismissive sound when said out loud.)

Thank you all for your patience and support! And to my uncle for the pie. And to someone random on twitter who introduced me to the genius of stuffing sandwiches. Oh, and to my cat for sleeping on my feet and keeping them warm.
posted by julen at 10:56 PM on November 26, 2010


Is there a way I can figure out my giftee's mefi username if they haven't put it in their elfster profile?
posted by bardophile at 11:30 PM on November 26, 2010


Bardophile, Julen can bug that person privately for you, or their profile has an "ask a question" box. (That last option would be public, though.)
posted by IndigoRain at 11:38 PM on November 26, 2010


For those people who tried to sign up when I was working on the restrictions and I had to remove them to make the swap work, I'm doing a tiny off-line swap by hand:

There were a couple of people who tried to sign up after the deadline; I couldn't accommodate them in the complexity of the Elfster draft, but if you tried to join in te last two days and were foiled AND are still interested in swapping and haven't gotten an MeMail from me, then please send me an MeMail. There's one name on my list that I can't read despite the fact that I was the one who wrote it in the first place.

bardophile: "Is there a way I can figure out my giftee's mefi username if they haven't put it in their elfster profile"

No, but you are not the only one to ask that already! I suggested asking them anonymously via Elfster, but I would be happy to ask them tomorrow evening (going to bed real soon now, going out tomorrow) if you and other folks would like to know

People, please put your mefi handles in your address fields. or a wishlist line. Or somewhere!
posted by julen at 11:53 PM on November 26, 2010


Although next year, I would suggest having multiple Elfster (or other service/app) groups is the way to go.

That's what I meant by separate swap groups by the way. You can set them up based on what happened this year then let people see and give feedback prior to sign up so it can be tweaked. It's always easier to react to something there (both the groups themselves and also to this years swap) than try to figure it out from scratch.

I've already figured out a good gift for my quansaree. Now I just need to find something to buy for my boyfriend!
posted by shelleycat at 12:44 AM on November 27, 2010


Um... I haven't got an email. And my username is in my Elfster profile (it's my middle name apparently). Have I done something wrong on Elfster? Not tickled a box or something? Should I be worried?

Gawd, I hate to add more drama to this situation, but I'm awfully keen to be involved.

I'm happy to send but not receive, even. Say that in the voice of that cartoon cat whose name escapes me.

posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:19 AM on November 27, 2010


malibustacey9999: Um... I haven't got an email. And my username is in my Elfster profile (it's my middle name apparently). Have I done something wrong on Elfster? Not tickled a box or something? Should I be worried?

How Do I Know My Secret Quonsar Assignment?

If you signed up before the deadline, your assignee should be set up even if you didn't get an email. Log in to Elfster, click Home, and look on the left hand menu. It should look something like this:

* News
* Requests
* Gift Exchanges (1)
* Friends (242)

"Gift Exchanges" will show you the details of the person to whom you have been assigned:

2010 Secret quonsar 2010 Gift Exchange 2010
December 4, 2010
Your Draw: Username Here



What Do I Do If I Don't See Their Username?

Ask them! Click their username, and then click Secret Q&A. You can ask them a question like "What is your MeFi username?" (and anything else you need to know) in the box. Using this box does NOT reveal your identity - it is indeed secret.

What If They Never Answer?

If you have an address and some semblence of a name, you are in a position to complete your duties without knowing which MeFi user that person represents. Yes, it sucks but it is possible. Julen can also chase them for you, but some percentage of people will never answer. Folks are weird.

How Do I Make Sure My Username is Visible to My Secret Quonsar?

Go to Profile. On the left is a list with your Elfster user details. Click EDIT. Enter Jane Bloggs as your first name, and your MeFi username as your last name.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:05 AM on November 27, 2010


Well done, Julen! Now to contemplate what I will send...
posted by usonian at 6:44 AM on November 27, 2010




Please add your address to your elfster listing - it is kept private so that only the person who drew your name can see it, and those people need it so they can send you a fabulous gift.

I'm sending out a couple of direct reminders/prompts/questions for folks this morning to individuals, but forestall my pokiness!
posted by julen at 8:15 AM on November 27, 2010


I am inordinately excited about Quonsar! Do I sign my user name when gifting or should my identity remain forever secret?
posted by Wordwoman at 8:42 AM on November 27, 2010


Just wanted to say thanks to julen for all the hard work she's put in.

This is going to be an interesting challenge, but it should be fun.
posted by JimBennett at 9:07 AM on November 27, 2010


My dear people, please put some kind of clues on your Elfster wishlist!

Thank you.
posted by zennie at 11:00 AM on November 27, 2010 [2 favorites]


Do I sign my user name when gifting or should my identity remain forever secret?

I'm mailing internationally so will have to put my full name on the return and customs stuff. Which will make my mefi name pretty easy to guess. So I figure you either use your mefi handle or leave it anonymous, whatever works for you. Secret is certainly more fun, but being able to say thankyou is cool to.
posted by shelleycat at 11:14 AM on November 27, 2010


nthing the clues! If you have minimal posting history, no info in your profile, and nothing in your wishlist, then I'm going to presume you want a recording of my seven year old self burping the alphabet.
posted by twirlypen at 3:03 PM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Julen, for all your hard work. I'm more excited than I should be (at my age) about this!
posted by analog at 3:05 PM on November 27, 2010


Wordwoman: "I am inordinately excited about Quonsar! Do I sign my user name when gifting or should my identity remain forever secret?"

It's entirely up to you.

zennie: "My dear people, please put some kind of clues on your Elfster wishlist!

Thank you.
"

Agreed.

twirlypen: "nthing the clues! If you have minimal posting history, no info in your profile, and nothing in your wishlist, then I'm going to presume you want a recording of my seven year old self burping the alphabet."

Bahahahahahaha!
posted by IndigoRain at 11:23 PM on November 27, 2010


Oh, man. My quonsee sounds super-smart and interesting. Intimidating!

No real name that I can find though, so I hope the post office isn't fussy about that sort of thing.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:07 AM on November 28, 2010


Joan, you can use the anonymous question feature on Elfster to ask them to put it in their address field for the post office's sake. But last year mine was delivered to IndigoRain just fine even though I put my real name in my profile.
posted by IndigoRain at 10:36 PM on November 28, 2010


My quonsee is going to get something completely random.

Packed in marshmallows.
posted by zennie at 8:21 PM on November 29, 2010


I officially do not suck and my Secret Quonsee is getting presents! S/he has been suitably stalked. Notes have been made. Gifts have been carefully selected, crafted, and/or ordered for direct dispatch. Post office trips have been arranged. Tragically, my Secret Quonsee is not getting chocolate covered peanut butter cups with bacon because I cannot summon forth information about food allergies. But I hope s/he likes the backup choices :)
posted by DarlingBri at 8:53 PM on November 29, 2010


I'm sincerely in awe and intimidated by the quonsee and am totally stuck for ideas. NOTHING IS GOOD ENOUGH. And yes, I'm totally turning into a mini-stalker here.
posted by olya at 9:28 PM on November 29, 2010


DarlingBri: " because I cannot summon forth information about food allergies."

Use Elfster's anonymous question asking feature! :) Go to your pick's profile and click Ask a Question.

Olya, sounds like you picked Julen, LOL!
posted by IndigoRain at 1:49 AM on November 30, 2010


DarlingBri: "Tragically, my Secret Quonsee is not getting chocolate covered peanut butter cups with bacon because I cannot summon forth information about food allergies."

To Whom It May Concern:

I am allergic to neither peanut butter nor bacon.
posted by maurice at 8:07 AM on November 30, 2010


Quonsar friend - I realized my posting history was a little scant, I am a prolific reader but I always forget how little I post. I've updated my profile to give you a few links to help and added some stuff to my wishlist.
posted by zug at 9:21 AM on December 2, 2010


YAY I figured it all out. I was close with my brainstorming but stalking finally resulted in useful clues. :D
posted by olya at 9:57 AM on December 2, 2010


yay! the package has left the building. secret quonsar is quonsarian! or ... something.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:29 PM on December 3, 2010


Just made the decision on the major gift component. It was hard to choose. Now for some accessories, and then in the mail tomorrow. WHAT FUN.
posted by Miko at 1:01 PM on December 3, 2010


I recieved my gift and I have to say, I am blown away! I got the most adorable book of amigurumi monsters! The best part is, I had had a terrible day, and came home to an awesome surprise. Everything was awesome after i opened the package. I feel the need to whip up a cthulhu and send it as a thank you to the person that picked the book out for me.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 6:12 PM on December 4, 2010


My package will be mailed Monday.

(My bride would suggest aforementioned package has been mailed in for years now, nevermind.)

Apparently my own gift set is awaiting me at the post office. Yay!
posted by maxwelton at 7:01 PM on December 4, 2010


Mine will go Monday as well. Meant to send yesterday, but didn't end up having enough time before the post office closed. After that, I'm not sure how long, because it has at least 9,665 miles to go.
posted by zennie at 8:58 AM on December 5, 2010


Oh, I meant to link to the Thank You thread earlier; I've already gotten some good gift ideas for friends and family from it!
posted by julen at 2:33 PM on December 5, 2010


Thanks for clicking painful forms, Julen!

My package has been dispatched to a potentially lucky, likely disappointed, recipient.

Elfster is very confusing. It seems to make no distinction between private messages and hollering out loud. Fingers crossed...
posted by davemee at 7:13 AM on December 6, 2010


My gift was ordered last night (sorry for the delay - it's been A Crazy Few Weeks). It's kind of a stab at fun/whimsical, since I was never able to find out my Quonsee's MetaFilter identity, so I had to go by what they posted on Elfster. I hope it's a hit!
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 9:53 AM on December 6, 2010


I'm also going to be slightly delayed, because I waited until this weekend to get the gift in person and hospital hours aren't like post-office hours. Either Tues/Weds.
posted by cobaltnine at 11:50 AM on December 6, 2010


What are you giving, cobaltnine? An organ transplant?
posted by ocherdraco at 1:14 PM on December 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mine went in the mail today because I can never remember when the post office is open on Saturday. It was fun to have them ask "Is there anything liquid, fragile, perishable or potentially hazardous?" and get to say YES. I will leave my giftee to say which one of those it was.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:18 PM on December 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mine is on its way. Now begins the eager anticipation!
posted by usonian at 2:58 PM on December 6, 2010


the send by date is Tuesday, December 6.

Er, considering that particular day and date doesn't exist this year, I'm hoping the deadline is a little more "Tuesday" and a little less "December 6," since that's when I'll be sending my package. :/
posted by Rhaomi at 3:30 PM on December 6, 2010


Yeah. The data blip that hit some people's addresses (leaving only the zip code!) reverted the swap to the original settings. I meant December 6, but mailing it on December 7 is OK, too. The goal was to get them in the mail with a decent chance of getting it there before Christmas. The last time I tried to fix data (the date), it fired off a new swap (and didn't tell me that is what it was doing! It also didn't actually change the date).

For everyone ... If you haven't sent your gift out yet, please try to do so soon. If you think it's going to suffer a delay (e.g., the company you ordered it from is out of stock until next Monday, but it will be shipped then; the customs delay might be long; you need to finish making it!), consider sending an anonymous note letting them know it's coming. I'll be glad to send the note to your recipient for you, or you can use an anonymous throwaway email account.
posted by julen at 4:09 PM on December 6, 2010


Sent mine, got mine. Apparently, my benefactor thinks I'm both hot and an arrogant bastard. I'm cool with that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:11 PM on December 6, 2010


Payload deployed. Just hope it doesn't suck.
posted by rudster at 12:12 PM on December 7, 2010


Ocherdraco, given the current organ to dollar exchange rate, you must know that it would be simply impossible to provide even a minor skin graft for a $15 limit.

my new grad program has 1. made me fail English and 2. given me 16 hour days that are incompatible with the post office.
posted by cobaltnine at 1:09 PM on December 7, 2010


I got mine and it was lovely! Mexican chocolate and a tiny day of the dead donkey, I adore him. Thank you mysterious quonsar from Oklahoma, which is clearly more Mexican than I thought.

Mine is running late due to weather delays: I think I'll be able to get my car out tomorrow and get my lazy, frozen ass to the post office. It's ready to go, though, so do not despair.
posted by mygothlaundry at 5:44 PM on December 7, 2010


You have my sympathies, cobaltnine!
posted by ocherdraco at 7:02 PM on December 7, 2010


Oklahoma still has Mexican bits, despite all legislation to the contrary. Plus, teeny undead donkey!

Glad you like!
posted by ormondsacker at 7:22 PM on December 7, 2010


Thank you Secret Quonsar!
posted by lholladay at 7:33 PM on December 8, 2010


I have a much longer thank-you note I'm queuing up just at the moment, but I am having an absolutely awful ego-destroying thankless day and I just went out to check the porch for packages.

Where I find to my complete astonishment that my name was drawn to not only the coolest non-mod user here, but my friend. Who included a sweet note and a ton of cool little goodies and when my husband came home from the comedy club he found me sobbing and trying to explain that yes, work sucks the absolute most, but I "gotta package from geejayyyyyyy*hic* for Quonsar*snort*"

ColdChef, thank you. And it's dumb that we only see each once a year in California when we live in neighboring states, so I'm going to work on fixing that. Happiest Quonsarmas to you and yours.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:01 PM on December 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got my package from kittyprecious yesterday and it is awesome. Thank you!

Also: Lyn Never, Aren't you sweet. I was so excited when I got your name I was all, "Please don't let them re-draw, please don't let them re-draw." Putting together your package was the most fun I've had gifting in a long, long time. I'm thrilled you like it.
posted by ColdChef at 6:39 AM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have quonsed, and am waiting to be quonsed myself. I'm positively quivering with anticipation.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:38 AM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm with ocherdraco.. (except maybe the quivering part. But I have been rushing to check my mail as soon as I can every day)

My secret quonsar asked for a real mailing name back in November.. I hope it didn't get lost in the mail.
posted by royalsong at 9:48 AM on December 9, 2010


I got a little handmade ornament! Getting stuff in the mail is one of my favorite things. (Also I have discovered that packing a suitcase is one of my favorite things. I am weird.)

Thank you, secret quonsar! Good job!
posted by theredpen at 2:33 PM on December 9, 2010


Well, this was so much fun! I got my gift from ?? yesterday - a lovely hand-made ornament by a local artist that I'll treasure, and a bar of yummy dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts. Just what the doctor ordered. Based on the return address on the package, my secret quonsar lives just a few miles away from me! Thank you so much, mystery neighbour!

I didn't keep my own identity secret to my quonsaree, because I will most likely need to provide some customer service down the line. Which, if she is reading this, I will be more than happy to do.

Happy quonzaa, quonukkah, quonsmas, quonstice, quoneid, or whatever your preferred flavour happens to be.
posted by Dragonness at 7:24 AM on December 10, 2010


I got my package in the mail last night, a little octopus necklace from my Etsy wishlist. It is absolutely awesome.

This is approximately what I looked like when I opened up the envelope. Thank you, Secret Quonsar!
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:00 AM on December 10, 2010


And since the inline youtube doesn't work with pointing to a specific point in the video, it's 4m08s in.
posted by specialagentwebb at 8:01 AM on December 10, 2010


> my quonsaree

That should be my quonsee of course...
posted by Dragonness at 12:04 PM on December 10, 2010


Dear Quonsee, I haven't forgotten about you! Your gift has been ordered and you should have it within the next week. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 9:13 PM on December 10, 2010


I got my gifts today! I cartoon history of the US and a really cool old World Atlas that reminds me of the one I had as a kid. "Some day, man will travel to the Moon..."

Thank you, whoever you are!
posted by bondcliff at 1:26 PM on December 11, 2010


Yay! I've been quonsed! Thank you secret quonsar for the Mennonite Cookbook! You're right, I haven't come across many Mennonites here in New York. Should anyone else be interested, my secret quonsar recommends the following recipes:
  • Paska (Easter bread), p. 6
  • Kringel (pastry), p. 14
  • Rollkuchen (fried pastry to be served with watermelon), p. 24
  • Summer Borscht, p. 32
Many thanks, secret quonsar from Manitoba. (And I'd love to know who you are!)
posted by ocherdraco at 5:22 PM on December 11, 2010


Thanks secret quonsar! Chew toys for everyone! Our baby-to-be's first toy came from Metafilter. Awesome.
posted by condour75 at 7:08 PM on December 13, 2010


My Secret Quonsar RULES. I am just so delighted! Thank you, whoever you are, and please feel free to out yourself via MeMail :) :)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:31 AM on December 15, 2010


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