2015 Winter Wishes Gift Drive: MetaFilter Cares! December 1, 2015 10:35 PM   Subscribe

It's that fantastic time of every year where MetaFilter members reach out to bring joy to others for the holidays! Via New York Cares' Winter Wishes program, we've created a beautiful annual tradition of coming together to provide gifts for kids -- and this year, some seniors. (Skip the details, show me the list!)

First of all, let me apologize for taking an extra few weeks to get this up and running. The past month has been kind of nightmarish with medical issues and car accidents for both of my parents. This is my favorite thing of the year, however, and I know some other folks feel the same.

This year's recipients range in age from 4 to 88! In the past, we've requested letters from children and teens, but this year, I asked for some from seniors, too -- and theirs are pretty great. Many requested gifts they could use in their visits to other seniors in nursing homes.

The entire group of our letters comes from the same organization, a church program in the Bronx. Thus, "Christmas" wishes are welcome to them. Also, since most of the seniors and some of the kids and teens took the time to write a bit more than only a request, if anyone would like to volunteer to write a reply, I would be really happy to send you one of them and include your words along with the gift.

The list is here. I'm still populating it and should be done in the next day or so. I do have later of a deadline than in past years, luckily. My landlord has also graciously donated a storage room for the goods and wrapping space in our building's laundry room. As usual, in addition to gift items, I've also listed some gift cards to fill in for unpurchased items or for items that might be out of stock at shipping time.

If you'd like to have anything shipped directly to me, I'm adding my home address in my profile. My Google Voice number for texting and my email address are also there, for any questions or glitches.

Previous years:
2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, and 2008, the little bicycle that started it all!
posted by houseofdanie to MetaFilter-Related at 10:35 PM (53 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

A few items should now be winging their way to you now. :)
posted by halcyonday at 4:37 AM on December 2, 2015

Thank you! I just put an order in. Could I write some responses to them, please?
posted by Pardon Our Dust at 4:43 AM on December 2, 2015

posted by donajo at 5:29 AM on December 2, 2015

That 2008 thread is one of my favorite things about MetaFilter of all time.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:55 AM on December 2, 2015

I was just wondering about this, thank you.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:56 AM on December 2, 2015

Sent a giftcard so you can hopefully get some of the bigger items!
posted by brilliantine at 6:57 AM on December 2, 2015

How does this work? Do we just pick whichever items to buy off the wishlist and it ships automatically to houseofdanie? Anything else I need to know?
posted by thetortoise at 7:18 AM on December 2, 2015

Oh, and I love that seniors are included this year!
posted by Room 641-A at 7:21 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

That's pretty much it, thetortoise.
posted by gaspode at 7:22 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thank you so much for organizing this. I feel a bit of a slacker, because all I do is spend money with a click, but you're doing some really hard work.
posted by JanetLand at 7:38 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for doing this! I would love to write something, too, if you'll memail me details.
posted by felix grundy at 7:42 AM on December 2, 2015

thetortoise, that's exactly it. It'll come to me and then we'll get everything gift wrapped and delivered to the end organization. If anyone wants to send something directly and not via Amazon, my address is in my profile.

You are not a slacker, JanetLand! This is so therapeutic for me. Tremendously rewarding.

I will send letters to those who've requested them later on today, after I've added the rest of the gift. I forgot to mention -- a couple of the kids wrote in Spanish, so if anyone is able to reply in Spanish, please let me know.

Thank you all so much for being part of this again! These few weeks really lift up the rest of the year for me.
posted by houseofdanie at 7:47 AM on December 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

You are awesome. Thanks for doing this.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:58 AM on December 2, 2015

I was just thinking about this earlier this week, wondering if I had missed it. A few things and some scotch tape is making its way to you now! Thanks for organizing this again this year! And I love that the seniors are included too!
posted by gemmy at 8:07 AM on December 2, 2015

Hi! I'd love to write a response to one of the seniors! Thanks so much for organizing this wonderful drive.
posted by saturngirl at 8:26 AM on December 2, 2015

Thank you for arranging this again. My contributions should be making their way to you shortly.
posted by Stacey at 8:59 AM on December 2, 2015

BTW, make sure that your cart is empty before you do this. I almost sent a tube of toothpaste with my gift.
posted by smackfu at 9:28 AM on December 2, 2015 [7 favorites]

I'm all about dental hygiene! I welcome toothpaste.

I need to take a break from putting things on the list for now, but I will likely finish up tomorrow. Please do text or email if y'all need anything, though!
posted by houseofdanie at 9:38 AM on December 2, 2015

I love this. Thanks so much for making it easy for us to be a part of something awesome.
posted by slmorri at 9:44 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Woohoo! Thanks houseofdanie!
posted by Stynxno at 10:46 AM on December 2, 2015

I'm going to purchase a few things and would be delighted to respond to a letter, memail me!
posted by Saminal at 11:09 AM on December 2, 2015

Thank you for arranging this!
posted by warble at 11:35 AM on December 2, 2015

So glad that I didn't miss this this year! A package is on its way to you - thank you so much for putting this together, especially after the month you have had!
posted by needlegrrl at 12:08 PM on December 2, 2015

This is so great. Thank you for running it again, houseofdanie - it's a gift to the rest of us as well as to the recipients. I'm sorry you're having a crappy few months. You rule.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:24 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Oh, wonderful! I was just thinking about this. I think I missed it last year, so I'm absolutely participating this year. I'm going to buy at least one thing, or maybe a few things, and would love to respond to a letter. :)
posted by firei at 12:39 PM on December 2, 2015

I am inordinately pleased that nobody had gotten to all the Frozen playsets yet, so I got to buy them. Thanks for doing this, houseofdanie; I used to love getting holiday gifts for random kids through the drive at work and was actually feeling a little sad that I work somewhere else now and don't get to do it as easily. So this is perfect.
posted by thetortoise at 1:23 PM on December 2, 2015

Done, yay, I was waiting for this!
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 1:28 PM on December 2, 2015

I love this tradition and I am IN again. Now, *dons cape and strikes a pose* to the list!
posted by bearwife at 1:29 PM on December 2, 2015

I would love to write to some of the recipients , send me details please. Have just sent off some pairs of socks to you - will email you the shipping info
posted by darsh at 3:06 PM on December 2, 2015

Okay, all the gifts are up there now! I am taking a step away to get some other work done. Thank you all so, so, so much for making today such a joy!
posted by houseofdanie at 3:55 PM on December 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

This is awesome houseofdanie - thank you for doing this! I can write some letters, and can do spanish if need be, memail me.
posted by amelliferae at 4:32 PM on December 2, 2015

chocolates headed your way!
posted by Nolechick11 at 8:04 PM on December 2, 2015

I only have a daughter, who mostly likes stereotypically "girlie" stuff, so I got a kick out of buying WWE figures :)
posted by gaspode at 8:39 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Those WWE figures looked awesome. That's a lucky kid.
posted by thetortoise at 9:51 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sent one, the LEGO fire truck. The LEGO city tow truck hits too close to home for me.
posted by AugustWest at 10:24 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

I purchased something called RoseArt Graphic Skinz Transfers which I find somewhat puzzling.

Thank you for letting me participate. I know a tremendous amount of time and energy goes into actually putting this list together so thank you for that. I participate in other local adopt-a-family drives at the holidays, but it's hit and miss how well people manage to organize the wishes and the purchases. I appreciate your work!
posted by aabbbiee at 6:44 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

I bought a Burts Bees kit, which feels really fitting because it was thanks to MeFi that I discovered Burts Bees and finally, after thirty years, stopped chewing my cuticles. I've also bought exactly the same kit for four of my family this year - so I love that I can buy one for a stranger, too!

(Also the US version of Amazon is really pushy. No, I really don't need a US Prime account. Yes I'm sure. No I don't want to subscribe to this product. Yikes!)

Thank you, houseofdanie xx
posted by citands at 8:12 AM on December 3, 2015

Done, yay! Thank you so much for arranging this.
posted by alms at 9:25 AM on December 3, 2015

Thank you for organizing this! I donated what I can. I can also write a letter, let me know the deets.
posted by areaperson at 12:31 PM on December 3, 2015

Yay, I've been waiting for this! (I'm also wondering if you ever found out what "crystal baby" was from last year...)
posted by jabes at 12:51 PM on December 3, 2015

jabes, you remembered! I was just thinking about that this morning, and... no, I never did find out. I even wrote a note to the contact person from the organization, letting her know that I'd be happy to try to fulfill the crystal baby request if only I knew what that was. No luck!

The Amazon list is set to ship to "Danie ____ for Winter Wishes" so my super knows to put those boxes in the special room. Today, a delivery guy asked when I answered the door, "Are you Danie Wishes?" One of the packages actually is addressed to "Danie Wishes." I have a stage name!

I will get letters to those who requested them as soon as I'm able -- likely later this evening, I hope. I'm also trying to keep track of items that go out of stock all of a sudden so I can replace them with other things.

Again, THANK YOU to everyone who's giving, sending nice words, thinking nice thoughts, and contributing to a great season.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:07 PM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Would it help to have gift wrapping done by Amazon, or should I have my item sent unwrapped?
posted by SuperSquirrel at 8:02 PM on December 3, 2015

So that I can match up the gifts with the recipients and their numbers and label them properly, it's probably easiest for me to just wrap 'em. Thank you for being so thoughtful!
posted by houseofdanie at 9:07 PM on December 3, 2015

Also, Amazon's gift wrapping is kind of like the least possible effort and not really worth paying money for unless you have no other option. I like when they just throw the package into a blue drawstring sack.
posted by smackfu at 5:47 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

houseofdanie, do you need help with wrapping? Happy to head uptown and curl ribbon for a couple of hours if needed.
posted by felix grundy at 7:15 AM on December 4, 2015

Yep, me too.
posted by gaspode at 8:46 AM on December 4, 2015

Stuff's on the way... Thank you so much for doing this!
posted by Marky at 8:52 AM on December 4, 2015

Everyone who requested letters should have MeMail by now. There are some left, so if anyone else would like to respond to a recipient, let me know.

I'm still getting my bearings with organizing the flood of items coming in, but as soon as I figure out when wrapping might happen, I'll send notes, felix and gaspode. Thank you so much for offering to help!
posted by houseofdanie at 2:23 PM on December 5, 2015

Re: letters...
Writers can feel free to just type something in MeMail, which I'll put on a card. If you'd like to email a document of some kind for printing, I can do that, too -- my email address is in my profile. And if you'd like to send a physical card, I'm also really happy to make sure it ends up with the correct gift. You choose your own letter adventure.
posted by houseofdanie at 2:27 PM on December 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Wonderful thing you do. However, Amazon was being abnormally fitzy, so I hope it gets there. I'll keep monitoring.
posted by rtimmel at 5:29 PM on December 6, 2015

Fitzy! I pretty much love that.

So here's the update:
The wish list still has some odds and ends on it, mostly gift cards and video games. If anyone knows any MeFites who would like to participate who don't make it to MeTa, feel free to pass the link along. After that, I'll buy any unpurchased items with the "fill-in" gift cards (which don't cover the other things yet) and my own budget. I've picked up a couple of video games from elsewhere on the web because Amazon's in-stock/out-of-stock madness makes me anxious.

If anyone would like a letter to respond to, let me know ASAP and I'll MeMail you one (or more).

I LOVE opening the packages as they come in! Even all the socks! Anyone who has included a note to me, please know that you light up my life.

My partner and I will figure out when/how wrapping might take place, and then I'll send notes to those who've offered to help.

A couple of people have been able and willing to send a large number of items. A few other people have expressed that they wished they could do more, give more, give anything, etc. My own perspective is that anyone who takes time out of this busy, often stressful season to give any kind of gift or send any kind of kind, encouraging wish or word to people who need them is a PEACH. One of those really nice premium peaches. In words, wishes, or gift items, everyone who wants to gets to be part of this group gift. I did not start it, but that's why I love participating.
posted by houseofdanie at 1:29 PM on December 7, 2015 [3 favorites]

I will / would like to write a letter.
posted by AugustWest at 6:28 PM on December 7, 2015

Happy new year! I apologize for taking so long to update! Things went from icky to really-bad with family health suddenly and I found myself with barely enough time to juggle the other things in my life til about a day ago. I especially apologize to the remaining people who wanted to write letters and who volunteered to help with wrapping, as I wasn't able to get more letters sent out or to arrange any sane group wrapping time.

My partner handled much of the package-handling, and between her help and a bunch of middle-of-the-night wrapping and note-writing, all the gifts were delivered one day late (but still before Christmas, thankfully). Even the couple of things that had been ordered from overseas! I received an email from the director of the program that received the gifts:


We received the gifts on Monday and I thank you so very much.

We also thank you and your friends for the socks and gloves that were delivered, many will be blessed.

We pray your father is recuperating and will be up and about real soon, and we thank you for taking the time to think of others, when you had to be there for your father.

God Bless you all and we thank you

(her name)

In my email to explain the delay, it was much easier to describe MeFi as a group of friends than anything else. And, well, we are.

My deep thanks to everyone who participated in this year's drive, in thought and in deed.
posted by houseofdanie at 11:19 PM on December 31, 2015 [5 favorites]

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