Calling all Cards! February 7, 2018 7:10 PM   Subscribe

Having just mailed my cards for Project G.I.V.E. M.E. (that is, Great Internet Valentine Exchange, Metafilter Edition), and having had at least as much fun as I did with the winter holiday cards, I'm wondering if there's enough momentum and interest for another project.

But what international observation is coming up? Easter, maybe? The first day of Spring? May Day?

Or should we try something a little more complex, like participants’ birthdays? (Or birth months, if they're not comfortable sending the date over the intertubes.) Either each person could have a single birthday buddy, or it could go within small groups like Christmas and Valentine's did.

Thoughts, ideas, Maurice Chevalier imitations?

Midwinter Holiday Card X
Valentine's Day Card X
posted by The Underpants Monster to MetaFilter-Related at 7:10 PM (41 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

I like the idea of May Day, but I'm a born and bred unionist.

Birthdays might be fun, but the logistics Also I may only be into the birthday idea because mine is in 10 weeks.

Easter's cool because bunnies, but the changing yearly date and religious aspect might be difficult.

If we previously did midwinter, then I think the Northward (spring/vernal/March/other terms that forget the southern hemisphere or other calendars) Equinox would be the best. Cards with pretty flowers!
posted by elsietheeel at 7:23 PM on February 7, 2018 [3 favorites]

These two exchanges have really been a lot of fun! I'd been thinking a birthday exchange might be nice?

Here's one way that might work:

- Some lovely person volunteers to administer the ongoing birthday exchange and posts a call for participants
- Participants respond with their mailing address, (approximate) birthday, and email address
- Every month, the administrator bcc mass emails the whole group a list of the next month's upcoming birthdays and addresses (this is why we'd need email addresses instead of memail bc memail is individual and makes it hard to track replies) -- I think participants could just participate as they can/want and not feel obligated to send every time, as sending is just as fun as receiving
- The administrator accepts updates to addresses and communicates to the group as needed
- People could potentially even write in to ask for cards of other types

I'd love to participate! And I'm looking forward to hosting the valentines exchange again next year because everyone was so wonderful.
posted by mochapickle at 8:02 PM on February 7, 2018 [9 favorites]

Holiday postcards?

I guess in US english that’s vacation postcards? Postcards sent when you’re travelling, anyway, usually featuring a picture of a place you visit.

Obviously vacation could be defined very loosely for the purposes of this exercise.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:00 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Are there any MetaFilter anniversaries coming up?
posted by paduasoy at 2:14 AM on February 8, 2018

April 15 is my dog's birthday and my dog is pretty cool so let's all celebrate.
posted by phunniemee at 4:20 AM on February 8, 2018 [6 favorites]

mochapickle's take on a birthday card exchange sounds lovely--if I'm reading it correctly, it sounds like it wouldn't be a 1-to-1 exchange, but a bit more of a monthly free-for-all? I think the main challenge would be in making sure everyone gets at least 1 card for their big day--it's easy to imagine a scenario where one person gets 3 cards and somebody else gets zero. But there's gotta be a way to encourage a more even-ish distribution. Anyway, I'd be up for this! Haven't participated in any of these yet, but I'm into it.
posted by duffell at 4:45 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Having now looked at the previous threads, it looks like it's not a 1-to-1 swap anyway--people get assigned to a reasonably-sized group and send 1 card to everyone else in the group?

So for a birthday card exchange, maybe you assign everyone a number, say, 1 through 6 (at the outset, when they join the exchange). They keep that number the entire time. And each month, depending on the number of people who have birthdays that month, the whole list gets sent a set of addressees, and if there are a large-ish number of birthday mefites that month, you can split the list up into 2, 3, or 6 smaller lists and give instructions accordingly, a la:
  • 2 lists: Groups 1, 3, 5 take list A; Groups 2, 4, 6 take list B.
  • 3 lists: Groups 1 and 4 take list A; Groups 2 and 5 take list B; Groups 3 and 6 take List C.
  • 6 lists: Group 1 takes list A; Group 2 takes list B; Group 3 takes list C; Group 4 takes list D; Group 5 takes list E; Group 6 takes list F.
Am I overthinking this? I'M EXCITED IS ALL.
posted by duffell at 5:00 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

*clears throat quietly* Also, instead of "groups 1 through 6" it would probably be more fun to assign group names. Like Axolotl, Bearcat, Caracal, Dragonfly, Echidna, and Flamingo. For example.
posted by duffell at 5:13 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

I think the monthly-free-for-all idea of a Birthday exchange ("hi, everyone! So it's the first day of February, so here's the list for those with February birthdays....") isn't bad. the only caveat I see is that those with birthdays at the end of the month may get overlooked, as people naturally tend to forget things from an email they would have gotten a couple weeks ago.

....St. Patrick's Day is coming up as a holiday, however the difficulty I have finding an appropriate card for my Irish friend every year (read: no jokes about getting drunk, no dumb-ass leprechan pictures) may be a vote against.

Why not a "just-because" list? Like pen pals?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:04 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

(Can we also use this thread to thank people from the valentines exchange as they come in? that thread closed.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:05 AM on February 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

I can admin a birthday card distribution system, if that's something we want to do.

I'm thinking of a monthly BCC to everyone asking who's interested in sending, and then dividing the birthdays up and "assigning" recipients to x groups of people to send to. So, let's say there's 5 recipients for March. Feb 1st email goes out to whole group, asking who wants to participate, please opt in by Feb 15. Feb 15, I get 25 Opt-ins. Each opt-in gets assigned a recipient, so each March celebrant should get 5 cards.
posted by Fig at 6:12 AM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

And, it doesn't have to be birthdays, it can be any yearly occasion you would want to receive cards for (which can be noted in the sign-up, and then passed on to the sender)
posted by Fig at 6:24 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

I don't have any valuable input at the moment other than unfettered enthusiasm for any projects that come from this brainstorming (and appreciation) thread. So, yay yay yay!
posted by danabanana at 7:20 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I didn't sign up for Valentines Day, but I'd be happy to join a penpal-ish list. One of my things recently has been to start writing letters and cards more so that I can actually justify the pens and stationary and postcards I love to buy. So a more random reason is fine with me.
posted by PussKillian at 7:31 AM on February 8, 2018

I have decided to pick up card-making as a small, relatively inexpensive (relative to what, I keep asking myself as I look at supply catalogs) hobby that I can do in the evenings, so I would be down for sending cards to people for things.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:15 AM on February 8, 2018

The more I think about birthdays (or opt-in days, like Fig suggested) the more I like it, because now we don't have to figure out other holidays for the rest of the year. Also I just found my card-making supplies so I wanna get in on this, and soon!

(If someone wants to opt in for more than one holiday a year, could that be done? Like say I want a birthday card in April, a happy sobriety card in November, and a birthday card for my cat in July, could I sign up for that ? How would we manage reciprocity? The honor system?)
posted by elsietheeel at 8:48 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

(Also I went to all the trouble to not be hemispherist or calendarist in my initial comment and then said something about pretty flowers, meaning spring. I am very sorry, Southern Hemisphere. I am a doofus.)
posted by elsietheeel at 8:50 AM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I was messing around with Google forms, and I don't see any reason why multiple dates would be a problem. As far as reciprocity goes, I think the honor system would be fine (Mefites are generally honorable people), at least to start out with.

Another refinement I brainstormed was along with asking who would want to opt-in , ask how many cards they would want to send out. (I initially assumed it'd be 1, but after reading the "I love making cards/thinning out my card collection" comments, I realized that 12 cards/year would be too few for some).

Let me set up an account, a couple of forms, and then if some people could volunteer to pilot this system and give feedback, that would be awesome.
posted by Fig at 9:53 AM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

I love the birthday card opt in system.

I would also be in for a "random cards/postcards/letters" exchange, in which people were free to send things whenever they liked, if people just like to send mail.

Really, I'm just in for sending and receiving more mail.

Fig, let me know if you need help - I'm happy to help now that it isn't January any more!
posted by needlegrrl at 10:22 AM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

I would like to do this*

*whatever this ends up being
posted by oomny at 11:34 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I would like to do this*

*whatever this ends up being

posted by Elly Vortex at 11:47 AM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

(this is my holy shit I leave for Indonesia Saturday and haven't gotten out my cards yet and maybe I won't get them out before I leave and didn't expect to be leaving when I signed up for the exchange I'm so sorry and I love all of you place-holder in case my life gets the better of me. If that happens, everyone I was supposed to send a Valentine to will get a card from me in April)
posted by ChuraChura at 11:50 AM on February 8, 2018 [7 favorites]

April 15 is my dog's birthday and my dog is pretty cool so let's all celebrate.

Always felt having that date for a birthday would be too taxing.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:10 PM on February 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Hmm, I'm pretty much off birthdays, so would prefer an event that we're all working to rather than individual days for people. Looks like consensus for the former may already have been reached, but if not, there are loads of decent days we could celebrate (March: Ides of March; International Women's Day; World Poetry Day; International Purple Day; World Metereological Day; World Sparrow Day ... etc).
posted by paduasoy at 12:13 PM on February 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

ChuraChura, that is totally ok! Safe travels!
posted by mochapickle at 12:37 PM on February 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Proooooobably too intense for me to do monthly cards. Loved doing this exchange, but life is big and I'm far too scattered (and flaky) to make a reasonable commitment. HOWEVER, I would be happy to drop a batch of five or so to the group organizer to serve as back-up cards in case there's a shortage some months.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 12:58 PM on February 8, 2018

*whatever this ends up being

Yes! The vernal equinox is in March, what do you call it in the Southern Hemisphere?
posted by jointhedance at 1:45 PM on February 8, 2018

The autumnal equinox.

Or the March Equinox, if you're not adhering to another calendar?
posted by elsietheeel at 2:42 PM on February 8, 2018

Also I'm totally in.

When I was in a short-term LDR I'd send him a handmade card nearly every day during the three months when we lived 2,000 miles apart. Sending a random card to a MeFite for a *whatever* occasion will be a lot easier than sending a smoochy woochy I love you and I miss you card DAILY.

And if I can help organize in some way, Fig, let me know. :)
posted by elsietheeel at 2:47 PM on February 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

ChuraChura, that is the best possible excuse! Knowing that you made it to Indonesia safely and are doing research and kicking ass would be the best Valentine of all.
posted by capricorn at 3:36 PM on February 8, 2018 [7 favorites]

I would be super in for this!! My hobby is correspondence so this is great. My Valentines were sent a few days late but should be getting to their people soon, and I love the idea of birthdays or really anything!
posted by fairlynearlyready at 9:27 PM on February 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'd be into this- I think something like a postcard exchange, sticker swap, reusable grocery bag swap, pen pals, or maybe Mefi Anniversary (July 14, send each other cat-scans?) could be fun. I didn't participate in any of those last time they happened, but I'd be into it now. The birthday card idea sounds... ambitious. I suspect March birthdays would get a lot of interest, but by the time we hit August or November the enthusiasm will have run down. I think there's something important about the "regrouping" nature of setting a single date and a theme and going for it.

(My citation for the "enthusiasm or availability or life will get in the way" is MetaQuilter. I thought it was a smashing success and a really fun time- yet, 12 + months was a long time to keep something going, and at least in my group, the people in the first few months seemed to get a lot better response than the people in later months .)
posted by Secretariat at 9:39 AM on February 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

(Can we also use this thread to thank people from the valentines exchange as they come in? that thread closed.)"

Oops! I've kicked the category on the original thread over to MetaFilter Gatherings so now it'll be open for six months. I'd say better to just keep the thanks and updates for that one in there, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 AM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I would be in for some sort of postcard exchange—I have a whole bin full and would love to send and share!
posted by bookmammal at 11:26 AM on February 9, 2018

Some years ago, there was a swap of Art postcards, where Art was broadly undefined so, really, Make or Alter a postcard and send it. AA+++ would make and receive MeFi art cards again.
posted by theora55 at 12:52 PM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I like the birthday plan and would like to join in.

Another thought I had was some kind of photo exchange.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 1:41 PM on February 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Ok! I have the Birthday/Occasion Card thing mapped out, and would love to pilot it during the Olympics Opening Ceremony tonight. If you're interested in being a groundbreaker, please memail me your email address, or even better, send an email to

Email you'll get a form to fill out, with:
Mefi username
Address (including the name you want card addressed to)
The occasion you would like cards for, and the date (Month at a minimum)
Any other information you want the sender to have.

Between the 1st and 5th of the month, anyone enrolled gets an email:
Would you like to send a card this month? Please reply by the 9th
Yes (qty, 1-10)
No, but check in next month
No, please remove me from the club.

# of Opt-ins / # of celebrants , assignments sent on the 10th of the month.

Then y'all are on the honor system to send cards out on time.

I hear your concern, Secretariat. I was thinking that too.... I'm willing to give it a shot, though (and can fill in the gaps so everyone gets sent something at least once).
posted by Fig at 2:08 PM on February 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

Hey Fig, I just sent my info and got this in return:

Your message wasn't delivered to because the address couldn't be found, or is unable to receive mail.

Oh hey I see the problem, there are two e-mail addresses listed. I bet MefiCardClub is the right one. I will try that next and maybe a mod can edit the comment?

(Yep, that's what the issue is. Mod assistance please and thank you?)
posted by elsietheeel at 3:29 PM on February 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

Mod note: Fixed!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 3:34 PM on February 9, 2018 [3 favorites]

(thanks Eyebrows!) (sorry, everyone else! this is what pilots are for :) )
posted by Fig at 3:36 PM on February 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

Also -- just send the Meficardclub email a little "hey i want in" , and I'll send the forms out later this evening. Thanks!
posted by Fig at 3:40 PM on February 9, 2018 [2 favorites]

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