secret quonsar 2018: Let the Niceness begin! October 31, 2018 9:03 PM   Subscribe

It's secret quonsar time again! Participants will find out who they have drawn on Sunday, November 11, and the gift send by (or on) date is Saturday, December 1*. Please sign up by 11:59 PM EST on Friday, November 9. The spending guideline: $10-20.

secret quonsar (wiki) is the MeFi holiday-adjacent gift swap. Each participant sends a gift to an awesome Mefite; each participant receives a gift from an awesome Mefite. Awesomeness and gifts abound.

Signing Up
There will be a link at the end of this post. Follow it. We need an actual MeFi username, an email address you check, your name & mailing address, and some good guidance for the person who draws your name. (If you are strongly google-averse, you may sign up with a MeFi sockpuppet name and throwaway account. You must agree to check the account until the gift you sent arrives and you receive your gift, and to send me via MeMail your primary MeFi handle AND the sockpuppet handle which I will pass onto the person who draws your name via MeMail.)

You will get a confirmation email that will show you the information you submitted. It will come from google forms and it will look like the form you just filled out. Please check your spam/junk mail folder. If you do not get this confirmation within 48 hours, send me a memail or an email to our gmail account. If you have not gotten a confirmation email, you may not be signed up or you entered the wrong email address. We can fix that.

Fun Fact: Every year, several people accidentally typo their own email addresses, which leads to confusion and consternation, and sometimes no gift for someone until late in the season.

You will get your draw via email. It will contain key information about the person you will be gifting: MeFi username, a real world name, mailing address, and hopefully helpful guidance from the person you drew. It should allow you get off to a running start.

If you are having trouble putting together your guidance section, ocherdraco put together a list of questions a few years ago to help you focus. You don't have to answer all (or any of) the questions, but this is a good place to start if you are stumped by the Guidance section.

We will not share, abuse, sell, or spindle your email address. The person who draws your name will not get your email address. We will delete all emails sent and received at the end of the sq season.

The Rules
If you failed to send your giftee a gift last year (without working it out with us), don't even bother signing up. You've been banned from this year's festivities. If you do try to sign up, your name will be yoinked from the swap. 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 sign up anyway, you will be removed from the list and you will hear from me.

If you find that you can't participate after signing up but before the draw, after all, then send me a MeMail or an email to the address below. I'll remove your entry. If you find that you can't participate after all after the draw, please send an email to that same gmail account as soon as possible so we can contact the folks who drew you and whom you drew and redirect or reassign as appropriate.

If you do not think you can mail a gift in a reasonable amount of time, please do not participate. It's not OK to plan now on finding and sending your gift after your life calms down in January or late December or on Valentines Day.

Hey! You have a question!
We're happy to serve as anonymizing middlemen if you have a question for your recipient, to send messages to your recipient on your behalf, to find out if a package has been sent or has been received. Send us an email at our gmail address (see below), and we'll see what we can find out for you.

A Note About the Swap Groups
If we do not get enough people to do a swap in a group, we will contact folks in the underpopulated swap groups to see what can be done before the swap. Also! We are trying out a US/Canada swap group this year.

A Note about International Swapping
We STRONGLY recommend mailing as early as possible if you are going to send anything internationally, especially if the US is involved. Customs holds up lots of packages for varying amounts of time (with some, it seems forever.) If you sign up for the International/Anywhere option, please be aware that shipping times may stretch out longer than you'd prefer.

Signing up for the international swap does not guarantee that you will get a gift from and/or will send a gift to someone outside of the country in which you live (particularly if you live in the USA).

Communicating with Us
Unless you need to contact us specifically about one of the organizers, please use our gmail account, secretquonsarswap. This will help us make sure we don't overlook anything and can be as efficient as possible.

Who we are
This year, the quonczars are arcticseal, phunniemee, and me. If you drew one of our names and need to contact us anonymously about your quonsee, contact one of the other quonczars to get your answers. [Phunniemee will be in and out of pocket in November, so your best bet is arcticseal or me!]

*Send Date
We have set the send by date to be December 1. This is one day LESS than last year. We do expect folks to have their gifts in the mail or on their way to the post office at the very beginning of December. This is not a free pass to mailing it out the next weekend.


The signup link
Sign Up Here.
posted by julen to MetaFilter Gatherings at 9:03 PM (157 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

Some unsolicited advice from me, one of the people who run this thing:

1. Focus on doing something nice for others, not on “free gifts on the internet”. This year has been really tough on many fronts for many of us, and the opportunity to bring a little bit of joy to someone else can be a wonderful thing.
2. Be honest in your guidance: if blackberries make you break out, tell your quonsee nothing made with blackberries. Don’t drink coffee? Only want things that can be used up? Have a serious aversion to tiny walruses? Help your quonsar do a good job!
3. This may be a great opportunity to practice patience. Whether your gift is shipped internationally or at the last minute, you might not get your gift as fast as others get theirs. We will nag people on your behalf, but not until a reasonable amount of time has passed.
4. You don’t have to hand-sculpt a Hasselhoff out of horseradish cheese or nominate your quonsee to be a local court judge to be a successful quonsar. Be thoughtful, pay attention to guidance, and do the best you can within the parameters. There’s no grand prize secret quonsar winner with a giant ribbon encrusted trophy; we won’t be taking a vote to determine who was naughty or nice.
5. The budget is there for a reason. Don’t send your quonsee a brand new laptop with your sweet sweet hedge fund money.
6. Totally lurk this thread and the future Thank You thread for good gift ideas. Seriously, every year I steal at least one gift idea from these threads.
posted by julen at 9:19 PM on October 31 [28 favorites]


Hooray! Thanks to julen, arcticseal, and phunniemee for putting this together!
posted by jedicus at 9:21 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Y'all rock.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:34 PM on October 31


So excited!! Thanks again for doing this, you are all wonderful.
I forgot to mark it on my signup form but I’m happy to be a second-chancer!
posted by exceptinsects at 9:56 PM on October 31


Oh this is lovely !! I will sign up and can't wait to shop for my giftee.
posted by seawallrunner at 10:16 PM on October 31


For unto us a quonsar is quonsared! So excited to do this again.
posted by not_the_water at 10:53 PM on October 31


Signed up, yay! I love quonsar!

Nthing Julen's advice to focus on the giving rather than the receiving. Be the best giver, that's the true meaning of Quonsmas!
posted by smoke at 11:33 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Yay! Thank you julen, arcticseal, and phunniemee, you guys rock!
posted by ellieBOA at 12:15 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


So I somehow signed up twice and got two confirmation emails lol I’m such a dummy. Sorry if I screwed up your system- user error on my end, what I get for signing up via phone eek.

Anyways- I can’t wait! I have so many wonderful read books lying around that I would love to send to a new owner to enjoy! And maybe other things I can make hmmm....

❤️
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 12:20 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


All signed up! YAAAAAAY
posted by mdonley at 1:05 AM on November 1


Signed up for my first SQ! Woop!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:18 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


BOOM.
All. Signed. Up.
Let the Quonsaring begin !
posted by Faintdreams at 3:57 AM on November 1


Yay! I’m excited to participate this year, after sitting out last year.
posted by Aravis76 at 3:58 AM on November 1


Yay! Something good in my life before I sink into the hell of unprepared NaNo!
posted by chaoticgood at 4:58 AM on November 1 [5 favorites]


Hooray! It's the most wonderful time of the year! I think this is my fourth year participating!

(I guess I am excited so if anyone else needs any exclamation points: !!!!!!!!!)
posted by minsies at 5:42 AM on November 1


I am SO quonsing the quonse out of Quonsmas this year.

Extra big thank-yous to julen, arcticseal, and phunniemee for spreading the schmoopy in a year that desperately needs it.
posted by angiep at 5:42 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Yay, I am so excited - I wasn't sure whether I'd have a sensible address to give/be moved in time but I have and I will be so I have excitedly signed up for my first Quonsar as a homeowner, rather than having to worry about shared post boxes and upstairs's over-excitable mail hating dog. :D :D
posted by halcyonday at 5:48 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Signed up!

First Quonsmas!

I wonder if there Quonsmas songs ...

Googling for Quonsmas carols led me to a lovely 2015 WaPo article about Quonsmas

Quonsmas time is here
Take a break from fear
The internet
Brings us this fete
Spreads hope both far and near
posted by bunderful at 6:02 AM on November 1 [11 favorites]


Thank you, quonsczars! You are awesome. And I can't wait to be a Secret Quonsar this year.
posted by capricorn at 6:16 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


It's the quon-sarrrr-ist tiiiiiime
of the yearrrrrr

posted by introp at 6:39 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Yaaaaaaay quonsmas! I didn't participate last year because I was moving, but this year I'll be traveling through Asia on holiday and I can't wait to shop for fun goodies from Japan for my quonsee!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 6:45 AM on November 1


Ha, I like going back and reading my gift guidance answers from previous years. It is fun to see what I liked and didn't like and what has changed (hobbies) and hasn't changed (still failing to teach myself how to knit).

Secret Quonsar is such a delight! Thanks so much to the team that makes it all possible.
posted by jillithd at 6:46 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


THIS year is going to be THE YEAR I sign up on time instead of late!!!

I'm excited.
posted by sciatrix at 6:56 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Signed up!
posted by lucy.jakobs at 7:02 AM on November 1


Yay! My favorite thing.

1. Focus on doing something nice for others, not on “free gifts on the internet”. This year has been really tough on many fronts for many of us, and the opportunity to bring a little bit of joy to someone else can be a wonderful thing.


This. 1000 times this. It's about making a connection with someone, not about getting a thing.
posted by bondcliff at 7:13 AM on November 1 [11 favorites]


Yay! I'm in! This is my favorite part of MeFi!
posted by kimberussell at 7:16 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR
posted by RhysPenbras at 7:16 AM on November 1


QUONSMAS IS UPON US!!

This is probably one of the things I look forward to the most every year :)
posted by astapasta24 at 7:19 AM on November 1


I'm not sure I can convey how happy it made me to find the signup email in my inbox this morning. TIS THE FUCKING SEASON HOORAY.
posted by lydhre at 7:31 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Woo! Quonsmas seriously makes me happier than all other winter holidays.

THANK YOU julen, arcticseal, and phunniemee for running this!
posted by Fig at 7:53 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


WHY CAN'T WE START QUONSMAS ON CAPS LOCK DAY
posted by Soliloquy at 7:57 AM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Yay! I'm so happy that Quonsmas time is here! Thank you to the Quonczars for putting in so much work. :)
posted by jet_pack_in_a_can at 7:57 AM on November 1


If anyone is on the fence about signing up, GET OVER IT. This is an event that will remind you that Metafilter is a goodness and we're lucky to be here.

The organizers deserve every kudo you're gonna see thrown their way.

PS: If you archive and don't delete email (thanks gmail), search 'quonsar' and relive years of gift giving goodness.
posted by DigDoug at 8:15 AM on November 1 [6 favorites]


So excited to get the signup notice! Yay for a bit more wonderfulness in the world.
posted by jenettsilver at 8:17 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Where do we sign up to be second-chancers? I'm in the mood for gift giving and if someone has to drop out for whatever reason, I'd love to send a second package!
posted by domo at 8:19 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


I'm all signed up and I remembered to write that I don't need any more t-shirts! Why does my world revolve around free t-shirts?
posted by advicepig at 8:24 AM on November 1


TBH: I use the one SQ tshirt I have a sleep shirt to remind me of how nice this place is.
posted by advicepig at 8:24 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Signed up and prepared to quonse once again!
posted by thomas j wise at 9:35 AM on November 1


Oh yes yes yes I got a bunch of boxes and soon I'll be able to fill at least one of them with stuff and send it somewhere random!
posted by bile and syntax at 9:40 AM on November 1


It's so difficult for me to say what I want that I didn't manage to sign up the last two years just because I got stuck on that part. I finally overcame that barrier this year, and I'm excited to participate!
posted by J.K. Seazer at 9:54 AM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Yay! Thank you for making this happen, quonczars!
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:58 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


God damn, I needed this right now.
posted by Sophie1 at 10:14 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


This year has been really tough on many fronts for many of us, and the opportunity to bring a little bit of joy to someone else can be a wonderful thing.
There's only one rule that I know of, babies — 'God damn it, you've got to be kind. '
The thing that I like about Quonsmas is that everyone knows the whole thing is good-hearted and done with good intentions, and that's enough. It's purely an effort to send some cheer and fun to a fellow MeFite, and it will be received with gratitude.

Three cheers for Quonsmas! Hurray for the gherkin-shaped garlands and the banjo orchestras and the dill potpourri and the quinine-nog! Remember what they say: "It's not the postage or the padding, but the positivity in the package."
posted by wenestvedt at 10:17 AM on November 1 [11 favorites]


I had a great time doing this the last two years (and was glad I got over being shy about it). It was so much fun! Big thanks to the organizers!
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 10:19 AM on November 1


Someone needs to make a Quonsmas TV special.
posted by holborne at 10:31 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


ocherdraco's list of questions includes, "Are you in any fandoms?"

I am in the Jingle Rock Bell fandom
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto at 10:34 AM on November 1 [11 favorites]


Yay, I just signed up for the first time! Pretty excited.
posted by sunset in snow country at 10:48 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


I'm in!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:58 AM on November 1


Signed up. Excited!
posted by theora55 at 11:04 AM on November 1


Yippee!!! All signed up!
posted by hapax_legomenon at 11:04 AM on November 1


I'm a first timer and felt a little trepidatious, but I signed up!
posted by rekrap at 11:08 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Okay, I'm signed up. Did it last year, too, and enjoyed it. The hardest part is figuring out the guidelines: what to say what to say. I mean, I could drivel on endlessly about likes/dislikes and could get really specific (love coffee, hate brown/orange/yellow) but how much is too much? Aarrgh.
posted by MovableBookLady at 11:11 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


I've only ever done this once, ages ago. (It was a blast!) Definitely up for another round with all the craziness this year.

Let's goooo!
posted by erratic meatsack at 12:01 PM on November 1


I love scouring someone's history to figure out what to get. I'm filled with anticipation for draw day.
posted by advicepig at 12:05 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Just signed up again. I'd like to add another bit of unsolicited advice based on my experiences:

7. If you sign up, please commit to acknowledging your Quonsar in the thread or by Memail. No one expects you to gush, but at least confirm that the package arrived and that you appreciate the effort your Quonsar put into it.

For one, I'm sure that makes the elves' job easier, and that should be reason enough for all of us to drop a note that the gift arrived either privately or in the thread. But out of the five times I've participated, TWICE my giftee hasn't bothered to even confirm that he/she/it received the gift, nor whether they liked it. And that just kind of sucks. Even if you hate the gift, your Quonsar worked hard to choose or make it, and braved the post office in the holiday season. The Secret Quonsar gift thread is the best of the web, for sure--be sure to add your part.
posted by Liesl at 12:53 PM on November 1 [37 favorites]


The hardest part is figuring out the guidelines: what to say what to say.

For my money, I would suggest: say MORE. I mean, the more I know about you the easier it is for me as a giver to delight you.

And trust me, that field will hold a LOT of text.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:23 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


I never say much, which may be a bit of a SQ faux pas, but I've legitimately liked every last thing I've ever received. I just say what I unequivocally don't want to receive and leave the rest up to my Quonsar.
posted by Julnyes at 1:36 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


7. If you sign up, please commit to acknowledging your Quonsar in the thread or by Memail. No one expects you to gush, but at least confirm that the package arrived and that you appreciate the effort your Quonsar put into it.

Yes, this - please let the sender know that you received your gift!

I just signed up - looking back at my previous Quonsmas correspondence fills me with the warm fuzzies all over again. (And boy, I could use some warm fuzzies.)

And thank you again to the Quonczars - what you do is amazing!

PS Oh, and I'm happy to sign up again as a Second Chancer.
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:23 PM on November 1


Praise the tiny baby Quonzite. All will now be well, for the Quonzaning season is upon us.
posted by Dorinda at 2:30 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Please read over the receipt you get to make sure the data is all there [address especially!] and correct!

The US/Canada group is a go and we've already got 2 for the Australia/New Zealand group which is very promising - we usually don't hit 2 for that group until Day 4!

domo: "Where do we sign up to be second-chancers? I'm in the mood for gift giving and if someone has to drop out for whatever reason, I'd love to send a second package!"

I've added your and RedOrGreen's name to the list - people can volunteer here, via memail, via email... we're pretty flexible about that.
posted by julen at 2:40 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


I also volunteer to be a second chancer! The more gifts I can send the merrier.
posted by lydhre at 3:06 PM on November 1


I am so in.
The yearly quonsing is one of my favorite ways to make manifest the god-who-does-not-exist-yet-is-always-with-us.
I love you all.
posted by signal at 3:11 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Yay! I’m excited.
posted by ocherdraco at 3:27 PM on November 1


Yay, all signed up! Thank you so much for doing this! <3
posted by wiskunde at 3:48 PM on November 1


I’m dreaming of a secret quonsar
Just like the one I used to know
With the hamsters randomising
And MeFites presentising
And marmosets playing in the snow
I’m dreaming of a secret quonsar
With every gift guidance I write
May your customs hold-up be slight
And may all our quonsmases be bright
posted by billiebee at 4:43 PM on November 1 [10 favorites]


I have a secret quonsar
Chosen by hamster wheels
I'll search their mefi comments
Find something that appeals!

Oh quonsar, quonsar, quonsar
I've never seen your face
But I'll get you a present
And mail it to your place!
posted by ChuraChura at 5:40 PM on November 1 [10 favorites]


So, I reread the Rules but didn't see any way to edit my guidelines for gifts. I've been told to say MORE, but how? Thanks.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:09 PM on November 1


MovableBookLady: "So, I reread the Rules but didn't see any way to edit my guidelines for gifts. I've been told to say MORE, but how? Thanks."

If you email us at our gmail account - secretquonsarswap - we would be happy to update your gift guidance section! [Although yours is fine. More information is always good, but you are fine.]
posted by julen at 6:41 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


julen: "The US/Canada group is a go and we've already got 2 for the Australia/New Zealand group which is very promising - we usually don't hit 2 for that group until Day 4!"

Go go power US/Canada! I'm so proud of this pony <3
posted by capricorn at 6:55 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Sooo, it's not letting me select a swapping region on my phone (as in, the dropdown arrow won't drop down, no matter where I touch on my screen), but I can't submit my answers until I do. Help?
posted by triggerfinger at 6:58 PM on November 1


triggerfinger: "Sooo, it's not letting me select a swapping region on my phone (as in, the dropdown arrow won't drop down, no matter where I touch on my screen), but I can't submit my answers until I do. Help?"

Triggerfinger, I just changed it from a dropdown to a radio buttons in the hopes that would be more accessible, but I'm afraid that may be closing the barn door after horse is scampering around out front watching me rearrange deck chairs [I'll take mixed metaphors for $400, Alex.]

If you can't get it to work, I give you dispensation to just email us at the gmail account with your handle, name, address, email, desired swap group, and guidance.
posted by julen at 7:10 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


That worked! Thank you so much for the help! :)
posted by triggerfinger at 7:14 PM on November 1


Going to sign up now! I've had nothing but delightful experiences the couple years I've done it. I also volunteer as a second chancer!
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:24 PM on November 1


Hooray!

...

Here's a statistical preview: we've got 167 people signed up so far! That's right on track with past years, and there's a delightful combination of: long time quonsaristas and first-timers; people who spend the most of their time in different corners of the Metafilter world; a delightful array of people from 5 continents [so far], and some really interesting folks. The rest of the folks are merely delightful.
posted by julen at 8:47 PM on November 1 [20 favorites]


Yay! Stats are my favorite updates.
posted by lesser weasel at 9:11 PM on November 1 [7 favorites]


Could I be a second chancer?
posted by ChuraChura at 4:56 AM on November 2


Hmmmm.

I signed up and provided gift giving info (perhaps too much?) But I also gave a wishlist link - I know they make some peoples life easier, but is that the wrong way to do it?
posted by Faintdreams at 6:01 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


Yay! I've been on Metafilter a decade but never joined in. I do the cookie swap each year (which I looooooove), and so dangit why not do this, too?! I can't wait to start shopping for someone! My heart is already full of great cheer!
posted by missmary6 at 6:39 AM on November 2 [6 favorites]


But I also gave a wishlist link - I know they make some peoples life easier, but is that the wrong way to do it?

That is specifically mentioned as a suggestion -- so no worries, you're Doing It Right!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:59 AM on November 2 [1 favorite]


I generally choose one swap of this type per year and this year I quonse. Pretty excited to try it out!
posted by wellred at 7:37 AM on November 2 [3 favorites]


It's my favorite time of year!

I've been pretty absent from MetaFilter this year - just too much daily depression. I've never felt so exhausted all the time.

But this is a wonderful pick-me-up. So looking forward to gift-giving!
posted by MsVader at 10:01 AM on November 2 [4 favorites]


First timer! I hesitated, wondering if living in a far away corner of the world would be an obstacle but with the encouragement from the other thread (NZ) . . . . . now I get to find more gifts!
posted by lemon_icing at 12:49 PM on November 2 [5 favorites]


DOING IT

I am making things this year and if the kiln doesn't blow them all up, my quonsee may just benefit. Here's to the lumpily hand-thrown!
posted by Lawn Beaver at 1:45 PM on November 2 [6 favorites]


Signed up from Down Under.
posted by MT at 1:46 PM on November 2 [1 favorite]


ChuraChura: "Could I be a second chancer?"

Yes! I've added you to the list

Faintdreams: "I signed up and provided gift giving info (perhaps too much?) But I also gave a wishlist link - I know they make some peoples life easier, but is that the wrong way to do it?"

There is no wrong way to quonsar, short of sending no gift or sending an intentionally terrible gift. Wishlist links are a good option - one among many. In general, More Info is almost always great.

Important Randomization Hamster Update:
I have been informed they are taking a "Gap Week" before they buckle down next weekend to do the Randomizing. They just left here with a rhinestone tiara, a shovel, and a bucket of blueberries. It also looked like one of them was wearing a wire. Now, I'm not saying the FBI is looking for a new project now that their college basketball probe is done, but what I am saying is "Don't try to bribe the hamsters if you see them propping up the bar at your local watering hole."
posted by julen at 2:40 PM on November 2 [13 favorites]


Hmmmm, don't see it in wiki, what's the timeline for second chancers? Is it after the New year or just before that xmas thing?

And how can I sign up to give a gift but not recieve since I cannot think of a thing to say about myself and would rather spread good cheer....

And I'll have "random question" for $200, Alex, to make the question trifecta.
posted by mightshould at 4:48 PM on November 2


Yayyyyyyyy!

And I happily volunteer to be a second chancer, I always have so much fun shopping for the lovely people of metafilter.
posted by lepus at 7:57 PM on November 2


mightshould: "Hmmmm, don't see it in wiki, what's the timeline for second chancers? Is it after the New year or just before that xmas thing?

And how can I sign up to give a gift but not receive since I cannot think of a thing to say about myself and would rather spread good cheer...."


We generally start assigning second chancers in mid-December. Occasionally, there's one or two that needs to be earlier, but mid-December through mid-January are the prime second chancing season. If you can't do it in December but can in January or vice versa, let us know! We'll work around that schedule.

Second chancers who aren't participating in the main swap should have at least six months membership in the site and some basic participation [comments, posts] in the site, and/or a history of past secret quonsaring [you qualify]. We basically need to be sure you are a real member of the community, not some nefarious nabob.

You'll need to email our gmail account with your name, your handle, and your email address, your location [so we can be geographically smart], and any restrictions [e.g., I can only mail to the US or Europe or Mars].

Also, here's a random answer: These small creatures get violent if they don't get plenty of butter.
posted by julen at 7:52 AM on November 3 [3 favorites]


I appreciate the caution about hamfisting your email address and double checking things, because guess who tried to put their work zip code on their address? :p
posted by joycehealy at 8:37 AM on November 3


Joined ANZ group! Think I typoed my address.
posted by Coaticass at 4:10 PM on November 3


eeee this is my favorite!
posted by brilliantine at 4:55 PM on November 3


Coaticass: "Joined ANZ group! Think I typoed my address."

You can check your email receipt [should be from Google Forms], and if it's wrong, send us an email at our gmail address - secretquonsarswap. If you can't find your receipt, you can just mail us directly [I can see your entry in our spreadsheet, and yes, I suspect there is a typo there].

...

We have a bunch of folks with only a partial street address. I'll be following up with them in the morning, but if you want to beat me to the punch, check your receipt, and send me an updated address before then, it'd make me so happy!
posted by julen at 6:32 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Yay! So excited for my first official participating Quonsar! Aaaand...I think I left my zipcode off. Way to go, me! Will watch for email and send correction.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 7:26 PM on November 3 [1 favorite]


Signed up! Sqis the sqeason!
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:05 PM on November 3 [2 favorites]


Just realising I didn’t get a receipt. I know I’m on the list because you replied to a question of mine julen, but just saying in case it throws something out? Maybe a hamster has snaffled it for bedding...
posted by billiebee at 1:17 AM on November 4


I'm trying to figure out why some people seemingly haven't gotten receipts.

In the meanwhile, if you are looking for your receipt in an overstuffed email box, here's some searching terms you can use:

From: Google Forms
From Email: forms-receipts-noreply@google.com
Subject line: Secret Quonsar 2018 - Sign Up
First line of email: Thanks for filling out Secret Quonsar 2018 - Sign Up

That is your receipt.
posted by julen at 5:31 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


I have signed up to quonse! It seems like I feel this way every year, although the reason tends to differ -- but I really need Secret Quonsar this year. Even apart from the normal Existing in the World stuff that has made the past few years really tough for many of us... I have been working "at capacity" at my job for a while now, recently had good reason to hope that I was inching my way away from the parts of my job that I hate and into a promotion doing stuff that's more interesting and enjoyable and makes better use of my skills, and now feel that slipping away again as they have added something new to my plate that is more of a step backward (or at least lateral) career-wise. Thankfully, it's only a temporary project, but it still means three months of working beyond capacity when I am already totally burned out and in danger of losing accrued vacation time. ANYWAY. The quonsing will be glorious. All hail Secret Quonsar.
posted by cellar door at 8:50 AM on November 4 [10 favorites]


I was a victim of the partial auto fill for my address. Since there was only one address line in the form, auto fill put in my street address and there wasn't any separate fields for city, state/province/etc, so those were missed.

I understand the convenience for the Quonczars to have just one field for address, but I can also see how use of auto fill might mean a change is needed if too many of us missed this. :/

Thanks again for all of the hard work - especially these fiddly bits that are essential to actually mailing gifts!
posted by jillithd at 9:21 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Signed up, I love this time of the year and being an elf. To all you quonsaristas, I say ¡Vive la Quonsar!

In for second chance too.
posted by arcticseal at 9:25 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


Signed up, and happy to be an international second-chancer as needed!

Quonsmas is such a lovely time of the year. Thanks again for organizing!
posted by fraula at 9:36 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Yay! It's the most quonsarful time of the year!
posted by ocherdraco at 9:44 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Signed up!
posted by kalessin at 10:40 AM on November 4 [1 favorite]


I definitely needed some Quonsmas spirit - SO EXCITED.
posted by amelliferae at 1:25 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


Yay! You guys are awesome!
posted by Harald74 at 1:58 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


Thanks to our beloved Quonczars. I’ve enjoyed the quonsaning from afar in prior years. This year I have a deep need to be doing weird kindnesses and am so looking forward to manifesting my best elf.
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 3:07 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


I also biffed my address, but fortunately caught it when I got my receipt.

Happy to be a second chancer for anywhere.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 5:20 PM on November 4


On the address kerfluffle:

There have been 16 half-addresses so far, and another 5 missing US zipcodes. That is an uptick over past years, so I'll be looking at different options for next year, but we may not make a change. It's not a simple form change - there are different address formats for different countries, and if we change it, i'd also have to change some scripts. Mailing the 13+5 quonsars so far [three of you caught it in the receipts] wasn't particularly arduous, and that will be a factor in whatever we decide to do next year.

I may have missed some partial non-US addresses. The 2 non-us ones I did identify as incomplete I could compare to other addresses from that country and see there was a real difference.

I was asked about possibly having an Asia Only swap group next year, and that's definitely something we'll gauge interest in during the planning. It's a good idea, and I'm sorry I didn't think of it before.
posted by julen at 5:47 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


PartyParrotWithSantaHat.gif

I'm volunteering to be a second chanceur should the need arise.
posted by jeoc at 6:31 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


I don't know how appropriate this is, apologies.

But maybe when your finished granting the wish of a special Mefite, afterwards you might visit the Special Holiday Wants list put together by the Bacon and Juice Box: Our life with Autism blog as part of their Special Wants group. It's a group they created that allows parents and caregivers of, as well as actually disabled adults, search for special lovies, toys, and objects that hold special meaning but may be discontinued or hard to find - everything from special snippy cups, to t-shirts with logos from a regional store out of business, to a certain teddy bear. Sometimes the request is hard because of the family's financial situation, since medications, therapies, and equipment can be a huge cost on families.

All gift requests are under $40.

You'd be making the holiday a little brighter for people who could use it.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 7:09 PM on November 4 [6 favorites]


Last year I finally got over my years-long chickening out, and actually participated - and it was great! Definitely back in this year, and with considerably less trepidation now that I've been through it once. For any other lurkers - bite the bullet and do it; you'll be glad you did. Promise.
posted by widdershins at 7:12 AM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Yayyy! I'm in!
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:04 AM on November 5


I'm in for second chancing also!
posted by darsh at 11:04 AM on November 5


I'm in; my first time!
posted by fizzix at 5:06 PM on November 5 [2 favorites]


I added myself to the quonse! I AM SO EXCITE!!!11!1!
posted by batbat at 5:55 PM on November 5 [1 favorite]


I think I'm fresh out of racoon skulls, so this year's quonsee will just need to understand that there are "up" years and there are "down" years for those haplessly caught in the maxwelton ADD-fueled spotlight. (I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which is which.)
posted by maxwelton at 12:01 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


Just signed up -- this'll be year ten for me!

Join us, lurkers and newbies! It's one of the sweetest parts of the holiday season for so many of us and the more the merrier. It's such a nice way to get to know fellow mefites.

Also, this year there's an embargo on sending damp, unhappy wombats to all participants. So there's a pretty good chance you won't get one. I'd say at least 60% that you won't.
posted by mochapickle at 12:49 AM on November 6 [4 favorites]


So this is where we are:

We have 314 people signed up so far. I'd estimate 7% of all entries had an incomplete address [thank you, auto-fill], of which all but 1 have been resolved. People have signed up from work and home, from a boat and a plane and a bus. People have been encouraged to both go nuts and to not go nuts. All regional swap groups are a go. Signups still end Friday night. Whee!

Posting opportunities to spread the seasonal kindness are a-ok by me, for the record.
posted by julen at 5:47 AM on November 6 [9 favorites]


I missed my 10th Mefiversary last month, so I'm signing up for the first time!
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 9:43 AM on November 6 [3 favorites]


ok I'm doing it for my first time this year! yay!!!
posted by augustimagination at 12:47 PM on November 6 [3 favorites]


Signed up! Thanks to the elves!
posted by Sublimity at 1:46 PM on November 6


Hooray, I'm signed up! I'm always happy to be a second chancer, too (including internationally if needed).
posted by jessypie at 6:00 PM on November 6


I have signed up! Please feel free to include me as a second chancer.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 10:04 PM on November 6


Yay, I finally got a spare few minutes at a computer with a keyboard instead of my phone, so I'm officially in again! Very exciting stuff.
posted by miratime at 5:44 AM on November 7


Signed up for my first quonsmas! :D
posted by bookdragoness at 7:48 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


Yay! It's Quonsmas time again! I'm excited to take part :). And you can put me down as a second-chancer, too.
posted by Annabelle74 at 9:14 AM on November 7


Right now, we think we have complete addresses for everyone; if you have a non-US Address and haven't already, please check and make sure it's all there. I think they're OK, but I'm less familiar with international mailing address standards than US ones.

More fun facts mid-signup period:

We have siblings, roommates, partners, and spouses signed up.
We have folks from five continents signed up.
There are exactly 0 hamster references in the Guidance so far.
People remain delightful.

If I had to guess, I project that we'll end up with 385 participants, which is a little lower than our peak, but still a good turnout!
posted by julen at 4:19 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


Just signed up for my third quonsmas! And somehow, despite it being my third, I’m still not sure where the line between “helpful specifics” and “obnoxious specifics” is...
posted by bettafish at 6:15 PM on November 7 [3 favorites]


Just signed up for my 4th Quonsmas!
I wasn’t sure I’d participate this year because of various Reasons (none having anything to do with Quonsmas itself) but I finally remembered how FUN it is to both Quonse and be Quonsed, and I decided to reward myself and join in again because it’s really been a hell of a year and I will take joy wherever I can find it!
posted by bookmammal at 7:09 PM on November 7 [4 favorites]


I've missed a Quonsmas or two, so I'm glad to be joining in again.
posted by koucha at 9:51 AM on November 8 [3 favorites]


This is so, so great and so much fun to participate in! Can't wait to do some shopping and open up a package just for me too!
posted by Twicketface at 2:52 PM on November 8 [1 favorite]


Yay! I’m in!
posted by Stynxno at 6:56 PM on November 8


One more day to sign up!

The deadline is Friday night at 11:59 US/Eastern time. That's roughly 24 hours away.

Yet to Be Represented:
There are 11 US states, 7 Canadian Provinces &Territories, 1 of the 4 countries of the UK, and 6 of the 9 Australian States&Territories not yet represented in our list.

One day a Tasmanian will sign up for this thing and my life will be complete. I loved Tasmania.
posted by julen at 9:00 PM on November 8 [8 favorites]


Hey! I'm in! I love this thing! Thanks Quonczars for all your efforts and enthusiasm!
posted by Oyéah at 6:52 PM on November 9 [1 favorite]


Signed up with five minutes to spare! : ) Yay!
posted by SisterHavana at 8:56 PM on November 9 [7 favorites]


OK!

The signups have closed, the hamsters have returned (hopped up on pixy stix and moonshine), and several small fires have been lit under the overly large and unnecessarily complicated randomization machine.

We ended up at 373 participants, after removing duplicate signups and the folks for whom life has demanded their attention elsewhere.
posted by julen at 9:30 PM on November 9 [8 favorites]


Just in time for Quonsmas, you can get free shipping at Amazon, even if you're not a Prime member.
posted by cozenedindigo at 4:53 AM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I forgot to sign up in time, which is just as well because my life is bananas and I'm afraid I would forget to get a gift out in time :( This is one of my favorite things, and at least once a week I have tea from previous Quonsmasses. Sorry to miss this, hope to be back in the saddle next year. Happy Quonsmas to all!
posted by mostly vowels at 7:17 AM on November 10 [4 favorites]


OK! The swap assignments are going out right now. [Multi-tasking!]

They are coming from secretquonsarswap@[my mefi handle].net, [labeled secret quonsar swap announcements] and are sloooooooowly being sent out into the world. [Seriously, mail server, work faster! ]
  • If you did not get a swap assignment and you should have, mail our GMAIL account, secretquonsarswap.
  • If you did not get a swap assignment and think you signed up but are suddenly wracked by doubt, mail our GMAIL account, secretquonsarswap.
  • If you got a swap assignment and it's totally in the wrong region, mail our GMAIL account, secretquonsarwap.
  • f you did get a swap assignment and don't think you should have, mail our GMAIL account, secretquonsarswap.
  • If you drew one of the quonsczars, feel free to MeMail arcticseal or me in November [and PhunnieMee starting in December] to help resolve any questions you may have about our gifts.
Some quick hits:
There are at least 2 people who drew people in their own city. Randomization strikes again!
We ended up with 375 participants.
The Canada/US group was popular!
Better stats tomorrow!
posted by julen at 4:23 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


Also, the timestamps on the emails may be between 3:12 and 3:19pm because that's when I generated them and started sanity checking them. I'm not sure why the timestamps were not updated when I actually sent them!
posted by julen at 4:26 PM on November 10


Just got my email with my Quonsee’s name and gift guidance! I already have some ideas!
(bounces in chair with excitement)
posted by bookmammal at 5:24 PM on November 10


Aiiieeee! I'm really excited by my Quonsee this year and as I engage in the traditional Stalking Of The Comments, I keep fighting with myself to keep from favoriting a bunch of them and giving the game away. I'm having so much fun thinking of ideas.

wheeeeeeeeeek!
posted by sciatrix at 5:55 PM on November 10 [7 favorites]


mostly vowels, can I send you a holiday card? If so, memail me your address!
posted by mochapickle at 6:00 PM on November 10


Oooo, my quonsee is someone I've never heard of before -- I love getting to know people through these exchanges!
posted by Fig at 6:58 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


My quonsee could not be more fun to gift! Very excited!
posted by Sophie1 at 6:15 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Ha ha, my quonsee literally lives across the street from my brother. XD

I love Quonsmas!
posted by jillithd at 7:26 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


Omg, I have like zillions of ideas for my Quonsee. Yay!
posted by holborne at 9:26 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I AM SO EXCITED to shop for my Quonsee!
posted by MsVader at 9:58 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


My quonsee sounded so fun and cool and awesome and I had so much fun shopping for them - and I already ordered their gift! I can't wait to put together a card and a package. As much as I love receiving a gift, I love sending one all the more.
posted by Neely O'Hara at 10:30 AM on November 11 [3 favorites]


Ooh, hamsters brought me another good'un this year. Have already shopped and am anxiously awaiting delivery of some hopefully exciting stuff! I'll almost certainly come up with a few more fun odds and ends to include while I'm waiting. *g*
posted by miratime at 12:38 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


Muah ha ha, I love it when my quonsee gives me an excuse to knit for them!
posted by cellar door at 12:54 PM on November 11 [4 favorites]


First Official Stats O' The Season!

376     Total Participants
051     Times the word "weird" appears in the the Guidance
039     US States Represented
026     Folks Included the Phrase "Go Nuts" in their Guidance
022     Countries Represented
009     Folks Mention They are Vegan in their Guidance
005     Canadian Provinces Represented
003     of 004 United Kingdom Countries [is that the right way to express that?]
003     Australian States Represented
002     National Capitol Districts Represented
002     Folks mentioned Marmosets in their Guidance

For the first time since I can remember the USA Only group is our largest swap group, followed by International, and the USA/Canada groups, coming in with 12% of all participants. (!)
posted by julen at 7:48 PM on November 11 [7 favorites]


I now regret not including "Go nuts. Get weird. Go weird nuts." in my guidance. Next year ...

Meantime I have some fun ideas for my quonsee :D Honestly they made it pretty easy for me. I think.
posted by bunderful at 8:02 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


My quonsee had very modest guidelines which unbeknownst to them are SO EASILY MET by meeeeee. Seriously, no challenge here, just glee.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 8:50 AM on November 12 [2 favorites]


Oooo, my quonsee is someone I've never heard of before -- I love getting to know people through these exchanges!

I love this too! Most times I draw a name I vaguely recognize or don't know at all, and look at their posting history to find massive portfolios of calm, encouraging, informed AskMe replies to questions I'd never think to ask, on topics I've often never heard of! (Or FanFare comments on shows I've never heard of, etc.) There are such deep pools of knowledge and opinion here, & I forget sometimes how widely they're spread.

So, so happy it's quonsing time again. I find the whole thing such a delight.
posted by miles per flower at 9:29 AM on November 12 [4 favorites]


Shopping done! Wrapping happening! Posting happening in the next hour! Hongkong Post lets you print labels, including the customs labels, at home! Basically it's all marmosets go here in just-barely autumnal Hong Kong (the roasted yam and chestnut lady [YouTube link] has only been out intermittently but it was below 25C today and I saw someone in a down jacket so it must basically be Christmas, right?)!
posted by mdonley at 12:00 AM on November 13 [2 favorites]


We've had a couple of questions I thought I'd answer publicly, too:

Do we tell you when we send out our gift?
You can. You don't have to. If you do tell us, it helps us keep a better track on overall swap status but it is neither required or so strongly recommended that it is as good as required.

If you can get the Post Office/Shipper to cough up an estimate when you mail your gift [not always possible], do! Tracking is also great if available/reasonable. That will be helpful should the package you send be this year's version of the package that takes an inexplicable 6 day vacation in Iowa on a trip from Florida to North Carolina. (There's always one!)

Do we tell you when we get a gift?
It'd be great if we found out - you can do this indirectly when you thank your quonsar in the future MeTa Thank You thread. If you thank them privately, it'd be nice if you told us separately; otherwise we'll start bugging you in early-mid December to find out if you got a gift yet [if not, we'll follow up and find out What's Up].

Thank them?
That's right. You're gonna thank your quonsar. I don't care if the gift is the equivalent of Ralphie's Pink Bunny outfit. You will let them know it got there safe and sound, and thank them for sending you a gift. On the plus side, such a gift will help you hone your guidance for next year, and would be an good candidate for a White Elephant/Gift Exchange.
posted by julen at 4:16 PM on November 13 [5 favorites]


I managed to sign up even though I was a day late! Thank you so much, lovely quonsmas elves. To keep that good karma going, I got my gift yesterday and mailed it out today, thus avoiding my usual procrastinate 'til the last minute ways. Quonsmas ahoy!
posted by Go Banana at 11:44 AM on November 14 [1 favorite]


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