FIFTHMAS: The Fifth Giftmasiversary

Wow. This is it. This is year 5 of Giftmas. We’ve been doing this for five freakin’ years.

IT’S GIFTMASIVERSARY Y’ALL!! The anniversary of The Avocado is 12/4 – since Sunday tends to work better for the actual unwrapping, we’ll be celebrating on Sunday, 12/6.


  1. Sign up and tell me your preferences by completing this form by noon on Friday, October 9th. If you have any problems using the form, or the form is not equipped to address your specific situation, please let me know ASAP.
  2. Sit on your hands and wait until you get an email from me with your giftee’s deets, along with additional information. This will probably be later that Friday, or potentially over the weekend if I’m really busy.
  3. Scour the globe/web for the perfect gift.
    • Gifts should not exceed US$25 in value.
      • Note: this is a higher limit than previous years, intended to keep pace with inflation. Remember, it’s not a target for how much to spend: it’s definitely a “please try not to spend more than this and feel free to spend nothing” type of limit.
    • Homemade gifts are acceptable and encouraged.
    • If you plan on making a food item for your giftee, please a) make sure it’ll still be good by the time it gets there, and b) that you’ve addressed any dietary restrictions your giftee has. If your giftee neglected to mention any dietary restrictions and you want to double-check, reply to the email I send you and I will contact your giftee. Yeah, that might spoil the surprise a bit, but so would anaphylactic shock. That said, dietary restrictions are a good thing to include in the “additional info” section.
    • Once names are drawn I’ll post an introduction/wishlist thread, in addition to the details included in the email, so you’ll hopefully have some good creeping material.
  4. PLEASE ship your gift so that it will arrive on or before Saturday, December 5th. Do not include your username anywhere with your gift. IRL sender names might be inescapable with some shipping options, but if you don’t include your username, you effectively remain anonymous. Plus, some people like the surprise.
  6. Do your best to be lurking The Avocado on Sunday, December 6th! I will host an Anniversary Party/Gift Opening Thread, at which point we can all thank our fellow Avocados for their generosity, and people who are dying to know who their gifter was can ask. Please respect that not everyone will wish to know who their gifter was. No spoilers!

GIFTMAS: Our priorities

1) Respect for privacy. There are a number of different options for both shipping and receiving, to try and be as inclusive as possible while respecting that everyone has different levels of comfort with personal information being out there in the world. I am the only one who will see the signups, and only relevant information will go to the person getting a gift for you, and only that person. Once the gift exchange is complete, I will delete everything. Trust me. I’m a data scientist.

2) Reduction of cost. There is a price cap, homemade goods will be accepted/encouraged, and Avocados will be lumped together by regions of the globe so as to cut shipping costs and keep shipping within national borders as much as possible. If finances are less of an issue for you and you’re chuffed by the idea of sending a package from New York to Sydney, please consider opting to ship internationally should the need arise. That said, if you’re a non-US Avocado, don’t hesitate to sign up – the more of you that do, the fewer people I have to beg to pay international shipping fees. That, or people might just opt to send you a gift card via email.

3) LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP FOR EVERYONE! It’s always nice to feel like you’re a part of a community, but in a community as large as this one, there’s always a chance you might get paired with someone you don’t know very well. To that end, there will be a section to include things you like or are interested in if you choose. That said (and this especially goes for anyone who is getting a gift for a female Avocado), let’s keep it purely friendly – no romantic overtones, no professions of love written and folded into the pages of a book. I know there are some crushes out there, but unless you’re somehow paired with a user you’re actually dating, let’s keep it platonic. We want this to be fun, not awkward.

If there is, unfortunately, someone you would not be comfortable giving a gift to/receiving a gift from under any circumstances, there will be a place to note that and I am the only one who will ever see it. While I ask that you take the time to consider these exceptions carefully, I don’t want someone to feel uncomfortable participating because they’re worried about someone they have a bad relationship with here knowing their address. Once names are drawn, there will be no “swapping” or reassigning of names.

General reminders/suggestions:

  • 2020 IS A SHITSHOW UPDATE: while things seem to have mellowed out somewhat since the peak of the US Postal Service chaos in July/August, if this is your first attempt at mailing something since last Giftmas, please note that US mail carriers are seeing big reductions in overtime compensation, which has increased shipping times. To be on the safe side, add a week to whatever your anticipated shipping time is – even if you’re shipping domestic in the US.
  • Avocados shipping across the US/Canada border need to plan to ship like they would to somewhere overseas. Add at least two weeks to whatever you’d had planned. I know they seem close but the Mail Mooses are sloooow (also, see previous note – a cocktail of chaos).
  • If you reside in a country that has a history of customs issues or losing packages, please either opt to receive a digital gift, or do your best to provide delivery instructions with the level of detail necessary to minimize the chance it’ll get lost. It’s a real bummer for your gifter when their package fails to be delivered through no fault of their own.
  • If you’re opting for digital only, or even if you’re not, consider including a range of dates or date guidelines that generally work for you in your Gift restrictions/specifications section — one great digital gift option is digital tickets to an event (generally all that’s needed for those is an email address to send the tickets to), but the biggest point of concern for gifters on that is getting something on a date that doesn’t work for the giftee.


Since it’s the fifth anniversary of Giftmas and the world is on fire, I thought it’d be nice to add a charity component to this year’s event. I totally understand it won’t be feasible for everyone, but I figure if the donation amount is set at $5, then we can set a fundraising goal for whatever 5x[total Giftmas participants] is, and folks who are in the position to do so can “adopt a donation” on behalf of those ‘cados that aren’t able to participate. You’ll see a new page on the Giftmas sign-up form with these details, as well as some charity ideas. Obviously there are near-infinite charities we can donate to — the only requirement I have is that a selected charity be accepting of international donations. If there’s a clear frontrunner from the form, I’ll pick that one, or if there are multiple contenders, I may opt to create multiple donation sites that link together. At any rate, once sign-ups are closed and names are distributed, I’ll set up a gofundme or similar so folks can start donating. Sound good?

And I think that pretty much covers it!

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Leave ’em below. I may make tweaks to the form as I receive feedback.

Questions or concerns you wish to voice privately? Email

Let’s do this!