Wow. This is it. This is year 6 of Giftmas. We’ve been doing this for six freakin’ years.
HOW TO GIFT
- Sign up and tell me your preferences by completing this form by noon Chicago time on Monday, October 11th. If you have any problems using the form, or the form is not equipped to address your specific situation, please let me know ASAP.
- Sit on your hands and wait until you get an email from me with your giftee’s deets, along with additional information. I’ll try for Monday, but no promises. It’ll be soon after though.
- Scour the globe/web for the perfect gift.
- Gifts should not exceed US$25 in value.
- Remember, this is 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.
- Gifts should not exceed US$25 in value.
- PLEASE ship your gift so that it will arrive on or before Saturday, December 4th. 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.
- DO NOT OPEN YOUR GIFT UNTIL DECEMBER 5th.
- Join us in the Giftmas thread on Sunday, December 5th! The thread will go live at 10am CT, 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 in the Gifter Reveal thread. 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, 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.
- I finally caved. This year’s form includes a place to list your frequented threads if you choose.
- USPS (public US mail carrier) has warned of delayed shipping times going into the fall, due to department changes. 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.
- Brexit really fucked the UK for shipping — particularly to/from the EU. This year for the first time, UK and EU shipping options have been separated. If you reside in either the UK or EU and your giftee is in the other of the two, plan to ship as if you were shipping to another international destination.
- Per our friendly neighborhood Bresson:
“EU import regulations on packages changed in June: for all orders coming from outside the EU, you need to pay taxes in an EU country and handling costs while it get processed by your local customs. For the Netherlands, this goes for 4 euros handling costs plus the EU tax rate, which is 21% of the product. Even if you already paid taxes on the product on your original order, there is a big chance you will need to pay them again because you didn’t pay taxes to the EU.
It’s been a shitshow so far, packages get stuck at customs forever. So if you’re planning on shipping to the EU from, for example, the UK (which is now outside of the EU tax zone thanks to Brexit), try to see if you can order from an EU-based company and ship within the EU. Otherwise, they might end up like some of my packages, which were stuck at customs for 3 weeks to 1.5 months even when the taxes were paid. Check out the official EU website for more information.”
- 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.
- FedEx: https://www.fedex.com/ratefinder/home?cc=US&language=en&link=1&lid=//ship/Pack+Rates+Corp
- UPS: https://wwwapps.ups.com/calTimeCost?loc=en_US
- USPS: https://postcalc.usps.com/ (note USPS does a small flat-rate domestic shipping box for $6.80)
- DHL: https://ratequote.dhl-usa.com/
The Spirit of Giftmas Charity Drive
Last year, it was the fifth anniversary of Giftmas and the world was (is?) on fire, so I thought it’d be nice to add a charity component to the event. It was a smash success! We raised over $1,000 for multiple excellent charities. So I figure it’s something we can keep doing – no such thing as too much charity, right?
The charity drive will begin on Giftmas Day (12/5) and last a week. The suggested donation amount will be set at $5, and the fundraising goal will be set for whatever 5x[total Giftmas participants] is. 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 do not have to be a Giftmas participant to donate to the charity drive.
There’s a question in the form to vote for charities. In the interest of maximizing our donations, I’m going to limit the charities to the top three vote-getters. The starting list includes all the charities we donated to last year, plus a few extras. Feel free to vote for as many as you like, and/or stage a write-in campaign for your unlisted preference.
As with last year, I will post donation receipts in the Giftmas thread once they’ve been transferred.
And I think that pretty much covers it!
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Leave ’em below.
Questions or concerns you wish to voice privately? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s do this!