For those of you that do not know what a Secret Santa is let me explain. Secret Santa was created at the workplace to exchange gifts with a random co-worker for those that like sharing the holiday spirit. It was meant to keep the cost down for those that were on the fence about giving or not and did not know who to buy a gift for and who not to. Most people would participate for that reason. Names would be selected blindly from a hat and gifts would be given to them from their secret co-worker at the office holiday party. I did this a couple of years on another blog and it went over quite well, and I aim to bring it back again with our Chileheads group on Facebook. I want it to be as fair as I can, so I will establish some ground rules for everyone who wants to participate. It is very important we keep to these rules and not disappoint anyone who participates. This is about the holiday spirit, and I want everyone to have a pleasant experience.
1- All items must be chile-related in some way. It can be food, sauces, seasonings, decorative, engraved, or any other way that can be best described as made for a chilehead. The gift can be self-made. Yes, if you are a maker, you can send your own goods and/or services;
2- The cost of the gift MUST reach at least $25, not counting shipping. You are allowed to spend as much money as you wish, if you desire to go nuts. People are people, and I have learned from the past if they want to spend extra money, they will do so anyway;
3- Shipping is not included in the cost. Yes, I said it above, but it is to be made extra clear because shipping cost a lot these days;
4- The gift must be sent to arrive prior to the Christmas holiday of Dec 25. Hanukkah is Dec 17, and Kwanzaa is December 26. So if you have someone that celebrates these or any other holidays, you can keep that in mind, but December 25th is the due date for all gifts. Mail moves slow, so keep that in mind. Here is a shipping video I did last year to assist you for the holidays: CLICK ME. Keep in mind that the prices might have changed since I made the video;
5- Since it is Secret Santa, you are not allowed to discuss who you have with the person you have. If you wish to fish for gift ideas from a friend or family member of them, then please be as discrete as you can;
6- Announce in the gift package who you are so the Secret Santa is revealed. This is not a grab bag, you must let the giftee know who you are so they can properly thank you;
7- Everyone’s finances are not the best, so keep that in mind when you receive your gift. Keep to the spirit of the holidays and be warm-hearted even if you do not like it. Please share a picture of your gift with the Chileheads group or on here on the holiday thread I will put up for X-Mas.
8- I will need your name, shipping address, and company, (if necessary), sent to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will share your personal information with your Secret Santa and with my Secret Santa helper that I will use to randomly select the names. I have done this before, so please trust me on this. I, nor my helper will use your information for spam or anything else beyond this contest;
9- I am also going to ask that if you have any allergies or food dietary restrictions, to be please announce them ahead of time, so whomever picks you knows what not to send;
10- Lastly, please do me this one favor, and if you wish to be in this, please add your name to this thread for easy reference as well as the Facebook group. The Facebook group might disappear eventually, but we will have this to refer back to if need be. I will have another post once we pick all the names.
I will gather all the names during this week. You have to Saturday by noon est to announce your intentions, and getting me your address info. I will then begin the process of setting up your Secret Santa. The group is almost 500 people, so if we just get 10% doing this I will be busy with 50 names. So it will take about a week to process. An email will either be sent by me or by my helper with the address information to send your gift to. The rest will be on you. Since I am also involved, I can’t know who has me, and that is the reason I include another in the selection process.
One last thing, and I hate to do this, but this is only for US citizens. The shipping costs alone would be unfair to those living outside the country and visa-versa. If people want me to help with an international version, I would be more than happy to do so for those people outside the US. I hate being restrictive, but there is no other fair way to do this. Sorry my international chilehead brethren.
Let’s get this thing rolling. Feel free to ask me any questions on the thread or via email. I will get back to you as soon as I am free to do so. Which means, if I am working it will be after I get home. Oh by the way, you might be asking yourself why is Santa all dressed up blue and not the traditional red? Well, since I was born Jewish and running this here Secret Santa gift giving exchange, then I thought I would find a pic of Santa dressed up in the blue and white of the Hanukkah tradition. Not meant to offend, just to put a smile on your face. My intentions are to at least let you all know that you do not have to celebrate Christmas to be a part of this holiday gift giving extravaganza. It is for any and all faiths even if you do not have one.
Thanks all for your time!