Secret Santa – what have the elves been up to?

#nzsecretsanta, spreading the cheer of Christmas one tweet at a time

My name’s Aly and I work alongside Rob, helping out with getting #nzsecretsanta ready for this year’s Silly Season.

About 6 weeks back we put a call out to the #nzsecretsanta community to see whether we could make some small changes to Secret Santa. We got lots of really useful feedback and it has helped to shape Secret Santa this year.

Like previous years, anyone aged over 16 years, with a Twitter account living in New Zealand can play #nzsecretsanta. And like previous years, all participants are randomly matched up with another participant to create the Secret Santa match-up. Then twitter-stalking will happen, gifts will be sent, and gift opening will take place. Brilliant.

That said, there was some disappointment last year. The game relies on everyone sending a gift, but sometimes there are wannabe Santas who sign up, full of best intentions, but due to one too many reindeer toenails to clip, failed to deliver their gift. How gutting is that!

So here are a couple of changes that we want to share with you which may help dissuade the Santa no-shows and help pep up the overall Secret Santa experience.

What’s different this year?

kiwi-sticker6This year, you can send your gift to a small bevy of elves at NZ Post, and we will ensure that only the participants who have sent a gift, will receive a gift. No more gifts for Santa no-shows!

How will we do this? Two key changes…

Send your gift off early!

In order to work out who has or has not played the game, there needs to be a cut off date for receiving the parcels to the Santa Storehouse. Christmas is a busy busy time for the mail system, so send early is our main advice. We have a few dates you can play with but trust us, the elves would prefer you sent your gift off earlier than this.

  • Sending by post – 11th December 2013
  • Sending by courier – received by the elves by 8.45am 16th December 2013

When you register for Secret Santa, you will be asked to Link your Twitter account to a New Zealand Post account.

It’s easy-peasy to link, just follow the registration instructions. Even if you don’t have a New Zealand Post account, we will create one for you on the fly.

You can unlink your Twitter account from your New Zealand Post account using the Applications tab on your Settings page in Twitter at any stage after registration if you want to. Or you can retain the link and sign back in to both Secret Santa and/or NZ Post using your Twitter handle.

Linking these accounts means that you can…

Send your parcel to the Santa Storehouse rather than giving out your physical address. All your Secret Santa needs is your Twitter name and the elves will take care of the rest.

Keep track of your gift! We have asked the elves to find us a promo code to give you free tracking when you send your Secret Santa gift. It is totally optional, but the elves favour it as it will make their job a darn sight easier. The promo code can only be used when printing out postage labels online here.

And here’s the clincher; No gift for Santa-no-shows! Linking your Twitter account to an NZ Post account will help our elves to determine who has sent a gift. If a Santa doesn’t play the game, they won’t receive a gift. That gift will instead, go to City Missions Charity.

kiwi-sticker4So those are the changes. Last year there were about 800 Secret Santas. We can handle those numbers, and more. But if for some miraculous reason registration explodes, we will need to cap the numbers as this is only being run by a few keen folk within NZ Post. It will be a case of first in first served.

To that effect, if you want to know when registrations open, all messages will be sent out from @nzsecretsanta. In fact, do us a big favour and  follow now so that we can start to get a feel for the size of this year’s participation.

In short, we hope you enjoy this year’s Secret Santa game and we look forward to the fun times ahead!!

Aly and Rob @ NZ Post.

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