We finally published the dates for NZ Secret Santa 2014 today. There have been some very busy elves making sure we have things in order – but we’re now confident we’ll be ready for registration to open on the 13 November.
Registration is only one week long this year; so we’re really going need your help to spread the word so that nobody misses out. We are looking for creative ideas – but of course one of the most effective ways will be simply tweeting with #nzsecretsanta to build the momentum.
So the big news is that Christchurch City Mission is confirmed as our charity of choice this year. We have spoken to them and boy are they stoked!
It’s a double-edged sword of course, because we’re doing our darnedest to lower the number of Santa’s who don’t send in a gift (as it really does spoil the fun for others), yet this will impact what we hand over to the Christchurch City Mission. Fear not! We have a cunning plan to tackle this, which was supported by those Twitter folk who read our last blog post.
The plan is; everyone signs up and sends a Secret Santa gift and NZ Post donates $1500 if we get 1500 participants, $5000 if we get 5000 signed up participants, or $10,000 if we get 10,000 participants. We asked the Mission what a donation like this might be used for, and one example was “Supplement food parcels with some Christmas fare as an extra treat for those families who come to our food bank“.
But don’t go thinking you’ll be doing anyone a favour by signing up and then not sending in a gift. No way, that’s not the spirit at all. Plus you’ll miss out on a really great experience in present giving (and the elves will make sure you don’t get a gift yourself).
To reiterate the plan: sign up and send a Secret Santa gift – and get all your friends to do the same!
I came across a fantastic blog post recently while I was scouting around for secret santa feedback. It was written by @blauerpunto – a veteran NZ Secret Santa player who’s played since year dot (read about her yearly nzsecretsanta experiences here). Her subsequent blog post epitomises the spirit of NZ Secret Santa, showing the generosity in the New Zealand Twitter community.
But it’s not all unicorns and rainbows (or happy chickens) folks, there’s an underbelly that can spoil the fun for others, and she writes with great sensitivity about this too. I encourage you to read her blog posts to get a feel for the spirit of the game, and to decide for yourself, if you’re up for it.
“I’m glad we could make them smile for a brief moment, and hopefully they’ll still think of their Secret Santa every now and then, when they use their present in the future” @blauerpunto
Remember, it’s about the giving, and there’s plenty of evidence that we’re happier when we give. Need I say more?
Yes actually – there is one more thing on this. We’ve had feedback from people who don’t want ‘bad santas’ to be able to play again. In response to this, we will be warning bad santas from last year that this is their last chance, and preventing them from ever playing again if they don’t send a gift this time. So be good.
How to handle Corporate Santas
In our last blog post we asked how to handle corporates who play – and in particular whether we should allow them to opt out of receiving. Based on your feedback we are going to allow opt-out for corporate players – but we are going to emphasise that this is optional. We also plan to provide guidance that if you are a corporate team rather than an individual playing then it is your responsibility to ensure your Santa has rich information on which to tailor your gift. Suggestions for how to do this included updates to profile descriptions, profile images, and simply tweeting a little more about the individual(s) in the team – basically making it personal.
How to handle Twitter newbies and locked/protected Twitter accounts
The feedback on this was similar to that for corporates. Basically that everyone deserves to be able to play – and that there are other ways that locked accounts can share sufficient information, and not destroy the fun for their Santa. Based on this we’ve decided we won’t step in and prevent those with locked in accounts from playing.
Overall our approach has been to continue to take @websam’s lead and avoid introducing rules and red tape – and continue to rely on the awesome generous spirit we’ve seen in previous years. If everyone understands what it takes to make it fun for everyone else then we’re sweet. We’ll do what we can to provide guidance so they do.
We certainly hope we’ve made the right calls here. Let us know either way in the comments or on Twitter via @nzsecretsanta.
Aly and Rob