Secret Santa 2.0 (back by popular demand)

If you’ve been following us for a while, you may remember Secret Santa 2.0 which took place over on Jenni’s blog Museum Diary last year. Maybe you even took part. Everyone who signed up was given the name and address of someone in return, to whom they then had to send a surprise parcel to in time for Christmas. It could be either something you’d bought or, if you were feeling creative, something you made, along with a Christmas greeting.

The event was so successful (almost 40 people took part), that we’re bringing it back this year by popular demand and making it part of the official Museum140 programme., but we’ve taken on board feedback both from our own event and from other similar events, and made a few changes.

One thing that sadly happened last year was a few parcels never made it to their destination (though we did send those affected a wee surprise parcel in the new year so that no one was left empty handed). Without exception these were all trans-Atlantic parcels, and we think customs may have had something to do with it as many people were sending food items, which can have restrictions on them. So this year, we are going to match up people from the same country instead of doing a global free for all.

The other thing was that despite the idea of it all being secret, people actually used it as a way of networking, introducing themselves to each other and even exchanging business contact details. We think this is great, because at Museum140 we’re all about communication and networking. So, this year we’re going to pair people up to exchange gifts with each other. It’s a little less secret, but it has the advantage that you can also double check addresses and let each other know when you’ve sent your parcel off. We’ve taken this idea from other gift exchanges we’ve seen, and it’s been proven to reduce the rate of parcels not reaching their destination (e.g. maybe the postman tried to deliver when you were out and the note went missing, but if you know the parcel is due to arrive you can chase it up).

So, we hope that if you took part last year you’ll sign up again, despite the small changes, and if it’s your first year without we hope you’ll consider joining in too. All you have to do to take part is email us your name and postal address (you can use your work address, if you prefer), mentioning Secret Santa, and then wait to receive the address of your exchange partner. The deadline to sign up is Friday 30 November.

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Remember, Secret Santa 2.0 is about fun and sharing and surprises, not about spending a fortune, so the recommended value for parcels is around £5/ $5/ €5 (plus postage).

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