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Subject: BGG Secret Santa 2010 Update - the Good and the Bad rss

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Matthew M
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The Good
- Biggest BGG Secret Santa ever!
- Thanks Santa! Geeklist - 2010 Edition of Look What My Secret Santa sent me... - 1332 entries (and counting!)
- Big thanks to all of the participants who had fun with this! This is the kind of community activity that reminds me year after year why I spend so much time here

The Bad
- Unfortunately, it is inevitable that some people get left out. Any number of circumstances can lead to someone signing up to give a gift and then not being able to do so. We aren't here to speculate about who or why - we just want to make certain that the people who did participate in good faith have that faith rewarded.

If you have not received a gift and are not certain one is coming:
- Please send a Geekmail to the following account:
Secret Santa Admin
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I'm using this account to collect such geekmails so they don't get overlooked as part of the stream of daily geekmails I get to my regular account. Please DO NOT send these geekmails to Octavian - send them to SecretSantaAdmin

At this time I don't need any details other than that you haven't received anything yet. A significant number of these situations will resolve themselves - I will collect more information as needed from those that don't.

Also, please do not make a public issue of it. You have every right to feel frustrated and disappointed, and I recognize that there can be some catharsis from expressing that publicly and commiserating with others in the same boat - but focusing on the negative is not in the spirit of Secret Santa. And know that we are going to make every effort to see to it that no one leaves empty handed.

If you are a generous soul who wants to help those who were left out:
- Please email me directly to volunteer yourself as a Give Only Santa. We have a few saintly users who have already signed up to give a gift to those who are left behind, but every extra bit of safety net can help. If you want to help make certain no one leaves our 2010 Secret Santa disappointed, please send me a geekmail to my regular account and I will gladly add you my list of Secret Santa guardian angels.

The Ugly
This is the part I dread the most - hopefully we'll find reasonable explanations for every case where a Santa's gift wasn't received by his/her target. I will strive to reach some kind of acceptable resolution for every single case. However if there are cases that go unresolved we are prepared to see to it that it is the last time it happens. That means cutting off those users from Trade, Marketplace, Auction, and Secret Santa functions from that point going forward.

Again, my goal is to not get to that point with any of the participants and I will make every reasonable effort to avoid it. But I want to make certain the consequences are clear right now so that it doesn't come as a surprise to anyone later.

In Closing

I hate to end it on a downer, so once again, thank you to all the participants who have not only enjoyed the experience, but also have made sure that your targets have enjoyed it as well. Thank you to everyone who shared your experiences on the 2010 Edition of Look What My Secret Santa sent me... geeklist. And a thousand thank yous to everyone who volunteers to make certain that no Santa is left behind!

This has capped off an amazing 2010 and it makes me even more excited about what 2011 will bring.

-MMM

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Stefan Lopuszanski
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Really hope not many people were left in the "snow" this year around... I know I'd be really disappointed and pissed if I didn't get a gift.

I also know we shouldn't point fingers, but how can someone get a game and not give at least SOMETHING back in return? At the very least you can say you had a financial problem and don't have the ability to give the gift to someone, but at least offer to re-gift the game you got to your Secret Santa target or something!
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João Aroucha
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We should also remember that some countries had really bad weather problems on the last weeks and many flights got cancelled, the transport of goods was also affected by that and maybe the companies still haven't been able to send everything.
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thnaks fo running this, Matt
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Artem Stepin
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Although I still haven’t received the package I have to admit that my Secret Santa is a very careful person. He wrote me when the BGGSS-2010 started, he asked me questions, he informed me when he sent the games and said sorry about doing it a bit late. I know it’s not easy and cheap to send games to Russia, and when the person shows so much attention and worries that the package hasn’t arrived – this whole thing really touches you. Yes, I’d like to receive a game or two but I think what really matters is that this person does it with his heart - not just his credit card. Thank you so much, dear Santa.

And thank you, Matthew, for the organizational process.

Happy Holidays, everybody!
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Kevin Prickett
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Snow doesn't effect e-mail. A merry Christmas would have been good.
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Andy Cassola
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This was my first SS, and sadly I have to say it wasn't a very good experience.

I have received my game allright but my Santa didn't write me anything, The game came directly form a retailer and it wasn't wrapped, and there was not even a small message. I contacted him (his name sa on the package) but I got no answer,

I sent my target 2 games out of his wishlist.... I wrapped them, I put a card in the package and all.... I have to admit the games ware not the most expansive ones....but still..... I contacted my target allright but he hasn't posted anything, so I don't know if he got my package yet (or if he likes it or not),

Thank you to the organizer of this huge thing... I will try again next year, but this year wasn't so good an experience.



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Bryan Maxwell
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the_spy wrote:
This was my first SS, and sadly I have to say it wasn't a very good experience.

I have received my game allright but my Santa didn't write me anything, The game came directly form a retailer and it wasn't wrapped, and there was not even a small message. I contacted him (his name sa on the package) but I got no answer,

I sent my target 2 games out of his wishlist.... I wrapped them, I put a card in the package and all.... I have to admit the games ware not the most expansive ones....but still..... I contacted my target allright but he hasn't posted anything, so I don't know if he got my package yet (or if he likes it or not),

Thank you to the organizer of this huge thing... I will try again next year, but this year wasn't so good an experience.


That's why there was talk about doing 2 separate Secret Santas next year; some people get really jazzed about the extra stuff: taunting, sending message, putting little goodies in with the presents, etc while others are satisfied to just send some games and get some games. I certainly don't find fault with either mindset. It's frustrating for both types when those who want more are upset with those who are only interested in doing the minimum.
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the_spy wrote:
This was my first SS, and sadly I have to say it wasn't a very good experience.

I have received my game allright but my Santa didn't write me anything, The game came directly form a retailer and it wasn't wrapped, and there was not even a small message. I contacted him (his name sa on the package) but I got no answer,

I sent my target 2 games out of his wishlist.... I wrapped them, I put a card in the package and all.... I have to admit the games ware not the most expansive ones....but still..... I contacted my target allright but he hasn't posted anything, so I don't know if he got my package yet (or if he likes it or not),

Thank you to the organizer of this huge thing... I will try again next year, but this year wasn't so good an experience.






I had the same basic experience, but I didn't consider it to be a bad one. Would I have enjoyed more contact from my Santa? Sure! However, this is a busy time of year for many people as it is, and BGG Secret Santa will (and, I believe should) be a third priority after family and 'real world' friends. So I completely understand if people just don't have the time to taunt or do any of the extras. I'm also greatful my target was good about acknowledging my own efforts in that regard. It's nice to know the things you do are appreciated, even if the person expressing gratitude doesn't know it was you!
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TS S. Fulk
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I agree that it is a very hectic time for most. I was totally stressed with work, long commute, present shopping and 3 small kids. I found time for only 1 "taunt" (more like a "hey, be on the look out for a package), but I spent a huge amount of time trying to find on-line stores in the UK that had several of my target's wishlist items. I couldn't personalize the package (it was wrapped), since I wanted to save a shipping by using a UK store instead of a Swedish one.

I hope (and think) my target was very pleased, even if I didn't spend much time on the communication end.

Spirit of 70 wrote:
the_spy wrote:
This was my first SS, and sadly I have to say it wasn't a very good experience.

I have received my game allright but my Santa didn't write me anything, The game came directly form a retailer and it wasn't wrapped, and there was not even a small message. I contacted him (his name sa on the package) but I got no answer,

I sent my target 2 games out of his wishlist.... I wrapped them, I put a card in the package and all.... I have to admit the games ware not the most expansive ones....but still..... I contacted my target allright but he hasn't posted anything, so I don't know if he got my package yet (or if he likes it or not),

Thank you to the organizer of this huge thing... I will try again next year, but this year wasn't so good an experience.






I had the same basic experience, but I didn't consider it to be a bad one. Would I have enjoyed more contact from my Santa? Sure! However, this is a busy time of year for many people as it is, and BGG Secret Santa will (and, I believe should) be a third priority after family and 'real world' friends. So I completely understand if people just don't have the time to taunt or do any of the extras. I'm also greatful my target was good about acknowledging my own efforts in that regard. It's nice to know the things you do are appreciated, even if the person expressing gratitude doesn't know it was you!
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Andy Cassola
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I don't agree.... If you just want a game that's about 40$ or so.... just buy it and forget about SS.... you get even to choose which one you want.

In my opinion a gift from SS should be something more.... and I don't mean it HAS to be something really special like somebody sometimes gets... just something a little more thoughtful.
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Matthew M
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the_spy wrote:

In my opinion a gift from SS should be something more....


I understand where you're coming from, and your point is well made. However not everyone feels the same, and that also isn't a requirement for participating in BGG's Secret Santa. The only expectation in BGG Secret Santa is that you send something. People often go beyond that basic expectation, but it is not required.

But we know that some people want to have more than that, and that is why we've created the publicly available GeekExchange feature - anyone who want to make a separate Secret Santa with different requirements is welcome to do so.

---------

Please - let's not turn this thread into one for complaining. If you are disappointed with how Secret Santa went, email me privately and we will strive to improve it next year. If you haven't received your game yet, send your info to the SecretSantaAdmin account. Let's not use the forums to focus on the negative.

Thanks!

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Victor Caminha
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May I give a suggestion for future SS? Besides the usual "look what santa gave me this year" thread, why not include a survey about when you received the gift? I know, you can have an estimate of each target based on the post dates of those who answered that topic, but it would be far more pratical to check such a survey. Plus, it could give some insights to organizers and participants alike about the delivery's profile of that particular SS. For example:

Poll I: When did you received your gift from BGG Secret Santa

a) November 1-15
b) November 16-30
c) December 1-15
d) December 16-25
e) December 26-January 5 (the misfortuned delay category)
f) January 6-15
g) January 16-31
h) February 1-15
i) February 16-28
j) March 1 - ? (the Let's hunt that damn Grinch category)

Poll II: If you received your gift after Chrismas (i.e. you marked option "e" to "j" in the previous question), please mark below the region where you live.

a) North America (US)
b) North America (outside US)
c) Central America
d) South America
e) Europe
f) Europe (mark this if your country doesn't have a boardgame store, online or otherwise, which you can rely for international orders)
g) Asia
h) Africa
I) Oceania

This second poll could show where you,as SS, can expect shipping headaches. I, for one, haven't received my SS gift yet, but I am not worried. In 2008 it arrived january 24 and in 2009, february 15.
In constrast, my finnish target received his gift before Christmas, in less than two weeks, when I made an order at Coolstuff.
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tornspace wrote:
Stexe wrote:
I also know we shouldn't point fingers...


Actually, the list of naughty Santas should be made public.


What about the emotionally abusive Santas?
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Shari Stidam
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My receiving experience this year was on par with my past Secret Santas...Awesome!

The sending part is where I am feeling stressed this year because my target has not received his gifts yet. I sent the package out the first week of December and did everything suggested to avoid delays by customs, but it's still floating around someplace between here and Brasil. cry

I have sent emails to my target, hoping for some good news, but as of a few days ago, still no delivery. I really feel bad my guy hasn't gotten his gifts and I don't want him to think I didn't do my part as a Santa.

What happens when a package is lost forever? I spent quite a bit on the games and shipping and hope it ends with a happy ending.

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CW Lumm
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tornspace wrote:
Actually, the list of naughty Santas should be made public.


Yeah. Starting with this guy.

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kamchatka wrote:
tornspace wrote:
Actually, the list of naughty Santas should be made public.


Yeah. Starting with this guy.



Ah, DIVERSITY!
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Andy Cassola
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Octavian wrote:
[q="the_spy"]

Please - let's not turn this thread into one for complaining. If you are disappointed with how Secret Santa went, email me privately and we will strive to improve it next year. If you haven't received your game yet, send your info to the SecretSantaAdmin account. Let's not use the forums to focus on the negative.

Thanks!



Not disappointed, just expected something more.... I understand the process, so I got my package and I sent a package to my target. Yey!

laughsauron

Have a nice year everyone!
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tornspace wrote:
Actually, the list of naughty Santas should be made public.


I disagree. I was on the Wargame Secret Santa and was able to taunt, email, and later enjoy the reactions of my target, I was assigned a secret santa that never sent a gift. While I think this is pretty lame, There are enough consequences by admins to reflect any broken trust.

UPDATE...SCROLL TO PAGE 3...MY SECRET SANTA WAS TRUE BLUE!
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Jason Martin
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Well spoken Matthew, if the shipping costs wern't so high, I would gladly re-gift my duplicate gift. In fact, if there is anyone in Newfoundland Canada that did not recieve a gift, I can help.
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I'm happy to report my Santa contacted me today and let me know that there was an inventory issue with the store he used and that the issue is being rectified.

I had confidence that my Santa was on the ball and something had simply gone squirrely, but it is nice to receive word.
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Octavian wrote:
the_spy wrote:

In my opinion a gift from SS should be something more....


I understand where you're coming from, and your point is well made. However not everyone feels the same, and that also isn't a requirement for participating in BGG's Secret Santa. The only expectation in BGG Secret Santa is that you send something. People often go beyond that basic expectation, but it is not required.

But we know that some people want to have more than that, and that is why we've created the publicly available GeekExchange feature - anyone who want to make a separate Secret Santa with different requirements is welcome to do so.

---------

Please - let's not turn this thread into one for complaining. If you are disappointed with how Secret Santa went, email me privately and we will strive to improve it next year. If you haven't received your game yet, send your info to the SecretSantaAdmin account. Let's not use the forums to focus on the negative.

Thanks!


I had grand plans of doing more. But ran out of time, and ran out of money! It cost a small fortune to send the game to the back woods of Europe. I make an above average wage, but was stunned at the cost, plus there were some other needier people to spend time and money on this year, especially in our community.
Next year I shall endeavor to do better, but I dont understand how people can reasonably complain. Its up to the Santa, its his choice, free will and all that. If we are going to turn SS into some rules ridden socialist program of mandatory actions, certain number of taunts, # of gifts etc etc etc. Then count me out.

I did not receive my gift until just the other day. No taunts nothing. BUT I was thrilled to then receive an email from Santa saying its on its way. The effort, of buying a gift and shipping it was enough.

It seems we are all so expectant, and place our own wishes and expectations on other people, and then blame them when really its our fault, as it was OUR EXPECTATION, not theirs.

ahh well rant over.
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Jon Kolman
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the_spy wrote:
This was my first SS, and sadly I have to say it wasn't a very good experience.

I have received my game allright but my Santa didn't write me anything, The game came directly form a retailer and it wasn't wrapped, and there was not even a small message. I contacted him (his name sa on the package) but I got no answer,



How was THAT not a good experience?? You got a game! What about people who didn't get ANYTHING from their SS? Those are the people who didn't have a "very good experience"!

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Louise McCully
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the_spy wrote:
This was my first SS, and sadly I have to say it wasn't a very good experience.

I have received my game allright but my Santa didn't write me anything, The game came directly form a retailer and it wasn't wrapped, and there was not even a small message. I contacted him (his name sa on the package) but I got no answer,

I sent my target 2 games out of his wishlist.... I wrapped them, I put a card in the package and all.... I have to admit the games ware not the most expansive ones....but still..... I contacted my target allright but he hasn't posted anything, so I don't know if he got my package yet (or if he likes it or not),

Thank you to the organizer of this huge thing... I will try again next year, but this year wasn't so good an experience.





I do admit I try to do something a little extra for my target but it's not easy being in NZ when virtually all destinations are a long plane trip (expensive to send) plus if I bought a game & gift wrapped it + postage my target would probably get the equivalent of 2 Fluxx games. Sometimes in the interest in getting your target what they wish for the best option is an online store.

What you got is the minimum expected of a Santa. I've participated 3 times and have never been taunted (though 2 I recieved geekmail) or been sent something not from an online store. I am very pleased with all three cause I got something for Christmas that I wanted, but didn't know what I was getting. My family (not counting my boyfriend) can be very unimaginative with gifts, usually its a small practical item + a cheque.

I'm sorry your target hasn't posted a thank you cause for me thats the best part of Secret Santa to get their reaction soblue.
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Bad Santas should be sent a special microbadge by the admins, as a warning to others...

That or be drawn and quartered, I'm still on the fence.
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