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G&T Secret Santa 2011 - Get with the gifting!

HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Games and Technology

Howdy & Seasons Greetings! Sign-ups are now CLOSED!

What is this?

It's pretty much Secret Santa, except with partial strangers.

You sign up, you buy a forumer a gift, you get a gift, you post your gift on the thread, we all experience the joy that comes from getting gifts from strangers that are probably better than the gifts your own family gets you.

What do I do now?

(1) Find your name in the spoilered list below. If it is not there, then we have a problem! PM me as soon as you can!
(2) Wait for a PM from me providing your Santee's information. If you do not receive one by 11/5 at 6pm EST, then (again) we have a problem! PM me as soon as you can!
(3) Forum stalk your Santee! Do not ACTUALLY stalk him! This is as far as I know illegal and I will testify against you in a court of law.
(4) Buy your Santee a present! The goal here is to make your Santee as happy as possible! Challenge yourself to find out what s/he likes and send an appropriate gift of happiness (minimum $20)!
(5) Ship your present to your Santee! Double, triple and quadruple check the address, and make sure your package has a return address! The deadline for shipping the gift is December 31, 2011!
(6) Receive a gift from your very own Santa!
(8) Post pictures of your haul! The more pictures, the better! See previous years on the gift wall for examples of good picture posts!,,, and all provide free picture hosting so you have no excuse THIS IS NOT OPTIONAL

Shipping Tips

There should be a section in the OP called:

Q: How I ship outside US of A
A: United States Postal Service (USPS)

Really, it's the best if you're looking to not pay $60 for shipping. The proper customs forms are on the website, the post office has the proper plastic window guys to put the forms on the boxes. The package will get there and you won't have to sell your organs.
By the way, if you are sending a gift from the US to another country, if you mark on the package that it is a "gift," your receiver avoids paying taxes on stuff when it arrives. This is the case for a lot of the stuff that I have bought from Asia. Nothing is more annoying than having to pay for your gift. :(

These people speak truth! (and thanks to whomever else provided this info) Be sure and use USPS and be sure and MARK IT AS A GIFT!

Can I ship something straight from Amazon or something?
Yes you can, and it's a good idea to shop at the Santee's home country's Amazon site ( for instance) if you want to save a bit on shipping. Be sure and provide a note upon checkout saying who you are, though!

Get your act together NOW and try and ship your stuff by Dec 10th or so to make sure it arrives before the crazy Christmas rush that always happens at the latter half of December.

Shopping Tips

Interesting Shops: - general geeky stuff. Shipping can be high so be sure and shop around. Google for discount coupons. - junk from Japan. Nearly everyone likes the little toys they have. Google for discount coupons. - one of the best places to get used games, books and DVDs. - for heavily discounted board or card games. - the absolute best place to get action figures.

Things to Note:
360 points are not cross-country compatible.
Most consoles are region restricted. The Nintendo DS is a notable exception to this, though.
If you need someone to contact your Santee for you to pass on a message or to ask questions, you can PM Proxy the Elf or Hypatia.

Stalking / General Shopping Help:
If your Santee has a unique forum handle, be sure and Google it. You never know where else s/he might post.
Keep an eye on the systems he owns if you're thinking of buying a game.
If your Santee has a PS3, don't forget it can play Blu-Ray movies.
If your Santee has a XBox Gamer ID, it's not hard to figure out what games he has / likes.
Be creative! We have lives other than video games! Is your Santee taking up an instrument? Does he want to start painting? Does he like tabletop games? Does he seem to like cars? This is your chance to get an interesting gift they hadn't thought of, yet!
Does your Santee have a favorite game, ever? Consider something related to that! Toys, old complete copies, art books, etc. are always fun.
Do you have something in your city / state / country that your Santee doesn't have access to?
Interesting candies, foods, posters / prints, and other various knick-knacks make for good box-stuffers.
If your Santee has a unique name, you never know what you'll find out by Googling him or her! They might have a twitter account or something!

Steam Gifting FAQ! by AaronKI

Q) How does e-mail gifting work?
A) The e-mail that steam sends out contains an activation URL. When clicked, it adds the Gift Game to whatever acount the recipient is logged in to at the moment.

Q) So.. if the e-mail contains a URL, can I e-mail the gift to myself, copy the URL, and send it another way?
A) Absolutely. You can send the URL via Proxy or do some really creative things with it. You can even send it through the mail. Just be aware of the possibility that your Santee might buy the game in a sale before they get the URL!

Q) Does my Santee need a Steam account to receive a Steam gift?
A) No, but you should probably make sure they'd like a Steam game first! If you send a gift via e-mail and they don't already have an account, it will ask if they want to register one.

Q) Do I need to e-mail the gift to the same address that my Santee's Steam account was created with?
A) Nope! The activation URL solves that problem.

Q) Will sending a Steam gift reveal my identity?
A) Yup. No matter how you send it from your account, your Santee will see your Steam profile name and/or the e-mail address that your account was registered with. Even if your change your community profile name, they can look at the previous names you've used.

Q) How can I send a Steam gift anonymously?
A) Unfortunately, the only way to do this is to register a brand new Steam account with an e-mail address that can't be traced back to you. Remember to dump your payment info before you let the account rot! Click Steam > Settings and go to the Account tab to do this. (Note: Dumping the payment info from one account will dump it on all accounts you've logged into on your computer)

Q) Help! The e-mail with the activation code has gone missing! And/or my Santee already owns the game I gifted!
A) On Steam, go to Games > Manage Gifts and Guest Passes. There you can re-send the gift. Or if they already own the game, you can send the gift to someone else. Or even e-mail it to yourself and redeem it.

Keeping Track of the Joy!

snowflake.png This year's gift wall!
snowflake.png Twitter feed to get up to the date info on who's getting added to the gift wall

Past Highlights

snowflake.png Last year's thread Part 1
snowflake.png Last year's thread Part 2
snowflake.png Last year's gift wall (2010)
snowflake.png Gift wall from 2009
snowflake.png Gift wall from 2008

Certifiably Awesome posts from 2010's festivities:
snowflake.png Awesome do-it-yourself lego kits!
snowflake.png Handmade Pac-Man ornaments!

Confirmed Participants!
Total: 140

Hypatia on


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