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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! getdropbox.com, imageshack.us, photobucket.com, and flickr.com 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 (www.amazon.ca 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:
www.thinkgeek.com - general geeky stuff. Shipping can be high so be sure and shop around. Google for discount coupons.
www.play-asia.com - junk from Japan. Nearly everyone likes the little toys they have. Google for discount coupons.
www.buy.com - one of the best places to get used games, books and DVDs.
www.coolstuffinc.com - for heavily discounted board or card games.
www.bigbadtoystore.com - 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


  • Shady3011Shady3011 Registered User regular
    It's that time of the year again. I better get my Amazon Wish List ready.

  • PizzleStixxPizzleStixx Registered User regular
    Oh man this is awesome!

    I feel like an amazon wish-list takes the fun out of stalking, so not so quickly there santa.

    My avatar though may be a bit of a giveaway.

    I can't wait for the stalking!

  • AaronKIAaronKI Registered User regular
    Hurrah! I'm pretty sure I'll be able to do it again this year. My current car might be on its death bed, but even if I need a new one I should still be able to afford participating. I might have to cut a few videogame pre-orders, but they'll probably drop in price to $20 in a few months anyway. :P

  • Shady3011Shady3011 Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Eh. I figured there isn't much reason to stalk me. I'm pretty upfront about what I like. Plus, they end up being more suggestions than requests.

    There is a certain "tradition" I hope continues with me this year.

    Shady3011 on
  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    Just to answer a couple questions:

    - The gift wall from last year isn't fully updated, I got distracted with getting married and will be going back through to update it in the next day or two. This shouldn't happen again this year now that that's over with!

    - There will be no more gifting triangles this year, I'm working on updating the linear programming constraints to prevent it, yay! :)

  • Shady3011Shady3011 Registered User regular
    Draw names from a hat.

  • AaronKIAaronKI Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Edit: Double Post. (Edit: or not?)

    Shady, I can't wait to see what you have to play this year.

    AaronKI on
  • Shady3011Shady3011 Registered User regular
    My Santa must keep up tradition. My only request is no repeats.

  • Big ClassyBig Classy Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Gifting is awesome. How awesome? Well, I'm a Muslim taking part in secret Santa. That clearly means its pretty bloody awesome. It also means I'd better not get alcohol.

    And that my santee is gonna be so stoked. Seriously. Super gift gotten already. Y'all might as well not bother. You wanna know what it is? hmmmm, I dunno..... Ah what the hell.

    Blew your mind. I know, its okay to feel that way. It is a great gift.

    edit: I see the cool thing to do is to add your wishlists here as a last resort for Santas?

    Big Classy on
    My Backloggery PSN: Bigisy24
  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    Oh fuck yes it is on

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    Here we go again!

    daniant wrote:
    Alright, looks like I'm giving up golden showers for Lent.
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment · Website : www.nathanswyers.com
  • GroveGrove Los AngelesRegistered User regular
    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome.

    Last year was my first year to participate and it was so much fun. Can't wait for this year.

    Thanks Hypatia!

    My film is out now in stores, Amazon, and Netflix.
  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    So pumped up for this...

    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | Origin: ArikadoPA
    BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
  • TurkeyTurkey Registered User regular
    Awesome, this'll be the first year I can participate on one of these!

  • DawasaurusDawasaurus In a forestRegistered User regular
    Yay, Secret Santa~
    I'm already so into the Christmas Spirit, that it's going to be hard to remember to celebrate Halloween.
    Might sign up, later. Looking forward to lurking in this thread for the next three months!

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    Can't help but notice that there isn't actually a deadline in the OP.

  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    It says October 31st.

    3DS: 5112-3515-8441 | PSN: Nezandy | XBL: Arikado PA | Origin: ArikadoPA
    BNet: Arikado#1153 | Steam | Twitter
  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    Sorry, I meant a delivery deadline.

  • UEAKCrashUEAKCrash heh Registered User regular
    In so hard. Year 4 I think?

  • TurkeyTurkey Registered User regular
    I'm reading last year's thread.

    Oh god why have I not done this before

  • Shady3011Shady3011 Registered User regular
    Lord Yod wrote:
    Sorry, I meant a delivery deadline.

    It should be the end of the year like always.

  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    Shady3011 wrote:
    Lord Yod wrote:
    Sorry, I meant a delivery deadline.

    It should be the end of the year like always.

    I agree.

  • mntorankusumntorankusu Registered User regular
    I'm going to go ahead and post this. I felt bad that no one got to see it because of how late my gift was. I HOPE YOU ALL WON'T JUDGE ME FOR POSTING ABOUT MY OWN GIFT.



  • cooljammer00cooljammer00 Hey Small Christmas-Man!Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    Your gift was bootleg penny arcade mercj? bold.

    cooljammer00 on

    3DS Friend Code: 2165-6448-8348 www.Twitch.TV/cooljammer00
  • mntorankusumntorankusu Registered User regular
    Your gift was bootleg penny arcade mercj? bold.

    Well, the bootleg comic was just the christmas card that my message was written on. I really wanted to include a print of that comic as part of the gift and I was devastated when I found out they stopped doing them when they moved their offices or whatever.

  • Two Headed BoyTwo Headed Boy Registered User regular
    I have some awesome spoof gifts lined up. Can't wait.

    Twitter 3DS: 0860 - 3257 - 2516
  • EvilBadmanEvilBadman DO NOT TRUST THIS MAN Registered User regular
    I've lost track of what year this is for me. I think 4 or 5 now.

    FyreWulff wrote: »
    I should note that Badman is fucking awesome
    XBL- Evil Badman MD; Steam- EvilBadman; Twitter - EvilBadman
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    Oh yes! I'll be sending my sign up PMlater today, but take it as read:
    I AM SOOOO IN!!!!!

    For all the top UK Gaming Bargains, check out SavyGamer

    For paintings in progress, check out canvas and paints

    "The power of the weirdness compels me."
  • JAEFJAEF Unstoppably Bald Registered User regular
    Oh yes! I'll be sending my sign up PMlater today, but take it as read:
    I AM SOOOO IN!!!!!
    Cue the flood of signups desperate for a legendary LPM painting.

    Battle.net ID: Jaef#1126 -- Steam: Jaef -- PSN: Jaef -- League of Legends: Jaef
  • LewieP's MummyLewieP's Mummy Registered User regular
    JAEF wrote:
    Oh yes! I'll be sending my sign up PM later today, but take it as read:
    I AM SOOOO IN!!!!!
    Cue the flood of signups desperate for a legendary LPM painting.
    Well, I've signed up now, so its official!

    For all the top UK Gaming Bargains, check out SavyGamer

    For paintings in progress, check out canvas and paints

    "The power of the weirdness compels me."
  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular

    Pro tip: If you can provide the contact email of a partner/sibling/friend etc who can help out with the 'That would be amazing, but what if he already has it?' dilemma then your Santa will be very happy.

  • THEPAIN73THEPAIN73 Shiny. Real shiny.Registered User regular
    edited October 2011
    looks fun!

    THEPAIN73 on
    Facebook | Amazon | Twitter | Youtube | PSN: ThePain73 | Steam: ThePain73
    3DS FC: 5343-7720-0490
  • ArcSynArcSyn Registered User regular
    edited November 2011
    I am in! Can't wait!

    Basic tips for my santa: (not a wish list)

    I should be pretty easy to stalk, but if I think of anything else basic I'll put it there.

    ArcSyn on
    Steam:ArcSyn Backloggery:ArcSyn XBox Live: ArcSyn 3DS: 1805-2274-4550 (Jonathan) WiiU NNID: ArcSyn

  • anoffdayanoffday To be changed whenever Anoffday gets around to it. Registered User regular
    This just made my Friday. I am so freakin full of joy right now. Signing up tonight after I get out of class.

    steam: offday
    XBL and PSN: AnOffday
  • Maz-Maz- Balls. Registered User regular
    Hnnngh..this sounds awesome. Not sure if I can afford the international shipping and whatnot since I really need/want to save money right now.
    Also I feel kinda intimidated by all these awesome gifts from the previous years.

    Steam | Origin: MazPA | 3DS: 1848-2888-3654 | Nintendo Network ID: Maz_PA
  • SzechuanSzechuan Registered User regular
    I am pleased. Will have to update the Amazon list though, because I am uncreative and boring.

  • IcemopperIcemopper Registered User regular
    Hell yes, this is my favorite. People from a great community coming together to just share our favorite things with each other.

    Definitely signing up when I get home.

    steam_sig.png PSN:Icemopper
  • Blackbeard7Blackbeard7 Registered User regular
    need to figure out if I can afford it this year

    I hope I can

  • KyouguKyougu Registered User regular
    If anyone is on the fence about doing this I urge to try it.

    Five years in, and this is result one the highlights of the year every time. Its amazing how strangers will try and really make someones day with their gifts.

    Its never even about the amount spent. Cliche, but its all about the thought. I can probably count the number of people who have genuinely been dissapointed in one hand.

  • Cameron_TalleyCameron_Talley Registered User regular
    PM sent! Woooo! Last two years were an absolute blast so I can't wait to do this again this year!

    (Will edit post later with wishlist).

    3DS code: 0404-6826-4588 PM if you add.
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