Monday, 18 September 2017

Christmas Sock Exchange 2017

 [2017 sign-up now closed]


   I know, I know, it's only September and I'm sure many of you are already boggled by the fact that Christmas crackers and artificial trees are making their way into garden centres and similar. But me, I love it, and as far as my Christmas sock exchange is concerned, sign-ups are usually open for about a month, and by the time anyone starts putting their package together for their assigned recipient, it's November already. So by the time it's in full swing, Christmas really is just around the corner!
   I decided to open sign-ups a little earlier than usual this year. It's usually October 1st to the 24th, but this year I'm going for 5 weeks instead of 3, so sign ups begin today, instead!

   Wondering what this is all about?
   I love all the little exchanges between strangers, and I wanted to host my own. I liked the idea of Christmas socks - everyone claims they hate them - so I thought it would be nice to use a pair of socks as Christmas stockings (though only one is filled). So, in 2015, I held my first Christmas sock exchange. It was a success, so I held another in 2016. And this year I'm holding another!
   The rules, detailed below, are all the same as before, and it is open internationally - of course, whether you receive an international partner or not is up to you. You can opt out of international in the sign-up form. If, however, an imbalanced number opt out, a few will be asked to reconsider, though they will be free to decline and continue as a national participant instead.
   Sign-ups are open until October 24th.



   As I said above, just think of this as sending a miniature stocking. First, buy a nice, festive pair of socks (day-to-day socks, slipper socks, it's up to you), fill one sock with Christmas goodies to the value of £10/$15, roll up the second sock and stuff it in the top of the filled one, and then post it, with a Christmas card, off to your assigned recipient.
   People will not be paired, they will be assigned. Person 1 gets person 2, person 2 gets person 3, person 3 gets person 4 and so on. I will, of course, also be participating myself as an international.
   On October 24th, sign-ups will close, and I will begin pairing people up. During this time, people will be able to opt out if they decide for one reason or another that they don't want to participate. Then, on October 31st, the opt-out window will close and assigned recipients will be emailed out.
   There will then be 3 weeks, between November 1st to November 21st, for packages to be put together and mailed out. Pretty up your packages, inside and out - get festive! And if you're sending overseas, tick 'gift' on the customs form.


Rules:
• To participate, fill in the below form and email it to me by October 24th.
• There will be an opt-out window between October 24th and October 31st if you change your mind.
• As of November 1st, anyone who hasn't dropped out is obligated to participate; this is also the date when you will be emailed your partner's information.
• You must ship your package no later than November 21st.
• Please obtain proof of postage from the post office, if you can - it's free, just ask at the counter.
• You must buy new socks, unworn and adult size. You can choose to just buy patterned day socks or you could choose to buy more expensive rubber-bottomed or fluffy slipper socks instead. The choice is yours, but be aware that you may not receive the same generosity. But don't think about what you'll receive, think instead about what you will give! It's Christmas!
• The cost of the socks' contents can exceed £10/$15, but, again, don't expect the same generosity. £10/$15 is the average.
• You don't need to fill both socks! Fill one sock, roll up the other and use it to 'cork' the filled sock.

Required Information (email by October 24th):
Full Name:
Email address:
Full address, including country:
Sending preference: National/Europe/International*
Allergies (food colouring, Coeliac's, sensitive skin, etc):
Blog or social media (if you have any):

*Delete all unappropriate options. If you select 'national' but you are the only person within your country participating, you will be contacted on October 24th. You can either change your mind and switch to an alternative option, or you can choose to back out.



Contents suggestions:
• Stationery
• Jewellery
• Decorations & Christmassy stuff!
• Sweets/chocolates
• Toiletries
• Christmas novelties
• Tiny toys/games


All participants must submit the above details by October 24th 2017. There will then be a 1-week window in which to drop out. As of November 1st, anyone who hasn't dropped out is obligated to participate properly. All packages must be shipped to the recipients by November 21st to ensure delivery in time for Christmas. Anyone who signs up must be willing to participate fully.
All participants must also be willing to pay full shipping fees.
Be sure to mark the package as 'gift' on any customs forms.
   I cannot be held responsible for missing packages or uncooperative partners. If you sign up, please play properly, and play nice. If your package doesn't arrive before Christmas, don't jump to conclusions; with the Christmas rush clogging up the postal system, it's inevitable that it may get slowed down and delayed. Be patient and try not to think about it!



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