Would you like to participate in a “Secret Sister” gift exchange?

Did you ever work some place or belong to a forum, perhaps a dolly group, where they had something called a “Secret Sister” or “Secret Pal” or “Secret Santa” gift exchange? It was something you could participate in and each person was given the name of someone else to send a gift to. I was wondering if maybe anyone on here would like to do that? When you all wrote those wonderful bio’s I got to thinking about it. We have some wonderful ladies on here and sometimes it feels like we are all best friends with each other…

I’m not exactly sure if I remember how they work (if anyone has participated in one that worked well, let me know!) but I was just thinking if anyone wanted to send a small $5.00 Christmas gift to someone else, I could collect the names of those who wanted to be in on it and give them someone else’s name. I could check with each person who wanted to participate and if they had written up about themselves in the recent post I called “Let’s all introduce ourselves”, I could forward that to the people too, to give them some ideas about the person they got.

It sounds like I’m talking in circles when I read this back. It’s just a fun way to receive and give a gift to someone you know but you keep it a surprise from them until they open your gift. I guess I should have done a little research on this before I brought it up… You could make something for $5.00… candy, a candy bar, cookies, something for the size dolls they collect, something you’ve made, an ornament, etc… and include a little note to wish them a Merry Christmas…

Maybe we can discuss it in the comments???

I’m sorry I didn’t get anything else done on Felicity’s dress… this is a busy week with our annual church’s hayride for the Internationals… We call it Taste of America… I’m helping with the decorations and I can’t even begin to tell you all of my hubby’s responsibilities… It’s Saturday night, so there will probably be no sewing till Monday for me… :o( (don’t cry…)

See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. A lovely idea. I guess because I’m at the bottom of the world it might make postage too expensive. Food tends to be problematic too, due to border restrictions. A tiny bit of dolly fabric or a ball of knitpicks palette yarn would be a great solution but I’m happy to send something without the expectation of a return gift.
    Have a look at spaghetti squash recipes on the ‘Delish’ website – quite a long list. And very yummy.
    1930 hours Friday 3rd here, and this time I’m first.

    • HI Jane,
      Well, we’ll have to see what we could work out with you being so far away… :o) I Need to do some more thinking about this and see what others suggest too.
      I WILL look at the Delish website. I think I’ve been on it before, but not lately.
      Congrats on being FIRST today!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Charlotte Trayer says:

    I think it might be fun, Jeanne! I know our ning Little Darlings group has done swaps from time to time, although considerably more elaborate than just a simple little gift!! Sometimes we’ve done swaps where people are just paired up (A and B send to each other, C and D, E and F, etc.) but more often the person who got our name is a secret to us until the package arrives, and that’s fun, too! I think they do it this way: A sends to B, B sends to C, C sends to D, and so on, until the last one on the list sends to A.

    You would need to have a deadline, of course–and it might be nice to have it more of a “send between this date and that date”, otherwise there might be a few that jump the gun and send WAY ahead of everyone else!

    By the way, on that spaghetti squash, you only microwave it for 3 or 4 minutes and no longer, just enough to soften it so you can cut it. No “explosions” that way!!

    • HI Charlotte,
      Well, it seems like you might know the most about this… I really should have investigated it before I mentioned it… Yes, the deadline… a most important point of the whole thing…

      I am going to try the microwave trick on the spaghetti squash…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  3. Wow, I’m getting later and later all the time! Well, I do think it would be a fun thing to do and certainly would love to try out the gift exchange, but what about some of the overseas friends? Would a $5.00 gift be worth the postage involved and timing to get there? I guess it would take a bit of planning, but a fun idea, and I would certainly participate if you decide to do it.
    Looks like you will be having a fun time with your Taste of America! How many different nationalities do you have in your church? It’s so nice for them to see that there are wonderful places here in the U.S.. that are so welcoming and fun! Also so nice for them to see such a wonderful couple, Jeanne and George!

    • HI Linda,
      Well, I’ll certainly keep this in mind and see what I come up with.
      I’m not sure how many Internationals we have this semester… it varies each year… but I’d probably guess maybe 20-25 different countries represented…
      Awwww….it’s way more than us that makes it fun for them… it takes a lot of hands to do all the things we do. If you like to try new foods, this is definitely the place to be! :o)
      Thanks so much Linda,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. When I worked at a hospital, we collected money and bought strollers for a women’s shelter instead of a gift exchange among ourselves. We still had a potluck!

    • HI Susette,
      That was a nice thing for the hospital workers to do…buy strollers… I bet the women who received one were so blessed! Maybe we could have an online potluck and everyone submit a recipe for it… that might be fun…
      Thanks Susette,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Charlotte A. says:

    I think it would be fun. Jane, I would be happy to send to you despite the additional shipping charges. Santa doesn’t say that someone is too far away to deliver to and I won’t say that either. Maybe we can have a post where we discuss things we collect, like, etc that fits within the price range and also indicate if we are willing to ship internationally? We could also indicate any do not send items (I’m thinking allergies or strong dislikes)?
    Great idea!
    Have a good day!
    Take care.

    • HI Charlotte,
      How very kind of you to offer to send a gift to the far away readers! Like I said, I have the sweetest subscribers! I like the idea of submitting things for everyone to think about. Sometimes it’s the hardest to think of things to send…
      There probably should be a questionnaire for everyone to fill out… that might be easiest…

      Thanks for your good ideas, Charlotte,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Just a thought, but perhaps those who want to could donate to a favorite charity and tell about it on the group. And those who want to exchange can do that too. It is a very fun idea either way.

    • HI Joy,
      That’s a good idea too, Joy… and I’ll tuck that away in my suggestion box! :o)
      Thanks so much…
      Blessings, Jeanne

  7. Deanna Claypool says:

    Hello everyone. I’m going to be the party pooper to the secret sister gift exchange. It will be fun for those who choose to participate, but it’s a challenge to make this sort of thing work. I shall be realistic and logical and say that it’s difficult to find nice gifts for $5.00 and postage could be a factor depending on how far away the recipient is. We all probably have many activities during the holidays and finding a present for someone we really don’t know can be stressful. I hope those who participate have fun, but please count me out this year. I don’t see that many people have responded and it could be that some are mentally debating – add one more thing to an already busy schedule, or maybe just not respond at all? Emotions sometimes get in the way of practicality – take it from someone who is basically an emotional-say yes to everything-kind of person. 🙂

    • HI Deanna,
      Thank you for being honest and I might have to rethink this and think of something that we can do just here on my blog…where EVERYONE can participate… we could have an online gift exchange… I don’t know how, but I’ll think on it…
      I know what you mean by it being cost prohibitive to find something for $5 and then to ship it… hmmmm… now I’m mulling this whole idea over in my mind…
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  8. Melody Martin says:

    If this happens, I would love to participate, please? 🙂

    • HI Melody,
      Well, we’ll see if this does happen… and yes, I’ll include you if we do….
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Well, I would be happy to participate, but I’m okay with not doing it if it is too much trouble. I think a $5 limit may be a little low.

    • HI Carolyn,
      When I go to the hayride tomorrow night, I’ll ask a few of my friends what they think and if they can think of something better… something easier or more fun… there’s got to be something out there we can do…
      Thanks Carolyn,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  10. hi Jeanne… your idea sounds like fun. We use to do secret santa with the family. My hubby’s family is HUGE.. it was a way of exchanging a gift without feeling like you needed to buy for everyone. All that wanted to be included would put their name into a bowl at Thanksgiving, people that were unable to attend Thanksgiving dinner but wanted to join in the exchange were added. We then drew names, if you picked your own name it went back into the bowl. My mother in-law drew names for the absent family members. Enjoy your weekend

    • Thanks Ingrid,
      I appreciate you taking time to tell me how your family did the secret gift exchange…
      I’m still considering it but don’t want anyone who doesn’t want to do it, to feel left out…
      My weekend will be busy, but it should be a lot of fun… :o)
      Blessings, Jeanne

  11. Hi – Sorry I’m late putting my 2 cents in. I would love to participate and have been thinking of alternatives to the $5 gift idea. I agree $5 doesn’t buy much these days and the postage could be as much or more. What about sharing something? A favorite Christmas or Ethnic or any family recipe? Or a favorite hint / tip on sewing or organizing the sewing / craft room? I know it’s not an individual gift but it wouldn’t cost anything and it seems we all like to sew so maybe it would work??

    I hope you don’t mind my asking for some prayers for my dear sister, Char. She had 5 stents put in early this morning and so far she is doing very well. Thank you.

    Hope you enjoy your weekend

    • Hi Leigh,
      Of course I will keep your sister, Char, in prayer. I hope she is doing even better than she was.
      I liked the ideas you suggested for us instead of a gift exchange. I think I might use some of your ideas… it seems easier and this way no one would be left out.
      Thanks so much,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  12. Dorothy in PA says:

    Hello Friends,
    I am new to the site. I just logged on yesterday. I wanted to share my excitement about the Secret Santa.
    I think it’s a great idea. I understand the concern about the cost of sending things. It can be expensive. I also understand that you can’t really purchase a nice gift for under $25.
    Here is my suggestion. What if we just write each other a letter? A real letter! How often do we get letters in the mail in this day and age? How special that will be.
    The letter can say anything. It can share a funny story, or tell about a morning in the garden, or relate a tale of shopping for just the right gift for a loved one.
    We can find lovely note paper to use to write the letter. That would like of be like the wrapping on the present.
    If each participant posts something in the “tell about yourself,” section then the Secret Santa will have a clue as to what stories might be interesting to that person.
    I have a story to tell about writing letters. It ties in to dolls. Trust me (smile). When I was in elementary school, our school district instituted a French language program. I took French from 4 to 12th grades. I am still in French 1 because I didn’t stay with it but I love the language and I appreciate the culture.
    One of the parts of the program was that we all got penpals from Arles, France. I loved writing to my penpal. I still have some of the letters she sent to me. My penpal wanted a Barbie Doll. I guess that Barbie hadn’t made it there in the 1960s. I sent her a Barbie. She sent me a lovely doll dressed in a beautiful French country outfit. I still have the doll. See, it’s about dolls.
    So I vote for a Secret Santa letter exchange. The only real expense would be the cost of postage.
    Regards, Dorothy

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