Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How To Host A Snail Mail Gift Exchange


Hi Peachies! Today's post is one i'm super excited about because who doesn't love gifts? A snail mail gift exchange is the best because it's an unexpected gift that comes in the mail. I love getting mail that isn't bills and junk mail and i'm pretty sure everyone else does, too.

Last year I participated in three different gift exchanges and had been playing around with the idea of putting together one amongst my group of friends. What kept me from doing it was the idea that someone wouldn't deliver on their end and someone else would be left without a gift but I took the leap of faith and put The Sunshine Snail Mail Gift Exchange together in February. We had some issues with the postal service but in the end everyone got a gift and the exchange went off without a hitch.

After the exchange was over a lot of my friends were asking me if we would do it again before the end of the year or would it be an annual thing? It took me a few months to make the decision but I'm happy to say that it's back!

I'm so overwhelmed with the feedback and love that my sweet friends love sharing. It's amazing knowing that they're blessing each other and making new friends, too.

Since we're doing this gift exchange again I thought I'd share with you how to put together a gift exchange, in case you want to host your own. It was actually pretty easy to do.

+The first thing I did was leave a message like this on Facebook:

Hi Ladies! Who loves happy mail? WE DO!
It's finally Sunshine Snail Mail Time.

What is Sunshine Snail Mail?
I'll give you all one week to respond to this event.

If i've heard from you at that point, i'll pair you up with another friend and give you a month to get your package shipped. Your package can include gifts that are either home made or store bought, adding up to around $20.

Once you've committed then i'll ask you to fill out a survey about yourself and post it to the group so your partner can get to know your likes and shop accordingly.

I've participated in two different types of gift swaps, one where we knew who our partner was ahead of time and another where it was kept a surprise until we received our packages. I really liked the one where we kept it a secret until we received our packages because I found myself wondering who my partner was, it built more anticipation and surprise!

So that's how we're doing it. Everyone can submit their addresses to me in a private message and i'll send them to your swap partner. I think it's more fun to keep the swap partners a secret until you receive your package from them.


*I kept track of everyone by writing down their names in my clipboard/notebook.

+My next step was to create a Facebook Event
I sent out invites to everyone who said they were participating & posted this survey for them to fill out so their partners could know a little bit about them:

Sunshine Mail Survey
Just copy this & paste it in the group with your answers filled in.
Tell us a little about yourself.
Name:
My Monogram is:
Birthday:
Relationship Status:
Anniversary:
Kids:
Pets:
Occupation:
These are my favorite colors:
Some of my favorite things are:
Hobbies:
Colors/Themes in your house:
I love to shop here:
Gift cards from here are awesome:
I blog at:
Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest:
P.S.-


+Every couple days I'd check in with the group and see if they had any questions (of course they were always free to message me) but i'd leave a little note like this:

Good Morning Ladies.
I'm so excited about how many of you have RSVP'd to this event already. There are 26 on my list who have said yes. That's amazing. I really didn't expect this many people to join me in this Sunshine Snail Mail Gift Swap. It's going to be so much fun. Thank You all for joining me!
I know I said that if you RSVP then can't send a gift you'll break my heart. Really though, if something happens and you can't send a gift (because life happens sometimes) then please let me know. I'll keep it to myself and it won't change a thing among the friendship. I'd rather you be honest with me so I can make sure that your partner still gets a gift more than someone else sending a gift and not receiving anything.
Also, if you haven't done a survey yet, please do that and if I don't have your address yet then please send them to me in a private message.
Thank You!
Happy Wednesday Lovelies!


+I gave everyone a week to confirm that they were in. Then I started pairing everyone up. I took everyone's names and wrote them on paper, I tore the paper into squares, folded it and put it in a bowl. Then the fun happens! I pulled two names out of the bowl and paired one with the other (but not them together). Make sense? Probably not.

I'll try to explain this part better so follow along if you can. This may be where snapchat would be helpful.
Let's Say Person 1's name is Nicole & Person 2's name is Brittany. Brittany becomes Nicole's partner but Nicole won't be Brittany's partner.
{Oh No! Nicole needs a partner!!!}
To find Brittany's partner I picked Samantha's name out of the bowl. Samantha is now Brittany's partner.
{Nicole still needs a partner!!}
For my brain's sake we're going to say that they are the only 3 participating because, well, I haven't had enough coffee for this yet!
Now Nicole will give a gift to Samantha.
So Samantha gives to Brittany, Brittany gives to Nicole, and Nicole gives to Samantha. Everyone wins.

*DISCLAIMER*
If this doesn't make sense, don't worry. I'm on my way to make another cup of coffee now.

But basically, instead of pairing everyone up the gift giving goes full circle. Because, if there's an odd # of participants, like above, then somebody (Poor Samantha!!) gets left out.

There really is a method to my madness.

I gave everyone an estimate of $20 for gifts and a month from the start date to get their gifts out.
Some of my friends went all genius on me and decided that they would save a few dolla dolla bills and a trip to the post office and asked if they could leave their Sunshine Snail Mail Gift Swap Partner's gift on their door step. It sounded like a great idea to me but you should check with the partner first.

Everything went off without a hitch, at least on our part. The USPS had their own issues with delivering packages but in the end everyone got some really amazing gifts.

Here are a few examples of the baskets and gifts we received last time and some i've put together in the past.










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