Friday, February 22, 2013

Secret Santa Swap

The Angel/Mortal swaps held at each retreat are great fun – anyone who has been involved will tell you this! However, as this is a special “Christmas in July” retreat, it will be even more exciting – a SECRET SANTA Swap. If, like me, you really love all things Christmas, you will get a special kick out of this – but, if you are not a particular fan of Christmas – don’t worry – you will have a chance to state this on your Secret Santa form and still enjoy all the fun and games usually involved in these swaps.
For those of you new to retreats and the swaps, I urge you to have a good think about getting involved. This is how is works:
Once the registration packs have been returned to the Committee, and you have indicated that you would like to join this swap, I will post a message to the Yahoo Retreat List inviting you to fill out a questionaire – this will give you the opportunity to list your likes and dislikes and write a little bit about yourself. Having completed the questionaire, you forward it to me You do NOT HIT REPLY, thereby sending it to the whole list and enabling them to guess who their future Secret Santa might be!!!!! Did I mention that you do NOT HIT REPLY???
As soon as possible after that, I will match the Secret Santas with their partners. Everyone in the swap is a Secret Santa to someone who they send gifts and has another Secret Santa who will send gifts to them. This must be done in SECRET. I can tell you that MI5/ 6 combined with ASIO and the CIA have nothing on some of the lengths our particpants will go to, to confuse their swap recipients.

Now, this is extremely important –it makes my job much easier if you create aNEW SECRET E-MAIL address for sending messages to your Secret Santa recipient. Please do not re-use an old e-mail address as you can be found out through this and –are you paying attention????????? – do NOT use a YAHOO secret address as you can be tracked through this. Create a HOTMAIL or GMAIL (Ipod) address and DO NOT use your own name ANYWHERE in this e-mail set-up. For example if you want to call yourself (for some inexplicable reason) “Hotstuff #32”, use the name Hotstuff in your personal details – NOT Hotstuff Helen Evans. Even after all this, I suggest that you test your Secret Santa e-mail by e-mailing me at: I am happy to act as a go- between for Secret Santas and their partners through the above e-mail address, however it is much more fun if you do it yourselves – both for me and you!!!
The plan is that you have a total of six gifts for your mortal. One each for the months of April, May and June, and three (with your swap recipient’s NAME on them and NUMBERED 1 to 3) to be distributed in that order at the retreat. The final one, #3, will be the one in which you reveal yourself to your swapee – as your swapper will do to you! Home made gifts are nicest, but purchased gifts costing around $15 - $20 are fine too! It is also usual at retreats for you to bring a special “Thank you” gift for your Secret Santa.

If, for any reason, you are unavoidably delayed in sending your gift, please notfy your swap recipient that you will be sending your gift a little late – otherwise, she will be very concerned that she is on the naughty list and will feel most despondent! Please try not to be unavoidably delayed at any time though – it makes it so much more difficult for everyone involved and rather spoils the whole point of this terrific swap.
As you might imagine, we are aiming for a Christmas theme for this swap, so it will be a little different and involve more fun and frivolity than the usual retreat swaps entail – and I can assure you, that is a heck of a lot of fun and frivolity!

Helen Evans

Secret Santa CEO

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