Secret Santa Revenge
December 27, 2003 4:56 PM   Subscribe

For the past two years I have participated in ThinkBlank’s Secret Santa thing, happily sending a gift off to someone I didn’t know. And, both years, my supposed secret Santa has failed to send me anything. Last year I let it go, but this year I’m wondering if some sort of public shaming of my failed Santa is appropriate. Given that no one is required to sign up for Secret Santa, and most likely did receive some sort of gift, would such an action be justified?
posted by tranquileye to Grab Bag (13 answers total)
the site doesn't say how it works. are you teamed up in pairs? if not, then how do you know who failed to buy you a present (what i'm trying to say is: before you blame someone, is that the right person?)? is there an equivalent of dreama (the mefiswap boss) who you can talk to?
posted by andrew cooke at 6:13 PM on December 27, 2003

Perhaps you could suggest the admins post a shame list next year. I don't mean to be a thread-crapping Scrooge, but you should give up with the buying presents for strangers who don't need them and give that money to a local charity next year.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:20 PM on December 27, 2003

You should rethink your public shaming idea.

For example: Due to some technical difficulties on the part of breaking their wishlists, I had to "switch" to another Secret Santa wishlist at the last minute - add the fact the addressee was overseas - they won't be seeing their gift until 2004. Applying your idea, I'd be fair game for some sort of "public shaming" because my gift hasn't arrived by Dec. 26th. A simple email explanation would avert such woes.

Have you tried emailing your Secret Santa? Are you more willing to embarrass someone publicly, rather than simply emailing them privately first?
posted by jca at 8:00 PM on December 27, 2003

A possibly more positive alternative would be to alter your mindset from trading to giving and let those of dishonorable nature sour their own lives..
posted by rushmc at 8:07 PM on December 27, 2003

wow that blows...! i wouldn't go in for public shaming either tho'... i'd just make sure the person in charge of the gift exchange knows you've been left out 2 years in a row.
posted by t r a c y at 9:00 PM on December 27, 2003

That's too bad. I've done Secret Santa there and I didn't have problems. I think all you can do is let them know people didn't send you a gift. jca makes a good point - you should give it more time before complaining.
posted by Salmonberry at 9:17 PM on December 27, 2003

I did the Secret Santa thing this year and was a bit worried at first when my wish list was showing that no one had purchased anything for me, but then the purchased item did finally show up on Amazon's site, and the item itself got to me on the 26th. Some people just aren't too fast at getting the packages shipped.

Does anything show up under Purchased Items on your wish list yet?
posted by litlnemo at 10:09 PM on December 27, 2003

Yes, I think the way to go is to have a word with the organizers, and perhaps encourage them to put something on the website asking people with similar experiences to let them know. It might be more of a problem than people realise.
posted by nthdegx at 11:05 PM on December 27, 2003

It's improbable but possible I guess that the person experienced some sort of family problem or something and genuinely forgot or ran into some kind of hardship.

Personally, I just don't take part in Secret Santa. We used to have it at school every year and there were always these sorts of problems.
posted by lucien at 3:23 AM on December 28, 2003

I've done this Secret Santa two years now, and given and received happily both times.

Last year, though, after Christmas (When the "It's Time To Reveal Your Secret Santa" email came around), I got an irate email from the guy I bought for, asking why even though it's not about receiving, I hadn't sent him a gift.

As you can imagine, I was flabbergasted, and rang Amazon immediately, to find out where the book I'd bought him had got to. They sent out another, free of charge, that day.

That one didn't arrive, either.

It turned out that my recipient hadn't updated his Wishlist address, and the books were being delivered to some unsuspecting sod in another county, and that recipient boy had no way of getting them.

The moral of the story is: Is it your fault? Check your settings.
posted by armoured-ant at 5:59 AM on December 28, 2003

I did secret santa a couple years ago, and enjoyed sending the gift (I found something on the person's wishlist I really liked, that I hadn't thought about in a while - a band or a graphic novel or something) & checking out the person's site, but I never received a gift. After the revelation of who my santa was, I did send a note in early january, letting him know I hadn't received anything. He wrote back, apologizing, but neither providing an excuse nor promising to make up for it. After another week or two, I sent him another email, just saying I still hadn't gotten a present, and isn't it more fun when everyone participates etc, but I never heard from him again. I also sent an email to thinkblank about it, and they said they were sorry about it. I don't know if they have any rules about not allowing those people back into the game the next year, but that would seem reasonable to me.
posted by mdn at 8:58 AM on December 28, 2003

Should you only give, conditionally upon recieving in return?

Is that what Christmas is all about?
posted by Blue Stone at 10:56 AM on December 28, 2003

[disclaimer to the above post by me: I was sure I was posting to MetaTalk with that reponse (the topic is mirrored there) which is where the post properly belongs.]
posted by Blue Stone at 2:49 PM on December 28, 2003

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