Secret Santas PLEASE READ: Important info and next steps

Secret Santas PLEASE READ: Important info and next steps
Photo by Nina Mercado / Unsplash

The exchange has matched! Each person in the exchange has been assigned a giftee. You should have gotten an email with a link to click on in order to retrieve your match. Your match is a digital “envelope” containing your giftee’s name, address, questionnaire, wishlist, and exchange preferences.

Note that your Santa (gifter) and your giftee are likely not the same person! Each person’s match is drawn randomly, and matches are not reciprocal in most cases.

What next?

  1. Retrieve your match by logging in to Givin Gifts or by following the link in your matching email. Please retrieve your match by Nov 27.
  2. Read your giftee’s questionnaire and profile. Reminder: please pick your gift based on the information your giftee provided. Please do not just send anything you want to get rid of!
  3. Message your giftee and introduce yourself. Givin Gifts has a message system which preserves your anonymity, or you may PM or chat your giftee via Reddit/Mastodon (username is at bottom of match information). Ask any questions you may have about their preferences, collection, or interests, as well as any information you need to successfully ship a package to them (such as a phone number).
    NOTE: Even though this is a “secret” santa, anonymity is not required by our exchange rules. However, the Givin Gifts message system is anonymous if you would prefer to remain a mystery!
  4. Respond to your Santa’s messages.
  5. Get your gift ready! For ideas, see last year’s galleries: fun - elite. The deadline to ship is December 12.
    NOTE: When your giftee posts your gift, an elf will tag you by username so that your giftee can thank you. If you prefer not to be tagged and wish to remain perpetually secret, please let an elf know in advance.

I didn’t sign up in time, is it too late?

If you’d like to participate and you missed the signup, please contact your nearest elf (below) to be put on a waitlist for late matches. In your message, include which tier you’d like to waitlist for, what country you’re from, and which countries you are willing to ship to. We will do our best, though we cannot guarantee you a spot, sorry about that!

Further information

The original post with exchange guidelines and instructions can be found here.

Need help? Contact an elf!

If you need help, comment below or contact the appropriate team member(s) depending on your region. We recommend contacting an elf in a timezone close to yours for prompt responses compatible with your schedule.

You can easily identify the exchange organizers by the “Santa’s Elf” user flair on Reddit:

  • Americas West/Central: u/alexa-488 and u/write_knife_sew
  • Americas East: u/superplannergirrl and u/Ok-Seaweed7173
  • Europe/Middle East/Africa: u/halfcelestialelf and u/PrestigiousCap1198
  • Asia/Oceania: u/paradoxmo
  • Head Elf (escalations/other): u/paradoxmo

You can contact the exchange organizers on Mastodon:

  • Americas West and Central:
  • Americas East: and
  • Europe/Middle East/Africa:
  • Asia/Oceania:
  • Head Elf (escalations/other):


If you have the means and time, please volunteer to be a rematcher! Click the “Become a rematcher” button on the exchange page to volunteer. You may volunteer to send 1–5 extra gifts—please only volunteer to send as many as you have time and money for.

You do not have to have registered for the exchange initially in order to be a rematcher! If you just want to send gifts, and don't care about receiving, you can be just a rematcher in the exchange. If you would like to do this, please reach out to one of the elves for further instructions.


  • I was notified that I was dropped from the exchange, but I still want to participate. Please let us know, along with which country you’re in and which countries you would be willing to ship to.
  • **I was removed from the exchange because my profile wasn’t filled out. **Please reach out to an elf and let us know your GG username. We may be able to get you back in.
  • I signed up, but I can no longer participate. We totally understand. Please let us know ASAP so that your match can be rematched to someone else.
  • My giftee didn't fill out their questionnaire. Please message them and ask them to fill it out. If they don’t respond by Nov 27, please let us know.
  • I got matched with my housemate/spouse. Please let us know ASAP and we will try to rematch you.
  • I got matched to a giftee I can't post to. If you’re willing, you can order them a gift from a fountain pen store near them, and send your note separately via regular post. If this still won’t work, please let us know and we will try to rematch you.
  • International shipping is expensive. What’s another option? You may choose to order a gift for your giftee from a fountain pen store close to them and send your written note separately via normal mail.
  • My Santa never messaged me. Please wait until Nov 27. If it is getting close to the ship date and you still haven’t heard, let us know.
  • I never heard back from my giftee. Please reach out to them on Reddit or Mastodon directly, or let us know and we can reach out on your behalf. If they don’t respond by Nov 27, let us know, but do your best to prepare a gift anyway based on what they’ve written in their exchange preferences.
  • I got the same match for both exchanges. This can happen if there are very few people in the same country. Please let us know, we may or may not be able to do something about this, but at worst, you just send your match two gifts (:
  • Do I have to buy new stuff for my giftee? No! In this hobby we accumulate a lot of things and we encourage you to give pens and inks (bottles and sample vials) you are no longer using or that simply didn’t suit your preferences. New is of course fine as well—if you happen to know the perfect gift for your giftee but don’t own it, go with your instinct!
  • Can I make stuff for my giftee? Yes, if you are crafty, whether that’s with leatherwork, knitting, bookbinding, pen turning, or 3D printing, you can definitely craft things that you think would be a good gift for your match (:
  • Since it’s a “Secret” Santa, do I have to stay anonymous? No, this is not required, you may message your giftee directly on Reddit if you are OK with breaking anonymity. But some Santas prefer to stay anonymous for the fun factor, and if you wish to do so, you may use the Givin Gifts message system which does not reveal the Santa’s username.

Reach out to an elf if you have any other issues or questions!

Gift selection and packing

  • Read this general shipping and packing advice for gift exchanges
  • If you're shipping internationally, read this advice on international shipping from the NYT/Wirecutter.
  • Be aware of shipping rates and keep your shipping box as small in dimensions as possible. Also be aware that most postal services have flat rate boxes that can be significantly cheaper to ship with than your own box. Look up this information in advance so that you aren't blindsided by shipping charges!
  • Include a note, written in fountain pen, with your Reddit username so they can tag you if they post your gift to the sub.
  • Write “FP Secret Santa” and which tier on the box or on the note you include. People get many gifts and packages during the holidays and you will want to let them know what this one is for! If ordering directly to your match from an online retailer, use the gift note option.
  • We highly recommend you use a tracked shipping service. (We realize that in certain cases, this is not possible.)

Fountain pen specific packing advice

  • Inks: use some Teflon plumbers tape around the threads of your bottle or sample vial. Put your inks in a ziploc bag in order to contain any leaks if they happen so that the rest of your gift is not affected.
  • Pens: the most secure packing method is bubble wrap stuck inside some PVC tubing, with packing tape securely around the outside. Other decent options are paper towel or toilet paper rolls. Or if you use the original pen box, pad the inside with a few sheets of bubble wrap or newspaper.
  • If you choose to write the address with fountain pen, remember that most fountain pen ink is not permanent! Protect the ink from the rain and snow by taping over it with clear packing tape. Or, use permanent ink or a sharpie.

I sent my gift. What now? (Exchange logistics)

  1. On the exchange page on Givin Gifts, click Mark As Shipped and enter the shipper and tracking number. Click Add Package and then the Save Details button at the bottom.
  2. Upload screenshot or receipt of proof of shipping to Givin Gifts using the Upload Shipping Proof button. Click here to see what constitutes good proof of shipping.
  3. Once you receive your gift, please click Mark as Received. You will need to submit at least one photo of your gift to Givin Gifts.
  4. Post your gift to Reddit with the Secret Santa! flair, or to Mastodon/Fediverse with the hashtag #FPSanta. And if you know your Santa’s username, tag them! Please crop out or censor any personally identifiable information such as address, phone number, or real name.
  5. A week or so after the shipping date, Givin Gifts will send an email to ask you if you received your gift. Please fill out the form with the circumstances. If you didn’t receive it, let us know and we will try to help.

Happy gifting!

—Your Secret Santa team