Penfount • Fountain Pen Community

FPSanta

Secret Santas, the shipping deadline is today! But don’t worry if you haven’t sent your package, just keep your giftee informed and all will be well. If you have questions, please review the answers below. If you have further doubts or issues, please reach out to an elf!

For those of you just joining us and wondering what the heck is Secret Santa, it’s a gift exchange run by the community! You can see the gifts people have gotten—see the gallery on Givin Gifts for fun tier and elite tier. Or you can use Reddit Search from the top of the sub and search for the “Secret Santa!” post flair, or look at the #FPSanta hashtag on Mastodon.

Q&A

I am late getting my gift shipped out, what should I do?

Reach out to your giftee via Givin Gifts / Reddit / Mastodon! It’s OK as long as they know you are still around, participating in the exchange, and intend to ship to them, but are delayed.

I haven’t heard from my Santa and my gift hasn’t shipped.

You can reach out to them via Givin.Gifts and this should send them an email notification that they have a message waiting. If you know their reddit username, you can reach out to them there. If you don’t know their reddit name and they aren’t responding on GG, please contact an elf who will give you their reddit username. If you still don’t hear from them, please sit tight—about a week after the shipping deadline GG will send out an email asking if you received a gift. Select the option “I did not receive a gift and I have not heard from my gifter” and you’ll be entered into the rematching pool.

My Santa told me that they are shipping late, what should I do so I don’t get a rematch?

Givin.Gifts will be sending out emails about a week after the shipping deadline asking if you got your gift. Select the option “I have not received a gift but I have heard from my gifter” and you will not be rematched.

My Santa shipped and the package is marked as delivered, but I haven’t received it.

Please contact the carrier for more information. This time of the year it is common for services to mark as delivered but deliver it the next day. It is also possible that it was misdelivered—check with neighbors—or that porch pirates took it. Please contact an elf if it hasn’t turned up within 2-3 days of delivery and we can discuss options.

I received my gift, but it was below the tier minimum.

Send a photo and description of the contents to an elf. The Secret Santa Elf Team will review. We will also contact the gifter to find out if more is on the way or try to otherwise resolve the situation. If the team and GG support agree that the tier minimum was not met, we will work with GG to rematch you to a new gifter.

What happens if I don’t receive a gift?

Please try to reach out to your gifter to see if something is on the way if you have not already heard from them or received tracking info! GG will send an email about a week after the shipping deadline to ask if you have received a gift, not received a gift but are in touch with your gifter, or have not received a gift and not heard from your gifter. The latter option enters you into the rematching pool.

How does rematching work?

Toward the end of the year, people who did not receive gifts are entered into a rematching pool and Givin Gifts will try to match the people still needing gifts with volunteers who have offered to send extra gifts (rematchers). If the system cannot find an appropriate rematcher, the elf team will manually intervene and assign rematches in early January.

How do I volunteer as a rematcher?

Go to the exchange page on GG: fun tierelite tier. Under “exchange actions” (on right on desktop, on bottom on mobile), click the button “become a rematcher”. Enter the number of extra gifts you are willing to send, and your matching preference (where you are willing to send gifts).

Can I volunteer to rematch if I wasn’t in the original exchange?

Yes. Post below with your country, where you are willing to send to, and which tier of gift you’re willing to send. For example, “I’m in the US and can send an elite tier gift to US and Canada” or “I’m in France and can send 3 fun tier gifts within the EU+UK”. If we do need to call upon you to send a gift, the team will reach out with further instructions.

Other questions

Please review the Givin Gifts FAQs or contact an elf, below!

Need more 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/writeknifesew
  • 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: @alexa488@penfount.social
  • Americas East: @superplannergirl@penfount.social and @write_knife_sew@penfount.social
  • Europe/Middle East/Africa: @Halfcelestialelf@penfount.social
  • Asia/Oceania: @paradoxmo@penfount.social
  • Head Elf (escalations/other): @paradoxmo@penfount.social

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: funelite. 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/writeknifesew
  • 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: @alexa488@penfount.social
  • Americas East: @superplannergirl@penfount.social and @write_knife_sew@penfount.social
  • Europe/Middle East/Africa: @Halfcelestialelf@penfount.social
  • Asia/Oceania: @paradoxmo@penfount.social
  • Head Elf (escalations/other): @paradoxmo@penfount.social

Rematching

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.

Issues

  • 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

The holidays are coming up and what better way to celebrate than to exchange gifts with your fellow fountain pen enthusiasts? This is your opportunity to penable a newbie, share ink samples that you will likely never use up, or re-home neglected pens to a new owner that will appreciate them more. Or, simply take pleasure in getting to know someone new and finding them a perfect gift!

This year, we are happy to open Secret Santa to the fountain pen communities on both Reddit and Mastodon!

There are two pricing tiers so that as many people can participate as possible but more experienced users can still receive something quite special. If you have the time and resources please consider signing up for both tiers.

Note that suggested gift amounts are in value and not cash. You do not have to buy anything, you can gift from your own collection and we in fact encourage you to give pens, ink samples, or other things that you don’t use anymore. Let your extra stuff spark joy in others!

**Signups close on 18 November at 23:59 UTC**

Fun tier!

Everyone is welcome, including newbies! Minimum gift amount is 10 USD and suggested maximum amount is 40 USD (shipping costs excluded).

A gift might include:

  • Affordable pens such as: Platinum Preppy, Pilot Kakuno, Jinhao 82, Hongdian 525
  • Ink samples
  • Small notebooks or sheets of fountain-friendly paper
  • Converters, ink syringes, cleaning supplies
  • For examples and ideas, see last year’s Fun Tier gallery

Eligibility criteria for Reddit:

  • You have made a comment or post in r/fountainpens in the last 3 months AND
  • Your Reddit account was created on or before 2023-10-01

Eligibility criteria for Mastodon:

  • You have made at least one post tagged #FountainPen / #FountainPens in the last 3 months AND
  • Your Mastodon or Fediverse account was created on or before 2023-10-01

Yes, you may comment or post right now in order to become eligible as long as you do so before registering for the exchange!

Elite tier!

For more experienced fountain pen users, here is a chance to receive some things that you might not seek out on your own! Minimum gift amount is 50 USD and suggested maximum amount is 200 USD (shipping costs excluded).

A gift might include:

  • One or more pens within this price range
  • One or more bottles of ink
  • Fountain-friendly planner or notebook
  • Pen case or pouch
  • For examples and ideas, see last year’s Elite Tier gallery

Eligibility criteria for Reddit:

  • You have at least 1 verified trade on r/pen_swap OR
  • You have made a post in r/fountainpens in the last 3 months AND
  • Your Reddit account was created on or before 2023-09-01

Eligibility criteria for Mastodon:

  • You have made at least one post tagged #FountainPen / #FountainPens in the last 3 months AND
  • Your Mastodon or Fediverse account was created on or before 2023-09-01

Yes, you may post right now in order to become eligible as long as you do so before registering for the exchange. We suggest you make a State of the Collection post as this will also help your Santa!

Instructions

  1. Sign up for Givin Gifts if you do not already have an account. Make sure you fill in the field for your Reddit and/or Mastodon username in your profile! For Mastodon, enter your username in your profile text, as GG does not have a dedicated spot for it yet. (If you have both, only enter both if you actively check both platforms and accounts as Santas and Elves may need to message you.)
    NOTE: If you have a Givin Gifts account from a previous exchange, you may have to reset your password as GG has changed their system.
  2. Register for one or both of the tiers: Fun tierElite Tier – you have to enter something in the preferences field which can be any old place holder to meet the 30 character minimum or you can copy and paste the questionnaire linked below (see step 3). You do not have to fill it out completely before registering.
  3. Once you have joined an exchange, click on the “Exchange Preferences” button. Copy the questionnaire into the box labeled “Do you have any preferences relating to this exchange?”. You can fill it in now, or you can come back to it later; you can edit your preferences until November 20. You may also add any other info you would like your Santa to know! If participating in both tiers, you may use the same answers for both, or different answers for each.
  4. Optional: Put things you have been thinking about in your exchange wishlist. This is purely for reference—your Santa is NOT obligated to buy from this list.
  5. Wait for the exchange to close and then assign matches. Signups will close on November 18 and matches will happen on November 20.
  6. Once you receive your match read their questionnaire and exchange preferences and start thinking of gift ideas!
  7. Communicate with your giftee as well as your Santa (gifter) if you have any questions or additional information for them. You may use the Givin Gifts platform to anonymously message them or message them directly on Reddit or Mastodon.
  8. Send your gift along with a note written using a fountain pen!
  9. We highly suggest you ship via a tracked service. Take a picture of your gift and note in case it gets lost in the mail. Deadline to ship is December 12.
  10. Upload proof of shipping to Givin Gifts.
  11. When you receive your gift, post it and tag your Santa! When you make your post: on Reddit, please use the “Secret Santa!” flair, on Mastodon please use #FountainPens #FPSanta.

Rematching

Sometimes people drop out of the exchange for various reasons and their original matches are left without a Santa. What happens in this case? They are rematched with people who volunteer to send extra gifts.

If you have the means and time, please volunteer to be a rematcher! This means that if a Santa drops out of the exchange, rematchers will take over and send gifts to the people left without a Santa. 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.

Q&A

  • Can I match with only people in my country or geographically close to me? Yes, when you sign up for the exchange, you may choose to match with domestic (same country), international (nearby countries), or worldwide (anywhere). More information on shipping groups is here.
  • Do I have to buy new stuff for my gift recipient? No! In this hobby we accumulate a lot of things and we encourage you to gift 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 gift recipient? 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/Mastodon 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.
  • What if my Santa/giftee doesn’t contact me? Contact us and we will try to reach out to them. If they drop out of the exchange, we will do the best to pair you with a rematcher so that you can still send or receive a gift!
  • I want to avoid getting something I already have. You can post State of the Collection posts to the sub, or to your user profile, and link them in your exchange preferences.
  • 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.
  • Will my personal information be secure? Our matching platform Givin Gifts ensures that personal information—name, address, and phone number—is only shown to the people that need to see it. This would be your gifter (Santa) and the Givin Gifts staff member responsible for verifying shipping proof. Your personal information is not available to exchange organizers (elves). We only see which country you’re in and no other information. For more information, see the Givin Gifts privacy policy.
  • **My account is too new to be eligible but I really want to participate, is there any way? **You may contact the elves to be placed on a waitlist for a late match; we may put you in if someone drops out.
  • Other issues? Comment below with your question (Reddit) or post your question on Mastodon with hashtag #FPSanta. Or contact the team via Reddit messages or Mastodon private mentions.

Santa’s Elves — your Secret Santa team

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 and 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: @alexa488@penfount.social
  • Americas East: @superplannergirl@penfount.social and @write_knife_sew@penfount.social
  • Europe/Middle East/Africa: @Halfcelestialelf@penfount.social
  • Asia/Oceania: @paradoxmo@penfount.social
  • Head Elf (escalations/other): @paradoxmo@penfount.social

We’re pleased to announce our Secret Santa exchange! This exchange has run on Reddit for the past few years and we’re pleased to be extending it to the Mastodon and Fediverse community this year!

Signups will open on 28 October at 00:00 UTC and close on 18 November at 23:59 UTC.

What is Secret Santa?

It’s a gift exchange! What better way to celebrate the holidays than to exchange gifts with your fellow fountain pen enthusiasts? This is your opportunity to penable a newbie, share ink samples that you will likely never use up, or re-home neglected pens, ink, and/or accessories to a new owner that will appreciate them. Or, simply take pleasure in getting to know someone new and finding them a perfect gift!

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