Hello, it’s that time of year again! The holidays are fast approaching (I know, I can’t believe it either!) and after hearing from all of you, I decided it would be fun to do another Expat Holiday Care Package Exchange! I’m starting everything earlier this year, so if you plan on signing up, I’d really appreciate it if you could read through this entire post. I’ve streamlined a few things since last year and moved the dates up to make this more enjoyable for all. The signup form is at the very end, and I promise this is the only long communication you’ll get from me (aside from when I send you your match with instructions and only ONE reminder email).
Sign up for the 2nd Annual Expat Holiday Care Package Exchange
What it is:
It’s hard to be an expat sometimes but even harder around the holidays — especially if you’re not going home and not getting or giving many gifts. And who doesn’t like getting mail? The Expat Holiday Care Package Exchange is a way for expats to exchange a gift with another expat somewhere in the world. I’ll know who you are matched up with but you won’t until the package arrives! (Signup form is at the bottom of this page but please read through everything!) Check out last year’s exchange here.
- Signup is open from now until October 25. If you want to sign up, please do it now.
- I will get you your match delivered by email with more instructions by November 1.
- You’re expected to ship by November 15 to allow for holiday delivery (can take 6 weeks in some cases).
(that I’ll repeat via email with more details when I send you your match Nov. 1.)
- Sign up below by filling out the form (your info only goes to me and is NOT public) and wait for your match to arrive via email from me on November 1. It’s open to anyone who is an expat — you don’t have to be a blogger. And you don’t have to be in France or anything like that.
- Buy your match’s gift and ship it to him/her via regular mail by November 15. The value of the gift (shipping will be in addition) should be about US$20-25. Light items work best!
Please keep these next points in mind (before you sign up)
I don’t mean to be harsh here but as the organizer things can get a little hairy, so please understand where I’m coming from when I say this next part:
- If you’re the type to forget, flake out or need 5 reminders to get something done, please do not sign up.
Last year I did a lot of following up and checking in on people and there’s just no need for it, especially not this year as the exchange grows, not to mention it’s a major time suck. You’ll be signing up on the form below, and getting your match from me as well as just one reminder email that will link you to another shared document where you confirm you’ve shipped your package so the sender knows it was sent. That’s it. I won’t be following up with you or holding your hand or checking on things because we’re all adults here and I trust that if you commit to something, that you’ll follow through and do it. So again, if you’re the type to not keep your word, please pass. If you tend to forget things or get too busy to follow through, please pass on this. If you genuinely don’t enjoy gift giving, please pass. This is supposed to be fun for all involved, so if you don’t love shopping and gift giving, this may not be for you!
- Please be aware of the shipping costs in your country (and sometimes things go missing).
In most cases, shipping charges will be more expensive than the cost of the gift itself. I don’t want anyone surprised when you get to the post office. In France, anywhere outside of the EU is the same price whether I ship to Canada or New Zealand. If it’s more expensive for you to ship to a country geographically far away, let me know in the “other things to know” section of the signup document below so I can match you with someone closer.
Along with the above point, everyone is expected to ship via regular mail, tracking not required since that’s an additional cost. Last year out of 32 packages, I believe only one never arrived. I hope this doesn’t happen but just putting it out there. We had issues with Turkey last year. If you live in Turkey and want to participate just keep in mind that packages may be delayed by a month or more.
- If you know your country has mail delivery issues, you may not want to sign up.
The whole point of the exchange is to have fun and spread the holiday cheer. If you know your country’s mail infrastructure has major room for improvement and you rarely get packages sent to you, maybe don’t sign up. If someone spends time and money on your gift and it is never received, where’s the fun in that? Of course sometimes packages unfortunately go missing but if you know your postal service has issues, please don’t sign up.
- The signup document is for my eyes only.
The only person seeing your address and the info on the signup form linked below is me and your match. Along with that, please double check the info you submit on the form!
How to sign up
You sign up in one fell swoop via this Google Form. Click and then please answer the questions. I will not be emailing you until the very end of the month, and when I do, it’ll have your match’s info and all the other stuff you need to know.
Also, would you kindly share this post on social media or email other expat friends to drum up interest? Thank you!
Let’s make the 2nd Annual Expat Holiday Care Package Exchange a success!
Questions? Contact me here.