It’s happening: the 3rd annual Secret Valentine Exchange!! Ute and I are teaming up as per usual, and we’re thrilled to be hosting this unique and all-around creative event. Based on the Scandinavian Secret Santa tradition called Julklapp, our first SVE brought 40 participants together and last year we had a whopping 100+ participants!
Essentially, you sign up and Ute and I assign Secret Valentines (we’re part of the gift exchange fun too). We’ll send you the info about the person for whom you’ll be making a gift, but you’ll be in the dark in terms of who’ll be sending you a gift.
The key points to keep in mind are:
1. Gifts should be made with materials you already have on hand (we encourage recycling and repurposing). This is not meant to be an expensive project for anyone.
2. You must be willing to ship internationally.
3. The gift should fit into a medium to large envelope to keep shipping costs down. There are no expectations to send more than one gift, but in the past couple of years we’ve noticed that folks love to include multiple small gifts, and that’s wonderful too.
4. Keep it fun and easy! No need to stress about what to make, although I know from personal experience that it could feel a little nerve-wracking to send your handmade creation if it’s not something you do regularly. Trust me, the gift will be received happily as many, many participants will attest. I know that quite a few tears of appreciation have been shed (I’m raising my hand high up here). There’s something magical about opening up a handmade gift, don’t you think?
Now, things have gone pretty smoothly these past couple of years, but with so many participants in far flung places on the globe, there were some delays with a number of shipments. If you’re sending to a particularly remote place from where you live, it’s a very good idea to build in extra days for shipping. We may try to assign folks in similar regions, but we also want this to have the full international effect.
Please use hashtag #2016sve on IG to get into the spirit of the event and for sneak peeks, but remember, it’s not necessary to have any kind of online presence. The idea was borne out of a desire to connect people in a way that no digital medium can accomplish, and we’ve learned that many friendships emerged from the Secret Valentine Exchanges. This makes Ute and me indescribably happy.
We’ve selected swans for our Secret Valentine’s graphics this year because Ute’s love of the beautiful creatures is well documented, and we feel they’re a fetching representation of this non-traditional tradition we’ve created. Here are this year’s gift tags (you don’t have to use them, but it’s a nice option I hope – I made them in two sizes), and the process is as easy as can be:
1. To sign up, fill out the questionnaire below by Wednesday, January 13th.
2. We’ll take care of assignments and send out the Secret Valentine info to all participants by Monday, January 18th.
3. Make something fabulous and ship it by February 7 (if you’re shipping internationally, you might want to add a few extra days). The tags are here! And don’t forget the Instagram hashtag #2016sve
4. Receive your Secret Valentine gift!
We can’t wait to see who signs up!! Are you in? Please feel free to contact me or Ute with any questions here in the comments section or at secret.valentine.exchange[at]gmail.com. We’ll also announce the exchange on instagram and you can find us there too (@ute_ig @sanaeishida). Hooray!!
Here’s the form – make sure to scroll all the way down if the form looks cut off :-):
UPDATED 1/14/16: Sign ups are closed! Thank you!!