Victor Borge: Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
Technology comes to Secret Santa! I’m a member of a Facebook group, and the group administrator looked into a way for interested members to become part of a Secret Santa exchange.
How does one conduct a Secret Santa when you don’t meet in person, don’t know what the other members look like and, certainly, what their likes and dislikes are? Introducing Elfster! It’s a social networking website for wish lists and gift-giving. It’s free and appears to be the perfect online organizer for Secret Santa-style gift exchanges.
Founded in Delaware in 2004, Elfster contains a universal wishlist, an anonymous Q&A section, personalized gift recommendations, activity updates, and forum discussions. The website and the phone app can be used to create wishlists and organize online gift exchanges. Users can find friends in Elfster, and follow their wishlists. Items can be added from any site online, and with the Elfster mobile app, bar code scanning allows items to be added on the go. When organizing an online gift exchange, Elfster draws names randomly and allows users to ask their draw partner questions anonymously – maintaining secrecy in a high-tech way. Elfster helps with the logistics of determining who wants to participate, drawing names, and communicating the names that were drawn, while identities remain secret.
Leslie and I have talked about shortening our holiday gift list this year. I remember one year when my list was more than 30 people! Say what? This year, I have a dozen people on my list, not including Leslie, and now I’ve added a Secret Santa friend. And the gift process for this new friend has been made so easy. She has 30+ items on her wish list, and I’ll just shop online in the next week and have the package delivered to my front door.
I’m all for making the holiday season easy, and I’m starting early.