What is the miniswap?
It is a mail swap between our children (for the children, by the children–with a little help from you and me)–a chance to let them get in on the fun of sending and receiving a brown paper package.
::We will swap by household. Keep in mind, you might sign up one
child, but be swapped with a household of two or three children. This
doesn’t mean you have to put together three times as much stuff, but it
might be nice to include something small for each of the children.
::Originally I didn’t put an age limit on participation. But
this year, I’m going to say two years and up. The idea of this swap is
that our children are really participating. Please use good judgment about where to cap it off
at the older end. (And just for the record, if you were my partner and
signed up your four year old, but there was a 12 month old crawling
around your house, I’d want to know so I could include a little
something for him/her. I wouldn’t want to leave those babes out all
together. But I’ll leave that up between partners.)
::The swap is open to anyone, so please be willing to ship overseas when you sign up.
::I always try to be budget-conscious. Try to keep the bulk of your
swap goodies in the handmade or hand-me-down category. One year my
partner passed on gently used books, a stuffed toy and other goodies
(among other fantastic things)–and my kids loved it. And the sentiment
behind her children wanting to pass on a special toy to another child
was priceless.This swap is not meant to break the bank.
::Need ideas of things to include? You can check out the miniswap flickr group. Or, leave a comment after this post of some of the highlights from last year. I’d love to hear and I’m sure others would, too.
::Please include a postcard or small map showing where you’re from. (I forgot to do this last year, again… oops.)
::Please ship packages by February 22. That should give you about a month to put it all together.
HOW TO SIGN UP:
I will open the sign ups on Tuesday morning at 10:00am. ET. I think I can handle the logistics of 125 participants. I think. All you need to do is send an email to miniswap (at) gmail (dot) com and include:
1. your name
2. email address
4. name and age of your child/children.
I will then swap names randomly, and contact half the list with their partner’s email address. That partner will be in charge of starting the communication between the two of you. . I’ll let you know when families are paired and that first email goes out so that you can be watching your inbox.
Last year there were lots of problems with people’s emails going into spam or junk mail folders, so partners thought they weren’t being contacted, or their partner didn’t want to participate. Please be watchful and aware of that problem. It is those kind of glitches that make it get complicated and extra work.
And lastly, PLEASE only sign up if you’re seriously interested. Last year, I had a good handful of no-shows when it finally came down to it. It’s frustrating when I turned away many people who wanted to be part of the mini swap and people who signed up didn’t follow through. And more importantly, it left some pretty disappointed partners (and children). So please only sign up if you’re really sure you can participate.
After sign ups close, I’ll get together some code so you can put the button on your blog, if you wish. And as always, please pass the word on your blog that miniswap 3 is getting started.
Phew!!! I think that’s it….I’m looking forward to another fun year of swapping!