We're glad you have decided to join up with us and participate in the gift exchange. If this is your second time, welcome back! If it's your first time, get ready to have a great time!
As a refresher, here's the important dates that you need to know:
- November 30th - Signups end!
- December 1st - You will receive the name of the person you will be sending a gift to from one of the hosts in an email. If you haven't heard from anyone by December 3rd please let us know.
- December 17th - Send your gift by this date!! You are welcome to send your gift earlier if you like, but please, please try to get it sent by the 17th at the latest so everyone gets a gift before Christmas. After you receive a gift share about it on your blog or social media pages!
- January 7th - Come back to the host blogs and link up your posts about your gifts!
Before you sign up, please read through these simple rules:
- Please head over to Facebook and if you haven't already done so give each of the hosts pages a "like". We really appreciate your support and this is the best way to stay up to date on the exchange and all the happenings! Here's the links: This Uncharted Rhoade, Country LINKed, The Ranch Wife Chronicles, and Diaries From the Dirt Road.
- After you sign up, please take a minute to share about the swap on your blog or Facebook page, feel free back to one of the signup blog posts. The more the merrier so encourage your friends to join!
- If you decide to participate, we ask that you please write a blog post (or if you don't have a blog then on Facebook or other social media) about the gift you received no later than January 7th. Then, on January 7th you need to come back to the host blogs and link up to the party. Linking up is easy and we can help you if needed! We want everyone to be able to see what everyone else got so it's important that everyone shares!
- If you join, YOU MUST SEND A GIFT! We really don't want anyone to be left out, that's the worst! If something comes up and you cannot continue to participate after you have signed up, please let one or more of the hosts know ASAP so we can work something out.
- You must get a tracking number for your gift that you send, and you must send that tracking number to the host who emailed you your gift exchange name. Please send these to us as soon as you get them. I've found one of the best ways to send packages like this is to use the Priority Mail Flat Boxes from USPS. You can pick up the boxes for free from your local post office, and they ship out for one flat rate regardless of weight. You can either print off a label at home and leave for your mail person or take the filled box back to the post office and ship it off there. Either way, be sure to get a tracking number for your package please!!!
- Please use the linkup below to add your blog (click on the blue "add your link" button, add your blog home page url and pick a thumbnail image) or your Facebook page. This way, all who are participating can look at the linkup and see everyone else who has joined! If you don't have a blog, please leave a comment letting us know who you and why you decided to participate.
- For the sake of fairness, we've decided that bloggers will be pair with other bloggers and non-bloggers will be paired with other non-bloggers. That way those that blog will get a chance for their gifts to be featured on someone else's blog. Those that don't have blogs are more than welcome to join and still share their gifts on other social media.
- Please tag all posts (whether on Facebook/blogs/Instagram) about the gift exchange with #christmasinthecountry2014. This will hopefully make it easier for us to find everyone's posts!
- After you sign up, please grab the button below and add it to your blog if you have one. Feel free to use the large image above as well when you share or for your blog posts (you should be able to right click on the image and download).
So now on to the fun part, THE GIFT! Here's some guidelines:
- We encourage you to spend some time thinking about what your person might like, and send a unique and creative gift. Use their likes and dislikes that they listed (your host should email the list to you). Also check out their blogs or social media sites (without letting them know who you are) to get a feel for what they might like.
- We've found it's nice to focus on locally and homemade items. If you can support other farmers, farm wives, and country folks that's great! If you're crafty think about making something special to send to your person, or include some of your famous Christmas cookies in their package. If you're not the crafty type see if maybe you can support some local artisans with your package.
- Because we like to encourage local and homemade gifts, we don't set a spending limit. However, if you're one of those people who really need a number we've found that somewhere around $15 to $25 spent on a gift is a nice range, but you can't put a price on homemade goods! Many people like to include a few different smaller items in their box, but some also just send one larger item, it's up to you! If you still need more ideas check out the link up party from the 2013 Christmas in the Country to see what everyone from last year sent and received!
- Remember, this gift exchange is a secret! That means that you only know who you will be sending a gift to - but you don't know who your gift will be coming from! That's half the fun! So please be careful NOT to let your person know that you are sending them a gift. However, when you do send your gift, please include a note revealing yourself so they know who their goodies came from! You can let them know a little about yourself and why you choose the items that you did. The person that you send a gift to is not the same person who sends a gift to you, so you will have the chance to make two new friends!
- And remember to please get that tracking number on your gift! Makes it easier to make sure everyone got their gift!
As a reminder, here are all of the hosts for the Christmas in the Country 2014 gift exchange, you can find our contact info on our blogs if you have any questions or need help!