Monday, November 26, 2012

Secret Santa’s Little Helper

‘Tis the season for Friendsgiving celebrations as well as Secret Santas, Hanukkah Harry’s – you name it. These fun get-togethers are a great antidote to the winter blues. And there’s always the prospect of getting thoughtful gifts. Last year I was fortunate enough to receive beautiful ceramic soy sauce holders from ABC Home (thank you Rachel) as well as a chic vintage-looking glass tray for my loose jewelry (thank you Jacki).

The best gifts are thought-out and personal. I’ll be featuring a holiday gift guide soon. In the meantime, here are some rad tools for coordinating your gift-exchange parties –

My dear friend Aliya introduced me to Doodle a couple of years ago. (Aliya is way ahead of the curve.) Our high school friends used to engage in email chains that would reach ridiculous amounts of back and forth just trying to lock down a date for dinner. With everyone’s busy and conflicting schedules, it was nearly impossible to reach a consensus for a group meal. Enter: Doodle. Each person checks dates that work for her, and – voila! – Doodle finds a date that works for all.

Once you and your friends do settle on a date, with the help of Doodle of course, you still have to pick names for the Secret Santa (or other variation) element of the evening. In the past our friend Jen had her coworker pick names on our behalf. This may or may not have been rigged J This year our friend Julie asked her assistant to do the honors, and Julie’s genius assistant instead found Elfster. Elfster is essentially an online Secret Santa match-maker. It’s awesome! Someone enters everyone’s names, and then each member of the group receives an email with her designated gift recipient. It’s a virtual picking-names-out-of-a-hat situation, but better; You’re guaranteed to not pick yourself.



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