2nd Annual Holiday Card Exchange!
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Alongside SantaThing—which our Secret Santas have almost finished picking for—we're running our 2nd annual LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange! You send a card—holiday themed presumably, but not necessarily—to one LibraryThing member and get another from another member. Give and receive as many cards as you like! It's free and simple to join. Sign-ups close Thursday, December 17 at 1pm Eastern.
LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange:
>10 timspalding: an original work of art -- I most definitely want one!
My first thought was no, but I can't resist. I may have to send some to other LT member I've corresponded with in the past as well. No promises.
A question. Is there an address to send cards to LibraryThing staff members? I would love to thank you all, but if you don't want tons of cards, I understand. :)
>15 MrsLee: That's very sweet of you! While LTHQ (manned by Tim, Kristi, and Kirsten these days) will be participating in the card exchange, you're always welcome to mail us:
286 Spring St
Portland, ME 04102
Is it a given with the card exchange that the sender should use the recipient's library as a way of judging what s/he might like, as is done (most of the time) with SantaThing?
>22 bluepiano: I think you should just send a nice christmas card maybe showing something about your local christmas traditions? (Just my $0.02 :-)
I'm sure the cards I receive will end up on the fridge, so my family can see that I (sort of) know someone in xxx and yyy and zzz. And similar I hope the cards I send might make the recipients look at a map to see where on earth that card came from.
>23 bnielsen: Exactly! I hope all my recipients are international :D *fingers crossed*
It is a postcard... I would assume that the cards will be displayed somewhere so I would not send risque ones but other from that, a postcard is a postcard - what you like to read and what art you like are very different things anyway :)
>22 bluepiano: Last year, I took a look at the recipients' libraries and wrote a book recommendation and happy holidays message in my cards. A few of the people who sent me cards did the same. Others just wrote about their holiday plans or simply wished me the season's greetings.
Oh, so it's meant to be a *post*card, then? or is it a holiday card? I'm confused--to me, those are two different things.
>27 bluepiano: I'm sure no one will complain if you send both kinds :-)
A bit more serious: The general idea is for both sides to have fun, so send whatever kind you choose.
Quoting from >1 kristilabrie: "You send a card—holiday themed presumably, but not necessarily—to one LibraryThing member and get another from another member."
It's a nice idea, in principle; but I rather feel that the deadline of 17th is not enough time to send cards internationally (from Great Britain anyway).
(Ignoring 'Surface Mail') Sending letters by 'Airmail'; the last christmas post dates are:
Africa, Middle East
Asia, Cyprus, Far East, Japan, Eastern Europe
Caribbean, Central & South America
Greece, Australia, New Zealand
Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Poland
Canada, Finland, Sweeden, USA
Austria, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain
Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland
In light of this, I have regretably un-ticked 'I am willing to send cards outside my country'.
Sorry folks. :(
Late postcard is better than no postcard in my book :)
It is what you want to send basically... I never send the postcards with no envelopes (if this is what you mean?) anyway so postcard for the holidays and holiday card is the same thing for me...
If I was still in Bulgaria, I would be sending a postcard from there plus the Holiday one in an envelope. :) Thinking about that... maybe I should do the same from Arizona... Hm...
>30 AnnieMod: Agreed, so what if it doesn't get there by a specific date? That's not what matters at all!
Please don't misunderstand me. I am still signed up for it. :)
All I did was un-select the 'international' option, so that my recipients would get their cards in time for Christmas or at the very least New Years Day.
Personally, I keep my cards on display till at least the first week past New Years Day. And, I don't mind getting my cards a little late; but, I know a lot of people here in the UK who take them down the day after Christmas! (Bah-Humbug ;)
>29 Sylak: I don't have any deadline for arrival. In general, I suspect my cards will arrive early January: plenty of time for holiday greetings and to wish people all the best in the new year. :-)
I ticked that I was willing to send international I think. I don't mind lateness at all, so I hope my recipients don't mind either. I like getting mail whenever it arrives, and if it is pretty and not a bill, that's even better! I don't get many Christmas cards anymore, being too busy/out of funds to send them to everyone, and having arthritis in my hands so that hand writing hurts, I stopped sending them. However, I can send 5.
I understood you :) I am just saying that I am not worried about cards arriving on time. So I am will send them internationally - even if they make it there by Easter :)
>34 MrsLee: Agreed! It is so nice to receive mail that isn't bills - any time of year :D
I send cards in envelopes, not postcards. Can't recall if I received any before Christmas last year, but it was lovely to get them when they did arrive. One was a postcard (not in envelope) but the others were greeting cards in envelopes. I loved getting all of them.
I learned years ago that in German, if you say 'Karte' you mean a postcard - a single layer usually with a picture on one side and space for a message and an address on the back. What I would call a 'Card' - with a picture on the outside, and opening up to show the greeting, is called a 'Billet'.
In France a 'carte' with a small 'billet' contained within is always welcome. ;)
And an even more welcome carte with two small billets enclosed is a billet-deux.
>22 bluepiano: Not a given at all. This is primarily a fun holiday card exchange, to which you can tailor as much or as little as you like!
You can send a postcard or a greeting card, if it's a card you can send it. Holiday-themed or not. Personally, I don't care if I receive any "late" cards, I have to agree with >36 Jenni_Canuck: that anything other than a bill is always nice to receive! :)
Can't wait to play! :)
I suppose you could always say Holiday Greetings 2016 and then the card will be early instead of late.
Okay - enough already! ;)
I get it - everyone is cool if my card gets to them a little late. :D
I am happy to announce that as of last night, Sylak is once again an international player in the 2nd Annual Holiday Card Exchange.
Only 2 days to go... :)
Woo!! We peer pressured you back, glad to see you're international once more! ;)
I'm still undecided because rural area, limited transport, Xmas P.O. nightmare, but I'll tell you what--if LT ever establishes a bookmark exchange I'll sign up in a heartbeat.
I want LT bookmarks—nice ones.
And ex libris—um—ex librises?
I was in an international stitching group that exchanged bookmarks once. I believe each of us sent 2 embroidered bookmarks in. The organizer sent each of us one back and the rest went to an adult reading program in the LA area. She had (her own) money for the postage but wanted concrete tokens for the graduates.
Come to think of it, she was the same person who introduced me to LT.
>47 timspalding: Have a design contest -- I bet you'd be spoiled for choice! :-)
>47 timspalding: I guess you'd have to find someone who knows Latin to answer that one.
I do know that ex-liberos was used colloquially in Roman times to mean something much like 'free at last', which has led ultimately to the legal sense of 'finalising of a divorce' and, through further corruption and the usual linguistic shifts, the words 'library', 'lingonberry', and 'explicit'.
Heh. I'm an ex-Latin student—drop-out from a Ph.D program in Classics.
Ex libris means "from the books." Libris is plural.(1) The idea is that the book is "from the books" of so-and-so (either named, in the genitive, if you want to keep it in Latin, or with an underline to write it in).
In calling these bookplates "ex libris," we're turning a prepositional phrase with a plural noun into a singular English noun. There's no way to pluralize that in Latin, because it's not really Latin anymore, but English.
So I'd go with ex librises. Or just avoid it :)
1. Liber is a half-homonym, meaning both "book" and "free," but the latter has an (unwritten) long initial "i" and they decline differently, so it'd be liberis if it was "from the free [ones]."
>51 timspalding: You were so patient with a wilfully idiotic post that I'm feeling a bit ashamed. It's past time I looked for an emoticon for 'flippant'. Sorry; it was good of you to take the time.
It's true about 'lingonberry', though. Supposedly present form derives from Goths' attempts to pronounce 'municipal library', i.e., 'repository for small fruits'.
Ha. Sorry for getting pedantic on you. I'm inclined… :)
I thought lingonberry was originally Klingonberry?
Does everyone put their return address on the cards or do you do it anonymously?
I put my return address on the envelope, but not inside the card. I don't see why one couldn't do it anonymously if preferred.
Yeah, pretty much anything I send tends to be with return address on the envelope, standard mailing practice, but you could leave it off if you wanted.
As far as I am aware there is no Klingon (or is that Klingonese?) word for lingonberry Tim. ;)
I'm not proficient in linguistics; but, may I suggest: LinGon NaHmey
>55 ILuvBookplates: Return address isn't required, though I'll probably enter mine.
Tim's working with the card exchange script as we speak, there's a bit of a snag I think with not enough international senders, but we'll send out your exchangees ASAP! Thanks! :)
Hey. I'm still working on it. The math of getting everyone matched it proving a little tough. It should be ready soon, though.
My cards are written and will be in the mailbox tomorrow morning. They're all going to the US so I don't know if they'll arrive before Christmas or not, but I've done what I can.
Thanks, LT peoples!
One of mine is only going about 25 miles so I am confident it will get there by Christmas. The others have about a 50/50 chance.
Most of mine are in Europe, so they have a good chance of getting there this year. We'll see about the US ones.
I'll go write them now so I can mail them this afternoon.
All ready, but I made a stupid mistake on the one for LT - the card is portrait, but I wrote in it as if it was landscape. Sorry. Got the other right, I think.
I didn't get any notice, but the addresses are on the card page.
Next year, perhaps you ought to write in big bold letters to include your country! in the address, though. >.>
The only one I got without a country included BE in the european style postal code, so I knew it was Belgium. But yes, I am used to various addresses. Someone else might not recognize that.
Mine are now in the post and as they are within Europe I'm hoping they will get there soon. Now all I need to do is be patient and wait and see who is sending to me! Like .Monkey I was looking for a message but then thought to look on the sign-up page.
Uhm, does anybody want to swap one recipient? I got my own sister, and she already received a card anyway. :D
(It's an address in Germany, and I'm willing to send my card anywhere in the world.)
>69 Chrischi_HH: I'd be interested! I didn't sign up because postage outside Europe is stupidly expensive from Italy, but Germany is reasonable. :)
>66 MarthaJeanne: Same, but of course I'm familiar with that one :P but I got another one as well that I had to look up in order to find the country. :|
>70 ursula: Thanks for the offer, but I don't think that really works. You would send a card to my sister, but not get any card back because they are all randomly assigned (I think). However, if you're interested I would be fine with writing one more card to you and getting one from Italy in return? :) Just send me a PM.
.Monkey., I'll answer your PM right away!
I signed up, but I didn't get any notice about it, and going to the cardexchange.php page just gets me the info on it and link to sign up. I guess my signup didn't take for some reason.
I didn't get a message, but on the card exchange page I see in blue 'Edit my sign-up' instead of the sign up link, and under the number of those signed up a list of adresses of people to send cards to. If you still see the link to sign up, it must not have saved right.
All cards are written, now I just need to stop at the post office to mail them today. Hope to go out at lunch today.
Yikes! Glad I checked this thread, I also was waiting for my little yellow message box to light up! Thanks for the link above folks!
>73 rastaphrog: I'm sorry your signup didn't go through! I'll check with Tim to see what's up.
>74 MarthaJeanne:! Thanks!
Have also been waiting for a notification!
rastaphrog, I don't think anyone got a notice but under the link to sign up it should have a header called Participating So Far and then under that there should be a header that says Cards To Send and under that are the names and addresses. Does your cardexchange.php page scroll a little farther down? Mine didn't appear to look any different until I noticed it would scroll a tiny bit.
>79 reading_fox: Sorry we didn't send out profile notifications, I'll see if we can't send them today (better late than never!). I've at least modified the Home News post for folks to find their list of card recipients. :)
I guess I'll have to make sure I double check next year that it went thru properly.
The algorithm that picks had some trouble finding matches in both directions for everyone. The logic of picking was hardest in the UK, where high card counts and a mix of people wanting to send to only other UK people made the math fail. All told four members are short eight cards total. Amusingly, the algorithm tries to make sure everyone gives the number they're supposed to get, but sometimes there's no one eligible to receive, so one member is going to get eight extra cards. (Should I tell them? Could be quite a surprise!)
Anyway, I need some volunteers to send an extra card. Anyone?
>85 timspalding: I can send an extra card if that works for you. It won't go out today, though, because I didn't bring any to work with me and the post will have gone by the time I get home. So let me know but if there are other people who can do it in a more timely manner, that's fine.
I can send an extra card within the US. I have plenty of US stamps. I won't be able to get to a post office to send international mail before I leave home for the holidays.
I guess I'll step up, just to dispel the myth that people in the UK are stingy about sending cards abroad.
Yeah - count me in for an extra one too, Tim. :)
>85 timspalding: I can send at least two extra cards to US or international recipients.
>85 timspalding: If you need any more volunteers, let me know. I'm happy to send internationally. I would have signed up twice if I could have figured out a way to do so without creating a new account :D
I wish I had more stamps to send more cards. If I find my missing stamps before tomorrow I will let LT know. :)
I just left you a profile message - I can send you a postcard if you send me your address. :) Technology fail or a user error is not a reason for someone not getting postcards!
Cards sent to the US. You may get them late as the official last posting date was Weds. Hope you enjoy them anyway.
I'm so sorry too. Send me your address too? I got loads of extra cards.
Yeah, we're still signing ours. But then I never have time to read cards until after Christmas anyway.
>83 rastaphrog: I had to buy an extra stamp for the US, so I can send you one, too.
Some of the names I received to send cards to, don't have a name listed, only their LT name. Should I just address the card to the LT name? One is kinda strange and doesn't seem like a name at all. Any suggestions?
I never have time to read cards until after Christmas anyway.
We've been sending New Years' cards for the past few years - gives us time to get them out during the lull for the couple days after Christmas.
I used the LT username for the ones I sent that didn't have names. In one case it was "firstname LTusername" since I happened to know the first name :)
It's pretty trivial to find out who lives at a given address, if you're really concerned with making sure you assign a real-world name to people who have chosen not to provide one. Personally I'd respect people's decision in that regard, but YMMV.
>83 rastaphrog: I can send you a postcard if you send me your address.
>110 lorax: Somehow I don't think people are interested in privacy invasion, but in ensuring the mail gets to the proper location.
But they're providing addresses, aren't they? Have they really never received mail addressed to "Occupant" or "Resident"?
Well, yes but not everyone lives alone. So if you look it up, you can send it to the wrong person. At least with Occupant/Resident, it is clear that it is for someone but not specifically to the wrong person.
Yeah, and mail deliverers tend to be familiar with who "belongs" to houses so if something were addressed oddly it could lead to problems with them not thinking it was meant for that mailbox. Or in apartment buildings, they'd have no clue who it was meant for.
That's where apartment numbers come into play :) I would not put a name the recipient did not provide (even if I can find it) - if they did not provide it, I would do something generic...
>116 AnnieMod: Not here. It's not like the US where there's big apartment buildings and everyone has their own number, there's not normally room in larger cities for those. Apartments have the mailboxes in or beside the door, with names on them, so they know which flap the mail goes in.
I wish our mailman wouldn't leave mail for previous occupants. We've only been here 8 years.
*snort* Judging by the number of items of other people's mail that I get, and of my own that gets delivered to the wrong house, I'd say the letter carriers don't pay much attention at all around here.
Ah. Bulgaria is the same as USA (mailbox at the first floor with numbers of apartments on them basically -- sometimes with names; not all had names though). So you do not have a separate street number but a separate apartment number as part of the address. I do not think I had ever lived in a place where only a name determine who gets the mail (unless they are the same household)
Thanks for all the suggestions. Many valid points were made regarding putting a persons name on the envelope, as I don't regard it as an invasion of privacy. If they are involved in a card exchange, evidently they are not that worried about privacy. Thanks AnnieMod, I think I'll use "LT User."
and here I was thinking it was just the Royal Mail that has gone down hill in the past 10 years. :/
>120 AnnieMod: et al: Indeed, and where I live (rural Ireland) local addresses are only the name of the townland and the parish; an address lacking a name would be impossible to deliver. I know that as well in UK houses are often given names, so a letter addressed to 'Mon Abri, Lower Little Nether High Street, Farbingithbottomshaugh' might be for any of several houses. Reminding signees next year that their addresses, if not conventional US street numbers, could require a name might be something worth considering.
>120 AnnieMod: Yeah the vast majority of apartments here are this way, you can walk all around the city and see the same, most typical is 3-4 floor buildings with 2-4 households (the bottom floor may be a business) (though of course some are larger and have more), the address is just "Some Street 12" and the postal worker puts the addressee's mail in the flap with their name on it. In our old place the boxes didn't even lock, they were just wood flaps you lifted, lol. This place has proper locking boxes though!
You do realise that the Americans already think we are living in the bronze age!
You are not helping - Shhh... ;)
So, I figure if you leave out your name, it's because you know that, if you leave it out, it still works. If it doesn't work, well, that's too bad, and why'd you put it?
Also happy to send extra cards if still needed - or if you have missed out on signing up, happy to send you one!
Thanks to everyone offering to send a card if I give them my address. It's not necessary, I think I can survive.
Tim has hit the nail on the head. Each individual obviously knows their local addressing conventions.
Although, to a lot of us brought up with a certain format it seems incomplete to address a letter to someone without adding their name. It may even come across as bad manners.
But, the world is more diverse, and full of conflicting social norms and etiquette.
As a rule, I'd have to agree with Tim and lorax on this subject and just keep it simple.
I do know that if you send a letter to China without a name it may not get delivered.
For the record, I do not think anyone responding to that question was remotely suggesting anyone try to go scouring the internet to find real names associated with anyone's addresses. It spurred a discussion on why people would normally include such information and potential problems that can come of leaving it off. That's it.
I totally agree with you there. It certainly would have come off as a little creepy if people had gone to such extremes.
I made a little joke earlier. But, I don't think anyone laughed. Meh.
I had one that didn't include the name but allowed their LT profile to be seen and their name was on that so I assumed it was okay to add it to the letter.
People may have thought their name would automatically show up in the notice and only wrote in a mailing address when they signed up for the card exchange.
Four cards mailed this morning to Pennsylvania, Iowa, Indiana, and Georgia from Alabama.
Thanks Tim for all the hard work you did to make this work! This is the 2nd year I'm participating and I increased my card count significantly this year because of last year's positive experience. My only disappointment this year was not getting any overseas addresses (I was prepared to send all my cards overseas!) but I understand. Still fun. :)
All cards mailed out! After reading the above discussion, I don't remember if I put my name or just my address I the sing-up. I think I assumed it would be included because it is on my profile. Hope I didn't offend anyone.
Cards in the mail. Alas, >137 Book-Dragon1952: was not on my list. Otherwise the typo sing-up for sign-up would have gotten you a singing postcard from me :-)
Cards mailed yesterday to California, Indiana, St Louis and Denver!
Now I'll be waiting by my mailbox . . .
>137 Book-Dragon1952: I might be spoiling ONE card for you but I got you and it didn't have a name. I wasn't offended I just figured you didn't realize it wouldn't automatically show. I saw it on your profile and still used it. :) Hope you like my card!
>137 Book-Dragon1952: I think you spurred discussion more than anything, but it's worth noting that we don't automatically pull real names from LT profiles for use anywhere on the site. It's an optional field, and many choose to leave it blank.
Maybe next year the field should say "name and mailing address" or "mailing address (including name, if desired)"
And postcards out - to 10 different states (I just checked again - yep, all 10 are to different states) and one gong the long way to the South Hemisphere (now... that one will be late) :)
Maybe we can have the option for more than 10 next year? :)
Yeah. There are situations where name would be a necessary disambiguator, but I think the best person to know that would be *the person who actually lives there and is providing the address*.
Right, but people sometimes don't think through things. "It's asking for my address, okay, here is my address" and it says nothing about name, so... I have no idea whether that applies to anyone who is participating in this or not (though one person did already say they figured their name is in their account so it would have been available that way), but I have experienced this with friends on other sites, multiple times. People are busy, or whatever, see "address" and simply provide "address" as requested, without thought to who it is being addressed to.
I have a couple of future improvements I'd like to put forward:
Another way LT could improve sign-up would be to introduced multiple fields for: 'name', 'address', 'Post/zip code' etc.
This way names could not be left out by accident. It would also prompt people to remember 'Country' ;)
I also would urge for a much earlier cut-off date for signing up, nearer the beginning rather than the end of December.
I agree that it would be better to have an earlier signing up and ways of reminding people to include their name and country. I automatically included my name as our address is incomplete without it - in a small hamlet of 15 or so houses surnames are used instead of house names or numbers to indicate who the post is for, but I don't know whether I would have thought to include it otherwise.
I foolishly posted this in the "Suggestions for next year" thread rather than the "2015" thread, so I will repost it here:
Let people choose to send cards but not receive them. I'd be happy to send holiday cards, but don't want to provide my address in order to receive them - I don't want my online pseudonym to be easily associated with my real name, and publicly associating my address with my pseudonym would do that. (I have provided my address to Early Reviewers, but I decided that was worth the risk.)
>147 Sylak: Please do NOT put in separate fields for everything. Address formats in different countries are different, and my mailman has trouble telling the difference between 72 and 77. Don't know how he would react if the house number was on the left and the postal code on the right. Here in Austria it's the other way around.
Maybe fields for name, address, country. Each of us knows best how to format our own address.
Good point. Three fields: 'name', 'address', 'country'. :)
I have always written the number 7 with a line going through it. But, you are right. I'm not sure if that is so common outside of Europe.
True, I wasn't paying close enough attention, lol. But I believe it works fine with the post code on either end here, though proper format is indeed post code followed by city/province. House number definitely needs to be at the end, though, not the beginning! Who knows what sort of confusion that might lead to! Haha.
And no, lines through 7s are fairly uncommon in the US, not standard at all.
I'm really baffled by how many people simultaneously (1) have name as an absolute requirement for successful delivery of their mail and (2) would never think to provide that crucial bit of information in a mail-delivery context unless explicitly asked. But there's a lot I don't understand.
I want to share with you all, the fiasco I had at my post office last week over sending cards.
I had to make three return visits, because my envelopes were (get this) 4mm over the size limit for standard letters (The same envelopes I purchased from the store which services the post office I was in!).
I was then told that even though I could still demonstrate (and, I did) that they could be pushed (with a firm hand) through the sizing slot; that, should my letters fail to 'drop' by themselves through the correct sized slot anywhere along the automated line between the UK and the US, the recipients would then risk paying a fine for incomplete postage!
The P.O. clerk wanted to charge me the next postal rate up, which was going to cost an incredible 47USD in stamps for ten (average sized) post cards!
I can't speak for the rest of the world, but that is a little pricey to me (Not a wonder Tim had trouble with UK members reluctant to send cards outside their country).
I know it sounds crass to talk about costs. I really don't begrudge spending money. What I object to is being ripped off!
So, bottom line. If you get a card from me a couple of days later than expected; and find it looks like the envelope was sliced up with the skill of a surgeon then taped together with the skill of a preschooler. Its because Sylak is a pedantic old fool who would rather spend money on fuel driving back and forth, not to mention the excessive time and effort, than be out smarted by 'The Man'.
Not only did I get my cards to drop through that darn sizing slot like brandy butter off a spoon, I also made the post office worker print me off proof of postings for each and every card I sent.
And, it did not cost me 47 dollars!
And, I still had the grace to wish them all a Merry Christmas.
Job done. :)
>155 Sylak: Well done! My mailings were significantly less problematic: my mother is the local postmaster so I just handed her the envelopes and asked her to stick on some stamps and mail them for me.
I had the choice of carrying mine to the local 'post partner' or having my husband mail them at the UN Post Office. I cose the first in the hope of getting nice Christmas stamps. Sorry, those came in rolls of fifty. The stamps I ended up using are boring/ugly. It sounded like there might have been other options earlier, and I might have found other stamps at a real post office. Then again, I get much better service at the pharmacy than I ever did at the old post office.
I have another card to send (not LT). It will go the UN route.
I have mailed cards to England in the past and the woman at the post office would give me the choice of a $1.20 rate which she said might take a few weeks or almost $20 (per card!) which she said would get the cards there in a few days but I knew from experience that if I mailed the cards on Monday morning my recipients usually had them by Thursday so didn't fall for the $20 per card thing. Now having said that, I never sent any cards so close to Christmas before so who knows how long it will take at a lower rate. I tried to remember to throw in a Happy New Year but hopefully wont have needed to throw in a valentine greeting.
>155 Sylak: Ha! You could get an absurdist novel out of that one.
>155 Sylak: I think you ran into one of those surly postal workers. My husband has to do a lot of package mailing and the post office closest to his shop has one really mean employee who questions everything and tells him he can't package that way or mail that item. Like she doesn't want him to use the postal service.
Luckily, in my experience at least, those mean employees are few. The majority are really nice.
I gave everyone the cut-down version of the story.
During my third and final visit: I happened to be standing only one window away from the clerk who served (if that is the right word) me two days earlier. As I recounted my brief ordeal (clearly within earshot), my former 'tormenter' turned to her colleague and complained back that she HAD given the correct advice (I felt like I was 5 years old again in the playground).
I calmly, but firmly, replied that; having visited the Royal Mail website, it clearly states that I am quite entitled to have one of the sides of my letter exceed 16.5cm so long as it is no longer than 24cm. The side in question had formally been under 17cm before I had had to alter it after my second visit, before which, I had already trimmed the offending perpendicular edge to exactly 16.5cm and demonstrated that it did fit (at a push).
I had now re-trimmed both sides to easily slip through the Post Office's Lament Box. But, she would have none of this 'talk', and proceeded to repeat her fanciful story that someone could have still measured the wrong side of my letter and deemed it in breech of sizing regulations (*Has anybody seen Sam Lowry?).
I tried my best to explain, yet again, that this could not be true because their own rules clearly states that I am allowed 16.5cm x 24cm. At which point the worker in question actually turned her nose up and went back to dealing with her own customer.
Throughout the whole adjudication she refused to make eye contact with me; and, I was as nice as pie. Not once raising my voice. :/
I am sure there must be competent and polite staff working at the post office somewhere. Just as I am sure intelligent life exists somewhere in the universe; but, on my repeated visits to the post office I encountered most who seemed less informed than someone, like me, who has spent a mere 10mins on their web site. It's not very encouraging really. I blame the managers who trained them!
It felt very much like I was in a skit from Mark Gatiss' The League of Gentlemen.
As has already been mentioned - very Kafkaesque.
At least I can laugh about it now.
>161 Sylak: That sounds quite exhausting and infuriating, and I'm sure the recipients of your cards will appreciate the great lengths you've gone to for them.
Also, +10 for the Brazil reference.
It's not just that. Those people are more likely to provide a Moniker - true.
But, in places where it may not mechanically be part of the address itself; some people may not think to include it, even if they do expect to receive mail addressed to them personally. Because they may assume tiny bots will take care of the rest.
I think that the problem is that many of us are becoming institutionally lazy, thanks in part to blind faith in a system that many of us don't fully understand in detail.
I am not talking about any specific criticism to do with LT here. I mean technology as a whole.
My only problem at the post office was needing to have the countries listed on my envelopes. My postal worker was nice to put stamps on the over seas cards and I went home and researched the countries and then put them in the mail. People were complaining about the line. It was around noon so I figured the other postal worker was at lunch. I have a few different post offices I can use and one has nicer employees then some of the other ones.
I believe I put my name in when I wrote my address just out of habit. I guess since I used to actually write letters and not just email it is ingrained in me. I just need to remember to add my Country. That seems to be something I forget.
I have received one card so far. I also received one from one that I sent to last year.
>155 Sylak: Glad you were able to keep your cool. I have seen people get angry both as in customer and the one doing the service. Not a pleasant thing to witness.
Oh! Good! At least the European ones are getting there. Maybe I should go check my mail box.
ETA No LT cards yet.
>155 Sylak: Wow! Of all the issues I’ve ever had sending out merch through the post office, that ordeal sounds awful. You were graceful indeed! And well done outdoing “The Man” :)
Also re: >161 Sylak: Ugh - I’ve found that the overall attitude tends to vary from post office to post office. The two I have in my hometown are small, the staff don’t look particularly happy to be there, and they’re less than helpful - also where I’ve had the most issues with sending stuff out. The ones I go to in Portland (our Headquarters) are much quicker, more knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.
>147 Sylak: Duly noted. We had planned on running things earlier, but there were unexpected delays with SantaThing and the Card Exchange. We also don’t run the Card Exchange at the same time as SantaThing sign-ups on purpose, to avoid pulling any attention away from ST. Next year’s plan is to run everything earlier, so hopefully this will all work out better!
My favourite story is years old now. My sister was mailing me a package to Vienna, Austria from Boston, Mass, USA and was told off for wanting the European rate, and also for using an improper abreviation of Australia. Sigh.
That's it. You've all convinced me. I am never, ever moving. The staff at my local post office are unfailingly pleasant, and patient with the occasional person that *I* would just drown, instead of putting up with them. When I first retired, they were one of the tipping points that made me move here.
As is my habit before a move, I got a PO Box, to have things forwarded to, and to use for the change in address, so as to give myself a couple of months (or so) lead time. They went out of their way to be helpful, asking me if I knew the area, suggesting neighborhoods for me to buy a home in, and asking me how long it would be before I returned to check on the mail (I said about two months, but it was more like three). Fortunately, I got a very large box, and they just started saving mail in another box, until I returned.
I've lived here nearly ten years now, and some of the faces have changed, but the attitude and kindness has not.
When I still lived in Southern California, I had a list of unpleasant experiences that you've all made fresh in my brain. I won't repeat any of them, but it does make me grateful all over again for the kindnesses that I see daily, here.
>161 Sylak: I hope you get an extra present from Santa for dealing with that mess.
>170 Lyndatrue: I know exactly what you mean! It's so funny that something so small as the local post office can make such an impact on your quality of life at home. I made a joke after my first few months in our new home, that if you plan on moving anywhere, make sure you have a good post office first! It's not too much of a joke after all. :)
Well, I just put most of mine in the mail, the rest should be ready tomorrow. Hopefully they will make it at least close to Christmas, well, except the one that went way south, who knows how long that will take. :)
I've just received a lovely wordsearch card sent from Greece to France (and kindly written in French as well), but I'm afraid I can't manage to find who to thank (Kostaki? or Anarzaria?). If you read this, do send me a message via my profile, as I'd love to be able to thank you personally (and have a look at your library!)
A big thank you to:
Jessica in Croydon for the cool looking 'book' card.
Judith in Pittsburgh for the sparkling card.
I wasn't able to make out your user names; otherwise I would have thanked you personally.
Enjoy your festivities and have a very happy New Year. :)
Today I received nice card and bookmark from Vivir, in Finland. Thank you !
Cards arriving! Got 3 today ...
Thank you Amanda from FL for the cute Snoopy and Woodstock card. Made me smile.
Thank you Varielle for the pretty Peace card. Love the colors!
Thank you Tim for the gorgeous family-adventure card!
Two cards so far, lovely and thoughtful ones. I will leave a little note on the profile of my senders to thank them, but no time to do that yet! Ack! Christmas is almost here.
Two more cards today! Thank you Lawrence for the awesome bookplate card, and thank you Nicole for the sweet and sparkly card. :)
Another card arrived yesterday from Michelle B. in NY. Cute 3D card from Museum of Modern Art with bright orange foxes hiding amongst the pink and silver pines at the base of a snowy mountain. I'll likely leave this one out all year 'round. :) Thank you!
Indeed! Michelle B. from NYC, that was the best card I received all year and the stamps were pretty cool too!
Two lovely cards yesterday from Jeanmarie in Oklahoma City and Martha Jeanne in Vienna. Neither one gave an LT name, so I can't post on your profiles, but thanks to you both!
MarthaJeanne IS my LT name.
That makes at least three that got there. I have high hopes that the mail man will bring me something today.
Wow, I opened up a bunch of holiday cards so far for LibraryThing - thanks so much folks! I'll be sure to share them with the rest of the gang when everyone's back from their vacations. We(I)'ll be sending out cards in response, so hope y'all don't mind the late reception. :)
Hope you've been enjoying your holidays, and a very Happy New Year this week!
seongeona - I got your card in the mail today. Mahalo for the tea!
The mailman brought me three cards today. One I was able to figure out the member name of. Thanks also for the cute 3-D card from Denmark and the lighthouse from Washington.
I got a homemade card from Suzi W in Pittsburgh, but I can't find your profile. Thanks!
I received this morning a nice pop-up card from Denmark, but no LT name nor real name. Anyway, thank you !
Thanks to all the LT folks for setting up the Card Exchange this year! I missed it last year entirely, and clearly a lot of people get a kick out of it.
Suggestion for next year: do the card exchange first, then SantaThing? Then when the card signup closes, have a Talk thread for latecomers to request/offer trades via personal message.
Beautiful card today from June Hymas who I cannot find on LT though I know you're out there. Yes, I have haikued a time or two.
It might be a good idea next year to add to the directions:
Please print your LT name clearly on the card.
I am still shocked no one has got mine. I sent them out the night the matches happened. :(
>199 mellymel171328: Received your card today, great picture. I love the Harry Potter quote. Thanks for the card.
>199 mellymel171328: I sent mine out right away, too, but nobody appears to have received any of them yet, either. Also, I haven't received any myself. I rushed to the box when the postie came today, but no joy :(
All of mine went out of country, though, which would have taken longer.
Or simply noone had reported them yet as received :) I got yours -- together with 5 others - when I came back home from a short trip last night :)
I received 2 cards yesterday, Aya.herron thanks for the great Santa with wildlife card. Thanks crazy4reading, loved the snowman. This has been fun, and will participate next year.
I'm out of town until January 4. I can hardly wait to get back home -- hopefully to an overflowing mailbox :D
So, I feel that the card exchange competes with SantaThing, and would especially if both options were up at the same time, people might be drawn to the easier, cheaper option. I think a decline for SantaThing would be a shame. LibraryThing the company doesn't make money on it, but LibraryThing the community is, I think, strengthened by it.
I also think doing cards first would require cards happen very early indeed. I'm not sure everyone has their cards ready that early. We don't, anyway.
Couldn't folks just send cards when they are ready? At least they have the addresses, and they can order as many cards as they need? I also think people are suggesting the sign-ups open and close before SantaThing even starts, so no overlap. It would be early, but it might also give us another place to lead into SantaThing once it gets close to that time.
I don't feel that the card exchange and SantaThing compete at all. This is only my opinion. But, they appeal to a subtly different mind-set. It's not just a matter of cost. And, even if it were, advertising one before the other would make little difference if you happened to be a little cash strapped anyway.
As for people not having their cards ready.
If the card exchange ran earlier; wouldn't that in itself spur people on? I'd certainly find it less stressful if ran earlier.
You're the boss though; and I'll respect your decision on the matter.
Alternatively, you could always try it out next year. Nothing ventured... - as they say.
>208 kristilabrie: This. There would be no need to send cards the moment you received the addresses, and the point, I'm pretty sure, is that SantaThing is big and hectic and takes up tons of time, whereas the cards is a simple deal. So doing it first means people won't be fretting about cards going out just at the holidays and being "late," and then the big craziness that is SantaThing can get underway and take the time it needs.
I suspect a lot of people are still out of town with their mail piling up. I'm sure the messages about cards will start flying after the new year starts.
Received first card! Thank you readingfox! The squirrel is charming.
Thanks for the card SnowBunniesBooks! I laughed at your creative hedgehog's name! I did sign up for SantaThing as well! Happy Holidays!
I thought that meant real-name anonymous, not LT-name anonymous. It would be weird to get a card that was just "from some unidentified LT member" with a real name attached, IMO, but getting one from a named LT member without a real name or address would be far less strange.
At least one of my cards has only a real name and I have no idea who in LT That is from :)
I've only heard from two people who got my card. It'd be nice for at least a thank you or acknowledgement they got it.
Give it time. I have only received three of the five there should be. Wednesday is another holiday, so if they don't come tomorrow it might be Thursday.
Many people probably don't realize that a note here for every card is expected by some people - i certainly didn't! The rules of the exchange did not say "go to the forums and thank everyone by name". I figure my thankyou is getting a card from someone else who signed up.
I thank those who I can but my cards would of reached them by now. I was excited to see if they were liked.
One more card today! Thanks, sylak, for the very beautiful bigger-on-the-inside card :)
After having been away since December 23, I came home today to find my mailbox filled with SantaThing and holiday cards! Yay!!! Fun times ahead opening all these exotically-stamped envelopes :D HappyHappyHappy
>224 mellymel171328: I believe I received all my cards, and I loved each one of them, but haven't had the time I want to thank each sender. I do procrastinate so, it may be a month or two when I take them down from the shelf they are displayed on before I get around to sending a little note either here or through Snail Mail to the senders.
I went through a box of old stamps I had saved from letters and it made me want to start writing again, but making me want to, and getting me to take up the pen are two different stories.
I want to thank Stephanie (stephivist) for her "Hello There" card. I haven't received the third card I was expecting, and I consider it a done deal by now.
Card received today from Mary in Chicago. No LT name so I can't leave a message on your profile, but it's a very pretty card!
This morning I received a beautiful 3-D card from Sylak and a nice card from the LT staff. Thank you !
I'm still waiting on one card, but I'm not concerned about it. It'll be a pleasant surprise when it does get here.
Thanks, kristilabrie, for the cute card.
Thanks to LT users Michelle B. for the pretty pop art fox card and Consuella J. for the lovely handmade filigreed 'Joy' card.
A thanks to Angela (no LT name given) for sending a New Year's note and very cute little card included inside!
Still waiting for two cards. But I know our mail can be very slow.
>225 mellymel171328: I have been wanting to stop in here and on the pages of all the people that sent me cards but I just haven't had the time. I am hoping to take time this weekend since it is a long weekend for me.
>239 crazy4reading: I'm sorry if I seemed impatient. I understand life can be very distracting.
I hope all the cards I sent have arrived by now. I'd like to add my greetings to everyone who took part.
This is the card I sent out to the LT card exchange of a lavender plant in ice. Unfortunately this type of lavender is not winterhard, so the replacement plant winters in the greenhouse.
I apologise to whoever sent my second card for not thanking you for it - I'm away from home for several weeks but hope it will be there awaiting me on my return. It will keep the holiday season going until February ...
I received all but one of my expected seasonal cards.
If I didn't thank you personally, it's because I didn't receive it. ;)
I will definitely sign up again this year though.
Out of the cards I sent out, half my recipients did send me a message to reassure me that my card had arrived safely.
As you know from my previous posts
I had some issues with my local post office; so, I am going to check with folks to make sure they actually arrived.
If not, I shall be visiting the G.P.O. Monday armed with my proof of posing and a completed compensation form. >:)
I'm still waiting for one card and only know that three of the five arrived.
>241 MarthaJeanne: Lovely!
Two of my cards had no LT name, so....
Thank you to Jeanette in IN for the beautiful train card (as it happens, my grandfather was a conductor on the Erie-Lackawanna).
Also thank you to Jennifer in DC. Love the polar bear and I hope you're managing ok after this weekend's storm!
>249 varielle: Yes! It's coming. We didn't want the card exchange to get consumed by SantaThing, so sign-ups will be launching around Dec 5.
Well, that's plenty of time for cards inside the US. Count me out.
The Swiss Post says no later than 14.12 for Europe, 7.12 for the rest of the world. Even having the addresses on the 5th would be pushing it. Sign ups ought to be starting now.
The USPS recommends sending international Chrismas mail for some parts of the world by December 1.
SantaThing should have started earlier. This happens every year. *shakes head*
I enjoyed last year's exchange, and looking forward to this year. I don't care when the cards arrive, it just fun to get mail that's not a bill!!
I don't think it is unreasonable to want a Christmas card exchange on an international site to be set up in such a way that all members can get their cards to their local post office at the time when the post office suggests that cards ought to be sent. At that time special Christmas stamps are available. You aren't in a big rush, so there is a lot more pleasure in the whole thing.
What I learned last year is that I would really enjoy this if I had time to do it right. But I'm not going to add another last minute rush job to the holiday hassles.
It doesn't matter to me how early the sign-up begins: December is so incredibly busy that I would never get them done in time for pre-christmas delivery. So, I tend to think of these as "New Year" greetings -- a pleasure completely separate from the christmas season madness. Also, I've already bought my special stamps :-)
Can't buy the stamps without knowing where the cards are going. Prices differ according to where they are going to.
>261 MarthaJeanne: if she does only in her country thru could work. Not everyone does the international exchange.
I understand the concern, but we have to have a plan, and any plan is going have its pluses and minuses. We don't want SantaThing and the cards to overlap, because it confuses the messaging, and reduces interest in SantaThing, which is our main event. We have moved deadlines back and back, but we can't move them back forever without damaging interesting. Many Americans don't like Christmas-y things before Thanksgiving. Others don't really focus on Christmas until the last weeks. So it's a balance.
>261 MarthaJeanne: & >262 mellymel171328: I buy a variety of stamps because I will mail anywhere and everywhere. If I run out of the seasonal stamps and/or don't have sufficient postage for an international address, I can add more stamps in various denominations to make up the difference. And, if I'm left with extra seasonal stamps that I don't use for this Holiday Card Exchange, I'll use them for something else.
>263 timspalding: Yes, decorations up, holiday music on, etc. That's entirely different than the planning of an event that takes several weeks!! Make signups earlier and have the actual book choosing start just after turkey day, then. And signups for the cards could start around the same time as the book choosing, closing a couple days after it's done, so that the cards could actually go into the mail in the first week or so of Dec.
Can we just be happy? Just me running the donation thread as a volunteer is crazy at times. I couldn't imagine what goes on behind the scenes. Life is too stressful and cruel at times. I didn't care when I got the cards it was just a pure joy getting the cards. I even got one from Germany last year and it was amazing. LibraryThing on the whole just wants to make this an amazing time for us and I thank them for all they do.
Before December for international - I would not rely on anything mailed after Dec 1 to make it across any of the ponds before Christmas
(One more vote for actually starting early next year and sending lists as early as Thanksgiving). That way Santathing is on its own after the card exchange is sorted out.
>266 mellymel171328: Why is trying to suggest how things can run while taking into account international folks, always seen as such a negative? How does it remotely take away from the niceness/fun of the event, to say, Hey next time how about such&so is done so that it works for everyone? Why do people always try to gripe as though anyone with other thoughts on it is somehow being some kind of awful critical beast, as opposed to acknowledging that there are people in more places in the world and it would make it fun for all if those factors were taken into account?
>267 AnnieMod: Well for Europe it's generally no more than 2wks for regular mail that doesn't have to stop by customs. But even if it's longer, still, getting it out by the first week instead of only just starting signups then, would at least be an improvement.
Though I agree that since the card thing is really simple, it would be easy to get that sorted out first and then do SantaThing.
>268 .Monkey.: I never once started a witch hunt or demonized anything. I just felt that >263 timspalding: explained why they are running they way they are very well. Perhaps I'm stressed my health hasn't been the greatest so I'm making a big deal out of nothing. I just feel that for the most part it works great and due to whenever I get the cars be it before Christmas or after I enjoy it.
Tell that to my postcards that seem to be arriving in Bulgaria in January if I do not send them before Dec 1, especially the ones not sent to the capital :) And I was getting most of the ones the same way when I was living there. I know that a lot of the delay is probably local over there but still... it is a country :)
Which is why I said "would not rely on" - I had had some arriving in a week as well. But not reliably. Especially around the holidays, the general rules on delivery of the mail do not really apply in my experience
Is one expected to send cards to more than one member? and would it be all right to sign on knowing that one mightn't get a card sent off until sometime in January?
>271 bluepiano: You can choose the number of cards you wish to send/receive. One is the minimum :)
I love the card exchange. I'm far too picky about books for SantaThing (although I adore making suggestions for others), but the cards are always a joy. Also, I don't care if they arrive in January. I do my best to get mine sent off in a a timely manner, but as >270 AnnieMod: says, you have no control once you put the cards in the mail box.
Is there perhaps a way we can improve delivery times, such that people in Bulgaria get people in Romania, not Australia?
I am not sure we have enough local people outside of Western Europe/Asia/USA/Canada to make up good enough groups... It comes down to how busy both post offices are I guess. You can certainly try but the outliner countries will always have issues with receiving on time. And as someone that used to live in Bulgaria - I loved receiving postcards from all over the world - not just from the local countries. Just saying :)
I wonder if it is not possible to become a two-part process - an early "international only" exchange before SantaThing, followed by a local "in-country" or "in region (USA/Canada or inside of Europe will make it on time; USA-> Europe most likely won't)" only exchange after SantaThing (based on post office recommended dates)...
I forget, what were the options last year, there was something to choose right? But I think it was maybe just a choice of "international" or not? Which, for those of us not in the US was kind of a not a choice. Perhaps it could be narrowed down a bit by region, or at least continent even? Because as it is, I'm with MJ, I won't be signing up with it being so late, not for global.
Is everyone dedicated to only Christmas cards? I was just wondering if maybe we should send cards for something like "International Book Day" or some such thing if there is one, to relieve all the stress.
Well given the time of year, the intent is for holiday cards (though it would be nice for people to note that not everyone celebrates the same holidays. We're not all christians). I mean I wouldn't object if someone sent a blank card that had books on it and wrote their own "happy holidays" message and whatnot, but...
>277 .Monkey.: When I sent cards I try to do that. I am not a Christian myself so I do not like making it about any such holiday. Last year I found one of my favorite Harry Potter quotes and shared that. Heh :)
>277 .Monkey.: I'm sorry, I was unclear. What I meant is, would it be unthinkable to do the card exchange at a different time of year, and so remove the overlap with SantaThing. Or would it simply disappear? Or perhaps LT staff wants to get all the hoopla over at once. :)
I suppose people are very entrenched in the "holiday" sending of cards and all, so perhaps the interest would fall off if it wasn't during the holidays.
>280 MrsLee: I think the latter is the most likely scenario. We're certainly not opposed to doing card exchanges at different times of year. Personally, Halloween is my favorite holiday, and that's usually when I send cards around to my family and friends, because I'm not already crazy busy with other festivities. I keep meaning to get into the habit of sending winter holiday cards, but it never happens.
I really enjoyed the card exchange last year, but just as Monkey, I won't participate again with it being so late. After the first week in January everything Christmassy disappears in Germany, so there's no point in getting card after 6 January. It's always nice to get a card, of course, but it would be put aside immediately.
With many people sending cards around the holidays, they all get put on display one way or the other. That's the idea at least. If they arrive much later they tend to disappear.
I'll throw in my two cents. While receiving cards in the run up to Christmas adds to the fun and excitement of the holidays, receiving a card afterwards when the post-holiday blahs set in can be a nice pick-me-up. Last year I sent one New Years card when I knew the card would not arrive before Christmas and on an iffy one I added a New Year greeting to the Christmas card. If you are a humorous sort you could always send a leftover Valentine or Easter card and write Merry Christmas on it and make a joke about slow international mail. I agree it should be started much earlier, but it won't be this year and anyone who participates will just have make do. Maybe next year it will be more workable for everyone.
You can see above that I was still waiting for cards and confirmations that cards were received in mid-January. (>236 MarthaJeanne:, >241 MarthaJeanne:) One year was fine. But advancing the date only a few days just isn't enough. Tim doesn't want to do this early enough for it to work. OK, that's his prerogative. Mine is not to take part again under those conditions.
Oh yay, it's still open! I missed the window for SantaThing. This will be fun! (And I don't care if I get cards late, it's always fun to get mail!)
>288 nrmay: I am sure it will be announced in new thread and a new sign up with be made.
And the new sign up is now open: http://www.librarything.com/topic/242747 (in case you are not following the new threads ) :)
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