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2018 Holiday Card Exchange

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Edited: Nov 30, 2:52pm Top

We’re pleased to announce the 5th Annual LibraryThing Holiday Card Exchange! Sign up to send a card (or 10!)—home made, store bought, holiday-themed (or not)—of your choosing to a random LibraryThing member. You’ll receive a card in return from another LT member. You can sign up to send more than one card, if you like. The idea is that, for every card you send, you’ll receive one yourself.

Sign-ups are open now until next Friday, Dec. 7th.

» Go sign up!

More details on the blog: http://blog.librarything.com/main/2018/11/card-exchange-2018/

Reminder: In order for your card to be address to your real name (rather than your LT handle), you must include your name in the address box. Some postal services require that addressee names match what's on your mailbox.

Nov 30, 3:04pm Top

Awesome! I am signed up!

Nov 30, 3:12pm Top

Ah, being in Canada, I think I'll pass this year. Getting my card(s) late doesn't really bother me, but I don't want others to have to wait on their cards with Canada Post's mail backlog.

Nov 30, 3:16pm Top

>3 LibraryCin: Aww, we're sorry to miss you! Seriously, don't feel like you shouldn't participate on the post's account—that's not remotely your fault.

Nov 30, 4:00pm Top

>4 lorannen: I'm sure I'll return next year. I just don't want people to be disappointed or worry if their card isn't there in time!

Nov 30, 4:34pm Top

My next favorite thing of the year! :)

Nov 30, 5:02pm Top


Nov 30, 5:25pm Top

Yay! All signed up!

Nov 30, 6:12pm Top

Signed up!

Nov 30, 6:20pm Top

hi, sorry for the question but this would be my first time participating in the card exchange. Can I assume that once the sign-up is closed, you select from the list of signees?

Nov 30, 6:24pm Top

I'm in Canada as well but that's not stopping me! Maybe I'll just send a New Year card instead. ;)

Nov 30, 6:27pm Top

>3 LibraryCin:

I just looked, and there is an option to only send inside your own county, so you could still sign up and send to other Canadians. I'm sure we'd all not be surprised for things being late.

Nov 30, 6:32pm Top

Has it really been a whole year already?

Nov 30, 6:32pm Top

>10 FReads: I'm not sure who the "you" here is, but I'll explain the process, in any case. Once sign-ups close, we use complex algorithms and magic to match folks up. It takes into account preferences like how many cards can be sent, who is will to send to just their own countries vs. all countries, etc. We'll message everyone who's signed up once the matching is done and you'll be able to see a list of everyone you're intended to send cards to. So, for example, if I've signed up to send 5 cards, I'll have a list of 5 recipients, and will send a card to each one.

Nov 30, 6:38pm Top

I'm in Canada, too. Still going to send cards. They may have more of a 'Happy New Year' message, just in case :)

Edited: Nov 30, 7:15pm Top

yipeee!! thanks for the clarification. I signed up and am so excited :)

Edited: Nov 30, 8:30pm Top

I love the card exchange! I still have all my cards from previous years. I am happy to receive New Year or even Valentine cards from Canada -- just saying ;) LOL. Thank you for doing this again.

Nov 30, 10:09pm Top

Yay! Signed up! :)

Dec 1, 12:12am Top

Signed up! Now I just have to make sure I remember to buy cards in the morning when I'm at the store!

Dec 1, 1:17am Top

>12 WeeTurtle: Oooh, thanks for letting me know! Maybe that's what I'll do!

Dec 1, 3:50am Top

I love the card exchange. Whoever sent me Krampus last year-- know that he's still hanging around the house.

Dec 1, 6:29am Top

I'm signed up. I have been anxiously waiting for this! Love the card exchange. :)

Dec 1, 7:33am Top


Dec 1, 2:27pm Top

Ended up signing up after all. Just for Canada this time, though. Next year, I'll be happy to send anywhere again!

Dec 1, 2:40pm Top

>24 LibraryCin: Hooray! Glad to have you. :)

Dec 2, 3:05am Top

My sang is always deciding how many cards to send out each year. This is the first time I've signed up for this (first year on LibraryThing) but I'm very much a card and letter person.

Dec 2, 5:50am Top

If there was a within-Europe option I'd join, but I don't want to fuss with global postage.

Dec 2, 6:21am Top

>27 .Monkey.: Not to mention timing. Yes, inside Europe I would do, but not international.

Dec 2, 6:35am Top

For me timing and postage doesn't matter. It's fun to send cards and to receive cards. I'm just glad that this is happening. Sorry to hear that it's more complicated to send postcards out of Europe than within Europe from Belgium. Here in Sweden it's the same procedure.

Edited: Dec 2, 12:48pm Top

>27 .Monkey.: and >28 MarthaJeanne: Thanks for the feedback. Will take that under advisement for next year. I'm not sure we'll end up changing it—it makes the matching process more complicated, but I'll certainly talk it over with Tim.

Dec 2, 6:54pm Top

Whooo! Just signed up! Maybe I'll get some overseas cards this year!

Dec 2, 9:32pm Top

I haven't noticed much issue with postage but then, in Canada it's simply a higher rate. There's domestic, USA, and International stamps but really it's a matter of matching up to the required cost. Not sure what Europe does, I've just walked into a post office and asked "I'm sending this to Canada. What do I need?"

Dec 3, 12:22am Top

Danish postage rates are rather high, so ordinary citizen and most companies avoid sending mail. On the other hand it is now so seldom that I send a letter, that I really don't care what the price is. (I think it is something similar to $4 to give you an idea). So I'm in!

Dec 3, 1:40am Top

Yes, but the different zones have different prices, so I can't buy stamps in advance, and the local Post Partner runs out of Christmas stamps in November. Getting to a proper Post Office that is going to have something better than just running it through the machine takes effort, and probably a few days to be in the area of, with the international cut off date already past, and the European one rapidly closing in.

Too much pressure, makes it not fun.

Edited: Dec 3, 3:07am Top

Ah, gotcha. I just happen to life near a post office, or rather, I pass it every time I go into town so it's easy enough to me to drop in and let the lady there handle the details. She knows me by now. ;). I collect the odd coin so she lets me know when new ones have entered circulation and will grab the odd one for me.

The harder part for me is picking what to send! Do I send a card that I think is good, something I can make, or (if sending internationally) the most absurdly stereotypical CANADIAN thing I can find? I sent a post card to my old University room mate and had all of us in residence sign it. It was a wavy postcard of the Canadian flag with an overly enthusiastic looking Mountie saluting in front of it. She sent us back a Christmas card with Santa on the beach making a "sand" man.

Dec 3, 4:35am Top

I've gotten a Canadian stamp once with an icehockey team in motion. I passed it on to my wife who collects stamps, so I think the icehockey team is still in action somewhere on her shelves :-)

Dec 3, 10:00pm Top

Yeeeessss!! I haven't been very active on LT lately but I tried to remember to check just to find this. I love sending cards! I put only in my country because I know international post is getting more and more expensive, but maybe next year I'll be able to send to other places.

I love decorating cards with stickers, stamps, little quotes, etc. Giving cards is one of the best things about the season! So excited to get to participate in this again.

Edited: Dec 5, 1:58pm Top

Sending mail from The Netherlands to abroad is less than twice the 'national cost'. It doesn't matter how far the postcard is being send: i.e. to Belgium, US or The Philippines is all almost 2 US dollar.

Dec 5, 9:54am Top

Awesome! Thanks for the effort it takes to organize the card exchange. :)

Dec 5, 12:39pm Top

Sounds like it is not only the U.K. that suffers such high prices for international post. :(
I'd still like the opportunity to connect with the rest of the world and perhaps receive mail from strange shores with exotic sounding names; so, I've opted to limit my cards to 5 to keep costs under control but with my fingers crossed. ;)

Dec 5, 2:58pm Top

I'm glad I still have some US international Forever stamps. They may not be Christmas-y like the domestic stamps but they work.

Dec 6, 4:29am Top

That's a handy thing. We only have permanent stamps for domestic letter mail. But, you can also use those to cover costs at the current value of a domestic stamp times how many you stick on.

Last year (I think. Maybe two years) we had animals with Santa hats (moose, polar bear, beaver). Don't think I have any of those left. Not sure what we have for this year. Another year we had stylized animals again, but no hats. Cardinal, polar bear, and I don't recall the third.

Dec 6, 6:10pm Top

Just a reminder that we have about 24 hours left to go before Card Exchange sign-ups close! If you've been waiting to sign up, or need to make any changes, now's the time.

Dec 7, 8:04am Top

All signed up!! Almost forgot about this. I still have my cards from previous years.

Dec 7, 4:54pm Top

Sign-ups are extended to 10 tonight, because I'm not around to run the matching scripts. Enjoy!

Dec 7, 7:22pm Top

It says they are closed.

Dec 7, 10:16pm Top

Shoot. I'm not sure when they closed. I'll hold it open until midnight.

Dec 8, 3:29am Top

Also, even though they're still open I can already see the people I'm supposed to send cards to, and even though I didn't click the button to send abroad, one of them is abroad.
I'm assuming this isn't working properly yet and will ignore for now...

Dec 8, 4:38am Top

>48 ScarletBea: I think it happened last year too, where we could see things while they were getting it sorted. I believe we were told to wait until we heard it was finalized. I am happy, otherwise, to exchange non-USA names with someone who gets one accidently.

Dec 8, 10:49am Top

Everything is picked. Go check out who you're matched to.

I need four people willing to send a card internationally. Any volunteers?

Dec 8, 11:09am Top

I can send a couple more internationally.

Dec 8, 11:44am Top

If I missed the sign up, can I volunteer to send this for you?

Dec 8, 11:53am Top

I'm in the UK, wanted to send only within the UK, and I got one UK person and an american one - was it because there aren't enough UK people?

Dec 8, 12:23pm Top

I can send a few internationally if you still need volunteers.

Dec 8, 12:28pm Top

I am happy to send international! I can take an extra name and/or switch names with someone.

Dec 8, 1:07pm Top

I can't work out how to see who I've been watched with. On the holiday card page errors appear.

Dec 8, 1:15pm Top

I can send 1 or 2 international if it's still needed (thank you, surprise money just in time for holidays!!). I'm so excited to start putting together these cards!

We put up 'special' cards on the back of the front door, and every single one I've gotten from LTers in the past is still up there, lol. Why take them down? Makes the living room feel festive all year!

Dec 8, 2:01pm Top

>56 Cfraser:

I just got a LibraryThing comment from Tim, which included a link. Maybe clear your cache and try the link again? Report back if it still isn't working, of course.

Dec 8, 3:42pm Top

I got that email too, and it goes to the page, but underneath the information on how many people are participating it says an error has occurred :( I have emailed Tim. Hopefully he can email me the details of who and where I should send my cards

Dec 8, 4:15pm Top

Thanks for reporting, and sorry for the trouble, folks. I'm swamped with SantaThing, and the Card Exchange code is beyond me, anyway. I've left a note for Tim to take a look as soon as he can.

Dec 8, 4:31pm Top

In my case, the link took me to the English site, and there I got the error message. Once I went to the Swedish site, it worked.

Four of our six recepients are the same as previous years. I guess that's the result we get when the same algorithm is used, but it's a little boring nevertheless...

Dec 8, 5:45pm Top

I only recognize 2 of the 10 names on my list, though that doesn't mean much with my memory. I've just realized that 90% of the Christmas cards I have are the exact same ones I sent to LTers in the past (this is what happens when you stock up and use the same package of cards multiple years in a row...). I guess I need to make a trip to the store! Mom has religious cards for our church, but I'm not sending anything like that.

Dec 8, 5:55pm Top

>62 Heather19: I bought new cards this year just for LT. I love looking at them all and trying to narrow my choices.

I am happy to receive religious cards or non-religious, funny or serious, store bought or handmade, whatever the season means to the sender. They are all beautiful on my wall.

Dec 8, 6:17pm Top

Quick notes:

1. I fixed the error. It was simple--it showed up if you weren't signed in. (It worked on the Swedish site because you are signed in there.) Anyway, it's fixed.

2. The system tries not to give you too many people you've written before. In the US, this works very well. But we've done this a number of years, so it's a little harder in the UK and Australia, especially if you mark not to send them outside the country.

3. >53 ScarletBea: No, the problem was that the person has a US address but mis-chose that they were in the United Kingdom. I suppose they were next to each other on the list. Shall I find you someone else?

Dec 8, 6:34pm Top

Hi Tim,

I was signed in and I am still having the same error appearing! (I just tried)

Dec 8, 6:36pm Top

Participation So Far

Members 127
Cards promised 736
Some sort of error just happened. The error was logged and Tim has been alerted. If problems persist, email timspaldingAT SIGNlibrarything.com

In most cases, the problem can be fixed by using this link.

The reported error was:

Problem with the concurrent query manager in the LibraryThing Bureau of Garbage Collections.
We have an entire room of trained monkeys working to solve the problem..

Dec 8, 9:37pm Top

>62 Heather19: This is why I keep lists of who I sent what card to. Except I can't find my lists!

I have a couple USA addresses if people need to swap. I'm in Canada myself. I'll send anywhere.

Dec 9, 5:02am Top

>64 timspalding: yes please, Tim, if you could change I'd appreciate it, thanks.

Dec 9, 7:45am Top

>64 timspalding: I'm always signed in to the English site too.

Dec 9, 1:21pm Top

I'm also willing to send a few more overseas if you still need it.

Dec 9, 3:43pm Top

My cards are in the hands of Canada Post, for what that's worth. As previously mentioned, they're a bit backlogged this year.

In any case, all the best to everyone and thanks for another year of the exchange!

Dec 9, 11:31pm Top

I can say that at least local deliveries seem just fine, though it might simply be who has the letter at what time. Cards are going out soon!

Dec 10, 2:51pm Top

My cards went out this morning. Thanks to LT for this fun exchange!

Dec 10, 2:56pm Top

And they're away!

Dec 10, 5:22pm Top

Mine have all been posted. :D

Dec 10, 6:31pm Top

Hi, i still have not received a reply about my problem with the errors (and they still appear) - so I dont know who or where I should be sending my cards to. To those who I am meant to be sending to, I am really sorry!

Dec 10, 11:48pm Top

Cards written, stamped, ready to go tomorrow.

Snow here in North Carolina kept mail from even being delivered today and kept me inside for the past 2 days.

Dec 11, 1:59am Top

I have sent my Santee cards, so I hope my two recipients love them:)

Dec 11, 7:47am Top

Cards to the US have been mailed. International ones will have to wait a day or two until I can get to the Post Office.

Dec 11, 1:57pm Top

Oh man, it seems I'm behind! I got new cards and have done my first few, but they probably won't get sent until tomorrow since I believe the mailperson has already come by here today. Thankfully mine are all within the US so hopefully they will still get to their destinations at a reasonable time! I'm having fun poking through my 'Santee's profiles to figure out which card would be most appropriate for each person.

Dec 11, 2:07pm Top

I received my first card today! It didn't have to travel far.

Dec 11, 5:46pm Top

>82 cbl_tn: Wow! That is quick!

Dec 11, 5:49pm Top

>83 Peace2: It only had to travel 34 miles. :-)

Dec 11, 8:30pm Top

I got my two in the mail yesterday, but Canada Post...
So hopefully all goes well! One is not going far... :-)

Dec 11, 9:40pm Top

All cards mailed today.
Now in the hands of the US Postal Service.

Dec 11, 9:42pm Top

>76 Cfraser:

Sorry. The system was unable to make any matches for you, given your country, past matches, and the limitation on sending outside your country. I should have caught that this happened.

Dec 11, 9:56pm Top

>84 cbl_tn: It only had to travel 34 miles. :-)

One of my cards is going less than 15 miles, so it's possible it could arrive tomorrow.

Dec 11, 10:05pm Top

hi tim, thanks for your reply. can you please clarify - i said i was happy to post internationally (i thought most people would be overseas from Australia so thought internationally would be the better option) and have never participated before (therefor no past matches), so am wondering why I was not matched with anyone? I am disappointed and really wanted to participate - so want to maximise my ability to do so next year

Also - if anyone needs help sending please let me know - would come from Australia so that may be a bonus - have my posting stuff ready and waiting

Dec 11, 10:12pm Top

>89 Cfraser: I can send a card to Australia in the morning if Tim needs someone to send a card.

Dec 11, 10:21pm Top

Happy to send one to Australia!

Dec 11, 10:28pm Top

>87 timspalding:
>89 Cfraser:
I'm happy to send to Australia too!

Yesterday, 12:08am Top

Yesterday, 12:12am Top

Also, re: Canada post, my cousin sent her cards out last week. She's 45 minutes west of me, and another 45 East of my sister in law. My sister in law got her card the next day, I just got mine today. I suspect it's because the mail went through different factories. I was speaking to the postal lady today while buying stamps. West-bound mail probably went through Vancouver, which wasn't hit as badly with the walk-out Richmond (to the east). Toronto, Ontario (I'm on the other side of the country from them) was hit the worst, so mail going through there will take the longest since they have the largest backlog.

Yesterday, 12:52am Top

>92 seongeona:
>91 camelama:
>93 WeeTurtle:

Thanks! I will pm you guys my address and send me yours so I can return the favour

Yesterday, 4:13am Top

Can anyone exchange a UK address for an american one, please?
I've got an american by mistake of the person filling in their address, and I need a UK instead.

Please contact me by private PM to exchange addresses, thanks

Yesterday, 2:37pm Top

I mailed my regular (non-LT) cards from Edmonton on Dec. 3rd, and the farthest ones (to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia) reached their destinations in a week. All my LT cards were international, though. I look forward to hearing when they arrive.

Yesterday, 8:50pm Top

I received my first LT Christmas card today. It didn't have far to travel!

Edited: Yesterday, 9:23pm Top

>89 Cfraser:

Hi. Sorry. It was no doubt unintentional, but your card profile has the box for international shipping un-checked. There was only one other person in Australia, so your maximum sent-cards was 1. But for whatever reason they had already been allocated their cards, and it couldn't make a match.

I'm glad you're working it out with others to get some cards. Let me know if you need an address to send to.

Yesterday, 9:49pm Top

>94 WeeTurtle: Oh, that's interesting. I'm in Calgary and one of my cards is heading to Edmonton, so I'm hoping that's not too bad. The other is heading to Ontario, so that may take a bit longer.

Yesterday, 9:50pm Top

>97 tardis: Oh, I'm impressed! That's much better than I was expecting! Sounds like things are moving faster than I thought!

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