Mumsnet Christmas Appeal - suggestions please

(402 Posts)
JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 21-Oct-13 15:03:50

Following on from a couple of threads discussing the Christmas appeal over the weekend, I thought we should post our thoughts on things.

First we're really sorry if not being nominated for this year's appeal has made anyone feel bad or left out. Obviously it's the opposite of why we do it but the truth is there will always be deserving people who, for whatever reason - frequent namechanges or pure and simple oversight - will be overlooked.

Over the years the Xmas appeal really has brought a lot of joy both to the givers and receivers of gifts - this is a typical post/mail from a giver:

"It is a wonderful thing this Santa business. It totally dispels the idea that Mumsnet is no more than words on a screen and shatters the notion of the pit of vipers. Since being matched with you, not a day has passed when I haven't thought of you and your family. Your posts shine with warmth, humour and love for your family. You are a remarkable woman. For me, it has been more than sending a little something: you have made me really think about what Christmas should be.
So I thank you too, and will raise a glass to you and yours on Christmas Day. Much love to you all"

As Christmas becomes every more about consumption we think the appeal for many is a reminder of what it is really all about. It certainly is for us at MNHQ and consequently we are very happy to put a lot of MNHQ resource into the operation; SandyMumsnet pretty much devotes a month of time to it.

Clearly it doesn't operate optimally for everyone, but net net, it really is a good thing I believe. That said we'd value suggestions about how you think we could do it better. We took over the operation of the appeal only because it was becoming too big a job for any individual - but it was conceived by Mumsnetters for Mumsnetters and exists pretty much in the same form as that original idea.

Do let us know your thoughts and suggestions here.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 21-Oct-13 15:09:26

Secret Santa is prob more in keeping with the original ideal

Embargo in future on who has received a nom*

Thank you thread only

*nom not food in this instance <snurk at silly double entendre>

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Mon 21-Oct-13 15:11:55

IMO I don't think it should be changed in a major way, although I do think it would be ok for people to nominate themselves.
There have been years on here that I have had loads of support, kindness and encouragement. MN has seen me through the hardest times in my life. That for me was the reward.

That said I can see why someone who has been at the bottom of a pit would feel an extra boost from a little suprise from the Christmas appeal.

How you would regulate people nominating themselves (guessing you could search posting history) I am not sure but otherwise I think it should stay in the same vane as it is.

Mckayz Mon 21-Oct-13 15:15:40

I don't think it needs changing really. I don't see what is wrong with it now.

Mumsnet has thousands of people so not everyone can be nominated. I was nominated last year and it was lovely. I wasn't this year and I'm not fussed.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 15:18:47

I think it should stay as it is. I don't think there is anything wrong with it in its current guise.

There was a vocal minority of churlish people - I don't think a longstanding and frankly lovely part of mumsnet should be fundamentally changed to pander to people who feel left out. The size of mumsnet means that not everyone can be nominated and people need to realise that. And in fact most people do understand that.

MissStrawberry Mon 21-Oct-13 15:24:10

I think the only thing that could change is that is that if the recipient doesn't feel able to post on the thank you thread to let the sender at least know the parcel arrived safely they have to tell MNHQ. It isn't fair for the donor to not know if the gift has arrived safe or go missing so they can make a claim to the PO.

I think it is a lovely thing that MN does. One year I unexpectedly received a gift in the post for my DD and the only negative was I felt embarrassed that I hadn't know about the appeal and wasn't in a position to donate even if I had have known about it.

I feel mortified I posted that I felt disappointed I hadn't been nominated as it is my problem I have feelings of being worthless and it isn't up to MN to make me feel better. Hopes it can be forgotten now.

I don't think it should be changed at all.
It's a lovely idea.
I nominated and donated last year. It did not bother me that I was not notimated myself

This year I have nominated and I am donating.
I was also nominated myself which made me cry.
I probably do not deserve to be nominated. But the fact that someone actually thought of me was amazing.

There isn't a right or wrong person to nominate, it comes from the heart of the person doing the nominating IYSWIM
You can't control that, or tell them that their nominee is not worthy enough

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 21-Oct-13 15:39:38

I don't think it should be changed at all. It's a lovely idea, and actually (so flame me) found people complaining about not being nominated extremely distasteful and entitled, however it was dressed up. The happiness it brings must surely outweigh disgruntled people having a pity fest.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 15:42:09

I totally agree with you wembley (what is happening at wembley tomorrow btw? grin)

FairyJen Mon 21-Oct-13 15:47:32

I think some people have missed the point of this appeal. I nominated someone, not because of anything written on the boards but because of pm's sent throughout the year offering me support, wisdom, financial help and other things. These things were never discussed on a thread - they were between me and this poster.

To an outsider they may not seem deserving etc but they do t know the kindness this poster offered and the difference it made to me being on the end of this support.

I don't know if they have had a hard year or are struggling but I do know they deserve some joy and that's why I nominated them.

I was also nominated myself this year. It made me cry and smile at the same time and I really need to smile right now.

So thank you MNHQ and please don't change anything.

FairyJen Mon 21-Oct-13 15:48:44

Also what wembley said!

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 15:50:26

I guess you could change the name so the word 'appeal', which apparently is offensive to some people [eye roll emoticon], is no longer used.

Also, perhaps post it even more places and more prominently. I know I asked about that and was told it would be stickied in Active, but I never saw that. Which might be because I have Christmas topic hidden? As I'm sure many do as we don't want to think about it until at least November.

Perhaps do the initial post in Site Stuff rather than Christmas so everyone sees it?

I think it's fine the way it is, BTW. I've been nominated and I've donated. I like it both ways. arf thlwink

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 21-Oct-13 15:53:41

LeGav I namechanged the day before dp's team was playing and tbh we all lived the 'excitement' (for want of a better word). grin

Chubfuddler Mon 21-Oct-13 15:55:08

The only change needed is that some people get over themselves. It's supposed to be a nice thing.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 15:59:00

grin wembley

That thread IMO was started to be goady, look at the thread title 'some of you are going to be very unhappy with this' or whatever it was.

It is a minority view. Most people think it is a very positive thing, and I for one appreciate the fact that so many hours are dedicated to administering it at MNHQ. You could quit easily say it's not something that you want to spend time and money managing in future - especially when it is being whinged about. It's to your great credit that you carry on doing it.

MissStrawberry Mon 21-Oct-13 15:59:51

<sigh> Not because I wanted a gift but because I took it to mean I was a rubbish supporter.

LegaaaahhhhAutopsy Mon 21-Oct-13 16:01:57

No change needed IMO.

ParsingFright Mon 21-Oct-13 16:07:34

Don't think it should be changed in big ways.

Perhaps call it a Secret Santa, not Christmas Appeal.

And at the same time make clear it's Not The Done Thing for a little group to agree to nominate each other (don't know if that's ever happened but there was a suggestion it had). I've made a little group of friends here, whom I now know in RL, but I send my own presents directly to them, I don't involve donations from other people.

The MN Secret Santa should be more for people you don't have RL contact with, but who you would like to treat, because of need or as a cheer-up or because you feel they make a valuable contribution to the boards.

Also, I don't know what you ask nominees to get the matching right - but would it be possible, in your usual tactful way, to ask people to make clear if they're absolutely not in need, and a small token gift would be meaningful? To reduce the chances of someone stretching themselves financially to give say supermarket vouchers to someone to whom it didn't mean much.

You may already be doing this, of course.

Worriedthistimearound Mon 21-Oct-13 16:09:43

I think the word 'appeal' does make people think its for those in need. I have donated in the past and I have always assumed I was donating to someone struggling financially to provide Christmas for their family.

I'm surprised that people nominate for good advice/support as to me, that is MN rather than something out of the ordinary.

I would like to donate again but became a little cynical after pm'ing a poster and sending her vouchers after a post saying she didn't have enough to feed her kids for the month (this was a few years ago) I then came across another post by her just 6wks or so later talking about how she'd recently booked a very expensive and indulgent holiday. Sure, there's a chance she suddenly came into money but I also know that quite a few posters also sent her envelopes of money. It just made me cynical.

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 21-Oct-13 16:11:27

You could very well be right, LeGav. I was a bit astounded at an adult thinking they were reasonable in that thought. Maybe MNHQ shouldn't pander to that by asking if it should be changed? It's a bit like encouraging a spoiled child.

Fenton Mon 21-Oct-13 16:15:33

If you had to change it (I don't see why you have to, though) then I think 'The Small but Meaningful Christmas Cheer Giving Event'

or summat.

Allalonenow Mon 21-Oct-13 16:16:23

I don't think it needs to be changed at all, it has worked well in the past. I think of it as a way of bringing MN members together, all sharing a pool of generosity and kindness.
I love reading the thank you threads, the delight and pleasure expressed is so touching and heartwarming, and it is a joy to be able to share a little bit of that warm glow.
MNHQ do a stirling job of administering the scheme, and deserve Brownie Gold Stars and enough gin to float a battle ship for all the work they contribute.

skyeskyeskye Mon 21-Oct-13 16:22:33

I don't think it needs changing. It is supposed to be a nice thing, to thank people or help people.

It is obvious that not every single MNer is going to get nominated. I was nominated last year, haven't been this year. Doesn't bother me a bit. I have nominated somebody who I think deserves something and have donated too.

Don't let a small minority of people spoil such a wonderful thing.

SpottyDottie Mon 21-Oct-13 16:22:40

I think there should be two. A genuine Christmas appeal to help those Mnetters in need and then a lighthearted thank you thread where you can can thank Mnetters who have made you laugh, cry, got you through anything during the preceding year. That way its separate and less likely to be confusing.

Ragwort Mon 21-Oct-13 16:23:22

I have avoided the threads this year but I struggle with it; I think it should definately be called a 'Secret Santa' rather than 'appeal' & I also echo Worried's views.

Last year I nominated someone and I provided a gift (for someone else), I received no acknowledgement or thanks and yes, I know you don't do it to be thanked but it would at least have been nice to know that it was received.

I think it is very odd for people to nominate themselves or their children hmm.

I haven't joined in this year, nor have I been nominated grin - but I really would feel uncomfortable about accepting a gift.

I would prefer a general appeal for a specific cause - ie: Women's Aid or something similar - we could give financial donations and really make a difference.

Personally I prefer to give to my local womens' refuge and provide special Christmas Hampers for people using our local food bank.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 16:24:41

I think it should remain anonymous and people shouldn't start I've been nominated threads.

Maybe not a popular opinion.But that's What I think.

ParsingFright Mon 21-Oct-13 16:27:11

MissStrawberry, I get exactly what you mean about worrying you may have been a rubbish supporter. But I'm sure you're not. thanks

trish5000 Mon 21-Oct-13 16:28:00

Perhaps some who feel left out or think they deserve something could put their own names forward?

This site is now huge, and people do name change, and lots of people stick to certain boards so wouldnt have a clue what goes on in bereavement or pets or whatever.

I would have thought that people who donate, wouldnt have an issue with that?

There seem to be a large number of people on this site who do have difficult years, often have no rl friends, and struggle on here to make friends too.

Fenton Mon 21-Oct-13 16:28:20

Since all the nasty kerfuffle I think you're right about that usual, - I can see it wasn't deliberate, though - and it's a dreadful shame a 'thank you, I'm overwhelmed' caused such a backlash.

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 16:28:24

My suggestion is that you should be on high alert for stirring trolls who want to sow dissatisfaction and bad feeling among mumsnetters.

And leave the Appeal exactly as it is.

trish5000 Mon 21-Oct-13 16:28:56

Agree with usual.

Salmotrutta Mon 21-Oct-13 16:31:26

I think it should be private too.

No threads about who has been nominated etc.

I noticed another thread yesterday that was asking who had nominated - that one didnt get many replies - but why not just keep it all private.

If there already is a mechanism to thank your donor/nominator privately then why not just use that?

Just an opinion.

thecatfromjapan Mon 21-Oct-13 16:33:02

Worriedthistimearound I think you've highlighted why it's not a good idea to think of it as something that is for people in need, or some sort of unofficial charity. That would be riddled with problems. I don't see how mn could "discreetly" let people know - how would they find out?

I quite liked it the way it was. The idea of an embargo on threads about it, other than the ones of donating, nominating, and thanking is probably a good idea. Perhaps, too, the idea of taking "Appeal" out of the name. A shame, but it seems to have upset people.

I liked the idea of it as a pool of affection. I can't thank everyone on mn, or send everyone a present, but I can respond to some other mn-er's nomination and send a present - and thus the affection, friendship, thanks, and joy go round.

I don't really like this notion of nominating yourself. Seems a bit odd, really.

But I like it. I like donating. I like reading the thank you thread.

I completely get why some people don't post on that thank you thread, by the way. Yes, in an ideal world you want to check that the present you sent hasn't been pilfered or gone missing in action. I used to live in a bit of SW London notorious for missing post and it drives me wild even now. However, I can completely see that quite a few people might not be in the place where they are going to get it together to a. reply on that thread or even b. contact mn. So I am chilled about responses. It's great if they happen. If they don't ... that's it.

Likewise, I am unfussed who I am paired with. I figure that my donation contributes ultimately to a common good. I've entered into this knowing that I am carrying out someone else's nomination so ... there you go.

I also want to say thank you to SandyMumsnet. I had no idea that this would be primarily falling to one woman to organise. Good for you! And good for mumsnet for facilitating it.

And much love to all the people on mumsnet who make it special. flowers

elskovs Mon 21-Oct-13 16:35:46

Im confused.. I thought it was anonymous? The OP says the giver knows who she is donating to

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 16:36:35

I second Bof thanks

Does that mean motion carried? grin

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 16:37:24

Yes that confused me too, I thought you were not told who you were donating to.

I'm confused about the whole thing now.

Hullygully Mon 21-Oct-13 16:37:41

What Wembley and Bof said.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 16:38:36

I'd also like to point out that Bof and I are sporting some charming glittery antlers <<smiles beatifically>>

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 16:41:26

I think it should stay as it is, but with a name change. So maybe Secret Santa? I do think the current name is confusing if you are newer to MN.

Fenton Mon 21-Oct-13 16:41:58

What BOF said too.

That means it must be time for the



KatyPutTheCuttleOn Mon 21-Oct-13 16:42:32

I think it is lovely. I think people (me included....) need to stop discussing it on threads that are critical of it.
Thanks Mumsnet for doing it. Before anybody says anything, no I am not saying that because I have been nominated - I haven't been, and that's fine. I nominated two people and that makes me happy and that's enough smile

I think that Secret Santa would be better than 'appeal', but other than that, change nothing. And I'm really quite hmm about posters nominating themselves.

DiaryOfAWimpyMum Mon 21-Oct-13 16:43:19

Leave it as it is and those who have been nominated ignore the horrid threads this year.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 16:44:06


Fenton, have you got your glittery antlers on? We did promise Rowan.

Is there any way of advertising it a bit more next year please? I really wanted to nominate someone this year but didn't even know nominations had started until the 'this isn't going to be popular' thread appeared in active convos the day after nominations had closed.

Disclaimer: I don't browse mn a lot, just visit a few 'club' threads and active convos. I don't know the answer, perhaps make the nom thread a sticky in active convos? though I appreciate this might generate a lot more interest in it and make loads of work for your poor spreadsheet lady

Agree with thecatfromjapan. <starts singing>

WereTricksPotter Mon 21-Oct-13 16:46:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HappyMummyOfOne Mon 21-Oct-13 16:48:03

I think the appeal name should be dropped, its not a charity, nobody knows if the sob stories are genuine etc.

A secret santa would be better. No nominations (then no groups can nominate each other and nobody is left out) simply sign up like any other secret santa. Cap an amount if need be so that nobody moans that their gift was worth more etc.

Do agree re posting to confirm receipt, its not about the thanks but knowing it actually arrived. Whilst i know MN check if you ask, they shouldnt have too.

Catacombmint Mon 21-Oct-13 16:50:04

What thecatfromjapan said.

Do. Not. Change. A. Thing.

Really, please don't.

'Tis a lovely, shiny, sparkely thing, the Christmas <ahem> Thingie (change the name if you must, but leave the bones of it alone).

Part of its wondrous way of making both recipient and giver feel all warm and glowy inside is due to the fact that it's all anonymous.

I too would not mind it being announced a bit more as I did almost miss it again... blush

kotinka Mon 21-Oct-13 16:51:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kotinka Mon 21-Oct-13 16:51:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

snowballinafryingpan Mon 21-Oct-13 16:54:11

I donated last year and loved doing it, mn has helped me through bereavement and rmc and as others have said it's a way of giving something back.

I have never been nominated and really don't understand the angst tbh. It is very sad that something with such good intentions is being dragged through the coals in this way.

Fenton Mon 21-Oct-13 16:54:14

Yes, yes of course I have them on HoneyDragon, can't you see them?

<jingles sparkily>

roguepixie Mon 21-Oct-13 16:55:04

Agree with BOF and PacificDogwood. Don't change a thing.

I do think Appeal is not quite the right word anymore. Semantics, sure, but changing it avoids any hurt feelings, so why not?

I agree that it would be lovely to see a proper charity appeal each year, to Women's Aid or food banks or something along those lines.

<starts throwing hoops onto people's antlers>

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 16:57:56

What about the Chistmas A Tangerine Peel?

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 16:58:40

What BOF said with knobs on.

Call it the mumsnet annual Christmas kindness or whatever, but leave it as it is. And what usual said about keeping it anonymous to prevent this kind of unpleasantness next year.

Fenton Mon 21-Oct-13 16:59:32

Better than Christmas chemic A l Peel.

Mogz Mon 21-Oct-13 16:59:59

If anything has to change then just change the name to Secret Santa, the rest of it is perfect and in keeping with the real spirit of Christmas. And perhaps in the emails you send to nominees ask that they do not start 'I've been nominated threads' then on Jan 1st start an official thank you thread. Really nothing about how to works needs to change though. The magic of it is the surprise the nominees feel when they find out, if you could smoky sign up for getting a pressie it would take away any meaning.

ScarerStratton Mon 21-Oct-13 17:05:25

I like it just the way it is.

Please don't change anything, not even the name. And I certainly don't think self-nomination is a good idea at all. It's laying the Appeal wide open to abuse.

If there is a majority view that the Appeal should stay as it is, please listen to the majority, not the small, viciously vocal minority, that seems to have set itself a target of turning MN into a dull shadow of itself.

Mumsnet, the Appeal, and all that goes with it, perfect just the way it is.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 17:06:22

Well said Sarah.

viperslast Mon 21-Oct-13 17:06:27

What bof said.

I have had a terrible year, money and mental resources are at an all time low and I am a fabulous person wink. I didn't get nominated for many reasons including, I name change, I don't post on here about all my problems, I don't post on here all the time, I can come over as snipy, I don't tend to gravitate to a set of posters/areas on the boards and so on.

I don't think I have a right to be nominated or a right to ruin it for others if they get nominated. I get a lovely glowy feeling that people are getting this privilege and being shown this kindness/appreciation. Many moons ago I did get nominated and it still gives me a teary eye now.

The appeal is great. Some mners are less so. I don't think we should cater for the lowest common denominator here.

Hmm unsure to post coz of protocol but aw this makes me sad.

I have been nominated. I've never been before. I've been here for 3 yrs. I've never nominated either. Barely registered it. So, you would either have had to notice I've name changed several times, pieced together various threads, or taken one thread to heart in some way to nominate me. Any of those is touching and I'm grateful. It's the thought!

Don't change it. I did think you were raising money at first so maybe a name change? Dunno if secret Santa copyrighted? Santa swop?

Fundamentally it works. I've not been mentioned before. Likely I won't again. But this year, well I'm touched. Thank you very much to whomever thought of me. Or one of my names.

This isn't a clique thing. It isn't scratch my back ill scratch yours. It isn't pity the poor. It's just a nice thing. And like all gifts/thoughts they shouldn't be expected as that's missing the point completely.

Please. Leave as is. There's so many of us. Let it grow unaided. Always works best that way.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 17:09:32

This isn't a clique thing. It isn't scratch my back ill scratch yours. It isn't pity the poor. It's just a nice thing. And like all gifts/thoughts they shouldn't be expected as that's missing the point completely.

Please. Leave as is. There's so many of us. Let it grow unaided. Always works best that way.

Great post.

Fenton Mon 21-Oct-13 17:10:17

Yup to Scarer and vipers.


SnakeyMcBadass Mon 21-Oct-13 17:11:41

Leave it as it is. Tbh, I can't get my head around grown women pouting over not getting sent a present by an anonymous person via the internet. When it happens, it's lovely, but it's not compulsory ffs. You get as involved as you want with internet forums, it's not, like, real. Everyone but me is totes a bloke in a basement who lives with their mum. Fact.

As this is the first year I have known about or been involved in the Appeal (by being nominated), I don't really feel I have the right to comment. I just came on to say that I'm very sorry for starting a thank you thread and consequently kicking all this off sad.

I hope that the appeal stays around. I've said it all before but being nominated has already meant so much to me and I hope that I will be able to pass on that same joy by nominating and donating next year.

If I were to add anything, I think a facility to pass on thanks to your nominator anonymously (perhaps a message that could be passed on through PM by MNHQ?) would be a lovely addition as I really wanted to let my nominator (whoever that was) know how much the fact that they thought of me and nominated me, meant.

Aw, Minnie - your post warmed the cockles of my heart x.

I totally agree with vipers: don't reduce it to the lowest common denominator. I love the idea of a small seasonal random act of kindness.

Oh, and thank you also to MNHQ and SandyMumsnet for making all this possible. I'm sure I speak for most people here by saying we really appreciate it flowers.

FrightRider Mon 21-Oct-13 17:14:16

Originally, it was about people nominating themselves... people who were hard up, who couldnt afford christmas, who were happy to accept free second hand stuff from people who were willing to donate.

somehow, over the years, this has turned into a secret santa of the worthy.. now we have to be nominated, and anyone can be nominated.. people who have no financial difficulties are being sent stuff... and it IS a huge pat on the back from people to other people who recognise and remember you.. yes its still nice and warm and fuzzy.. but it also has the potential to be abused and people nominated for spurious reasons.

The MN appeal as it now, is NOT in the spirit of the original.

Either return it to the original format that soapbox created, or call it what it is, a secret santa, and allow people to put themselves forward for being part of it.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 17:14:25

You started that thread wit the best of intentions though. You couldn't have predicted that there would have been so much ill feeling, not your fault at all.

FrightRider Mon 21-Oct-13 17:18:44

and please dont think i dont like it, i do, i think it can be a wonderful thing and it can make some very lovely people feel a little bit better at such a hard time of year for some.. but, i do think in its current format, its too open to abuse and back-patting.

Was the thread deleted?

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 21-Oct-13 17:23:32

Please don't change name to Secret Santa - a SS is different: everyone who joins donates a gift AND receives one.

The only thing I think is that nominators should make it clear whether they are nominating someone who is in straitened circs or not (and MNHQ let donator know), as this may well make a difference to the type of gift that would be most appropriate.

Other than that, leave it alone. It's a lovely lovely heartwarmy thing!

Fenton Mon 21-Oct-13 17:25:20

But when you nominate you give a reason, like she's on her knees, she gave me great advice, she made me smile when I felt low, - HQ would know surely if mates were nominating mates just because, and surely we're mature enough not to do that anyway?

Is it so awful to suggest changing the name? Because I think that's mostly what people are suggesting and I'm not sure that makes us evil or heartless bitches or anything.

I honestly don't care about being nominated, I don't feel I have a personal stake in this at all. It just seems, from reading the threads, that there are people who were misled into donating because they thought it was going to really destitute people, and others who are destitute and feel overlooked. So calling it something other than Appeal solves both those problems.

I'm another leave it as it is.

It's a lovely thing. Personally, I don't mind the name Christmas Appeal - largely because I tend to think of the word has having a wider context than charity donations. Appeal also means to request.

If the name changes I agree with the suggestion up thread that Christmas Kindness is better than secret santa.

As a donor I'd prefer to give to someone who has been nominated by someone else rather than nominated themselves.

I like the threads saying that people have been nominated because it's lovely to hear how much it means to individuals. I like that there are people I recognise being appreciated and people that I don't recognise. Please don't stop the threads about it before the official thank you thread, the process is so long it's nice to hear about it as it gets closer to the big send. I think that's part of the appeal of the appeal grin

I don't think there should be conditions on receiving the gift, like acknowledging receipt of the parcel. Some of the people who have been nominated are at rock bottom. I would hate that the pressure to say thank you was another thing they'd have to deal with. If I wanted to know that much as a donator couldn't I send it signed delivery?

I like it just the way it is <channels inner Mark Darcy>

JosephSnail Mon 21-Oct-13 17:29:40

I think I may be the person quoted in the OP.
To clear up the confusion, I didn't know who I was sending to but the info I was sent about her and her family rang a bell and made me think about that particular poster.
When she posted her thanks, it was confirmed. The quoted words are my response to her thanks.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 17:32:36

I see what you are saying fright that it could be open to abuse, but I am pretty sure that people don't just nominate their mates. People aren't that silly are they?

Onesleeptillwembley Mon 21-Oct-13 17:32:36

I will go back on what I said - people should NOT be allowed to nominate themselves or their children, if that has happened. What sort of person does that?confused
Apart from that, I stick with my no change.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 17:33:31

I didn't know you were sent info about the poster you were donating to.

I thought you were just given an address and number.

Although it does make sense to be given some info,but that's a lot of work for MNHQ.

blondieminx Mon 21-Oct-13 17:34:55

I often read what BOF says, and nod. I agree on this issue too.

I love being involved and it is a lovely thing to be part of. One of my new traditions is reading the thank you thread with a glass of something festive and having a little sniffle about how lovely and supportive the site is in the main.

My only (teeny tiny) suggestion is that it would be handy to have the match email sent a bit earlier (which may be happening this year anyway)... Last year I was matched to a Canadian mumsnetter and the last posting date was very near, and I worried it wouldn't arrive in time. I was a bit concerned that the poster knew they'd been nominated and might not have received anything before the big day IYSWIM?

don't let a few whingers spoil a luffly luffly thing smile

thanks MNHQ for all that you do in coordinating as I realise it must be a mammoth job!

usual it isn't much information.

Last year I got given a bit of basic information to help with the purchasing of gift .... there was number of children, gender and age of children and, I think, there was an option for those nominated to include some relevant information if they felt appropriate, so in my case I got a little bit of detail about the family circumstance.

I found out who got my gift on the thank you thread and I was bloody pleased to have done something nice for such a wonderful lady.

MurderOfBanshees Mon 21-Oct-13 17:38:46

The only thing I'd change is the name (and even then only to stop people getting their knickers in a twist), otherwise I don't see that anything needs to change.

Maybe as Porsche suggested, adding a way to thank the people doing the nominating, feels wrong not being able to say thank you for something so kind.

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 21-Oct-13 17:44:24

I do think it was very special in the days when it was how Fright described. But then there always the influx of hard luck stories just before the appeal which made many people hmm

I misread secret santa as secret satan and was rather perplexed wink.

I think mn christmas appeal is fine, its explained what it is and people can choose whether or not to get involved.

bassetfeet Mon 21-Oct-13 17:49:26

Keep it as it is . Change the name if it upsets to Christmas Cheer or Kindness .

I dont think nominating yourself would ever work. A bit like asking random strangers to send you cards . No glow there or recognition and knowing who you are and why you have touched someone enough to be nominated.confused Dont get that at all . Would make me feel worse .

Fine as it is . Thank you Rowan and headquarters ..must be a headache at times .

FTRscreamingInTerror Mon 21-Oct-13 17:55:57

I'm not sure that my opinion counts for much as I've only been here a year so I don't know how it was at its creation.

However I am another vote for no change.

I nominated and donated last year. Unfortunately there was no message in the thank you thread from my mner and I was disappointed, not because I wanted the thanks but I just wanted to know it had arrived safely and someone didn't think they'd been forgotten.
If people don't want to post on the thank you thread perhaps a pm to MNHQ to say a parcel had arrived would be good.

Aside from that my impression of the whole thing is that it exists to help those in need and to give thanks to those who have made a difference to someone, which may be as small as a post that's stuck with someone and made them feel better. It's not a competition or some 'give your mates a gift' conspiracy and it seems a shame that a few vitriolic posters might ruin the whole thing for those it really makes a difference to.

For various reasons I wasn't able to donate this year but this whole palaver has made determined to participate next year.

viperslast Mon 21-Oct-13 18:04:59

On the subject of the name I think it depends how you read it. Personally I feel it is an appeal for nominations for a lovely idea not an appeal for things to be pledged although you can't have one without the other obviously.

It is an eye of the beholder situation, some will see it as grabby others as an opportunity for kindness. But that says more about the "beholder" than the appeal imo.

Maryz Mon 21-Oct-13 18:17:45

I don't think it should be changed AT ALL.

I would also like to make one very important point about the so-called thank-you thread.

How many people donate in order to receive a thank-you? And how many people who receive are in a sort of bad place where having to write a thank you is just too much for them to cope with?

If you are going to get pissed off that some struggling mumsnetter can't/won't/whatever name you as being wonderful on a thank-you thread, then don't fucking donate.


LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 18:20:14

That's true Maryz, you don't give to receive. And you're right that some people could be in a bad way and may not get round to posting their thanks.

Maryz Mon 21-Oct-13 18:21:51

And I think it should keep it's anonymity, so maybe one thing I would change is naming the donors or the nominators on thank-you threads.

Otherwise you have people feeling pissed off that they ended up sending their gift to someone who in their opinion might not be as "deserving" as they would like.

Have a complete moratorium on naming who nominated who and who donated to who.

If you want to, have a page from mnhq listing off, in alphabetical order, all those who were nominated and all those who donated.

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 18:22:03

Good point, Maryz.

No one is trying to make anyone else feel better, I am sure.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 18:22:53

Secret Satan is a good idea. grin

Maryz Mon 21-Oct-13 18:22:56

Yes, leGav.

One of the things that really put me off accepting the time I was nominated was that I was holding on by the skin of my pants at the time - I honestly felt that having to answer the door, receive a present from a stranger, and then have to get up the courage to say thank-you, was just too much blush

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 18:23:51

Feel better? No. Feel bad.

Would it be wrong to go to be now?

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 18:24:20

FFS. Go to bed now.

I swear I really am...

Maryz Mon 21-Oct-13 18:25:06


Have some wine TEE.

MillyMollyMully Mon 21-Oct-13 18:26:27

Another vote here for Secret Satan.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 18:26:33

Haha tee.

AnyaKnowIt Mon 21-Oct-13 18:29:29

Don't change the name

All you had to do was rtft the find out what it was all about

Are you ok tee?<head tilt>

Leave it as it is....and IF you have to be PC then maybe do the cheer/kindness suggestion. Although sure they'll be people very quick to complain they're being 'bullied' next year as no-one wants to offer them any cheer! hmm

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 18:51:48

One thing, thanks Justine for asking.

You could have well ignored this after last nights thread descended into scones, jam and cream. grin

TEErickOrTEEreat Mon 21-Oct-13 18:55:34

Nope. Thanks for asking tantrum.

BellaVita Mon 21-Oct-13 18:59:02

Leave it as it is.

Am sure there isn't a posse of Mner's who nominate each other whoever mentioned that up thread. A klaxon would definitely be going off in MNHQ.

I don't think anything needs changing. I don't think people should feel they have to keep quiet about being nominated, donating or receiving either. The 'codenames' can be used for the official thank you thread to preserve address anonymity. That thread and any others can be hidden by any poster who feels the need. There is nothing wtrong with the arrangements that currently stand and I think the recent het up atmosphere has nothing to do with the appeal and everything to do with a small sub set of posters having chips on their shoulders.

BTW to 'appeal' means to 'make a serious, urgent, or heartfelt request'

I think you'd find that every single nomination comes from a poster feeling there is a serious, urgent and/or heartfelt need for the nominated person to have something nice happen. The mumsnet appeal is not about need necessarily but it is about the gift of giving.

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 21-Oct-13 19:11:09

I'm afraid I've always assumed the Christmas Appeal was a charitable donation thing. Since I've already earmarked the charitable funds, I've always ignored it.

Now that I know what it really is, I'm not comfortable with it, I suspect if I were nominated I'd have to politely say thanks but no thanks. The intention is lovely, but it's all too easy for it to turn into a popularity contest.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 19:15:41

Yes in regards to that. I find it interesting when a poster explains all about groups of mnetters having secret meetings in bids to take over Mumsnet, pick on posters, or just steal all the presents.

If it's so secret how does that particular poster know about it unless

They were doing it
They were told about

And if it was either of the above, why choose to mention it? They could either be outed as quite horrible for doing it or spreading a heresy.

Or they could simply have fabricated it themselves?

I think posts pertaining to things like that should not be taken as gospel personally.

Jux Mon 21-Oct-13 19:15:54

I think it's great the way it is. I haven't seen any suggestions of how to change it, that don't make it a lesser and impoverished thing.

Agree with every word Northernlurker says.

A I said on yesterday's thread I think it is very sad that this has all turned out like this. I have been around for years and have donated every year since the first Appeal was starts by Soapbox in response to the heartbreak caused by the collapse of Farepak or whatever it was called. So many MNers were facing not being able to buy anything for Xmas for their children through no fault of their own.

The appeal has evolved over the years as these things do. And it's gotten bigger as the site is bigger and more well known.

So I do think calling it the Christmas Appeal is a little misleading these days as it's not the same as it used to be. Which is fine. Things do change. But the name is obviously causing some confusion so why not let the name evolve the same way the Appeal has.

I completely agree that people shouldn't nominate themselves. I also feel a bit uncomfortable about anyone nominating their own children although in the case of the first appeal which was purely to deal with hardship, people were asked to nominate their DCs.

I think generally the way the whole thing has evolved is great and really lovely in lots of ways but I honestly don't feel the same way as I used to about it all. And I'm not entirely sure why! I think my concern is that some MNers who really deserve acknowledgement will be forgotten as people will assume they have already been nominated. I'm sure some people will be nominated every year. Some deservedly and yet others equally deserving will not. It's all a minefield now.

I think it should be changed quite a lot.

I thought the original idea was for people to pass on good quality second hand stuff/ things they had duplicates of. Then it seemed to get a bit competitive giving both by mumsnetters and companies (didn't one year GLTC give a playhouse?)

I think it should be changed so that local co ordinators act as a collection point for gifts from local mumsnetters and then take all parcels to a shelter /women's aid/hospice - basically cut out the posting of parcels all over the place.

If people want to donate a gift to a specific person they contact that person themselves. Or if a group who are known to each other want to do a secret Santa among themselves they sort it offline.

Things that have put me off it are

A) someone saying they had spent more on just the postage than they had on a gift for quite a close family member - which made me think the stuff would have been better passed on to local Christmas gift collection.

B) a discussion about someone receiving a barely worn monsoon cardigan for a very young child - good passing on - and commenting how someone had given vouchers they would use to buy the matching dress. The responses were along the lines of excellent tiny children must have new clothes for Christmas day and all I could think of is - fools, it's that sort of mentality that means you will just continue to overspend and be in difficulty.

C) the second year I sent off a parcel with lots of little bits for a stocking - mainly extra stuff I had bought to make up party bags - plus a voucher. The voucher was the only thing acknowledged although much more care on my part went to wrapping the stocking and buying the extra bits to add. In the new year my match suddenly seemed to be better off than maybe her nominator had thought - she probably didn't care for or need £15 or so of stocking stuffers, but hard cash as a voucher could be used.

I maybe be a bit bar humbug compared to everyone else, I just think this has grown so beyond it's original scope (as the site has grown), it is open to abuse and I think by giving to refuges / via food banks etc there is more chance it goes to most needy (but maybe less 'loveable') families.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 19:39:58

I'm a bit put of donating now if it's all a bit competitive donating.

Hullygully Mon 21-Oct-13 19:45:47

I donated a plane and all I got was a walnut. And I have NUT ALLERGIES. So thanks so much you Christmas bastards.

Well tbh I think it's easy to limit what gets donated really. Just make sure everyone knows it's token gift to a certain value. Say £10. Also has the added benefit of hopefully not making it all so attractive to those who may come on in sept/oct with sob stories.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 19:49:29

Tbh I wish I'd done what I do every year and kept out of it.


HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 19:50:48

How can the donating be competitive if no knows what you've put confused

RatherBeOnThePiste Mon 21-Oct-13 19:50:55

At heart it is a very special thing, to change it means that would be lost, and what a shame that would be.

We are not giving to receive, someone thought and nominated, for whatever reasons, MNHQ will know why, we are giving to another to share the Christmas spirit.

I love it. Tis magic.

I disagree about the popularity contest. So many boards and threads, we move round different parts of Mumsnet, lots of the folk I chat with others will not have heard of and vice versa. Quietly, folk can make a huge difference to the lives of others. I see it all the time. Folk helping others, not for the show of it, but because they are utterly fabulous, happens all over MN and that is very often where nominations go.

And let us not forget that no one has to join in if it is not for them.

Anyway lovely MNHQ, tis a jewel in your crown. Leave it be.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 19:52:22

What a lovely post pistey.

Jux Mon 21-Oct-13 19:53:51

I'd also quote like to keep the threads by the miserable buggers complaining, because I'd like to ow who they are grin

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 19:55:52

Well I dunno,Honey.

I keep reading posters saying some people were disappointed and not happy about what they recieved.

But I've never read a thank you thread so I don't know how true that is.

Jux Mon 21-Oct-13 19:57:57

'quite' and 'know' rather than 'quote' and 'ow'

StarfishTrooper Mon 21-Oct-13 19:57:59

In principle it's such a lovely idea and the original appeal was born out of wonderful generosity, but it seems to be causing friction now.

Either it's an appeal to help MNers who are genuinely in need (perhaps chosen by MNHQ?) or it's a fun filled Secret Santa and whoever wants to pile in can pile in, perhaps with a gift value limit of £10?

The mish-mash of the two that it's become seems to be a problem for some. For me, it's a reason I've not nominated or donated in past years whereas I would donate if I knew the gift was going to someone in real need.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 19:59:27

That's very nice Silas that you went to the effort to make a stocking etc. something like that is very special.

I am too bone idle and lack any skills so I just stick to vouchers.

Apropos of fuck all. I remember one year when dd was little and I was utterly skint I made pomanders for everyone. Bought a load of oranges, cloves and some ribbons and spent evenings making the fucking things and cut my fingers to shreds (bastard cloves). Everyone just looked hmm at them and said 'what the fuck are these?' Not a success. Kirstie Allsopp my arse.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 20:00:46

Well, as I don't usually see those threads I shall keep donating. grin

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 20:03:50

Pity the poor bugger that ended up with something I had actually made grin

I expect the thread title would be 'What the fuck is this'

Best stick to a voucher.

ChestyCoffin Mon 21-Oct-13 20:06:34

I don't think it needs changing at all.

It's a huge board so everyone won't receive a nomination but all this bad feeling about it is really boiling my piss angry

It's starting to feel like a giant playground sad

Mintyy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:08:27

I don't really care deeply about it tbh. It doesn't feature heavily on my radar, which is why I am extremely hmm that someone with almost no posting history on here could be so worked up that they hadn't been nominated and feel the need to start a sad old thread about it.

I am inordinately fond of some of my fellow Mumsnetters but it wouldn't occur to me to send them a Christmas present! I find it enough of a chore to go Christmas shopping for my own children.

I think the idea of people nominating themselves is preposterous unworkable, sorry.

Mintyy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:09:48

But I do very much LOVE an orange stuck with cloves at Christmas, Gavrorf!

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 20:10:14

Ooooh can we send stuff we make?

In that case I'd be sending A 2m long smart phone in the post

Now that's a surprise grin

MillyMollyMully Mon 21-Oct-13 20:11:01

SilasGreenback's suggestion is a very good one. Especially since people are always moaning about the Local Mumsnet sites being as dull as ditchwater because they are so devoid of any activity.

A Christmas Appeal would be make Local MN sites a real rallying point. Maybe we could nominate local charities? Dropping off gifts could be done at a mass meet-up, so we could all meet each other. It would work well as recycling and decluttering. God knows I need the latter. And my old tat would go to someone who actually needed it.

Surely that would be win-win, with MNHQ getting a very big win, and local communities getting a mahoosive win as well. You could certainly get local press along if you wanted.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 21-Oct-13 20:11:45

yes agree to no self-nomming

this isn't some kind of sexshual perversion I'll have you know


Hullygully Mon 21-Oct-13 20:12:29

I have made a Christmas slug. I got one of those giant invading ones and stuck cloves in it and put some lametta on its head. It's lovely and looking for a special Christmas home if anyone would like it?

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 20:13:41

Meeeeee! I want a festive slug!

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 20:14:13

Yes please hully

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 20:14:25

Save it for me, Hully. I would treasure it.

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 20:14:41

Oh no. Dragon beat me to it.

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 20:15:16

Too late. Gah.


usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 20:16:26

Could you stick it to a £1000 gift voucher before you send it to me?

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 20:16:34

I would love it for ever. It would do slug on the shelf and everythink. It would be for life not just Xmas.

Would you like a 2m smart phone in return Hully? Or some waterwings?

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 20:17:01

See now you are mocking me and my pomanders.


I still can't look a clove in the eye.

Scarletohello Mon 21-Oct-13 20:17:19

Am fairly new to MN so don't really get what the Secret Santa is all about. However I have a few cosmetic products that don't work for me that I'd like to give to someone who might appreciate them. How can I do this please? ( is a BB cream and a primer)

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 20:17:32

I would buy it Christmas pjs

Mintyy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:17:47

I would like a festive slug with lametta on its tail, not its head, if that is not too much to ask thankyouverymuch.

mignonnetteZOMBIEKILLEROFHQ Mon 21-Oct-13 20:18:30

I am amazed that grown women are so invested in a website that they are bothered about being 'nominated' or not. And then come onto said website to gripe about it.

Saying that, keeping the whole process bar the initial publicising would go a long way to protect the motives of those genuinely wanting to give.

And maybe not worry about 'knowing' whether your nomination/gift was received. Just give if you want to and let it go after that. Yes, you might wonder forever what happened to your gift but so be it. You wouldn't chase up other charitable appeals to ask what had happened to your gift would you?

Self nominations? How crass. Go buy yourself a bloody bar of chocolate and make do with that.

Hassled Mon 21-Oct-13 20:18:31

Ooh I love a good pomander, me. Cloves are a bastard to stick in, though.

My top suggestions for the Christmas appeal thing are to a) change nothing and b) get Tech to sort some sort of auto-delete thing for any thread that has the word "appeal" in it from September to Christmas.

Please remember - a slug is not just for Xmas.

LeGavrOrf Mon 21-Oct-13 20:19:18

What the hell is lametta?

Scarlett that is very kind, I don't know where the donation thread is. If might be better to post something I style and beauty. <not very helpful>

ChestyCoffin Mon 21-Oct-13 20:19:23

I would make it snowman soup with a candy cane in....

Pick me hully!

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:21:45

The only thing that needs to change is the name IMO, to avoid people thinking they are donating to a charity appeal. The rest of it is fine as it is.

Mintyy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:23:03

Scarlett - I think the Christmas thing has closed for this year.

I have seen long running threads where people kindly give things away. I'll try and link one, hang on ...

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 20:25:23

I think it should be a secret santa and be clear it is a token gift. A gesture to thank someone or cheer them up. That way, there won't be any motivation to deceive. More of a kind of, thinking of you. And then perhaps those who aren't really struggling financially will be more comfortable receiving a present as well.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 21-Oct-13 20:30:02

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 16:28:24 My suggestion is that you should be on high alert for stirring trolls who want to sow dissatisfaction and bad feeling among mumsnetters

THIS <thanks BOF for that>

IT is not causing friction/problems - they are. A handful of trouble making sock puppets. To change the way it works is to give into those trouble makers.

I can see that for people 'not in the know' that Christmas Appeal might not acurately reflect what it's all about (yes, yes, I do know what Appeal means, but many take it to assume charity/fundraising/other) and so perhaps Christmas Kindness could be a good new name smile

Secret Santa doesn't reflect what this is either - so I don't think that's a good name.

Plastering the 'Nominations Time' thread on more boards would be good, it was easy to miss.

People saying we should change it to making it either a fundraiser or goods sent to Woman's Aid or Whatever Worthy Charity - are missing the point. People already to do that if they want to . THIS is about putting a smile on another Mumnetters face <<< NOT about Charity.

When it first started it was different and people posted to say they were bitten by ThatLouseyCompanyWhichShallNotBeNamed and people sent presents so that their children didn't miss out. It isn't like that anymore (no big company collapse!!) and I would find 'self nomination' VERY distasteful, that is NOT what this is about, not at all.

Justine wine

Sandy... there's no icon for a whole cellar full - sorry winewinewine but I'll be back with regular refills!

blondieminx Mon 21-Oct-13 20:33:30

Understood Maryz.

I don't donate to get a thanks, but to spread a little festive cheer, to let the person know that someone is thinking of them.

I do like to read the thank you thread because it demonstrates the warmth and thoughtfulness offered to Mumsnetters by each other. Tis all!

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 20:33:34

I disagree that those with different views are necessarily trolls or sps

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 20:37:03

People with different views are not trolls they are people.

But trolls are trolls.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Mon 21-Oct-13 20:37:27

Greenie - I think you have to trust Sandy to match donors and recipients.

Poster A might be able & willing to donate a box of chocolates.

A box of chocolates is a lovely gift for a 'Poster B has been very supportive & I'd like to nominate her'

Poster C might be willing & able to donate £200 of supermarket vouchers

It is a lovely gift for family D who are struggling to buy food & clothes - let alone presents.

Trust Sandy to match A & B and C & D.

Why restrict it if people are happy to give larger gifts and there are posters who really need the help?

There is no reason at all for people to think it's a 'charity' appeal. The HQ sponsored threads make the reasoning quite clear already.

I also really take exception to this talk of 'token' gifts and people therefore 'feeling less awkward'. This is all hung upon on some sort of Victorian idea that it's in some way shameful to receive the benefit of somebody's generosity. It isn't. Give when you can, receive with a good grace and a thankful heart. Nobody should feel they 'can't accept' a gift. Beautifully intentioned and sent with love. Whether you spend £5 or £50 the intention and reaction should be the same.

Grennie Mon 21-Oct-13 20:41:17

Chipping, that is a fair point. I didn't realise mnhq matched up in that way.

LoganMummy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:42:08

I agree with wembley.

I don't think it needs changed at all, it's a lovely idea. It is also something that adults take part in. The whole throwing-toys-out-pram-cos-I-wasn't-nominated is really childish.

As is frequently posted on here, only put in to MN what you're prepared to loose.

I like it, even though I've never actually taken part blush

(BTW, how do MNHQ match donors and nominees? Do they take account of why someone was nominated, look at their posting history to match major £££voucher donors with the neediest nominees, or token gifts for someone nominated just because they made someone smile?)

MASSIVE xpost!

Self nomination sounds gross

Doubt it will be here next year.


usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 20:50:32

I think I've done it wrong grin

I didn't put an amount on the donate Voucher thingie.

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 20:52:07

It will be here next year, Exit.

Right, Justine? <narrows eyes, brandishes gin>

Reprint Mon 21-Oct-13 20:52:53

The Appeal really should stay. The process gives a great deal of pleasure to recipients and donors alike.

Actually, the info at the very top of the page about the Appeal, did call it a secret santa, although I don't think that would be a wise working title, as the concept would then really have overtones of being "included" or "left out".

There is obviously some issue with the semantics of using "Appeal" in the title, due to the strong influence of Charity Appeals - perhaps people have come to see the word only in the light of charity to those in financial need rather than the broader context? However, you can always post the dictionary definition of "Appeal" at the top of the post!!

All of the upset could probably have been avoided if people understood that this is not about feeling left out if you were not nominated, anymore than one would feel left out for not receiving an Oscar nomination.
Perhaps using bold to state that inclusion is not a default position but is SOLELY because someone felt that the nominees contribution to MN had touched their heart (in whatever way).
or just use shorthand, and say "don't get entitled over this, folks"

It really would be ludicrous to allow people to nominate themselves. Totally defeats the concept. Unless everyone is happy for nominations to read : I put myself forward for being a really helpful individual and cheering myself up !!!!

And while I am and cake to whoever is having to handle the project this year And wine to whoever is handling all the flak!!

Reprint Mon 21-Oct-13 20:57:37

Justine - any chance that you could re-open the nomination thread for 24 hours in light of these conversations? I know timings are tight, but it seems there are a lot of people who would have chosen to nominate if they had known about it.

Maybe with some extra highlighting across the boards?!!

Already been asked. Already said no

Worriedthistimearound Mon 21-Oct-13 21:00:44

I think my idea of it being for those in need stems from when it started. I've been here about 9.5yrs so I'm no newbie and I'm fairly sure that even after the first year in response to the collapse, the following few yrs were in much the same vein.

So I'm surprised at so many people saying it never has been an appeal to help MNetters struggling at this time of year.

Milliways Mon 21-Oct-13 21:07:03

Thank you for this thread - it has reminded me to get involved again.

Please don't change it. I love reading the Christmas Thank You thread. I also like playing detective and trying to work out who the recipient is to make the message a little more personal.

(I would also like a Secret MNer appeal - a where have you gone / what are you called now for some old friends Not a Moldy type re-awakening, just those who have slipped off and are missed. I would like to send a lot of those a card).

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 21:11:29

Bof, we'll be lucky if we're allowed Christmas next year at this rate, never mind the appeal.

And Christmas Eve on Mumsnet is one of my most favourite things EVER.

I don't care if people think I'm sad it really is.

People slightly tipsy getting lured into the NORAD Santa tracking threads and occasional posting WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING THIS FOR?

The demented posts of mothers and fathers in the early hours because the dc's still aren't asleep.

The inebriated posts.

The show offs in other continents for who it's already Xmas.

The confessional threads where someone's child will be missing the curly wurly from the mornings selection box.

The general cosiness of the site, the quiet hand holding and stealth hugs for those finding it hard. Mumsnet always seems a little smaller and a little closer together, the night before Xmas.

I do so love it very much.

MillyMollyMully Mon 21-Oct-13 21:11:49

Yes, Milliways! MNersReunited!

MaryZombie Mon 21-Oct-13 21:13:22

You know, I think some people are confusing this with giving to charity.

Charity with a Capital C, like my Granny used to do.

Which involved sticking her nose in it carefully checking to see if the Poor were just Poor or Deserving Poor.

Having ascertained they were DP and not just P, a carefully chosen donation was made, ensuring that they would stay poorer than her Fairly Poor but enough that they would become the Grateful Deserving Poor.

They then had to thank her, becoming the Grovelling Grateful Deserving Poor.


Could next year the nomination thread be highlighted in, say, flourescent pink with orange spots?, I stumbled upon it at the last moment, otherwise I wouldnt have found it.

Ooo I didnt realise Sandy matched the noms and the doms, thats vair impressive as I wondered if people who needed a small financial boost would recieve bubble bath and some who made someone laugh got a voucher.

Dont change it, I think the majority of people get it, and even if it was changed you`d never please everyone. As someone upthread said, we are talking small gifts to make someone smile.

MaryZombie Mon 21-Oct-13 21:15:35

Whereas I always thought the Mumsnet thing was "A Bit Of Fun To Cheer People Up". People who are nice and supportive, and people who are having a shit time.

No poverty, deserving or otherwise involved.

Mumsnet and Mumsnetters are involved in Charity giving in many ways throughout the year.


Reprint Mon 21-Oct-13 21:15:52

Exit I am working on the "dripping tap" approach grin

MurderOfBanshees Mon 21-Oct-13 21:16:04

Does is need to be spelled out that people can donate to charities/shelters/etc if they like? Even <shock> <horror> do both?

MaryZombie Mon 21-Oct-13 21:17:02

Yes, Honey.

I love Mumsnet at Christmas. I do a lot of thread hiding though.

In fact, despite popular opinion, I love Christmas. Just not in sodding October thlhmm

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 21:18:47

The original thread was about helping people in need though!!! That's how the whole thing started!!! It was after the farepack scandal to help those that were struggling to afford a nice Xmas. It's only in recent years that it has turned into nominating people for being helpful.

Honey. You have made me well up.

But Reprint. Dripping taps are my bête noir.

ChestyCoffin Mon 21-Oct-13 21:24:25

That was a lovely post honeybooboo

<wipes eye>

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 21:24:29
BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 21:24:43

It was different in the beginning, yes, but for several years it has been a way of just spreading a bit of cheer.

Everybody was happy enough about it until one namechangong troll a few sourpusses started moaning about it recently. And I don't mean the OP of the notorious thread, who was probably just somebody who gently needed to be handed and grip and given some hairstroking.

Reprint Mon 21-Oct-13 21:25:25

I don't think that there is any reason not to nominate people who may be in need, if someone thinks they should be nominated?
We know that MNHQ are doing a serious job on matching, so those who donate can feel confident that a large donation of supermarket vouchers or children's toys are going to go to people for whom they may make a big difference - and boxes of chocs will go to people who have been great hand-holders.

Bottles of gin might be a confused area

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 21:25:31

*handed a grip, sorry.

ScreamingNaanAndGoryOn Mon 21-Oct-13 21:25:38

Leave it as it is. It's LOVELY and its Mumsnet in a tin.

So its not like other appeals. So what. Mumsnet isn't like a lot of other sites, so why shouldn't it be a bit different.

If people don't want to give or receive, they don't have to.
If people want to give to other charities they can.

I second what BOF said about stirring trolls.

Reprint Mon 21-Oct-13 21:28:26

Exit .... I knew I would find my role here, eventually thlgrin
Will contemplate whether BN works as a NN thlgrin thlgrin

MaryZombie Mon 21-Oct-13 21:29:16

Yes, trixy.

But the trouble was that the original idea wasn't workable, not long term. As it got bigger there was always the problem of who was receiving and how much, and the logistics of matching people became impossible.

It would be possible to do that on a local basis.

But, to me anyway, the Mumsnet Christmas Appeal has become much more than that. For every person here who might be worried financially (and to whom a small gift might make a difference), there are at least as many if not more who are struggling emotionally, who are having a shit time, who feel unnoticed and unloved and unappreciated in real life. Some of those go out of there way to help others on here, despite struggling with their own lives.

The Appeal (or whatever you want to call it) gives them a boost, which can be even more important than a present.

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 21:30:55

BOF, I think it's fine the way it is too. I was just posting the original thread as someone said they thought it had never been about helping those in need. That was the original concept, but it has now evolved. .

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 21:30:59

It's not just this year that's it's caused some sort of ruck.

I'm sure every year theres a gripe about it from someone on MN.

And lets face it,it wouldn't be MN if everything went to plan without some sort of kerfuffle.

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 21:33:33

So true, Usual. The difference this year though is that the normal grumbles have been stoked by at least one person with an agenda, and I think it would be a real shame if MNHQ end up letting them shit all over something lovely.

Trills Mon 21-Oct-13 21:35:19

I suggest that you ignore the moaners.

The kind of person who complains that they have not been nominated is the kind of person who will never be happy.

There's no level of neediness required to qualify. And no level of "so needy that they must be nominated". What you do to qualify is make someone else think that they'd like to nominate you. That is all.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 21:36:39

I don't know anything about someone with an agenda.

I hope MNHQ are aware of the goings on though.

Trills Mon 21-Oct-13 21:37:10

I am not sporting glittery antlers because it is fucking October.

Maryz would understand.

Trills Mon 21-Oct-13 21:38:17

Have there been issues in the past with people turning up juuuuuust before nomination time and giving sob stories about how badly off they are and how much it would mean to them if their children could get a special present for Christmas?

MrsCampbellBlack Mon 21-Oct-13 21:39:26

Yes Trills - wasn't that what umm one poster used to do quite often - in fact, it was almost a christmas tradition.

There'll always be discontents, for whatever reason.

It's a lovely MN tradition and should remain as such.

Even in that v first OP there is mention of 'for established posters' or some such phrase.

PedlarsSpanner Mon 21-Oct-13 21:43:56

yes trills, which is why the August deadline was introduced, then she turned up with her hand out in the August, was ever so funny #meow

MaryZombie Mon 21-Oct-13 21:44:48

<shudder> at glittery antlers at this time of year.

Yes, I don't like the idea of people trying to prove they are needy. If a poster posts here throughout the year, various other posters will realise that they might need either a boost or something more practical, and nominate them.

If not, then how can anyone know? MNHQ are hardly doing door-to-door checks to identify my Granny's Deserving Poor.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 21:49:53

Maryz. It was Rowan's decree. If you want to post about it you do so with glittery antlers.

Trills Mon 21-Oct-13 21:54:46

Rowan is being unreasonable

HumpdaySelfie Mon 21-Oct-13 21:55:04

1) Definately change the name from appeal. Awards or secret santa or whatever would fit far better.
2) Give nominees the opportunity to say their award should be donated on their behalf to a (or their selection of) charity. That way, those who are in need can get a nice Christmas present, and those who aren't don't need to feel awkward about accepting a gift. And I imagine it would be an awful lot easier to administer. And this bit should be confidential.
3) Publicise it more widely. I totally missed the nominations...

Hullygully Mon 21-Oct-13 21:55:26

The slug is in the post.

The lucky recipient is not to thank me. The Giving Glow is thanks enough for me.

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 21-Oct-13 21:58:25

Not for the first time, I find myself agreeing with everything BOF, HoneyDragon and Maryz have said.

Especially about lovely MN Christmas loveliness, Deserving v Undeserving Poor and those with very, very clear agendas.

I would now offer to sing 'Joy To The World' if it wasn't for the fact that it's only October.

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 21-Oct-13 22:00:29

<nominates self as deserving recipient of Christmas Slug>

SPsTombRaidingWithCliff Mon 21-Oct-13 22:01:56

It should stay as it is.

This is my first year of knowing about it. I think its a fab idea for those who are struggling financially/emotionally/physically.

Someone could be a millionaire but not have anyone who thinks about them.

I think its great that its not just based on financial needs. It will cheer some people up like myself and helps people realise that actually someone is thinking of them so they aren't as lonely as they think like it did me

MN for me some is the only interaction with someone who isn't a child. Somewhere I they can spend the lonely nights.

MN means I have something to laugh at when in RL I just have things to cry about.

I have been close to giving up at times but having the toddler and MN means I haven't.

You lot don't actually know what you have done for me. flowers

I think typing NetMums wrong that night in Feb 2012 was one of the beat things I've done grin

Give nominees the opportunity to say their award should be donated on their behalf to a (or their selection of) charity. That way, those who are in need can get a nice Christmas present, and those who aren't don't need to feel awkward about accepting a gift.

See, I disagree with that bit. I think it's about the nominator having felt that the nominee 'deserved' a treat, for whatever reason.
If the nominee felt awkward about accepting a bit of anonymous largesse then surely they can pass it on to the charity of their choice?

It's an internal MN process. Of course we can all donate whatever we want to other causes.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 22:02:59

I really wanted to nominate scottishmummy. But she's still MIA.

Nice name. Go with it

LtAllHallowsEve Mon 21-Oct-13 22:14:57

I was very upset on Saturday. Reading 'that' thread just knocked the stuffing out of me. But to be fair, it came on top of a bunch of other stuff that I am very stressed about as it is.

I recognise that now, and recognise that I had a knee jerk reaction to a troll/Goady fucker. I think it was the accusations of regulars nominating each other at the expense of those more 'deserving' that did it for me. The last couple of months, with the bullying/de-railing threads. The piling-on and the nastiness of some higher profile threads, all of which I have become too embroiled in for my own good, just finally did it for me.

I think the Christmas Appeal is a wonderful thing, however I too thought it was more for MNers having a shit time, than as thanks etc for great friends/posters/threads. My initial reaction to my nomination was "Shit!" because I thought I had been 'outed', then "Aww shucks" because I felt so warm, so pleased to have received it. I don't DO emotion, not in front of people, but Christ, it knocked me for six that someone would think of me.

...and then it was spoilt sad.

BUT. I don't think it should change. I don't think there is anything wrong with the way it is run. Maybe a namechange if only to stop the ambiguity that has been suggested - Christmas Kindness is striking and more open ended with regards to what type of donation and to whom.

I think MNHQ deserve thanks for agreeing to organise this. It would be a damn sight easier to just say 'Fuckit' and do nothing after all the hassle this year (some of which I have probably caused and for which I apologise).

I've had some nice PMs, thank you, it made me feel much better smile and I really appreciate it.

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 22:21:30

I'm glad you feel a bit better, LtEve- it's so easy to let this stuff needle you, as I know myself. For the most part though, people here are lovely, and the persistent whinger(s) shouldn't be allowed to obscure that.

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 21-Oct-13 22:23:00

You deserved that nomination Lt Eve. You are one of the good guys around here.

ScarerStratton Mon 21-Oct-13 22:24:42

Christmas Kindness smacks rather of charity. Christmas Cheer isn't much better.

Surely, the most sensible thing to do would be to make posters more aware of The Appeal. Cross board posts advertising it, and explaining very clearly exactly what it is, and how it works.

It ain't broke, it doesn't need fixing, just a little more clarity.

I like Christmas Slug grin - nice and not-sentimental

BOF Mon 21-Oct-13 22:25:43

Yes, totally agree with that, Stratters.

SPsTombRaidingWithCliff Mon 21-Oct-13 22:26:22

The Christmas Cliff


You would say that, SP.

And, NO.


He was in the paper this morning.

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 21-Oct-13 22:28:09

<sings Mistletoe and Wine>

SPsTombRaidingWithCliff Mon 21-Oct-13 22:29:44
BIWI Mon 21-Oct-13 22:33:12

I don't think the mechanics of it should change at all. MNHQ taking it over was a really good idea and it also ensures impartiality - we can all trust them to match people well/fairly.

Please don't allow people to self-nominate - that would be a troll magnet. We've had enough of that over the years.

I do think that changing the name is probably a good idea as lots of people have said that they haven't taken any notice of it as they thought it was 'only' a charity thing. (Although that says a lot about them hmm)

Whilst I love the idea of a Christmas Kevin, it is a serious thing that we do, so a light-hearted name probably isn't appropriate.

How about we call it The Christmas Giving?

BIWI Mon 21-Oct-13 22:35:06

....oh and please don't try and put a restriction on how much people can give. It's lovely, if you're in a position to do so, to send someone something significant.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 22:35:45

You know, when people start saying they agree with Bof, Honeydragon and Maryz. That's a sign that there is something very fucked up about Mumsnet, right there. HQ should really take note and follow some sort of emergency procedure.

We're not the Mnetters for agreeing with FFS. We're the ones you look at quizzically whilst backing away slowly.

HumpdaySelfie Mon 21-Oct-13 22:36:28


I don't know how to say this without sounding like a total tool, so bear with me, it's not intentional.

My option to donate was based on 2 things...
1) Being nominated brings joy enough to many (see the tearful posts in the thank you for nominating me thread for proof), so nominees get that 'treat' of being nominated.
2) Every Christmas I get a bunch of presents from friends and family - people who know me well - and who still totally miss the mark with gifts. And I look at the presents a few days after Christmas and there'll be a pile of stuff there, that cost the buyers a fortune, and is all stuff that will mostly sit around unused until I eventually give it to charity. Ideally (and I try and encourage this with friends and family...) I'd cut out the in-between stage.

Please call it Christmas Kevin!
Don't change the format, but maybe place an embargo on threads about being nominated etc, just a thank you thread.

Oh, I know what you mean about well-ment-but-unsuitable presents grin.
I suppose I see it as a mutual thing (recipient feel good for having been thought of, donor feels good for having been generous or gone out of their way for some internet stranger).
Also, I think would that not make things a bit more complicated for MNHQ, not less? confused - I may not have picked your idea up properly.
You don't sound like a tool btw.

That Cliff otoh...

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 21-Oct-13 22:40:07

I am an unknown regular.

I somehow missed the Christmas appeal this year, it needs to be better advertised across the boards.

Christmas "appeal" is misleading. I thought it was to help out mners who couldn't really afford Christmas.

Of course it is going to be the prolific/known posters who get nominated. Is inevitable. You are far more likely to notice someone who is having a personal disaster across the boards for months, than someone who posts one thread and then leaves.

I don't know the inner workings of the appeal, but there should be no self-nominations and as has already said donations need to be matched to the recipient. A lovely hand knitted toy isn't going to put food on the table but could give an emotionally fragile poster a warm fuzzy feeling.

I also think the process should be anonymous and off the boards. The only things that should be public facing are threads discussing donations etc. I'm sure tech could come up with some sort of auto form thingy for recipients to say thank you off the boards.

youretoastmildred Mon 21-Oct-13 22:40:46

Is there a place where MN explains the appeal, on what bases they expect people to be nominated, what sort of gifts are suitable to send?

If there is I don't know about it but that might be because I am fick.

also because:

"appeal" sounds like charity to me and I tend to work with local charities and freecycle so slightly tune out (perhaps I would not if it were headed with the name of a specific charity like REFUGE or SHELTER and MN was coordinating donations to them - but if it is just to help people who find themselves a bit short, then I kind of think why would mn administer better than my foodbank or freegle?)

If it is about sending a pressie to someone you like or in other words a friend, I don't think of mn like that. It is to me a bit more democratic. I talk to everyone here and luffs you all and can't send you all a present! If I think you are ace I will tell you in the moment. I think the gifts we all give each other all year round (cheesy music) are being here and listening and talking and being kind and funny. There is always someone here at 2 am in your dark night of the soul and I consider myself well-gifted indeed for that. Sending someone a bar of soap is kind of a bit... extra.

On the third (mutant) hand, if people want to send each other little pressies, why they hell shouldn't they? I think some will find it confusing though if they feel they are being asked to, and aren't sure why (see above)

BoreOfWhabylon Mon 21-Oct-13 22:41:59

<agrees with HoneyDragon>

<backs away slowly>

everydayaschoolday Mon 21-Oct-13 22:42:50

I would really like it to continue and think it is lovely.

As a donator, I'm hoping that MNHQ give me a steer if it's for a needy family to whom I could spread some cheer, or if it's a thank you 'token gift' for someone who has just been really supportive on the boards. I think the secret santa/appeal focus needs to be clarified.

I'm happy supporting either, but I'd like to know which bracket my recipient is in so I can respond appropriately.

Please keep it going Sandymumsnet x

HumpdaySelfie Mon 21-Oct-13 22:43:15

I thought saying I'd mostly prefer not to get actual gifts would put me firmly in the tool zone, but thanks. grin

StarfishTrooper Mon 21-Oct-13 22:48:15

Agree re clarification of secret santa versus appeal status. I've not joined in before for that reason. If it was an appeal for MNers in crisis I would certainly donate as generously as I could.

Whereas if it's Secret Santa I probably wouldn't join in because while I am a long standing poster I'm not a regular and am not part of any regular chat gang or group on here to recognise other posters or be recognised as I don't post enough and have name changed over the years.

As it stands I'm not really sure what it is.

MillyMollyMully Mon 21-Oct-13 22:49:32

I agree with that. Clarity is especially important where charity is involved and money is being handed out.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 21-Oct-13 22:50:15

I think the name should change. It's very easy to skim over the clicky if you think it's a charity appeal and you've earmarked your charity cash already.

Christmas Cheer or Christmas Kindness - that sort of thing. Or something witty. It's more special than a secret santa.

I don't get the 'being left out thing' and I really don't think people should be able to nominate themselves.

I don't think the mechanics of it should change and i don't understand the fuss about the thank you thread.

Vampirecella Mon 21-Oct-13 22:50:35

HD, absolufuckinglutely agree

I really would love to remind anyone who doesn't agree with the Kevin Appeal Secret Santa that the Internet is optional. You can switch it off, without donating, receiving etc if you don't like it.

<probably all been said a thousand timers upthread>

Heck MNHQ even gave us a hide button. Imagine if we had that in RL Internet! grin

YoniMatopoeia Mon 21-Oct-13 22:51:05

I organised this one year. I am jealous of Sandy having a whole month to do it full time wink as I only went and got a commuter job half way through the process.

The process in the years before MN took over was that those nominated by others (non self nominating) were not contacted, but detective work was carried out; so in some ways no-one knew they were nominated until the gift turned up.

MNHQ helped by making sure that all the nominees had been on MN at least a year.

Nominations were for all sorts of things, quite a lot were for being hard up. Some were for having had a hard time (other than financial). Some were for general good-egg-ness.

Some people offered vouchers, some new toys, some used toys, some clothes, some a box of chocs, some offered stocking fillers from the pound shop.

I don't know how the matching is done now that it has gone all corporate wink but the common sense approach back then was to give the stuff that would help the hard up (toys matching their children, voucher, a treat for mums etc) to the hard up, give frivolous fripperies to those who were being thanked for good-eggedness, or to those who had just had a shit year (not financially).

I don't think that it needs to change. I am glad that it embraces the different groups of people that are receiving (and giving).

There are people on here who give of their time and experience and emotions, and contribute so much to the site (unlike me - I am mostly a lurker these days)

I wouldn't want it changed to £10 token presents.

There was one lovely MNer who offered a full christmas tree with decorations to be delivered, and when it was, to a MNer who had lost her husband and was struggling both financially, with organisation, and emotionally, it made the world of difference to her.

I always use active conversations and so always see the sticky. I have donated last year and this. I didn't receive a thank you last year and I don't expect one this year... it is enough for me to read the rest of the thank you threads and feel part of it.

I have had a shit year. My husband was in Afgan last christmas, and only got flown home early because my mum suddenly died, then DH uncle died, then my uncle died (who had named me next of kin), then ILs dog died, then my dads cat died.... Some of that I have shared on here, some I haven't. I would never get pissy about not being nominated though.

Justine - Keep it how it is. Maybe communicate some more about how the nominations work, who you may be matched with etc (though having read the FAQ it seems to be mostly covered).

Sorry for essay. Will post now and see what I have missed while I have been typing

YoniMatopoeia Mon 21-Oct-13 22:52:36

Oi BIWI - I was fairness itself angry wink

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 22:53:50

I'm not sure thats really fair.

You can still use MN without having anything to do with the appeal.

It's not compulsory to take part.

ScarerStratton Mon 21-Oct-13 22:56:50

Personally, I think Secret Santa would be more confusing, and less accurate a name that Appeal. It's definitely not a SS.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 22:57:13

What do you mean it's not compulsory to be on Mnet? I don't understand that? confused


PicardyThird Mon 21-Oct-13 22:58:24

I was nominated in (I think) the very first appeal (under another name back then), not so much for financial need as for having had a particularly hard few months. It was incredibly moving and I was quite humbled.

So while I knew what the appeal was about (it didn't acquire the name immediately IIRC), I do think the 'appeal' name is misleading and Secret Santa isn't quite it either IMO. (I also wish people would give over with the Kevin stuff... it was funny (and diverting) at the beginning on 'those' threads but it is already very tired just two days later). I liked Christmas Cheer Exchange, which someone suggested on one of the other threads.

I agree that the basic system doesn't need to change. What has surprised me, though, is some of the vitriol poured out at people who have expressed disappointment at not being nominated or other discomfort at the way things are running now.

SPsTombRaidingWithCliff Mon 21-Oct-13 22:58:26

I give my suggestion and offered visuals but it poo poo'd away

thecatfromjapan Mon 21-Oct-13 22:59:21

That was a lovely - and interesting - post, Yoni. I should think belated thanks are in order for you. flowers

And I hope this coming year brings more luck to your door.

MegBusset Mon 21-Oct-13 22:59:22

As many have said, I don't think it particularly needs changing, just maybe being clear about the way in which it has changed already.

I donated a couple of years ago and really enjoyed being involved, but at that time it was more about people who were in need and maybe wouldn't have much under the tree.

In the following years I've seen more and more people being nominated by their mates (which is fine) or for giving good advice (fine also) and a lot of people saying they had no idea why they were nominated. As I can't afford to get all my own mates Christmas presents let alone someone else's then I've chosen not to take part (I do support other charities instead). However I wouldn't dream of coming on here and moaning about it, nobody's holding a gun to anyone's head to donate.

working9while5 Mon 21-Oct-13 23:00:27

Can I just say that I didn't object to the name "Appeal" because it "upset" me but because I deliberately avoided finding out more about it as I thought it was charidee and I wouldn't donate through a site for that purpose. I simply stated I found it confusing. This doesn't make me the lowest common denominator on MN, moany, a twat, a whingy arse or any of the other things I've read in recent days lumping people who just said hey, appeal's not the BEST description in with people saying it was x or y or z.

I would have been happy to and would have liked donating to just a general MN thank you/cheer thread...

Poor, poormisunderstood SP <hairstroke>

Still no to 'Christmas Cliff', even though it has a rather pleasing alliteration.

I am crap at thinking of something witty and non-com-inducing...

Oh stop pandering to MissCliff.

in her dreams, Exit grin

Vampirecella Mon 21-Oct-13 23:03:19

Usual, no, I just mean that if people really object they can hide the specific threads. Sorry, knackered and not at my most cleverest smile

YukonHo Mon 21-Oct-13 23:03:31

Don't think anything has to change at all. It's fab just as it is! I don't like the idea of being able to nominate yourself though...that completely misses the whole point!

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 23:04:27

Oni ((thanks))

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 21-Oct-13 23:04:32

Sorry my post wasn't clear. I don't think it should be called Secret Santa because it isn't that. It's more special than a secret santa where everyone gives and receives because there's a reason why a mner is nominated.

Do they get to know the reason - anonymously?

timidviper Mon 21-Oct-13 23:05:38

I feel really conflicted about this as I love the MN Christmas Appeal but I can see some issues with it. I also felt sorry for the OP of the thread at the weekend. I read it as she was just feeling a bit low and a bit sorry for herself and was not anticipating the bunfight that followed.

Someone upthread summed it up with:
In principle it's such a lovely idea and the original appeal was born out of wonderful generosity, but it seems to be causing friction now.
Either it's an appeal to help MNers who are genuinely in need (perhaps chosen by MNHQ?) or it's a fun filled Secret Santa and whoever wants to pile in can pile in, perhaps with a gift value limit of £10?
The mish-mash of the two that it's become seems to be a problem for some.

I am more than happy to put my hand in my pocket and send something to help someone in need but, as I live and work in an area with a lot of deprivation, I would choose to donate locally rather than send a gift to someone nominated for being funny, for example.

The nominations system itself is fraught with problems, self-nomination attracts some scroungers as has already been said but nomination by others is heavily weighted against the namechangers and less recognisable posters.

The more you think about it, the harder it gets...

ScarerStratton Mon 21-Oct-13 23:05:47

working, my lovely you are definitely not being referred to when the 'odd few' are being referenced.

MerylStrop Mon 21-Oct-13 23:06:56

Been on here a fair few years and contributed to some of the earlier appeals, the ones Yoni describes, and maybe some before that.

I will sound like a meany but I'm only in a position to give to those struggling financially, or perhaps having had a very hard year. I don't want to congratulate good-egg-types, but I am happy to help someone out who needs it. I can see why this might seem to reinforce cliqueyness. So I've not taken part lately.

working9while5 Mon 21-Oct-13 23:08:48

thanks SS. I just feel I accidentally wandered into a hornet's nest as I really didn't get what a big thing it was going to be. Also I have a knack of just mentally screening out arsey posters like the very troll-y one on that thread so I kind of missed it all... even when I was on it... and now I cringe a bit. So many threads!

BIWI Mon 21-Oct-13 23:09:02

Oh yes Yoni absolutely you were and I didn't mean to imply that you weren't - but the whole insinuation that it is for chums is removed when MNHQ do it. Sorry for upsetting you. Not my intention at all hmm

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 21-Oct-13 23:09:37

I felt the same as Working about that thread. It was the one time I wished people could name those they were fuming at. smile

YoniMatopoeia Mon 21-Oct-13 23:11:27

You didn't upset me BIWI Hence the wink

Actually I worried that I was deliberately giving my 'mates' less in the interest of trying to be impartial.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 23:13:47

Working it's ok now! 'cos we all have glittery antlers. I've said before, having a different opinion and making valid points doesn't make you a moany arse.thanks

( pathologically shitting over every single thing about Mnet that is, well, Mnetty does though)

Hullygully Mon 21-Oct-13 23:15:30

But this is th e mad thing

It's a nice chance to say Thanks to someone, to show appreciation and acknowledge how they have helped you and/or others. They may well be your mate. Er, SURPRISE, that's what mates do. Sometimes.

Why would you notice a random act from someone you have no interaction with? Unless a general thread eg Woolly Hugs?

Does anyone think people trawl the MN boards with their specs on and a spreadsheet assessing and noting supportive words?

I ask you.

Hullygully Mon 21-Oct-13 23:15:53

And no I have never been nominated nor made one. So no self interest here.

YoniMatopoeia Mon 21-Oct-13 23:19:12

It should be the

Sorry Justine

minipie Mon 21-Oct-13 23:22:23

Haven't read whole thread but I agree the issue is the blurring between 1. "those in need" and 2. "someone who made me laugh" or even more so "my mate/person in my MN clique". I'd be happy to donate to the former but not so much the latter.

Perhaps for category 2, MN could offer members the chance to send a gift directly to the person who has helped them/made them laugh/been their mate on MN? Basically one MNer sending a gift to another MNer that they want to give a gift to, just via the medium of MN to protect anonymity.

Then the donating/matching/nominating would just be for those who need some help. no idea how MN would police whether people really need help or not. I don't think they should, donators would just have to accept that a few fakes might benefit along with lots of truly in need.

ScarerStratton Mon 21-Oct-13 23:22:36

You raised a valid point, working. The Appeal is not particularly clearly understood, and it needs promoting so we are all clear about its purpose, mechanics, and nuances.

YoniMatopoeia Mon 21-Oct-13 23:27:37

But, Mini, some of the people who were nominated had given advice all year to multiple posters, so were not 'made me laugh' or 'is my mate' but had been noticed for giving good, experienced, sage (and sometimes expert) advice to multiple people.

I think that deserves recognition

And I don't care who my donation goes to, which category of person they fit into. I trust MN to do the right thing, and think that it all evens out in the end.

MurderOfBanshees Mon 21-Oct-13 23:29:33

minipie I think the blurring between 1 and 2 is because there are actually other reasons for people to be nominated. Eg. someone might have been nominated for being incredibly helpful (either with advice or more hands on).

So would they fall in to 1 or 2? And who decides whether they are deserving or not?

As it stands, anyone donating knows there is a chance their gifts will go to someone who isn't "in need", and - given what MNHQ have said about the matching - they know that chances are certain gifts are more likely to go to those "in need" than others.

The advantage this way as well is that even if some fakes get through, that the donors aren't necessarily expecting their gifts to go to those "in need", so less likely to feel conned if it turned out to be a fake.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 21-Oct-13 23:33:51

I think the ability to nominate someone who has supported and helped is what makes it good tbh. There are some posters who really go out of their way to do that and make a great difference in someone else's life. I've been on the receiving end of that and it's a great opportunity to acknowledge it. I think that's what makes it special.

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 23:36:25

I think the mechanics of it as it is at the moment are the best it can be tbh. I hadn't realised before that MN did matching between the gifts offered and the reason for nomination/need. I thought it was a bit of a lottery.

What bothers me is the people who donated thinking it was all for people in need, at least one person on this thread has done that. I know there are others, at least one who it sounded like they couldn't really afford to donate.

That's why I feel it needs to be renamed.

I know some of you keep saying that it's all in the small print, but people clearly don't read it properly and think it's an appeal like the ones they do on tv or radio.

Mumsnet cannot be a means to address 'need' in the same way that a charity does. It's a website and a community. As soon as you talk about only those in 'need' you get in to a whole spectrum of judgement calls and special pleading. That isn't what this site is here for.
The Appeal as it stands is the friend who turns up on Christmas Eve with some chocolates and presents for the kids the year you're out of work, it's the lovely bath stuff shoved in to your hand on the school run from sombody who knows your partner left, it's the flowers to say thanks for giving me a lift 500 times this year, it's the voucher to treat yourself from sombody who knows you're not as tough as you seem.

It's a nice, simple thing and it's having the guts ripped out of it now. I hate to see that. It makes me livid actually.

This site is supposedly populated by adults and all that's required for the appeal to work is for adults to remember that not everybody gets everything all of the time.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 23:37:29

By donating, you might be helping someone give a gift, effectively on behalf, of someone who couldn't afford to purchase a gift but would love to be able to.

They nominate someone who in some way helped them. They get your gift. That's good right?

MurderOfBanshees Mon 21-Oct-13 23:38:41

Northern That's a fantastic description of it

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Mon 21-Oct-13 23:46:50

trixy the donating is separate from the nominating. You can nominate someone but you don't have to donate -someone else can do that if you can't afford to.

By 'you' I mean people and not you personally - I'm not posh enough to use 'one' smile

On the whole, I don't think you should change it either. Maybe, if you must, change the word Appeal.

I've donated and nominated for a few years now, and can't wait for the thank you thread. Although I don't know the number of the person I nominated, I know that one of them, somewhere, on that thread is because I recommended her to get something.

And, if my recipient posts, it's even better. I know that someone else thought she deserved something, and I'm in a position to supply it. I don't know why, but I don't need to. It's lovely, really lovely. Makes me cry.

I didn't realise people self nominated, that's not so good.

One thing strikes me as relevant - the send things to other people below you threads. Send things you don't need threads. I think these should be directed to the proper place - not get used to the idea that other mners will send you free things just because. That's where this nonsense about Christmas appeal has come from.

Imo. [have you an emoticon for shy smile]

ButThereAgain Mon 21-Oct-13 23:48:12

'Appeal' is definitely misleading. I was really surprised to discover from these threads that it wasn't just about donations to needy mners anymore. The thing has evolved into something very different, which is some people's cup of tea but not everyone's.

Also wanted to say, it's a bit depressing how vitriolic some of the posts supportive of the appeal have been on recent threads. I know that some (not all) criticisms of the appeal have been unreasonable, but it still seems very tainting to speak hatefully in support of something kindly, and to distort, sometimes, the stance of people with whom you disagree.

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 23:50:16

I know letsface. It's late, my post made sense in my head. Doesn't make quite so much sense when I read it back, but what's new grin I do know how it works.

What I don't really understand about it is that MN say that vouchers are a good gift, but if you read the thank you thread this seems to be universally ignored. Are vouchers a good gift? Is this the same question as is it really an Appeal?

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 23:53:54

But letsface, the person I was referring to posted on another thread saying that all they could afford to donate was some Boots points or Tesco points, but wanted to do what they could to help. It made me think that they didn't understand that it wasn't going to help needy people.

I feel better now knowing that MNHQ will match that donation with someone who needs it, IYSWIM.

YoniMatopoeia Tue 22-Oct-13 00:13:37

Northern It doesn't make me livid, but it does make me sad. I nearly had a nervous breakdown when I did this (the sudden SAHM to job I was waiting for didn't help in that)

I have a memory of being snowed in in Scotland, at the IL's. Their internet went down, we had bought a mobile dongle, but were in a no signal area. So DH climbed up the nearest hill, and held my netbook in the air, and got signal, and 90 matching emails got sent.

I so wish I had taken a photo (could just see his silouette against the clouds)

trixymalixy Tue 22-Oct-13 00:18:20

thanks yoni!

That does sound stressful.

PedlarsSpanner Tue 22-Oct-13 00:27:00

God Yoni I remember that, you done great, girl <backslap>

We loved you even MORE for your, and dh's heroics, above and beyond.

Mellowandfruitful Tue 22-Oct-13 00:29:39

I posted this on the other thread, but will repost as AFAIK it hasn't been covered yet here.

Can I ask, MNHQ, whether you would consider limiting nominations to once only? A few people have said that they have been nominated or have nominated the same person several years running. Could you limit awards to once only and encourage people to think each year of a new poster who they'd like to put forward? That way things would be spread further in the long term, and it would allay the feeling that the popular posters get on the list all the time (note: I am not saying that this I what actually happens, just that it is a perception), because you wouldn't just get given something several years running.

Mellowandfruitful Tue 22-Oct-13 00:34:37

And the use of 'appeal' should definitely change. Yes, I know the dictionary definition; yes, I know it doesn't have to refer to charitable organisations as such; yes, I know it's all explained by MHHQ if people care to look. But not everyone does. Quite a few posters have explained that they have seen the word 'appeal', assumed it to be something it's not, and continued on their merry way. So why insist on keeping a term that is known to cause confusion? Language takes its meaning from the way it is used, day in and day out, and the general use of 'appeal' to indicate charity efforts for the needy/distressed clearly has an effect on the way people see this. If the initiative is so fabulous, it's not going to be spoiled by a name change. However, such a change might make it more attractive and understandable to those who don't yet take part.

I like the 'Mumsnet Warm and Fuzzy Festive Donation Scheme' as suggested by a poster on the previous thread - sorry, I've forgotten your name again but I like the idea flowers. I have added the 'Festive' myself. You're welcome.

Hullygully Tue 22-Oct-13 08:38:56

Again, I have never been nominated so have no axe etc...but that is nonsense, Mellow. If someone is a kind and thoughtful person, helping others year in and year out, why on earth shouldn't they be nominated each year? Perhaps it is their kind personality that makes them "popular."

This isn't primary school and star of the week where everyone has to get it at least once.

We are all (allegedly) grown up. I literally can't believe that grown women are thinking Snot Fair, or having begrudging thoughts about acts of warm hearted kindness and gratitude.

I really do think there are some people who want to tear this site to shreds.

Hullygully Tue 22-Oct-13 08:40:19


PedlarsSpanner Tue 22-Oct-13 08:56:24

I have watched this thread with interest and now have changed mind wrt Secret Santa name. Secret Santa isn't quite right because of the giving AND receiving, I forgot the and receiving bit of SS.

So, another name....thinking cap on. I do see how Christmas Appeal could be confusing.

RatherBeOnThePiste Tue 22-Oct-13 09:00:05

Morning . Has the slug arrived yet?

I am only allegedly grown up, but yes I see some very destructive stuff going on, and am feeling protective!

Someone suggested limiting noms to one each, I don't agree with that, I like it the way it is. One int enough sometimes, tis tricky enough not doing a squillion as it is. I try to do noms and dons in equal measure, but that is just me.


I think Northern Lurker's post is excellent @ Mon 21-Oct-13 23:36:53.

To be honest I'm really upset by this whole debacle and it's left a bitter taste in my mouth. I've been lurking since 2009, but signed up later as I couldn't cope with posting. I think the appeal/ Kevin is wonderful. The thank you threads are very emotional. This is the first year I've donated/ nominated and I was proud and happy to be part of something. MN is very important to me. You lot are sometimes the only people I talk to all day. I recognise a lot of posters. I was just happy to been joining in. I couldn't give a monkey's who my gift goes to - it's exactly as NL describes.

I really think that some posters need to be removed from this site as their attitude does fit with what MN is about. I will probably cry when I post my package.

<rant over>
<puts antlers back on>

usualsuspect Tue 22-Oct-13 09:10:18

I don't think posters should be removed from the site for having an alternative point of veiw.

Unless they are deliberately stirring up trouble.

I mean the trouble stirrers. Removing alternative points of view would have an undesired effect on AIBU. grin

The slug has eaten my antlers thlsad

usualsuspect Tue 22-Oct-13 09:24:55

So,Exit got the slug?

That's not fair <stamps feet>

overthemill Tue 22-Oct-13 09:29:51

keep it as it is. (Don't allow self nominations though.) This is mumsnet at its very best.

I was nominated last year at a truly horrendous time for myself and my family. No idea why I was nominated but even just knowing that I had was the biggest boost to me. Receiving the gift was lovely too but simply the icing on the cake.

deXavia Tue 22-Oct-13 09:30:51

I love the Christmas Kevin Appeal. One year I worked out who the recipient was and she was a "good-egg" who I knew nothing about but I was in awe once I discovered what she did in a specific area of the site. The next time I got no thanks but I still sniffled my way through the Thank you thread. I assumed that whatever had caused them to be nominated in the first place had just caught up with them and they weren't able to post.

Something said up thread made me wonder if we could have a New Year re-gift thread where people can offer up items - either from Christmas or even just that they have (used or new). I know its hard to tell if people are genuine but I prefer to assume the good than get hung up with the potential bad.

And adding in a second idea and making it more complicated but perhaps more like an Appeal - maybe instead of sending gifts individually to posters, the local Mumsnetters could co-ordinate, nominate and vote for an appropriate local one (or two) to support.

But anyway don't change the Kevin, its lovely just the way it is thanks

I don't really care what it's called, tbh, I just care that it stays. It's one of the most wonderful things about MN - it's up there with the Woolly Hugs in terms of heartwarmingness (is that a word? Meh, you know what I mean grin).

It doesn't bother me whether someone has been nominated because they're struggling, because they've had a hard time or because they've been supportive on the boards. Over the last few years I've nominated for all these reasons.

I understand why some people might be upset at not being nominated but that's no reason to abolish the whole thing. The warmth, kindness and generosity of this tradition should not be eclipsed by a few people feeling left out, or a few shit-stirrers out to make people feel bad.

RatherBeOnThePiste Tue 22-Oct-13 09:44:17

The slug ate your antlers? shock

Now, there is a personal attack! shock

Am really looking forward to finding out who we are choosing for, tis really magic, do the thinking and shopping with my kids, and as someone said up thread, we also try to work out who it might be, haven't managed it yet!

Huge thanks to Sandy for all she does in this, sorting out Woolly Hug lovely folk/donations/wool etc is a big enough job for Knotty and me, but this is in a whole different league! Love to see that spreadsheet!! Utmost respect for her and thanks, huge thanks.

<passes sloe gin in hip flask>

wine cheers Sandy!

FairyJen Tue 22-Oct-13 09:45:51

This ha made me very sad. I'm not well known but I was nominated. I don't know why and I'm sure there will be some who think I deserve nothing and maybe they are right?

I've had a bad year, some of which I've posted about some I haven't. September is month I've completely written off and banished to the dark recesses of my mind.

Financially we are on our arse but compared to some on here we live like kings. It's all subjective and individual.

I can't tell you what it meant to me to get that email saying I had been nominated. To know that one person felt I was worth enough to take te time to nominate me etc means more than I will ever be able to say.

All this though is slowly spoiling it for me. I feel like I have somehow done something wrong by being fortunate enough to get a nomination and think actually I don't deserve it.

Whatever te bones of the original appeal I'm pretty sure it wasn't to make posters feel badly about themselves.

<< sprinkles christmas cliff cheer >>

MillyMollyMully Tue 22-Oct-13 09:46:02

New Year re-gift threads would work really well in Mumsnet Local, because there need be no tedious packing up and no postage. Could be fun.

youretoastmildred Tue 22-Oct-13 09:58:42

Northern's post - "it's the little present thrust into your hand by someone who has noticed you are having a shit time" - but phrased much more nicely - is lovely and very clear, but is exactly why it should not be called "appeal". You do not appeal for those gifts, nor does someone appeal on your behalf. That is why they are so utterly sweet and life affirming.

You might not be able to physically see the person, so you buttonhole someone you know will, and say "give this to x for me, please". That is the correct role of MNHQ in all this. Not "appealing".

We do need some clarity, no matter how much people are insisting everything is fine. Having this discussion out in public is rather inelegant and unsparkly though. MNHQ should have seen the issues and sorted it out behind closed doors and then just presented a finished, clearly communicated, modus operandi. With happy sparkles.

kotinka Tue 22-Oct-13 09:58:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

gazzalw Tue 22-Oct-13 10:01:33

As a guy who's less into this type of thing can I offer an outsider's viewpoint? I see several issues here:

1) there are Mumsnetters who are genuinely having a really hard time and who would really benefit materially or psychologically from the positive stroke that a Christmas Appeal pressie would bring..

2) there are Mumsnetters who have nice lives and material, physical and mental health but who are deserving for their generosity of spirit and largesse.

Many Mumsnetters fall between the two stools - just as in life many of us do in various ways. Harsh as it might sound, that is life! I do not think that as adults we can spend our time feeling aggrieved because we have not been nominated for whatever reason. It is the way of the world that some people will get recognised for their goodly deeds or indeed for needing help when the chips are down, but equally others quietly do their thing and never receive any positive strokes at all.

It is difficult for MumsnetHQ or indeed fellow Mumsnetters always to know who exactly is in real need and who isn't. Need is comparative and as various Mumsnetters have remarked, they've had shitty times, not been nominated but been happy to give to others. There will also be some opportunistic, 'entitled' types (although not many one hopes) who may then seem ungrateful that they haven't got what they feel they deserve....Others will have been nominated but not actually feel they wish to receive the pressies (VicarInATutu springs to mind if only because I read her related thread t'other day) and would prefer to pass on the nomination....

It is a minefield for MumsnetHQ - I am not sure there is a simple answer other than to stop the practice, but that goes so much against the grain of what Mumsnet means to most Mumsnetters.

I would suggest keeping it entirely 'Secret Santa/Satan' is probably the way forward. I would also recommend that recipients should fulfill some membership criteria - been Mumsnetters for a given time frame (six months or more?) and be active members. And maybe thanks should be done via PM to MumsnetHQ rather than on a distinct thread which might raise issues of "not fair, she/he got more than me..."

I feel your pain MumsnetHQ hmm.

kotinka Tue 22-Oct-13 10:01:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MillyMollyMully Tue 22-Oct-13 10:03:04

As deXavia also says, it would be great if Local Editors could be aware of local Mumsnetters in particular need and funnel stuff from locals with overflowing houses blush towards them.

RatherBeOnThePiste Thank you, your post has made me feel a bit better about it all. I'm trying to get the magic back.

LtAllHallowsEve Tue 22-Oct-13 10:05:08

I can't tell you what it meant to me to get that email saying I had been nominated. To know that one person felt I was worth enough to take te time to nominate me etc means more than I will ever be able to say

All this though is slowly spoiling it for me. I feel like I have somehow done something wrong by being fortunate enough to get a nomination and think actually I don't deserve it

FairyJen, that is exactly how I feel. But I have been made to see that the dissenters that pushed me into feeling this way are actually the minority and/or just stirring up trouble for the fun of it. Which in itself is shit - but much more easily ignored.

Feel better x

LtAllHallowsEve Tue 22-Oct-13 10:06:03

Fuck me, I added a kiss. Please ignore the kiss - I don't DO kisses blush


LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 22-Oct-13 10:06:07

I don't agree that MNHQ should have seen the issues up front. A loy of this stuff only comes with the benefit of hindsight. I'm not sure it would be possible to predict that people would complain about feeling left out given how shocked others are by that. MNHQ have many remarkable powers but mind reading and clairvoyance are (probably) not among them. grin

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 22-Oct-13 10:07:22

Too late - we've all seen it now!


OhAntiChristFENTON Tue 22-Oct-13 10:11:12

Real Lols at LtEve


FairyJen Tue 22-Oct-13 10:11:30

grin thanks lteve I shall treasure ignore that x wink

Sorry you were made to feel the same. I shall ignore the humbugs like you suggested but its a shame this has happend

youretoastmildred Tue 22-Oct-13 10:14:04

LetsFace, ok there is an element of truth to that although "some people are whiny bastards" is not exactly a shocker ;) I meant more that the word "appeal" could have been interrogated more carefully in this context. MNHQ run a brand, they are brand people, they are very careful and analytic about things like this when it suits them, this one slipped through the net and could / should have been more elegantly managed, in the manner of a wise hostess who is strategic about presents are distributed at a Christmas party when not everyone is getting one - I know, I know, people who would take offence at that are pathetic, but it is still the hostess's job to be clever about it to make sure that the people who are getting one can enjoy it without being tainted by bad feeling

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 22-Oct-13 10:14:29

I think it is awful that people are sat there thinking 'I've had shit year why don't I get anything'. Really, really awful. Grabby, rude and that MN buzzword 'entitled'.

Posts saying 'oh wow thanks for nominating me' should be banned, as should all the posts on the initial thread saying 'I've signed up to donate, check me out with generosity'.

What should also be banned is what I saw last year for the first time 'eek I'm just about set off for the post office with my ten parcels, I'm so excited and want everyone to know how much effort I've gone to

None of that is about the spirit of Christmas, or MN. It is show-offy and horrid.

I think the method for nominating this year was a good one - the ability to say that you were nominating someone because they were a) a good egg and a little nod to that would be lovely, or b) also a good egg but really going to struggle to give their kids a good Christmas for whatever reason and could do with some serious material help.

FrightRider Tue 22-Oct-13 10:15:49

TBh, having read and thought about it a bit more - i just think it needs a name change, its not an 'appeal' these days.. i think Christmas Kindness or Smile works best..

FairyJen Tue 22-Oct-13 10:20:38

I do see what your saying ali but reading the warm fuzzy thread where people are excited about sending parcels and the thank you thread have become part of my xmas tradition. I sit with a hot choc and a massive box of tissues an have a good read. It would be a shame to lose that side of things.

I don't see it as showing off as such more people just enjoying the festive cheer - a bit like when we all say what we are getting dc and how excited they will be etc

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 22-Oct-13 10:24:51

The thank you thread is fine, and lovely. But I really don't think that collective back-slapping about how generous people have been is on - which is what the 'I'm excited about posting' thread turned into. It was utterly vulgar.

There was a thread right back when this launched this year with people saying that they felt awful because their homemade gifts or re-gifted toys seemed so meagre in comparison with people boasting about how much they were sending. What didn't help was that recipients didn't thank for those small and heartfelt gifts.

Somewhere along the way, the spirit of this has gone awry. And have I read correctly that self-nomination is allowed? shock I'm sorry but that is awful, just awful!

mignonnetteZOMBIEKILLEROFHQ Tue 22-Oct-13 10:25:38

There is nothing to stop MNers from doing this privately, without fanfare and independently of HQ.

This is going on. And it went on last year and the year before.

Far too many people needing their largesse acknowledged I think. That is not the spirit of giving.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 22-Oct-13 10:25:48

Jen it is very different from people saying what they are getting for their DC. Although those threads also irritate me with people equating money/quantity of gifts with love.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 22-Oct-13 10:26:19

Far too many people needing their largesse acknowledged I think. That is not the spirit of giving


Chubfuddler Tue 22-Oct-13 10:28:14

^^ YY to this. You either give freely or don't give at all.

ButThereAgain Tue 22-Oct-13 10:34:47

"Donations" is also misleading in exactly the same way that "appeal" is, suggesting some officially sanctioned Good Cause.

If I give someone something at Christmas because I like them, or feel grateful, or kind, then it is a present not a donation.

Remember -- it was the difference between "donations" and "presents" that got the Railway Children into mortifying trouble with stationmaster Bernard Cribbins!

In fact this whole Mumsnet controversy reminds me of that toe-curling episode in the Railway Children -- their puzzled shocked little faces when they tried to Do Something Nice and it all went wrong. Perhaps the appeal could be renamed the Bobby, Phyllis and Peter Memorial Fund?grin

Failing that, perhaps the MN Christmas Stocking? Corny, but it does what it says on the tin.

Hullygully Tue 22-Oct-13 10:50:35

I've never seen any of the "I've Been Nominated" or "I've donated X" or "Thanks You" threads because they aren't vey interesting to me

so I don't have an opinion about them, but I do think the basic idea is jolly and sound and it annoys me that grinches want to piss on it.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Tue 22-Oct-13 10:59:26

So basically we need to call it

Christmas: it's nice to give a shit. By Mnetters for Mnetters?

I love the MN Christmas Appeal, and think it's one of the loveliest things that MN organise. flowers

However, it might be good to change the name so that people aren't confused with a charity appeal.

MillyMollyMully Tue 22-Oct-13 11:00:36

Do people really want shits?

Mellowandfruitful Tue 22-Oct-13 11:00:49

Good points from gazza

Alibaba I don't think that many people are actually thinking 'why don't I get something?' in a whiny fashion. I think there were enuine feelings of sadness at being invisible on the other thread. There is no easy answer to that of course. I completely agree about not having the 'thank you' threads or the threads about going to post the parcels.

Am confused on one point now - are people allowed to nominate themselves or not, as it stands? confused

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Tue 22-Oct-13 11:02:50

I'd accept a sparkly shit, now the slugs gone

trish5000 Tue 22-Oct-13 11:03:55

There seems to be upset all round. Probably at head quarters too.

I cant see how it is going to be solved. Site is now too big, so there are always going to be upsets I think.

Unless if someone is nominated, and they never breathe a word of it?

I don't want your shit thank you kindly Miss Honey thlshock

MillyMollyMully Tue 22-Oct-13 11:07:22

I think it may be illegal to send a shit through the post, though, HD. Even a sparkly one.

Nope. I post my horses' shit.

ginslinger Tue 22-Oct-13 11:08:41

Please don't change anything other than perhaps people not announcing that they've been nominated. Just use the thankyou thread with their number. I think there is far more good comes out of it and although it's sad that people feel sidelined it doesn't mean that it should stop. Life is sometimes unfair but that doesn't mean that we should stop doing something that brings so much joy just because one or two people aren't pleased by it.

MillyMollyMully Tue 22-Oct-13 11:08:56

Do you? Can I have some?

GobbySadcase Tue 22-Oct-13 11:09:26

It really should be Kevin.

kotinka Tue 22-Oct-13 11:11:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Tue 22-Oct-13 11:11:35

How do you post horse shit?

In a little plastic box. For worm count process.

Grennie Tue 22-Oct-13 11:17:28

Do they sell little boxes especially for this purpose?

Reprint Tue 22-Oct-13 11:36:59

Unless I read things wrongly, self nomination isn't currently allowed (thank heavens) but was suggested by someone.
Just wrong IMO.

Loving the MN Christmas Stocking as a name, though!

(recipe for glittery poo is somewhere on the "poncetastic" thread)

GobbySadcase Tue 22-Oct-13 11:37:48

Don't you post horseshit in a plastic mailing bag?

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Tue 22-Oct-13 11:39:52

See that makes more sense. It's a sample. Not an entire horse turd. Because that would not be cheap to post.

YoniMatopoeia Tue 22-Oct-13 11:55:53

See, I really like the 'I've nearly got my gifts ready', 'I'm off to the post office' etc. It is part of the build up to Christmas, and was even when I was brassic and couldn't take part as a donor (and wasn't nominated either). I don't see it as boasting, just some people in the MN community sharing their excitement etc.

And the thank you threads Have To Stay. They are lovely.

GobbySadcase Tue 22-Oct-13 12:01:18

I could crochet a faux turd?

GobbySadcase Tue 22-Oct-13 12:11:52

Hmm. Nice thread kill.

I doubt it Gobby. This thread will not be killed THAT easily! grin

GobbySadcase Tue 22-Oct-13 12:37:13

Was gonna say. I thought this place was a bit more robust than crocheted horse shit.

If not bwhahahaaaaa I have a secret weapon!

<hands Gobby a stuffed cat to stroke>

ChestyCoffin Tue 22-Oct-13 13:06:55

MNHQ what do you think?

SandyMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Oct-13 15:36:52

Hi everyone
<shuffles in with large tray of mugs brimming with mulled wine>
<repositions reindeer antlers>
<hands out mugs>
Thanks for the good wishes and thanks for all the suggestions. Keep 'em coming.<peers at pile of boxes in corner and thinks of sparkly horseshit and crochet>

I have lots, and lots, and lots of horse shit.

If someone sends me the glitter I can start work.

Grennie Tue 22-Oct-13 15:56:19

If that is the standard of presents, I can donate loads of presents next year. If only I had known for this year.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 22-Oct-13 15:59:08

If I send you some carrier bags, Exit can I have some for my roses please? I don't mind whether it's sparkly or

But would sparkly horseshit mean I'd get sparkly roses?

<wanders off into sparkly garden daydream garden>

MaryZombie Tue 22-Oct-13 16:00:44

Poor Sandy

<offers gin>

I have realised what I can donate now!

Jux Tue 22-Oct-13 17:02:55

Oooh oooh oooh! Can I have some glittery horseshit too (crawling uselessly onto band-wagon)? I haven't been nominated because I'm nasty and terribly rude to people. I think glittery horseshit might just effect a transformation in me, rather like those ghosties in Dickens did.

I rather like MN Crocheted Horseshit as the new Appeal name. No one would have to look up the definitions in OED of anything then. All quite self-explanatory. grin

mignonnetteZOMBIEKILLEROFHQ Tue 22-Oct-13 17:17:55

I have a terrible fear that the MN horses are going to be fed haylage with glitter stirred into it tonight.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 22-Oct-13 17:22:22

A dumper truck full of well rotted horseshit would have me dancing with delight on Christmas morning.

Sad - but a true fact grin

Oh my, only on MN would sparkely horseshit, crocheted or otherwise, be considered festive grin.

Fwiw, I like 'The Christmas Stocking' (I mean I really like it, not in a sarky kinda way).

<[gin] for SandyMN> Keep up the good work, chuck!

Grennie Tue 22-Oct-13 17:24:58

Jux - In what way are you rude and nasty shock

I like Christmas Stocking as well.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Tue 22-Oct-13 19:00:16

Oh, is that why I wasn't nominated either?

Jux Tue 22-Oct-13 19:16:22

Grennie, I hope I'm not actually, but I'm very clearly not funny! grin

Grennie Tue 22-Oct-13 19:18:15

Sorry! My fault. I had a humour fail obviously.

Jux Tue 22-Oct-13 19:19:37

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon, maybe we should make a quiche of rude and unpleasant posters and we can nominate the nastiest of our number next year, on behalf of us all?

Could we have Sparkly Christmas Stocking? I feel there should be something sparkly in it.

HereComesHoneyBooBooDragon Tue 22-Oct-13 19:21:10

Oh yes. We can be Arseholes not Anonymous. grin

MaryZombie Tue 22-Oct-13 19:23:27

Should it not be sparkly reindeer shit?

<reminds self it's still fucking October>

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Tue 22-Oct-13 19:32:16

Any old ruminant shit will do - reindeer - why not? smile

But how many reindeers do we collectively have?