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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.

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

BaronessBomburst Mon 21-Oct-13 16:43:02

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.

ControlCreeeaaak Mon 21-Oct-13 16:44:43

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

BaronessBomburst Mon 21-Oct-13 16:45:55

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.

PacificDogwood Mon 21-Oct-13 16:50:09

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

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