What's the idea?
Secret Santa is a holiday activity during the Christmas season when a group of people exchange gifts, each person giving one gift to one other person in the group. However, each individual has no idea who they will receive their gift from. They cannot alert the other person in any way who their Secret Santa is until the gift giving date.
How does it work on deviantART?
On deviantART, the idea is that the presents are pieces of art that you make for people - whether that's drawings, stories, things you've crafted... whatever.
You send PresentsFromSanta a note with what you'd like to receive and what you can offer to your giftee and then everyone will get matched up accordingly.
Why this Secret Santa?
There are lots of different Secret Santas on deviantART each year, but many of them only cater to a specific group of deviants. Perhaps you have to have OCs to join, or you have to be of a certain talent level. Almost all of them you have to be able to draw.
PresentsFromSanta is for EVERYBODY. That is, everybody who is willing to commit to putting in time and effort to make something wonderful for their giftee. You can be a painter, a sculptor, a writer, a digital artist, a traditional artist, or any kind of crafter - all are welcome.
Can I join?
1. What art can you make?
There are three "categories":
Traditional or Digital Drawing
As long as you can do something in one of these areas, you can join in. It doesn't matter how much talent you have or haven't got - the point of this project is to make something nice for someone else and hopefully make them smile.
If you can do something in more than one of these areas, that's fantastic. It will make it a lot easier to match people up. Just list all the areas you'd be happy to make art in. (But if you're a lot stronger in one than the other, then pick that one!)
2. Are you committed?
Please be willing to spend a reasonable amount of time on your deviation. Chances are the person you're giving it to will have put an awful lot of time into the gift they make, so it would be a real shame if they got something you polished off in ten minutes at the last minute.
3. What do you want from Santa?
List five "themes" you like (give links if possible) or would want to receive in the art you get. Try to make them as varied as possible to help out your Santa. Include some broad themes and some specific themes, so that if your Santa prefers something vague they can go with that or if they need a bit more guidance they've still got something they can do.
Be open to receiving all kinds of art. You can make ONE veto for ONE category if you really don't want to receive it (e.g. "no literature"), but this project is about including everyone so try to be as receptive as possible to different media.
Think of all the categories when you make your wishlist. You can make a different wishlist for each category if you want to, but give your Santa a chance to be artistic as well. You want to make it fun for them too!
Give links and explanations! If some of the items on your wishlist are particular characters, for example, give a link to a picture of the character and tell your Santa a little bit about their personality etc. Don't use abbreviations that your Santa might not be familiar with either - write the name of the series, band or film out in full, and the character names too. It's very difficult for them to ask questions if they don't understand!
Can I get my present for real?
Of course, if you want to! This part of the project is completely optional, because it's important to keep safe on the internet. You can participate in PresentsFromSanta completely online if you like, without sending or receiving in the real world at all.
Sending your present in the mail
If you would like to send your gift in the mail, you have to commit to the following:
- If it's a digital work, you have to be able to afford a print. If you're a premium member of deviantART, you can buy your own prints at base cost, which is something like $0.30 for a postcard-sized one, or $2 for an 8"x10".
- You need to be able to get to a Post Office and afford to post it as well.
- You need to be able to post it in plenty of time for Christmas. This could be as early as the 4th December for some international deadlines, so make sure you find out.
- Finally, you need to be able to give us your address. (remember this is optional and you don't need to sign up for receiving in the mail)
I don't want to send or receive it in the mail!
Applications for those wanting to participate only online will open on 21 Nov. If you want to know more details about the timeline of the postal applicants and the non-postals, see the timeline.
Great! How do I join?
If you want to participate in the postal part, RIGHT NOW you can
Send a note with:
1. Your five "themes" and your ONE veto if you have one (do please read the stuff about how to make a wishlist above - orange and yellow bullet points)
2. Your skills - which of the categories (Drawing/Literature/Crafts) you can make art in
3. Your name and address
Tell EVERYONE about it - we don't have long to get the word out so the news article and tell all your friends!
If you want to participate in the NON-POSTAL part, applications will open on 21 November. For now, add PresentsFromSanta to your devwatch and you will be notified of all the updates.
What happens next?
On 8 November, applications will close. Within the next week or so after that you will receive a note containing your giftee and their wishlist, letting you know what they would most like for you to draw, craft or write. After that, it's up to you to make their gift and mail it off. Don't forget to scan or photograph it before you mail it!
Please remember not to upload your art to deviantART right away! It's meant to be a surprise, remember, and we don't want your giftee coming across it by accident.
But it's too early for Christmas!
It is really, isn't it? To be clear, this sign up is only for those who need to send their gifts in the mail as well as online. It can take several weeks for international mail, especially around Christmas.
If you sign up now, you will be given your matching in mid-November but if that's still too early for you then you can participate in the other half of the project, for those who wish to participate only online, which will be running about a month behind. Just add PresentsFromSanta to your devwatch and you can find out more when the time comes.
Finding out more
PresentsFromSanta for more information.
Have a look at the timeline for an idea of how the project's going to run.
Check out the FAQ for any other questions you might still have!
Finally, get the word out! The project closes for postal entries on 8th November - this is SOON so get the word out! Fav this article, write about the project in your journals or put it in your signature. Tell all your friends!