Try It Tuesday – And Now For Something Completely Different!

I know I’ve been hitting you pretty hard lately with the Teal Pumpkin, so I’m giving you a break about it and not mentioning it…well, I guess I’ve already mentioned it, but that was it, I promise. Tonight I come at you with a little something that has to do with an entirely different holiday. One that falls exactly 2 months from today. My friend Doug is going to be so pleased with me. Tonight the topic is…Christmas.

Now, I’m not one that typically likes to put the reindeer before the Jack-O-Lantern or the Cornucopia for that matter, but there is one bit of Christmas housekeeping that our family always takes care of in October and this is the drawing of names for our family Christmas.

Usually this takes place on Family Funday Sunday, but this month, Second Son and his family couldn’t make it to FFS and this left me wondering when we would all be together to draw names. I wondered aloud if there were some sort of a random drawing site online that would allow us to draw names even though we weren’t together? Of course there was. Enter drawnames.com!

Now, I’m probably just late to the dance, but I thought this was really cool and might be useful to some of you as well. I can see how something like this would be great for families who are spread far and wide, for office or even school Secret Santa’s etc. Shoot! Even if you and yours are not spread from sea to shining sea, this method sure beats throwing all of the papers in the hats and then waiting as someone draws their name, and then the name of the person they had last year and so on. This site makes it SUPER simple!

Here’s how it works:
Click on “Draw Names Now”. Fill in your name and email address and fill in or import the names and email addresses of those who will be participating. The program even allows you to set restrictions on which names specific people cannot draw. For example, we only do adults and those adults are not allowed to draw the names of their spouses or the people they had last year so I put those names in next to the participant’s names so that they would be excluded from drawing those names. Of course, I could not remember who everyone had last year, so there may be some duplication there. I’ll do better nex year.

You will set the date of your exchange, budget and create an email to be sent to the participants explaining how to check into the site. Once everyone checks in, the generator draws a name for each participant and emails that name to them. It’s that simple!

Another great feature of the program is that it allows each participant to put together a wish list AND if your drawn name hasn’t created a wish-list, then you can anonymously request that they create one.

Yeah, it’s pretty slick and I don’t think I can go back to the paper slips again. No need to wait to get everyone in one place to draw. No pieces of paper to misplace. No putting your hand in the hat only to draw a name that is yours, or your spouses. And we all have 2 months to prepare for Christmas!

OK, now back to your hauntings, Halloween costumes, and TEAL PUMPKINS! (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

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