I don’t write a ton of discussion posts but this topic is definitely worthy of one! I’m actually surprised I haven’t written an OTSP Secret Sister post before now. It’s a popular project & hashtag so you have probably seen it online but I wanted to talk a little about my experience and gives some tips & tricks!
The Secret Sister Project is run by Brittany, Alyssa, and Amy of @galsonthesamepage and is essentially a 6 month secret santa project of sorts- you send cheer to someone anonymously once a month for 6 months, and receive cheer from a different anonymous participant for the same length of time. Because you fill out a questionnaire beforehand, you are paired with someone who shares many of the same interests so you’re starting off in a good spot when it comes to building a friendship. Bookish packages are super fun to put together and receive, but there is a huge emphasis on letter writing and building the friendships as well- getting to know the person you’re sending to and the person sending to you, and brightening their days with fun mail!
There is also a participation tier for every budget: pen pals if you’d like to send cards and letters only (this is paired and not anonymous), $5-10, $15-20, and $25+. You don’t *have* to be secret the entire time but I honestly find that to be one of the most fun aspects! I always sign my cards with a different fictional character’s name and work hard not to give too many clues away. I like being sneaky 🙂
This round is my 4th time participating and I am already so jazzed about everything. I’ve had such amazing people send me months of thoughtfulness in the past (only one of them was a friend I previously knew!) and I really enjoy making others feel special so customizing the perfect box is something I take great pride in, as is keeping up the correspondence. The next 6 months are filled with my favorite times of the year and I’m looking forward to it all 🙂
If you’d like to participate in the 10th round that starts in January 2019, I’d suggest checking out the #otspsecretsister hashtag and getting to know people, especially the three hosts. You’ll see the feelings of joy and friendship and community that are being created, and you’ll probably find some books to add to your TBR as well! Haha 😉 A few tips for those participating this round, whether it’s your first time or 9th time:
• pick up a book of pretty stamps so you’ll always be able to send a card or letter when you want to! I’ve been guilty in the past of carrying addressed envelopes in my purse for a week because I need stamps.
• pay attention to what your sis likes/doesn’t like so you don’t waste time or money (i.e. don’t buy them a Snickers if they hate peanuts) but at the same time, it’s the thought that counts. Don’t sweat the small stuff and remember that your sis will appreciate being thought of 🙂
• to search for tweets your sis has sent in relation to the project, search Their Username otspsecretsister and you’ll get all their tweets in one place.
• my past sisters have sent me mix cds, homemade cards, and favorite recipes written on index cards. As much as I love books, I cherished those gifts most of all. They were so personal and sweet!
• be sure to let your sister know when a letter, card, or package arrives by posting on the hashtag!!!! A simple thanks is fine- there is nothing worse than the agony of knowing something was delivered but not knowing if it was received.
The most important part of the project is to make friendships, build positivity, and have fun! I need to be better at reaching out to past sisters outside of Twitter- just because a round ends doesn’t mean you have to stop sending cards 🙂 I really love this post by Beth at Printcess and think I will probably write a similar one at the end of this round!
Have you ever participated in the Secret Sister Project? What was your favorite part? Do you think you might in the future?