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Hurrah! The 2017 FMS Gift Exchange is now open!

Fat Mum Slim /

Hello you! I have some very exciting news. The 2017 FMS Gift Exchange is now… open! OPEN! It’s my favourite time of year, and I think this year is going to be beautiful.

If you’re new to this, let me explain. The gift exchange is a beautiful, fun little movement that’s been happening for six years. Put simply, each year a whole bunch of strangers send gifts to other strangers around the world and everyone gets all the feels, and the world is good again. {Please note: this is for people over 18 years of age only}.

In more detail, here’s how it works:

STEP ONE: You sign up to the gift exchange. In order to join the gift exchange you’ll be asked to donate $5 to the Rafiki Mwema charity as an entry fee. All monies raised will be going towards making the kids a playing field at their group home.

STEP TWO: Once you’ve signed up, you’ll be sent an email straight away to join Elfster. This is a very important step so make sure you read that email and follow the instructions. It will also have a link to our new Facebook group.

STEP THREE: On October 13th sign-ups will close, and then the following week you’ll be assigned a partner. This is ANONYMOUS. You’re not to let the person know that you’re buying for them. You’ll be buying them a gift for Christmas. To find out what things they like, you can ask questions for the whole group and see if your partner replies.

STEP FOUR: You’ll buy your gift/s {the spending limit is AU$25 – use the currency convertor to see what this is in your currency}, wrap them and send them on with love by November 24th, 2017. You’ll find out who your partner is on December 20th.

This year there are four groups you can pick from. You can choose from:

Worldwide: For anyone no matter where you live. Choosing this option means you’re open to sending your gift anywhere in the world. These are partnered at random so there is a risk that you might get someone in your own country.

Australia only: This group is for Australians wanting to only send to Australians. This is great if you want to keep your postage costs low.

USA only: This group is for our friends from the USA only, wanting to sending to other people from the states.

Europe only: This group is for those in Europe only wanting to send to other people within Europe.

Ready to join? Click here to get started.

I’m looking forward to another great year. Please let me know if you have any questions below.


Can anyone join the gift exchange?
Of course! Anyone is welcome. The only people who are excluded are those who have played before and not sent a gift to their partner. Those people are marked as ‘flakes’ and will be removed from the exchange. Donations to Rafiki Mwema can not be refunded.

Can I join more than one group?
You’re welcome to join the worldwide group, and your own local group, as long as you make two donations to Rafiki Mwema.

Can I donate more to Rafiki Mwema?
Of course. Head over to this page. All donations are gratefully received!

Can I buy something online and just get it sent straight to my partner?
This exchange is all about bringing joy to people. We want to receive gifts that are chosen and wrapped with love. Buying online and sending direct doesn’t really create that experience. Please make sure your gift arrives to your partner wrapped.

Does the AU$25 budget include postage?
No it doesn’t. If you’re sending a long distance, please be wary of the weight of your gifts because postage can get expensive quickly!

  • Andrea

    Thanks for organising the exchange again!! Every year I am looking forward to it!

  • Sarah Bailey

    Thanks Chantelle for the amazing work that goes in to this exchange every year!

  • T Bright

    Thank you for this! I am so excited to be participating again!

  • Lauren Jamieson-Tinney

    I’m so excited….. But I signed up for Europe only and I live in Canada. Will that be a problem?

    • Yes, I’ll need to remove you unfortunately. Europe is for those people living in Europe only.

      You’ll need to select worldwide. I’ll email you with a new link.

  • Ammber

    It’s a beautiful idea and I enjoyed participating last year, but found it a shame that it’s through an American retailer. My budget and time was quickly eaten up in the delivery. Would love to see you work with an Aussie retailer.

    • I’m so sorry. What do you mean? Elfster just organises the partners – you’re able to shop where ever you like – at local stores, anywhere online. That wishlist function that Elfster creates is not something I can switch off but I encourage people to ignore it. I did mention that a few times last year but you might have missed it.

  • LP

    Hi Chantelle, I’m glad the gift exchange is happening again! I joined in last year for the first time and received such a lovely gift from someone in Arizona but I never got a message telling me who my partner was so I’m wondering how that part works? Is it through a message in Elfster?

    • It actually was meant to happen through Elfster, but the function didn’t work. So we just revealed to each other in the group. 🙂

      • LP

        Thanks for letting me know. I think I mustn’t have joined the facebook group last year so that might be why I didn’t find out mine, so I’ll make sure I join this year : )

  • Toni Sawyers

    excited for another year. I signed up on Sunday and still haven’t received an email (step 2). do they come a little later?

  • Britney Colemab

    I signed up and did the $5 to Rafiki and never received an elfster email?

  • Joyce Fort

    Is there anyway that you can make joining the facebook group a requirement? I’ve done the exchange 4 times and my person never seems to join the facebook group, and it truly makes it harder to find out what they’d like. I use the message feature in Elfster, but it’s just doesn’t seem to work that well – at least it hasn’t for me. I really want to join in again this year, but it always ends up stressing me out, trying to find the perfect gift for someone I don’t know and don’t have a way of really getting answers from…. Thank you. 🙂

    • Hi Joyce! I’m sorry – it’s a little bit late now, as I haven’t made it compulsary this round. You are welcome to try your luck though. I have everything crossed for you this year! x

  • Jenene Craven

    Oh no, I missed it 🙁 x