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The Gift Exchange 2015

Fat Mum Slim /

The Gift Exchange 2015 - Fat Mum Slim - Join us for a feel good project where we send gifts around the world to new friends.

I know it seems crazy to be thinking about Christmas, but it’s happening and it will be here before we know it. WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE? It’s a blur of nappies and laughter and mess for me. A good blur though.

Every year I host a gift exchange. I think we started back in 2011 and each year it just gets bigger and better. It’s a chance to do something awesome, meet new friends from around the world, and have fun while doing it. Welcome to The Gift Exchange 2015.

What is The Gift Exchange? Each person is matched with a new friend who they buy a gift for, wrap it beautifully, and send it on for them to receive before Christmas. You can send along a card with some nice words about yourself, so they can get to know a little bit about you, and you can become friends.

Want to get involved? Please make sure you read all the information below BEFORE signing up. That bit is super important. Also once you’ve signed up, please be sure to check your emails regularly {including your junk mail}, because your involvement in The Gift Exchange will rely on you following the steps below. Be sure to follow me on Facebook, because I’ll also make all important announcements regarding The Gift Exchange there too.


STEP ONE: You’ll need to sign-up using the link below, at the bottom of this post. There’s a US$5 fee for playing along with The Gift Exchange. 100% of this fee goes to the Rafiki Mwema charity. We include this fee as a way of keeping people accountable, plus it makes a huge difference in the lives of these girls.


When signing up you’ll be asked to choose which region you want to play in. I’ve broken up The Gift Exchange into regions because postage can be expensive for people. Please keep this in mind when selecting the region you want to play in. You’ll choose from:

  • International: For those who are happy to send their gift to anyone, anywhere in the world. You’ll also receive a gift from someone from anywhere in the world.
  • Australia & New Zealand: For those living in Australia or New Zealand who are wanting to send to another person living in Australia or New Zealand.
  • United Kingdom & Europe & Ireland: For those living in the United Kingdom or Europe or Ireland who are willing to send to another person living in the United Kingdom or Europe or Ireland.
  • USA & Canada: For those living in USA or Canada who are willing to send to another person living in USA or Canada.
  • Asia: For those living in Asia who are willing to send to another person living in Asia.

Sign-ups close on the 27th of September. Don’t miss out!

STEP TWO: On the 29th of September, you’ll get an email with two links: One to Elfster and one to our Facebook group. You’ll need to join Elfster by the 11th of October in order to be part of the exchange. Please make sure you look out for this email and follow the instructions carefully.

STEP THREE: On the 13th of October, I’ll hit the button and like magic Elfster will assign you a partner, and the fun begins! You’ll be able to stalk them anonymously on Elfster. You can ask them questions and get to know them better. We’ll also have one big Facebook Group where you can get to know other people playing along in the exchange. It’s a great place to ask general questions about the exchange, but Elfster is the place where you get to know your partner.

STEP FOUR: Once you’ve ‘stalked’ your partner a little and figured out what you want to buy them, you go shopping. The budget for the exchange is US$20 {you can figure out how much this is in your currency by clicking here}, this is just for the gift, postage is on top of this budget. I set this budget to make it fair for everyone. If you’re crafty and like to make things, please do so! Just make sure the value is still around that US$20 mark, or maybe buy something and make something to go alongside it. Please remember that if you buy something heavy, it will cost more to post. Shop smart!

Please put thought into your gift. It shouldn’t stress you out, but it should be special. Please also spend some time wrapping it beautifully. I love looking at photos of the wrapped gifts shared on Instagram, share your photos using the #FMSgiftexchange hashtag.

STEP FIVE: Post your gift! All gifts need to be sent by November 22nd. If you’re able to track your parcel, please do so, so that you can check it out if it goes missing. As well as sharing a photo of your gift before you send it, I love seeing photos of the gifts when you receive them too. Just upload them to Instagram using the #FMSgiftexchange hashtag.

On the 20th of December I’ll hit the button and you’ll be able to see who gifted you your lovely gift, if they haven’t already revealed themselves in the card alongside the gift.

The Gift Exchange - Fat Mum Slim

And now you’ve read everything and are super keen to get started, I guess? Click here to donate your $5 and sign-up. I can’t wait to do this with you, it’s going to be fun.

Olympus has kindly offered to match the total donations we send to Rafiki Mwema, so the girls get even more funds! This is awesome. Thanks Olympus!

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  • This is one of my favourite parts of Christmas. Thank you for organising another year of fun and fabulous! xx

  • Love love love gift giving!!! So excited to get involved this year!

  • Dana

    I’m so excited to be a part of this this year! ….i’m having issues signing up though. Is anyone else getting timed out when they try to submit their registration?

    • Hey Dana, I think it was just an influx of users. Hope you signed up now. x

      • Dana

        Eventually got it to work – thanks Chantelle! 🙂

  • justparsley

    I’m no longer on Facebook, can we sign up w/o Facebook? (I think we can but I just want to make sure that by doing it through Elfster only, I won’t be missing valuable info about the person I’m gifting to.)

  • Katie Killian Ottaviano

    I’m so excited to be able to do this again this year! I had to miss out last year, but I am so in!

  • Thank you for organising this again!! Can’t wait to stalk my partner and source the bestest gift… hopefully they like crystals too haha!

  • Ash

    i’ve signed up, and my donation has gone through my pay pal, as i have the email to say so…but it wouldn’t take me back to your website….so i’m not sure if there was more to it or not…

    • Ash

      All good, found your automatic email in my junk box 😀

  • Yay I love this so much – I hope you’re having a fab time over in the US and aren’t missing your babies too much xxx

  • Tash Jay

    I was thinking this must be a different happy mail because surely Christmas is still aaaages away 😛
    I’m so glad you kept the Rafiki Mwema donation in place too 🙂

  • Oh how exciting, I have joined and cannot wait to be a part of this! yipppee

  • Blanche Sawbridge

    When i put the payment in, the price came up as 55 us dollars? am i doing something wrong?

    • Jessica

      OMG I just got my receipt and had something similar happen! I was charged $25 instead of $5 🙁

      • Jessica

        Great News, Just spoke with Sarah who is the contact – Such a lovely lady, worked out what I did wrong too 🙂

      • Hey Jessica, did you accidentally change the quantity number?

        • Jessica

          exactly what I did

    • For those signing up: Please don’t change the quantity number, unless you want to donate more.

  • Blanche Sawbridge

    i think i’ve worked out what went wrong 😀

  • Lauren Russo – Loz_585

    Ohhh so fun!! Id love to join in this year. Is having facebook essential…as that may be a deal breaker!

    • Nope! Not essential. 🙂

      • Lauren Russo – Loz_585

        Thank you! I signed up and got to the following ‘thanks for joining’ page but was never redirected to paypal to make donation!?

  • I didn’t play last year… but I do like giving presents… and giving $5 to those girls is the least we can all do….SIGN ME UP BABY

  • I was so unorganised last year and missed the sign-up date. Can’t wait to get on board this year! You’re amazeballs, Chantelle. Thanks for organising xx

    • I would laugh if I got you – but it would be nice to get a pom pom laden gift! :p x

  • Charlene Morunga

    I followed the #FMSGiftExchange hashtag last year, and was gutted I didn’t sign up! I have just signed up! Super excited about being a part of it this year! Thanks Chantelle!

  • I followed the #FMSGiftExchange hashtag last year, and was gutted I didn’t sign up! I have just signed up! Super excited about being a part of it this year! Thanks Chantelle!

  • Lali AlQallaf

    Looking forward for this.

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connect

    This will be my first year.. very excited

  • Christine Alice Calabria

    I just went through to join and when I got to the box to say how many $5 donations, I just typed 4, rather than 04. When I went through to Paypal, it had assumed I wanted to donate 40!!!!!!!

  • Joan Appelhans Kriete

    Hi Chantelle I could not get the link to open…it said page cannot be displayed?

  • Rosalinda Hernandez

    Question: do we get a receipt when our donation goes through? I signed up last night but haven’t gotten any sort of receipt yet.

    • Yes, you will. I don’t have a registration from you – so check your account, and let me know.

      Email me if you like, and we can sort it out. x

      • Rosalinda Hernandez

        Thanks, Chantelle! I was trying to register last night and it kept timing out (I’m guessing due to an influx of users). If I don’t receive anything within a day and see that it hasn’t registered on my account, I will try to re-register and send you an email.

      • Rosalinda Hernandez

        I re-registered and this time it went through! I got a receipt now. I guess it didn’t last night. It must have been a busy night for the site!

  • Eva Lavelle

    I am so excited! Just signed up (how the heck have I missed this the last few years)!!! I love to give and of course receive pressies…..yay!!!!

  • Jami Hewitt

    Hi Chantelle,
    I see that we have to choose between a domestic or international recipient when we sign up.
    If I make a second donation, will I be able to have a second partner? I think it would be fun to make one package to send to someone in the U.S., and one to send internationally.

    • Yes, that’s fine. 🙂

      You’ll get two emails for Elfster in a few weeks, just make sure to sign up to both. 🙂

      • Jami Hewitt

        Ah,thanks. Feeling’ ambitious!!! 🙂

  • Yay! I am so excited to “play” this year! 🙂

  • This is such a cool idea! I’m in!

  • Jay

    I filled in the sign up page and after I hit ok it appears to have timed out and I’m unsure whether my request to join went through? May I please check prior to going through and doing it again?
    Many thanks.

  • Elita Hooper

    Hi Chantelle
    Just registered for this year gift exchange and I got the Thank you page, but I have not made my donation yet(wanted to do it by paypal)….is that right? and if it is I may have registered twice… I registered or not please?

    • Hey Elita. I don’t have a form from you. Can you please do it again. xx

      • Elita Hooper

        Is that better I was able to put in my donation this time.

    • Sarah

      This is what happened to me, oh no ;(

  • Jane

    Yay.. I’ve just registered. I’m really rapt to see that you’re doing the gift exchange again. Last year I read about it with envy, but couldn’t join in – I was living in Papua New Guinea, and we had no post service. I’ve now moved countries (this time to Fiji) so can get a bit excited about sending and receiving goodies in the mail. I’ll also see if my 11 y.o. daughter wants to join in – I’m sure she’ll be keen.
    A bit of feedback for you, – I found the sign-up / donation page worked fine without any of the hiccups mentioned in the comments above.

  • Jenn Gordon

    Yay! You’re doing this again!!! Had such a wonderful time last year looking forward what this year brings!!!

  • Danika

    I have loved being a part of this for the past few years. I have so much fun “stalking” people (haha), finding gifts, and wrapping everything up. I’m so excited for another year! Thank you Chantelle! 🙂

  • Teresa

    Can’t wait! I signed up a week or two ago. Have done this the last three or four years. Bring it! And the great thing about it is making a new friend. Let the gifting begin

  • An

    I am so happy that you’re doing the gift exchange again. Soooo looking forward to it! 🙂

  • Becky Lofdahl

    Hi Chantelle.

    I signed up using my phone but I am not sure if it went through. Are you able to check for me please? Thank you. I can’t wait to get gifting. 🙂

    • Hey Becky. You’re not registered. Are you able to sign up again please?

      • Becky Lofdahl

        Thank you and of course I’ll sign up again. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the fun. Love the donation idea too!

  • Blanche Sawbridge

    If I was apart of the gift exchange a couple years back, would I need to register with elfster as I keep getting emails from them, looking forward to this

  • In all my excitement I paid and registered but I think my email might have gone through wrong . Can you please check and change it for me . Should be [email protected] . Very happy to be in as I love giving gifts ?

  • Leigh Nicol

    Have emails been sent out yet??

  • Eva Lavelle

    I haven’t received my email yet? Have they been sent?

  • Elbay

    Have the emails been sent out yet. I haven’t got mine?

  • Sabrina

    Has the email gone out yet for the 2 links?

    • Sabrina

      If I would have read further I would have seen the answer!! Sorry! Looking forward to getting the email but no rush I know these things take a lot of time! Thanks for putting it together!

  • Jillian Ives

    I’m looking forward to this again Chantelle. I’m ready for the email to stalk my giftee

  • An

    Dear Chantalle,
    I registered, donated and received your first e-mail already but I didn’t receive any further information so far. Can you please check if everything went its way?
    Thanks, A.

    • An

      Sorry, haven’t seen the other comments. I need to be patient, but I am so looking forward to it! 🙂

      • An

        Got it! Thanks! 🙂

    • You should have your email to join Elfster. Check your junk email folder. 🙂

  • Rebecca Hawkins

    I got my mum to join up this year and she has told me that she received a email about elfster.. I have not received this and I also checked my junk email.. My email address is [email protected]

  • Rebecca Hawkins

    Disregard my comment below I got mum to forward her email and I have now registered on elfster

  • Chantell, I didn’t receive an email.

    • Hello there. It’s probably best if you email me with your receipt and the details of the group you’d like to be part of.


      • Okay, I just sent you a message on facebook, I’ll go grab my receipt and send it to you on facebook (unless you have an email you’d like me to send it to). I’m in the US and indicated I’d be good with sending my gift anywhere. 🙂 I’ll go grab my receipt now. Thank you.

  • Kellie Burr

    Hi Chantelle – I have not receive my information with my partner yet….