RSVP for the 2013 Holiday Gift and Toy Swap! NE PDX, December 14th

AS OF 11/13/13 WE ARE NOW FULL AND HAVE A 20 PERSON WAITING LIST. So if you RSVP after 11/13/13, know you will be put on Anna’s waiting list, and if someone cancels, the next in line will be contacted.  Thanks for making the 2013 Holiday Gift and Toy Swap a success!

Time to RSVP for the Holiday Gift and Toy Swap at the PCL church in NE Portland! This is one of my FAVORITE Holiday activities!  To attend, you must read all the instructions below, agree to our terms, and get your RSVP confirmation (details below).  The 2013 HOLIDAY GIFT & TOY SWAP is Saturday December 14th at 2pm at the Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst in the gym.

Gift Swaps are tons of fun – watch here to learn more!

The gym is unheated so dress warmly. Since all swap women are invited (and their kind men and teen friends), YOU MUST READ ALL OUR INSTRUCTIONS AND HAVE AN ENTRY ‘TICKET’ TO GET INTO THIS SWAP (see below)

We’re making a list, and checking it twice! For entry to this event, and to keep things running smoothly so we’re all on the same page, you and your guests need to read and abide by the swap rules below. To get on our RSVP (entry) list, email Anna the PCL swap hostess at  (this is a special gift and stuff swap only RSVP email!) and in the subject line write in your name and how many people you are bringing. (Examples: Jane Doe – 1 total     Joe Christmas and a guest – 2 total   etc.)
When Anna has you on her list – your name, number of people, and your email address, she will email you back letting you know that you have been confirmed to attend this swap.  THIS IS YOUR ENTRY TICKET TO THIS EVENT. Get on the list before December 10th to secure your spot!  Only 150 spots available!  You will not be allowed into the event unless you are on the list, so this is very important that you fill in your subject line info and send it to the correct email address.  Since Anna could receive hundreds of emails, she can’t be responsible for RSVP emails sent to any address other than the  If you find out you or one of your guests can’t make it to this event, please tell Anna so she can offer the spots to the next in line.

1. Only kind women, men, and teenagers are allowed (if you are part of our swap team, you may bring your OLDER grade school children if you/they are helping pack up remainders at the end of the swap). Leave the babies, toddlers, and early grade school children safely at home with a babysitter – that way you can shop for them! Plus the gym won’t be echoing with any excited whoops or cries. Carpooling is recommended.

2. Scour your closets, garages, and home for things in gift-able condition that you are ready to pass on to others. (see list of WHAT TO BRING below). Please do not bring anything that is broken, dirty, or junky. We are all volunteers and don’t have the money to pay to dispose of junk, plus the gym floor is carpeted and needs to be kept clean. All the remainders after the swap will be donated to Danielle Newman, who facilitates a young mom’s group and networks with other nonprofits to distribute remainders to local families, spreading free good cheer in our community.

3. Between 1:35 and 1:55 bring in and put your items with like-minded stuff in rows. No hoarding or pre-shopping (definition below).  After you’ve put your items out, go to the walls of the gym so people coming in have room to put their stuff down in the middle. Leave a walkway down the middle of the gym so it’s easier to move around. (Just imagine a center aisle east to west to walk down, while the stuff is being put on imaginary benches on either side north & south of the main aisle.) You decide which category/row your things would best fit.  There will be rows set up and marked as follows:

* toys and games
* music & books, movies, CD’s, DVD’s
* crafts, fabric, holiday clothing accessories
* household items & holiday decorations

* misc. other stuff

* garden, tools, technology, pets
* breakables and collectibles

4. Do not pre-shop (definition: scoot stuff into piles, take things, hoard stuff). To make it fun and fair for everyone, we all wait until the swap leader says go, and then all start at the same time (this is NOT Walmart:). Since there will be 100+ people we ask you be responsible for yourselves and your guests. If you are an experienced swapper and see someone with wide eyes (the typical newbie stare of disbelief at all the amazing goodies) please feel free to introduce yourself and answer any swap questions they may have.

5. Before we start, we’ll ask that everyone go stand next to something that looks interesting – but don’t pick it up yet – so there’s no mad rush before we begin. Feel free to quietly mention which item you are going for.  That way if two people are going for the teapot, you have some negotiating time (ie if person A doesn’t have a teapot, and person B has a teapot collection, obviously person A should get the teapot, and this gives person B a chance to go stand next to something else that looks interesting). When the emcee/coordinator says ‘go’ in the microphone shortly after 2pm, then you can shop! Bring a bag(s) or box(es) to take what you’d like home. Please be kind, courteous and generous. If you find tons of stuff, and the person next to you only has one item, allow them to have that item you both have your eye on:) Stuff in the middle in rows is free, boxes/bags of stuff around the walls of the gym is somebody’s stash. This is a great way to clear out your house AND get your holiday shopping done for free at the same time:)

6. The purpose of swap positive is free stuff, forever. So if you get it for free, and then decide later that you don’t want it, please give it away for free. All remainders are given to charity that will give them away for FREE, so your philanthropy is keeping the holiday cheer, kindness, and fun flowing for others as well:).

Search your house, garage, and storage for all the gift-able items you don’t need/want/love anymore. Nothing too big to fit in the backseat of a car, and nothing that can’t be machine washed at home (ie no mattresses, large furniture, couch pillows etc.):
1. TOYS AND GAMES: Outgrown but still in great shape new and lightly used dolls, stuffed animals, gag gifts, toys, games (including board games, puzzles, etc.) with all the pieces still intact.
2. MOVIES, BOOKS, CD’S DVD’S: Books in good condition that you are finished reading, music on CD, DVD and video movies that are still in great working order. Computer games can go in the techie area if the book area is crowded.
3. CRAFTS, FABRIC, ACCESSORIES: Scrap-booking, beading, knitting, sewing patterns and clean fabric, the gift towels that were the wrong color for your décor, holiday clothing accessories that are one-size-fits-most such as scarves, mittens, gloves, and hats. If an outfit is specifically holiday related (ie Christmas sweater, holiday socks, Santa necktie) you can bring them. Please save clothing other than holiday clothes for another swap or we won’t have room for anything else!
4. HOLIDAY AND HOUSEHOLD: Seasonal decorations, stocking stuffers, blender, dishes, potholders, coasters, fondue set, non-expired and non-opened holiday food items, table lamps. Would you give it as a gift? – then bring it:)
5. TOOLS, TECHNOLOGY, GARDEN, PETS: Clean ratchet set, clean sports equipment, clean bicycles/tricycles in great shape, computers, cameras, gaming systems, computer games, clean garden pots and tools, viable seeds, clean pet dishes and toys.
6. BREAKABLES AND COLLECTIBLES: jewelry, antiques, fancy glassware, collectibles, candy dishes, that collectible lego pirate ship or doll, perfume used once, lotion used once (ie still looks new – isn’t half full and doesn’t have gunk running down the side of the bottle).

If you have items you’re not sure where they go, just put them in a row that in some way makes reasonable sense…or put them in a row that isn’t too crowded.

Saturday December 14th, 2pm at the Presbyterian Church of Laurelhurst (in the Gym) 935 N.E. 33rd Avenue. Portland OR 97232 503-232-9129
Directions: two blocks south of Sandy Blvd. on 33rd (the west fork in the road), at Pacific Street, in a small modern red brick building. There is a parking lot behind the church. The gym is directly across from the playground. Get there early to grab a parking lot space…late comers will need to park on the street. Also consider carpooling. We will have volunteers with clipboards holding the RSVP list at the door.  Those on our RSVP list can sign and go in. This is a one of our most well-attended swapping events of the year. It’s a lot of fun to clean out your house for the holidays, knowing that you’re making other people very happy by recycling things that you no longer need/use/love, and getting a treat or two for yourselves and your loved ones. As you can see by the video at the beginning of this blog entry, Free Swaps are for kind, generous people who know how to manage themselves in appropriate ways. No hoarding, no stampeding, no grabbing stuff….just fun, thrifty, kind people. Thank you for being a part of this fun-filled celebration of Thrift!

Please support our mission by enjoying the swap as a place to get free stuff, and if you part with your new-to-you swap items, we ask that YOU do it in a free way too!

If you don’t see a free swap in your size, interest, or neighborhood, how about starting one?  Find out more here.

Thanks for being a part of the FREE swapping community!


One response to “RSVP for the 2013 Holiday Gift and Toy Swap! NE PDX, December 14th

  1. I love this Christmas yearly swap. I hope I have replied in time for the RSVP entry. Kind regards, Gael Schuler

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