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The Holiday Wishes community project on Livejournal was conceived in 2004 by tartanshell. It took off among fellow fen on the journal site, and quickly spread to their friends who were not involved with fandom. The idea as conceived by tartenshell had two parts:
Make a post (public, friends-locked, filtered... whatever you're comfortable with) to your LJ. The post should contain your list of ten holiday wishes. The wishes can be anything at all, from simple and fandom-related ("I'd love a Snape/Hermione icon that's just for me") to medium ("I wish for _____ on DVD") to really big ("All I want for Christmas is a new car/computer/house/TV"). The important thing is to make sure these wishes are things you really, truly want. If you wish for real life things (not fics or icons), make sure you include some sort of contact info in your post, whether it's your address or just your email address where Santa (or one of his elves) can get in touch with you. Your home address is not required! Make sure you post some version of these guidelines in your LJ so that the holiday joy will spread.
Surf around your friends list (or friendsfriends, or just random journals) to see who has posted their list. And now, here's the important part... If you see a wish you can grant, and it's in your heart to do so, make someone's wish come true. Sometimes one person's trash is another's treasure, and if you have a leather jacket you don't want or a gift certificate you won't use - or even know where you could get someone's dream purebred Basset Hound for free - do it. You needn't spend money on these wishes unless you want to. The point isn't to put people out, it's to provide everyone a chance to be someone else's holiday elf - to spread the joy. Gifts can be made anonymously or not - it's your call. There are no guarantees with this project, and no strings attached. Just... wish, and it might come true. Give and you might receive. You'll have the joy of knowing you made someone's holiday special.
As the project grew, a community was set up to collect wishes in one place. This community was admined by alchemia, twilight2000, bookaddict88, and outoftime. Affiliate communities include holiday_thanks and The Great Gift Exchange (closed as of 2013).
- holiday-wishes, profile page, accessed 15 May 2017