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Lilymud Secrect Santa Rules and FAQ

So your thinking about joining the secret santa. Before you do please look over this page. Once you sign up you should have read and understood all of this. Don't sign up and ask "Where's my picture" on the second day. It will be obvious you didn't read. And for your own benefit as well. If this is your first secret santa you might want to know a bit about it before you actually sign up for something and then find out you cant do it. NOT a good idea. Once you have done the project and have read this you don't need to read it year after year, though might be good to skim though it other years to make sure your not missing something new.


This is the most popular question I get so it will be the first that I will answer.

Secret Santa is when you get together a group of people and put names into a basket. Each person draws a name and that is the person they must buy a gift for.

In our case this is slightly different. Being online it is kind of hard to buy gifts for eachother so what is one thing that we CAN give each other. Pictures. So what you need to do is sign up at the sign up's and post all the information we need from you. After sign ups are done we take all the names of the people who signed up and I print off two copies of them. I then cut up the one copy into strips, fold them and put them into my special cup. I then go down the list and draw out names. The person who's name was drawn for that time will be the one the person on the other list is drawing for. AFTER I am done that I then go through the list to make sure there is no "Art Trade" situations. Meaning If you are drawing for someone, then you can know that in return they are not drawing for you. You are then E-mailed the name of the person you are drawing a picture for. OF COURSE this is secret. You never tell then your drawing a picture for them. You look up their info on the sign ups and then draw a picture with one or more of their characters. (How many characters is up to you and how you are looking to create the scene.) After you send the picture to ME... not to them. Once your picture is handed in you can relax, your part is done. And in completing your part, you will in turn get a picture from another member who was secretly drawing a picture for you. Hopefully you get yours in nice and early and then you can wait. Once Christmas Day comes I will get up early and e-mail out each of the pictures. I normally do 10 at a time. At this point you will get an e-mail with the name of the person who had you as well as an attached picture of what they drew for you. AFTER that point you can share yours online and talk and thank the other person who drew for you and such. The secret Santa then is over for another year.

FAQ *New*

Q: I am bored waiting for sign ups to start again. What should I do?
A: I always advise about a month or so before the secret santa to start planning your characters. Look over them and pick 1 - 5 characters that are your most favourites. Do any of them need a new reference sheet? Now would be a good time to do one. This way your not so rushed when sign up time comes and you have to get your character sheets done for your characters. Always a good idea to help take up some time.

Q: I am new to the archive, can I take part in this project?
A: Yes, I will watch you more closely so please reply back to e-mails as soon as you can after I send them but there is always a few new people each year and for the most part they are pretty good at handing in their pictures on time.

Q: I am 13 or under, Can I Join?
A: I wont say no to anyone over 9 years old. If your under don't worry I will be around for years to come I am sure. If not me then someone. I don't ask age. So technically anyone can join. But remember. Failure to follow the rules, even if your grounded from your computer, results in the same treatment. You wont be getting back in the next year. So if you feel you get grounded too much or too much depending on your family when you can get on the computer then maybe you want to wait a few years.

Q: I am not a member of Lilymud, can I still join?
A: Yes, I don't mind if you are not a part of lilymud. You will still have accuses to the project part of the forum even if you don't wish to become a member and are more then welcome to join.

Q: Where do I sign up?
A: There is two ways you can sign up and 4 ways you can find out about it. Members of Lilymud - Watch this forum (The art Project forum) in here will be the main sign up stuff. Each year it is around the end of October or beginning of November. To sign up you can simply comment on the sign up thread with the information that is asked of you in the thread. Members of LKFAA - Keep your eyes on the Bulletins around end of October or Beginning of November. I will post a link to where you can find out all the information you will need to take part in the project. DA Members - Watch my Journals, I will always post there with a link to the information you will need to take part in the project. Facebook Members - If you have facebook you can join the group on there. First thing I do after posting the sign ups on here is send out a message through the facebook group to remind everyone sign ups have began. It is a great way to remember if you tend to miss the sign ups each year. Check out facebook Group Here: FACEBOOK GROUP Anyone NOT a Lilymud member will use the information in the sign up area and e-mail me with what I need. I will post the information for you and you will be signed up. (PS if your not a member you can not e-mail me with a "Will add references later" thing. Just don't send the e-mail till you have the references done, you must have everything needed to sign up ready when you e-mail me.)

Q: I don't do digital art, can I join?
A: Yes. You are welcome to. Just know sketches are not allowed. If you wish to do real media it must be fully coloured and nicely outlined in some way. Can be done with paint, markers, pencil crayons... if you have a sketch in mind please run it by me first... pencil is fine but cant just be a sketch. Should be shaded with background and everything.

Q: What is my responsibility once I sign up?
A: Your responsibility is to look after you. Is is your responsibility to make sure I don't miss your name on the sign up list, and to contact me to find out why if you did. It is your responsibility to let me know if you don't get the e-mail on time. Your responsibility to make a picture for your secret Santa. And your responsibility to make sure it gets in before the deadline. If you feel you can handle that, trust it is it not that hard. Then you are perfect for the secret santa.

Q: Once I sign up do I HAVE to take part in it every year?
A: No. It goes year by year. If you sign up this year you will have to sign up again next year if you wish to take part in it the next year. Once December 25th comes your responsibility to the secret santa is over till you sign up again the next year.

Q: What is it like running the secret santa?
A: I love it. But it is not for everyone. You have to have a lot of devotion and a lot of time on your hands. For example it normally takes about 4 or 5 hours on christmas morning to send out the pictures. And maybe about 2 hours to send out names. I don't really celebrate christmas so I got all the time in the world on Dec. 25th to send out pictures. I don't think people should run their own without giving it a lot of serious thought. You change from having to look after JUST yourself to being responsible for lots of other people time. They make the pictures expecting the project to pull through. So it is a lot harder then just being part of one.

Q: I don't have any lion characters. Can I still take part?
A: Yes and No. You MUST still have one lion character. You can use a Cannon character from the lion king or another movie. You MUST still have a full body reference for this character. Only ONE has to be. The rest of the characters can be Humans, wolves, horses or whatever. And you can post that you would prefer someone to try drawing your other characters. OR turn one of your other characters into a lion.

Q: Do big cats count as lions? And does my pet cat count?
A: Big cats do. Cause they look basically the same. Your pet cat does not. Though your more then welcome to make it a character and have it as one of your other characters.

Q: I only have one character, do I have to put 5?
A: No. As long as that one character is a lion, your more then welcome to put just one character.

Q: If I don't have a character or would like someone to make a mate or friend or cub for my character can I?
A: In some ways you can. You still must put one reference for a character down. If you want them to have a mate or cub, or you want a new lion character you can mention that in your sign ups. The majority of the people don't so it is not actually an option. Especially cause I don't want this to turn into a character making thing with a bunch of made up characters rather then lovely scenes.

Q: I have 150 + characters, I cant choose who I want done, can I put the link to my character page?
A: If you have over 25 I do ask you put at least one reference to maybe your main character. And then say they can look and pick any from there as well. A problem with this is your person may not have the time to look though all your characters. You want to make it easy on them. If you do choose to go this rout you will want to make sure all your character descriptions, names and reference pictures are all up to date and looking nice. Remember they can pick ANY of your characters this way. Even ones you didn't use for the past 3 years or so.

Q: I am not religious, do I have to draw a religious picture?
A: No. Even the spot where people can put that information does not mean you HAVE to. If your secret santa is religious and is ok with a religious picture that does not mean you HAVE to do one. If you like to that is fine. If you are religious and your person says they don't want a religious picture then please respect that. I myself don't care, but I know other people out there might be offended or such. I don't want to stop religious pictures so I added that little thing in there when your signing up just to help you so I don't need to ask each person if they are ok with it.

Q: I signed up but I don't see my name on the list? Why?
A: This could be a few things. I do my best to update the list every day. But I don't always get around to it. IF your name is up more then a day and you don't see it added to the list feel free to message me either in e-mail or on the message board and ask. VERY important. I may have just missed you. Also if you don't fill out the stuff I need for sign ups (Most popular, the reference pictures for your characters) you will show up as a blank on the list. If you don't have those in my the closing time then your not part of the project this year. (If I missed you, and you didn't notice and tell me after I closed the sign ups that I missed you, your not in the project either. It is your job to make sure your on the list. Once the names go out I cant squeeze anyone in.

Q: I didn't get an e-mail with the person I am drawing for what should I do?
A: First make sure you got your date correct. Now think about where you live in the world. If you live in Australia then you might have to wait a little longer for that. Check your Junk mail. AND if you find it in there put my name in your contracts so that wont happen for more important ones. Like your picture. You can always remove me from contacts after the project is all over.

Q: I have a question about one of the characters I am supposed to work on, who do I contact the person?
A: You Don't. It is a secret remember. If you have a question contact me. I will pass the question off to your person, and then pass their answer back to you. If your ever asked a question by me in this try to remember it if you want to take part again some year. It may be something you want to put in your sign up information so people don't need to ask again.

Q: Something came up, I need to drop out. How do I do this?
A: Honestly DON'T do this unless there is an emergency. If you can tell me before names go out you are perfectly fine. What I don't want to see is the day before the deadline a message from you saying your grandma got sick and is in the hospital. While that may be true, and sad. And family is more important then a silly project. But you had almost a month to do the picture. It is still not an excuse for not getting it done. I know it is not the first thought on your mind but please. PLEASE let me know if you need to drop out as soon as you know. You don't have to tell me a reason right away... or ever if you don't want. I don't care if you have been abducted by aliens or anything silly even. Just tell me you need to drop out when you know. If you tell me on the day before the due date, you had a month to tell me and/or do the picture. You cause a huge problem into the project when I find out 3 days before I hand out the pictures that you dropped out. Please work ahead, things come up suddenly especially at this time of year. I give lots of time, put it above art trades and such, cause they can be done any time. This has a time limit. And I hate to see people rush cause they waited till the day before.

Q: Sign ups are closed. :( Did I miss it?
A: Yes. If the sign ups are closed, you missed them. Sorry. I do run a few mini secret santas on lilymud. Your welcome to join them. And keep your eye out next year. We would love to have you but once the sign ups are closed it is impossible to fit someone in.

Q: I want to mail my picture to my secret santa, can I get their address?
A: This is completely up to the person you drew for. I will not have anyone's addresses. After the project is over you can talk to your person about this if they wish you can talk about sending things after.

Q: I have a complaint about my picture?
A: There is normally one a year. Keep in mind, a complaint that you didn't get your fav. artists is normally pushed aside. Real complaints like "This isn't my character!" or such, is something that should be brought up with me. I now have a plan B in case problems happen. If you have a question or concern about something please let me know. Don't attack the artist or just not come back. Cause this is such a fun project, why have it ruined over something this little.

Q: Can I make a banner or picture to show off the project?
A: Yes, by all means spread the word. Maybe a nice secret santa idea with cannon characters might be a great way to send the message out. Or your own characters even. What would they get other characters of yours if they were secret santas to each other. Pass on the word in whatever way you want and whatever you have time for. It is not required. Just fun little ideas if your bored and want to tell your friends your part of this fun project.

Q: Where else can I find secret santa stuff?
A: There is two other places you can join to help you remember when sign ups start. Or show off your pictures AFTER the project is over.

DA Club

Facebook Group

Both anyone is welcome to join. We need more pictures for the DA club for it. So join and post your pictures from previous years if you were already a member. Lets fill it up.


Ya I hate them too. But without rules you cant have a successful secret Santa project. Most are very general but please make sure you know them. Normally if they are there, it is cause they have actually been broken before.

1: DON'T post your picture in a public gallery till you are specifically given the word to do so. Just don't do it. I think this has only ever happened once before. But don't do it. You wont be getting in the next years secret stanta. This is one of the most important rules of this project.

2: Keep it a secret. Don't tell anyone. Even if you get your best friend. It has happened before and trust me, no matter how much your friend bugs, they will much prefer that you don't tell them who you have. The surprise at the end is more worth it. So don't bug your friend to tell them who they have either. Cause if it is you, you might regret hearing it. If you are caught telling the secret to someone you will not be participating the following year.

3: Most important of all. YOU MUST PLAN ON SENDING IN A PICTURE. Don't sign up if this is your sick idea of free art. Ya pretty much that. It is just like an art trade. You will be getting a picture so please have the decency to also hand in your picture. Failure to hand in a picture and not tell me before the last deadline will leave you unable to take part in the project for the next 3 years. If you let me know before the final deadline that you cant make it then it is only 1 year. (If you let me know before names go out to people, nothing happens. I just take your name off the list. It never goes into my book so there is never record of you dropping out and you will be more then welcome to participate in the next years secret santa.)

4: You MUST draw at least ONE of the other person's characters. Really? I had no idea this was not clear. But it has happened. Please just go by what the person asks for. If they say you can make the a character then go for it if that's what you want to do. Otherwise please stick with the characters they ask for. PLUS please make sure you have the right person. Some peoples names look alike. Double check to make sure you have the right person. And if you have any questions please ask.

5: E-mail back when asked a question. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I know you get busy but no need for a long e-mail reply. Just a short one saying "I am working on my pictures. It will be done before the deadline." (And don't forget your name) is just fine. Unless that is not the correct answer to the question of course. LOL.

6: PUT TIME INTO YOUR PICTURE. This is important. Because there is someone out there who works their butt off on your picture. Don't just hand in a quick picture. I MIGHT crack down on this a bit more this year. Sketches are NOT allowed. And honestly try to go for a full body unless your putting a LOT of time into a head shot. There is a few amazing head shot pictures from previous years. But normally full body with background is best. This year I will go looking if you hand in a picture that may not fit. If your page has tons of pictures that have had much more time put into them. You may get an e-mail back asking if you can either redo it or add something more. I HATE to do that. Don't want to sound rude or anything. But please be the judge before you hand in your picture.

7: ARTWORK MUST BE YOUR OWN. Don't use other people's line art to make this picture. Don't use even your own icons to create this picture. This must be a new ideas of your own. I should not be able to find another picture in your gallery with the same pose of such that you just edited a little bit to make it this persons.

8: IF you have any questions about the person's character(s) you are doing for them, the project in general, or any of the rules on here, ASK me. I am always up to help. Don't ask the person who you are drawing for... or you just broken a very important rule to this project. Ask me. I will help you if you have questions about other people characters. If I cant help you I will ask them for you and get the information to you as soon as I hear back.

9: Have fun. Really this project on your side of things is so simple. It should be fun. It is not a hard project. All you have to do is make a picture, then send it in. Then you wait. No different then if you were doing an art trade with another member. You just have a time limit and as long as you follow that time limit, the rules above are very easy to follow.

-Written by Timitu
It's that time of the year again! Timitu has initiated sign ups!! You can find Timitu in three places to sign up.

Of right here at DA:

This is the information Timitu will want to know if you want to sign up, as written by herself.

Now that you understand the project and are ready to sign up. Below is all the information we need from you. The ones listed below with * beside them are needed. You will not be part of the project till this information is all filled out. If you fail to fill it out by the time sign ups are closed you will not be taking part in the project. A template of what we need is below so you can easily copy and paste. (People who are not members of lilymud, e-mail me with your information at )

*Name: (Just your name here at lilymud or on the art website will do. REMEMBER, don't change your name on the archive till after Dec. 25th or your links may be broken. Broken links on the day sign ups close may result in your name being removed from the project list after you thought it was there. So to remain safe change your name now if you must and upload with that name. Otherwise wait till after this project is over.)

*E-mail: (Make sure it is a working one. LOOK IT OVER. I know it sounds silly but failing to give a working one could have you kicked out of the project without notice. I don't test every one to make sure it works. That is your job to make sure you put it in. Make it one you check often. I wont send you anything other then secret santa related stuff while your in the project, like name of who you have, reminder e-mails, and your picture. After that I don't use your e-mail for anything. So if you have a privet e-mail that is better to use PM me or e-mail me and let me know you don't want it on the secret santa thing. And in this spot on the list put "PMed" or "E-mailed" and I will know that your sending yours in and watch for it.)

Links to Art: (Keep it G - PG only. The archive is a good place. Perhaps DA. You be the judge. Remember there are kids in this project.)

Year in Secret Santa: (Have you done it before? Or is this your first time. Kind of nice to know. I will watch and help out first timers more... and those who have done it 4 or 5 times I am more relaxed with. So try to let me know if you know how many years you have taken part. Mini secret santas don't count.)

Secret Santa Helper: (Are you willing to do an extra picture. Sometimes, someone has to drop out, or something happens. For whatever reason, there is still someone without a picture. That cant happen. If you hand in a picture you are guaranteed to get one in return from a secret someone. If you got lots of time around christmas and want to help out by making another picture let me know. Don't feel bad if you cant. A simple yes or no is ok for this on this year.)

*Characters and References: (Give the name of the character and a link to one or two pictures of them as reference. 1 - 5 characters. No more then 5... No less then 1. Cannon characters are welcome. But must be given a full body reference even if it is just a screen-shot from the movie. PLEASE make your reference a full body reference. Head shots wont count. If you do not have a digital reference try to make one in paint even just by making coloured circles and what they are colours for... To go with your non digital reference picture of the character. Just will make sure you get the character you want and not have the colours to light or too dark or just not looking right cause someone sees it differently then you. ONE CHARACTER MUST BE A BIG CAT. Lion, tiger, cheetah... etc. Other then that one character the rest can be anything you want. Humans, Wolves, Horses. Whatever you like.)

Characters Personality: (Tell us a few words that describe each character you post. Like "Funny, Friendly, Outgoing, but Evil." or something like that. Just a short thing that gives the person drawing a little idea of the character they have to draw.)

Religious or Not: (If your ok with getting a religious themed picture you can say so here. If your a certain religion you can say so as well. This does not make it so you WILL get a religious picture. Just lets your secret santa know if they wanted to they can. So if you get someone who says yes to this but your not religious and don't want to do one, you don't have to. If you are and the person either did not answer this or said no. Then keep it away from religion. It is just a simple thing to help out if your person is wondering if they can or should or not.)

Something to Say: (This is new this year. If you want to say something to your secret santa before they start drawing your picture put it here. Things like "*Name of Character* and *Name of Character* are brother and sister." Or "I would love it if you drew my new fursona at least, I don't care what other characters you do." Or "If you can draw my wolf character instead of my lion character please do." Or "I would love if you could make my character a mate and draw them together." Just simple little things like that. Keep in mind no one is obligated to follow what you say. So don't be mad if they don't. Keep your comments here in "ASKING" (or thanking or something) don't tell people what to draw, it often doesn't turn out as nice as you wanted it if you do.)

Ok so your all ready to sign up. Copy an paste the template below. Make sure you fill in at least the parts that have a star beside them in the above information. REMEMBER once you post it is your job to make sure all your links work.

Links to Art:
Year in Secret Santa:
Secret Santa Helper:

Characters and References:
Characters Personality:

Religious or Not:

Something to Say:

The rules and any FAQ can now be found on the main group page. :3
Have fun guys! I look forward to all the great pictures I am sure will come from this.

P.S. Just a quick note, please try to submit to proper groups ^^' I am so glad so many people have joined and are submitting their past SS's but do try to put it in the proper group. :3 The featured is for the current SS going on :D
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