EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

November 23, 2013

Isn't part of the fun the gift of surprise?

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Group registries are ready made for Christmas, when so much buying and so many lists are in play, Swick said from Houston. At his site, which has a Pinterest-like interface, you can also add a gift suggestion to a person’s list and let them see it.

In stealth mode, however, “It’s almost like I’m pasting something to the person’s Facebook wall that they can’t see but everyone else can,” Swick explained. “We make it a bit more collaborative.”

The site, which was built out last year, has about 25,000 users, while Jessup’s site got off the ground in earnest a couple of months ago and had not yet hit 1,000 users.

Busy people benefit greatly. “Some people want to give personal gifts that are also a surprise and get down to the perfect gift without having to ask the receiver,” Jessup said.

Gibson is single but has a big family — nieces, nephews, eight aunts and uncles and 18 cousins included. Well-meaning gifts, she said, often wind up in the back of a closet. But her heart isn’t entirely hard.

“I’m still warmed by the gifters’ attempts to give me something,” she said. “I’m a softie like that.”

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