This is the first post on Looking for the Postman in December, and with good reason: Advent competitions.

For those who are unaware, every December, the world of online competitions goes beserk. Seriously mad. Every company on the planet starts running daily competitions throughout the Christmas period. The fervour that normally surrounds the last day of the month now happens every day. Hundreds of companies, all going giveaway crazy. Twitter is even more explosive.

If you have a full time job, or any other sort of meaningful commitment, then it’s simply not possible to keep up with them. You have to commit to a few and then stick with it. Personally, I ended up doing sixty on a daily basis, with normal competitions and Twitter giveaways on top of that.

Businessman smashing computer with hammer (Digital Composite)

Just because you’re entering more, however, doesn’t mean the wins increase. It’s actually been the opposite with me.

Prior to December, I was averaging one win every 565 competitions entered. Since the beginning of December, I have entered approx. 3,200 competitions. That is a truly outrageous number. An average of 139+ competitions a day! And from all of that, I have had one win. I won a book – which was a lovely kid’s Christmas book – and probably worth about £6. That’s obviously one win for every 3,200 competitions entered. A huge departure from what I’d previously experienced.

Perhaps prizes are stuck in the Christmas post? (I’m an optimist!) Perhaps there were just too many other people entering. The XBox Facebook giveaways were topping 40,000 entries on a daily basis.

I’m shattered! As well as the 139+ per day detailed above, I’ve also been re-entering the competitions that allow you extra daily entries. That’s about another 200 competitions per day!

The effect that the advent comps have on the comping community is quite amusing. It’s like you can hear everyone having a collective deep breath at the end of November in anticipation of the bedlam ahead. Then the Competition Winner groups on Facebook go into meltdown. My laptop is whirring and smoking under the pressure.

It all ends tomorrow, and not a day too soon. We’re all exhausted. I’m chucking my laptop out the window and I’m going to put my feet up and enjoy a relaxing Christmas*. I hope you will get to do the same!

Please share your Advent Comp experiences with me. I’d love to hear if you were more successful or equally exasperated!

Merry Christmas!

*Four children, two of whom are under 4. It’s not gonna happen.