Swappers who have already used the system can pretty much ignore the following because you all know how it works. I need to go over the mechanics of how the swap starts so that everyone has plenty of time to ask questions before active swapping takes place.
The first thing we need to discuss is the time, which is currently pre-programmed into the swap system. Somewhat borrowed from Horntoad: The start and finish dates for active trading listed on this page are based on UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) which I will henceforth refer to as official ATP time. ATP time is several hours ahead of the US time zones, so the actual start is actually on the date before those listed. Active swapping will begin at 7pm EST, 6pm Central, on January 5th and end at 7pm EST, 6pm Central on January 12th. I think that puts Jonna at 11pm start on January 5 for her location. Dates regarding sending and receiving are exactly correct.
This is important because the system will send you your first 4 tickets to choose seeds at precisely the ATP start time and if you are competing for seeds speed can be of the essence. (Think of the annual piggy stampede for seeds or lining up at WalMart on Black Friday to get a toaster for 5 bucks, elbows locked and determined look loaded.) When trading starts if you have earned extra tickets those will appear as you earn them. You can see how many tickets you have at any time by looking at the opening swap page. The first few minutes of selecting is a frenzy of activity that will subside once tickets are spent. The next automatic ration of tickets will come at exactly the same time the next evening. Every day the number of tickets you receive will increase. The number increases rapidly over the next few days and by the end of the time period you will likely have a number of unused tickets. That's fine. They are non-transferable so if you don't want to pad your return with seeds you are not enthusiastic about they can languish unused forever.
Once you have selected seeds two new links will appear on the main swap page. One will tell you what you have "sold." Very helpful because if you want to start sorting seeds by recipient you can get started. You will also have a list of what you have "bought" so you know what you already have coming. You can also look at the "recent events" link to see who bought what or if anything new was added, if you are interested in the details.
One more point. If you accidentally use a ticket to request a seed by mistake, (hard to do but possible), or you change your mind, you can rescind your request. However, you lose the ticket you used and the person who originally sold you the seed keeps credit for it, even if that item is put back in circulation and is chosen again.
I think that's enough to chew over. If anyone has questions, don't hesitate to ask for clarification.