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The Joy of Giving (Secretly…)

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This is the second year I have taken part in The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa and the second year I have absolutely loved it! For people who are unfamiliar with #TBTBSanta let me explain…

In November, the amazing Jamie from The Broke and The Bookish (of Top Ten Tuesday fame) announces the dates for that year’s #TBTBSanta (this years post is here). You then send her an email outlining what type of reader you are, what your Christmas wishlist would be and what level of Secret Santa you want to take part in (1 book and a small gift, 1–2 books and a couple of goodies* or 2+ books and goodies).

You then wait with baited breath whilst she works UNBELIEVABLY hard to pair everyone up so you get someone with a similar level to you and, ideally, from the same country. There are usually over 400 Secret Santas to match ­– I don’t know how she does it! A few weeks later, you’ll get an email with your Santee’s details and off you go!

I’ve absolutely loved taking part in #TBTBSanta but I know some of you are wondering why would anyone volunteer to buy a present for a perfect stranger and how do you even start?!

Secret Santa 2017

Well firstly, I love a challenge. Buying bookish presents for a bookish stranger is really fun! You’re given a shortlist of book they’d like to receive, so you’re not blindly scouring the shelves, but once you’ve ticked off the major parts of the Secret Santa it’s time to get creative!

My Santee has already received her present so I’m ok to share the below to give you an insight to what I bought and how I shopped for the lovely Elena

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  1. The Hobbit graphic novel –­ Elena is a HUGE graphic novel and LOTR fan and, as I bought this last year in French for my boyfriend, I thought it was the perfect curveball title to add to her list.
  2. Elijah’s Mermaid – Elena sent me a wish list link from Amazon so I got her a copy of this book (it’s also on my wish list so I hope it’s a good read!)
  3. Rosie Riveter / Stranger Things stickers – through some good ol’ fashioned Twitter stalking, I found out that Elena is a ST fan and a bit of a feminist so I thought these stickers from Punky Pins were perfect for jazzing up some notebooks
  4. Whittards Hot Chocolate stick – festive tea is a tried and tested fave amongst Secret Santa packages but Elena let me know in her email that she’s more of a hot choc girl so I picked up this fancier version for her to enjoy.
  5. Pen and pencil set – again, Twitter informed me that Elena has just started her new job and who doesn’t love fancy stationery?!
  6. Icicles Yankee Candle votive – I absolutely LOVE Yankee candles and this festive scent is one of my faves.
  7. Christmas socks – it’s just a must-have, surely?
  8. Black Panther Funko Pop keyring – I love a Pop Funko but I know the full-sized ones are not to everyone’s taste so a keyring is the perfect compromise. Twitter informed me that Black Panther is one of Elena’s favourite Marvel characters so the Black Panther Funko it had to be!
  9. The Suffragettes (Penguin Little Black Classics) – as I said above, Elena is a bit of feminist (girl after my own heart!) so this little extra was a must-buy for her!
  10. Candy canes – it’s Christmas!

I love making Christmas that little bit special for someone and the #TBTBSANTA allows me to spread the festive cheer to a complete stranger. You never fully know anyone’s motives for doing an online Secret Santa but it’s so lovely that Jamie garners together the book-blogging community to share the love and spread the goodwill.

Watch this space for the reveal of what my Secret Santa sent me…

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Shhh! Secret Santa!

It’s here! It’s upon us! My favourite time of the year has finally arrived!

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I absolutely LOVE Christmas – from the advent calendars to the present planning and from the wreaths to the wrapping! Spending time with my family and friends and frantically filling the diary with drinks, meals and coffee catch-ups before we all leave the city and head home – that’s what this time of year is all about.

I’ll admit I am one of those really annoying people who has all their present purchases wrapped up (get it?!) but that’s less to do with my organisation and more to do with my impatience! Planning presents genuinely brings me so much joy – nothing beats the feeling of giving someone a present I know they’ll love or be surprised by! Once I’ve planned a present, I need to buy it so it’s ticked off, hence my Christmas shopping now complete!

In the spirit of presents, Christmas and giving I decided that this year I would sign up to The Broke and The Bookish’s Secret Santa. This is a Secret Santa organised by the amazing Jamie over at TBTB and is run within the bookish blogging community. All I did was sign up, fill out a few questions about myself and the books I like to read – simples! The questionnaires are then swapped around and a couple of weeks later Jamie emails you with details about someone who is your Secret Santa!

I love the challenge and mystery about #TBTBSanta and though I have never done anything like this before, I have thoroughly enjoyed buying presents for my mystery blogger – I really hope he/she likes them*!

*I’m being deliberately mysterious at this point!

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Wrapped, packed and sent off!