This year was the first year that I had my blog, thus it was also the first year that I participated in the Secret Santa that was coordinated by the wonderful ladies at The Broke and the Bookish! Yes, I do realize that we are way past Christmas at this point, but I took an unintentional hiatus from my blog due to holiday travel, craziness at work, and some things going on in my personal life. I could have foregone sharing this with everyone, but I had such a fun time with this, and I received such an awesome package from my Secret Santa, that I definitely wanted to make sure I gave credit where credit was due, and also to raise awareness so that everyone can think about this all year and definitely participate when Christmas rolls around again (seriously, it’ll be here before we know it).
Now, onto the goods!
We weren’t put in contact with the person who had us, so I had no idea when my package would be arriving. I was lucky enough to get my box on a Monday evening after a particularly stressful and annoying day at work, so you can probably imagine how excited I was to see it sitting in front of my door. There may have been some subtle jumping around and squealing involved. My first reaction when I picked up the box was “wow, this is a bit heavy”.
When I opened my package, I was so happy that everything was individually wrapped. That may seem like a weird thing to say, but it makes the whole experience that much more suspenseful when you get to unwrap individual items. Sometimes it’s just the little things that make life great, you know? Anyways, the next thing I noticed when I opened the box was how awesome it smelled – it literally smelled like pine (aka CHRISTMAS). At this point I figured that whomever my Secret Santa was, they were also a magician, because having a Christmas gift that also smelled like Christmas… definitely magic.
I had all intentions of taking pictures as I opened things, but let’s be honest I’m a huge child at heart and I couldn’t contain myself! Not only was I staring at a present (many presents actually), but it was present that GUARANTEED to include books! Before I knew what had happened I found myself surrounded by a pile of ripped up wrapping paper. Therefore, you’ll have to settle for these after photos I got of all the goodies!
Sorry for the pretty terrible picture. I didn’t realize it was that terrible until I opened it to add into this post.
First up is all the “extra” stuff that was in my box. First we’ll talk about the food. I got a giant Santa Claus chocolate bar, assorted chocolate truffles, and two packages of fun hot chocolate! Yes, there was a theme, I love chocolate and I made sure my Secret Santa knew that! Next lets talk about the extra fun stuff. I got a pair of adorable fuzzy socks, which couldn’t be more perfect because the heating in my apartment is awful, and though I normally hate wearing socks, I often double up in the winter. My husband even commented on how cute this pair was when he saw me wear them for the first time! I also got a Christmas ornament that is a glass ball with strips of a Harry Potter novel inside – ADORE! I don’t have any bookish Christmas ornaments (I know, so weird, right?), so this was perfect. There were also bath bombs, which I laughed at because I got the exact same ones for my gift recipient as well, great minds think alike! The last fun thing that was included was a pine candle (which I adored and already burned), the source of why the present smelled like Christmas!
When you signed up to participate, you were encouraged to include a Wish List of books that you wouldn’t mind your Secret Santa buying you. This photo shows the books that my Secret Santa purchased from my wish list. It includes Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry, Waistcoats and Weaponry by Gail Carriger, and 738 Days by Stacey Kade. These were all perfect picks! I feel like everyone but me has read (and praises) Katie McGarry and the Thunder Road series, so I’m happy to have this now, as it will force me to jump on the bandwagon as well! I’ve been trying to collect all of the books in the Finishing School series before I start that, my sister adores this series and has been pushing me to read it for a while, but I hate starting a series without having all of the published books ready and available for me to pick up one right after another. As for 738 Days, this just sounds like such a suspenseful and intriguing book to read.
The fun didn’t end there, though! My awesome Secret Santa went above and beyond and included two additional books that weren’t on my Wish List, but that she thought I might enjoy. The first was The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, which she mentioned was one of her favorites that she had read. Though it isn’t YA, which is my go to genre, it still sounds like a cute contemporary that is going to be fun to read. She also included an ARC copy of The Reader by Traci Chee, another one that she really enjoyed and I thought I would like as well. This one I had heard of, it was on my TBR, but hadn’t made it to my Wish List, which consisted of books that were more “I gotta have it now” titles, but I’m still excited to have this as well, as I’ve heard some great things about it!
Overall, I had such a fun time both buying presents for the person that I was assigned, and even more fun opening my own gift from my Secret Santa, Katie! Thank you to the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish for hosting, as well as a huge thank you to Katie for an awesome job on my gifts! I will definitely be participating again next year.