secret santa

I think I mentioned in a previous post that I took part in a gift exchange sponsored by a blogger I have followed for some time.  It's a unique opportunity to get to know some new folks and test your gift giving abilities on a total stranger.  I loved the challenge of it all.  They kept it all anonymous by having us buy for someone different than we receive a gift.  I rather like this, but seems some people chose not to participate at all and that would leave someone empty handed.  When the pool of participants is over 300, you are bound to get a few scroudges. Anyhoo, I had a lovely girl named Janine who lives in Ireland!  I stalked her pinterest and instagram and was able to ask questions via a website called elfster and in a Facebook group that had been set up for the group.  It took me a little bit to come up with something I thought she'd enjoy.  One day she posted some papers on her instagram and said she wanted to start pen paling again - boom!  An idea was born!  That's a theme I could work with!  I got notecards & envelopes, the 7-year pen and a custom return address stamp & pad.  She also mentioned wanting something from the place where her secret santa was from, so I printed some of my photos via Artifact Uprising that she could frame, use as postcards or etc., Vosges chocolates and a Chicago coloring/story book for her little boy.  I wrapped everything in red - her favorite color.  secretsanta1Amazingly, she got the package in ten days vis the USPS!!  She loved everything and seemed very excited about the gift.  Yay!

Then there's my Santa - from Australia... My Santa didn't do very much stalking. Well ... I'd have to say none, really.  I am thankful that I got a gift, since some people did not, but wish she would have done just a little bit of digging... secretsanta2Ah well, I will give it a go again next year because I really enjoyed buying the gift!!