Working from home and freelancing means no annual Christmas party, no long lunches, no excuses to get glammed up everyday in case there is after-work drinks – and no Secret Santa.
I love a bit of Secret Santa but you get the moaners who think secret Santa means spending money you don’t have, on people you don’t especially like and receiving a load of tat you don’t need.
Granted if you are part of a large office this could be the case – but, I worked with a small team and loved thinking up inexpensive gifts that were thoughtful too. But, then I used to take in homemade treats for the whole floor! When I was on maternity leave it was my idea to organise a mamas and babies lunch for my NCT group and of course suggested we all do a Secret Santa for the babies. Old habits die hard.
So, I was pleased this year when the girls in the Facebook Blogging group I am part suggested we do a ‘not so secret santa’ and spread a little Christmas spirit to each other – and then blog about it.
Having only been in this group since the summer and first all meeting each other at a recent blogging conference we had to be creative as we’ve only known each other over the Internet as such. Which may sound strange to some people but we chat daily, offer online support and help each other out with our blogs too.
So, it’s a nice way to say thank you and of course, Merry Christmas. I had to send my gift to the super lovely Karen at minitravallers – which I was very pleased about as I had (online) spoken to her the most before she suggested starting the group. Karen writes a fab blog about travelling with kids – with she knows a thing or two about as she has 3 kids under 4! So, I wanted to send her something that was just for her and that was a bit of a treat too.
I went for a personalised mug – as I don’t think you can ever go wrong giving a nice mug for someone. I wanted it to be a bit special so had her blog logo printed on it – that way it’s strictly ‘mummy’s only.’
To add a treat element – I filled it with some relaxing teabags (as I wasn’t sure if Karen was a tea or coffee drinker?), a tube of hand cream and a bright nail polish. My note also hoped she got ‘5 minutes to herself to enjoy!’
As bloggers we spend as much time as she can at our computers – so I hoped that when Karen’s tapping away on her keyboard with (hopefully) polished nails and sipping a cuppa she will be reminded of our group and it will brighten her day a little. As I love a bit of a theme. I took her ‘mini travellers’ one step further with my wrapping. By using a luggage label as her tag (which of course she can use on her next trip!) and decorated the parcel to look like an vintage ‘airmail’ parcel to hint how far it had travelled to her. (I live South, she lives North).
My ‘not so secret santa’ parcel arrived from the lovely Katie at mami25. Katie has 5 kids ranging from 1-13 so how on earth she had time to sent me such a sweet and partly homemade gift I’ll never know! To find out what she sent and why click over to her blog at mami25.
And, of course I had to share my 9 favourite Secret Santa buys under £8 in case you need one pretty swift for a gift swap this week or a last minute stocking filler.
1) Highlighter pen and highlighter £7.50 Paperchase
2) Bottle stoppers £5 Paperchase
3) Wax stamp £4 Hema
4) Barry M ‘Jingle Bells’ Nail Paint £3.99 Superdrug
5) Moustache dummy £6 Amazon
6) Queen Bee Vaseline £3.99 Superdrug
7) Happy Jackson mirror compact £7.95 John Lewis
8) Noughts & crosses £3.95 dotcomgiftshop
9) Festive earrings £8 Marks & Spencer