If you’re an avid reader, you may remember that in 2017 I took part in the 8th Annual Broke & Bookish Secret Santa as ran by the lovely Jamie and Jana. Well, it was back for 2018, and I had to take part, even when the announcement and sign-up period happened when I was enjoying a holiday at Disney World in Florida. So, I dusted off my sign-up email all about me from last year, added a couple of things, and sent it off almost immediately. Then came the waiting game until I got my Santee and got to see their email/letter to Santa.
For those unaware, every year Jamie and Jana host a brilliant Secret Santa event for the online bookish community. The aim of the game is to act as someone’s Secret Santa and send them some presents based on the letter they send to their “Santa”. It’s a super fun way of getting all the community together – book bloggers, bookish tweeps, Bookstagrammers, readers alike – and getting in the festive ‘giving and receiving’ spirit.
After the success of last year, in 2018 I decided to go hard
(or go home) and chose option C: 2+ books and goodies, because I knew from my first experience of TBTB Santa that I liked shopping for a fellow book lover and making their gift as brilliant as possible. I always go overboard once I start, so I thought I might as well state from the beginning that I would and let the inevitability happen!
I was given the lovely Kathrin as my Santee who, it turned out, lived close to me! I was so excited when I saw her responses and I enlisted the help of friend/housemate/fellow participant Liz to help cyber stalk her (in the least creepy way possible) and figure out what she’d like to receive. From all this stalking, and her letter to Santa, I knew she liked making art, historical biographies about women, and musical theatre – all of which sounded like great starting points for shopping!
For anyone curious to see what I got her, you can take a peek at her unboxing tweet! It was a lot of fun to shop for her and to try to find some goodies she’d enjoy. Even though we live in the same city, I still decided to do as I did last year and include a Superlambanana keyring in my Santee’s box because how often is it you get to be a tourist in your own city? I had so much fun choosing the books I would include too and I made sure to get a couple from her wishlist (Little Fires Everywhere and Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, both of which I loved!) as well as putting in a couple I thought she might enjoy – What Would Boudicca Do? (a new non-fiction release that sounded super fun and is all about badass women throughout history) and Wishing For Birds (a poetry collection that I enjoyed immensely and always try to gift, whenever possible).
As I said last year, not a lot of my friends and family love books to the same extent that I do so I never get the chance to gift books to them, let alone at Christmas, so the whole Secret Santa project makes up for that deficiency and sates that urge I have to buy ALL THE BOOKS for ALL THE PEOPLE. I’m SO happy that Kathrin liked her box and I’m grateful to Jamie and Jana for running a project that has meant I’ve got to make a new friend in Kathrin. She has been amazingly kind and generous and since Christmas has gifted me a book back (a BEAUTIFUL Penguins Clothbound edition of Jane Austen’s Love and Freindship) which I never expected but I will now cherish!
Now to the box I received. My Secret Santa was lilredbookshelf and boy did she spoil me! Everything in the box was so beautifully chosen and wrapped that I hated to have to ruin its perfection by opening things, but open them I did – like an excited child on Christmas morning. As you can see from the photo, she definitely picked up on all my loves, from Hamilton lyric fridge magnets to a Ron Swanson Funko Pop, from a ‘No Mourners, No Funerals’ tote bag to a set of ASDOM bookmarks. I adored every single item she chose for my box and I couldn’t get over how much thought and attention had been put into finding items that were SO attuned to my interests. I was seriously spoiled, guys.
And then onto the books: she picked SO WELL from my wishlist and gifted me the incredible Collector’s Edition of ADSOM (my FAVE series!), a beautiful hardback of Furyborn (I read an ARC months ago and have heard it changed in the final manuscript??? I need to re-read, stat!), Scythe (I need to get to this asap because the concept sounds so intriguing!), and To Kill A Kingdom (I’ve heard such good things!)
You know when I said earlier I was spoiled by my Secret Santa? Well no, seriously, I was SPOILED so much and I am so grateful to her because everything was lovely and I love life.
All in all, the Broke and the Bookish’s Secret Santa proves yet again that it’s an amazing project that brings together book lovers everywhere. I really hope to participate in it many years into the future and I can’t wait to see the festive period roll around again in 2019!
Did you participate in TBTB Santa or have you done so in the past? Or do you participate in any other Secret Santa gift exchanges, maybe with your friends or at work? Let me know below!