Xmas gift swap roundup! #12daysswap #TBTBSanta

This year I participated in two awesome Xmas gift swaps, so I wanted to do a quick roundup to thank both of my Secret Santas!

12 Days of Christmas Swap

My swap partner for the 12 Days of Christmas Swap was one of the organizers, the amazing and multi-talented Beth Wade. She sent me tons of amazing gifts, and I felt thoroughly spoiled! Here are a few that I remembered to take Instagram pix of…

Talking Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer for Day 1:

Now I must collect all the rest! Especially Yukon Cornelius…

Day 2 Pampering:

A lovely nail polish, peppermint lip gloss, and a hair clip shaped like a bird’s wing, all in a lovely little black & white pouch – my favorite color scheme!

Day 3 was a tribute to kitties…

I love Shelter Cats, since my two cats were both rescue babies.

Day 4 were some of my favorites, as they were aimed at my writer side!

Who doesn’t love new pens and notebooks? And the striped hand warmers have been keeping my typing hands toasty while I muscle through the 5 days of cold weather here in SoCal. ;D

I can’t remember which days these guys arrived, but I now own two finger puppets from the fantastic Unemployed Philosophers Guild:
That’s Auguste Rodin and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., in case you were wondering. I love Kurt’s wild hair and Rodin’s melancholy expression (and blue beret). They’re chillin’ on my refrigerator and arguing philosophy and art as we speak. Salvador Dalí occasionally butts in with wild observations from his perch on my desk!

On day 8 my mom actually swiped my gift, as it included another pair of hand warmers in festive holiday colors:

I didn’t mind, as she said she needed something to keep her hands warm while playing the piano at church. She also put them to good use while we were braving the winds for some ocean-side strolling during their holiday visit.

I will admit that the right side of this tasty pair didn’t last long…

Chocolate is my absolute fave… and Beth followed that one up with even more sweet treats!

Peppermint flavored cocoa? Yes, please! And a holiday water bottle to remind me to stay hydrated was the perfect way to end this holiday roundup.

Thanks so much for all of your amazing gifts, Beth!

The Broke and Bookish Secret Santa

In addition to my 12 Days of Xmas Swap, I also participated in The Broke and Bookish Secret Santa.

My Secret Santa turned out to be Angela Resendi, who sent me some of the best books on my wish list!

I immediately dove into Jenny Lawson’s new book, Furiously Happy (the one with the overexcited raccoon on the cover), and can’t wait to start reading the other four:

[author_list style=”heart”]

  • Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody
  • The Cunning Linguist by Richard Lederer – a nonfiction look at sex puns and double entendres
  • Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner – can you believe I’ve never read any of Jennifer’s books?!
  • Dark Places by Gillian Flynn – because after reading Gone Girl I have to read all of Gillian’s work


Angela also sent me some goodies that made me smile, including what seems to be the bookish gift of choice this holiday season: a “So many books, so little time” necklace!


Noting my love of typewriters, she also sent a silver typewriter charm, which I am still trying to figure out which necklace would be best to attach it to. Maybe my typewriter key “L” necklace?

Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful picks, Angela!

Gift hunting

As for my own gift-hunting, I must admit I was a bit frustrated. First, I tried to purchase some of the books for my Secret Santa recipient, Genesee, at my local Friends of the Library bookstore, which benefits my local library. Unfortunately, even though they were scheduled to be open the day I popped by, the door was locked and there was nobody home!

Additionally, one of the items I picked for her is still in transit – and might not even arrive until January 28th! What gives, third-party Amazon seller?

So, although apparently the books I picked were delivered (hooray for Amazon’s two-day Prime shipping!), the rest of my picks are still up in the air. That’s not very festive, is it? I just hope nothing has gotten lost in the mail…

All in all, I really enjoyed participating in these holiday swaps, and I hope to do so again next year. That way, with a year in advance to hunt for cool gifts, I might actually come up with some super exciting ideas, instead of feeling so rushed with my choices.

Thanks again to the organizers, for pairing me up with such excellent swap partners, and for everyone who participated in the gift swapping fun! I hope you had a very Happy Holiday season, and enjoy reading your books in the new year!