Sunday, 28 December 2014

Bloggers' Secret Santa

Christmas is one of my favourite times of year, but I have to admit, I absolutely hate receiving gifts. I am quite hard to buy for, and unfortunately I don't have many acting skills. Therefore, when someone gives me a rubbish present, I am not very good at convincing them (whether it is true or not) that I am in fact, over the moon with the items that I have just unwrapped. And I hate the charade that we then play out. They know they have got me something rubbish and I know that I will put it in a box, never to use it but we try to persuade each other that this isn't what is about to happen. We are both in denial about that, concentrating instead on the festivities.

One little trick we have thought up to alleviate this stress is to use a Christmas List. Now, I know, this isn't exactly revolutionary. But normally what happens at Christmas, is that you are asked to make a list and it is ignored completely. Because your friends/family either 'find something better' or decide that they couldn't possibly stick to it due to it being too expensive or whatever excuse they come up with. However, my family have learnt to now STICK TO THE LIST. It stresses us all out too much otherwise and it is just easier for everyone. I feel a lot more comfortable, knowing exactly what it is that I am opening and it means that I have not had a proper surprise in years.

Until now that is. Because, as I announced back in November in this article here, this year I took part in the #APOVGiftswap organised by @violahelen_ ( I have no idea how she organised us all and paired us all up, but it meant that I got to know 17 year old Mel (from We got chatting and found that we had so much in common. Not just in our interests, but also she has applied to come to Reading University where I studied. Which Viola couldn't have known because Mel hadn't talked about it on her blog at all. So it was just a massive and really weird coincidence.

After a couple of weeks of getting to know each other and reading each others' blogs, we eventually started thinking about the presents. Mel has put up her own article about what I sent her (which you can view here but you can have a little peek here.

I received my gifts when I returned to my parents' house on the 20th December. I had sent it there, rather than to my own home, to ensure it did arrive before Christmas. Otherwise I would have had to wait until the new year. And it was hard enough to wait anyway - I am thankful it wasn't sitting around that long, or my impatience might have gotten the better of me.

But I absolutely adored my gifts, both of which were so thoughtfully picked out. I can't wait to watch the films. This director is amazing (he is currently directing the West End theatre show starring Tamsin Grieg, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) and apparently watching Spanish films will really really help my vocab, accent and fluency. I have heard that from both Mel and from my buddy/Spanish teacher so it must be true. And I have already started the coffee which is so yummy. I love that I don't have to go out to get my Starbucks any longer.

Thank you so much to Mel for my lovely gifts. I really feel like I have made a new friend in her so I hope we keep in touch, especially if she gets into Reading. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?

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  1. You're very welcome! I'm really glad you liked them. I had no idea Almodovar was directing 'Mujeres' in London!!!

    1. I know!! Although it does make sense considering he directed the film. I am trying to find a way of getting press tickets at the moment and if I succeed, you would totally have to come with me as you gave me those films (and you could review it on your blog). I don't think I will manage it though, I can't find the press details anywhere boo.

  2. Hi lovely,
    The Starbucks gift set looks really good! I’m so glad you enjoyed the swap :)
    I’m doing a round-up post very soon so keep your eyes peeled!
    Viola xo