The Not-So-Secret Santa


Over the past month, I’ve been asked to take part in three different Secret Santa present-giving missions. I said yes to all three, of course, because the bar was set quite low – the first two you had a spending limit of a fiver, and the third, to be done at the work Christmas party, was only a pound! I have to say, sticking to a present limit of a quid was pretty funny, and some of the gifts that were given were quite special for such a small budget. To give you some idea of what was given, there were things like a Pez sweet dispenser in the shape of a unicorn (magic), a pair of thermal gloves (Home Bargain’s finest), and a miniature radio (Poundland!).

The other two, for five pounds each, were between some of my blogging buddies, who I’ve been lucky enough to get to know over the past six months or so. One of them I can’t write about, as it’s secret until after Christmas, but because it’s for someone who I don’t think actually knows me, I’ll let you into a secret – it was a miniature bottle of Hendricks gin, which I blew the full £5 budget on in Harvey Nicks. Phew! Now I’ve confessed to that, I hope my other Secret Santa receiver isn’t going to be sobbing into her laptop now she’s learnt she’s missed out on the booze.


This final one wasn’t so much a Secret Santa as a not-so-secret Santa, as I was paired up with another blogger and we bought for each other. So as a regular reader of Lucy’s blog Mrs H’s Favourite Things, I had a few ideas of the kinds of things she likes. My first thought was stationery, as she’s posted about her love of notebooks a few times and I know you can never have too many. Especially if they’ve got owls on. After the notebook, I still had £4 to play with, so went for another of her favourite things, nail varnish. I’ve been eyeing up these glitter polishes for a while, they’re perfect for a quick bit of Christmas glam, and having tried a sneaky bit on in the shop, I can vouch for them looking ever so slightly like you’ve painted your nails with glitter glue, a good look for a mum to a toddler who loves a bit of art and craft! Let’s hope Little Miss H likes it on her mum too! Next, I found this gorgeous little tin with the slogan Follow Your Dreams, which I think will remind Mrs H to do just that. All topped off with some Christmas Hershey bars. Yum! I hope she likes it!


I received my gift from Mrs H yesterday, and as the rules of this not-so-Secret-Santa are that we can open our gifts to write about them, I got the package open straight away. Fab wrapping! I loved all the ribbons, and the festive red and green packing underneath. At this point I’m thinking mine looks a bit small compared to all the goodies I received. Present angst kicking in! I think Lucy knows me pretty well, as I love baths and anything with lavender in, so these gorgeous relaxing bath tea bags are very welcome. Even though I’m full of cold I can smell them through the packet, and can’t wait to give them a go. Secondly, I love chocolate, so was very happy with my Lindt chocolate reindeer, chocolate coins, and chocolate fudge! At this point I should say the fudge didn’t make the photos, as it was raided by my son, husband, and well, me! Then a lovely handmade gift, a tree decoration made I think from salt dough, which I tried the other week but this one looks far superior to mine! The last thing I opened was this fun sign, which says Don’t Get Your Tinsel In A Tangle. Love it! Thanks Mrs H! All topped off with this fabulous home made card. Perfect. I am a lucky girl. Hurray for Secret Santa!

X Julia




Mami 2 Five
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  • Reply
    Mrs H
    December 20, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Lovely, I am so glad you liked all your presents. I loved mine. They are perfect. I’ll have to write my post when my new blog is up and running (squeal!!). Thanks for being my “not so secret Santa”. Hugs Lucy xxxx
    Mrs H recently posted…A special Advent calendar – week 1My Profile

  • Reply
    December 20, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    What gorgeous presents! Happy Christmas lovely and so glad to have ‘met’ you this year (BIG XMAS hugs) xxxxxx
    mummyofboygirltwins recently posted…Posting Christmas cards with the twinsMy Profile

  • Reply
    Mini Travellers
    December 20, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    what fab gifts you two, love the tinsel in a tangle sign and obviously all the chocolate gifts. I am envious of the good wrapping. Mine from bonita was beautifully wrapped too yet I am hopeless!
    Mini Travellers recently posted…Sunday StarsMy Profile

  • Reply
    December 21, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Lovely ideas and presents. Love the ‘don’t get your tinsel in a tangle’ tree decoration!

  • Reply
    Katie Haydock
    December 21, 2014 at 10:08 am

    And all beautifully wrapped too… what more can a girl ask for?!
    Thank you so much for joining in with the no-so-secret Santa 🙂 #SundayStars
    Katie Haydock recently posted…Not so secret Santa… #SundayStarsMy Profile

  • Reply
    sarah christie
    December 21, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    I love the gifts you choose Julia, even though we haven’t met I really feel I have got to know you, I can’t wait to meet you, merry christmas xx
    sarah christie recently posted…My Christmas Sunday PhotoMy Profile

  • Reply
    December 21, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Lovely wrapping paper – sorry that caught mtg eye first! Lovely gifts and that tin is perfect for Mrs H. Such a fab idea and loving seeing all the posts! P.S gifts for a £1 is too funny- love that idea!
    mamasvib recently posted…V. I. BUYS: Not so Secret Santa & some last minute buys under £8My Profile

  • Reply
    December 21, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Oh you chose such a lovely selection of gifts to send Mrs H, I’ve never had a hersheys bar before!

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

    PS. LOVING your blog’s new look.
    jenna recently posted…Blogger Gift SwapMy Profile

  • Reply
    Everything Mummy
    December 22, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    mmmm hersheys… lovely gifts I’ve loved this not so secret santa its been so much fun have a lovely christmas xxx
    Everything Mummy recently posted…The New Year TagMy Profile

  • Reply
    Caro | The Twinkles Momma
    December 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Such a lovely thing to do. I haven’t taken part in a Secret Santa this year and have felt very un-festive as a result!! It’s the only time of year that I miss working in an office!! Sometimes being a SAHM can be a little bit isolating!

    Really lovely, thoughtful gifts too (especially the Gin!!) xxx
    Caro | The Twinkles Momma recently posted…101 weeks and 2 days | A present for my friend | Papercut ArtMy Profile

  • Reply
    Katie (@mami2fiveblog)
    January 4, 2015 at 1:10 am

    A bit late on the commenting, but I love what you both bought each other!
    I really enjoyed doing this, my first ever proper Secret Santa (we do a little one with the kids). I can’t wait till next Christmas to do it all over again now though 😀
    Katie (@mami2fiveblog) recently posted…Welcoming in 2015, but there’s no new year resolutions from me!My Profile

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