Here's the deets:
Shawnee's Secret Santa Swap
Register by: November 3
Mail between: November 15 and November 30
Your Secret Santa Swap package should be a minimum of $15 in value before postage, and include the following:
At LEAST One Handmade Item
Something to Read (book, magazine, poem)
Something for the Tree (garland, ornament, topper, skirt)
Holiday Goody (candy, cocoa, tea, coffee, chocolate)
Challenge: Include one gift for each letter needed to spell out a word from the season (SNOW, JOY, FAITH, LOVE, HOPE, GIFT, TREE, JESUS, STAR, SANTA, etc). We've done this last the two years and it was SO MUCH FUN! Of course, the perfect gift for an "A" is an APRON.
Then, make this a special box -- gift wrapping, bows, the whole nine yards! Include a note identifying yourself with your email and blog address so your partner can contact you with her grateful thanks.
An additional requirement is to answer a questionnaire about yourself. Look, Santa, I'm being a good girl and following the rules! ;)
Shawnee's Secret Santa Swap Questionnaire
What are your hobbies?
crochet, making ATCs, making cards, papercrafting, swapping on Swap-bot
What are your favorite colors?
muted, rustic greens described with words like cypress, thyme, moss, lichen, putty, olive, and avocado
Do you collect anything?
hugs from all "my" kids
old books - I love the ones that are written in or falling apart.
Are you allergic to any fibers or animals?
Do you have any pets?
If by pets you mean children with fur, then yes. I have three children of the feline species and one of the canine species.
Coffee, Tea, or Chocolate?
Tea and chocolate!
Favorite teas: Earl Grey, Lady Grey, Irish Breakfast, English Breakfast, Chamomile, Mint Medley, Sleepytime (not a big chai or spice tea fan)
Hot chocolate is wonderful with mini marshmallows or stirred with those old-fashioned peppermint sticks.
Favorite chocolate to chew: Mr. Goodbar, Peanut M&Ms, KitKat, Hershey's, Mounds
What do you like to read?
Trivia, nerdy, encyclopedic stuff, and the classics. I'm halfway through reading Austen's works chronologically.
Do you prefer Cookies or Candies as a sweet?
Probably cookies, even though I eat candy more often. I like soft, gooey, warm cookies. Chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin are my favorites.
I think I just felt another pound appear on my hips...
What is your favorite holiday treat?
My mother's homemade bonbons. Edible Heaven.
Describe your favorite holiday tradition.
Finding the package marked as being from Santa. (see next question for reason)
Did you believe in Santa as a child?
Yes. My mother continues Santa's generosity these days. ;)
When do you open presents?
Usually Christmas Eve, then stockings on Christmas morning.
Do you put up a tree and when? If not, how do you celebrate?
Usually. I didn't last year because of depression, which was more depressing. When I'm not fighting depression, the tree goes up mid-November. One year it was Christmas Eve before we got around to putting up the tree. Yeah, Depression sucks. Fight it! Go see your doctor! Find help! Don't let fear of stigma destroy your life!
Does your tree have a theme?
Memories. The ornaments are either handmade or have a story behind them.
What has been your favorite gift to give? to receive?
I don't really have a favorite gift I've given. I love to give gifts, so my favorite is any that the recipient just loves because it's the "perfect" gift.
My favorite received gift is the teddy bear a beloved cousin sent home for Christmas after he'd graduated from high school. We'd hung out the entire year before and he adopted me like a big brother, so I was really missing him. It made my day when my grandmother produced a big teddy bear and told me he sent it to me. I carried it around the rest of the day. Teddy went to the hospital with me when my first child was born (he's been the perfect belly support through four pregnancies) and he still sits next to my bed.