When the lovely people at Debenhams invited me to take part in a Secret Santa for bloggers, I jumped at the chance.
I’ve always been a big fan of shopping online. I much prefer to spend from the comfort of my own sofa than hit the high street at this time of year. Too many people, too cold, too lazy. Home shopping wins for me every time.
The opportunity to take part was even more appealing because the shopping could officially be classed as ‘work’; so there would be no need to hide my purchases, or my credit card statement, before the Greek God(zilla) arrived home.
My name was put into a hat with 15 other bloggers and when I was given the name of the person I would be buying for, all I had to do was spend a bit of time reading her blog to get an idea of what she might like to receive, browse the Debenhams website for gift inspiration, then send off my choices.
Somewhere in another part of the country, there was someone else doing the same for me.
A day or two later, there was a knock at my door and I signed for 4 shiny Debenhams packages ALL with my name on them!
I was excited to see the items someone had picked out for me, although as my most recent blog posts featured meat and/or my laundry schedule, I am not sure I made it particularly easy for my Santa.
I should not have worried, she did a great job.
The first package I opened was an enormous jar of seventies style sweets! There were cola bottles, jazzies, love hearts and jelly beans in there. All the sweets of my youth. I placed the jar on the food table at our Christmas party this weekend and it was huge hit with all the kids. I can proudly say that I made my way into each and every one of their little hearts, even if their parents now hate me.
Next up was a cart of Spitfire Ale with a matching glass. The Greek God(zilla) is an Ale man. It was his birthday last week so I included this with his presents, giving full credit to my Santa of course (he says to say thank you).
The biggest box contained a smoothie maker, which also made the Greek God(zilla) giddy with excitement and was used to make mango & orange smoothies the day after our party. It was really easy to use and comes with a handy little tap to dispense the drink directly into your glass, ensuring no mess, spills, drips or leaks all over your kitchen work surfaces.
Between blogging about laundry and meat, I also mentioned that I have been feeling a bit stuck for inspiration of activities to do after school with my 4-year old. So, these sock puppets will be a fun thing we can do together and look simple enough to assemble for even my non-crafty hands.
Perhaps the most unexpected gift was a pink glitter hip flask complete with miniature vodka bottle. I have to admit, as much as I admired it, I was a little bit stumped with what I should do with this one. It is very pretty and definitely convenient if you like to have vodka to hand at any given time, but I was not sure how much use I would get out of it. My twenty-something self will be shaking her head at me with disappointment right about now.
However, my twenty-something brother took a big shine to it for one of his friends, so I passed it on to a good home.
Finally, the most indulgent of all the gifts came in the form of champagne truffles, which I polished off all by myself in one GUILT-FREE sitting. I cannot begin to tell you how lovely it was to take some time for myself, with a cup of tea in one hand, a box of chocolates in the other, and just sit there quietly and indulge.
Since being gluten-free, I very rarely find chocolate that does not contain traces of gluten but these little beauties were safe to eat, so I took them all for myself. Every single one of them… and they were delicious. It was a very happy moment.
I was really touched by the effort my Santa put into choosing gifts that the whole family could enjoy. There really was something for everyone and it was lovely to think someone had obviously spent time getting to know us all via my blog.
So now comes the part where I am supposed to guess who my Santa is. Well, let me tell you I have been doing some super sleuthing. I worked on the premise that most people will have chosen things that they themselves like (well, I did anyway) and as the gifts I received from Debenhams were mostly food and drink related, I think my Santa is a foodie.
Someone who likes chocolate, sweets and booze… oh my goodness, it really could be any of them! However, I am going to have a punt and guess that my Secret Santa is the yummy scrummy Angie from Cakes Photos Life.
Would the real Secret Santa please stand up…
Disclosure: I was given a budget of £80 to spend on gifts from Debenhams for another blogger. In turn, I also received gifts from my Secret Santa. All thoughts and opinions are my own.