I live in one of the most beautiful places in Australia – according to ME. I have a job I love (most of the time), 3 beautiful girls, who are old enough now to be independent…but still need their Mummy. #1 is nearly 21, lives with BF, #2 is nearly 18, saving hard for a gap year in the UK and # 3 is 14, loves One Direction and the Hunger Games. Hubby and I have been married 21 years and I don’t know what I would do with out him.

I spend far too much time on the computer – often pretending to work, so when all my words with friend’s games are played and the gossip and news of the world read, I will BLOG.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Secret Santa

This year we decided as a family to do a Secret Santa gift, rather than buy a gift for everyone (thankfully this was decided before I realized how much money I would be spending with the 18th and 21st birthdays).

The rules to the family SS = simple and yet confusing

#1 Maximum spend $20
#2 gift had to be suitable for everyone (take in to account 2 children under 18)
#3 the gift had to fit into a box - all boxes were the same size and wrapped with the same paper
#4 you could not keep your own gift
#5 you could swap.

A family lunch at mine the weekend before Christmas, this was a good day lunch was a downsized Christmas feast, with turkey, ham and plenty of salad. (we usually have pork, chicken and prawns as well) desert was less than usual, I didn't make the standard pavlova - I found a great recipe for Mango Misu 

Seriously YUMMMO

The SS gifts work really well, with everyone wanting to swap for mine.

A DIY sundae kit, I saw something similar on Pinterest (mine was nowhere near as well done, but the family didn't know that

Getting in to the spirit of Christmas is very hard when you are broke with bills needing to be paid, so when I saw a post on Facebook inviting me to join a social network Secret Santa, I joined in. This was a huge amount of fun and I now have a few more 'friends'.

This is a link to the 'rules' 


I was linked to the organizer....OMG this created quite a bit of stress and panic, I had to impress the 'boss'. When I calmed down and thought about it I realized I was lucky, I had been following her blog for a few months and was already getting a feel for what she was like. 
Stupidly I didn't take a picture of the gifts, only after they were wrapped, I had my sister make a couple of coat hanger covers, I then brought a coffee cup with a blue wren on it - my favorite bird and a Christmas book mark and note book. 

I also had a not so secret Santa in Minnesota, she asked if anyone from Australia wanted to exchange gifts, I jumped at the chance and I am glad I did, she sent me some lovely local gifts. She stalked me well, so well she even sent me a tea bag holder with a hummingbird on it, I love hummingbirds and would love to have the opportunity to see one.

My other gift came from the south of Brisbane, she sent me a gorgeous camera strap cover among other things (this was my favorite) She either made a really good guess or has a DSLR and gets annoyed with the sweaty strap as I do. 

This has been a hugely fun experience, for a small outlay I have made new friends and received unexpected gifts.

Looking forward to next years exchange.