Tuesday 7 January 2020

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My 2019 The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa Gifts

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My  2019The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa Gifts

This past Christmas I took part in The Broke and the Bookish's Secret Santa, hosted in 2019 by Jana of That Artsy Reader Girl on her own. It's a Secret Santa where you sign up for a certain tier (1 book and a small gift, 1-2 books and a couple of small gifts/goodies, 2+ books and small gifts/goodies), you're paired up with someone in the same tier, and you send your Santee presents! I signed up for the last year, and received a box full of lovely things from Hannah of Hannah's Bookshelf! I thought I'd share with you all the wonderful gifts she sent me. (All photos can be clicked on to enlarge.)

A parcel box full of presents My TBTBSanta presents spread out on the floor, including my feet.

So many presents!!! When I opened the box, I was like a kid on Christmas morning after Father Christmas has delivered his presents! I was so excited! But I waited to open them until Christmas Day. Not pictured in the post (because I'm an idiot), but that you can just see in the top of the box in the first photo, is a huge bar of Galaxy chocolate! Galaxy is my favourite, so I was so, so happy to see it - and knew Hannah had been following the hashtag on Twitter, because I said not to bother with food in my survey as I am such a fussy eater, but mentioned the chocolate I love via the hashtag! So I was already sure I was going to love all my gifts, because Hannah had been reading my answers!
Hannah was super cute in that she wrote wrote hints plus her reasons for each book she had chosen for me on the gift tags, so I'm sharing photos of them, as well.

Wrapped present with a tag reading, Something to satisfy a fantasy craving with a bit of a fairy tale vibe mixed in for good measure! The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Everyone raves about The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, and I've always meant to read it. And now I can! It sounds so good, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. Especially as I've decided this is the year I get back into reading a lot of high fantasy. YA has generally taken me away, but high fantasy is my first love, and I want to read more. Thanks to Hannah, I'll be starting off on the right foot with her gifts!

Wrapped present with tag reading, One of my favourite fantasy novels! Something to satisfy your love of strong women and folklore. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

I requested The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden on NetGalley when it was first published, but I was never in the right mood to read it whenever I tried. But now I have this beautiful final copy (look at that cover!), and I'm reading it right now. It's amazing! I am absolutely loving it! Right up my street, as I'm really in the mood for gorgeous, atmospheric, enchanting stories with beautiful writing that feel like a fairy tale, and that's exactly what this is! And a retelling of Vasilisa the Beautiful! I am one very happy bunny!

Wrapped present with a tag reading, And how could I ignore your love of mermaids? Mermaids + fantasy + folklore/fairy tale The Mermaid by Christina Henry

I already have Christina Henry's Alice and The Girl in Red (the latter a review copy), but not read either yet. Now I have The Mermaid! It's a retelling of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen (my favourite!), but ties in with the real P. T. Barnum's circus, and the "mermaid" (it was a fake) he had on show. So it takes a completely different look at the story, and I'm so excited to read it!

Wrapped present with tag reading, I saw on Twitter that you were interested in poetry - here's one of my favourites. A combination of strength and empowerment. The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One by Amanda Lovelace

I do love contemporary poetry, and I've had my eye on Amanda Lovelace's Women Are Some Kind of Magic series of books for a while now, and now I have a copy of The Witch Doesn't Burn in This One! I love how the titles tend to link to fairy tales, are around women and empowerment, and I've just discovered that Lovelace is a witch herself, so I am looking forward to reading this collection even more!

Ok, so. Before I carry on, I need to give a little context that will help you understand how much I love the next few gifts. In the survey, when we signed up, we're asked to list some books on our wishlist, and also tell our Santa about ourselves. I ummed and aahed, but finally decided to list some witchy books and that I'm a new witch. I was quite nervous about it. What if my Santa thought I was weird? Or had morals that were completely against my spiritual path? Maybe they would decide to ignore that whole part of my survey. Maybe they would email Jana and refuse to be my Santa because they objected so much. I was really, really nervous about what my Santa's reaction would be. And it turned out that not only was Hannah accepting, but she also bought me other gifts, not on my wishlist, that had a witchy connection, that she thought I would like. I can't even begin to tell you how much this meant to me. A complete stranger, who doesn't know me from Adam, not only accepted who I am and my spiritual beliefs, but also went beyond that to think of some gifts off her own back that related. It really meant the world, and moved me beyond words. I actually got a little emotional opening these presents. And now, onwards!

Wrapped present with tag reading, A bit of a wildcard! I picked this as it combined your love of witchy books and some lovely tips on self care. Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman

Basic Witches by Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman was actually on my wishlist in the survey I sent, haha! But I love that Hannah had either not noticed or forgotten, and got it for me anyway, thinking I'd like it! It sounds amazing, and I am so, so looking forward to this one!

Wrapped present with tag reading, A little something from your wishlist - shopping for this really inspired me and I hope it brings you joy! You Are Magical by Tess Whitehurst

You Are Magical by Tess Whitehurst was recommend online somewhere - I either saw in an article of witchy books, or someone tweeted about it, I can't remember exactly now - and it sounded so good! I've had a quick flick through it, and there's even a little bit of science thrown in, which I love! Whitehurst might have some different spiritual beliefs from me from what I've seen, but I'm still really excited to read this and learn more!

Wrapped present with tag reading, Another something from your wishlist! I loved the idea of this book and hope it lives up to your expectations! The Witch's Book of Self-Care by Arin Murphy-Hiscock

This is kind of funny and cool all at the same time. The Witch's Book of Self-Care by Arin Murphy-Hiscock wasn't on my survey wishlist, but it is on my Goodreads wishlist, which I didn't include a link to in my survey, because it's not up to date - but forgot to say that it's not up to date in my survey. I did tweet it, but it looks like Hannah missed it. I already had this book, though I've not yet read it. HOWEVER, my copy was a paperback from The Works that is cheaply made and not the nicest, but now I have this gorgeous, lovely, shiny hardback! So I'm super happy! I'll probably do a giveaway for my paperback copy at some point, and really look forward to reading this beautiful one!

Wrapped present with a tag reading, Another gift from your wishlist and a little something to get you ready for the new year! A playing card sized 2020 lunar calendar, showing the dates of different phases of the Moon in the UK in 2020

I saw this Lunar Calendar on Etsy, and loved it. It's got all the dates for the Moon phases in the UK throughout 2020, and as I want to be aware of when the Full and New Moons are to plan my days in advance, this is going to be super helpful! It's already in the pocket of my 2020 planner!

Wrapped present with a tag reading, A bracelet made of twine with an amethyst bead, around a brown card which reads, Close your eyes and just be. Tie on your bracelet with positive intentions. Make them your reality before it breaks free. Feel protected and secure as you move forward in life. This stone will defend you and guide you.

LOOK AT THIS! Look at this really lovely, really thoughtful gift! I completely adore it, and I adore Hannah for getting it for me! I've not put it on yet, because I want to set it with my intentions as part of my Full Moon ritual on Friday, and then charge it under the Moon, but I love it! I've wanted to find ways to bring my spirituality to my everyday, and I've set some goals to do so (more coming on this on Friday), but this bracelet is a perfect for doing this! Wearing a bracelet set with intentions every day! I love it!

Wrapped present with tag reading, A little reminder of how powerful you are - perfect for a morning (or bed time) tea/coffee A white cup reading, She believed she could so she did, in black font, with a simple oval border in the design of a vine

How gorgeous is this mug?! I love this quote, and have done for a while, but I'd never thought of it in a magical sense. I don't know if that's what Hannah was thinking when she bought it for me (she says "powerful" on her tag, but that doesn't necessarily have to relate to magic/witchcraft), but I'm choosing to see it that way. I can set my intentions in the morning into my tea in a mug that reminds me of the magic I have, and the spells that have come to fruition.

Wrapped present with tag reading, The Frankfurt Christmas Market has been coming to Birmingham for 20 years and I couldn't not pick this up! Iignore the teeth makes, we have 2 very excited cats) A wooden Christmas tree decoration of Father Christmas, made from different layers of painted wood glued on top of each other.

AND LOOK AT HIM! Isn't my little Father Christmas decoration gorgeous?! Oh my god, I love him! He went straight on my tree! I mentioned in my survey that I am a massive Christmas fan, and on the hashtag that I'd love a Christmas related gift, and Hannah got me this decoration! From a Christmas market! It's lovely, and so thoughtful, and I will love putting him on the tree every year from now on!

A wrapped present with a tag reading, Something to keep your toes warm this Christmas - festive themed, of course! Three pairs of festive socks, one navy blue pair featuring a polar bear weaing a red scarf and antlers, a pale grey pair with a repeated pattern of Rudolph's head, and a bright red pair with a repeated pattern of a penguin wearing antlers.

I got festive socks! I am a big fan of novelty socks, fun socks, and festive socks! To be honest, most of the socks I own are Christmas socks, and so I wear them all year round. They make me smile! And now I have more! These are so pretty, and actually surprisingly soft! Softer than normal socks. I love them.

Wrapped present with a tag reading, Another gift from your wishlist - you have such beautiful taste! A dark blue print reading the Oscar Wilde quote, With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, who couldn't be happy, in white font.

I love this print and this quote. I love that it references books, but also the Moon, which is pretty important to my spiritual practice. And it's just gorgeous! So I added it to my Etsy wishlist, and Hannah picked it out of the several on there! She's just awesome, eh?

Wrapped present with tag reading, Something to play with your family and friends this Christmas - relaxed but hilarious! Mince Spies - The hilarious secret mission dinner-party game

I mentioned on the survey and on the hashtag that I love games, and my family spend Christmas evening playing lots of board games, so this was such a wonderful gift! Mince Spies are drinks coasters with secret mission tasks on the bottom that each person has to complete throughout the evening, without other people noticing or realising. We didn't get a chance to do them, because it was early evening when I opened them, and there wouldn't really have been enough time for people to complete their missions without being spotted really. It's definitely a game to start earlier on in the day, so I look forward to playing this with people maybe next Christmas!

Wrapped present with a tag reading, A little something to keep up with your pen pal! (And hopefully in a colour you love) Paperchase's blue letter writing stationary with blue glitter peacock pattern on reverse

I have four pen pals, and mentioned them in my survey, and lovely Hannah bought me some letter writing stationary! Isn't it pretty?! Looking forward to writing to them on this lovely paper this year!

Wrapped present with tag reading, Something that can only be yours - and to make sure no-one ever forgets to return your books! A brown packet of white bookplates with the initial J on them in metalic gold, a pretty line pattern around the J, that says, From the library of, with a dotted line to write your name.

I love these bookplates! They're so stylish and sophisticated! I don't tend to lend books out to people, simply because no-one really wants to read the books I do, but I might put these in some of my most very favourite books anyway. My little stamp; these are mine, my special books, do not hurt them!

Wrapped present with ag reading, To make sure that you never lose your place and that there's always something green and new. a packet of three small, green bookmarks, where the top of the bookmark is shaped like leaves, so when using, it looks like a plant is sprouting out of the book

Aren't these bookmarks so cute?! Just adorable! I mentioned in my survey that I have a little succulent and a grass man plant, which I love. I don't know if Hannah picked these because of my plants, or she just thought they were cool, but I love them. I will have plants growing from my books!

Wrapped present with tag reading, A crucial bit of Winter self-care. Super moisturisng but not greasy! (hopefully there's litle scent.) An EOS 100% natural organic sweet mint shea lip balm

I love that Hannah bought me this lip balm, and worried about the possibility of the scent. I mentioned my fragrance sensitivity in my survey, and said to not get me anything scented as it would likely give me a migraine. But questions were asked about lip balms on the hashtag, and I mentioned liking mint lip balm. So Hannah bought this for me! I should have probably made it clear that it was strong, powerful scents that are the issue, so she didn't worry! The scent is so subtle on this lip balm (and I'm not sure if mint in general is an issue? I don't think it's given me a migraine before), and I love it! I used to wear mint lip balm a lot when I was younger, this one lip balm that I just adored, but I could never find it again. I've been living with flavourless Vaseline ever since, but I've now got mint lip balm again! And it tingles just like it used to! I love it!

Wrapped present, no tag Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

This gift came without a tag. I've never tried Burt's Bees lip balm before, but it's recommended as one as being really moisturising, and I quite like that it's natural and cute looking! I'll swap to this once the mint one has run out.

Over to you graphic
So those were my gifts! Thank you so much to Hannah for buying me them, I adore them all, and you are just the best gift giver! I absolutely loved taking part in #TBTBSanta, buying the gifts for my Santee, and receiving these gorgeous presents from Hannah, and I'll definitely be taking part this Christmas! Keep an eye out on Jana's blog around October time if you fancy joining in, too!

Did you take part in any Secret Santas in 2020? What did you get? Or did you get any really cool gifts for Christmas in general? Let me know in the comments!

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