This Christmas I took part in The Broke and The Bookish Secret Santa! It was the first time that I’d ever heard of it but Twitter was full of people talking about how much fun they’d had taking part that I just had to sign up.
TBTB Secret Santa is run by the wonderful Jana (from That Artsy Reader Girl) who put in a great deal of effort to make sure that everything went smoothly. If you’re not already following Jana, I really suggest that you do as she posts lots of exciting bookish content and runs a really beautiful blog 😍
Just for a bit of background information before I jump in I’ll run through the sign up process. If you fancy a read of Jana’s full post, you can find it here.
We had to complete a quick questionnaire of sorts so that we could be matched with another person and so that your Secret Santa knew a bit about you. We provided links to our blogs/social media (so our Santa could do some research), a list of books that we’d like to read, our typical favourite genres (in case our Santa wanted to add a surprise) and some general information about ourselves. We also provided contact information of someone that our Santa could ask questions to if they got stuck. As well as that, we could choose a level of package (a) 1 book and small gift, b) 1-2 books and a couple small gifts/goodies, c) 2+ books and small gifts/goodies) which made it accessible to more people as there was no pressure to provide more than you could handle.
After submitting the information, we were all then matched with another person that we would put together a box for.
I got to put together a gift package for Joanne from Once Upon a Bookcase who I really enjoyed shopping for! You can check out her post and see what I sent her here.
OK, now we’re on to the fun part! Here are the wonderfully thoughtful gifts that I received from my Secret Santa, who turned out to be the amazing Jenn (of Jenniely). If you’re not already following Jenn (which I’m sure many of you are) I can’t sing her praises enough. Her blog is full of interesting and varied content, she’s a gem over on Twitter and, as you’ll see, is a very kind soul ❤️ Here we go!
*all shops are credited where possible.
Starting with the books that I received – I wasn’t super specific with my wishlist when it came to books but there were definitely some authors that I was interested in getting to read. Jenn’s picks were brilliant and have really given me a wonderful collection for whenever I’m in the fantasy mood!
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
This is a book that I specifically requested and was so so happy to unwrap it! I finally got around to watching the Netflix series adaption and LOVED it so am interested to see how the book compares – it’s definitely high on my TBR.
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
This was another book that I requested. Everyone’s been talking about The Witcher due to it’s release on Netflix but I’m determined to read at least the first book before I start watching it. I love the medieval feel and am always up for delving into a world of monsters so I’m interested to see what all the hype is about.
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
This is a series that I’ve been wanting to read for a while so it was definitely on my wishlist. When volume two of the Book of Dust came out in last year I felt so left out to not have read any of the books! Thanks to Jenn I can set about changing that in 2020 and I’m so excited!
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
I asked for something by Sarah J Maas as I wasn’t sure where to start with her books and what series was the best one to go for. Jenn picked this one and I’m so excited to get started with it. I love that this series has the same vibes as Beauty and the Beast so is one that I’ve had my eye on this for a while! Jenn even got a special edition with the edges hand painted by Neelam over at Tsundoku Chronicles! It’s so beautiful!
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Leigh Bardugo was another author on my list that I’ve wanted to read for a while but was unsure where to start. Jenn picked this one for me and I can’t wait! I’m hoping there’s some sort of angst/love between Alina and the Darkling – can’t wait to find out if I’m right!
A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab
I’ve also never read any V E Scwab (despite having bought a very beautiful copy of The Near Witch) and this is the one that Jenn chose. I’ve heard such brilliant things about this book as well as seeing it everywhere on Twitter so I’m really excited to get stuck in!
I was lucky enough to receive a selection of beautiful bookmarks in my parcel and I can officially say that my days of using old receipts and scraps of paper are gone! I’m now just spoilt for choice as to which one I want to use.
The ribbon bookmarks are all from Jenn’s shop, Literary Galaxy, and are all such beautiful quality! The adorable Ravenclaw tie bookmark is from Across Realms who makes waterproof book marks (perfect as I’ve been victim of a drink leakage 😅).
Jenn included some gorgeous decorations in the package that went straight up! The three delicate glass bottles full of white glitter and sealed with bookish charms are beautiful and decorated my bedroom at Christmas. You can find them at Jenn’s shop, Literary Galaxy.
The gorgeous wooden decoration is from Art by Lena and was created just for me (which really does make me feel special, and goes to show just how thoughtful Jenn is!) It hangs perfectly on the catch on my bedroom window and is so beautifully painted!
The Book Thief (by Markus Zusak) is hands down one of my favourite books and Jenn included a beautiful inspired locket from Broken Geek Designs which now hangs on my bookshelves!
The other necklace is a gorgeous shining purple stone from Jenn’s shop, Literary Galaxy and is in one of my favourite colours. I love jewellery with gemstones in it and this is such a beautiful addition to my collection.
What’s Christmas without a bit of pampering and Jenn definitely had me covered when it came to self-care.
There were two Simple face masks (perfect for sensitive skin like mine!) and the most gorgeous smelling lip gloss with comes in a soft lilac colour from The Story Gift which has become a favourite product of mine.
There was a H mug for all of my hot chocolate (Jenn’s mind reading abilities were at work here as I lost my beloved H mug a few years ago and was desperate for a replacement!) as well as some chocolate! You can never go wrong with Dairy Milk!!
The candle is another item that I love! It’s called Book Hoarder, is pink and smells like cake – what more could you want?! It’s from Ruthless Heroines and it of such beautiful quality that I’ll definitely be ordering more when it runs out!
I’m also counting the gorgeous watercolour set Jenn included as pampering as it’s perfect for when I want to wind down with something creative. I’ve been wanting to get started in watercolour for a while so, once again, Jenn must have some sort of psychic ability! 😍
So that’s my experience of TBTB Secret Santa! It was such a wonderful thing to take part in. From following the hashtag on Twitter and keeping up with other people’s experiences to receiving my own box it really made my Christmas a little bit extra special ❤️
What do you think? Have you taken part in this, or something similar, before? Or maybe you’ll be signing up this year? I’d love to know!