for several years now my “playgroup” of mama friends has had a secret santa swap. it is so much fun that usually sometime before halloween, someone asks when we’re going to get the ball rolling again. and every year, the mamas come up with some truly stunning gifts to give each other.
our rules are simple: the gift must be handmade, and you can’t spend more than $20.00. “handmade” is interpreted loosely—some mamas purchase items handmade by others, or they make things like cakes or candy, or they burn a CD, etc. we don’t reveal what we got until all the presents have been delivered—that way you can’t use the process of elimination to guess who your own secret santa is.
we each spend a lot of time trying to find out information about our recipients without them knowing. coming up with conversation starters on our private bulletin board without letting on why we’re asking is part of the game. many of us like to drop our gifts on the front porch and wait for the recipient to find it—it makes the fun last even longer!
this year i used only things i had or could find to make the gifts for my recipient. so the only thing i “spent” on my package was my time, but i am pleased with everything i made and i believe my recipient was too.
the main present was a pair of slippers like the ones ella and i have. to make them a little more special i added some embroidery (this was the project i wanted to needle felt). i also added some puff paint on the soles, in the shapes of the designs i embroidered, to make them non-slip.
i also made a wreath for her, using honeysuckle vines from our back fence, a cinnamon angel ornament that ella made, and a big red bow i saved from a package last christmas. (hint: get the ingredients for the ornaments at the dollar-tree-i-love-that-place. for $2.00 you can make enough ornaments for the whole neighborhood).
i made an ornament out of some red tulle, some metallic confetti, and a little free-motion embroidery.
i gave her a jar of basil jelly that i had specifically canned in the pretty jar and set aside just for this swap.
and for her little boy, i made a little coin jar and gave him a roll of pennies.
the children of this group also do a secret santa swap, and as soon as i get word that ella’s recipient has opened her gift, i’ll post (that child’s sister has not yet received her package so the mom is waiting until they can both open—otherwise, you know, it could get a little dicey).
oh, lest i forget: the SRC! for the slippers i’ll take the same number of points i took for my own, 350, because although the embroidery was sub-optimum, the slippers are still very cute. for the wreath, i’ll take 100 points for coming up with the idea of harvesting that stuff in the first place, but i’m giving those points to ella because of the cinnamon ornament. the tulle ornament i started it over 8 years ago, and it was special to me, made at a special time. so i’m taking 1000 points for it.
i’m a little proud to say that canning supplies and canned goods do amount to a stash here, but i’m always glad to share them so i forfeit any points on those.
so that makes it 1350 points, i’ve over the top and now i no longer have to feel guilty about remaining stash this year! woohoo!
*ella and i like doing these secret “drop-and-run” presents so much that we are thinking of jingling our neighbors. although now that i’ve actually said it, it sounds a little kinky, especially doing it with a seven-year-old. we might need to come up with an alternate name for it. suggestions?