Hello Santa!

My Complicated Relationship with Secret Santas

Ahh, the Secret Santa. I have a very complicated history with the Secret Santa and gift exchanges. But, this year I stumbled upon the #CraftBlogClub on Twitter and decided to give their Secret Santa a chance.

I’m not kidding when I say I have a complicated history with Secret Santas. It started way way (way way way) back in Elementary school. Back then the gift exchange was mandatory for everyone. You usually had a $5/$10 limit and had to buy for either a boy or a girl (determined by the teacher)

My mother and I always picked a nice gift, a puzzle or stuffed animal. I’d wrap it up and excitedly bring it to school. Most of the time we’d play a game to determine which present we got to keep. Hot potato seems to be the one I remember the most. You sat in a circle and just keep passing the presents around until the music stopped. Then you got what was in your hand.

The dreaded Chapstick Candy Cane…

Chapstick. It was always a fucking candy cane filled with Chapstick. Not M&Ms, not Hershey Kisses. Chapstick. What kid wants Chapstick? And why was I always the one stuck with it? I swear it was every damn time! I think I got a puzzle once. But, the dreaded Chapstick candy cane is what stands out in my mind, so it happened more than once.

Moving along to High School German Club. We did a Secret Santa. You’d think that my friends in the club would know me pretty well. Yeah, not so much. I was big into the Green movement and very pro-animal (but not in a vegan sort of way, I just don’t like unnecessary harm coming to animals).

So, that was the year I got a pair of rabbit fur ear muffs. I almost cried. They sat under my bed for a few weeks before my mom finally claimed them for herself.

But, the best Secret Santa was when I was working in the Daycare Center. I decided to participate my first year. I got along with just about everyone in the center. And they made it really fun. You bought a bunch of little gifts and left them around the center for your recipient to find. Then, we’d go to dinner and give our recipient a bigger gift.

I didn’t have a lot of money (I worked at a Daycare, after all). So, I bought a book of Dunkin Donut gift certificates (this was before gift cards were the norm). They were for a $1/each. I’d leave them around in little dollar store ornaments, etc. I thought it was cute.

My recipient didn’t. She thought it was cheap and threatened to punch out the person who gave them to her. So, I to skip the dinner and left my gift with another teacher. I got a drunken phone call later in the evening from the girl, apologizing.

The CraftBlogClub Secret Santa

So, yeah. Complicated. But, I decided to give it one more go. Crafters are good people. I knew they wouldn’t be let down. And, indeed, they did not!

If you are unfamiliar, the CraftBlogClub is a sort of support group for Crafters. They are based in the UK but are open to everyone. Every Tuesday, they meet on Twitter for a Chat about all things crafting. It is a great place to get support and advice. The women who are in the club are lovely and so helpful.

The Secret Santa is very simple. You are matched by the moderator with another crafter. You are then required to send that person a handmade item along with a card. Then, we all write a blog post (like this one) to reveal ourselves to the world.

My Secret Santa and I were the only Americans participating this year, so we were matched with each other. I was paired up with Bertie Gardner from Blue Unicorn Crafts. She is a talented crocheter from Texas.

The Gifts

As you remember from my last post, I am a bit addicted to macrame. So, I decided to make Bertie this little dream catcher. I made macrame feathers and attached them to the gold hoop. The netting was done with crochet thread. Then in the middle, I attached a little whale. Metal stamping is also something I love, so the whale says “Dream Big.” Isn’t it a cute?

I love the way it came out. I hope Bertie liked it, too.

Bertie topped me, though. She made me this adorable gingerbread man garland.

I absolutely love it. It looks adorable on our tree. And, everyone who sees it compliments me on it. Crocheting is something I love, too, but I do not have the patience for little amigurumi pieces like this. It is just adorable and will be used for years to come.

Thank you so much, Bertie! You helped me trust Secret Santas again!


  1. Does anyone truly enjoy Secret Santa? Though, your history does sound very complicated and traumatic. The gifts this year clearly clearly did redeem it. Your dean catcher is cute and that garland is beyond adorable.

  2. I’m SO happy we changed your view of Secret Santa!!
    What beautiful gifts either side 😀
    Thank you for saying such lovely things about #CraftBlogClub too, it’s everything we aspire to be!
    Much Love and Happy New Year!

  3. Love this so much, and I’m so happy we managed to turn the whole Secret Santa experience around for you!
    Thank you also for the very lovely words about #CraftBlogClub, it is everything we aspire to be!
    You and Bertie both made such beautiful gifts <3
    Thank you again, and happy new year!
    Kay – AKA the madness behind the scenes of #CraftBlogClub

  4. Aww! I am so glad to read that you enjoyed your garland- especially after some not so great Secret Santa years.

    I absolutely LOVE my new dream catcher. 2019 has started off a little bumpy for me but I was happy to be able to hang something so beautiful over my bed in my new home. Here’s to a great 2019 for all of us crafters. 🙂

    1. Author

      I’m so glad you like the dream catcher. Hope your 2019 gets better.

  5. I’ve had some hits and misses with Secret Santas as well. I’m so glad that the Craft Club Secret Santa worked out. That gingerbread garland looks awesome, and the macrame you made her is wonderful as well.

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