Selective Collective: Secret Santas Revealed 2013

For the second year in a row, the seven bloggers in the Selective Collective participated in a Secret Santa exchange.  We’ve had another great year collaborating together and have read a wide variety of books together. Once again, we jumped at the chance to be one another’s Secret Santas, particularly since the older we get, the fewer presents we receive!

Diana’s Secret Santa Experience:

Secret Santa 2013I was more than happy to participate in the Secret Santa exchange this year. We used, and surprisingly, I was assigned Kristina from Gone Pecan. I was surprised, because I was assigned Kiki her last year as well. But it was actually great, because last year I bought her stuff from Amazon, so this year, I decided to actually go shopping and send her a box.

It was really fun shopping for Kiki. First, I went to Hot Topic and found some things I thought she would like, but then I decided to also check out Books-a-Million.  She had some cool bookish things on her list, and I figured BaM would have what she was interested in. I wanted to find her something related to “Game of Thrones,” but since I don’t watch it, I decided to ask for some help. The salesman who helped me asked me some questions about the person I was shopping for, and I explained that it was for a Secret Santa gift. I showed him the list from my phone and he said, “Wow, her list is very intriguing; she sounds like my kind of girl.” He proceeded to help me with the list and led me to right places in the store. He came back periodically showing me other things and then out of the blue asked me how old Kristina was. I told him I wasn’t sure, so I texted Sandie.  When I told him her age, he seemed  a bit disappointed; I guess he was hoping for a 22-year-old like he probably was! I found the whole thing so amusing. I was “thisclose” to becoming a matchmaker.

After I had sent off Kristina’s package, it was time to wait for my own Secret Santa box. I was getting worried because I was  leaving on the 20th to go to my sister-in-law’s house for Christmas and I was afraid I wouldn’t get the package in time.  It was perfect timing because when I got home from work on Friday, the 20th, the box was there waiting for me. I was so excited, as I opened the box and discovered that Candice from The Grown Up YA was my Secret Santa. So here are the wonderful things that were in my box:

  • “Wedding Night” by Sophie Kinsella: I love all of  the Sophie Kinsella books that I’ve read over the years. I haven’t read her last couple of books, so I am so thrilled to have her latest book, “Wedding Night.”  I brought it with me on my Christmas vacation and I can’t wait to start reading it!
  • “Burn for Burn” by Jenny Han: I’ve never heard of this book, but it looks good.  I love reading books that I no nothing about.  Now I have a new book on my TBR pile. 
  • A Starbucks gift card: I LOOOVE Starbucks.  So giving me a gift card is always a winner.  I will be more than happy to use my gift card.
  • A Starbucks reusable mug: I’ve been thinking about getting one of their reusable mugs, so I was elated to see it in my box.  When I get home, Starbucks is on my list of first places to go (I didn’t want to bring them with me because I was afraid I’d lose them while on vacation).
  • A handmade coffee sleeve: The coffee sleeve was made in the Gryffindor colors and says, “Accio Coffee,”  It’s so awesome!
  • A “Big Bang Theory” magnet: This show is one of my favorite shows.  I’ve seen the different magnets and I happily placed the magnet with the lyrics to “Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty”  If you’re a fan of TBBT then you know why this song is special to Sheldon.
  • “Harry Potter” bookmark: Since I do read a lot, I always need a book mark.  I think you can’t ever have enough of them.  I’m glad I have a “Harry Potter” one now.

I can’t wait to read the books, drink coffee in my mug, use the coffee sleeve on my mug, use my Starbucks gift card, and use my book mark (the magnet’s already on my fridge).  Thank you so much Candice, I hope you have a truly Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Sandie’s Secret Santa Reveal:

As Diana mentioned earlier, we don’t get many gifts any more, so the Secret Santa exchange is always a treat. This year I was assigned Daphne from Gone Pecan, which is great karma, because I received a Secret Santa box from her last year! I hope she liked the box I sent her as much I enjoyed mine in 2012!

I was the very last person to receive her box, but it was well worth the wait. Brittany from The Book Addict’s Guide sent me an amazing package of treats. Check out my bounty below:


Brittany sent me a sweet card and a box full of several individually wrapped prezzies (in a box full of candy to boot)!

  • Coffee:  I can never get enough. Ho Ho Ho, indeed!
  • Three books I haven’t read! Brittany sent me a trifecta of novels she loves and considers must-reads: “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer; “Also Known As” by Rebin Benway; and “The Darkest Minds” by Alexandra Bracken. The best thing about the books is the fact that I have not, in fact, read them! I don’t always update Goodreads, so I’m thrilled she picked books I’m interested in reading. They’re all part of my early 2014 TBR list. Huzzah!
  • Fragrant soaps: It’s not really a secret that I have a a stationery and soap fetish, and Brittany managed to indulge on both counts! She sent two luxurious bars of soap: one citrus scented and one almond. I’ve already started using the almond soap, and even my husband was impressed with the scent!
  • Stylish notebook: Like I said, I have a thing for paper, and I have to use notebooks on a regular basis for work, so I love the fact that I have a beautiful teal notebook to use to keep my thoughts about 2014′s book and movie releases. I needed a new one!
  • Scented candle: My daughter (who helped me open each of the presents) was so excited about the vanilla cedar candle, she made me light it right away “to make the house smell yummy.” How could I say no? The candle did, indeed, make my house smell delicious.

Thanks again, Brittany, for the thoughtful gifts!  Merry Christmas to you and your fiance! I’m so glad we all have each other to share our love of reading (and everything else).

Stay tuned this week to see what all the ladies at Gone PecanThe Book Addict’s GuideGrown-Up YA , and YA Crush received in their Secret Santa gift boxes.




  1. Yay!!! I’m so happy you enjoyed your gifts Diana and am even happier they showed up just in time! I had so much fun getting to know you through giving. I’m also glad I gave you that reusable Starbucks cup now; I love mine (you can tell I use it daily from the coffee stains!) and love that it helps the environment!

    Also, Sandie… you are going to LOVE the books B sent you! Cinder is… well there really are no words to describe how awesome it is and how even more awesome the series is! And AKA is sooooo cute!

    Merry Christmas ladies! :)

    • Thanks, Candice! I will definitely read Cinder, since everyone goes on and on about how good it is… Is there a romance, or is it more about the female protagonist’s journey than the romance?

  2. HAHA. It’s always the wrong ones! Too young, too old, SIGH. Did you at least sneak a pic of my potential cub? Thanks for the gifts, I took a pic of me in my shirt this morning and sent it to Sandie. :)

    • Sandra texted me the pic. I’m SO glad that you like it. If I thought the guy was good looking I might’ve pursued the matter further. If I get you again next year, maybe I’ll throw in a date with a good looking guy near where you live, LOL. I hope you have a very, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  3. These are such fun, thoughtful gifts! Thanks for sharing photos of your bounty with us. Happy holidays! :)

  4. I’m SO sorry it took so long for your present to arrive, Sandie but I’m so glad it at least made it in time for Christmas (and to post this week!) — I’m also so relieved you haven’t read any of those books yet! I really wanted to pick ones I loved and I was afraid you’d read some of those already so I’m so glad you’re looking forward to them too!
    YAY lots of fun this year! So happy to have you wonderful ladies as good friends! <3

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