Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some Secret Santa Wonderings

I've signed up to participate in three Secret Santas with other bloggers this years and I've already gotten my partners for two of them. It makes me so excited and happy for Christmas! Although I almost always have my shopping done early, so I've been thinking about Christmas for awhile now.

Before I forget Ashley from Books Obsession is hosting the third swap and she's still accepting signups until December 1st. For all of you who are late getting on the bandwagon. :) You can sign up over at her blog.

But as I'm putting together my packages for my (Santas? Receivees? Partners?) I have a lot of thoughts running through my head.

All three swaps have asked for a wishlist and I when I sign up I personally try to overlist things since I've been on the other end and it sucks. You know what I mean "oh, I'm happy with anything." Ahhhh! What am I supposed to do with that?

At that same time, I feel like I'm taking the easy way out by just getting them something on their wish list. It almost feels like it's a little stale as a gift. Although I'm sure they are happy getting something on their list (I know I would be) it feels a little less personable to me. I'm the kind of person who usually puts a lot of thought into the presents I give, so I think that's part of the reason why this option bothers me.

And yet another option is to take the list of what they want and get something that you think they will like based up what they wished for. This is the kind of gift I got last year from Secret Santa. Which is totally cool, since I loved it anyway. But am in the minority here? Do you get disappointed if the present isn't something you asked for? And what if they hate it?

Anyway, for those of you who've participated in this kind of gift exchange before, what do you think? I'd love to hear what you're experiences have been.


celi.a said...

I feel exactly the same way. I love the list, because it gives you a basic plan. But I always want to personalize in some way...make it special, give them something they're not expecting but will still love. That's a tall order, though, if you're not friends already. For the holiday swap I'm doing this year there are over 50 pages on my swapee's wishlist. I'm struggling to even make ONE choice, much less 'personalize.' Apparently, there can be too much of a good wishlist, too. :)

Lexie said...

see I always get uber-worried. I love detailed lists--which is why I try to make my Amazon wishlist as organized as possible--because otherwise I'm at a loss as to what to get. I'm not an 'intuitive' gift giver, not even with my family. I tend to stick with things that I *know* unconditionally they don't have/need/want or buy them a giftcard.

With Secret Santas its a little more difficult because I can't just ring'em up and ask subtle questions. For one thing, my partners tend to be strangers XD For another, well, they tend to be strangers! Family/friends will forgive your off the wall questions.

With this year's one partner, all that is listed is her preferred genre. which has no similarity to MY preferred genres. I'm scratching my head trying to find a wishlist...sadly her genre is also rather broad, so I can't even make educated guesses. Its a little frustrating for my social anxieties (deep, deep fear of contempt/hatred/malicious intent towards me for screwing up). I'm hoping my bookstore lady can help me, after all this isn't meant to be frustrating!

The other one is a little easier, as we share similar author likes at least. After the books are chosen, I try to include cute things for the winter season (I try not to assume they celebrate X-mas, even if it is a Secret Santa) and treats.

elnice said...

I have signed up for 2 exchanges. The first did not provide a wish list, just that they liked to read and liked the color purple (not the book). So I am having to guess. I searched their blog and it did not give me too much info. I am wondering if a GCard is a good idea.

The only advantage to following a wish list is that you know you are getting something they haven't read yet.

throuthehaze said...

What I like to do is get something off the wishlist and then get something I think the person would like that is not on the wishlist. Elnice makes a good point about getting something they have already read though.

Ashley @ Ashley's Library said...

I love being a part of Secret Santa activities and book swaps but I always worry that even if I buy off my partner's wishlist, they will have already received the book or bought it for themselves!

Jenny N. said...

My secret santa only listed two books for her wishlist and her preferred reading genre.

I'm just planning to get her something from her wishlist and something that I think she would like. What I'm afraid of is that I will get something that they already have or read. Another thing I did was I went and checked out her blog to see what books she's read or reviewed and make sure I dont get her one of those.

queen of entropy said...

I know what you mean. It always seems more personal to give somebody a gift that you put a lot of thought into, instead of just buying off of the wish list. However, with a stranger, that's really your safest bet. Otherwise, you might end up getting them something they've already read or already own.

As some others mentioned, you can include a little something extra that you pick out yourself - bookmark, scarf, lotion, picture frame - and that way you have a nice combination of something they want for sure, and something personal you added to make it, well, personal lol.

Good luck and have fun!

Book Lady said...

I personally like to be surprised. I didn't give a list, but I gave suggestions or hints as to what would make me smile (Which is pretty much anything!) I love surprises so I'd be excited about just about anything!

When I start on my Swap, I'll give something that has thought and meaning. I'll just use the list to help.