Heather Bien

writing and designing a colorful life

A Recap of My Family's First Secret Santa Christmas

Hey, it's another post-holiday holiday post! I had every intention of getting lots of holiday posts up Christmas week and right after, but since I got knocked out of commission for three straight days due to a stomach bug, this is going to have to serve as my last post of 2017.  I'll do a 2017 look back next week...

MY FAMILY'S FIRST SECRET SANTA

You may have noticed this holiday season that there was a complete lack of gift guides here. That wasn't due to lack of holiday organization, but rather it was because my gift giving was super minimal this year.

My family finally decided to draw names for a Secret Santa rather than get gifts for every single person, which was a long overdue change. With three sisters, brother in laws, and parents, it was just way too much, especially when two of us live in tiny apartments in big cities and don’t have room for (or want) more stuff.




HOW'D WE DO IT?

We had a third party — my sister's coworker — enter our names into an online drawing system and then email us each our Secret Santa assignment. There are also ways to do it online where it emails everyone for you, so you don't need an uninvolved participant to do so, but this is how we went about it. It was fairly smooth save for Adam deleting the email because, "I didn't know who Stephanie was so I assumed it was SPAM."

There was definitely more pressure in buying each gift because we all wanted them to be perfectly tailored to that person since that's ALL they were getting this year, but it also needed to fit within a $50 limit. I got my youngest sister who has a, shall we say, fabulous, sense of style, so I opted for a velvet robe, a shirt from H &M, and a candle since she's into that hygge life.

WAS IT A SUCCESS?

I'd say it was a huge success! I loved not spending my holiday season stressing over shopping for gifts, checking everyone off, and trying to stick to a budget when I'd rather be spending my holiday money on meals out and experiences that make the season fun. Everyone got a gift that suit them, and it was clear that each person really thought out their gift rather than just buying each sister a scarf and whatever. My sister's husband got me a wooden pineapple cutting board and a leather camera strap — two things I wouldn't have thought to buy myself, but that I absolutely love! Adam received Texas shaped whiskey rocks, a bottle of Woodford Reserve, and craft bitters, again a perfect gift.

My family definitely won't go back to buying stuff for everyone next year. Secret Santa, and minimalist gift giving is here to stay.

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