I mentioned in my “What I Got For Christmas” post that I recently took part in the #apovgift swap Christmas blogger gift swap. It was a bit of a spur of the moment decision. It was set-up by Viola from A Piece of Viola and I thought it sounded like a bit of fun.
It also seemed to be a nice opportunity to get to know some new bloggers. Not to mention the fact that giving and receiving presents is always one of my favourite parts of Christmas.
When the names were drawn, I was paired with Victoria from Retro Snowflakes. She wasn’t a blogger that I’d had anything to do with prior to the gift swap, so it was a very interesting experience. We exchanged a few quick emails introducing ourselves and giving a few likes/dislikes. Then it was time to get present-picking!
It was surprisingly difficult to choose a gift for someone I’d never met. I knew I didn’t want it to be something generic. I wanted to try and find something that reflected her personality. I shamelessly stalked her on Twitter, Instagram and her blog to get a better idea of who she is so I could find something suitable. (That possibly sounds creepier than I meant it to!)
For the first part of my present I went for something pretty obvious – a Lush gift set. Everyone loves Lush, right? I’m pretty sure that Victoria had mentioned it on her Instagram.
The second item took a bit longer to think up. On Victoria’s blog she had mentioned an interest in mindfulness and also a love of stationery so I headed to my fave stationery website, Kikki K to see if I could combine the two. I found a really cute Reflect journal where you write a sentence a day around a prompt which I thought was a lovely idea.
I wrapped up all of the gifts and packed them off to Victoria, fingers tightly crossed that she’d like them.
I received my gifts well in advance of Christmas. I had decided not to open them before the big day, but Victoria had very thoughtfully included some lovely Disney socks for me that were pre-Christmas presents. She also included an adorable card saying “Merry Christmas from Belfast” which was such a nice touch and made me feel jealous that I hadn’t found something equally as individual.
My other gifts, when I did eventually open them, were really cute too! There was a lovely piece of artwork saying “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you’ll be among the stars.” I love little prints with quotes on them, and have quite collection already so this will be able to join them on my shelves.
Also in the parcel was a sweet little charm (I love the macaron!) and a couple of cute magnetic bookmarks, which Miss Mess has borrowed (and by borrowed I mean shamelessly stolen!) I really need to steal them back as I’m always searching for a bookmark!
Ultimately, though, this experience was more about meeting new people and trying to be thoughtful. There’s something quite fulfilling about taking the time to plan and send a gift to someone you’ve never met, hoping it will make them smile. I really enjoyed the whole thing and I’d certainly look to do something similar again next year.
Thank you very much to Viola for organising the gift swap and to Victoria for choosing my gifts. It was lovely to (virtually) meet both of you.