Back in September I came across a blog post from A Piece of Viola that was requesting emails from bloggers who wanted to take part in a Christmas Gift Swap.
I had never heard of it but the idea was that you are paired with another blogger and agree to swap Christmas gifts.
As I quite enjoy a surprise as much as the next person I thought it sounded like a great idea, so I put my name down.
A couple of months went by and I had almost forgotten about the swap until mid-November when I received this email:
Your blogger pair is Jess at jessicagallen.wordpress.com. Her email address is xxxxxxxx. Hope you guys have fun and enjoy yourselves! Email me if there are any problems. Remember to use the hashtag #apovgiftswap on Twitter - feel free to tweet me @violahelen_ to let me know how you're getting on! You can also use this hashtag on Instagram too and you'll get to see all of the other bloggers involved :)
So that very same day I sent the lovely Jessica an email:
Jess! You’re my match for the Xmas pressie Blog Swap! Great to e-meet you and I look forward to finding out a little about yourself… I’m a bit older (but young at heart!) and I have two kids. I blog (and vlog) on travel and interiors and I work full time as a travel journalist. I’ve been blogging for just over a year now and I’m really enjoying it. I spend most of my spare time blogging to be honest - it’s my hobby. So it would be great to hear more about you and what you like…It was that long ago that I wrote the gift swap post I forgot what we need to do! Please feel free to update me…. ;-) Hope to hear from you soon!
And I waited. And waited and…nothing. I felt a bit disheartened. Perhaps Jessica had taken a look at my blog and decided she didn’t want me as her blogging partner? Ah well, that’s the way life is sometimes…
Then, a few weeks later I received an email from Jessica:
Hi! So from what I've gathered, we've been paired for Viola's blogger swap Christmas thing (the technical name, obviously) and I wanted to say hi!! I've been meaning to send you a message for ages but life has been soo busy that I haven't had the chance! Was wondering if you're still interested in the swap (just checking!) and that you're happy for me to send you a little something! BTW, I love your blog! It's so cute and so different to everything else I've seen uot there :D From your blogger pair, Jess :)
And so it seemed Jessica had never received my initial email! In fact, in the first pairing email that she had received, my email address had been given to her incorrectly, so she’d gone on my site to track me down ….I shouldn’t have known they’d be a good reason for it!
And the cherry on the cake? She loves my blog! Yaaaaay!
And so our email exchange began and we agreed on a set amount that we would spend on each other and went online shopping!
So now that I know that Jess has received her gift, this is what I bought for her:
One of the descriptions for the book was ‘A wonderfully inspirational book that will help unleash your ideas on the world’ (Michael Acton Smith, creator of Moshi Monsters)
You see having had a good old nose around Jess’ site, I discovered that she was full of ideas; in fact, on her ‘About Me’ page she says:
"Got lots of ideas and don’t really know where to put them."
And that’s why I though this book might just be a good one for Jess. If she can channel her ideas the right way, I’m sure she can do anything!
And it appeared that she had done her research about me too! I received a parcel from a company called Sasse & Belle.
To be honest, I’ve never heard of them before (so thanks Jessica for introducing me to them) and the great thing is their products seem reasonably priced as well.
So – what was my present?
It was this lovely pair of mirrored tealight holders – and I love them. They are the sort of thing I would have picked up in a shop to admire – so she got my taste spot on.
I also received this little notebook, which I’ve put in my handbag in case I get a great blogging idea on the move!
So would I take part in a Blogger Christmas Gift Swap again? Absolutely.
I got a great surprise gift, e-met a new blogging friend and had the excitement of ‘buying for a stranger’.
Watch as I open the parcel from Jessica below….