You guys. Are you ready for this? Maybe you should sit down.
  1. β€’
    My secret Santa opted to add fun and mystery by remaining anonymous, and by sending my gifts one at a time over the course of the last couple of weeks!
    Each time I opened the mailbox and found a package with the old List App symbol on it, it was like Christmas all over again. Seriously joyful. See?
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    At the end of each note was this:
    The anticipation made me feel like a little kid on Christmas morning.
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    First was Birches: Poems by Robert Frost, with a note that my secret Santa's favorite poem is The Road Not Taken.
    Of course I flipped to that one first and read it right away. I haven't actually read it in years - probably since my school days - and it was so interesting to read it from an adult perspective. I'm looking forward to savoring these poems on quiet evenings.
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    A few days later, another gift: a Moleskine notebook, perfect for analog listing!
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    I happened to flip through the first pages, and found...a list! Which made me cry.
    Honestly, the kindness and generosity of the whole Secret Santa tradition makes me cry. But to find a little list about me, that someone took the time to research and write...extra tears for that.
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    Next up: Into the Wild by Jonathan Krakauer. And a note about why it was chosen.
    I've never read this one before! And I only know a tiny bit about the story - basically only what's on the cover of the book. I started it a couple of days ago and I'm hooked.
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    The next package was...the DVD of Into the Wild!
    I've heard only good things about this movie, but I've never seen it. Don't worry, I will definitely read the book first. πŸ˜„
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    Then, this delightful package came, with chocolates, some yummy looking holiday tea, and a "tea bag buddy," which keeps your tea hot!! Now I won't have to reheat every cup I make and forget about! Yay!
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    My next gift was the soundtrack to Into the Wild.
    The envelope made cracked me up πŸ˜‚. And look! I actually remembered to snap a pic before unwrapping!
  10. β€’
    I was in high school in the 90s - Eddie Vedder is right up my alley. (Fun fact: I have two different friends with pets names Eddie and Vedder. πŸ˜‚)
  11. β€’
    Yesterday, a box arrived. Inside were these numbered gifts!
    No need to worry about your wrapping skills, Santa! This was so much fun to open.
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    #1 (just appreciate the wrapping for a second because it's fun and I love it!)
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    A little succulent in a mason jar!
    It's adorable! Love! I'm trying to decide on the perfect place to keep it. (It may have shifted a little during transit, based on where I'm seeing the soil? I'll sort it out.)
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    #2 - a tin of sea salt
    Mmm. Can't wait to try it! I have a recipe for salted chocolate chip cookies...
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    #3 - pretty note cards with my initial
    I love sending (and receiving) handwritten notes. I was tickled that your gifts each came with a note!
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    #4 - coloring books and pencils!
    Love!!! Coloring/drawing is one of my favorite ways to relax at night. (Reading is the other!)
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    This page in the "sea life" book was marked for me to check out.
    A nod to my shark tooth collection. πŸ˜„
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    #5 - these amazing socks!
    Oh my gosh, I love them! I can't wait to wear them! They are perfect.
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    #6 - I'll be honest, I had a suspicion before this item, but this gift confirmed it.
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    You guys probably know now, too, right?
    I love these!! It's a tiny food truck! Keep Portland weird!
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    #7 - This was the "give away" item, in case I hadn't figured it out yet.
    Never read this one either! I've never read anything by him actually, but I've heard only great things. Also - *very* much in favor of secondhand books. Reduce reuse recycle!!
  22. β€’
    All these clues can only mean one person.... @pili_ervin!!! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌ
  23. β€’
    Bill, thank you so much. Really, this so far surpassed my expectations. Your beautiful, thoughtful gifts and true generosity were the cause of many happy tears over the last couple of weeks. I love how everything is a reflection of one or the other of us.
    If any one needs me, I'll be reading/coloring/writing/listening to music in my cool new socks as I sip some hot tea.
  24. β€’
    @DawnCloud, thank you so much for taking on the challenge of coordinating this year's gift exchange. It brightened my days, being both the sender and the recipient. πŸ™πŸΌ
    Reading everyone else's lists was a joy as well!
  25. β€’
    That reminds me, this note from Bill was inside the last card: