Everybody knows that, after the big roast dinner with all the trimmings, family time and general merriness, one of the best things about Christmas is presents and it’s even better when the contents are a total secret. Secret Santa is becoming increasingly popular and with the festive season soon to be in full swing you’re almost guaranteed to be roped into taking part.
Secret Santa has somewhat progressed from the confines of the office over the years; extending its arm to families looking to keep costs down and friendship groups both online and off to name a couple. But what happens when you’re buying for someone you’ve never even spoken to before?
I recently took part in a Secret Santa with John Lewis who paired me up with Louise from ‘With Love From Lou’ and we had to buy gifts for each other. Now, despite being in the same Tots100 charts and having quite a few followers/friends in common, I’d actually never spoken to Louise so I kind of hit panic stations when it came to gift hunting.
My brief was to basically research Louise’s blog for inspiration and then I was given a budget to pick out gifts from both the Secret Santa and gift sections in John Lewis. So off I went to trawl Louise’s blog hoping that I might find some kind of wish list and I couldn’t find anything explicit so headed straight to her Instagram page to get a feel for the kind of things that she likes.
After a couple of days of looking for the perfect gifts, to-ing and fro-ing and wondering if Louise would like them I finally settled on a few bits and just went with my gut. I sent off my letter to the North Pole (obviously, how else do you get your gifts?) and left it to the elves to deliver my choices to Louise. Eek! So on to the big reveal…
John Lewis Secret Santa Gifts
The first thing I noticed about Louise is that she loves beauty and make up products and that made me think she’s quite a girly girl. I can be quite girly but I’m not overly fussed about beauty products; I seldom try new make up, I rarely get my nails done and my skincare routine is all over the place.
Happy Jackson Nail Files
I thought that these cute Happy Jackson assorted nail files would be the perfect start to the Secret Santa list. They look like the kind of thing you can keep in your handbag and use on the go and the packaging is super cute.
Piccadilly Sweet Parade Bonbon Jar
I also added in these strawberry bonbons from Piccadilly Sweet Parade just because I thought they were cute and if Louise doesn’t like them they’d look gorgeous on some of her flatlays!
John Lewis Gifts For Her
With the rest of my budget I really wanted Louise to feel like I’d taken time over her choices, and trust me, I did agonise over whether these were the right or wrong things! I can only put it down to John Lewis having such an amazing range of gifts this year that I was torn between so many things. I felt so inspired by loads of products in the gift range and even added a few to my own Christmas wish list – sorry, not sorry!
Yves Saint Laurent Art Of Highlighting
Christmas is all about being indulgent and so I added this ‘Art of Highlighting Makeup Gift Set‘ to Louise’s growing pile of Secret Santa presents. The Touch Éclat pen is absolutely iconic in the beauty world and know that women see this as a ‘treat’ product so I thought I’d treat Louise to a little bit of makeup luxury!
Liz Earle Bath Beautiful Bodycare
Summer bodies are made in the Winter, right? Or so I’ve heard. It’s all good and well looking after your body from the inside but you need to take care of it from the outside too. Liz Earle have this gorgeous set that I thought Louise would like to use after a long day looking after both of her children. She’s still a parent as well as a blogger and every one deserves a little ‘me’ time’
This set sounded so nice; an orange flower botanical body wash that gently lathers to leave the skin feeling fresh, soft and smooth? Yes please! Any excuse to have a bath when the nights are drawing in and it’s cold outside.
Winter Spice Candle
One of the first things I saw on Louise’s Instagram feed was a candle and it was from that moment on I knew she was my kind of girl. I love a good candle and obviously so does she so I couldn’t not get her one!
This ‘Winter Spice’ gel candle not only sounds like it’s going to smell amazing and all Christmassy, but it looks the part too! How beautiful does it look?
Well, those were my selections for Louise and I really, really hope she liked them! I know I would’ve been happy with everything there. What do you think? Did I nail it, or could I have done better?
I know some of you are probably dying to know what I got too! I’m really interested to read how Louise went about picking out her gifts for me as I don’t think I’m that hard to buy for… or maybe I am?
Toby got the exciting job of unwrapping everything but here’s what I received:
L’Occitane Beauty Icons Gift Set
I love the packaging and the appeal of these toiletries but they’re definitely not something I’d pick for myself. I tend to steer clear of high end toiletries because my skin can be quite sensitive, and my hair and scalp even more so. I’ll get to sample these simple goodies and see how I get on though, which is quite exciting.
Caroline Gardner Holiday Planner
I’m going to pop this away for our honeymoon, I think, and might even use it for planning some UK breaks with the kids. It’s not something I’d normally pick up but after having a flick it looks really handy!
Neom Organic Candle
Now here’s a present I love! The scent is gorgeous and I can’t wait to fire it up.
Happy Jackson Cherry Lip Balm
Perfect for the upcoming colder weather. I do have to protect my lips a lot more in the Winter as they get so, so chapped so this was a perfect pick from the Secret Santa section.
Because what blogger doesn’t love flamingos? These paperclips will go a long way when we eventually get an office space sorted out in the house. Love!
What’s your favourite gift from the Secret Santa section of John Lewis? Do you do Secret Santa; maybe in the office, or between family members? What’s the best and worst gift you’ve received?
*I was invited to take part in this campaign with John Lewis. We were given a budget to spend and received gifts in return as above.