12 Days of Christmas Swap Recap

I'm finally recovered from holidays with both Fedora's family and mine, and am delighted to now get to show off the fun that I've been having since December 13th...

My partner was the ever-awesome Amber, from Amber Writes. Her blog has a Christmas theme year-round and her favorite movie is ELF, so you know this gal loves the holidays!

I really had fun shopping for Amber, who loves reading, baking, music, animals (especially cats), beauty products, has had similar jobs to my own...the more I stalked her social media got to know her, the more I realized that we are two peas in a pod! I just wish I could have sent her more than 12 gifties, and exceeded the buying limit.

And she totally spoiled me! I got smacked upside the head with the Christmas spirit this year (randomly), and every pressie I opened from Amber reinforced that Christmas cheer.
The awesomeness. Every gift was labeled according to when I might need it...

Adorable ornament card that (since we can't have a tree because of my allergies) is hanging on the lamp.

Homemade syrup mix (I have never made syrup from a dry mix before! It tasty, and a little bit has lasted a long time), spiced tea (tasted like apples and cinnamon and comfort- love it), pancake mix (made crepe-like pancakes, which we devoured), and White Christmas Pumpkin Bread (also devoured, within 3 days of baking).

Ferro "Terra Cotta" blush, and POP lip crayon in "Flirty Fuschia"

("open when you need some color", so I opened it on Sat, after 3 drab grey days here)

Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby sing me Christmas tunes. I do love the crooners and the classics!

("open when you're wrapping gifts", I'd already wrapped them all before the box arrived- while listening to Christmas carols, of course- so I've been listening to this while doing the dishes, chores, etc)

Fuzzy Christmas socks! Amber and I share a love of silly socks, and these are adorably bright.

("open when you need some warmth", so I opened when my migraine left me freezing cold and exhausted, on Mon. These made me smile right away!)

Yummy Bath & Bodyworks candle that smells like toasted marshmallows.

("open when you need to relax" Well, it worked! Tues I was stressed about unemployment's latest bad news letter to me, and burning this made me think of campouts.)

Philosophy "gingerbread man" body wash. I have their Cinnamon Bun lip gloss, which aside from being ridiculously sticky, smells like home. So I couldn't wait to scrub with this wash!

("open when you feel dirty...literally" OK, I didn't exactly feel dirty on Wed, but I was intrigued!)

These are so adorable! I've never seen anything like them, and I can't wait to use them for the canned gifts I'll be giving the family (er, next year- I made their jams and sauces for this year already). Except I may have to ask for the lids back, once my family members have eaten their jams. ;)

("open when you want to preserve the holidays" On the Thurs before Christmas I was feeling domestic and baking a lot...)

With my dry skin, I'm always slathering on lotion, so this is brilliant. And it smells wonderful!

("open for a scent adventure" After having the house closed up tight for a week of rain, we definitely needed nice-smelling things around!)

The British Romance Collection DVD...does this gal know me, or what? I LOVE Becoming Jane and all versions of Jane Eyre- Brideshead Revisted has been on my to-watch list, and now I don't have to wait for it at the library!

("open when the weather forces you to stay indoors" It mizzled nastily all day on Sat, so this was perfect timing!)

A holiday dish towel and issue of Saveur magazine (which I've never seen). BONUS: this issue contains recipes for rocking a duck, which my family has been trying to make for Christmas for 3 years (but having supply issues). This cinches it- it's duck for Christmas in 2014!

("open when you're feeling domestic" I was cooking up a storm on Sun, to beat the cold say of mizzle that we had)

Burt's Bees "Rhubarb" tinted lip shimmer moisturizer, and handmade flowering branch earrings. We'd talked about our mutual love of Burt's Bees products, and still I never suspected! Great call, Amber- I'll enjoy wearing both of these lovelies.

("open when you're longing for fall" OK, not exactly true, but it was bright sunshine and warm today, much more Fall than Winter. And hey, jewelry and lippy is good for EVERY season)

Donald Miller's Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality. I don't read a lot of books on spirituality, as a general rule, but this is one of her favorites, so I'm intrigued. Fedora was curious about it, too. And hey, expanding my horizons is always a good thing!

In all, this was a fantastically festive, cheer-bringing swap with amazing homemade goodies, tailor-made to me. Amber, you rock! 
Thank you!

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