Virago Secret Santa 2014

TalkVirago Modern Classics

Join LibraryThing to post.

Virago Secret Santa 2014

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Oct 3, 2014, 8:08pm

It's the most wonderful time of the year ...

Well, maybe not quite yet -- the stores aren't filled with wrapping papers and carols. However, we like to start the holiday season early around here, to give the wonderful members of the VMC group time to turn around to get back on Santa's "good" list!

Sign up between now and October 24 by leaving a message with your mailing address on either Christina's profile (christiguc) or Laura's profile (lauralkeet). Never fear!--only Laura, Christina, and your Santa will know your address. Please let us know if you have any shipping preferences (willing to ship anywhere, prefer to ship within your home country, etc.)

Then, come back on October 26 to find out who you get to choose a gift for! Once you have the gift all picked out, Laura or Christina can give you the shipping address. Please try to get everything off in time for the opening days--between December 19 and 26.

Oct 3, 2014, 10:41am

Yay! Have signed up - thanks so much ladies for organising!

Oct 3, 2014, 2:21pm

Whoo hoo - I've signed up, too - and thank you from me, too. Oh dear - THREE Secret Santas this year!

Oct 3, 2014, 4:40pm

So excited. I just signed up as well. Thank you Laura & Christina for all of the effort you both put into this.

Just an aside to anyone signing up, it has been helpful in the past for our Christiguc & lauralkeet to know those who are & are not willing to ship overseas from their homes.

Happy Holidays all. (loving the festivities & bright colors with your heading)

Oct 3, 2014, 8:11pm

Belva, thank you for that aside. I revised the opening message to mention shipping preferences,

Oct 3, 2014, 10:44pm

Happy! Happy! Happy! I'm in, and again I thank Laura and Christina for their willingness to use their organizational skills for this group.

Oct 4, 2014, 6:01am

I'll be signing up too.

Oct 4, 2014, 11:52am

For those who may be joining this event for the first time, I offer some guidance posted on last year's thread (you'd think after 7 years we'd manage to cover it all in the opening thread, but no !!)

-In the Virago Secret Santa, you send directly to the recipient. After we get all the sign-up names and addresses (by October 24), Laura and Christina each do a random number generator (using to assign numbers. Laura assigns the "giftee" number and Christina tells you which giftee you will be shopping for--that way both elves will be surprised too! If you get yourself, we have a back-up plan to switch things around.

-You can ship directly to the giftee or, like many, ship to yourself and wrap to send things off. Some people like to include little ornaments or goodies along with the package.

-We suggest a guideline of $25-$30, including shipping, but there are no hard rules, and there is no sign-up fee.

-Since this is a smaller group, we tend to know each other better, but if you get stuck, remember this is the VMC group.

-We will have a thread dedicated to Letters to Santa with hints (e.g., do you like used books? do you want only VMCs?), a thread for arrivals of packages to celebrate the anticipation, and a thread where we can all share in the excitement if each opening.

To see the threads from previous years, check out our Wiki.

Oct 6, 2014, 7:21am

I felt bad saying I couldn't ship to the US this year, but the postage (from Sweden) alone would run about $25. Ow!

Oct 6, 2014, 3:18pm

Don't feel badly truffler. Last year I opted to stay within the U.S. because I simply wanted to focus on the gift rather than the shipping. However the previous year I did the same as you are this year & for exactly the same reason. (Even media mail has become so dear.)
It's all about the excitement, the anticipation and that perhaps (?) perfect gift that makes this so wonderful for all of us. So just enjoy the search and the season.

Oct 11, 2014, 7:01am

I've been absent for ages, but I'd love to join in again!

Oct 11, 2014, 12:08pm

Yay! I love our Virago Secret Santa, it has been wonderful over the years. Signing up right now.

Oct 11, 2014, 2:50pm

Great news - and so very sorry that I have been so absent from this group. Having recovered from the pleurisy I had Summer school followed by a wonderful 4 weeks in la belle France. Now I am back at college - Ripon College Cuddesdon where I am an ordinand - training to be a priest. So, yes please Secret Santa is the highlight of my Christmas - theological books will most likely feature in my desires list this year!!!!

Oct 11, 2014, 2:58pm

I've just signed up too!

Oct 11, 2014, 6:24pm

>11 Stuck-in-a-Book: Simon: are you at the same address as last year?

Oct 12, 2014, 12:38pm

Although I've given away a large number of my VMCs and have been reading other things, I wouldn't miss the VMC Secret Santa exchange for the worlds. Count me in!

Oct 12, 2014, 1:19pm

Of course I'm in!

Cariola! I'm aghast! Wasn't it you who received the mother-lode of Viragos through a paperbackbookswap connection? I'm curious as to why you parted with so many.

Oct 12, 2014, 6:21pm

15 - yes! (And I hope I gave the Somerset address? Just cos I'll be at my parents' for Christmas again... let me know if you got the Oxford address last yr!)

Oct 12, 2014, 6:37pm

Simon, we have the Oxford address. Message me with the Somerset one?

Oct 12, 2014, 9:07pm

>17 bleuroses: Yes, that was me. I simply had to see the floor again--I had no place to store or display them. And I found that, in reading them, I really wasn't enjoying them as much as I thought that I would. I still have a large box full.

Oct 13, 2014, 5:53pm

Ok, Deborah - you're off the hook! ;~)

Oct 15, 2014, 4:06am

I can't believe it's that time of year again. I'm still getting round to reading my second WW1 themed book after William in January! And I must have blinked and missed Virago August altogether.

Real life really has got in the way of my LibraryThing time, and even my reading time, this year but I will definitely be taking part in the Secret Santa. Already looking forward to the bit when we find out who we're Santa-ing for and can start browsing through their wishlists and libraries.

Oct 15, 2014, 4:42am

Hooray - I've signed up too. Thanks to Laura and Christina for organising again!

Oct 15, 2014, 11:22pm

Hey guys-I have a PO shipping question. I'm in a hurry to get quite a few books for swap out by tommrowo morning. I ran out of clear packing tape and all I have is that white strapping sturdy tape with the lines through it from teh Post Office I bought on accident. will they still accept that on my books? :(

Oct 16, 2014, 1:07pm

I'm in -- it's such fun!

Oct 17, 2014, 11:31pm

I've been absent for quite awhile. Life got in the way. I definitely want to be part of the Secret Santa group though, so count me in!

Oct 18, 2014, 11:04am

>24 toast_and_tea: I don't see why not, as long as the address is readable. I've used orange strapping tape in the past.

Oct 21, 2014, 9:46am

Just signed up for the group and for Santa. I've happily followed your Christmases for the last two years.

Oct 21, 2014, 6:35pm

I won't be taking part this year (funds are low at present), but I'll look forward to seeing how you all fare.

Oct 22, 2014, 3:55am

Yesterday I added all of my TBR and my recently reviewed books onto my LT library so my Virago library was up to date, and I justified doing that in the middle of the afternoon by claiming it was vital for the Secret Santa. Hooray!

Oct 23, 2014, 11:05am

I kind of want to sign up and in but it has been a while since I've interacted in the group so wouldn't be fair to a newer member if they drew me :-/

Edited: Oct 23, 2014, 12:29pm

>31 mrsvjdw: oh please don't let that stop you, Verity! I don't see much difference between a "less active" member and a "newer" member, and we have some of the latter participating. Come to think of it, we have both "less active" and "newer" members on this year's list already. We'll open up a "letters to Santa" thread for everyone to offer up ideas, preferences, or even "demands" (lol).

In the end it's your choice but please know we'd love to have you.

Oct 23, 2014, 1:05pm

Oh Verity, don't let that stop you taking part!

Oct 23, 2014, 3:22pm

so, when will the new Letters to Santa thread be up? :P

Oct 23, 2014, 5:03pm

C'mon Verity. Join us. We'll have such fun!

Oct 23, 2014, 5:12pm

>34 toast_and_tea:: On Sunday, 26 October, the same day we publish the list of recipient numbers (so you know who you are Santa for).

Oct 23, 2014, 5:19pm

>28 SassyLassy: Same, I follow this group's Secret Santa every year. It's such a warm group and the threads are fun to read. I'd feel guilty about signing up, though, as I don't really read a lot of VMC-type books.

Oct 24, 2014, 7:46am

Just a reminder that today is the last day to sign up for Secret Santa! Giftees will be revealed on Sunday.

Oct 24, 2014, 8:39am

>37 LibraryPerilous: You don't have to request VMCs from your Santa. I have been pretty inactive and have given away many of my VMCs as I found they just didn't interest me as much as I thought they would. My Santa can simply check my LT Wish List. And some members have nearly every VMC that you're likely to find, so they, too, will be open to trying something new.

Oct 24, 2014, 12:38pm

Yes, my giftees often get a pile of books that I've liked, or are written by local authors, with the odd VMC thrown in!

Edited: Oct 25, 2014, 3:54pm

Oh man!~! Disappointed! I thought this was Sunday & was expecting to find out the name of my giftee. Guess that's what happens to time when R/L throws you a zinger. Will very patiently (NOT) be awaiting the revealing tomorrow.

Oct 25, 2014, 9:16pm

The elves are ready .... ! :)

Oct 26, 2014, 11:30am

Thank you elves!

Oct 26, 2014, 11:47am

Thank you, lovely elves!

Oct 26, 2014, 12:42pm


Oct 26, 2014, 1:17pm

My giftee has no wishlist on either her LibraryThing or Goodreads. Should I just wait for her Letter to Santa?

Oct 26, 2014, 1:30pm

>46 toast_and_tea: Yes. If they don't post a letter soon, you can leave me or Christina a PM with their name and we'll give them a "nudge." We can also act on your behalf to get ideas -- sometimes we might know the member pretty well already, and/or we can ask questions.

Oct 26, 2014, 1:34pm

Thanks Laura. I want to start shopping very early and get everything in a package and put it aside so I can send a few weeks before Christmas. ^-^

Oct 26, 2014, 1:45pm

Thank you elves *excited*

Oct 26, 2014, 3:04pm

OOOhhh ... so excited!

Oct 26, 2014, 4:54pm

Kudos to our lovely V.S.S. elves.
I too, am very excited! Fun, fun, fun! And fun is nearly the best thing to have.

Oct 27, 2014, 5:17am

Thank you so much elves - I am really looking forward to this! :))))

Oct 30, 2014, 6:37am

A big thank you to our two elves for making this possible again. I'm enjoying myself hugely already!

I've spent much of the last day or so deciding what to buy for my SS recipient and have moved through the 'no idea at all' stage, to the 'wanting to get way too many things' stage and think I may have arrived at a final decision.

I am trying to avoid pitfalls that have almost caught me out in previous years. These have included considering a book I loved and then remembering my santee was the person who recommended it. There was also the time I was about to buy a book from an Amazon third party seller and realised that I was having a book delivered from a different side of the planet, that I would then have to post back to that exact same part of the planet. Not good for my carbon footprint!

Oct 31, 2014, 6:14pm

Woohoo! I received two books for my recipient today, and two more are on the way!

Nov 1, 2014, 3:12pm

WOW!~! You are on the ball Deb.

Nov 3, 2014, 1:33pm

O.K., Santee dear. Two of your books have arrived - one very current one and one Orange finalist from several years back, both from your wish list. Don't DARE let somebody else get these for you. Now I'm thinking again!

Nov 3, 2014, 5:49pm

My Santee's books are assembled, and sitting on top of the Persephone bookcase. So now it's time to think about bookmarks and wrappings and asking an elf nicely for an address ....

Edited: Nov 4, 2014, 4:17am

>57 BeyondEdenRock: Gosh, you're organised Jane! Mind you, most of my Santee's items are here too and the fun bit of adding extras and wrappings will be happening soon!

Nov 4, 2014, 7:23am

>57 BeyondEdenRock: >58 kaggsy: Several of my Santee's books are here too, but I've still got a few coming from ABE. I've got it easy this year because I went on a buying binge a few years ago of some books that I never got around to reading but that I know my Santee for this year is going to want.

Nov 5, 2014, 11:26am

>58 kaggsy: >59 CurrerBell: I had a duplicate VMC or two in hand, and when I saw who I was buying for I knew exactly what else I wanted. More than that I cannot say!

Nov 5, 2014, 4:13pm

>60 BeyondEdenRock: My gifts are coming together very nicely - I hope my Santee is going to have many pleasant surprises! :)

Nov 5, 2014, 5:20pm

My gifts are ordered, but so far only one has arrived. Patience is required.....

Nov 5, 2014, 9:20pm

I do believe I am done shopping--just waiting for a few orders to arrive. And I only ordered two books for myself! (Don't worry, Santa, they are not on my wish lists.)

Nov 6, 2014, 1:11pm

Part of my Santee's package are on their way to me today. Now onto the second part.....!

Nov 6, 2014, 2:44pm

What HO!~!
Have now gathered most of my Santee's gifts together and am very excited.
How to wait until after Thanksgiving to begin the wrapping & pulling the parcel together?????????????
This has become my very favorite part of Christmas. VSS is generally the only gift under the tree for me. Hubby dear & I no longer exchange gifts but Santa does fill a stocking for each. And for sure the only books. Oh my, I hope dear Santa, that you do bring me a book.
So excited...........

Nov 8, 2014, 1:05pm

2 out of 4 of my giftees books have come, waiting on one they really wanted from the UK. I do hope the other books I got they will like!

Nov 11, 2014, 8:43pm

The book I ordered for my giftee has arrived--I think I'll wrap this weekend! Since it costs more to ship than the cost of the books, I hope my giftee doesn't mind that the rest came from my shelves. (Ordering from overseas and having them directly shipped isn't an option because I love wrapping so much!!) I promise the other books were gently read and chosen with care!

Nov 12, 2014, 12:05am

>67 christiguc: I have some new books for my Santee, but I think s/he might actually like the used books better. In fact, some if not all of the used books are out-of-print. Can't say more to avoid SPOILER.

Nov 12, 2014, 6:10am

I've gone for a mix of pre-loved and new - I think we're all bookish people here and can appreciate older, lovely volumes. And the joy of giving and receiving is the thing!

Nov 12, 2014, 1:39pm

Hi Virago people.

Once again, Santa asked me to pass this message on to everyone! Not as surprised as I was last year to hear from him. Guess it is because I live in the Great White North of Canada!



Hello everyone, this is Santa.

I have not yet heard from all of you and although I am good at reading minds, it does make it easier if you tell me exactly what you would like. Since you can't sit on my lap this year, just write me a letter and let me know!


Nov 12, 2014, 4:06pm

>70 ccookie: an excellent reminder, ccookie.

And as one of the elves, allow me to direct everyone to the Letters to Santa thread designed specifically for this purpose!!

Thank you!!

Nov 13, 2014, 10:50am

Nov 13, 2014, 11:34am

Check out this book review to learn an Iceland word, Jólabókaflód, that all VMC Santas and Santees will love.

Nov 13, 2014, 12:24pm

>73 CurrerBell: Well, that's gone straight on to my wishlist.

Edited: Nov 13, 2014, 2:32pm

Who do I ask to get my giftees address?

Nov 13, 2014, 2:43pm

Shy, just private message either christiguc or lauralkeet & one or the other of these two wee elves will get you set up with that information.

Nov 14, 2014, 11:07am

#73 added to my wishlist, too. Although I did know that Icelandic word!

Nov 14, 2014, 12:34pm

In case you missed it, the Secret Santa Countdown & Arrivals thread is open!

Nov 15, 2014, 3:53pm

Well, then, I should get wrapping! Everything is stacked up here and ready to go.

Nov 15, 2014, 5:17pm

Ditto that here Deborah! Excitement is building.

Nov 16, 2014, 8:09am

I've gathered all my Santee's gifts too - time to start the fun bit of wrapping! Excited! :)))

Nov 16, 2014, 8:26am

I have all my gifts too -- so excited!

Nov 16, 2014, 1:56pm

>81 kaggsy: >82 lauralkeet: Same here. I've already got a few wrapped but I want to get some variety in wrapping paper for the other batch.

Nov 16, 2014, 2:12pm

I'm still waiting for one more. Then the wrapping will begin.

Nov 17, 2014, 4:55pm

Still patiently waiting for the postal service to produce gifts for me to wrap and then entrust to that same postal service once more.

Nov 19, 2014, 10:50pm

OH goodness! I have one more to go too - and I haven't ordered it. Off to the hunt!

Nov 20, 2014, 7:28am

I'm tapping my fingers on the table... still waiting for one more... I'd like to get mine out next week.

Edited: Nov 22, 2014, 10:54am

A Santee gift book and some special wrapping paper were the first things to be delivered to me at my new address. Now that the worst of the unpacking is over - and I've found out where the nearest post office is - I shall soon be able to turn my mind to wrapping and posting!

Nov 22, 2014, 12:56pm

*whispers* I just wrapped up my Santee's things - now I can't wait to get them in the post.... !

Nov 22, 2014, 3:34pm

I have all my bits and pieces, and the wrapping paper. I bought some ribbon & tape today so I am ready to wrap & ship!!

Nov 22, 2014, 6:23pm

I have completed my shopping. Will wrap and post in the next week or so. :)

Nov 23, 2014, 4:14pm

I posted mine to my Santee on Thursday. I shall be very excited to see how quickly (or not) it arrives.

Nov 23, 2014, 4:30pm

This might be a good time to begin posting on the Countdown and Arrivals Thread. It's a great place to announce both the sending and receipt of parcels.

Edited: Nov 23, 2014, 7:17pm

Everything is here (last piece arrived on Friday), but I haven't wrapped yet. Going a little nuts with Thanksgiving. But I should be able to get it out right after the weekend--and it isn't going too far. I will be very surprised if it doesn't arrive in plenty of time for the Grand Opening.

Is anyone doing LT SantaThing? Last year I said I wouldn't do it again, but I succumbed to the holiday spirit of temptation.

Nov 23, 2014, 8:19pm

I'm sitting here right now sucking ipratropium bromide out of a nebulizer pump, and then I go on to albuterol sulfate. Just got released from the hospital last night after going in by ambulance just after midnight on Friday morning. Severe bronchitis, probably COPD-related, and since this is my second trip to the ER in six weeks the pulmonoligists want me to take some care of this. I was having enormous problems inhaling (I had a decent blood-oxygen level, but I just felt like I couldn't breathe), but at least fortunately it wasn't cardiac-related.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure I'm finished on my shopping, and I've got half my wrapping done and bought the ribbons and trimmings at Target this afternoon when I went to fill my new prescriptions. There's a little extra wrapping due since Ellis and Acton have insisted on sending some goodies to my Santee along with my own.

Nov 24, 2014, 3:03am

95: That does not sound like a fun weekend, Mike. I'm glad you're out of hospital now and hope you feel a lot better very soon.

Nov 24, 2014, 3:48am

>95 CurrerBell::
I am so sorry that you have been ill Mike. My brother at 75, has suffered from stage 4 COPD for going on 11 years now. I am thankful that he gets such good care where he is and any little change they jump right on it. I know how one can suffer with it. I sincerely hope you are on the mend now. Please take good care of yourself & I just pray you aren't getting hit too hard with the weather back there.

Nov 24, 2014, 6:51am

>95 CurrerBell: oh dear, Mike, what an awful time! Take care of yourself. -- hope you feel better soon.

Nov 24, 2014, 8:46am

>96 Soupdragon: >97 rainpebble: >98 lauralkeet: Thanks all. And you can tell how sick I felt when you realize that I didn't even remember to put my Kindle into my pocket book to take with me in the ambulance!

On the plus side, a friend of mine sent me My Voice Sought the Wind by Susie Abulhawa. I have a copy of my own in a TBR pile, so it was good to get it finished in the hospital. Short pieces of poetry are better in a hospital than novels anyway. I got the copy back to him right after I got out because his copy is personally inscribed to him. (His wife is a board member of Susie's Playgrounds for Palestine.)

Nov 24, 2014, 3:47pm

~95 - thinking of you at this time. Take great care especially in this weather.

Nov 24, 2014, 4:19pm

>95 CurrerBell: Take care of yourself!

Nov 24, 2014, 5:33pm

>95 CurrerBell: oh you poor thing. Take care of yourself.

Nov 24, 2014, 6:31pm

>95 CurrerBell: CurrerBell ; COAD is a very distressing condition - hope you feel better soon. Hope you enjoyed Abulhawa's poetry. She is a very gifted writer (IMHO) :-)

Nov 24, 2014, 10:32pm

Be well, take care, and survive.

Nov 25, 2014, 4:16pm

Mike - sorry to hear you have been sick. I haven't been reading this thread because I am not doing the SS. Thinking of you and hoping you feel better.

Nov 25, 2014, 5:10pm

Indeed - best wishes to you Mike and I hope you're on the mend soon.

Nov 26, 2014, 4:22am

Dang Barbara! I am bummed. I was just thinking the other day that it was about time I was your Santee............AGAIN. LOL!~!
Happy Thanksgiving my dear.

Nov 26, 2014, 7:26am

>95 CurrerBell:

So sorry to hear you have been ill. COPD is challenging but it can be managed well.

My mother, at 81 years of age, went to an inpatient 5 week respiratory rehab program and, for the first time in her life, attended workshops and groups (and she was never a joiner).

She learned so much about how to manage her shortness of breath and conserve energy. It was a fabulous program here in Toronto at West Park Healthcare Centre.

I have fibromyalgia and so experience a lot of chronic pain and fatigue and I learned a lot from her about how to save my energy on routine stuff so I could have energy left for fun stuff (like reading!)

Anyhow, I wish you a speedy recovery from this acute episode and hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving with your family / friends.

Dec 1, 2014, 8:26pm

Heavens, Mike! I add my concern about your recent upheaval. Take care of yourself!!!
I now have everything that I need to get my Santee's gift on its way except the gumption to do a bit of wrapping. I won't wait much longer, I promise.

Dec 2, 2014, 6:04am

>95 CurrerBell: Also so sorry to hear you've been ill. It seems like this is a tough time for many in the group.

>109 LizzieD: I'm where Peggy is - trying to get myself to sit down and wrap my gifts up. I'm not ready for it to be December...

Dec 3, 2014, 10:46am

Santa's elves have let me know they won't be finished binding one of the books for its designated recipient in time for Christmas, so there will be a split delivery. I didn't know elves delivered after Christmas, but in this case, that's a good thing. Now I can get on with what's here already.

Dec 8, 2014, 5:36pm

A boxed marked VSS arrived this afternoon. I thought it was probably safe to open it, and inside are four beautifully wrapped gifts. Good thing I'll be too busy with exams and papers to be tempted to open them!

Dec 10, 2014, 5:21pm

Parcel off on Monday!

Dec 10, 2014, 6:20pm

Second package on its way, should be received by Monday.