I really, really love Christmas. It's one of my favourite times of the year. That said, I also like to limit the amount of days that it takes over my house and thoughts. I might start to think about Christmas gift ideas around October-time onwards, but the tree and the decorations don't go up until a few days before Christmas as it's the period between Christmas Eve and New Years Day that's the real holiday in my eyes and I don't want to be sick of the sight of the twinkly lights and mistletoe by then. Those in-between days are truly the ones to spend relaxing, unwinding, enjoying a few drinks, eating way too much (damn you for being so yummy I have to eat an entire box, After Eights!), playing terrible board games and trying to swap unwanted presents with my brothers ... or occasionally putting them straight on eBay, I'm not going to lie.
I'm not really the easiest person to buy Christmas presents for. Those in the know tend not to go 'off-list' when it comes to my gifts. I might want a teacup but it will be a single, specific one that I have my eye on and I still haven't learnt the art of disguising my disappointment ... my family takes bets on how long I can maintain a polite expression before asking if they've perhaps kept the receipt. I'm seriously awful, aren't I?
So, it was with cautious excitement that I said yes to taking part in an early Secret Santa with Debenhams and a handful of other lovely bloggers. It seemed like a wonderful way to spread some cheer and also browse the Debenhams website for Christmas gift ideas (I've been doing a lot of my Christmas shopping in their Chester branch for years ... their makeup counters are amongst my favourites). But, I was a little nervous about somebody, especially someone who only knows me through my blog, choosing gifts for me.
We were asked to choose between gifts for the home, beauty or fashion. Now you might think that being a bit obsessed with interiors that I'd go for home-related presents. But I didn't! I opted for beauty gifts instead. In my quest to become a little lazier, I thought beauty gifts might just help me slow down and eek out time to relax (I'm not doing very well at it yet, by the way).
And then this gorgeous set of parcels turned up at my door, yesterday.
I was a touch apprehensive when opening them but I needn't have worried as Louise (do check out her stunning blog, The Little Things) had chosen so many amazing products ... a couple of much-loved favourites of mine and a couple that I can't wait to try out. She couldn't have got it more right. In fact, I'm thinking of suggesting that my entire family hand over all present-buying responsibility to her from now on.
So taking pride of place on my dressing table are:
- Urban Decay Naked Basics eye shadow palette
- Benefit b.right! Radiant Skincare set
- Benefit Feelin' Dandy lip and cheek set
- Burt's Bees Naturally Nourished-Baobab Edition gift set
How lucky am I?!
I'll give them all a whirl and share what I think of them in my monthly 'Things I'm Lovely Lately' posts. I'm a huge fan of Benefit products so am already really excited about those (I wore High Beam on my wedding day so it has a special place in my heart). And the Naked palette is an absolute classic with an amazing range of very usable colours. I really do feel very spoilt.
A huge thanks to Debenhams and to Louise for cheering me up in what is otherwise a pretty chaotic and stressful week. I'll let you know who I selected gifts for as soon as she receives them ... it's still top secret, at the moment. Fingers crossed she likes them all!