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November 22, 2010

Ditch Secret Santa & Try a Book Swap Instead

Posted by Dana

Gift Box.pngI was out this weekend with a friend of mine, doing some pre-pre-Holiday shopping and she mentioned that her book club does a Secret Santa type gift swap each year.  They set a price limit and the gifts have to be either book or wine related.  

"Very fun idea", I thought.  But then I started thinking about all the people on a budget who might not be into spending even a random $10 or $20 bucks.  I also thought about all the silly gifts I've ended up with at these type of things. Fun while it's happening, at the end of the day I would've rather held onto my cash.  (Last year, in case you're wondering, I ended up with very heavily scented pine cones - which I could've gotten from my back yard for free.  Though I guess I might have gotten "dog" scent instead of cinnamon that way).

So I started racking my book-addled brain and thought... "What about a book swap?"  Everyone brings a gift-wrapped, used book from home, you put them all in the middle and you play that game where the first person picks one and unwraps it, and the second person can either take the one from the first person or pick another one from the pile.  If they take the first persons book she gets to pick another.  And then the third person can take from either of the first two, or the pile... and so on.

You might have to set some ground rules on types of books - like maybe no mass market paperbacks - just to keep it fair.  But this way everyone gets a new "gently loved" book and no one has to spend any money.  Good for the wallet, good for the environment, and good fun.   

-- Dana Barrett, Contributing Editor