Monday, 6 December 2010

Huge Thank You to My Secret Santa!

I warn you, this will be a photo heavy post. :-)

So imagine my great delight and excitement when after a tiring and seemingly endless day at work, opening my mailbox I saw that the mailman had left a note saying that I had a package waiting for me at the post office. When I got there came the first surprise, because look what an adorable package was waiting for me:

and just because I couldn't get enough of the cuteness here is another side:

when I opened the box, here is what was inside:

and after I took out all the wrapped packages:

I had to savour the excitement of the surprise, so I laid out all the mystery packages:

But then I just couldn't take it anymore, I'm not a very patient person when it comes to presents.. :-)

But I won't torture you anymore, here is what was inside the little packages:

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews
Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole
A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
Pray for Dawn by Jocelynn Drake
Kandle booklight
Christmas knee socks :-)

Thankfully my Secret Santa has left a note inside my package so I know who I can thank for such an amazing surprise pack:

Thank you so much Stephanie! :-D

You certainly made my day! Loved the adorable Snoopy box and the classy red snowflake paper and thank you so much for all the amazing gifts: the yummy books, the great booklight (thank you!) and the cute socks! :-D  You are the best Santa ever! :-))

And also thanks to Steph who was the creative mastermind behind the BBA Secret Santa movement! :-)

I hope you all had a wonderful St. Nicholas day!
And to remain on this topic I wanted to tell you about our traditions and how we celebrate Santa and Christmas in Europe:
December 6th is St. Nicholas day, meaning that the children get up all excited and run to their boots (usually they have to clean them the night before so the boots are spotless and put on the windowsill) to discover what Santa has left them when he stopped by during the night.

Good children get chocolate, candy, oranges and peanuts (and other small toys), while bad children also get a small birch symbolising the stick with which Santa could punish them for misbehaving (these small golden sticks are usually given to remind children to be on their good behaviour, so usually all children get one ;-p - at least my sisters and I always got one and we weren't that bad children lol :-D).
The Christmas tree is "brought" (as well as all the toys and gifts) on the night of December 24th (yes, in Hungary Christmas is celebrated on December 24th (Christmas Eve), Dec 25th is called the 1st day of Christmas and December 26 is the 2nd day of Christmas) by "Little Jesus (or Baby Jesus)", even to atheist people (the parents trim the tree in secret so that when a bell chimes they open the door to reveal the glowing Christmas tree with music playing and the children are mesmerized). Traditional people first light the candles and after singing a few Christmas Carols either exchange gifts first and then eat dinner or vice versa, then go to the Midnight Mass. 
So this is in a nutshell how Christmas is celebrated in Hungary :-) 
(In Belgium the tradition is slightly different: St. Nicholas or Santa brings the Christmas tree and most of the toys and gifts for Christmas on the eve of St. Nicholas Day, and Belgian children receive smaller gifts on Christmas.)

And how is it in your country? Or in your family? I love all festive traditions and am curious to read about yours :-)


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