Tweecret Santa package

Well, Tweecret Santa seemed to work. 56 trusting souls from the UK, US, Canada and Romania signed up and sent a gift costing £10 to someone they didn't know, or didn't let on that they knew anyway. So far 32 of the presents have been accounted for and you can see the results in the Tweecret Santa Flickr pool. There's some mighty fine stuff in there - a Japanese lucky owl, a beautiful felt bag, a very cool robot kit, library book stickers and a Mr T tea towel, a lovely badger print and a duct tape purse.

I'm just about to go through through the list and make sure everyone got a present so if you got one and haven't posted it to the pool yet, please let me know. For those inevitably lost in the post, I'll try to sort something out with the gift-giver. Thanks to everyone who took part. I enjoyed seeing all the lovely things trickling in and the work that some people put into their gifts was truly awesome. Who's up for it next year?

Visual aid

I got sent a great book, Visual Aid: Stuff You've Forgotten, Things You Never Thought You Knew and Lessons You Didn't Quite Get Around to Learning by Draught Associates (Black Dog). It's full of lovely diagrams and informatics on all kinds of subjects, exactly as the title says. Flicking through it I learnt some useful things about hats, poker hands, planets and the relative size of fictional spaceships. It's broad enough for kids but smart enough for adults. Useful as a last-minute present for the design-conscious or the hard to please.

How are you all doing with Christmas? Done your shopping? Waiting 'til Christmas Eve? Sick of the whole thing? I am almost done so normal non-Christmassy service should be resumed soon, but until then let's get down to the business of Christmas decorations.

RSPB glass birds

Above: Hand-painted bird Christmas decorations from the RSPB. £9.99 for six (via Wee Birdy).


Next up, felt Christmas pudding decorations from Lupin. $12.75 for 2.

Cross-stitched Christmas decoration

And finally, cross-stiched decorations from Fluffplanet, available in a few different designs. 3 for £2. Total bargain. I bought loads of these, they're great.

Floppy disk tags

From Feel Fuzzy (again), floppy disk gift tags. I bet Maurice Moss uses these for his Christmas presents.


Good news. Dear departed Hitherto, Glasgow's fabbest shop has risen from the ashes and returned as Narrative. It opens tonight in the CCA on Sauchiehall Street and will be trading for a few weeks until Christmas. Open til 7 most nights, it's a great place for fabulous artistic goodness and unique Christmas pressies.

Airside calendar 2009

If you're stuck for a Christmas gift, or just want to treat yourself check out the Airside 2009 calendar. I've bought one of these every year for I don't know how long and it brightens up my desk no end. There's a great illustration for every fortnight. The Airside website is a good guide to the house style.

Tweecret Santa

Tweecret Santa is go. The names and addresses are flying in. Santa will be making his list tomorrow. Anyone else who wants to play, follow Tweecret Santa before it's too late.

Present & Correct Christmas cards

The wonderful Present+Correct has some lovely thaumatrope Christmas cards. That is, those little things you spin with a picture on each side. When it spins fast enough, the two pictures merge together. Hours of endless fun! There are two designs, a partridge in a pear tree and Christmas in London.

Christmas in London

The thaumatrope was superceded by the even more unpronouceable phenakistoscope. Fans of this sort of thing may enjoy The Laura Hayes and John Howard Wileman Exhibit of Optical Toys.

Tweecret Santa

I was getting excited about Christmas this evening and had a notion to do an online Secret Santa. I thought it might be relatively easy to organise using Twitter, so ladies and gentlemen, I give you Tweecret Santa (thanks to Ben for the logo).

If you want to join in, follow Tweecret Santa (I mean follow in a Twitter sense). I'll put up instructions once I've worked out what they are. Unless I'm missing something all that's required is a price limit (£10?), a cut-off date (30 November) and an even number of people (100, in case of excessive demand). After the cut-off date I will randomly assign givers to receivers and let the givers know who to send an anonymous gift too. Everyone sends a gift and receives one. It would be good to have something that collects the results, like a Flickr pool or a tumblr.

It would also be really nice to buy things from independent shops or crafters, but that's not obligatory. The point is to give something lovely and bring joy to the heart of another. So if you're thinking "Oooh, I can get 10 things from the Pound Shop" think again. Anyone up for some festive fun?

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