Sunday, November 20, 2016

Secret Santa

So last night, the family came over so we could "draw names" for our traditional Secret Santa. We started this years ago, when I was a single Mom to 3 teen boys and I didn't have a pot to p--- in. We drew names on Thanksgiving and the very first amount was set at $10.00.

I remember taking them to KMart - and we all went our separate ways and made our purchases. The fun part was keeping the secret and of course the teasing...

"I know who has your name." or "I know who you got." 

Then on Christmas Eve, I would take the boys to see the newest, blockbuster movie. That was our Christmas back then.

Since then, I've remarried (going on 15 years) and we've included to our family, Char, my step-daughter, my husband, and Pops (my husband's 90 yr old dad)

When we first moved up here from the bay area, we took a 45% drop in pay - and we were living off my husbands military pension while he looked for a full-time job. We struggled - then Foodie lost his job in the Silicon Valley in 2009 - and then Navy left the military, and went to college in the bay area, but could not afford a 1 bedroom or studio so had to live in a flea-bag motel while he attended college. When he finally saw a brazen cockroach, walk across his bed, while he was watching a football game, that was it. Navy does not do cockroaches. So he left college and moved up here, to our semi-rural town to live with us.

Times were hard back then. 2009 to about 2013. At one point, we even had to go to food banks to supplement with the food around here!  It wasn't until my husband landed a really good job working for the State of California - and each son, as well. Char (who is developmentally disabled) was able to get onto permanent disability and a county agency helped her get a part time job for DD people, working within their disability or SSI.

The dollar amount fluctuated between $10-20. We still had fun! 

So last night, we're all doing well, we agreed to $30- each. Of course, we stress buying things on sale - You know, a $55 gift on sale for $30. That is part of the fun, too. Who can make the most out of their $30 bucks.

I cook and bake and decorate the house. It's my little gift to them all. And of course, I'm the Mom - and I always buy everyone a little something.  I start in January - So,  I'm all done with them - just have to buy a little something for Pops.

Like I said, we usually do this on Thanksgiving, but the family won't be all together so that is why we did it last night.

Just had a great time...talking politics! You know, the election. When my husband drove Pops back to the VA Home, he told my husband, he really enjoyed all the bantering and opinionated opinions on the election!  That's good. We do get LOUD, as we try and talk over one another to be heard.

I love my family (when we get along) Ha


  1. We don't do anything like secret Santa here and I do buy gifts for many people in the family more then my husband would like

    1. It's fun and it works for us.

  2. We do what we call Dirty Santa. Everyone buys a gift and then we open one at a time and you get to keep your gift or take one of the already open gifts. It gets to be really fun. (Or not, depending) Sounds like you had a fun night. Our family CANNOT talk politics!

    1. Oh yeah, I've heard of dirty santa. Sounds like a lot of laughs.

  3. I like what you do with Secret Santa and the tradition that has carried on for many a year. That I think is the best, something your family does and enjoys doing :)


    1. We all do. And as our family grows, it will just add more fun to the tradition.


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