2008 Edition of Look what my Secret Santa sent me...
Gary C
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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For those of you new to this list, I originally posted this list back in 2006 as a way to let my Santa know when I receive my gift without him/her worrying about divulging their identity. The list has gone well in the last two years and I am curious how large it will grow this year since there are around 1000+ participants this year (529 items in 2006, 874 items in 2007). This is a pretty good place to view the gifting as it progresses through the holiday season, so enjoy!

Use this as a central area to record what our Secret Santas sent us. When you post on this list, you may want to make a note on your profile so your Secret Santa knows to look on the list for your receipt and reaction. That way your Secret Santa can look to see if you received your gift and you can post any comments you may have about the gift here and you can reply without the identity of your Secret Santa ever having to be released!

Please only make an entry when you actually receive the present!

If your Santa sends you more than one item, just list them all in one listing unless you think it makes more sense to list them separately. Remember to include any comments you want your Secret Santa to know!

I don't know about anyone else, but I generally obsess about whether a package has arrived at it's intended destination. I drive my wife crazy with checking tracking numbers constantly! So it will be nice to see when those gifts are actually received by the giftee (or are they just sitting unclaimed on the neighbor's porch?)


To see how the previous two years of Secret Santa-ing have gone on those year's versions of this list, look at these links:

"2006 List"

"2007 List"

Simon's yearly breakdown:
Most Popular Secret Santa Games of 2008

Most Popular Secret Santa Games of 2007

Most Popular Secret Santa Games of 2006
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26. Board Game: The Pillars of the Earth [Average Rating:7.32 Overall Rank:178]
Brent T.
United States
Zionsville
Indiana
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Wow! My Secret Santa is on the ball! This was so unexpected that my wife opened it thinking it was something else. I usually am strict about not opening gifts before Christmas, but I'll take this accident willingly! And now I get to play when I'll actually have people around to play with- You rule Secret Santa! The two player functionality is one of the great benefits to this game.
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27. Board Game: Blokus Trigon [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:601]
Get up, get up, get up, get down, fall over.
United Kingdom
Bolton
Lancashire
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My SS was quick off the mark too. A mail on Sunday to check the shipping details, another on Monday to say the order had been placed and just before I arrived home tonight a parcel was delivered to my wife.

We had already agreed that with so long to go to Christmas, and lists to write which might include games from my wishlist, I had better open the box.

Inside were two beautifully wrapped and labelled parcels from my SS (wrapping courtesy of Nick and Sue at Shire Games - good job you two).

Blokus Trigon, so now we can get a new lease of life out of Blokus (and play 3 handed at last), and, as a kicker, Intrigue.


Thank you so much Secret Santa. I am looking forward to playing both of these with my family. You have been so efficient to get the gifts here this quickly> I have a lot of catching up to do, I have only sent one taunt to my target so far (though I am pretty sure I know what he will be getting).
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28. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Gary Pope
United States
Magna
Utah
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I have been excited all day! I received a message from "Santa" saying that there was something on its way and then a second one with tracking information.

I then notice that the delivery was scheduled for TODAY! WOW! I was so excited all day today... those last 4 hours at work were so long!

I asked my wife to open the box and tell me what was in it and she opened the box and then promply refused to tell me what it was... Arg! She would only give me a hint... She said Z-Man Games and Rio Grande! TWO GAMES! I have been spoiled!

Oh MAN! Now the cross checking on my wish list(four hours worth - sprinkled in with a few meetings) and I conclude the most likely candidates were Agricola... A game I've wanted for a long time and the expansion for Race for the Galaxy. - My wife and I play Race for the Galaxy more often than any of my other games. What a great choice - but could it be?????

I finally got home and was able to confirm:

Agricola and Race for the Galaxy - The Gathering Storm!
Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm


Both on my top of my wish list!

THANK YOU SECRET SANTA!

Thank you.

EDIT: 11/28/2008 - My secret santa gave me another surprise! I received (from Belgium)a Christmas card, a tin of chocolates (ummm good!) and Hive - the misquito

Hive: The Mosquito


Thank you again Santa!
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29. Board Game: Mystery of the Abbey [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:868]
David Anderson
United States
seattle
Washington
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While I don't live in an Abbey there is this mystery. How could I have been so lucky to get such a cool Secret Santa? From day one there have been taunts almost daily and now when I came home from work there was a package with not 1...not 2....not 3.....but 4 wrapped boxes and it's not even Thanksgiving yet! surprise



I have made a pledge to myself to wait until Christmas to open these. So under the tree they will go. Once I put it up that is (Hey they haven't even started selling them yet). I think I can. I think I can.

I feel privileged to have such a generous and fun Secret Santa. I am totally inspired to keep the good will train rolling throughout the season.

*********************************************************************************

Wow Christmas took a long time to come, but it is finally here. After looking at these gifts that I knew were great games under our Christmas tree for over a month I got to open them at last.

The first one I opened my secret Santa gave me a hint about and I guessed correctly. It was:



The second present I opened blew me away. I am really looking forward to playing this one:



Wow Wow this is great and two more to go. The next gift I opened was one I really wanted to check out and see if it was as good as the hype. It was:



What a great secret Santa I got. The last one is the highly rated and greatly anticipated (by myself):



I am floored by your generosity. This is so great. My wife and I are going to have a blast playing these. Thank you Secret Santa. I hope your Christmas is a merry as ours!
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30. Board Game: Metropolys [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:455]
Matt F
United States
Okemos
Michigan
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Way to go Santa!

How nice to slip and slide home from work only to find a box labeled "A gift from your BGG secret Santa. Enjoy!"

I wasted no time, and followed St. Nick's earlier emailed advice that I open the package upon receipt--the better to enjoy the games over the upcoming holiday weekend. What a thoughtful Santa!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear but two games! Not only Metropolys, but also
.

Played a few hands of Condottiere with my son after dinner to learn the rules. He and I will spend the weekend learning both well enough that he can thrash his uncle over Thanksgiving.

Thanks Santa, and may all your days be as merry and bright as you've made ours.
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31. Board Game: Christmas-in-a-Box [Average Rating:3.25 Unranked]
Aaron Watson
United States
West Jordan
UT
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A box arrived and I'm thinking...what did I order? Boards and Bits? I don't think I've ordered anything from... DING!

Thank you Secret Santa the package has been delivered! I will refrain from opening it before Christmas, but have given my wife the go to check it out... so she doesn't accidentally get me the same thing. Seeing how games are pretty much all I ask for anymore...



Merry Christmas to all and to all a good game!

Stay tuned...

IT'S CHRISTMAS! I can finally boast about my Secret Santa! Two titles from my wishlist that I was delighted to see! Shadow Hunters and Before the Wind! Thank you very much! I am very excited to play these two games. I tried them both for the first time at Gen Con this year, and I know I enojy both of them immensely. Thank you very much Secret Santa and Happy Holidays every one!



I love board games for Christmas. Makes me feel a bit more like I did when I was a kid at Christmas.
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32. Board Game: Container [Average Rating:7.09 Overall Rank:423]
CJ Faria
United States
St. Louis
Missouri
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My secret Santa gift arrived today. I've been meaning to pick up Container forever but I could never seem to trade for it or it was always out of stock when I went looking. THANK YOU SANTA. I LOVE IT!!

He also sent me a surprise game of Meuterer! I'v never tried it so it's all very exciting.

Thanks again and I'm sorry I could't wait to open your presents!
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33. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.10 Unranked]
Arden Nelson Jr.
United States
Ohio
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I got a wonderful package in the mail today. In addition to the games (yes, two different game boxes) I also got some plastic bags with candy in it. These are the kind that are often used in games and will definitely get use once I finish the candy ... or give some away! I also got a Merry Christmas wish and a coupon for an online retailer Bouldergames.com

In addition to this expansion I also got .... Saint Petersburg.


Thank you so much Santa! I just played Race with my brother-in-law tonight. We're still learning the base game but I wanted to show him what we can add in the future. I'm looking forward to having more start worlds.

Saint Petersburg has been great fun at meetups. I tend not to do well but I enjoy the experience a great deal! Thanks again Santa!
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34. Board Game: Box [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
John Kennard
United Kingdom
Bradford
West Yorkshire
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Now that was unexpected.
Santa's well quick off the mark this year!

And no sooner had it got through the door, but a ferocious guard pounced on it and has refused to budge since.

So either I need to tempt her off with treats or I'm going to be waiting until Christmas Morning to open it

UPDATE

Yay!

And, moreover, Mwahahahahahahahaaaaaa!
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35. Board Game: Amyitis [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:530]
Angus the Bull
United States
Elyria
Ohio
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Santa,

Just to let you know the gift arrived while I was at work and my wife hid it away before I got home. Of Course she called to taunt me. I guess I'll be waiting until Christmas.

Thank You!

Amyitis - WOOT! Thanks Santa!
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36. Board Game: Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries [Average Rating:7.68 Overall Rank:82]
John Erickson
United States
Winona
Minnesota
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Couldn't be happier with santa this year. Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries has been the top of my wish list for some time now. And to top it off it came with a surprise or two

Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot


and

Attika


Thanks so much.
Mange Takk Santa

Best wishes and Happy Festivus
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37. Board Game: Galactic Emperor [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1101]
Rob Leveille
Canada
St. Catharines
Ontario
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Thank you Santa!

The package arrived first thing this morning, with my big, goofy dog barkin' up a storm at the delivery guy. I have a bunch of game orders outstanding at the moment (a common problem amongst this group, I'll wager), so I was forced to open it immediately to see what it contained.

Now, you'd think that the gift wrap may have stopped me but its a little known fact that the wrapping tape used by Fun Games Cafe of Missassuaga, Ontario smells and tastes exactly like the jerky treats I use to lure the dog out of my bed, away from my dinner or off of the delivery man. So to make a tall tale shorter, the wrapping paper never stood a chance.

After a good hour or so, he let me have the game - it was unharmed, though a little slobbery (he's not much for Euro's). I never did get a reward from him for waiting so patiently.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


↑↑↑↑↑This guys fault. Honest.↑↑↑↑↑

So thank you, Secret Santa, for my first gift of the season!!!

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38. Board Game: Ghost Stories [Average Rating:7.41 Overall Rank:137]
Jose Martos
United Kingdom
Basildon
Essex
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SANTA, YOU ROCK!

Before I get so excited, I described what happened.

Yesterday, a package was waiting for me at home when I arrived from work. My wife asked (with the voice only they can use): Did you order more games? I said no. (with the voice only husbands can use)

Then, it must be your secret santa!!: she replied.
Wow, this is really early so I open the box from land of games (a UK based retailer..Thanks Alan) and two (yes yes...two!!!) gift wrapped boxes were inside.

My daughter (only 3 years old) got really excited and wanted to open the boxes to see what was inside. I fought really hard with her to avoid it but I lost!!!

Yahoo!!!Santa has send me Ghost stories (one of the Essen releases I was most interested in) and Thebes (a game I was thinking in buying).




I started to jump and my daughter looked a bit perplexed!

THANKS VERY MUCH, SANTA! YOU GENEROSITY IS AWESOME!!

HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND TO EVERYBODY ELSE!!
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39. Board Game: The End of the Triumvirate [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:869]
nat ward
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We in our household celebrate a winter holiday known as "the month or so of getting nothing done and contracts won't get signed because of all these cursed holidays". This is also called "solsticemas" by some of our friends. Since we leave for Turkeyday with the gf's family in Rochester tomorrow I felt perfectly justified in opening my first Solsticemas gift today when it arrived.

And sweet sweet solsticemas gift it was. I've been looking at this one since it came out and today VICTORY.

Yay secret solsticemas entity!!!! (traditionally the solsticmas entity, just in case you wonder, looks like a giant multi-armed pine tree/ent with presents hanging from its branches. Kind of like a tree-kali of presents.)
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40. Board Game: Tribune: Primus Inter Pares [Average Rating:7.28 Overall Rank:301]
Bob Aarhus
United States
Centreville
VA
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Ah, generous Santa! Thank you so, so much for my latest obsession (er, game...), Tribune: Primus Inter Pares. It arrived literally moments ago while I was telecommuting. (I hope the FedEx man accepted the kiss in the spirit in which it was given...) And not only that! An added bonus from the Great Philanthropist,
Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm accompanied it! More than I could ever hope for. Now Thanksgiving (as well as Christmas) will be doubly special.

Since you left me no clues as to your secret identity, this missive will have to do, but -- and take it from an expert -- you have gone Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Thanks again.

Also, a call out to my brother Tom V., without whom this would not be possible (or at least nearly as easy or fun). Thank you for organizing this year's event!
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41. Board Game: Monopoly [Average Rating:4.46 Overall Rank:11175]
Chris Chavis
United States
Wanatah
Indiana
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The package says:

If you open before Xmas this box will contain copies on Monopoly in Esperanto missing some pieces. If you open after Xmas these packages will contain...???

I don't know why, but something tells me I should wait.

I'd like to thank and scold my Secret Santa for being a model of efficiency. Why the gesture is appreciated I have the patience of a hungry two year old. As such I'm going to pull out what's left of my hair in anticipation.

All kidding aside, thank you very much. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Gajan Kristnaskon


Ok, so I gave in. I spent the week in Austin and got home last night. I saw the two packages sitting under the tree. I figure it wouldn't hurt to open just one of them....




Whoo! I wonder if Santa realized that there were BGG papers stuck in the box with usernames on them? Hmmm

I'ma gonna leave the other one under the tree for a couple more days (in case I've been really bad this year and there isn't anything else to open on xmas)

Thanks Santa! Funny coincidence because I just picked up the book for the trip down to Austin.

And....



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42. Board Game: Race for the Galaxy [Average Rating:7.80 Overall Rank:24]
Perrianne Lurie
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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So I got a box today from Boards and Bits. Since I didn't order anything from them recently, and since Santa e-mailed that my gift was on it's way, I assume this is my Secret Santa present. I'll TRY not to open it before Dec. 21 (Solstice/Channukah), but don't know if I really have that much will power. Thanks, Santa!

Okay, so Santa e-mailed me and ASKED me to open the box. Not only did it contain Race for the Galaxy, but also The Gathering Storm and Qwirkle to boot. WOW!
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43. Board Game: Cowboys: The Way of the Gun [Average Rating:6.17 Overall Rank:2994]
James Stubbs
United States
Florence
South Carolina
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So I get off work and my girlfriend is waiting to pick me up from work at the library. I knew something was up when I opened the door and was met with the icy stare of "what did you buy THIS time?" Knowing that I haven't bought anything, I grabbed the box and the first disappointment set it.

Sorry, SS. I know who you are... whoever you used to ship the package printed your name on the box. I hope you didn't really mean to stay secret and that you didn't care if I knew. However, I do curse you for gift-wrapping the game! As per your taunt, I will TRY to not unwrap it before Christmas although my dad called last night and wanted to know what game I was going to teach him this year at Thanksgiving so it might not make it that long!

laugh

EDIT: Sorry, SS! I couldn't wait any longer! I just looked through my collection of games and couldn't find anything that my dad would be interested in so I ripped it open!

Cowboys!

THANK YOU! I've been wanting this ever since I saw it come out. Now I've just got to go and download the advanced rules. Awesome! Now my father and I can enjoy shooting each other once the turkey and dressing has been cleared off the kitchen table!

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44. Board Game: Ys [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:593]
Marcin Piotrowski
Poland
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Dear Santa,
It wasn't my intention to open your gift. It had been my 4 years old son, who did it (I was @ work). Few seconds later I had a SMS conversation with my wife:
- Witek is opening your pack
- What 'pack'? I replied.
- That one with a game
- What game???
- I don't know. A strange one with a guy on a box.

30 minutes later I had been at home and found a brilliant gift: "Ys" from my "must have" list

Many thanks from me and from my son (who loves to segregate buttons, cards, cubes) :-)

marcin
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45. Board Game: Agricola [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:6]
Rose Rings
United States
Columbus
Ohio
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I came home to find my teenage daughter holding a box and jumping up and down. "Let me open it! Let me open it!"

"What do you want to open?"

"This box! It's from Best Dang Games! It's from Santa on BBG!"

"We are supposed to wait until Christmas..."

"Noooooooooooo...If we open it now, we can play tonight... Pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

I could hear the neighbor's dog howling. "Alright - I'm too tired to argue. Open it up. Do you need a box knife?"

"Nope!" RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPP! She tore the tape off with her bare hands and squealed,"It's wrapped!!" Crinkle crinkle, rip, rip - off came all the carefully applied gift wrapping. "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It's Agricola!! Can I open the box?"

My hubby came in the room to see what the commotion was. He looked shocked by the carnage. "Like Mom could stop you now!"

Off came the shrink wrap, the lid was lifted, and "OOOOOOOOOO lots of bits!! Where's the rules? Can I have Ben over to play this weekend? What the ranking on BBG again?" and so on while she inventoried and inspected every nook and crannie of the game box.

I walked over and picked up the shipping box to see another wrapped present - Santa had been truly generous. On the wrapping was a greeting from Santa - and even better - a gaming tip! The tip read "For Carcassone, castles are great, but farms will get you the win!"

"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I got Carcassone!" I squealed. Rip, rip, crinkle, crinkle...

So thank you Santa - You've made our family very happy. I hope you, Mrs.Clause and all the elves have a great holiday season.
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46. Board Game: Memoir '44: Mediterranean Theater [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.82 Unranked]
Brandon Pennington
United States
Springfield
Missouri
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If your orange juice doesn't burn on the way down, then you need more vodka!
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Woo hoo! My package arrived today from Thoughthammer and I tore right into it. I am not even going to pretend like I was going to wait I have zero will power as my collection will attest.

In the box were:

Memoir '44: Mediterranean Theater


and

Bolide Tracks #2: Bugeleisenring, German GP, and Tsunami, Japanese GP


AND!

Power Grid: China/Korea


A very generous offering of game expansions from my SS!! Thank you very much Santa!
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47. Board Game: Say Anything [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:546]
Steven Dennis
United States
Mandeville
Louisiana
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Got a package from my SS today via Thought Hammer.

I'm too weak to hold out so I opened it. Got a party game I've been eying for some time now. Thank you Santa!
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48. Board Game: Snow Tails [Average Rating:6.98 Overall Rank:459]
Benoit Kusters
Belgium
Brussels
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My very generous Santa sent me this wonderful race game, and added another one, also very high on my wishlist !



Thanks Santa (and thanks also for the permission to open the box way before Christmas, I am not sure I would have been able to wait ;-))

Many thanks and best wishes to you !
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49. Board Game: Clue Express [Average Rating:6.06 Overall Rank:5586]
Chevee Dodd
United States
Fairmont
West Virginia
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Well, I arrive home from work today to find a large box on my patio with a Funagain shipping label. Now, I KNOW I didn't order anything from Funagain, and through my Santa's wonderful communication I have deduced that it is, in fact, from my Secret Santa. Now, I don't know if the contents are giftwrapped, so I can't tell you what it is, but it sounds like something with a lot of pieces and the shipping label says the box weighs 8 lbs!

Another month and we'll find out!

11-24-2008
A message arrives from Santa:

Subject: Santa is Very Impressed!
Well Chevee I just wanted to let you know that I have seen your post in the 'Way Early - What Secret Santa Sent Me' Geeklist and I have to admit that your willpower is way beyond what most (including myself) possess. To have that package in the house just sitting there, SCREAMING at you that there are goodies inside and you just walking by saying "You will have to wait so stop yelling at me" is impressive indeed.

I am positive that the wait will be worthwhile.



Santa,
Thanks so much for your creative taunting and warm messages. You have brought me and my family holiday cheer very early this year. I cannot express my appreciation within the bounds of the English language.



12-25-2008
Christmas Day arrived and guess what? In the turmoil of watching my daughter open, I forgot to open my Secret Santa gift! How did I do that!? We arrive at my in-laws early and everyone starts shredding when I finally remember. So, I wait a few hours to sneak home and tear it open to find....



Stone Age

WOW. I can't believe my SS knew to jump down my list and pick me up a worker placement game! I traded Cuba away last month and haven't been able to trade it back again... seeing as how I haven't liked any other worker placements, I have a gap in my collection. Thanks for filling it Santa! Can't WAIT to try this one!




Memoir '44: Campaign Bag

I finally have a nice way to store all those oddly shaped boxes. Woohoo!



Memoir '44: Hedgerow Hell

I've been jonesing for this since I first read about it. This pack focuses on some of my favorite battle tactics from WWII.



The Battle for Hill 218

Ahhhh.... 2 player WWII madness. I know, it's not REALLY a WWII game... it's an abstract... with a GREAT theme!



Wow Santa. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
I asked for some WWII video games from my family and didn't get them. Somehow my SS knew over a month in advance that I'd need some WWII goodness for Christmas this year. Now I can wait until the weekend to see Valkyrie.


Thanks Santa!
Chevee
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50. Board Game: Power Grid [Average Rating:7.99 Overall Rank:11]
Brenden Johnson
United States
Lakeville
Minnesota
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WOO HOO!
My Santa was very quick and right on the money with my gift.
I'm very excited to break out Power Grid. Which may happen this weekend with the family in an early Thanksgiving get-together.

I also got one of those spinny hand thingys to choose first player. That will come in very handy.

A buddy of mine has been pushing me to get this one so we can play. So Santa, you've made at least two people very happy with this gift.

(and now I own the top 3 on the BBG games list)
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