W&G Envelope Exchange 2014 - goodies received!
EGG Head
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This list is for participants of the W&G Envelope exchange participants to share what they received.
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1. Board Game: Typo [Average Rating:6.19 Overall Rank:4138]
Lizzie
Scotland
Edinburgh
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“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.” ― G.K. Chesterton
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Huge thank you to my lovely Santa I can confirm her user name refers to a definite control over the laws of space and time - there was more in the box of win than should be able to fit in! Thank you
river tam
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from such a small package...



Fabulous I have games, postcards, chocolate, a hat, a letter and a warm fuzzy feeling.
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2. Board Game: The Garden Game [Average Rating:5.75 Overall Rank:12634]
 
United States
Massachusetts
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Finally getting this put up! Got distracted and then when I dug out my camera for the picture, the danged battery needed charging (isn't that always the way?)

Anyway, last week I got a package in the mail and didn't think anything odd of it since we had Kickstarter stuff arriving and some Amazon orders pending. But when I opened it, I found that the awesome

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Wurtsboro
NY
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Had ordered this


for me through Amazon as a Part 1 since I love reading and gardening. Score!! Can't wait to dive in and read as the back cover blurb and chapter headings have me excited. Thanks!
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Woohoo! Yesterday when we arrived home from a trip to Ikea to buy more Kallax shelving for our game collection, I saw an Amazon package on the front step. I brought it in, opened it up and inside was:



I was all


so I brought it upstairs to the gaming nook to take a look at it. I started playing with it and hubby (who was working on some of the Ikea stuff) got intrigued and came over. We decided to play a game and I won


and I was all


Thank you so much for the game! It's fun and I know it's also something that I'll be able to bring to family gatherings that even non-gamers will be able to play and enjoy too.

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Carol wins as best sender in my book (ok, so I'm biased.) I was told to wait by my mailbox last week for an envelope. Luckily my mailbox is attached to my house by the front door so I waited in comfort inside. I'd gone to the basement to do laundry and heard noise so when I came up I checked the mailbox and indeed found an envelope! Yay!

Here's the too cool contents:


More detail:




She sent: a copy of her game The Cottonwood Contest: Cousins (this looks really fun), some yummy sounding recipes, a lovely hand written note, some heart tokens, a pretty sparkly Christmas bag, a bar of peppermint bark, an adorable and glittery owl notebook, a postcard from her town and a necklace she thought I might be able to use as part of one of my jewelry projects.

I can't thank you enough for your generosity and clever choices, Carol! This was such a fun experience both on the receiving and giving ends. I'm so glad I jumped in even though I was worried at first.
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3. Board Game: Robinson Crusoe: Adventures on the Cursed Island – Voyage of the Beagle (Vol. 1) [Average Rating:8.31 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.31 Unranked]
Jacq L
New Zealand
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LOOK WHAT CAME TODAY!!



My w&g secret santa is
Marion
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!!

Inside was lots of super tasty looking candy



And a present!



Someone 'helped' with the unwrapping



And inside was - omg omg omg omg omg



Ahhhhh!! I loveloveloveLOVE Robinson Crusoe, and the expansion has been at the top of my wishlist for a long time. I know Maho is the co-creator of it and I'm a little bit star-struck, to be honest blush.
In her (wonderful) card she said that this was the only and perfect present from her to me, and it's so true. I CAN'T WAIT TO PLAY!!



THANK YOU MARION! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!
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4. Board Game: Power Grid: Brazil/Spain & Portugal [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.89 Unranked]
Prince Adam The Coward
Iceland
Reykjavík
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When I came home from work today, the biggest envelope I've ever seen was waiting for me on the counter. It took me a moment to realize what it was, but as soon a I did I dug in.


First thing I saw was wrapped in a blue plastic bag. Inside the bag was bubble wrap. Inside the bubble wrap was a jar of home made Crabapple Jelly. I can't wait to try it with ice cream, that's what Janelle recommends.



Behind it, deeper in the envelope I spotted the familiar FF green color and pulled out the Brazil / Spain & Portugal expansion. Wow, I was so not expecting a boxed expansion. And if that wasn't enough - N. Europe / UK and Ireland expansion was lying on top. WOW!



And to complete it there were some dried fruit leathers (Janelle, you must tell me whether they are to be enjoyed as candy or if they're to be eaten along with something. I've never heard of them before) and postcards with beautiful pictures from Minnesota and some friendly greetings where she tells me about her organic fruit farm. That place sounds like a paradise.



Thank you so much Janelle

(I took pictures but the computer can't connect to the camera. I need tech support)]

Edit: Pictures (Thanks Scarlet)
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5. Board Game: Shear Panic [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:1588]
Janelle Cooper
United States
Mound Prairie
Minnesota
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My W&G Secret Santa
Eden Hansen
United States
Eugene
Oregon
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sent an amazingly smile producing box of goodies for me, mostly inadvertently...

Lance (my UPS driver) was heading down my driveway Friday as I was leaving to go oversee a Project Appleseed event farther north in Minnesota. He flashed the package at me, but I told him to leave it in the mudroom since I wouldn't have time to open and enjoy it until I got back this week. All I caught was W&G Secret Santa and Eugene, OR.
 

Saturday night I had a little time to spare and the aging spook in me flared up and I had to run a search of W&G SS participants in Eugene and it's environs, revealing lorna (made sense that she might assign me to herself to save others from embarrassment) and Eden... then lorna's target revealed herself that evening and I knew who had been victimized for my benefit!

Unfortunately, most likely due to the extreme pain my overly active weekend had provoked, I had a sleepwalking episode Sunday night and spent most of Monday confused. By Monday night, however, I was able to open my heaven-sent box of joy and nostalgia! In the spirit of immortalizing the "opening of the box" experience I took pictures, but then couldn't get the gallery to accept them in the proper up/down orientation until tonight.

Had to open FOUR different flaps to reveal the contents of the box... great dramatic build up!

Nice personal letter and intro... So you like to read historical fiction-especially about the Tudors --- well, guess what? I have direct Tudor ancestry!!! If you were not one of the first two or three born in the family, your chances of social advancement or financial achievements in England were nil and many "high born, but late born" titled offspring came to the Colonies to try and gain fame and fortune. Sadly that did not happen often in eastern Tennessee/South Carolina.

First a bag o' goodies!

TEAS! I make and send out herbal teas to my W&G friends! Great to be on the receiving end!

The coffee smells awesome!!
What you could not have know is that I received my undergraduate education in Portland, OR at Reed College, and that one of my goals at that time was to climb the "Three Sisters." Unfortunately, a severe knee injury while climbing Mt Hood ended my mountaineering career.

You would also have no way to know that I have beehives on my orchard and that these little honeystix are a whole lot easier than suiting up to raid our honeycombs!!!

While chocolate is always good, blocks of Tillamook cheese wins out over the course of a MN winter. (Blasphemy, I know, but it's the truth.)

Perfect timing!!! our first snow flurries are arriving tonight, and...

Your mittens fit PERFECTLY !!!!

Last but not least is the gift of one of my most sought-after games:
Shear Panic
Just looking at the beautifully crafted sheeples makes me tear up:



And brings back fond memories of the last of my flock...
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6. Board Game: Carcassonne: The Flying Machines [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked] [Average Rating:6.70 Unranked]
Joanna G
United States
Laguna Niguel
CA
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THANK YOU SOOOOOOO MUCH TO MY SECRET W&G SANTA!!

Okay, so I received a package from Canada the other day - well, I guess it was technically a giant silver envelope, so not a "package" but a package-like giant envelope (because the exchange is suppose to fit in an envelope, hehe.) At first I was like, "What did I order from Canada?!" and then after looking at the customs slip, realized that it HAD to be from my secret W&G santa and his helper elves Rattle'yer and Dags (I got several amazingly thematic and funny messages from Rattle'yer and Dags asking for more information about me, Renae, and our pets, which I happily responded to.) I had to wait 2 days to open the package because I had a board game event the evening of the day I got the package, so had to wait for the following night when we were both home, so we could open them together and take pictures.

After getting the package open, I saw that inside were individually wrapped presents for ALL of us - me, Renae, Bella, Roxy, Nefertiti, and Osiris. And also a card and a note, the note said "read me last" so I put it to the side. The card said "Read me first", so I put each present in front of the pets, and then started to open the envelope, but before I could even get the envelope OPEN, Osiris had already torn through his present and pulled out what was inside - which was an adorable hand stitched kitty toy stuffed with cat nip (aka kitty crack), HE WENT CRAZZZZY over it!!!! He started rubbing his head all over it and rolled around the floor playing with it.



At that point, Roxy realized SHE had something also very exciting in HER present, so she picked it up, carried it off the couch (away from Bella) and opened hers on the floor.



At this point, I FINALLY opened and read the card out loud. It was a very awesome letter and included a drawing of Renae, the pets, and I which was really fun. I also enjoyed the part where Io (my W&G's santa's cat) was upset that the cat toys weren't for her.


Anyway, after finishing reading the card, Roxy and Osiris were already well into eating their presents, so Renae helped Nefertiti finish opening hers - which was another hand stitched cat nipped stuffed toy. Nefertiti immediately started rolling around on top of the toy (both the cats were bouncing off the walls, it was hilarious). Then Renae noticed there was something else inside Nefertiti's present, a mini Carcassonne expansion!! So fun!


At this point, Bella started to realize something special MUST be in HER present and she started getting a little growly when anyone other than me or Renae got too close to her. So I helped Bella open her present and saw the herring skin stick and she WENT CRAZY OVER IT!!! Haha! I didn't even see Roxy's because she had opened it so quickly and ran and hid in her dog bed, devouring it, but I knew it must be the equivalent to cat nip.



After Bella has busily chewing the herring, I noticed another Carcassonne mini expansion in her present too! Hey waitaminute... then Renae revealed that she had found another one on the floor where Roxy opened her present (the box was *slightly* chewed, but the game was fine!). Renae opened her present and was surprised to find a pot holder and another (the 4th) mini expansion... then we realized, waitaminute, Osiris' present had to have had one too! And sure enough, in his blaze to rip open his present, the carcassonne expansion had ended up on the floor - we almost missed it! So we had all 5 of the latest carcassonne expansions, so exciting!



Lastly, I opened my present and got a delicious dark chocolate bar from Canada and a graphic novel. At first I saw it was a book and was a little nervous because reading and me have some issues, but when I opened it I saw it was a graphic novel and I was very excited. I'm a big fan of comics and am very excited to read this one, it's definitely one I've never read (nor heard of).

So after everyone was finished, I opened the note and it made me smile. The graphic novel is an unusual (and heavy) subject matter (it's about a mental health institution) and the note was a slight apology-ish for it being sort of a weird type book to give someone. But it made me smile because while my initial reaction was, oh this is a weird topic, I shrugged it off, figuring it must be a favorite book of my w&g santa and sure it enough it was.

Anyway, so I guess that's about it. It was quite hilarious watching the pets play/devour their presents and how each of them in their own way realized their was something special for them inside their packages. We both thought it was really sweet of you to get each of them something special, you went WAAAAYY beyond my expectations, which means I need to really step up for my w&g person.


My secret santa didn't reveal her name, BUT did subtley include a CLUE in the card. She said she has a cat named Io. I knew she also had to be from Canada.... and going off of my suspisions, I checked who I thought it could be's profile and found ANOTHER clue. In the card were 2 good luck cat stickers - one for Renae and one for me... and one of the microbadges of the person I suspected ALSO was a good luck cat AND their avatar was ALSO a picture of their cat...

so after a quick search on BGG, I found out that this person that I suspected DOES have a cat named Io and had posted several pictures of her on BGG in the W&G gaming Pets and meeple forum... so I just want to say that Yes, I figured it out! and THANK YOU SOOOO SOOOO MUCH, Jacqland!!! We ALL LOVED our incredibly thoughtful and amazing gifts!!!! laugh

Oh and this morning... Osiris had chewed through the little kitty toys and each have holes in them - Osiris REALLY means business!

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7. Board Game: Double Bananagrams [Average Rating:6.70 Overall Rank:6559]
Michelle Sim
Singapore
Singapore
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Christmas comes early! The postman tried to deliver the parcel yesterday but no one was home so he left a card informing us to collect from the local post office after 2pm today.

I was clearing some Thanksgiving leave so I'm not working today. Spent the morning making two DIY cards for both hubby and my W&G targets so that we can sent a smaller envelope of smaller surprises out at the post office later while their main envelopes/ parcels were sent a few weeks ago around mid Oct 2014 and should be on the way to the destinations soon.

Wow, it is not an envelope but a pretty heavy parcel instead!

My W&G envelope exchange 2014 Santa is Linda
United States
Massachusetts
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Oh dear, so sorry that you gotta pay so much for the postage, Linda. Really shouldn't have gone with the airmail....seamail is cheaper. Honestly we don't mind getting it later if it could help you to save some money on the postage. Nonetheless, thank you so much for your kind thoughts and efforts.

Hubby was more excited at opening the parcel as it was his first exchange after a long long break since 2009.







Here are our goodies in the box:

- 2 pages of nicely typed out letter
- From my wishlist: Double Bananagrams
- A surprise game not on my wishlist: (Valley of the Kings (Hubby was delighted. He said thank you to you, Linda! He told me that Valley of the Kings is on his radar and he had watched some videos online about it which caught his interest. He took Valley of the Kings out for the gaming session with his guy friends after dinner tonight.)
- 3 blocks of yummy chocolates! I love chocolates. It is my happy food but I eat it in moderation once in a while.
- A yummy bottle of home-made blueberry jam (This comes in very handy, I just bought a loaf of X'mas fruits and nuts bread from the store after visiting the post office. Couldn't wait to try the jam!)
- A self-edited photo print out of my Dad that I had posted on BGG (Linda was very attentive. I only casually mentioned that the orange plastic bag beside Dad spoilt the nice photo so Linda was very nice and kind to edit and print out the photos for us. I would love to learn how to photoshop the photos but I haven't got to learning it yet so I couldn't thank you enough.

We really appreciate your kind gifts & efforts in putting together the parcel. Thank you sooooooo much, Linda! I understand you love collecting different recipes. Do drop me a geek mail with your email or if you have a Facebook account if you are interested in cooking any Chinese dishes and I will try my best to get the recipes for you.

Thanks a million once again and take care!

Lots of love & hugs from us!

*Michelle*
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8. Board Game: Small World: Royal Bonus [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.60 Unranked]
Caysi McQuillan
United States
Newport
Kentucky
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Today I came home from work and saw an envelope on my porch. I was surprised because the first thing i thought of was, "I don't remember ordering anything". One look at the address label and it suddenly hit me...THIS IS MY W&G ENVELOPE!

Thank you so much

Crookneck
United States
Portland
OR
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Take a look at the beauties inside:


(please forgive me, my visual merchandising skills kicked in when i took the picture...i wanted it pretty)

First off, lets start with the cute card. I thought it was the cutest thing i had seen. It made me smile and i set it down to look at everything else. I was instructed to not read the personal note until last. It wasn't until i went through everything and read the note that it dawned on me, she drew this card. Wendy, you are an amazing artist. She explained that she tried to draw the game Triassic Terror and wasn't sure if it was an actual representation or not. To answer your question, there are cards in the game, but you only get one per round. I think the cats holding multiple cards are adorable!

Wendy included Small World: Royal Bonus. She was hesitant because it wasn't on my wishlist at first (only because i only learned of it recently) but included it anyway since i had a small collection of small world.

She also included some interesting dice to add to the small collection that my husband and i started!

I stressed that i wanted some items from her hometown so she included a postcard, sticker, magnet (keep portland weird), and really awesome playing cards designed by local artists.

Thank you so much for putting so much thought into this gift. I really enjoyed it. I'm thinking a game of SmallWorld is gonna happen tonight...
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9. Board Game: Bali [Average Rating:6.07 Overall Rank:6268]
Clare Marie
New Zealand
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Sorry I didn't get to post this earlier in the week as promised, my son had a nasty accident .. He's ok and thankfully no bones were broken, just feeling very sore and miserable, jokingly calling his foot 'The New Phantom of the SockOpera' due to it's new appearance (read:lack of skin!) .. Backside & butt didn't fair much better either #whenconcreteattacks

Anyhoo I was super excited to get my envelope from
Rue Sailmana
Netherlands
Eindhoven
Noord-Brabant
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Thanks so much - we haven't cracked open the cards yet but plan to this week-end! meeple

OMG(oodness) Package #2 arrived and I'm simply thrilled!



Thank-You so-so much .. The extra animals are perfect for extended stacking sessions and we're going to try Nederland Speelt; Hollandsche Helden (which looks beautiful) this afternoon

I also really love the bag, and candy, and postcard - sorry I excitedly snapped pic and forgot to put letter & card next to gifts ..

So consider me very adequately spoiled and extremely grateful .. Thanks Again, and Happy Holidays to You & Yours!
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10. Board Game: No Thanks! [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:391]
Nat
United Kingdom
Middlesbrough
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SO OH MY GOD. My incredibly amazing envelope box arrived today! It turned up 5 minutes before I left the house for cream tea with the ladies so had to wait until now to share all of this amazing stuff. So much intense thank you to my superb sender, Nicole!

Nicole Hoye
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
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I was so pleased when I saw the air mail sticker and Nicole's name that I got a bit over excited when opening the package... "Oh, you're NOT supposed to tear up the box??"


As soon as I'd finished with the wonderful hand written letter, I made a b-line to the AWESOME MAPLE CANDIES. Considering how dramatic I've been in the exchange chat thread about maple, I was practically giddy when I spotted these. I can now attest to their deliciousness.


Next, I eyeballed these purriffic (GET IT?) magnets because lets face it- what gift for Nat is complete without something cat related?


And then not only the best part of the package, but one of the single greatest gifts I've ever received. Absolutely in love with these hand made felty meeple tree ornaments! I had put in my profile that I'm not religious but still do Chrimmus so these are supremely perfect for us. I'm really delighted and impressed.


The rest of the box was equally exciting! Nicole was generous enough to add some great stuff based on my collection and wish list- she sent No Thanks!, the Soy Sauce expansion for Sushi Go, two super cute additional characters for Dungeon Petz and two Dice Masters booster packs (Dan was so excited, I let him open these just to see his happy little face). Here's the full box in all its glory:


And Lola thoroughly approved of her gift of a brand new empty box.


Thank you SO MUCH!
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11. Board Game: Owl Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Stasia Doster
United States
Sherman
Texas
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My package arrived today from my Secret Santa:

Mary Ann Harrison
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There was a beautiful owl stocking in it, which I love. The rest of the packages I have decided to leave unopened for now. I want to be surprised come Christmas (except for the small one that she advised me to open in early December - that I will do!)

Thank you so much, Mary Ann!
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12. Board Game: Pets [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:11011]
Netherlands
Enschede
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Got my 'envelope' today!

Claudine Finlay
United States
Herriman
Utah
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really spoiled me - thank you for a wonderful package!

Besides the game I used for this item, I got a recipe book with her family's favorite recipes, home made fudge, two chocolate bars, cinnamon bears, a homemade notebook, a bracelet, a keychain, Madeira: The Ambassadors, and a lovely handwritten letter.



We've already tried the game, excellent choice, we really liked it!


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13. Board Game: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game – Foundations of Stone [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.07 Unranked]
Agnieszka
Poland
Warsaw
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I picked up a wonderful envelope box full of goodies today from

Victoria Maderna
Spain
Oviedo
Asturias
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I must say I'm speechless... Victoria is an artist and she really went out of her way to make the package special for me - thank you my Dear Santa! :*

So this is how it looked upon opening the box:


and here are the contents (as you can see they were cleverly numbered!):


So I started with the beautiful envelope which said "Start here!" Inside I found lots of stuff:


First of all a wonderful letter with Victoria's pictures and a guide through the presents There were postcards from her town, Oviedo (it looks really nice!); the rest I must show you in detail, it's just too awesome:

An absolutely gorgeous Hogswatch card with a kitty that looks like Luna and has a Gryffindor scarf! (I do like Gryffindor, Victoria, you've made a great choice )


Owl stickers! They're so cute! And they've been designed by Victoria


A postcard illustrated by Victoria's husband - I really like the art on it! thumbsup


Now, something really special: an ink drawing made by Victoria of our common favourite Dicsworld character: Granny Weatherwax! I love it!


It turns out that Victoria and I have a lot of things in common

Item nr 1 was a small red box with "Alfajores", Argentinian sweet treats (Victoria is from Argentina). I'm planning to eat them on my birthday, which is next week The description of them in the letter sounded absolutely delish!


Item nr 2 was a jigsaw puzzle with an art of one of Victoria's favourite illustrators, Edward Gorey, and she also recommended his books to me - I'll definitely check them out I love jigsaw puzzles and I have nothing even slightly similar to this one. unfortunately I wasn't able to take a photo without a glare...

Item nr 3 was an adventure pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game - which Victoria and I both love to play - thank you!

Item nr 4 was a sewn mascot of a cat-like creature hand made by Victoria! It's really soft and cute!


Luna was also interested in the gifts:


THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Victoria!!!
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14. Board Game: Zombie Fluxx [Average Rating:6.02 Overall Rank:2772]
Moonika
Finland
Tampere
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I received my first package earlier this week. It contained a nice handmade card, some candy and a mysterious zombielike game piece.

Thank you!

Michelle Sim
Singapore
Singapore
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The second part arrived today with amazing variety of gifts!

Here's everything from the first and second parcel together:

Game: Goblins Drool, Fairies Rule!, yummy coffee candy and refreshing herbal candy, roasted chestnuts (I've never had those before!), variety of little figurines, absolutely adorable little pouch with owls, Singapore symbol keychain and much more!


Close up of the owl pouch. So cute!


It has a solitaire version which I have to try tonight.


It took me a couple of minutes to understand that these are actually D6 dice. Very gimmicky. (Yes, gimmicky is now a word.) Now I want a whole set to play Yahtzee with.
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15. Board Game: Night Clan [Average Rating:6.55 Overall Rank:9906]
Jill Pearon
United States
Potsdam
New York
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SANTA CAME TODAY!!

Received a truly wonderful package today from Maria!!!
[Forgive me Maria, but I cannot find your BGG username to post here. Could you send your username to me so I can find you?]

So many thoughtful and beautiful gifts in one envelope, the whole family is still smiling!! In my profile post, I explained that what I enjoy most about these exchanges is getting to know someone a little better. Maria sent a beautiful letter that explained exactly how each gift was connected to her and her life. Such a meaningful letter, I've already read it twice!

Here's a picture of all the contents.



Just in case you can't see them clearly enough, here are some close up pics.

A set of hand crocheted meeple coasters -- so envious of the skill!

(FYI, our son wanted to keep all these for himself!!)


The official card for Maria's partner in the Customs & Border Patrol, Benny (we are dog lovers, so this is very cool to us!) AND
some seeds for a variety of black been that she's be developing -- again so many skills I can't even comprehend!!

Though we don't garden much ourselves, we have dear friends who will undoubtedly lend us a patch in their garden to try these out next year - and we LOVE beans!!


The last thing in the envelope was the beautiful Japanese game show in this geeklist item. The art is stunning! Can't wait to read the rules and give it a try!!! Took a couple pics of these cards so you could see how pretty they are.


Sorry about the glare; if I'm able to get better pics in daylight, I'll post them tomorrow!


Thank you Maria for your generous gifts! Your thoughtful letter made today and the holiday season extra special!
Happy Holidays and Happy Gaming to you as well!!!

meeplemeeplemeeplemeeplemeeple
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16. Board Game: Lost Legacy: The Starship [Average Rating:6.69 Overall Rank:1286] [Average Rating:6.69 Unranked]
Glaya B
United States
San Mateo
California
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(I got my envelope yesterday, but I've been hit with the one-two combo of catching a cold while having to work extra long hours over the holiday. I get Sunday off, though, so hopefully I'll be able to take some pictures and fill out details then.)

Edited 11/30:
I was scheduled to work all through the Thanksgiving holiday, though I was invited to attend a gathering on Thursday night for some food and games. That was fun, but unfortunately one of the attendees was sick, and I woke up Friday morning having come down with the same cold. Regardless, I worked through my whole shift and trudged home, sniffly and muzzy-headed.

Imagine my surprise and excitement upon returning home to find a large envelope in my mailbox. I opened it right away to reveal a lovely greeting card, a set of Gen Con promos, and a stack of gaming magazines, plus two wrapped presents!



That was a sure way to lift my spirits!

I wanted to tear open the wrapped presents immediately, but after mulling over the fact that I would have a nearly 12-hour shift to work on Saturday while still sick, I decided to save them so that I would have something to look forward to all day.

I spent a lot of time on Saturday thinking about the items and wondering what they might be. The anticipation put a little extra spring in my step by the time I set my feet on the road home in the evening.

After I made it back to my house, I opened the colorful wrapping paper to uncover two games:



They are both games that I had been considering buying for months, but I kept putting it off because it always seemed it would be more economical to add them to another order to reach the free shipping threshold, and it just never quite worked out. Now I don't have to worry about all those calculations--I can just have fun!

Many thanks for brightening up the holiday.
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17. Board Game: DC Comics Deck-Building Game: Crisis Expansion Pack 1 [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.04 Unranked]
Yong Fai Aw
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore
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Ho Ho Ho!

I received my parcel today from:

Stasia Doster
United States
Sherman
Texas
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Thank you for the wonderful gifts, Stasia. DC Crisis expansion is something I really want to try. Going to cook the chilli as topping for fries.

Loved the Xmas theme table mats and stocking too. Did you make the 8 table mats yourself? Can they be washed in the washing machine?

They made me want to get lots of friends over to our place for X'mas celebration and more gaming.

Hope to post some delicious food pics on your table mats very soon.

Thank you once again.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Cheers,
Yongfai











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18. Board Game: Blueprints [Average Rating:6.90 Overall Rank:722]
EGG Head
United States
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Anticipation! What is it? Something even for Rosie and Lilly!
Rosie heard crinkle sounds and her name...
Ohh! Blueprints from my wishlist and beautiful butterflies and a yummy looking recipe and dog treats! Blueprints is great, I like puzzle games and this is a super filler.
I can't wait to try that recipe!
Rosie and Lilly waiting for their treats! They disappeared right after that!

Thank you, thank you!
Kathy Sheets
United States
Stuart
Florida
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19. Board Game: The Castles of Burgundy [Average Rating:8.12 Overall Rank:12]
Rose
United States
New York City
NY
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As I mentioned excitedly in the other thread, I got my envelope on Monday.

Joline
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sent it to arrive in time for Sinterklaas, even including the shoes to color in for St. Nick to fill for me. But, just in case he couldn't find his way here from the Netherlands, she included a couple chocolates and these super amazing yummy little cookie things. Since I had just talked about how excited I was to get Castles of Burgundy, she had printed up some of the other player boards for me, too! The fun part was that we had an in-progress game on the kitchen table when I was opening up the present.

She also included a holiday card (our first of the year), a hand-written letter (!), a picture of her hometown, and two bookmarks - one of a panorama painting of the dutch coastline AND one that she cross-stitched for me!!!!!!! This bookmark clearly is the part that I'm the most super-duper excited and pleased as punch with. I have tried cross-stitching before and kept knotting my thread, so I'm always impressed by people who can do it. PLUS, she designed it herself from my games and microbadge collection! Once we figured out each microbadge, and I took a picture of the bookmark, it went into the book that I'm reading. It was perfect timing since I couldn't find a bookmark for some reason and was using something far too thick.

I feel very spoiled. I was literally wiggling after I opened my envelope.




If you want to know what the microbadges are. (We had gotten 1 wrong.):
Spoiler (click to reveal)
Women and Gaming Bigfoot
Flash Point Quiddler
Forbidden Island Province
Fantasy Frontier Pandemic
Dominion Christian/LGBT


Thank you so very, very much, Joline!
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20. Board Game: Dominion: Stash Promo Card [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.27 Unranked]
Christina Rouse
United States
Virginia
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So I received my gift about a week ago and I haven't posted any photos yet because my package was AMAZING! Essentially I got a board game geek Advent Calendar! See for yourselves!


Every item was marked with a board game box cover including the number of the day I am supposed to open it on
This was day one! Which is fantastic as it is my roller derby name!
This includes days four, five, six and seven!

I can't even contain myself! This is fabulous! Thank you to my secret santa!!
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21. Board Game: A Charlie Brown Christmas [Average Rating:4.64 Unranked]
Anne Bone
United States
Missouri
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Santa sent me a geekmail in November that a smaller envelope was headed my way and that the bigger one had been sent in October but should get here before xmas. I got the smaller one today finally! It contained a lovely homemade card, an interesting figurine, and some candy.



Thanks so much to
Yong Fai Aw
Singapore
Singapore
Singapore
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I look forward to getting the next envelope!

Edit 12/10 - my second envelope came today and it was full of fun stuff!



First the food stuff: Some candy peaches, some chestnuts, a spice mix for soup, and some more candy.


Two cute little bears, two round d6's (I never knew such a thing existed, and they are awesome!), Pick up sticks, a pouch/purse made from jean material, Robot Master (despite the outer wrap saying it had english rules, those were lacking, good thing my sister knows German) and some neat LOTR figurines.



Now, about these figures, I can tell they are from a game or something, but any one want to enlighten me as to WHAT game?


The last of it. The alligator is a clip, the thing which looks like a needle is a pen. Darned if I know what the rubber blue guy or thing with the roosters are for. And another figurine like the one I got in the smaller envelope.

Thanks so much for all the stuff!


I forgot, I took a pic of my new white bear keychain next to one my sister brought me back from Germany a couple years ago. One is cool, two makes the beginnings of a collection I think... polar bear keychains from foreign countries FTW.
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22. Board Game: Cat & Chocolate [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:7239]
Crookneck
United States
Portland
OR
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Today the mail carrier dropped off a wonderful envelope from Rose!

Rose
United States
New York City
NY
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Here are the contents, which smelled remarkably good as I was opening the envelope:

A bag of fruit blend tea made in MA (the main source of the good smells - I'm drinking some now), a black-and-white soapstone cat from a fair-trade organization that helps artisans in developing countries, a dark chocolate and raspberry bar, a bag of poppy seeds to plant in our garden (the great-great-etc. offspring of some seeds sent over from Poland by Rose's great-grandmother!), a pair of stapki crocheted by Rose's mom (I'm wearing them now), and a lovely letter!

Thank you so much for these thoughtful gifts, Rose! I love everything. It is so kind of you to share some of your family's poppies, and the slippers are extraordinarily comfortable. Please convey my thanks to your mom as well, and to Jenn for picking out the cat! I'm also pleased to be introduced to Ten Thousand Villages, which sounds like a great organization to support. I tried to get a photo of my actual cat, Patrick, next to the soapstone cat, but he was too busy sniffing it to pose:
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23. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:582]
JM
United States
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Santa let me know that a package would be arriving today... Being the patient person I am, I set aside the patient part and stopped at home on my lunch break. And there it was on the front steps, not an envelope but a box! I grabbed some scissors and tore it open.


Wow, this box was full! Here's a picture of everything:


Complete with delicious (vegan) treats from California:
-lemon almond and cinnamon fig cookies - I already ate one cookie but I'll try to save the other one so my husband can try it!
-a superfood date bar
-white chocolate peppermint kale - such an interesting sweet/bitter taste

Because I like to hike, my SS included pictures of the places she has hiked or traveled with friends and family. There were pictures from California, Arizona, Iowa, Hawaii, and even Japan. I enjoyed reading the notes and looking at the pictures of lush green landscape and bright blue water...(especially since it is below freezing here.)

and then I find a game!! I've wanted to try Morels for a while!
Here's a picture of Morels, right near L.A., where my SS lives:


Every item came with a note and/or a drawing. Here's a close-up:


Btw, my SS was
Joanna G
United States
Laguna Niguel
CA
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Joanna, thanks for putting so much time and effort into this gift! I enjoyed reading all of the little notes. Thanks for brightening my day! meeple

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24. Board Game: Province [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:2312]
Stacey Andrea
United States
Hollister
California
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I don't know what I did to deserve all this....but I'm happy to be the lucky recipient of this kickass envelope!!!



And the brillant mastermind behind organizing this envelope (first of THREE, yes you saw that correctly, THREEEE!) is the lovely!:

Alicia
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I received a handwritten card which left no blank space - super thoughtful! And THREE mini games: Coin Age, Province, and This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us! And a small bag of glass pebbles, along with 2 small containers for supplies! So, so, so lucky. ONE of THREE envelopes! W&G really out does itself! Thank you Alicia, I am so appreciative of your effort into such a thoughtful gift

**********************Update 12/17/14***************************

If I thought I had seen it all, oh boy. I was not emotionally prepared for this second envelope. This one by far must have the most time put into it. I am again in total awe of Alicia's thoughtfulness as I look beyond my laptop and onto my coffee table where I have laid out her sweet letters. Here's the evidence!:



Contents:
1. 6 page letter - Alicia introducing herself, and telling me about her day to day life in the Netherlands, how she got there, and how she got into the hobby (I think I may have the beginnings of a little pen pal friendship going on here! )
2. 4 pages of recipes from the Netherlands - they look totally doable and sound absolutely delicious! I already know Patty and I will love them. I'll try to test one this weekend and post the results!
3. 3 pages of some history of the Netherlands and some history more specially about the city she resides in with her boyfriend Paul (the 2 of you look SO cute together in the photos you shared by the way ).
4. 3 postcards - also from her city in the Netherlands and how each post card relates back to the country!

If I haven't said it enough already, I am so lucky and spoiled by Ms. Alicia! Thank you darling, you are truly making this holiday season one to remember :]

************Update 12/27/14***************************

I am back to BGG after my lovely holiday break of non-stop board game action. I was up last night playing Zombicide til 4am . I received Alicia's 3rd and (sadly!)final package earlier this week. And drum roll....Hanabi!!!!!!

I am truly sad this is the end of the exchange...but I have a feeling we will be keeping in touch

Thank you Alicia for all the goodness you have shown and goodies you have sent my way...you played a big part in bringing out the holiday spirit in me this year
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25. Board Game: Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked] [Average Rating:8.33 Unranked]
Alicia
Netherlands
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First, let me start with: (plus squeals of delight)

Now, prepare for a very long post about an insanely fun experience with my wonderful Secret Santa:

Julia
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So, as many of you may already know from my post seeking help with a riddle, my Secret Santa was creative and thoughtful enough to create a fun little game for me right from the start.

Riddle One:

After an initial message through the wgsanta account, the second message asked:

Also, would you be comfortable if I ask you to answer a riddle? Just to prove your true identity as a Constant Gamer (tm). Considering the games you like, it shouldn't be too difficult.

I was quite excited to take on the challenge, and what a challenge it was! I opened my next message from Santa:

Subject: The North Pole Apocalypse - 48 hours to the end of the world
I'd have liked to start this letter with the usual "HoHoHo", but I couldn't. Alicia, we are in really big troubles. It's totally a serious business, the whole "Santa affair" could be forever compromised.

The elves invited some gnomes for breakfast this morning, and one of the gnomes *accidentally* (so the elves say, at least) left with my private address book in his pockets!! The book where I keep all the addresses of those I have to visit to bring a) coal, b) more coal, and c) extra coal (superior quality, patent pending)! What can I do now? Giving extra coal (superior quality, patent pending) to a kid who deserved only normal coal? It's *unfair*. Well, it's more than unfair. IT'S A DISASTER!

The evil gnome left a scroll where once my address book was. The scroll reads:

A twilight of silver, a dawn in the dust:
I know you're senile, and now you're lost.
Woods can be vast and rivers unknown;
be independent and chase it on your own.
It's roaming in its twenties, it's filled with deceit;
you'll never find it: that's my conceit.

Alicia, I have no idea of what this place could be. Maybe you could help? The production of coal and gifts can't be stopped, and we need to start labelling everything in 48 hours for now!

Help the world to have Santa making his deliveries on time! Feel free to ask help to the other friends in the W&G Community, if you need it, but help us recovering the book!



_________________________

PS - Santa reads always your updates on your profile; but Santa doesn't think to be the one you think he is. After all, Rovaniemi is the home place for all Santas in the world! (but if you're really interesting in discovering my true identity... well, let's solve the riddle(s) first)


The riddle was wonderful, like some sort of dark poetry that was stuck in my mind as I began my search. I knew right away that it was Lovecraft related, as I have Elder Sign and have just recently begun to read some Lovecraft stories. I searched the Internet for keywords in the stories, trying to find connections. I went through every Elder Sign Adventure and Other World card, trying to find answers. I then posted a thread seeking advice to help steer my search, and some were kind enough to offer input.

Totally Thrown Off!

The funny thing is, I actually geekmailed JULIA to ask if she would mind giving me feedback on my riddle answers! I knew she was an expert on the subject matter. At first, I thought for sure she was my Secret Santa, especially after a search for "roaming in its 20s" (which turned out to be a typo, it was roaring) led me to a thread (I think on Fantasy Flight's website) where someone made this same typo...and the person who corrected it referred to the poster as Julia. However, something threw me off. Santa had said at the bottom of the message that he/she wasn't who I thought he/she was (bolded above). (Now I realize she was referring to something I had said in my response to her--totally off base!) So I started to think it wasn't her. Anyway, I figured the geekmail would prove my suspicions one way or the other. And after messaging with her, I really did not think she was my Santa. Especially when one of her clues offered to help didn't make sense to me, and ended up being wrong information (which I now know was all part of the very clever plan!). Plus, she told me she wasn't...so I believed it! Especially when Santa referred to a hint she had given me in the thread and called her "Scarred Witch" instead of Scarlet Witch!

For those interested, the riddle answers can be found in this thread.

Getting to Know Santa...but Not Knowing It Yet!

I think it was around this time that I became intrigued with The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and Julia told me to feel free to message her about the game. I did, and we began exchanging emails about that game, about Eldritch Horror, games in general, my riddles, and daily life. Julia mentioned in her letter that this was a perfect opportunity, as I had asked Santa to share a bit about his/her self, and it turned out she was able to through our conversation about Lord of the Rings Card Game without giving away her identity!

The Second Riddle:

Then, I got a new riddle from Santa, and I was ready to research!

good news! It seems like the Elven Commando finally found something at Independence Square! It's a bit of scrap paper, with tons of gnomish runes on it... the bad news: it's probably cyphred (or my Elves spent too much time ad Hibbs'...), and my knowledge of cyphered message is not enough to understand it... maybe you could help this time too? Here's the text:

btibepxdbnfgspnuifejtubouqbtu.
joesfbntifmjwfejotboeifxsbqqfe.
kpjouifxbsmpdl,tqfmmpvuuifobnf,
ufbsuifnbtl,boemfbsouifvolopxo.

I think these four verses contain the next riddle, but we need to decrypt them first!


I decrypted the code on the first try, and with a little help in the riddle thread to change one small detail, I had:
a shadow came from the distant past
in dreams he lived, in sand he wrapped
join the warlock, spell out the name
tear the mask and learn the unknown

This time, Julia also helped in the thread with clues, and I did a lot more research, pouring through the Arkham Horror Wiki and other resources. I finally found the answer I was looking for when I discovered a very specific encounter that referred to the Black Man at the Silver Twilight Lodge, which fit the additional clues Julia (as the double agent!) provided.

In our side conversation about Lord of the Rings Card Game, Julia asked how I was able to find the answer, and I shared with her about my search. I suspected it might be her then, but I was still thrown off by the little details she used to throw me off her trail!

Third Riddle:

Next, part one of the third riddle came through, and, again with a bit of help from Julia in the riddle thread, I was able to solve this one rather quickly, with far less research than the others:

Elves entered the Silver Twilight Lodge, acquired a Membership and had a nice talk with the Black Man. So he spoke:

"The stolen agenda is hidden in a garrett
Where Walter's, Frank's and Joesph's life entwined"


After I told her it was the Witch House, I received the final part of the third riddle--a puzzle from Mansions of Madness! She sent a picture of the puzzle (a wiring and told me the specific number of moves I was allowed to make (based on how many riddle answers I had gotten correct so far, she calculated I could make 11 moves).

Following the words of the Black Man, you ventured into the Witch House. Reaching the upper floors, you're almost certain you've found the place where the stolen agenda is kept. The only problem is that you need some light! Rats seem to have eaten some of the cables, and the electric wiring looks like a total mess! You need to solve the puzzle enclosed with this email.



In 6 moves, I was able to solve the puzzle and send her the result, as well as a log of the moves made. So much fun! Paul was also impressed, and even did the puzzle himself for fun.

The Package!


Now, it was a matter of waiting for the package! I had enjoyed the riddles SO MUCH, I hadn't even given much thought to what I might get in the mail! I started to suspect anyone of being Santa...people who thumbed the riddle entries, even someone in a Lord of the Rings Card Game thread who alluded to me getting something for the holidays (I think he just saw my wishlist and suspected, but my wishlist has always been more of a list for me to keep track of games I'm lusting over, and not really for other people to buy me...just helps me keep track of my game obsessions).

Well, today my package arrived, and I had a good laugh when I saw Julia's name as the sender!

It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know Julia over these past few weeks, and enjoying all her creative riddles. The envelope is just the icing on the cake...but it's amazingly delicious icing!



I would have taken pictures as I unwrapped each item, but I just couldn't contain my enthusiasm.

Item 1 is related to the first riddle, and is an Arkham postcard used by FFG to promote their "Arkham Files" games. I love it! It has an old-style feel to it that really sets the mood for the games!

Item 2 is related to riddle 2, in which I received a membership to the Silver Twilight Lodge. I got my real membership card! Julia explained it will appear in the Games of Arkham expansion for Elder Sign (one that I have pre-ordered, and one that Julia herself worked extensively on!) and she printed it at home and filled my name in. I love it!

Here are those two items, closer up:


Then, Julia explained that since I had discovered the Witch House and solved the puzzle to restore the stolen agenda in riddle 3, I had proven my Lore in Forsaken Arts...which earned me the Eldritch Horror: Forsaken Lore expansion! Wow! This gave me a good laugh as well...when I was preparing to order Eldritch Horror (which is completely attributed to Julia...I first discovered the game from one of her posts, which led to me discovering Elder Sign, and Lovecraft, and now, through these riddles, Eldritch) I asked Julia if I should grab Forsaken Lore if it was on sale. Here was her response:

Quick reply:

Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.
Alicia, don't get Forsaken Lore.

There's clearly a reason. But don't get it.


I thought she really just didn't like it, since I knew she had done playtesting of the game and Forsaken Lore together! So I did as I was told and did not order it, ignoring all the great reviews about it because I trust Julia's judgment so much. Turns out, it was because she was getting it for me!!!

But the envelope fun does not end there! I also received some wonderful gifts in addition to the already quite generous contents above!

One is this beautiful cross-stitched card she made me! So lovely! I had assumed it was store bought, it looks so amazing! Truly special.



Then, as a nod to my Italian heritage, I also got some goodies I am SUPER EXCITED TO TRY! I think I'll bring them back to the US with me...they will surely be nice to share with my Italian family. One is a traditional winter chocolate and hazelnut treat (so fitting, as it was my Nonna who first introduced me to the sinful deliciousness of Nutella), and the other is this delicious-sounding coffee blend with chocolate, caramel, and citrus. Can't wait to prepare it with a percolator! What a wonderful Christmas treat!

And, of course, a nice letter to accompany it all.

And, all of this came wrapped in a rather exciting kitty toy that Julia probably didn't realize! Here are some pics of the kittens enjoying the box and wrapping paper...it was really had to get any pictures without them obstructing the view. They were very excited!









I know this was a ridiculously long post, but I wanted to at least touch upon all the different elements that Julia has brought to this exchange, and how clever, creative, and thoughtful she was with each and every detail, from the very first Santa message to every bit of this package. And in addition to all the wonderful experiences and gifts she has granted me as Santa, as Julia she has been an absolute pleasure to talk with and get to know. I like to think that I not only had a fun experience with the envelope exchange, but that I also made a new friend in this world. So thank you so very, very much, Julia, for all these wonderful gifts, and for being you!
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