I don't know if I've mentioned previously just how great my love for Christmas is. In my house, it's a HUGE deal, from the stresses of Christmas shopping for a family of eight - and that's just the siblings and parents! - decorating the house and tree, to the meal we have on Christmas Eve (to which my mother invites everybody we know who might possibly be alone and a lot of people who aren't..) to our traditional Christmas Eve viewing of Miracle on 34th Street (the 1990s remake, not the original), to presents on Christmas morning, fervently hoping that at least one person will have remembered about how I like books and have got me at least one. Last year, due to my now-husband-then-fiance giving me all of my presents about a month early because he couldn't wait to see my reaction (awww), I received a grand total of no books on Christmas Day, which slightly disappointed me. Although I'm the kind of person who loves presents of any kind - give me anything prefaced by the words 'here's a present', and I'll get ridiculously excited - I do love them best when they are books, mostly because I know that I can get stuck in right away and it makes Christmas Day that extra bit more exciting to know that I can jump from my book to whatever afternoon movie my younger brother is watching, to the new board game somebody got for my parents, to having a gossip in the kitchen with my mum and grandma while sorting out the dinner. Love love love!
So you can imagine how excited I was when I found out about the Persephone Secret Santa. My love for Persephone books is a recently acquired thing, started completely by accident when I asked the lovely man in the most awesome second hand bookshop I have near me if he had any Noel Streatfeild books, expecting him to come up with yet another copy of Ballet Shoes, and he rummaged around in his store room for a while and came back with a gorgeous Persephone edition of Saplings. Then I found a copy of The Blank Wall by Elisabeth Sanxay Holding in a charity shop, prompting my husbnad to say 'Oh, you got another one of those grey books', and now I feel like I should be collecting them. Not just because they're pretty, I might add, but because of the sheer underrepresentation of women in the canon of Western literature. Anyway, on to the Secret Santa! It's the same as normal secret santa, except you give Persephone books. I was assigned a Santee, and a list of books that person wanted. I picked one, I sent it, and I waited to receive mine, which I did a couple of days ago, and it's beautiful!
Sorry about the slightly blurry photo, but this is Tea with Mr Rochester by Frances Towers, which I was sent by the lovely Iris of Iris on Books. I am so excited to read it, and I love the bookmark, which is the same pattern as the endpaper, which is another thing I adore about Persephone books. I've sent a couple of books as surprise gifts to blogger friends (which they should be keeping their eyes peeled for!), and I actually can't describe the buzz giving people books gives me. I've bought them for most of my family too. I love that my family read!
So thankyou Iris, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all the rest! I hope you're all enjoying the season as much as I am!