Secret Pal Ideas from Author Chelly Wood

Need an idea for your secret pal's next gift? Here you go!

A card to print for your secret pal!

printable card with poem for secret pal gift

Image: iClipart

For our Secret Santa gifts, I often included a little poem I wrote. That seemed to be quite popular in December. So I think I’ll do the same again, throughout the year, for my secret pal, but I’m going to step it up a notch.

How about if I include a poem and easy-to-print gift card, made in Microsoft word? It’s very easy to adapt the poem that way. If, for example, I’m giving a New Year‘s gift this week, but if you stumbled across my website closer to St. Patrick’s Day, then you can just type the words “St. Patrick’s Day” where I had typed New Year’s. It’s as easy as that!

If you’re unfamiliar with printing cards in Microsoft Word, please note that it’s normal for the graphic to be upside down. The poem, though, will be right-side-up. That’s because you’re going to fold the card in half, then again in fourths. Once folded, the card’s graphic image appears to be right-side-up, as is the poem too.

The graphic is copyrighted, so please only use it once. I get my graphics from iClipart, and I highly recommend it. The variety of images you can use range from relevant photos in all different spheres of life to color or black-and-white computer-generated images, like the one on this card.

Here’s the card to print. Just click on the link and download.

Incidentally, I’m re-gifting a DVD for my secret pal this week. I tried to take the DVD back, but couldn’t figure out which store it came from; therefore, a re-gift it shall be.

If you’re an English or reading teacher, please visit my creative writing blog, englishemporium.wordpress.combefore your visit is done. You might be surprised by all the inventive ideas I’ve shared there as well!

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New Year’s Gift for Your Secret Pal

why are black eyed peas associated with the new year ?

Image: iClipart

Most people can give their secret pal a mini-bottle of wine, but if your secret pal works at a school with you, there’s a no-alcohol rule, of course. So what do you give your secret pal to bring in the new year, once you get back from Christmas break? Try a re-gift. You know that pair of mittens that Grandma knitted out of wool (and you’re allergic to wool)? How about those? Or the DVD  you already owned–but Aunt Bonnie bought you another copy of it, because she knew you loved that movie… How about that?

Of course there are some no-nos. Never–and I mean NEVER–re-gift fruitcake. That’s just mean. Don’t give away things that might have your name on it either–that one’s a no-brainer (i.e. hand towels with your initials embroidered on them).

And because your secret pal is supposed to remain a secret, be sure you don’t re-gift something that might give away your identity. Here’s what I mean–your spouse works at the animal shelter, and every year as a Christmas bonus, the employees at the animal shelter get some sort of cheesy item with the name of the animal shelter emblazoned on it–like coasters or ball point pens or key chains.  Yeah. That’s going to be a dead give-away, if your secret pal knows which of his/her co-workers has a spouse who works at the animal shelter.

Third, don’t re-gift anything too Christmassy, like snow globes or ornaments or candy canes. I mean, heck, Christmas is over, right? How tacky is that?

But these are a few things you should be able to re-gift without too much trouble:

  • scarves/mittens/hats
  • lotions/bath salts/bubble bath
  • books you’ll never read in a million years
  • kitchen towels/dishes/coffee cups (as long as they aren’t decorated with Christmas themes)
  • art kits/craft projects (as long as your secret pal likes that sort of thing)
  • garlic press/kitchen utensil organizer/can opener
  • a mousepad/a pencil cup/a paperweight/sticky notes
  • movies you’re not interested in watching or already own (keep them unopened)
  • alarm clocks/kitchen clocks/egg timers

Avoid re-gifting items that are too expensive to buy for your secret pal though. So don’t re-gift an iPod or stereo or software. Remember, most secret pal programs suggest you keep your gifts in the five- to ten-dollar range. So go online and figure out what your item most likely cost the original gift giver, and don’t re-gift it if you discover it was worth $30 or more brand new.

In closing, let me state that I’ll be making posts about once a week from now on, since Christmas is over. That’s the new schedule at my work, for our secret pal program. I’ll be giving my secret pal his gift once a week on Fridays. So I’ll probably post once a week from now on. Hopefully my ideas will help. If you come up with something better, feel free to add comments. I’d love that!

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