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Shani Petroff's Secret Santa

I love the holidays -- big ones, small ones, even ones I don't celebrate.

The excitement and holiday spirit this time of year always makes me smile.

So while I celebrate Hanukkah myself, I still love Christmas and have many wonderful memories surrounding the holiday.

One that I've been thinking about a lot lately takes place right after college. I was acting in a theater tour. We drove around in a giant van and moved from state to state, city to city, town to town, and every night we were in a different hotel/motel. Christmas was getting closer, but holiday festivities were getting lost with all the travel.

So I convinced everyone we needed to do a Secret Santa and have a Christmas party.

We each pulled a name out of a hat and then had several weeks where we got to surprise each other with little gifts, notes, etc.

Trying to find gifts, attempting to figure out your Secret Santa, not letting anyone know whose name you had (even though you were around these people practically 24/7) and planning the party wound up re-energizing all of us. There was a lot of laughter, jokes, and holiday spirit.

In fact, I loved that Secret Santa so much -- that the book I have coming out in October -- My New Crush Gave to Me  --  centers around a Secret Santa drawing.

While there's no theater tour in the book, that Christmas season will always stick with me -- the crazy gifts, the Christmas party, the inside jokes, the smiles, the pranks (like when we crossed paths with another tour group and snuck outside to decorate their van with Christmas paper, decorations and a Secret Santa gag gift or two), but most of all the friendships.

And that's what I truly love about the holidays -- getting to share them with family and friends.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday!

~*~

Kate's Note:

It was a pleasure having Shani on the blog today. When I read her book when it was a submitted manuscript on Swoon Reads, I knew there was something special about her story. Since then she has been chosen and has become one of my Swoon Sister. She is effervescent and I look forward to the release of Romeo and What's Her Name. Make sure to check out her website too. I just love it. Thank you, Shani. It's a pleasure being a part of the Swoon Reads family with you.



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