Goodbye 2017: Gift Haul!!! What I Got From My Family and Friends (and a Blogger Friend From a Gift Exchange!)

The holiday season is all about spreading joy & wearing Santa hats.

Okay, just kidding!!! For me, the holidays are all about spreading happiness & joy & love, and giving to others just like they give to you! (Even tho Santa hats are pretty cool. I’m wearing one right now.

Like I’ve said before, I celebrate Christmas non-religiously (since I’m not Christian), so everything I said above (including the Santa hats) is why I celebrate it! Also because Christmas trees are pretty & shiny and gifts are fun to give & get.

As you all PROBABLY know, Christmas was on Monday!! And there was also Hanukkah & Kwanzaa (not on Monday). I just want to wish a quick “Happy Holidays” to everyone, no matter what specific holiday you celebrate!

So, because I love to see what others get for birthdays, holidays, etc., I decided to do a gift haul!

I’m not at all trying to brag about what I got. I know that many people do not get gifts at all during the holiday season, or the holidays are a horrible time for them. (And to those people, I send extra hugs & mangoes.) I’m extremely grateful that I have the chance to receive gifts and also give them??

This is my third post in my mini-series “Goodbye 2017”!! (You can read the first & second installments HERE and HERE!) This post isn’t actually related to wrapping up 2017??? But I like gift hauls so I’m doing one.

Also, I swear these photos aren’t as blurry as I look, but when I upload them to WordPress, they aren’t as clear???? I didn’t sign up for this???




(The playbill was from a friend last year but I just included it because it’s pretty okay??)

So I had to show this one first because IT’S !! HAMILTON !!

I’m super excited about this because look, I HAVE MY OWN CD OF HAMILTON!!! And then I got it downloaded to my phone, so now, when I’m going on 3-hour-ish flights or long car trips, I CAN JUST LISTEN TO HAMILTON THE WHOLE TIME.

My sister bought this for me from Amazon—but I spoiled it for myself because I was getting a CD for my mom & saw this BEAUTIFUL CD on the shelf nearby, then wanted to beg my dad to buy it, only to be told by my sister that SHE was actually getting it for me!!!

But I mean, I don’t care. It’s beautiful.

handlettering book

After that is my lovely little handlettering book that has all sorts of little tutorials to doing different fonts?? Y’all know how obsessive I am over fonts and all that so this is going to be really useful!!

handlettering pages


dolla  dolla 1

The whole reason I’m including this is because I need to show how talented my sister is??? Like HOW are her fingers so delicate to make something like that???


Another stocking stuffer I got was this box of MINI VANILLA COOKIES. And they’re so good??? I kind of like,, ate them all??? But I mean, what good is food if you don’t EAT IT.


Then I got some really cool packages of pens (I featured both in one because it was easier)! One is a pack of fineliners, which will add to my collection of ever-growing fineliner pens, and the other is a pack of italic pens! I don’t really know how those work??? But I’m smart, I’ll figure it out????


I also received a $25 Barnes and Noble gift card!! (For those who don’t know, since B&N is American, it’s a bookstore.) I’m super excited to use it because now I have a total of $50 to use on B&N from giftcards. But like on its own, I’ll literally be able to get only one hardcover.

Or two paperbacks. BUT HARDCOVERS ARE NICER.


I also got a “squishy”! I had no idea these existed until my sister bought them for our neighbors, and then I tried one & actually liked it. I have no idea what people usually use it for?? But I’m only using it while I read books, because my hands are strange and need something to do while reading.

But it smells like literal DEATH and I keep smelling it everywhere?? It’s haunting me??? I HATE THE SMELL MAKE IT GO AWAY????

pencil box

And then my sister painted a little wooden box thing and made me a pencil box!! I don’t know how much I’ll use it because I rarely use anything to keep my pencils organized in BUT SHE PUT IN MY FAVORITE PAPERMATE PENS SO I’M GOOD WITH THAT!!!

(Black and red are the colors I use the most, my sister knows me so well.)


Then my dad got my sis and I an Insignia speaker that comes with a Google Assistant. (Listen,,, I didn’t asked to be creepily stalked by Google okay.) The SPEAKER IS SO GREAT. And now I can turn up Hamilton really loud and have it played throughout the whole house!!!

bad romance

I’m SO SO excited to have gotten Bad Romance from my mom!! The cover is absolutely GORGEOUS, and while I’ve heard mixed things about the book, I have a feeling I’ll love it?? Or at least like it.

But I mean, even if I don’t like it, it’ll be put to good use being PRETTY ON MY SHELF.

bad romance page 1 bad romance page 2

HOWEVER, this was shipped from the UK by Book Depository, and the second page was horribly folded and I just fsjdlkfjsdlkjasd. There was also a Peppa Pig bookmark (which I put over the worst of the fold, to spare all readers’ eyes).

I literally saw the ripped page + the bookmark and started laughing hysterically. At least give me a nICE BOOKMARK IF IT’S GOING TO BE RUINED LIKE THAT.

city of brass

I’m ALSO excited to have gotten The City of Brass from my mom! I’ve heard the most AMAZING things about this; so many bloggers have mentioned this as one of their favorite books of 2017?? And there’s also a HIJABI ON THE COVER and I’m so excited to see if it has Muslim rep!!!

The cover is ALSO very pretty.


And the last book my mom got me was Moxie! Again, I’ve heard great things about this one, so I’m excited. PLUS it’s a feminist book, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to love it??? And look at that cover. Way to show girl power.



bath bombs  bath bombs 2

From my friend Amelie, I got A COOL MASON JAR with bath bombs & a chapstick & also a cool-pom-pom thing-that’s-not-an-actual-pom-pom-but-something-for-the-shower-I think!!!

No, but the bath bombs literally smell SO GOOD. I opened the jar and was instantly hit with this sweet, calming aroma like AAHHH I never want to use this, I just want to smell it forever!

(I’m not… obsessive??)


Then from another friend, I got a cute little gift bag with soft, fuzzy socks (!!), a REALLY nice-smelling candle, chapsticks, and a body wash thing! This friend is literally the purest & sweetest soul ever???


And from yet another friend, I got chapstick, a journal, a pen, and a little notebook! CLEARLY all my friends know how dry my lips get in the winter, aka why they all got me chapstick????

She also gave me a candy cane, but I ate it.



So a couple of blogger friends (JuJackie, & Ilsa) and I decided one day that we should do a Secret Santa!! But as half of us live in the US, and the other two live in Europe, international shipping would be super expensive and we decided to just do a gift exchange between the two people in the same region.

I got paired up with the lovely Julianna @ Blots of Ink and Words (who’s currently not blogging and you should go YELL AT HER TO COME BACK), and I had a lot of fun getting things for her & sending it all!

It was stressful because I did literally everything last minute,,, I bought her book on the last possible day, bought her goodies on the day I sent them…

BUT ANYWAYS. It was fun. And what Ju gave me was so awesome!!

secret santa.jpg  goodies.jpg

I’M BEYOND ECSTATIC that she sent me Wild Beauty, because this book is one that I’ve been anxiously waiting for after reading McLemore’s previous (BEAUTIFUL) books, and there were so many times that I could’ve gotten it, but I held out just to get it from her!!

Like, if she didn’t give it to me after TELLING ME SHE WOULD, I was literally gonna choke her???

Moving on.

There was also Girls of Snow and Glass, and an ARC of Reign the Earth!! I’m super excited to read ALL of this books, and of course, their covers are absolutely gorgeous.

Then she gave me all these fabulous goodies, including socks*, chocolate, a cute flying pig thing, sticky notes, and a Six of Crows thing!!

*Socks??? I,, don’t love those at all????

shall we chat

how were YOUR holidays?? were you happy? did you eat a lot of food? what were some gifts you were excited to get? and what about gifts you were excited to give? holidays can be tough for many people, so i hope y’all were okay, or will feel better soon!! sending all my love <33

p.s. sorry for making you look at those last four HIDEOUS photos taken at night,,, they will be retaken

sign off 2.0

82 thoughts on “Goodbye 2017: Gift Haul!!! What I Got From My Family and Friends (and a Blogger Friend From a Gift Exchange!)

  1. ohhh GOD of course you like hamilton you nerd

    but ily and i’m so happy you had a merry merry christmas!!! yay for hauls!!! yay for your fun and aesthetically pleasing posts!!! hurray!

    Liked by 1 person

    Strangely enough I only got two books for Christmas. So weird? My family are slackers 🙂
    BUT I got a lot of pens and I got the Anastasia musical soundtrack and movie. And I got pyjamas that match my personality pretty much exactly.
    I’m glad you had a good Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. OMG YOU GOT?? SO?? MUCH?? STUFF? Like, I’m not trying to be jealous or anything, BUT IM HELLA JEALOUS? I mean I’m not. BUT I AM. But aghhh I AM SO GLAD YOU HAD A GREAT CHRISTMAS!!! Highlight of my holidays was you having a festive profile picture!!

    So you got 6 NEW BOOKS?

    Wild Beauty – why haven’t I read any of her books? THE COVER IS SO PRETTY! I have this one to Jackie ahahhah!
    Reign The Earth – “ITS SO FAT”
    Girls Made of Snow and Glass – an f/f retelling. lucckkyyy. AND MARIE got this book for Christmas too. I’m like a matchmaker, BR edition. YOU GUYS SHOULD BUDDY READ THIS.
    Bad Romance – rip my happiness that PAGE

    I’m so happy you got a Hamilton CD. I know how much you LURVE it SO OBVIOUSLY this is the best! AND YOU ARE SO GOOD AT HANDLETTERING and I’m excited To see you get bettter!

    AND AHHH SOCKS. I know how much you love them PLUS THEY LOOK SO FLUFFY I WANT!

    and this comment isn’t long enough so I shall answer your questions.
    MY HOLIDAYS ARE AND WERE GREAT! Thanks for asking! AND YES I WAS A HAPPY BEAN! I ATE A LOT OF GERMAN FOOD. Can you imagine why? I was excited to get The Book of Dust AND AG I GOT IT. I mean I was excited for Jackie to get Wild Beauty too? love you toooooooooooooooo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I KNOW I WAS SO HAPPY. (except tbh I would’ve been happy with just the books & the Hamilton CD & the B&N gift card. but whatever!! not complaining!!!) and yesss I love my festive profile picture :’)

      oh my god PLEASEEEE read Anna-Marie’s books!! they’re so so good aahh. and bruh Reign the Earth is super fat ugghh. omg she did?? I’ll have to ask her if we can BR it then! YES WE SHOULD TOTALLY BUDDY READ CITY OF BRASS (I would include Ju too but she doesn’t like BRs)


      omgggg the german food you got looks SO. GOOD. and I haven’t read any of Philip Pullman’s books soooooo


  4. Those are some really nice presents you got, May! And those books!! All fantastic choices and I can’t wait to hopefully read City Of Brass soon as I seem to only hear positive things about it!

    We didn’t really do presents this year with my siblings and instead just got things for my nephews and parents. My mom chose her own new wallet that I ended up buying for her and my dad got a big present that was from all of us since it was also his 50th birthday on the 23rd!

    In our family, we always eat so much over Christmas because it’s my dad’s birthday, Christmas Eve dinner and then on Christmas Day we have dinner with my sister and her family. All the food. I don’t even want to know how much weight I gained! xD

    One of my favorite moments of gift giving was the fact that my nephews both REALLY seemed to love their gifts! Adrian kept doing his puzzle over and over again and Alexander wouldn’t even share ONE of his five little cars that I got him. xD And my favorite gift that I got was a copy of Simon VS! I feel like it’s no secret that I love that book like crazy so finally having a physical copy was awesome! And it was part of a blogger gift exchange with a bunch of German bloggers so that was super fun too!

    I have to say, I love that your friends all had a bit of a theme going on with their presents! And they are such cute gifts too! Do you know what books you might get with your gift cards for B&N?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, I’m so happy with what I got! And same, I’ve heard the highest praises for The City of Brass and I can’t wait to read it. 😍 And aww, that’s so sweet that you got things for your nephews & parents. Happy late birthday to your dad! 😊

      Oh, I don’t normally eat a lot of food for Christmas dinner?? I think I ate Thai food, which is something my family regularly eats because we’re Thai. 😂

      AWWW, THAT’S SO SWEET & CUTE SWETLANA!! I’m so glad that your nephews loved your gifts to them, that story made my day. 😂 And yess, I’m so happy that you got a physical copy of Simon Vs.! I know how much you love that book ahaha.

      Ooh, I’m honestly not sure what books I might get with the gift cards?? I hope to save it for one or two 2018 releases that I’m really excited about, but I don’t know how I’ll be able to choose one over another. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You got such awesome things!! Especially all the books😍😍
    So glad you had a lovely Christmas May!
    (and you pictures look great💕)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. !!!!!!!!!!!!! ALL THE AMAZING THINGSSSS!!!!

    That squishy thing looks cool, BUT THE SMELL AHAHA. We don’t have those here?? Or they dont look like that, they genuinely look rankkkkk over here while that one looks so cool!!!! #jealous.

    ALLLLSOO HAMILTON!!!! YASSS!! (I’m only a few songs in but!!! still!!! yas!!!!
    AND!! the six of crows poster-looking-thing looks so cool *heart eyes* DRGUDRKGBRDK

    wild beauty –> OMG GROMGRDGHDRKBGJDBGJKRDFGB SO BEASUTIFUL. Why haven’t I read it yet?

    my holidays here good??? (thanks for asking 😉 ) I was a happy lamb yasssss and I ATE FAR TOO MUCH!! I GOT THE CITY OF BONES 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDIION NAD IT WAS SO PRETTY. I was so excited to give presents to my family, (and a little nervous BECAUSE WHAT IF THEY DIDN’T LIKE THEMMMMM)


    Liked by 1 person

    1. DUDE THE SMELL LITERALLY KILLS ME. I swear I touch it for five seconds and walk away and the smell just FOLLOWS ME. (and omg, “rank”, look at that British slang that I have no knowledge of.)


      yessss Wild Beauty is so beautiful, inside and out!! oh my god the Bad Romance page RUINED me. I cry. I’m really excited for Moxie as well!!! but I’ve heard that while it’s feminist & awesome, it’s more feminism for white cishet people?? but whatever, IT’S STILL FEMINISM.

      you didn’t eat far too much yOU DRANK FAR TOO MUCH. and aaahhh I’m so happy for you!!! I kind of mildly disliked City of Bones when I read it but whatever!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. EW EW EWWWWW. ( oh whoops — well at least you learnt a new word! Ahah)


        Ahhhhhh I hope that moxie turns out good!!!!!

        HUSH CHILD I DID NOT NOPE DEFINITELY NO WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT 😂😂😂 (I know you disliked CoB and it pains me bc i love it so much, but each to their own! 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

  7. AHH May your Christmas looks amazing! Your photos are so aesthetic omw and all your presents look wonderful! I got two trilogies and a shirt that says, “I’ve lived a thousand lives” next to a stack of books, satisfying my bibliophile self. 😛
    I’m glad you had a good Christmas, dear! Your blog is SO AMAZING and legit #GOALS, and I hope you have a wonderful 2018!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. mAY yOu gOT a hAMiLtOn CD omg im,, omg

    everything is so pretty,, you have such amazing friends and family,, all i got for Christmas were clothes,,,,,,

    well I also got like 3 books (they both die at the end, nightfall, and labyrinth) and a handmade poster from a friend. my other friends are all out of town for their breaks and said they’d give me the gifts when they came back so that’s a plus :)))

    I’m giving everyone hand drawn pictures,, because I’m broke but it’s still a nice gift 🙂 my parents got family portraits and my friends got book/tv characters of their own :))

    omg gifts ju gave you are so cool??? THAT SIX OF CROWS THING AND THOSE SOCKS OMF I LOVE ALL THE GOODIES

    i so so so want to read moxie arG

    also it’s so r00d of book depository to give the book in such tErRiBLe condition?? I almost had a heart attack looking at that page. ALSO PEPPA PIG. REALLY.

    to be honest the best part of my holidays was seeing how everyone customised their profile pictures and their twitter names and their blog to math the christmassy theme ahh it makes me feel so nice and happy :’)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I kNoW iSn’T iT sO pReTtY

      and hahahha I literally got one (1) article of clothing and it was a size too small LMAOOOO

      omg I’m glad you got three books!! that’s great. and hahahaha my friends & I don’t really give each other gifts?? like the last two I talked about in my haul were like, last minute things. (I didn’t get them anything oops) and awww I wish I was good enough at drawing to give my art as a gift!! that’d be cheaper hahahha

      YES I’M SO HAPPY WITH IT ALL I’M WEARING THE SOCKS RIGHT NOW THEY’RE SO SOFTTT. and gahhh Moxie seems so good??? but I’ve heard it’s more of a “white feminist” book than a “intersectional feminist” book. and like yes ofc white women should have equality too but WOC deserve so as well!!

      OH MY GOD I STARTED HYSTERICALLY LAUGHING WHEN I SAW THE PAGE JFLSDJFLSKJD and omg I kinda hate the changing Twitter usernames &

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Merry late Christmas! 🙂 I love reading gift hauls, too. All your gifts look awesome! I didn’t get any books directly, but I got multiple Barnes & Noble gift cards, which is good. 😂Also…I’m jumping on the bandwagon really late, but I just listened to the first act of Hamilton last night, and I AM OBSESSED. LIKE WHERE WAS I all this time?!? It is amazing. So far I really like Helpless and Satisfied, and oh MY it is so wonderful. I’m going to listen to Act 2 today. Okay, rant over.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaahhh thank you so much, Olivia!! And OH YESSS, B&N gift cards are always good! I hope you’ll get lots of amazing books with those. 😘 And OMG YESSSS OLIVIAAAAA I’M SO PROUD OF YOU FOR STARTING HAMILTON!! 😂 And oh yesss, Helpless & Satisfied are SUCH good songs! My VERY VERY favorites from Act I have to be Aaron Burr, Sir, My Shot, Satisfied, Guns and Ships, and Non-Stop. 😍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome! 🙂 Okay, since writing that comment I have listened to the entire thing twice. My top favorite songs are Helpless, Satisfied, Non-Stop, and It’s Quiet Uptown (I cried the first time I heard it but ELIZA FORGIVES HIM so I love it.❤️) And then I love pretty much every other song…those just stand a little above the rest.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. You got some amazing gifts!!! I don’t think my parents would give me a speaker haha. They’d be too scared of me constantly blasting kpop through the house 24/7. But yours got you a cd and a speaker!! Julianna is the best omg she got you some amazing books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! And haha, I was NOT expecting a speaker at all, but my sis and I always listen to music while doing our homework so why not. 😂 (But I’m fairly certain they regret it, because I’ve been listening to Hamilton non-stop. Pun intended.) YES JU IS AMAZING I LOVE ALL THE BOOKS AAAHHHH.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow those look like some pretty cool gifts! I love seeing what others get for Christmas and birthdays too XD I might do a post like this on my blog with what I got! (If I have time, of course…)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Oh May you got some amazing gifts this year for Christmas, and some brilliant books as well. 😀 That cover for Bad Romance is amazing, I’ll keep my fingers crossed you enjoy the book as much as you love the cover. Also I really really hope you enjoy both Wild Beauty and The City of Brass (the latter is an all-time favourite read of 2017 for me so I can’t wait to see what you think of it, you’ll have to let me know once you finish reading it!).
    Based on the gifts and books you got for Christmas this year I’d say you’re due to have a brilliant 2018! 😀 Great post May. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such a fun post idea! I always love seeing what gifts people got. And you’re lucky you got so many books!
    I think the gifts I was most excited about were a couple of books, and a bunch of Harry Potter themed stuff… I think my cousins have decided that they’ll just get me every cool Harry Potter themed thing they see… It’s very awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. hey bihhhhhh

    also, it’s called a loofah also also want to hear a fun story? i asked my mom to buy me they both die at the end as like my only book present or whatever, then she goes to barnes n nobles and asks one of the girls working there about it and she says that, that book is bad, sad and she should buy me some nasty ya book (the list) and i’m,,,,, struggling

    love u bih!!! merry chrysler !!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I hope you’re having great holidays, May! This was a fantastic haul, you got so many great things, I’m jealous but also really happy for you haha 🙂 I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Bad Romance, I really want to read that one, especially after reading I’ll Meet You There from the author and loving it so much. And YAY for the gift exchange with ju, what an amazing thing to do!!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, dear! Dude, Hamilton looks so aesthetic. I’ll have to listen to a clean version of the music online (swear words kill me) — especially since I’ve been to the theater and seen one of the actresses (even though I had no idea who she was but people were asking for pictures and autographs outside the theater so I’m assuming) and still only listened to the first song.
    My brother also got a Google assistant and I think he’s a little too obsessed with it. 😛 I think I ate way too much candy and got way to many books (just kidding there’s no such thing).
    Ahaha that was random but oh well Merry Christmas

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thank yoooou! I hope you had a fabulous Christmas as well. 💕 And ahaha the CD I got was the clean version, actually!! And AAAGGGHH THAT’S SO COOL THAT AN ACTRESS WAS AT YOUR THEATRE!!! 😱 And noo, there’s no such thing as too much candy or too many books. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  17. The Hand Lettering Ledger looks really cool! 😃 I actually got a thing for Christmas that teaches you how to write calligraphy?? But it doesn’t teach very well? 😂 But hey, I got the really cool pen thing that comes with it! 😜

    Liked by 1 person

  18. i am super jealous of your photography skills like HOW DO YOU ALWAYS MAKE THESE PHOTOS SO PRETTY. UGH. i’m sosososoooo happy for you tho like you got so many AMAZING gifts!!! I know how much you love Hamilton and I remember from your WL (from when you were still my secret santa buddy before we decided not to keep it a secret anymore LMAO) that Bad Romance and Wild Beauty and City of Brass were like really high on your list so I’m glad you got them!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to do this again next year ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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