Category Archives: Christmas

Twantas Revealed

PhotoFunia-1540831011For those who still don’t know, here is a full list of this year’s Twantadors and their gift-givers.


This twantador
was sent a gift by
@_polyhymnia @secretstef
@alliterative @flylilypad
@anise44 @helibobs84
@approvedproduct @louisehector
@avensarah @jaxtipsyknits
@azzathepirate @cherries109
@babalooblue @lemurlotte
@basdriver @sundayhandbag
@becmajor @basdriver
@bilbobaggins2k @chrisridd
@blossomxcat @davidtims
@bywordandstitch @joraamn
@captain_doodle @lockiebaws
@cara_erin @superkrispydj
@carly_whyborn @leontia2001
@cdlcreative @kirstywarner
@cherina82 @zipperdidoodah
@cherries109 @captain_doodle
@chrisgn @alliterative
@chrisridd @missmastery
@ClaireWithAn_I @confusedlinnet
@confusedlinnet @magentakoru
@craftsboy @dbrereton
@crazyladywriter @owlbird
@cumbrianblondie @carly_whyborn
@davidtims @ninjaworrier
@dawn1968 @fannyingabout
@dbrereton @_polyhymnia
@dutch_bitch @theweeyin15
@emma_esl @taffy3rock
@evermoreanon @lovelockou
@f41rygirl @blossomxcat
@fannyingabout @jayalay
@fantasticpru @LolInKent
@fisher1946 @babalooblue
@flylilypad @crazyladywriter
@gemmajoobjoob @cara_erin
@ginlington @NicolaCubes
@greythorne @purplequeennl
@helibobs84 @greythorne
@hugeshark @cumbrianblondie
@iainlj @kizletwiggle
@jaxtipsyknits @sharonmcg1971
@jayalay @squeakysays
@joraamn @hugeshark
@katobell @starlitwolf
@kaylou_4 @gemmajoobjoob
@kirstyhalton @katobell
@kirstywarner @mrsashboroscat
@kizletwiggle @f41rygirl
@kjhighsocks @iainlj
@ladyjuliejools @sarahhanner
@lemurlotte @craftsboy
@leontia2001 @chrisgn
@lgh95 @nikki_sinc
@Lisey_loo @rachamuffin
@lockiebaws @approvedproduct
@LolInKent @vspearson85
@lottacraft @becmajor
@louisehector @lgh95
@lovelockou @sarahtregear
@LucieMR @sparkleytwinkle
@LydiaMNicola @miladycheryl
@magentakoru @maggie_dolores
@maggie_dolores @mrssimontemplar
@mallrat_uk @LydiaMNicola
@manctoby @LucieMR
@michigander58 @avensarah
@miladycheryl @patellagirl
@misslockstock @ladyjuliejools
@missmastery @sarahv1982
@mrsashboroscat @cdlcreative
@mrssimontemplar @mallrat_uk
@nickatthemill @emma_esl
@NicolaCubes @bilbobaggins2k
@nikki_sincl @sumarumi
@ninjaworrier @anise44
@obibronkenobi @phantom_blonde
@owlbird @saltwateritch
@patellagirl @fisher1946
@phantom_blonde @kirstyhalton
@purplequeennl @ClaireWithAn_I
@rachamuffin @obibronkenobi
@saltwateritch @ginlington
@sarahhanner @misslockstock
@sarahtregear @woodpeckergreen
@sarahv1982 @Lisey_loo
@secretstef @michigander58
@sharonmcg1971 @kaylou_4
@sparkleytwinkle @azzathepirate
@squeakysays @nickatthemill
@starlitwolf @kjhighsocks
@sumarumi @dawn1968
@sundayhandbag @titchfairy
@superkrispydj @bywordandstitch
@taffy3rock @evermoreanon
@theweeyin15 @dutch_bitch
@titchfairy @lottacraft
@vspearson85 @cherina82
@waysidehealer @fantasticpru
@woodpeckergreen @waysidehealer
@zipperdidoodah @manctoby
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Twanta 2018

At the risk of being stupidly cheesy I would like to share what Twanta has meant for me this year. So due to various things we are having a very quiet Christmas, my children and I. My family are hundreds of miles away and my ex ‘accidentally’ forgot to send my present from my children so a gift less Christmas was very much a reality. My Twanta gift was a Ray of sunshine. I also loved a soupcon of stalking and hope my twantee loves their gift. Thank you so much for a little light in the darkness.

louisehectorThat’s a a message I received yesterday about this year’s Twanta, shared with permission. It kind of sums up what this annual sharing of pressies between strangers means to me: a feeling of inclusion, and of friendship, and that the world might not be entirely made of cack after all. So (as you young folk are prone to begin your sentences these days), it’s Christmas Eve, and I thought you’d like a little Twanta update. First of all, and bringing a big smile for me, there were no Twumbugs. Every single person who asked to take part this year has posted their gift, and for that you have my sincere thanks. It’s you folk that make Twanta work, not me, with your generosity and fun-filled enthusiasm and astonishing skills with sellotape.

I just wanted to drop you a message to thank you for organising such a wonderful event. Twanta2018 has lifted my soul after a really shitty year. You are the epitome of Christmas Spirit.

ssOther stats leap out of my massive, multicoloured Twanta spreadsheet. On average, gifts sent within the UK took 4 days to reach their destination. Presents sent from one country to another took 8 days. There have been a few snags along the way, of course, such as the courier who couldn’t read the number 7, and someone having to prove to the Post Office that their ‘wacky’ twitter id was actually them. I’m not beyond mistakes, either, giving out the wrong address to one Twantador. Hilarity ensued.

taffy3rockAs I write there are still 12 Twanta gifts ‘in transit’, which is about usual. Some will arrive after Christmas, I’m afraid, but we are subject to the winds and whims of postal services. Others will be simply that the recipient forgot to tell me their gift arrived. Be that as it may,tomorrow is TWANTA REVEAL DAY! I know that you’ll all be busy, but if you could please take the time to take a pic of your Twanta gift and post it to Twitter with the hashtag #TWANTA2018 we can all have a rollicking time admiring each other’s gifts.

Thank you @twanta2018 for another year of festive feel goods. As always, I am both humbled and heart warmed by it all. Roll on Tuesday!

doodleFinally, I really do appreciate all your messages of thanks for this years Twanta. I’m delighted that you all enjoy it every year, but do remember also to direct some gratitude to our inventive captain, @captain_doodle, who thought up this whole thing. There he is on the left, look, peering in my bathroom window again, the big perv.

Twanta 2018 – the ninth annual Twitter Secret Santa

twanta (2)Pop your chestnuts on an open fire, it’s time for #TWANTA2018 to shove another tree up another fairy’s frock and display its shiny balls for the ninth year in succession. For the uninitiated, those taking part in Twanta send a cheap but fun Christmas gift to someone that I nominate, possibly a complete stranger, and in return they receive a similar pressie from someone else. Hence “Twanta” – TWitter secret sANTA, see? As usual I’ll link you here to the blog post from @davidtims which beautifully sums up the spirit of Twanta.

FOR NOW, JUST TELL ME IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART so that I can add you to the Master Wallchart here at Twanta Towers.

I’ll give people a few weeks to join, and shortly after that you’ll receive the name of your Twantee, probably around the end of October. Old hands of Twanta will know all the following already, but for any newcomers here’s a summary of how the whole thing works.


SharkStar You must have specifically asked me, and I must have confirmed that you’re taking part before you can join in. I reserve the right to reject anyone that I suspect of being dodgy. Sorry, but I have to be careful due to a slight wobble several years back when some git refused to actually send a present once they’d received theirs.

Star Make sure you follow @twanta2018 on Twitter. He will follow you back (it’s me really, but don’t tell the little tweeters. Let’s not spoil the magic, eh?). DM your address to him so that he can pass it on to your own Secret Twanta when everyone is linked up. I do remember some of your addresses from last year, but once #Twanta2018 is over I will always delete the addresses of those who ask.

GinStar Tell me if there are any mortal enemies that you don’t want to be linked with. We don’t want to be responsible for any “incidents”. You can also make other special requests (e.g. if you’re allergic to chocolate, or perhaps you don’t want to post anything to a different country). We are a benign Twanta, and will accept all reasonable requests.

Star Very occasionally things go awry, and when that happens Twanta Fairies step in to send a gift at short notice. Please also let us know if you would be happy to be a volunteer Fairy, should any be required (though that’s only rarely necessary).

Duck / bookStar Once @twanta2018 has everyone’s address, he’ll DM you to let you know to whom (grammar) you should send a gift, together with the address. You might want to spend a little while researching the recipient’s timeline to find out a little bit about them. Yes, that’s a bit stalkery, but you’ll be able to make your gift more personalised that way.

Star Buy a pressie for your twantee (as the recipients have somehow come to be known) and send it to them. Mark the envelope #TWANTA so they know what it is. Let @twanta2018 know that you’ve posted it (so I can keep track in case anything goes missing). It’s entirely up to you whether you remain anonymous or expose yourself *snigger*.

Space thingiesStar You should not spend a fortune. Small, fun and imaginative is the rule of thumb, but don’t send an actual thumb. That would be hideous. I recommend spending no more than a tenner, though in the end, of course, it’s up to you. The photographs accompanying this post are of some previous gifts, should you need inspiration.

Star When you receive your #TWANTA pressie, again let @twanta2018 know. Challenge yourself to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open the thing. Harness your willpower, young warrior.

Star When your willpower fails, take a photo of your gift ready to post to Twitter on Christmas Day. Post it then including the hashtag #TWANTAPIX2018, so that we can all follow the fun, and I can collect the pics on a special Pinterest board. Here’s last year’s board.

Have fun, and, if it all goes tits up, remember that it was originally all the idea of that @captain_doodle, and castigate him mercilessly. Not me, oh no, leave me alone.

Twantadors 2017

Image1In case you want to be like Nicola (see right) here are all of 2017’s Twantadors, ready for some Secret Santa fun.

@_inno @_natmo @_polyhymnia @4paris1 @alexbrightsmith @alliterative @ananizapta @anise44 @avensarah @AzzaThePirate @bieredeluxe @bilbobaggins2k @ButMadNNW @bywordandstitch @captain_doodle @cara_erin @carly_whyborn @cdlcreative @cherina82 @chrisridd @ClaireWithAn_I @confusedlinnet @craftsboy @crazyladywriter @cumbrianblondie @davidtims @dawn1968 @dbrereton @debs_brown @doodledawne  @dutch_bitch @ekctafc @evermoreanon @fannyingabout @fisher1946 @fizzandnonsense @flylilypad @gemmajoobjoob @ginlington @greythorne @hollieeeejones @hugeshark @iainlj @jamerz3294 @jaxbourne @joraamn @katobell @kernowbeeching @kimnmilward @kirstyhalton @kirstywarner @kizletwiggle @kjcollard @kophoogte @kykaree @landladycheryl @LauraMullan @leontia2001 @lgh95 @lottacraft @louisehector @LucieMR @LydiaMNicola @magentakoru @maggie_dolores @mallrat_uk @marmotbiscuits @mavisdee @mrmoth @mrsashboroscat @mrssimontemplar @NicolaCubes @nikkisinclair64 @ninjaworrier @nyncompoop @owlbird @phantom_blonde @pricklyemu @purplequeennl @rachamuffin @raevynlunatique @saltwateritch @sarahtregear @sarahv1982 @secretstef @smayman @squeakysays @starlitwolf @stickymitts @sumarumi @Sundayhandbag @superblouse @superkrispydj @taffy3rock @Talking_Spheres @teddy_red @theweeyin15 @underbundle @urberwoot @waterworks_nick @woodpeckergreen @xkylet @zipperdidoodah

Jingly Balls! Twanta 2017 is GO

IMAG1682Jingly balls, jingly balls, jingly up your tree. It’s time for #TWANTA2017 to shove another tree up another fairy’s frock and display his shiny balls for the eighth time. For the uninitiated, it was all @captain_doodle’s idea. There he is on the right, with some eejit or other. Those taking part in Twanta send a cheap but fun gift to someone that I nominate, possibly a complete stranger, and in return they receive a similar pressie from someone else. TWitter secret sANTA, see? As usual I’ll link you to the blog post from @davidtims from a few years ago which beautifully sums up the spirit of Twanta.

FOR NOW, JUST TELL ME IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART so that I can add you to the Master Wallchart here at Twanta Towers.

I’ll give people a few weeks to join, and you’ll receive the name of your Twantee shortly after that, around the end of October. Old hands of Twanta will know all the following already, but for any newcomers here’s a summary of how the whole thing works.


One of a previous year's impressive gifts.Star You must have specifically asked me, and I must have confirmed that you’re taking part before you can join in. I reserve the right to reject anyone that I suspect of being dodgy. This is due to a slight wobble that happened several years back for two of our lovely twantadors (see below for a glossary of terms).

Star Make sure you follow @twanta2017 on Twitter. He (it’s me really, but don’t tell the little tweeters. Let’s not spoil the magic, eh?) will follow you back. DM your address to him so that he can pass it on to your own Secret Twanta when everyone is paired up. I do remember some of your addresses from last year, but once #Twanta2017 is over I will always delete the addresses of those who ask. If the Twitter Unfollow Bug causes @twanta2017 to unfollow you, let me know so that I can correct that.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Tell me if there are any mortal enemies that you don’t want to be paired with. We don’t want to be responsible for any “incidents”. You can also make other special requests (e.g. if you’re allergic to chocolate, or perhaps you don’t want to post anything to a different country). We are a benign Twanta, and will accept all reasonable requests.

Star Very occasionally things go awry, and when that happens Twanta Fairies step in to send a gift at short notice. Please also let us know if you would be happy to be a volunteer Fairy, should any be required (though that’s only rarely necessary).

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Once @twanta2017 has everyone’s address, he’ll DM you to let you know to whom you should send a gift (grammar), together with their address. You might want to spend a little while researching their timeline to find out a little bit about them. Yes, that’s a bit stalkery, but you’ll be able to make your gift a bit more personalised that way.

Star Buy a pressie for your twantee (as the recipients have somehow come to be known) and send it to them. Mark the envelope #TWANTA so they know what it is. Let @twanta2017 know that you’ve posted it (so I can keep track in case anything goes missing). It’s entirely up to you whether you remain anonymous or expose yourself *snigger*.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star You do not need to spend a fortune. Small, fun and imaginative is the rule of thumb, but don’t send an actual thumb. That would be hideous. I recommend spending no more than a tenner, though that of course is up to you. The photographs accompanying this post are of some previous gifts, should you need inspiration.

Star When you receive your #TWANTA pressie, again let @twanta2017 know. Challenge yourself to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open the thing. Harness your willpower, grasshopper.

Star When your willpower fails, take a photo of your gift ready to post to Twitter on Christmas Day. Post it including the hashtag #TWANTAPIX2017 so that we can all follow the fun, and I can collect the pics on a special Pinterest board. Here’s last year’s board.

Have fun, and, if it all goes tits up, remember that it was originally all the idea of that @captain_doodle, and castigate him mercilessly. Not me, oh no, leave me alone.


Twantionary (glossary)

Having trouble separating your twanta from your twantee? Completed your trifecta yet? Got no bloody idea what I’m talking about? Then this section will save you from social embarrassment akin to leaving the Ladies with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers.

TWANTA – this word has two meanings. Firstly it is the all-encompassing name for the whole cosy event itself, although usually with the relevant year attached to its arse (eg #TWANTA2017). Secondly, the Twanta is the person sending a gift. It is the Twanta’s own choice whether or not to remain secret.

TWANTEE – the person receiving said gift, with a smile and a song and possibly other things beginning with ‘S’.

TWANTADOR – general term for anyone taking part, bless their little cotton reindeer socks.

TRIFECTA – the magic three milestones achieved by a TWANTADOR who has (1) sent a gift, (2) learned that it has arrived, and (3) received their own.

TWUMBUG – a dirty rapscallion who fails to send a gift as promised.

FAIRY – a good-hearted TWANTADOR who volunteers to step in and provide a gift at short notice for anyone who falls victim to a TWUMBUG.

TWANTAVERSE – every bloody thing to do with Twanta. Constantly expanding.

EPISTLETOE – a hand-written letter included with the gift to add a virtual Christmas kiss and a personal touch. Not to be confused with Camel Toe, which is something entirely different.

SundayPix Special–#SUNDAYPIXtwanta

Twanta ClausIt’s CHRISTMAS! Well, nearly. All of this year’s Twantadors have proved worthy and sent a gift across the miles, often to a complete stranger. As I write this there are just nine presents still in transit, although a few of those might already be safely at their destination, yet unreported. After such a bumhole of a year, this has done my ancient paper-dry heart a world of good. Thank you, you lovely sods.

On Christmas Day (yes it’s on Sunday!) we’ll have a special edition of SundayPix. Post a photograph of your pressie on Twitter using the hashtag #SUNDAYPIXtwanta, and I’ll tell you who sent it. If you don’t want your identity revealed to your Twantee, let me know and you can remain forever a Secret Twanta.

@lgh95's Alfie taking a very strong liking to her presentYou can check the hashtag throughout the day to join in with the seventh year of Twanta’s special blend of comfort and joy. There’ll also be a Pinterest board building up throughout the day, and probably a Twitter Moment if I can work out what the hell that is.

Happy Christmas, everyone x

#TWANTA2016 twantadors

HHsqVVW1For those who like to disguise their Twantee stalking by following more than one new twantador, or even those who like to make new friends, here’s a list of this year’s participants.

 

@_inno @_polyhymnia @alexbrightsmith @alliterative @ananizapta @anise44 @auldyth @avensarah @AzzaThePirate @bieredeluxe @bilbobaggins2k @bywordandstitch @captain_doodle @cara_erin @carly_whyborn @cdlcreative @chrisridd @confusedlinnet @cumbrianblondie @davidtims @dawbes @dawn1968 @dbrereton @dutch_bitch @ericafairs @evermoreanon @fannyingabout @fisher1946 @fizzandnonsense @gemmajoobjoob @gingerfig @ginlington @gordon_t_miller @greythorne @hols1983 @iainlj @Im_Gggrr @jaxbourne @JustSJP @katobell @kimnmilward @kirstyhalton @kizletwiggle @kjcollard @kykaree @landladycheryl @leontia2001 @lgh95 @louisehector @LucieMR @magentakoru @mallrat_uk @marmotbiscuits @mavisdee @monbling @mrsashboroscat @mrssimontemplar @MsSJH @NicolaCubes @nikkisinclair64 @ninjaworrier @nyncompoop @phantom_blonde @poorlittlenell @pricklyemu @rachamuffin @sarahtregear @sarahv1982 @secretstef @squeakysays @starlitwolf @stickymitts @sumarumi @Sundayhandbag @superkrispydj @taffy3rock @tajasel @tauntongardener @teddy_red @theeastanglian @tjathurman @waysidehealer @woodpeckergreen @xx_ItsOnlyMe_xx

JINGLY BALLS! #Twanta2016 is go.

Doodle and Wombat enjoy last year's Twanta Fancy Dress PartyJingly balls, jingly balls, jingly up your way. It’s time for #TWANTA2016 to shove another tree up another fairy’s frock and display his shiny balls for the seventh time. For the uninitiated, it was all @captain_doodle’s idea. There he is on the right, the sexpot. Those taking part in Twanta send a cheap but fun gift to someone that I nominate, possibly a complete stranger, and in return they receive a similar pressie from someone else. TWitter secret sANTA, see? As usual I’ll link you to the blog post from @davidtims from a few years ago which beautifully sums up the spirit of Twanta.

FOR NOW, JUST TELL ME IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART so that I can add you to the Master Wallchart here at Twanta Towers. I’ll give people a few weeks to join, and you’ll receive the name of your Twantee shortly after that, deffo before the end of October. Those of you who are old hands will know all this already, but for the sake of completeness here’s a reminder of how the whole thing works.

One of a previous year's impressive gifts.Star You must have specifically asked me, and I must have confirmed that you’re taking part before you can join in. I reserve the right to reject anyone that I suspect of being dodgy. This is an attempt to avoid the slight wobble that happened several years back for two of our lovely twantadors (see below for a glossary of terms).

Star Make sure you follow @twanta2016 on Twitter. He (it’s me really, but don’t tell the little tweeters. Let’s not spoil the magic, eh?) will follow you back. DM your address to him so that he can pass it on to your own Secret Twanta. I do remember some of your addresses from last year, but once #Twanta2016 is over I will always delete the addresses of those who ask. If the Twitter Unfollow Bug has caused @twanta2016 to unfollow you, let me know so that I can correct that.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Tell me if there are any mortal enemies that you don’t want to be paired with. We don’t want to be responsible for any “INCIDENTS”. You can also make special requests (e.g. if you’re allergic to chocolate, or perhaps you don’t want to post anything to a different country). We are a benign Santa, and will accept all reasonable requests.

Star Very occasionally things go awry, and when that happens Twanta Fairies step in to send a gift at short notice. Please also let us know if you would be happy to be a volunteer Fairy, should any be required (though that’s not very likely).

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Once @twanta2016 has everyone’s address, he’ll DM you to let you know for whom you are buying a gift (grammar), together with their address. You might want to spend a little while researching their timeline to find out a little bit about them. Yes, that’s a bit stalkery, but you’ll be able to make your gift a bit more personalised that way.

Star Buy a pressie for your twantee (as the recipients have somehow come to be known) and send it to them. Mark the envelope #TWANTA so they know what it is. Let @twanta2016 know that you’ve posted it (so I can keep track in case anything goes missing). It’s entirely up to you whether to remain anonymous or to expose yourself *snigger*.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Do NOT buy hugely expensive pressies (unless you’re buying for me, obv). Small, fun and imaginative is the rule of thumb, but don’t send an actual thumb. That would be hideous. I recommend spending no more than a tenner, though that of course is up to you. The photographs accompanying this post are of some previous gifts, should you need inspiration.

Star When you receive your #TWANTA pressie, again let @twanta2016 know. Challenge yourself to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open the thing. Harness your willpower, grasshopper.

Star When your willpower fails, take a photo of your gift ready to post on Christmas Day when there will be a special SundayPix theme so that we can all follow the fun. Post the pic on Christmas Day including the hashtag #TWANTA2016 so that we can all follow the fun, and collect the pics on a special Pinterest board.

Have fun, and if it all goes tits up, remember that it was originally all the idea of that @captain_doodle, and castigate him mercilessly, not me oh no leave me alone.

Twantionary

Having trouble separating your twanta from your twantee? Completed your trifecta yet? Got no bloody idea what I’m talking about? Then this section will save you from social embarrassment akin to leaving the Ladies with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers.

TWANTA – this word has two meanings. Firstly it is the all-encompassing name for the whole cosy event itself, although usually with the relevant year attached to its tail. Secondly, the Twanta is the person sending a gift. It is the Twanta’s own choice whether or not to remain secret.

TWANTEE – the person receiving said gift, with a smile and a song.

TWANTADOR – general term for anyone taking part.

TRIFECTA – the magic three milestones achieved by a Twantador who has (1) sent a gift, (2) learned that it has arrived, and (3) received their own.

TWUMBUG – a dirty rapscallion who fails to send a gift as promised.

FAIRY – a good-hearted TWANTADOR who volunteers to step in and provide a gift at short notice for anyone who falls victim to a TWUMBUG.

TWANTAVERSE – every bloody thing to do with Twanta. Constantly expanding.

EPISTLETOE – a hand-written letter included with the gift to add a virtual Christmas kiss and a personal touch. Not to be confused with Camel Toe, which is something entirely different.

#WOMBATSDOAMERICA 2015 Day 27

Blogging our recent US trip day by day, a month after the event.

6th December – Snow by the Missouri

Missouri snowI awoke to the news that The Shakers had won away at Rochdale in the FA Cup. It was therefore with a light heart that I climbed aboard Barry’s grasshopper* together with a huge dog (Ranger) and a tiny one (Cha Cha) for a ride along the Missouri shore. Snow still covered the river margin, sparkling in the sun, criss-crossed by the tracks of deer and wild turkey.

SunsetLater we visited Al’s Oasis again for a little shopping and more photography of ‘unusual’ American products, followed by a drive up the ridge to the west of the river for a sweeping overlook of the Missouri where it bends at Bad Hand Creek, and a magnificent sunset.

House decorated for ChristmasAs the sky darkened we made a little tour of Oacoma and Chamberlain to look at bright Christmas lights and displays. Imbued by the Christmas spirit we spent much of the evening drinking beer and binge-watching Naked and Afraid.

*totally not a euphemism. The Grasshopper is an off-road vehicle thingy. There’s a photo in this post from last year’s American adventure.

THERE ARE MORE PHOTOS OF DAY 27 HERE

Jingly balls! Time for Twanta2015

Doodle and Wombat enjoy last year's Twanta Fancy Dress PartyJingly balls, jingly balls, jingly all the way. It’s time for #TWANTA2015 to shove a tree up a fairy’s frock and display his shiny balls for the sixth time. For the uninitiated, it was all @captain_doodle’s idea. Those taking part in Twanta send a cheap but fun gift to someone that I nominate, possibly a complete stranger, and in return they receive a similar pressie from someone else. TWitter secret sANTA, see? As usual I’ll link you to the blog post from @davidtims from a few years ago which beautifully sums up the spirit of Twanta.

FOR NOW, TELL ME IF YOU WANT TO TAKE PART so that I can add you to the Master Wallchart here at Twanta Central. I’ll give people a couple of weeks to join. You’ll receive the name of your Twantee shortly after that. While I’m in the States over November the redoubtable @captain_doodle will ensure the smooth running of the whole operation.

Those of you who are old hands will know all this already, but for the sake of completeness here’s a reminder of how the whole thing works.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star You must have specifically asked me, and I must have confirmed that you’re taking part before you can join in. I reserve the right to reject anyone that I suspect of being dodgy. This is an attempt to avoid the slight wobble that happened several years back for two of our lovely twantadors (see below for a glossary of terms).

Star Make sure you follow @twanta2015. He (it’s me really, but don’t tell the little tweeters. Let’s not spoil the magic, eh?) will follow you back. DM your address to him so that he can pass it on to your own Secret Twanta. We do remember some of your addresses from last year, but did delete all the addresses of those who asked. If the Twitter Unfollow Bug has caused @twanta2015 to unfollow you, let us know so that we can correct that.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Tell us if there are any mortal enemies that you don’t want to be paired with. We don’t want to be responsible for any “INCIDENTS”. You can also let us know any special requests (e.g. if you’re allergic to chocolate, or perhaps you don’t want to post anything to a different country). We are a benign Santa, and will accept all reasonable requests.

Star Very occasionally things go awry, and when that happens Twanta Fairies step in to send a gift at short notice. Please also let us know if you would be happy to be a volunteer Fairy, should any be required (though that’s not very likely).

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Once @twanta2015 has everyone’s address, he’ll DM you to let you know for whom you are buying a gift (grammar), together with their address. You might want to spend a little while researching their timeline to find out a little bit about them. Yes, that’s a bit stalkery, but you’ll be able to make your gift a bit more personalised that way.

Star Buy a pressie for your twantee (as the recipients have somehow come to be known) and send it to them. Mark the envelope #TWANTA so they know what it is. Let @twanta2015 know that you’ve posted it (so we can keep track in case anything goes missing). It’s entirely up to you whether to remain anonymous or to expose yourself.

One of last year's impressive gifts.Star Do NOT buy hugely expensive pressies (unless you’re buying for me, obv). Small, fun and imaginative is the rule of thumb, but don’t send an actual thumb. That would be hideous. I recommend spending no more than a tenner, though that of course is up to you. The photographs accompanying this post are of some previous gifts, should you need inspiration.

Star When you receive your #TWANTA pressie, again let @twanta2015 know. Challenge yourself to wait until Christmas Eve or Day to open the thing. Harness your willpower, grasshopper.

Star When your willpower fails, take a photo of your gift ready to post on Christmas Day or Boxing Day (that’s the day after, US peeps). Include the hashtag #TWANTA2015 so that we can collect all the pics posted and put them on a special Pinterest board.

Have fun, and if it all goes tits up, remember that it was originally all the idea of that @captain_doodle, and castigate him mercilessly, not me oh no leave me alone.

 
An epistletoeTwantionary

Having trouble separating your twanta from your twantee? Completed your trifecta yet? Got no bloody idea what I’m talking about? Then this section will save you from social embarrassment akin to leaving the Ladies with your skirt tucked into the back of your knickers.

Gift with a bow TWANTA – this word has two meanings. Firstly it is the all-encompassing name for the whole cosy event itself, although usually with the relevant year attached to its tail. Secondly, the Twanta is the person sending a gift. It is the Twanta’s own choice whether or not to remain secret.

Gift with a bow TWANTEE – the person receiving said gift, with a smile and a song.

Gift with a bow TWANTADOR – general term for anyone taking part.

Gift with a bow TRIFECTA – the magic three milestones achieved by a Twantador who has (1) sent a gift, (2) learned that it has arrived, and (3) received their own.

Gift with a bow TWUMBUG – a dirty rapscallion who fails to send a gift as promised.

Gift with a bow FAIRY – a good-hearted TWANTADOR who volunteers to step in and provide a gift at short notice for anyone who falls victim to a TWUMBUG.

Gift with a bow TWANTAVERSE – every bloody thing to do with Twanta. Constantly expanding.

Gift with a bow EPISTLETOE – a hand-written letter included with the gift to add a virtual Christmas kiss and a personal touch. Not to be confused with Camel Toe, which is something entirely different.

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