Friday, October 2, 2009

Brown Paper Package Exchange, Holiday 2009

Sign-Ups for the 2009 Holiday edition of the Brown Paper Package Exchange are now closed!

"And none will hear the postman's knock Without a quickening of the heart." --W.H. Auden

I love and appreciate the conveniences of our modern world that allow us such instant gratification. I honestly don't remember how anyone did any research on any subject before the likes of Google and Yahoo. I love communicating with my sisters who live hundreds of miles away through funny text messages and emails. I watch entirely too much TV thanks to our DVR, and wonder how we ever got along without it.

But I also love when the doorbell rings and there is a package on the doorstep, or an unexpected letter in the mailbox; things that have traveled miles and miles, sometimes at a snail's pace, to arrive at their new home. It truly does produce a unique joy and excitement that nothing else can quite produce. Even when I know something is on its way, I get positively giddy on my way to the mailbox at the mere possibility that my something might be there.

Last year, I discovered the magic of exchanges and swaps. It was as fun to put together a package as it was to receive a package, and I would excitedly check my partner's blog every day--multiple times!--until she posted the lovelies I had sent her way. It was so thrilling! **If you've never participated in an exchange before, you probably think I'm exaggerating, but I assure you, I am in no way overstating how exciting it is!** But when 2009 began, I found myself with a lot on my plate, including two little ones and a husband opening his own business. So I made my husband make me promise not to do any more swaps. Ah, how it broke my heart. But I think the time is right to jump back in with both feet!

I present to you the Brown Paper Package Exchange,
Holiday 2009 edition!

The Details:
--First and foremost, please do not sign up for this exchange if you are not going to follow through. I know firsthand how disappointing it is to work like crazy on your partner's package, send it off with love and excitement, and then get nothing in return!
--You have until Saturday, October 24th, 2009 to sign up. And spread the word; the more the merrier! I've never hosted an exchange before, so if people start coming out of the woodwork to sign up, I might have to cap it, but let's not be hasty.
--This exchange is open to everyone everywhere, but you have to have a blog or website. Scroll down to see how to sign up.
--When I receive your email, I'll send you a confirmation email and add your name to the "Brown Paper Package Exchange" list in the sidebar.
--After sign-ups have closed, I will do the partnering thing. You will receive an email with your partner's name, address, and important information before Halloween.
--I think it's more exciting if you don't know who's sending you beautiful things until after you have received them, so keep your assignment a secret. Feel free to blog about your package and post pictures, but don't tell anyone who you're sending it to.
--Your partner can tell you what holidays they love and celebrate. You get to choose which one(s) you want to focus on for your package. Please make sure you mail your package in time for your partner to enjoy it! And if you're running late, don't forget New Years!
--When you have received your package, post about it on your blog. Make sure you include lots of pictures so we can all ooohh and aaahh.
--Email me to let me know you have sent your package. Email me again when you have received the package from your partner. I'll keep track and post this info next to your name in the sidebar.
--Thank your partner. You can go the lazy man's route and send an email, but a lovely Thank You note in the mail would probably be appreciated.

What Goes In The Package:
--A little something for the taste buds: a traditional holiday treat and the recipe if you go the homemade route. I am of the opinion that homemade is preferable, but if you don't cook, feel free to buy something special. Also keep in mind that whatever you make/buy has to travel well.
--A little holiday something for the home. Some ideas include decorations, ornaments, candles, soaps, etc. Again, handmade would be awesome; store-bought can be awesome too.
--A little something for your partner. See above for the handmade vs. store-bought scale of awesomeness.
--Anything else you want to include!!
--Wrap the individual items beautifully. Beautiful doesn't have to mean fancy.
--The outside of the whole thing has to be brown paper. Interpret as you will.

How To Sign Up:
--Send an email to including
--Your name
--Your address (trust me, I'll dispose of all of this info when we're done)
--Your blog/website URL
--Whether or not you are willing to ship internationally
--What fall/winter holidays you celebrate and/or especially love. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanza, Hanukkah, etc.
--Any other information you feel is pertinent, like you favorite color, your hobbies, etc.

To help spread the word, please grab the button from the sidebar and add it to your blog! The HTML is posted below the picture. Just create a new widget, select HTML/JavaScript, and copy and paste the code.

I'm so excited to be hosting and participating in this exchange. I hope it will be a wonderful experience for everyone involved! I look forward to hearing from you soon!


  1. this is interesting. I think I ll participate however I ll think about it before committing to see what can I send . I m thrilled too when I receive packages by post :)

  2. What an awesome idea! I love to bake and craft around the holidays so this is right up my alley. I'll send my info soon! Thanks for setting this up.

  3. This sounds like a lot of fun but, I will not be able to participate. Maybe next time:)

  4. This sounds like so much fun! I would love to do this :)

  5. I've never done this, but it sounds like so much fun. I'll send my email in a bit.


  6. Count me in! I just sent you an e-mail.

  7. I wish I could join in the fun - but I already have too much on my plate this fall. I'll blog about the swap though!

  8. This sounds like a fun idea. I haven't participted in anything like this before so I can't wait! I am sending you an email.

  9. I just found your blog from Kim, Everything Etsy, so I am going to think about it a day or so but I think I'd love to participate. I agree with you wholeheartedly that swaps are so much fun!!! I've done several and the thrill is both in sending and receiving! I'll send my info in a few days!

  10. Hi! I see the deadline for sign-up, but is there a "send by this date" deadline?

    Thanks so much,

  11. I'm with southerninspiration - I found out about this from Kim at Everything Etsy. Lovely, lovely, lovely - I'm in!

  12. I found out about this from Kim at Everything Etsy and I love this idea! Sending you an e-mail!

  13. Found out about your fabulous idea via EverythingEtsy - thank goodness! I am sooo excited to send a fabulous one-of-a-kind gift to someone special!

  14. I also found out about this via Everything Etsy and count me in. I am sending you an email now.

  15. How exciting! I just sent you an e-mail!

  16. I have never received my very own package! I'm excited to join!!! Sent my info!!

  17. This sounds like a great idea. I'm going to join up!

  18. Yay! This sounds like fun, count me in! I just sent my e-mail.

  19. Aww... damn. I only found out about this today ... way after the deadline to sign up. Am I able to go on a mailing list or something so I can be involved with the next one ?

    I'm willing to ship internationally.

    HOWEVER those who are shipping INTO Australia will really need to know our customs regulations as they are pretty stringent. I've lost out on many "gifts" because it is not allowed by customs.

  20. Could you send me my girl's info again... I'm so sorry, I can't seem to find it. I can tell you who I have if you ned to know that. thanks, beth

    Bmoore_mamabee (at) hot mail (dot) com

  21. How's everyone going? Anyone got theirs yet?