Secret Santa Fail in Leiden

Sunday Morning in Leiden

Last weekend a book and arts fair was held in Pieterskerk in Leiden. M. and I both like the Netherlands and Holland in particular, and I had never been in Leiden before, so the fair was a welcome excuse to book a hotel, and visit the city during the weekend.

We were really lucky with the weather, the fair was a pleasure, I learned some new Dutch words, I ordered and got to like “Leidse kaassaus” (I expected something like American cheese dip and was pleasantly surprised that it is a peppery sauce which tasted very light), and had a delicious “toetje” (bitterkoekjestaart). And I was really pleased with myself that I got the chance to play Secret Santa…

You heard me talking here frequently of the B.E.S.T. swaps (BEST stands for bookbinding etsy street team – look here, I got introduced on our blog). But I am actually also a member of the European Street Team, and at the moment we are holding something very similar to a swap: We are playing Secret Santa.

More than 100 European Etsy sellers filled out forms about their clothing size, about what they like and what they don’t like, about their occupations and what not. Mitsy read them all, and matched us according to our wishes and abilities. Then we received the description of the one for whom we make a present while we are completely unaware who it is who makes something for us. I was to make a gift for someone living in Leiden – what a happy co-incidence!

I saw that the address was close to the city center and figured I could simply walk there, this being more secure and cheaper than sending it through postal service.

It took me a while to find the house – it turned out Leiden is larger in reality than it looks like on the map. I wanted to put it in her letter box, but there was none, only a slid in the door through which the mail then falls to the floor inside the house. I feared the gift might break. And, after a try,  it turned out to not even fit through it. I rang the bell but no-one answered the door. Then – ooh, I’m so clever – I saw that there was a cat flap in the door, and I indeed managed to shove the packet through it.

Very pleased with myself, we drove home again. Well, we first visited the fair, and went for a walk at the sea.

Back home I dutifully reported the delivery to our organizer. Who checked back with the recipient whether it reached her o.k. – and it didn’t. She was at home that day, and doesn’t have a cat! Obviously I was at the wrong address. Now she will check on her neighbors and hopefully she will manage to retrieve it somehow. – I’ll keep you updated.

And I’ll be back with a report of the fair, where I met some fellow bloggers – check back tomorrow!

3 replies on “Secret Santa Fail in Leiden”

  1. Ohh Hilke, I reallyhope the package can be retrieved! I thought it was such a FAB idea to deliver it personally… too bad it didn’t work out OK.
    I think she follows you too on Twitter so most probably she’ll come here to read about your adventures… 😉

  2. I’m so glad that you managed to retrieve it! And knowing that you like it even made me happier 🙂 I was tensely waiting all day to hear whether you would be able to get it in the end!

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