It was just about this time a year ago that I received an invitation to join a small group of female photographers who had created an online message board as a forum to discuss photography, practice techniques, learn and grow together as professionals. Whether it be through their talent, their vision, their knowledge, their support, their humor, or their honesty, not a day passes when I don’t feel blessed to be part of such an amazing group.

In short, these girls rock!

So, we decided to do a Secret Santa exhange, and we have spent the past few weeks preparing. We all got signed up on Elfster, began making our Wishlists and asking each other anonymous questions. We set a $20 limit and we each set out to find the perfect gift for our designated giftee.

I had every intention for waiting for Christmas (or at least Christmas Eve) to open my gift. But then it arrived yesterday in the mail, and I said to hell with waiting.

So here are my gifts from my AWESOME Secret Santa…

#1 A little pocket journal straight off my Elfster gift list. This is perfect for me because I am constantly jotting things down on random scraps of paper and it drives my husband bonkers because they end up lying around our house and cluttering up the desks in the office. I don’t carry a purse, so I never want to carry a larger notebook or anything with me. Now I can just stick this in my back pocket with a little mini pen or something and I am golden!

And gift #2 is this awesome Scrabble tile pendant…

I can’t even tell you how freakin’ excited about the pendant!!! I have always thought these were super cool, but I could never find one that I really liked or that screamed “Lori”. I’m not a big wearer of jewelry, so it takes something really special for me to want to wear it. Besides my wedding band, the only “jewelry” I wear is a long chain (either around my neck or wrapped around my wrist) with an Angel Penny (a real penny with the shape of an angel cut out of it) and an old New York subway token. I know, sounds crazy, but allow me to explain…

My friend gave me the Angel Penny as a gift at my high school graduation. I was leaving to move to New York to attend college, and she thought I could use an extra angel looking out for me when I left. Boy, was she right. My college years were some of the best and worst of my life, and the fact that I survived at all was surely because some angels were working overtime. I started wearing the Angel Penny on a chain around my neck shortly after I arrived in New York, and have worn it nearly every day since.

The subway token is something I added when I lived in New York. The moment I arrived, New York became my second home. I believe that sometimes there are places that just resonate with a person’s soul. You arrive in a new place and for some reason, it feels like you’re coming home. Maybe you lived there in a past life. Maybe there is just a certain energy there that speaks to you. I don’t know how to explain it, but New York has always been one of those places for me, and I just like to carry a little piece of it around with me.

Now, for the pendant my Secret Santa chose…I’ve been looking for something to add to my chain for years, something that was just “me”. I always figured I would know it when I saw it. When I opened the package yesterday, I saw it. While my photography is just one way that I indulge my passion and my creativity, my writing is the thing that is more a part of me than anything else. So a Scrabble tile pendant with the dictionary definition of the word “create” is absolute perfection.

My Secret Santa rocks! Girl, I can’t even begin to thank you.

About the Author Lori Romano

I am a writer, photographer, wife, mother, dog owner, half-assed housekeeper and a self-proclaimed coffee and chocolate addict. One day, I will write a book.

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