A while ago, I chatted to Angie from My So Called Chaos who was, once again, hosting a 12 Days of Christmas Swap in Salt Lake City, USA. I loved this idea so much, and I asked if we can bring it over to South Africa as well. Having some of the best, most interesting and diverse group of bloggers, I knew this would be a great fit!

Blogging has changed a lot over the years. It used to be only a few, but very specific genres and topics. It was a tight community. Today we have thousands of new bloggers just in South Africa, and it created some kind of “turf tension” that made us forget the reason we all started blogging in the first place – This is (suppose to be) a safe space to share our life, our experiences and in some cases a beautiful catharsis for what we’re going through.

12 days of christmas swap


So in the spirit of Christmas, I want to bring us all back to a place of kindness. A gentle reminder that we’re all on our own journey, and that we’re here for a reason. Our voices are unique, and our stories all beautiful in different ways. And like a fellow blogger so beautifully said earlier this week; “There’s enough place in the sun for us all”

The idea behind the 12 Days of Christmas Swap is that you send the blogger you’re paired up with 12 gifts to open on the 12 days leading up to Christmas day. In return, they do the same for you.

(Angie has a great example of what a Christmas Swap looked like a few years back, here)


  • Bloggers, creators, and social media influencers with public blogs or social media accounts
  • People located within South Africa


If you’ve never participated in a blogger swap before, here’s how it goes:

  1. You fill out your information the handy sign-up form
  2. I use the information you provided to match you up with another blogger who has also signed up
  3. You get to know your blogger pal (stalk their blog/social media, email them questions, etc.)
  4. You each pick out 12 fun gifts (within the allowed price range) that you think each other will like
  5. You each wrap the gifts (whether or not you number them is up to you)
  6. You mail each other the gifts all at once
  7. You each open one gift every day in the 12 days leading up to Christmas
  8. You post about your gifts/experience/new friend on your blog or social media


  • Sign-Ups: November 17th – November 23rd
  • Partners Matched by: November 24th
  • Packages Mailed by: December 7th (They must receive their packages BEFORE December 12th)
  • Start Opening Gifts: December 12th
  • Post About Experience: Every day you open a gift, or once off in a blog specifically dedicated to this whole experience

12 days of Christmas


Here are the rules you need to abide by when swapping:

Follow through.
If you sign up, you need to follow through and send off the gifts. It isn’t fair for your partner to put in the effort of sending to you, and then receive nothing in return. Please please please follow through.


You must send 12 wrapped gifts to your partner.
How you wrap them is entirely up to you, you can go all out or just wrap them up in newspaper. No judgement here. They just need to all be a surprise so that they can be opened on 12 different days without spoiling it.

Your complete package should not exceed R500 cost before courier.
The reason for the cost limit is so that we don’t have one partner who goes all out, and another who might not be able to afford to, and then a disparity in gift quality that leaves one or both feeling badly. Try to keep your gifts inexpensive. You can cut your cost by:

  • Shopping sales.
  • Handmaking some of the gifts.
  • Regifting (gifts need to be new or like-new, nothing old and gross)


Your package must be shipped out by December 7th.
They need to have the package in hand before December 12th so they can start opening gifts on time. You should courier earlier if you think it’ll take longer with regular shipping, or use a faster method of shipping. I recommend that you just put it all into one of those Aramex bags (from PicknPay) that courier overnight.  It’s the easiest and has no weight limit. Postnet also offers great rates.

You MUST provide a tracking number.
I cannot stress this enough. As soon as you ship out your package, you need to send the tracking number to both your partner and to myself so we know that it’ll be arriving and can watch for it. This also helps us make sure that there is follow through so someone isn’t left without. Again, those amazing flat-rate Aramex bags include this so I recommend them.


You need to post about your swap somewhere publicly.
You can blog about it, or you can post to your Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, etc. It just needs to be posted somewhere publicly. This is just a nice way to show your gratitude and show off what your partner got you. It also allows you to give your followers a little introduction to your partner and you both get more exposure in each other’s world.


Most importantly; Have fun and be kind!


Sign up here:


All my (Christmassy) love,



3 replies
  1. Rudy Fernberg
    Rudy Fernberg says:

    Hey! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thanks a lot!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] blogger 12 small gifts to open up 12 days leading up to Christmas one present on each day. Read more here on Simons […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.