IMG_4123 Pohutukawa

I had a wonderful time at #brumsanta this evening. It was very simple idea: a Christmas get-together with some people from Birmingham who are on Twitter, with a (somewhat) secret Santa element to it – but the twist being that the maximum spend on gifts was £0.

About 35 people came along – lots of unfamiliar faces, and lots of people whom others only recognised by user name. I’d made name badges for everyone, as well as a compilation CD for all attendees. The nice thing about that was the fact that all of the artists on the compilation had agreed to have their music included.

Not very secret Santa

At around 8:30pm, we did the present swapping thing – and rather than keep it a secret, I thought it would be nice if people actually gave their gift in person to their allocated recipient. Other than a couple of no-shows and some creative, hasty gift-reallocation for perishable goods intended for people who weren’t there – it all seemed to go very well.

Steve Thornton (@stevetea) did a great job DJing classic soul & funk tunes – starting with Gil Scott-Heron and ending with Bill Withers… and the Hare and Hounds staff were all lovely, as usual.

As I’d organised the present swap, I hadn’t put myself down to receive a gift, but @catharker (who I had never met before this evening) very kindly and thoughtfully made me the above hand-stitched Christmas tree decoration. On one side, it has a pohutukawa flower. That’s the New Zealand Christmas tree, you know…

Pictorial round-up of #brumsanta 2011

For those who weren’t able to make it (and whose cakes we ate because they wouldn’t last – honest…) here are some photos from the #brumsanta event… People seemed very happy with not only the company and the evening at the pub, but especially with the care and thought each present represented.

And while it would be incredibly gauche to retweet the complimentary feedback on Twitter (and despite the fact it’s reasonably immodest in this context too), I’ve copied, pasted and included some examples of the nice things people have said about the evening here, hidden amongst the photos.

Thanks everyone for coming and making it such a great event!

Artists and academics mingle

#brumsanta was a most fine @dubber production – and also so good to see so many people I *haven’t* seen at twitter things before!


Lovely time at #brumsanta tonight – lovely cd from @dubber & his cheese scones rock

Pressie opening time

Big thank you to @dubber for organising and hosting such a superace event #brumsanta

@garaziphoto and cake

lovely time at #brumsanta thanks @dubber.

@solobasssteve and theatre tickets

excellent times at #brumsanta. Nuff respec’ to @dubber for organising such fabulousness. :)

@craigfots and collage

@dubber Nice one for Ifyoubuildittheywillcome-ing #brumsanta – a success!

@podnosh, @catharker & @louiseholgate with gifts

@dubber Thank you for organising it. Same time next year? #brumsanta

@plongy & @fran_101_

@karenstrunks thanks for a bundle of lovely Pressies #brumsanta ta to @dubber for all!

@bonfireradicals & @katchooo

Catching up on #brumsanta tweets, looks like a grand time was had by all. What a fab idea of @dubber’s!

@sionsimon shares his cupcakes

chatted @podnosh, @katet_health, @dubber and think I can see @paul4july yes – im getting down with the tweetocrats at #brumsanta

@paul4july & @katchooo

Right @dubber is a lovely community genius – thank you #brumsanta and @louiseholgate and @catharker

@podnosh, @fran_101_ & @paul4july

Home from #brumsanta! Lovely to see friends and make some new ones too. Big Cheers to @dubber for making it happen! :) x

@stevetea winds up the gramophone

@dubber Many thanks for having me & a great 1st #brumsanta