The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Be A Sweet Secret Sister

Excerpted from the February, 1986 issue of The Torch
(Paraphrased by Marilyn Ross)

A chapter in Las Vegas came up with some great ideas that will add sparkle to your secret sister programs!
"The secret is to let your imagination go crazy," said member Patty Allsbrook of Xi Alpha Epsilon. "It's contagious, and you'll soon find you never had so much fun being a secret sister!" Here are a few of Xi Alpha Epsilon's ideas:

For instance, one members' code name was "ouchie" - she "signed" her name with a band-aid and the secret sister received emergency kits of all kinds during the year. Another's name was "31 Flavors," and she used ice cream stickers on all of her gifts, which were wrapped in 31 flavor cups.

At a recent program on how to be a good secret sister, members shared ideas for good gifts under $5. Although this chapter tries to send secret sisters something every month, a card often suffices. [Refer to Small Gift Suggestion Ideas attached]

"When it comes to revealing ourselves, we wouldn't dare just sign our name to a card," Patty says. "Our Secret Sisters have to hunt for it! They have to search through paper and stickers; the identity is often hidden on the gift itself. Concealing your identity adds excitement all year long and all the members are eager to see what each member gets."

Add new items to your Secret Sister list. Ideas include:
 1. Do you take your lunch to work or eat out? (You could buy her a cute lunch bag.)
 2. What are your hours at work? (...just in case you want to send something to her there.)
 3. Do you own a VCR? What kind? (Many members would appreciate a gift of blank tapes.)
 4. Do you prefer CD's or cassettes?
 5. Do you like jewelry? Gold or silver?
 6. List things you would like but would never buy for yourself
 7. These members also include a list that details the secret sister's family; and includes a list so members can keep track of gift-giving and what they have received as well.

CODE NAME IDEAS of Nevada Xi Alpha Epsilon, Las Vegas
Code Name Gimmick
Dancing Bear Teddy Bears
Oreo Cookies Cookies
Hot Air Balloons
Miss Piggy Pigs & Pink
Bag Lady Paper bags to hold your gifts
Private Eye Detective & mystery items
Goofy Walt Disney characters
Bumblebee Honey-related items
Other ideas:
Lady Godiva Chocolate
Pocahontas Southwestern, Native American items
Pansy (any flower name would work) Garden supplies
Santa Santa-themed gifts
Hope Diamond, rhinestone, sparkly items
You get the idea!
Have fun with the International theme each year, too!
Example with this year's Weave A Web of Friendship . . .
Itsy Bitsy
Spider Woman
Little Miss Muffet
Have fun!!

Small Gift Suggestions for Secret Sisters
  • Flavored coffee
  • Small candy dishes
  • Candles, scented &/or unscented
  • Measuring scale for food, measuring spoons
  • Small chip & dip dishes
  • Chocolate
  • Coasters
  • Unusual serving dishes
  • Anything for the kitchen .. kitchen towels, dish cloths
  • Flower containers for live plants
  • Note cards
  • Nail polish
  • Earrings, pin
  • Lipstick
  • Lotion
  • Pen
  • Napkins/plates
  • Small bowls, dishes
  • Teacups/saucers
  • Socks
  • Pillows
  • Potpourri
  • Baskets
  • Napkin rings
  • Placemats
  • Cook Books
  • Calendar
  • Recipe book
  • Wine
  • Comb, brush
  • Specialty coffee-cocoa
  • Kitchen gadgets
  • Address labels
  • Knick knacks
  • Books
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Plants
  • Long shopping list pads
  • Post-it notes, pads of paper
  • Rubber stamps, stamp supplies
  • Bath/Shower gels, soaps, sponges, etc
  • Picture frames
  • Items for your SS hobby
  • Greeting cards
  • Purse 'stuff' (mirrors, pens/pencils, key rings)
  • Guest towels (paper or terry, seasonal ones)
  • Fun things you wouldn't buy for yourself for entertaining (seasonal
  • napkins, flavored spoons, etc)
  • Fancy soaps
  • Jewelry bags for travel
  • "Care Package" filled with chocolate, books, puzzle book, deck of cards, etc
  • "Care Package" filled with things for various rooms…have a theme & fill accordingly
  • Write her a poem, send a card with a special, loving thought
  • Daily journal
  • Newspaper clippings & magazine articles that make you think of her
  • Favorite recipes with recipe cards & a new wooden spoon
  • Button box
  • Hat box
  • Check the Beta Sigma Phi Gift catalog
  • Mug
  • Accessories for her personality or for her home
  • Laundry bag filled with 'stuff' (Woolite, spot remover, lint brush, etc)
  • If she enjoys plants, flowers, present her with seeds, garden gloves, spades or a small plant
  • Fun & Silly Bag (jar of bubbles, gum, funny book)
  • Popcorn
  • Movie tickets or gift certificate
  • Seasonal basket filled with napkins, candy, messages, reflections, etc
  • Take her to lunch
  • Lingerie
  • Bag, drawer sachet

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