Hello friends!!! How have you all been? I hope the holidays have treated you well. Based on those of you who I am connected to virtually (and know in real life) they have been quite wonderful. (Except for my one friend who had the flu, along with her family. I hope y’all are recovering nicely!)
I am incredibly blessed to have shared multiple holiday gatherings with many of our friends and family. If you are like me, you are curious about what someone may have received. I always wonder, especially when people make their holiday gift guides public or their wish lists public…how much of that stuff do they actually get? And what are some of the other things they get that might have been a surprise? Well, I will share with you those things here.
Soiree #1 was spent with my side of the family. We were so excited that my grandmother and aunt were able to celebrate with us, along with my siblings, parents, and my new brother-in-law, and nephew and niece. Whoa! Here is our tiny tree decorated with all of the lovely holiday cards from friends all over (and a few of the leftover ornaments we used in our holiday photo shoots for our photography business). It’s a 4.5 foot pre-lit artificial tree (because I’m allergic to the real stuff) bought 2 years ago for like $15 at the after Christmas sale. Look at all of those fun packages!
We read the story of the birth of Jesus out of the Bible and then the kiddos hand out the presents. If you find the pickle in the tree, then you get to open the first gift. Technically, our Sugarbug found the pickle, but it is because she helped me hang it. ha ha ha…so we let my niece go first. Then the rest of us just tore into everything. This was all of my stack before I opened my gifts.
For those of you who don’t frequent Hallmark, that gift box is from there. It’s so fun and a festive way to wrap a gift. My sister gives me one each year and each year, I open it the “wrong” way just so I can use it again later on. On this day, I received:
- The Help dvd
- A wall plaque about the different seasons, with emphasis on football (thanks Brother)
- A check towards the purchase of the new television we bought (yaaay…we are no longer living in the last century! After 6 years of research, we finally agreed on one)
- A monogrammed shirt (yeah, I totally love monogrammed things and that’s a now-not-so-secret secret. I really want a pair of eggplant satin pajamas with a white monogram on them. such a dork)
- Nail polish
- A necklace that is also a scarf
- A nifty cloth tape measure that actually looks like a yard stick when rolled out…initially I confused it as a belt
- Gladiator dvd on Blu Ray (I’m totally geeking out over that one)
From friends before this celebration and after, I received:
- lots of hugs and time spent together (most important and the best ever!!)…whoooo, December 21 was epic see pic below
- baked goods
- lip gloss
- assortment of travel Bailey’s (what do you drink Bailey’s with? I’ve only ever had it in a Buttery Nipple or a Car Bomb. Straight up, maybe?)
- money towards a Rent the Runway rental
- gift card to Amazing Jake’s to go with the family (yaaay…an experience for all of us)
- nail polish
- votive holders (which have inspired me to really redo our bathroom)
Then, it was time for us to head North to visit my Beloved’s side of the family. His family has many celebrations, and so we geared up for our celebration marathon!
First up, we went out to the farm where he grew up and shared a lovely meal. While there, the girls opened a few gifts, we shared quite a bit of laughs and stories, and Mari had her first ever EME (earth to moon to earth) communication, also known as a moon bounce. It was so awesome. Her grandpa is really into radio communication and all sorts of electronic gadgetry!
Then, the next day we headed out to her Gigi Skip’s home. I didn’t get an image of the tree or gifts there, but I did get a picture of them with their Gigi (great-grandmother…the gg comes from that).
This celebration was my first foray into drawing names. So I’m new to all of this and was completely unaware of how it worked. I did like it, though! It was nice to get a large gift for one person instead of stressing out, worrying about gifts for everyone. Next year, I know about the $5 gift we can give to everyone else, too! I like that idea a whole lot. While here, I received:
- Cash (which will either go towards new shoes or a blow-out)
- a gift card to Athleta (huzzah…hello new running tights!)
- A lovely picture frame
- another frame with a photo of the women from that side of the family (so nice!)
- a mobile for hanging photos (so excited to hang this in my craft space!)
- a Hallmark text band
- a mix for fancy dip
I forgot to mention that we took our annual trip to the mall for the girls to visit Santa. The Sugarbaby was not at all a fan of Santa. The Sugarbean proudly walked up to him, sat on his lap and listed out her requests and those of her sister’s. Then waved for her sister to join so they could snap a pic together. This is the best of what we got.
The next celebration, we went to Don’s recently departed grandmother, the girl’s other Gigi. There, we were able to spend lots more time with even more extended family. There I received the gift of time from family. We also received an amazing meal!! Even though it had been less than a month since we’d last seen everyone and the mood was still a bit somber, it was still very nice to see everyone’s smiling faces and witnessing the great grand children…cousins…playing with one another. Reminded me of when we were growing up and we got to see our cousins. It made me gleefully excited at the thought of the girls’ Quinceanera celebrations in 10+ years. (Yes, I know I’m already thinking ahead. whatever, I like to plan.)
Finally, it was Christmas morning and we celebrated our last Christmas with my mother-in-law. Here is what our tree looked like (the pink gifts up front are from Santa, along with the baby stroller):
Here is a pic of my opened loot:
Going clockwise from the bottom left:
- Aprons that I have inherited from my recently deceased Grandmother-in-law. The top one actually belonging to her mother. I was MORE THAN honored to have received these as a gift! So humbling, especially after I was told that she didn’t hardly have aprons since she didn’t wear them much and they are now mine. Wow!
- Solmate socks (from my Beloved a surprise gift b/c we weren’t supposed to exchange anything! stinker!)
- Starbucks gift card
- Fleur de Sol coffee from PT coffee roasters and jam
- The Help dvd on Blu-Ray (the trouble with adding it to a global list that you share with everyone, is that you run the risk of getting multiples of the same thing)
- Handmade candles, soaps (enough for 2 years!), and baskets from my sister-in-law (I LOOOVE that soap!)
- A sock loom to make my own socks!
- Cookie stampers
- TTU pasta…I can’t tell you how utterly happy I am about this. My birthday party this next year will be Texas Tech themed and I can’t wait to enjoy these.
- Sticky notes set (yes! I go through one of these a year)
- Rolling stamps
- Hour-long massage for two! (another of the surprise gifts from my Beloved. so excited about our couples massage date)
- Cozy toe socks
- And a baking cookbook to enjoy with my girls
There you have it. We still have our stockings to look through, but we don’t “open” them until Epiphany or 3 Kings Day. Whew, no wonder I’m tired! Goodness gracious, such good times!
Now it is your turn…feel free to brag away and let me know some of the surprises you received. (notice I didn’t at all mention any of the things I bought myself, ha ha ha)