I know you’re probably ready to stop thinking about Christmas and get on to thinking about New Years and resolutions – if you make them. But, I’m asking you to hold on a moment. Let’s think about Christmas just a moment more.
It’s hard to think of the perfect or even great gifts to give all the time. We all know this, and who couldn’t use a little help in this area? This post lists the gifts I was really excited to give. Maybe my list will give you an idea for next Christmas or perhaps an idea for a birthday gift in the coming year. If you’re like me and you keep your gift-giving radar on all year long and then on extra strong when the holidays near, perhaps this post will ring a jingle bell in your mind for the perfect gift for that special someone.
Top of the list ranks my most favorite-est gift that I gave. This gift was a replication of my Grandma’s handwritten and newspaper clippings recipes in a stenographer notebook. My Grandmother was born in 1898, and she created and used this notebook for many years. I have her original notebook. I knew others in our family would treasure it if I could share my grandma’s notebook in some way. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge Suzassippi‘s influence on me to treasure, to preserve and and to share artifacts from our family’s past. Thanks, Suza.
To create this replication, I took a picture of each page. Then I went to the library resized, enhanced and printed four copies of each page. Later, I trimmed the pages, put them in the correct order and orientation of the original notebook, and then laminated each page. At the end of the notebook pages, I included a couple typed pages of recipes. These recipes were partially hidden due to “layers” Grandma had created. Fortunately, she had only done this on a couple of pages.
Lastly, I went to a UPS store where the laminated pages were spiral bound along the top, just like my grandma’s original notebook. This is the notebook where the delicious “White Velvet” cookie recipe can be found.
The rest of my list is in no particular order. Or in other words, all the entries are tied for second.
Dan and I gave Michael and Allie a family membership to the Dallas Arboretum. We visited the Arboretum when we visited in August. Of course, it was beautiful. The best part about this gift is that at the family member level, when Michael and Allie visit they can bring a total of six people into the Arboretum for free. Also, two cars can park free. So, let’s say Dan and I visit. Michael and Allie would be able to take us into the Arboretum free! I really hope to see “Holiday at the Arboretum” next November. Now, am I a smart Christmas cookie or what?
For Dan’s son, Danny. We really had to put on our thinking caps. Not one to travel through life with a bunch of “stuff”, we racked our brain for an “experience” gift. All that racking worked. We came up with the perfect gift for him.
For some reason, Danny has always been a fan of the New Jersey Devils hockey team even though he grew up in St. Louis and now lives in Las Vegas. Who knows why? We’ve already racked our brains enough, so we just accept things as they are.
Danny’s gift was two tickets to the Devils at the Golden Knights game on April 18th. Now, of course, these days, there are no paper tickets. Just some app on a smart phone. So, to give the gift, I drew a paper with a square for each letter – loosely based on the “Wheel of Fortune” game. So, I guess you could say I am kind of like Vanna White!
Danny had to guess letters until he solved the puzzle and won the prize. Good thing he guessed it! Otherwise, Dan and I would have had to go out to Vegas to watch the Golden Knights triumph over the New Jersey Devils. Just kidding, Danny! We hope the Devils win!
Next on my list are the gifts I gave my husband. You husbands are hard! Am I right, ladies? So again, I thought long and hard. So, here’s my tip for those hard to buy men. Which is every man I know. Try to notice or think about what aggravates them (besides us, of course!) and then consider what could make life just a little better for them (and us, too!).
For some reason, Dan and the locks on the outside storage compartments of our travel trailer do not get along. Dan puts the key in and demands the opening. The locks have their own say, and mostly they say “Not right now, Buddy.” So, Dan’s first gift was replacement locks for the Travel Trailer outside storage areas. These locks are opened with a combination of numbers. No more bent keys. No more words under the breath. Just happy smiles. I’ll let you know if things go according to plan.
Dan’s second gift was a duplicate. Meaning he got two of the same item. On purpose. Here’s why. When Dan and I make breakfast, he makes my eggs and toast, and I make our fruit. I like sourdough bread, and this aggravates him. It aggravates him because sourdough bread does not fit in our toaster.
So, he toasts it the first time. Then he flips it over and holds the toast, so the middle part does not get burned. I know. I know. He’s a good man, right? Then, he always says, “That’s as good as I can get it.” Which is always fine. But, to make his life easier, I bought two long-slice toasters which should eliminate the second toasting and the holding of the toast to prevent middle bread burn.
Can you guess the reason I bought two toasters? Yep! The second one is going into the travel trailer, so that Dan can enjoy the luxury of single toasting the sour dough bread every day, all year long no matter where we are.
By the way, anybody need a regular toaster? We have a couple extras.
Continuing with the theme of buying for hard-to-buy for men, we come to the gift for my brother-in-law, Phil. Like many men, and women, too, Phil likes food. He has one of those smokers, and he really likes BBQ. So, from our local market, we bought two bottles of locally made BBQ sauce. Phil said he really liked his gift. It sounded like he meant it, and it wasn’t just a bunch of bull. All this talk of BBQ makes me want to pig out!
The next gift was a year in the making. And you thought I was exaggerating when I said I had my gift radar up all year long. Last Christmas, I asked my son, Michael, to take a picture of our neighbors house with all their Christmas decorations and lights up. My camera somehow compensates at night which never works out to my liking. However, Michael’s iPhone camera takes beautiful night shots.
So, not quite a year later, I took Michael’s picture of our neighbor’s holiday house, then off to the library I went where I printed the picture in color. Then, I turned the picture of their house into one of my famous framed light-up pictures. Who doesn’t like a custom picture of their home? Now, it’s probably back to cookies for them next year, but hey, at least we’ll always have 2021.
The last gift on the list is for the birds. Literally. My daughter, Talia, lives in Washington D.C. She enjoys an outdoor courtyard which she can see from her apartment. You may remember a Wordless Wednesday featuring a sunflower with a city skyline in the background.
In this courtyard, she has a garden area where she grows a number of vegetables. She also likes to see the birds either from inside her home or while gardening. She’s mentioned there’s a bird feeder there, but mostly the feeder is empty. I think she is too busy to be “in charge” of a bird feeder on a regular basis, but a one time setting out of some bird seed (in shape of a raccoon) during the winter sounds like an idea that fits the bill!
Did you have any gifts you were excited to give someone? Any tips for us to keep in mind for next year? In any case, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you enjoyed spending time with your loved ones. That is truly the best gift of all!