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Monday, December 26, 2011

Giving

This year for Christmas we were smart and got gifts over time and didn't wait to get all of our gifts at the same time at the last minute. It can get SUPER expensive if you wait and do it all at once! I guess it still costs the same, but it doesn't hurt the bank account as much if you buy over time. Glad we got smart this year because gift giving has been so much fun for us and we were able to actually give meaningful gifts.

In Lane's family we have all decided that we'll buy for the kids, but we draw names for the adults. We have a gift limit of $10 and there's a theme each year. Last year our theme was lottery tickets. You could buy any lottery ticket you wanted, but you couldn't spend more than $10. Most people gave the scratch off lottery tickets, so we all sat in the living room scratching our lottery tickets and trying to figure out the rules to each ticket! I'm pretty sure Lane's dad actually won something worth talking about while the rest of us might have won a dollar or two or another ticket. All in all it was a lot of fun!

This year, our theme was aisle 12. It didn't matter what store you got your gift, just as long as the aisles were numbered and you got your gift on aisle 12. Lane had Tommie and he got her some word searches and a bag of coal. If you know Tommie, you know the bag of coal is TOTALLY perfect for her, and if you don't know Tommie, just know that it was an awesome gift for her! We love her, but if you ask her how she's doing she always answers with a laugh and says "just as mean and ornery as cat shit." She's always smiling and she's fun to be around, but the coal was just perfect for her. I drew Angela, Lane's sister, and we found the perfect ornament for her. It was the snoopy ornament that counts down to Christmas when you set it. I also made sure to give her batteries so there's no excuse not to use it. My only hope is that it is as annoying as I want it to be! I want our niece to get excited at the countdown and announce as often as possible how much time is left for Christmas!

In Lane's family it is a tradition to read "T'was The Night Before Christmas" on Christmas Eve. In recent years it has not been uncommon for people to be huddled around the phone in each of our different locations as someone reads the story for everyone. This year, hopefully, everyone was able to read their own book at their own time because Lane and I sent a copy of the book to his brother and sisters families. This wasn't just any old "T'was The Night Before Christmas" book though, it was a recordable book, so they got a copy of us reading the story to them. It was a hoot to record, and when we were done we kind of wished we had recorded all of the outtakes of us trying to read the book and messing up or laughing as we tried to read through the book. We did get smart and recorded both books at once before we got too far into the first book so we didn't have to do the whole thing twice. I think this might actually be my favorite gift we gave this year. I think it's my favorite gift because it worked out with Eden's pictures so well. There was a picture of her reading this book, so I was able to add it to the wrapping of the gifts for the families to have and keep.
Unfortunately this year we weren't able to overlap with my sister and her family when we were in Georgia for Thanksgiving. They'll actually be visiting my parent's house this week and since we were there just recently, we aren't able to be there again. I guess that's what happens when you have such a large distance between you and she has a family of 5 kids who are very involved in their extracurricular activities. The gift we were able to give her kids was a gift card so they could go to the movies together as a family. We tried to give a gift that is going to allow them to enjoy time together since they don't get much of that all the time anymore. They're all going different directions at different times, so this will hopefully be a treasured gift for them.

We already did Christmas with Parker and Sara at Thanksgiving, and then there's my parents. We gave them a copy of the DVD "A Simple Twist of Fate" with Steve Martin. My dad has been looking for this movie because it's the movie that my mom, Parker, and I were extras in when I was in elementary school. There's a great shot of my mom, and if you know to look for Parker and I, we're there too, so it's great to be able to have the movie in the family. We also gave my parents a canvas of one of my dad's favorite pictures of the 2 of them from France. It was a trip that my dad longs to go on again, and they enjoyed time together just roaming the streets of French cities! Ah, what fun that would be.

Like I said, I've loved giving gifts this year. It has been so much fun and I feel like we didn't just give gifts to give them. They had meaning and there was thought put into them. We made connections with the gifts we gave and they're perfect for the recipients! Those are the best gifts to give. I hope your gift giving was as fun as ours was this year!

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