The excitement of the holidays is over for another 11 months - so sad! But before *I* move on, I thought I would share some of the details of our holiday preparations, in the event they help you (and me) next time around. I'll start by sharing the gifts we (me and M., since I made him do some of the shopping) got the adults in our lives, which might seem like a very "stuff" centric/materialistic post, but I've never been one to shy away from the reality that our Christmas is very heavy on the "stuff" aspect of things. Family, food, and a smidge of religion, too, but clearly STUFF. Hopefully I'll follow up with additional posts on what we gifted to the kid crowd and the gads of Pinterest-inspired cookies I made. No promises, of course (you should know that by now!).
First up is the under-30 crowd, otherwise known as my brother and his girlfriend. My siblings and I don't normally exchange gifts, but this year I decided to do small gifts "from Finn and Lucy" for each of them anyway (AND my brother also decided to get gifts for my sisters and I, which led to one of my favorite gifts of the season - my very first, but probably not last, infinity scarf that I heart with a passion. I call this Christmas "the year of the infinity scarf," subtitle "and also beermaking"). I didn't get gifts for my brothers-in-law (sorry, guys!), but since this was our first Christmas with my brother's girlfriend, and she was very far from her own family (they live in Columbia, as in the country, and not one of the many US cities), I got her a small gift, too.
For Andrew (my brother): This T-shirt from Skreened that I found hilarious and irresistible
Am I the only one who finds the teeny arms of the T Rex to be absurdly mockable? No, I'm sure I'm not.
He also received a set of mustache bottle clings/reusable labels that you can use to mark beer bottles and whatnot, capitalizing on the recent mustache craze. I cannot for the life of me find a link to an image online, but I bought them from the dollar section at Target.
For Christel (his girlfriend): I picked out an infinity scarf from Kohls with a colorful chevron pattern that is apparently no longer available, though I did manage to track down an inactive link with a photo of it here. A little birdie (my brother) told me that she is a fan of watches, so I also got a cute (*I* think) fashion watch that picks up one of the colors in the scarf (the watch is also no longer available, but I managed to find yet another dud of a link):
Onto the over 30 crowd. I couldn't resist giving my sister Stacey this adorable bracelet from Banana Republic (you should note that pretty much all the gifts I gave the women in our families I either already owned, or secretly wanted for myself. Including this bracelet):
At the time it was available in black, red, or camel, and I got it in red. Seems only the camel color is available now, but still VERY cute.
Kristin was gifted... An Infinity Scarf!! See? The Christmas of the Infinity Scarf. I got hers at Kohls, and the internet is unable to yield me any photos or links to this item. SO while I cannot show you what it looks like, I can tell you that it was a somewhat gauzy/crinkly dark green scarf with threads of gold running through it. Which may not make it sound lovely, but it is (and work appropriate in all but the most formal of environments).
My sister-in-law received the same red bow bracelet I gave Stacey, along with a "Cozy Colorblock Scarf" from the Gap:
This scarf is, of course, no longer available - seems to be a theme here. But whether or not you can actually purchase the same exact scarves I have, the take home message should be clear. Scarf = Great Gift. Infinity, regular, doesn't matter. Buy scarves, people.
Finally, rounding out our siblings, M. picked out a fleece-lined flannel from L.L. Bean for his brother - the perfect layering shirt for ass-cold Wisconsin (spoiler alert: he got one for his dad, too. And I bought him one, since he so clearly pined for it):
This is the one M. bought his brother, and that I unknowingly also bought him. His dad received a red/navy one that is, of course, no longer available. But red is an important color in Wisconsin (go Badgers!), so good thing it was available at the time - my father-in-law's wardrobe is about 96% red, so this way he can coordinate the shirt with other items he already owns :-). Clearly we will need a flannel photo shoot the next time these three get together.
The (Rest of the) Parents
My siblings and I always go in together on group gifts for our parents, because they literally are "the people who already own everything." Seriously - they don't know how to deny themselves anything, so any time we come up with a great gift idea, it usually turns out that they already own it. Since we struggle so much, we've stuck to coming up with just one gift that works from all four of us. So far, no complaints....
My mom hinted (OK, we asked) that she'd like some hand hooked pillows made by a very specific artist to complement the rustic decor of the lakehouse my parents have up in Maine. A lakehouse that heavily features, among other Maine/wilderness themes, moose. These pillows are NOT cheap. $80+ bucks a pop, which I would never spend on throw pillows for myself. But these were not for me, they were for my mom, and they were a Christmas gift, and they are incredibly cute and fun, and really, that's what Christmas gifts should be. Fun things we would never think of getting ourselves. We got her two, one with an image of a moose (of course), and one with an Adirondack chair. These pillows are so wonderful that we had a really hard time just picking two, and would have loved to buy the whole lot. Eh, maybe next year, right?:
My dad received the new Amazon Paperwhite Kindle - the man who has every device imaginable (TWO iPads! TWO!) had managed to kill his Kindle, and had nothing to take with him into the hot tub to read (talk about first world problems, I suppose... but definitely wouldn't want to accidentally drop the iPad in there!).:
You already know about the fleecy flannel shirt my father-in-law was gifted, which just leaves my mother-in-law. I waffled back and forth a lot about what we should get her - clothing? kitchen stuff? A scarf?? In the end, I decided to go with an immersion blender, since I'm so in love with the one M. got me for our anniversary:
To go with it, we got some handled soup bowls from Sur La Table (in red, of course),:
and I scoured Pinterest to copy out a few recipes that we enclosed in a Christmas card (um, not pictured, because I don't remember EXACTLY which recipes I sent. But they all sounded fabulous) that heavily featured use of an immersion blender.
Finally, we sent a gift basket to my maternal grandparents who live down in Florida. Christmas isn't the same without them, but the trip from Florida to Massachusetts is just not practical for them anymore. So we Skyped and called and sighed and felt more than a little sad they weren't with us, and we gave them a Dean and Deluca gift basket to help make their own holiday feasts and entertaining a bit easier. The exact basket is no longer available (it was called "Fresh from the Country"), but it featured things like their babka bread, jams, some cured meat, etc. Nothing they had to bake or mix themselves, and I'm told the bread was very, very tasty! So no link or picture for you, but all the other gift baskets they still have look just as lovely.
So that's the rundown of the adult shopping we did for Christmas (aside from the gifts we got each other). I think we did pretty well (and best of all, the last gift was purchased by mid-December!). Maybe they'll help you next year when you are trying to come up with gifts for everyone on YOUR list.