Christmas is, by far, my favorite holiday. And not just because there are gifts involved…though opening gifts with my family is a FUN event. When it’s Christmastime, I love the festive spirit in the air, the homes bedecked in sparkling lights and luminaries, the cheerful music, the excuse to watch holiday movies (we saw It’s a Wonderful Life on the big screen a few weeks ago), the tasty treats, and the abundance of family time. It’s all so warm and cozy, and there is nothing else like the holiday season! I’m sad that it’s now officially over and the chill in the air is a lot less charming — now it’s just plain cold. Blerg.
I did my best to get shopping done early this year or ordered things online, so I really never felt stressed about getting things done. And, we all know how pleased I was with myself that my cards got in the mail on time. We also kept the home decorations at a minimum since few people ever see our apartment over the holidays, but all of our Christmas cards taped onto the panes of the French doors separating our living room and my office made things just festive enough without a lot of work. (You can see our mini tree peeking out on the left!)
But…back to the gifts! We spend Christmas eve with my dad, stepmom, her mother and some of their friends for gift exchanging, good food and good company. Christmas morning consists of my mom, stepdad, brother, sister-in-law, Nick, and me, all gathered at my mom and George’s house. With the fire glowing and the Christmas tunes spinning on Christmas morning, we go around and each open one present at a time, so it takes about an hour and a half to get through everything. We don’t even go overboard (like we used to) with the gifts themselves — it just takes a while because everyone gets their turn! Nick did not understand this when he first started spending Christmas with my family — he wondered why we didn’t just tear into those gifts one after another and get it done so we could eat and nap sooner — but I think he’s finally learned to appreciate the way we do things. Each gift, no matter how large or small, gets its own time in the spotlight as the recipient excitedly tears open the package, which is likely meticulously wrapped, if SIL Kim or I had anything to do with it. Nick and I get another shot at exchanging gifts later that evening, when his parents join us for Christmas dinner.
I got some lovely gifts this year — some that were on my wish list, and some that were thoughtful surprises. Here are some of my favorites:
Grey Chuck Taylor All Stars; Neo-Geo belt in Lilac from Anthropologie; aqua Divine Twine; Color Study locket from verabel on Etsy; recipe cards by Rifle Paper Co.; Astro Pants from lululemon; DSW, Fossil, and Stephen’s gift cards (the gifts that keep on giving!); and this flip style case for my Kindle.
The favorite gift that I gave? This army watch from J.Crew that Nick has been blabbing about for months. Any time he mentioned it I’d brush it off, saying it was more than we budgeted for each other this year, maybe next year, but little did he know that I bought it on sale the day before Thanksgiving! I loved his reaction of genuine surprise, and he has already picked up a few more bands to go with it.
What are your favorite gifts that you got lately, for Christmas or any other reason?