Friday, January 3, 2014

gifts and ornaments

Back in the day, I put effort into wrapping presents.  And I loved doing it.  Then I went through a pretty long phase of just getting by.  And I didn't love it..... but it was necessary.  With a gaggle of young kids and a very busy life, it just wasn't done.  But now I was back at it.  And I love doing it.
It also helped a great deal that we really cut back on Christmas activities this year.  It was so good.  So much less stress.  So much more enjoyment.  And wrapping once again became my happy place and relaxation.  I wish I could turn it into a money making venture.
I've always wanted to do the simple, one wrapping paper for every gift, thing.  Costco helped out here by having a crazy good price for a huge roll of paper.  It was very large and will probably still last two more Christmases.  Because of the one I picked, it looked like a huge candy cane/barber pole/north pole marker.  It made me happy.  And me writing a blog post about how I wrapped gifts is a little ridiculous.  But since I had a ball with it, I'm keeping the memory alive.

I'm not sure the kids were thrilled about all-the-same-paper, but they got into it too.  Somewhat.

Lucy was singing, ad nauseam, "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas", this season, so she received one.  A gold one:

In fall I found this box of very old paper dolls at a garage sale.  I could not leave them there.  Especially not for 25 cents!  So one of them became part of the wrapping for my mom.  She's so purty!

This year's ornaments for the kids were all based on things that they said in the past year and that we now relentlessly quote and mock.  Relentlessly.  It is a love language.  I feel like I have written about this already, so if I have, just feel free and move on....
First up: Maddy.  First of all, Maddy likes make-up, so I bought a eye-shadow-compact ornament.  She also wanted to note that she is American, now living in Canada (she is Canadian too but has difficulty admitting that.  Shameful), so we bought an American flag ornament.  But most importantly, I bought her a lip gloss ornament (okay, so it really looks more like lipstick, but work with me here).  
Back in Ecuador, when I was going through some of our stuff to pack/purge, I left a new lipgloss on my sewing table.  Maddy encountered it and said in her most dumb-California-90210-blond way (and she wasn't saying it intentionally like this....)  "Oh!  Lipgloss!".  It has stuck and become our mantra anytime there is a dumb-blonde type moment.
As a side note, I also bought each of the kids a homemade-thrift store ornament.  As in someone made them and then brought them to the thrift store.... so they are homemade by someone else and also thrifted.  Here are Maddy and Mia's.  Lucy's is a yarn angel and I just can't even remember what Cade's is.  They represent our new life and home - pretty much everything we have right now for the house is from a garage sale, thrift store, hand-me-down from family, or homemade (and, just to be clear, save the sofa.... for which I am still very grateful for....I like it that way).
Lucy's ornaments are an owl - just because she likes owls, and a chicken.  I hoped to find a roasted chicken, but that proved to be a little difficult.  So I just stuck with a chicken.  It represents her "rosted cicken", which was previously blogged about.
And Cade's?  Well, I'm afraid it is also a chicken, but not a very good one.  Why?  Well, you can read about that here.
I still have to make Mia's.  I couldn't find anything that fit the bill.  It needs to be large eyes, that look like they might be burning and sore.
A few months ago she was talking about their trip home from missionary training in Elgin, IL.  I flew home while Eric drove back to CA with the kids.  They stopped at the Great Salt Lake.  Mia wasn't much of a fan and told how the water burned your eyes.  When she said it, she bugged out her eyes in a hilarious way and well, the rest is history.  We now have many occurrences of things that "burn your eyes"!
And finally, some people have an Elf on the Shelf.  We have a Police Guy in the Tree.  Although he was recently ruthlessly destroyed by Lucy at Eric's prompting.  So we only had one year with Police Guy in the Tree.  Sad.  I bought him in order to steal his gun.  I needed his gun to complete a gift for Mia's teacher.  More on that another day.

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