Wednesday, December 19, 2018

2018 Christmas Gifts

This is much less a gift guide ('cause I kind of have a love/hate with them and certainly dislike putting them together myself haha) and more a recap of sorts. I love giving gifts and thinking of gift ideas for our family and friends, so I wanted to document what I/we gave everyone this year. And who knows, maybe it'll spark some inspiration for someone (although some of these are relatively specific to the dorks in my life ;) ).

My mom is one of my favorite people to shop for. I love getting her things she wouldn't normally get herself or things that show how well I know her. She's incredibly adept at remembering the little things people mention to her, so I love being able to do that for her by getting her things she thinks no one remembers her mentioning.

This year, she's getting Michelle Obama's book, because obviously, pom pom slippers to replace the ones our family dog pulled the pom poms off of, an infuser mug for her tea because she CRIED when the one she got from Sammy one Christmas and used every day broke a few weeks ago, a stunning Anthro bowl (that I also got for myself because it was on sale for $6!) that reminds me of our trip to Paris, and the "Frozen Lake" candle from Bath and Body Works because she became obsessed when she smelled mine.

My dad rarely buys himself things, other than, like, candy, so I always get pumped to buy him stuff. He always gives us kids a list, unlike my mother, so this year, after splitting the cost of the air purifier he wants, we each got him a few things ourselves. I got him the pillow from that informercial because he asked for it, and a cast iron pan because he wants to try his hand at baking pizza in it. He is such a DAD sometimes.

My sister had a very detailed list #classic but I'm glad because I'd rather spend my money on stuff she's actually going to use and enjoy. She had several products listed from Glossier, so I went to the site, felt like someone's grandma after looking for a few seconds, picked a few items, and goodbye.


My brother's birthday is on the 23rd so he's notoriously hard to shop for around this time since you have to have enough gift ideas for him within the same shopping window. And he never gives a list, so thanks a lot. But, forever a favorite to shop for as well, I don't usually have a hard time. For his birthday he's getting a gourmet sauce/honey kit because he is the king of condiments in our family (and is probably about to get twenty more sauces from our family members between his birthday and Christmas) and I always get him a few pieces from J. Crew for Christmas because he's another one who rarely buys for himself, especially clothes. I like to think he likes when his older sister buys him clothes because he values my taste, which I'm sure his future girlfriend will LOVE and won't think is creepy at all. Merry Christmas.

My grandma has become slightly harder to shop for in recent years because Christmas is a little somber for her although I know she tries to not let it be. My grandpa passed away on Christmas Eve in 2013, so this time of year is extra hard on her. In the past I've gotten her sentimental gifts that usually have to do with him or books written by people who have lost their spouses, but I try not to give anything that's over the top in that regard. This year, I did get her another book, mostly because she does love to read. I got her The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion because that woman is magical and it is about her losing her husband and daughter in the same year. Can you imagine? And then I got a Groupon for a photo blanket and decided to have a small one made for her with a picture of her, my papa, and all her grandchildren. Sammy's cousin had a similar blanket made for their grandpa before he passed away and it was his favorite gift, so I think my grandma is going to really love it.

My godfather (also my maternal uncle) is obsessed with his air fryer, so I got him accessories that I hope he doesn't already have! And my godmother (my paternal aunt) is getting these really pretty light pink champagne flutes from Anthro that remind me of how she used to decorate for Christmas before they downsized. She was also really into flamingos and vintage barbies, and the color of these reminds me of that vintage-pink-1950s-Christmas vibe.

My larger group of friends and I don't exchange gifts anymore, which is fine by me because the season is already expensive enough—I'm just happy to spend time together. But Chelsie and I have always exchanged gifts and I also exchange with Morgan.

When Chelsie and I were in the SJP pop-up shop in New York, we both promised each other we would get the other a SJP candle, so we gifted each other that. And then I got her a pair of Barefoot Dreams socks and she got me a lovely, lovely "Christmas in Your First Home" ornament that I love.

I got Morgan a blanket that says "this is my Hallmark Christmas movie watching blanket" 'cause her and I are obsessed, a Harry Potter bath bomb like the one she got me last year, and a spoon that says "Accio Cocoa" because she loves HP and cocoa!

Sammy and I split the purchasing responsibility at Christmas, so he buys for his family and I buy for mine. His mom asked for espresso cups from Crate & Barrel, so we got her those. And Sammy had a bracelet made for her with her dad's signature engraved on it. His dad asked for wireless headphones, so Sammy picked up a pair of Beats for him.

Sammy got his brother the original Nintendo which is what his brother got for him as well haha. I can't wait for them to open together, they're both jealous of the other right now haha! And for our SIL, I picked out a pair of super soft pajamas, the "Leaves" candle from Bath and Body Works 'cause it's her favorite, a bottle of her favorite wine and some chocolates.

Our niece is getting new toddler towels (a suggestion from her mom!), bath toys, bath crayons, a few outfits, and several animal books I snagged from work.

One of Sammy's grandma's is getting a candle and Italian fruit cake (she's not one for large gifts, so we're keeping it simple!) and the other is getting a manicure/pedicure gift certificate.

Sammy's aunt and uncle on his mom's side are getting a large photo blanket and we think it turned out well! And his cousins (his aunt and uncle have two sets of twin girls!) are getting "self care" packages I'm making with face masks, bath bombs, and fuzzy socks. They're also getting bridesmaid proposals the same night they get their Christmas gifts, so that should be fun too!

His aunt on his dad's side is getting a book because she's a big reader like me and some Intelligentsia coffee because I've mentioned she should try it. I hope she likes it!

We also do a gift exchange with cousins on his dad's side of the family, so I got another pair of Barefoot Dreams socks for that, a candle, and a face mask.

And since it's his cousin's son's first Christmas, we got him a sweet little one-piece lounge outfit and a Christmas book from my work.

Sammy and I haven't exchanged gifts in the last five years because we usually do our Christmas trip, but we couldn't go this year because of Sammy's work schedule. But I wasn't totally bummed since I knew it was going to be our first Christmas in our home and was really looking forward to opening gifts in the morning and all that. Of course our plans have changed again haha because Sammy decided to switch shifts on Christmas day and won't be home in the morning, so we're doing our Christmas morning on the 26th :) REGARDLESS, we decided to exchange this year and it's been really fun to shop for him. His birthday is in February so I kind of screwed myself because I have no more ideas left haha so I'll have to get thinking next month, but typically, that's the only other time I buy him gifts. We don't really exchange gifts on Valentine's Day or for our anniversary, and his love language definitely isn't receiving gifts, so I don't have many opportunities to buy stuff for him! He's another one who rarely buys for himself, and it's always fun to buy for those people.

He gave his mom a thorough list of ideas, so she passed it along to me after she had purchased a few things from it. We agreed on five gifts each, so I got him a few 3/4 zip sweaters, a flannel shirt, and new slippers from J. Crew (that's one gift since it all fits in one box haha), a docking station for his PS4, the Echo dot/hue light thing I have no idea what it is, a Michael Jordan mug cause he wanted a new mug, and an ornament that combines our engagement with our love of the solar system. I'm so excited to open gifts with him!

I put the date we got engaged and the location and then added a quote "I'll give you the moon" (from It's a Wonderful Life) instead of our names or "our first christmas"

My sister had mentioned that she got something for Henry so I internally groaned and started looking up things for her and my mom's dog haha. WHICH I should have been doing anyway, but since I'm a jerk, I didn't. But they have gifts now! I got my sister's dog, Clara, a toy that disperses treats as it rolls and since she's got a bunch of energy, I thought that was a good idea. And since my mom's dog/our family dog doesn't have a ton of energy and LOVES blankets haha he's getting a brand new one he doesn't have to share with anyone.

And for our best guy, several new toys and bones 'cause that's exactly what he needs *eye roll*. I wanted to get him toys that were crazy durable and would keep his attention, so we got a few of those, and then I got him a candy cane shaped bone for his stocking. He also has a new bow tie for Christmas day as well ;)

Since my parents divorce, I've taken on the role of filling their stockings. That first year they were divorced, it killed my little eighth grade heart to think they'd wake up on Christmas morning and not have anything in their stocking—ha! So I've done it ever since. Since I haven't heard my siblings talk of any other plan, I figured I'm still in charge even though I don't live at home anymore haha. My dad and I decided no stockings with him this year, which is fine by me 'cause it's one less thing to buy for. But I'm still going to do my mom's. So far I've picked up a sleeve of shortbread cookies haha she truly loves those. And that's it haha but I usually pick up travel size beauty items, Target dollar section finds, and candy for hers and call it a day.

I've been giving Sammy a stocking ever since we started our Christmas trip tradition, but they've always been tiny ones, so I'm excited to fill a regular size one for him. This year I'm throwing in a bottle of wine from 19 Crimes (which I think tells the story of a real crime featured on the bottle when you use their app), a bbq sauce, mini bottles of liquor, a wifi outlet thing, Christmas tree Snickers, and fruit snacks (because he's five and LOVES them).

I picked a three year old girl this year who sounded so darling based on what she asked Santa for! I usually pick more than one kid, but I just couldn't swing it this year. One day I'll be able to take a bunch! But my angel asked for a doll and stroller, play doh, and clothes. So that's what she got! I got her a doll and stroller, some play doh and a play doh set, and a nightgown that came with a matching one for her doll. I hope she likes them—I loved thinking of her as I shopped.

I'm still on the fence about my coworker gifts, but I think I'm leaning toward bottled sodas and lottery tickets (because I kind of loved getting a lottery ticket from a coworker last year haha). I put out a basket of water bottles and fruit bars for the delivery workers that drop off a million packages to our door (which isn't a gift by any means but I wanted to include it here haha). 

For our mail carrier, we did hand warmers and a candy bar. And for our neighbor we're closest with, we picked up a really pretty parsley plant (she's Italian) and wrote her a nice note.

Phew! I think that's all for us this year. I love giving gifts and I feel like I get to do it twice this year because we're asking a lot of bridal party members around this time as well. I'm so excited eeee!

Happy Wednesday, all. xo