Tag Archives: gifts

What did you get for Christmas?


No, Christmas isn’t about the presents, but they’re a fun part. There’s a great feeling to be found in presenting a loved one with something that makes them smile. I still remember the way BratzBasher’s face lit up when she unwrapped a brand new, pink and white winter coat years ago (back when she still thought pink was cool). She hugged that coat tight and wore it most of the day — even indoors. I remember another Christmas even further back when Mom unwrapped that brand new mixer from Dad. She actually cried. Her old mixer had long ago broken down, and she’d missed it more than we’d realized. (Note to husbands everywhere: normally you should never buy your wife something that plugs in or reinforces a traditional female gender role, but there are exceptions to that rule.)

So do you have a special gift or memory of a gift, given or received? Please share it in the comment section.


More Christmas Crafts

It’s another crafty Christmas for me this year.  Here’s a felt pig ornament I put together for an advent calendar exchange that our library craft group will actually be doing next year:


I’m particularly pleased with the pipe cleaner tail.  I know, I know — what do pigs have to do with Christmas?  Well, I was challenged by the group’s leader to do a pig, so there.  I think it’s cute.

I teach the 11-to 12-year-old girls’ Sunday School class, and I have five wonderful girls in it.  I’ve made them all faith-hope-charity necklaces for Christmas.  Rather than do the traditional cross-anchor-heart design, I chose symbols based on Mormon’s words in Moroni 7 (in The Book of Mormon):

  • an angel for faith: “Wherefore, by the ministering of angels…men began to exercise faith in Christ….” (It’s interesting that I chose the green bead angels because I’ve read that emeralds can symbolize faith as well.)
  • a bird for hope: “…ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection….” (The bird represents spring, the season in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ.)
  • a heart (of course) for charity: “…charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever….”

Here’s the finished necklace:


I’m including the relevant verses from Moroni 7 with each necklace.  There’s also a little tag by the clasp that says, “made with love”.  I think they turned out really well, but using head pins to turn the angel beads into charms was an exercise in patience.  I wasn’t thrilled with the outcome.  Then when I went to redo them later, I couldn’t find my package of head pins, so I used sewing pins.  That actually worked even better.  They were exactly the right size.  Go figure.

And finally, here’s a bookmark (about 4 inches long) that I made with a miniature, blue angel bead charm:


I’ve read that sapphires are a symbol of heaven and one’s devotion to God.  Interesting, huh?


The “Benevolent” Yule Goat

(an informative post brought to you by BratzBasher)

The making of the communal Yule Goat is a popular Danish tradition.  A ginormous goat is constructed out of straw and rope in the middle of the town square.  Then all of the children offer up carrots and vegetables (and all those things that they normally don’t eat) to the goat, in hopes of a good year to come.  In addition to the giant, straw goat, families make little goats to put on their Christmas trees.  On Christmas Eve, they set out their wooden shoes, filled with straw for the goat to eat.  Then, on Christmas day, their wooden shoes are filled with candy and sweets.  A parent, or other relative, will dress up as a goat and go around terrifying the small children.  The children are supposed to give the goat candy to appease its rage and to make it go away.  Kind of the opposite of Santa.

I made an adorable, little Christmas goat out of red yarn and whatever this stuff is that my mom gave me to use.  It looks like straw, but it isn’t.  [note from Foo4luv: It’s raffia.]  The horns are posable, and it has this curious expression on its face — as if it’s going, “Ooh!  What’s that?  Is that for me?”

Herr Ziege

We have dubbed him “Herr Ziege”.  That’s German for “Mr. Goat”.

Collector’s Item? Or White Elephant?

BratzBasher and I finished putting together her white elephant gift for school.  Normally, this much effort would be lost on a junior high white elephant exchange, but this is for BB’s GATE class.

I suggested we look in an old box of Archie McPhee stuff we got a couple of years ago.  Score!  We found Amish action figures!  Look what you can do with a few toys, an old Zune box, some twist ties, and a little imagination:

Limited Edition!

Can you find the new guy? He hasn't exactly learned to fit in yet.

Yes, those are orange pants.

What the heck is Jebediah holding? He appears to be battling a Triffid tentacle.

Of course, we picked the most deformed versions of each figure.  We still can’t figure out what Jebediah’s tool is.  It’s supposed to be straight, but there’s just some blob on the end of it — sort of grayish-green.  BB says it’s a palm frond.  Or maybe a torch.  I’m leaning toward one of those long-handled axes.  What do you think?

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig

BratzBasher and I made it back from Seattle in one piece. I’d show you pictures, but I forgot my camera. Maybe Madhousewife or Bythelbs will have some. Of course, I didn’t take pictures of the Foo4 family Christmas, either, and nobody else has pics of that. Whoops. What can I say? We were too busy enjoying ourselves.

The trip home was a little too eventful for my taste. Our plane at SEA had a cracked window (don’t ask me how that occurred), so the flight was delayed until they could switch us to a different plane. Then when we got to MSP, we had a bogus flight number from our bogus not-boarding passes that AlaskaAir.com gave us. That’s a whole ‘nother story in and of itself. Anyway, I finally found a travelers assistance desk and the wonderful lady there got me all sorted out. To make a long story short, we made our flight and got home. Without our one checked bag. Luckily, that was the bag with all of our dirty laundry in it. STL delivered it to our door this afternoon. Anyway, by the time BratzBasher and I got off the plane at STL, we were starving (no time for lunch, and only a couple pretzel packets on the planes), and I really had to go to the bathroom. Luckily, BratzBasher got a bathroom break while I was sorting out our second flight, so she wasn’t suffering like I was. Yeah, I know I could’ve used the one on the plane, but I decided I’d rather hold it for the hour and a half — if you know what I mean.  Merkin took us to IHOP before we headed home, and BB and I gorged on giant breakfasts.

BratzBasher is enjoying our new Wii.  She had to wait until we got home from Seattle to play on ours and create her Mii character. Last night she stayed up until 2:30 (AM!) playing various Wii Fit and sports games. Now she wonders why she’s sore. She did get to play on Bythelbs’ Wii. Btl’s kids got Dance Dance Revolution for Christmas, and BB had a lot of fun dancing with cousins. I want a copy of the video of Btl freestyling on the difficult level. Mad’s husband, Sugar Daddy, chose that level before anyone could stop him. He’s like that. Mad kept trying, but Btl got frustrated and just had fun. It was HI-larious. Totally awesome. So sorry I can’t post it here.

Our entire family was there in Seattle: all five kids and their families, plus Dad and Stepmom. Oh, and Little Brother’s girlfriend. We have no idea when he’ll get around to proposing to her, but we’re hopeful.

I think my favorite present may turn out to be the Wii Fit. I made my character today and started my fitness whatevertheycallit. I have a hard time with the soccer game because I can’t stop laughing about the fact that they’re throwing cleats and panda heads at me. Who are the crazy people that came up with that idea? Anyway, I’m enjoying the “exercise”. If I can stop eating Chex Mix, I might be able to lose those five pounds before my next appointment with my psychiatrist. I did tell y’all that he wants me down by five pounds, right? Not that anyone but the scale will be able to tell the difference.

I was going to take a picture of the second apron I made and the necklaces I did for my sisters, but I forgot, and now I no longer have them. Maybe the recipients can send me pictures. Or I suppose I could make more. Sell them on Etsy. Nah. I don’t have enough ambition for that. Speaking of those necklaces, I made them by supergluing together gears and keyholes from the Tim Holtz line (purchased at Michael’s). They turned out really cool. I need to make one for myself. Here’s a pic of what I used:

You can’t really tell in this picture, but the pieces come in goldtone, pewter, and copper. You can buy matching jewelry findings, chains, whatnot at just about any craft store. Next time, though, I’m definitely using rubber gloves. I did find a great way to remove superglue from my hands without acetone (which is the recommended way, but our nail polish remover is the non-acetone kind — aargh!). I scrubbed with a pumice stone and just removed the layer of skin the glue was attached to (which is not the recommended way, but my hands felt too weird not to do something).

While in Seattle, BratzBasher also got a makeover from Eldest Sister. This included a new haircut, and a shopping trip to discuss good wardrobe choices. I think BB felt more than a little overwhelmed.  She did love the haircut, though, until she realized that the pile on the floor that looked rather like a small lapdog actually came from her head. ES had to thin BB’s hair because it’s so thick that it hides her face. BB hates having thinner hair — even though a few minutes with the flat iron makes it look awesome. She has such a pretty face, I was so happy to see it! She is wearing the clothes we bought for her, but still prefers oversized, men’s shirts. She thinks it’s easier to hide in them, I think. We tried to point out that it’s a lot easier to hide when you blend in with everyone else, and that you don’t have to dress exactly like others to blend in.  It’s like camouflage.  I’m still working on it, but I think she’s coming around.  I’ve stressed that it’s still perfectly fine to wear whatever the heck she wants at home. I’m certainly not complaining. I just want to see her face.

I took notes for myself during the wardrobe choice lecture. I learned a few things. Of course, I do have a few men’s shirts, but they’re not oversized.  I just wanted those pretty colors. Why do the men get such pretty colors and the women don’t? Equality of selection! That’s what I want!

I like all of the long-sleeved shirts Merkin got me for Christmas. They’re even the right size! Yes, my husband is awesome.  Thank you.

Okay, it’s midnight now.  If I ever hope to get back to Central Standard Time, I’d better get some sleep.

The absolute best best BEST part of this year’s Christmas: I did not hear “Little Drummer Boy” even once.  So happy.

It’s the thought that counts -QotD

So I recently heard about Obama’s problems with gift-giving.  Apparently, he chose some real clunkers for his visit to England. The British PM got 25 Pixar DVDs that won’t play on British DVD players (They’ve got a different format), and the queen got an iPod.  Well, if she didn’t already have one, the iPod might have been cool.

Obama’s idea was that he wanted the gifts to be for the individual, not the country.  If he’d given them something elaborate/expensive, it would have been considered a gift to the country that the recipient couldn’t personally use/retain.  That’s a good idea, but the choices left something to be desired, I think.

My Question of the Day: If you were President of the United States, and you were visiting the leader of a foreign country, what gift would you bring? Answers can be serious and thoughtful or silly and fun.

Actually, this kind of reminds me of a game Merkin and BratzBasher like to play: What should we get Mommy for Christmas? There are usually marshmallows and/or blue food items involved. Very reminiscent of the anti-wish lists my sisters and I used to write for Christmas — you know, stuff that you definitely didn’t want to get. Liberace posters and underwear always made the list. I was always extra specific about what kind of underwear I didn’t want to get: no underwear with snails on them, or girls playing tennis. This was because that’s exactly what I got one year. My mom thought they were cute, but I was less than impressed. When you’re eight, you don’t really care if you need new underwear.  It’s certainly not something you can show off to your friends.