Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gotta Love "Re-Gifting"

Christmas shopping can get expensive….

Kristen’s family                             Matt’s Family
Debbie                                         Vicki
Jill                                               Steve
Jay                                               Hal
Jack                                             Mary
Owen                                           Kristen
Angie                                           Zac
Doug                                            Abe

Realizing that as we added more husbands and kiddos into the group that this was starting to get a little financially ridiculous, my family decided to go the old name-drawing route between siblings/husbands. That shortened the list above to…

Kristen’s family                             Matt’s Family
Debbie                                          Vicki
Jack                                              Steve
Owen                                            Hal
Jacob                                            Mary
Ben                                               Kristen
Aubrey                                          Zac
Drawing name                               Abe

It’s still lots of names, but the change probably saves us each over $100 each year.

There was one problem with this plan though….sisters like giving each other gifts. It’s not that I don’t LOVE buying for my brother-in-laws, but it’s just not the same as giving gifts to 3 of my very best friends.

Thus was born the “Sister Gift”—a $10 maximum gift exchange between Jill, Angie, Lindsey and myself. The $10 limit definitely forces you to get a little creative, and I’m always amazed with what people come up with.

My gift has come fairly predictable…since year one I have made ornaments for each of them (+ mom). There have been little framed family photos, glittery Yankee emblems, sparkling snowflakes, snow ladies made in their likenesses…all sorts of goodies!

After making 4 ornaments the inaugural year of the “Sister Gift,” I quickly realized that I had one giant mistake. I DIDN’T MAKE ONE FOR MYSELF! That would have been ok if they were boring ho-hum ornaments, but in my opinion, they have all been pretty awesome (Yes, I just tooted my own horn a little). Solution? In 100 years or so when my mama goes to hang out for all eternity with my Dad, big sister and Charlotte…I get HER ornaments. Too bad I’ll have to wait 100 more years!

Yes, I’m proud of the ornaments I’ve produced over the years (with some help along the way from my hubs). But the one that I was MOST proud of wouldn’t have been possible without the adorably chubby little fingers of little Miss Charlotte.

The foundation of each of those snow men was built out of the length of her perfect fingers….her perfect, perfect, perfect little fingers. They turned out even better than I could have imagined.…but there were only 4 of them.

One for each sister. One for Grandma Debbie.

I was sad. Sad that we didn’t have those little finger snowmen on our tree. Sad that it has been almost 7 months since I have kissed those fingers. Sad that I had a reason to be so sad.

Christmas day we got together for lunch at my mom’s house and then sat down to open gifts. The last packages opened were our traditional “Sister Gifts.”

My ornament streak continued --This year (surprise, surprise) they each got a little “RedButt” to perch on their trees branches.

Angie got us all scarves.

Lindsey got us initial key chains.

Jill got crafty with the help of her new Pinterest addiction.

As we were finishing up opening Jill’s gift, I realized that I was the only one that had an extra box in mine. Confused, I opened it to find a card with the following...

"We LOVED having this ornament hanging front and center on our Christmas tree this year, but we think that it will be right at home on the beautiful tree that you and Matt and creating."

Along with the card, carefully wrapped in tissue paper was the ornament that I had given them exactly one year before.  It was truly the best re-gifted gift that we could have gotten.  Thank you Jilly...thank you so, so much for sharing your gift with us so that we can have one more reminder of our Charlotte.  

Christmas this year was hard - just as I suspected it would be.  I did my best to smile and to enjoy our time with family, but it generally caught up with me when things settled down for the night.  Christmas eve was especially rough - I just kept imagining what morning would bring if Charlotte was with us.  We talked to lots that night, me and my girl.  And as much as I miss her, I know that Christmas in Heaven is probably pretty unbeatable!

I hope that you all had happy and blessed holidays.  Much love to you all!

1 comment:

  1. What a creative idea and I LOVE that it's been re-gifted to you. :)