Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Gifted (12/20/11)

One of the lovely friends from our homeschool group had the brilliant idea of having a Secret Santa exchange among the moms this year. Many of us would really like to “do a little something" for each of our friends at this time of year, but have budgetary constraints. And many of us would really like to “craft a little something" for each of our friends, but have time constraints. So, this really helped each of us feel we have gifted something unique and memorable to ONE of our dear friends, without busting the budgetary and temporal budgets, and in a way that was appreciated by the bulk of our lovely group.

And, I have to say, everyone guessing who their Secret Santa was, was one of the best parts of this exchange. There are those of who have known one another for several years, and know exactly what one another’s talents are. And, there are those who are relatively new to the group, or that we don't know every well, and really don't know what their talents are. But in the end, through a process of trial-and-error and "knowing" guesses, we each figured out who our Secret Santa was.

So, apologies in advance to those whose lovely gifts were not appropriately photographed. Not everyone was able to attend our exchange today. And, for those whose gifts were represented, I mostly suck as a photographer, but I did my best.

In general, some of my favorite gifts to give and receive are consumables. This one was a "spa" theme, with a lovely hand-knitted item to make it extra special. The knitted items just “happened” to match the recipient’s bathroom d├ęcor.

Those of us who knit have been mysteriously focused on fingerless gloves. So, one of us made some lovely lavender ones, along with the most fabulous felted bag made from a wool sweater. It kind of says a lot when you can look at a knitted item, recognize the pattern, and figure out who knitted it ;)

Our Master Photographer created a custom calendar which was absolutely spectacular. Not just that the photography was spectacular, but each print was taken from a field trip taken with the recipient's family, or of her absolutely beautiful girls. Every single print was absolutely frame-able. I want a calendar like that!

Please excuse the paltriness of this photo, but this gift was a really fabulous collection of hand-made cards, all of them with the thingy-hoochie-dealy-bobs that scrapbookers are fluent in, and which I have absolutely no clue how to use or assemble. The use to which I would put this collection....really...so lovely...I'm so jealous, because I actually write notes to people! ;)

One of the sweetest, really. Lovely little napkins, just perfect for coffee or tea or a small snack. Mom doesn't sew, but her young daughter does, and put these together. Love, love, LOVE these!

This basket was absolutely OVERFLOWING with wonderful goodness, most especially those "cookie/soup/goodie in a jar" dealies that I have never had the patience to assemble myself, but have loved each time I receive one (and then some!). I know what someone will be having for breakfast on Christmas morning!

This little sun-catcher was crafted by someone whose sun-catchers grace both my home and my vehicle. (It was kind of humorous watching the recipient try to guess the crafter while one of the crafter’s sun-catchers quietly hung from my window just behind the recipient’s head ;) The pendant is a lovely two-sided piece with a dragon on one side and a phoenix on the other. The colors are fabulous!

Finally, my own little stash of goodies, complete with “Mama Bear” coffee mug (how sweet is that?!?). The frozen “hot chocolate balls” I have hidden in the furthest frozen reaches of the full-sized freezer (top shelf in the back corner where the kids won’t find it), just waiting for a night of insomnia. Drop one of those puppies in my Mama Bear mug of hot milk, with just a dash (or two) of Baileys, and I’ll be snoring til dawn. The chocolate biscotti’s I’ve already sampled, and WOW! I might just have to hide those away and ration then throughout the dark winter months as midnight snacks. And just in case you’re wondering, I’m NOT sharing! Unless you’re a special friend (and aren’t you all?) and happen to be in my bedroom at 3:00 am when I’m snagging one ;)

One of the best parts of our little gathering (aside from the wonderful company) was the pile of home-made eatables brought and shared by one of our friends. Lots of yummy goodness!

Thank you, ladies, for a very enjoyable day!

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