And so it begins…I’m thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas. When Cathy and I got married and had homes of our own, we both wanted to host family holidays too. I, however, lived in a crummy condo in Azusa, California, hardly the spot for Christmas festivities, so we alternated between Des Moines and Portland for family celebrations. After Glenn and I moved to Bend, we made it into the rotation for a few years but then it was just easier to keep trading between Des Moines and Portland so that’s what we’ve done. This year Christmas is in Portland and I will co-host with Mom and Dad.
We have quite a few traditions that make planning our time together pretty simple–just a matter of plugging in each activity or event really. There are so many favorite meals that even the menu is almost set before we begin. Ironically, it is the gift giving that will bring the most change. Our parents have always been extravagant gift givers and we girls have followed suit as our budgets have allowed which has translated to a gift-exchange-extravaganza that may have gotten out of hand. Gift-giving in Mom’s birth family wasn’t always even-handed so she was freakishly careful with us–same amount of money spent, same number of gifts. If she couldn’t make it work out she would hand you something little on the sly just to keep things even. So when she stopped doing that and even forgot a gift for Cathy at our last Portland Christmas it was a pretty big sign for us that she was ill.
So this year we’re revamping the gift giving. We’re scaling it back. We’ve talked about this countless times but have never quite been willing to give up the extravagance we’re used to. Mom’s health is the impetus we’ve needed I guess. But I don’t want it to be terribly anti-climatic for my nieces. I don’t want them to go from a pile of presents to one a piece. With that in mind, we’ve made a plan. Have you seen that gift giving for kids idea? It’s a rhyme so it’s easy to remember: “Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read.” We’ll each provide two or three options for each category so the gift giver has an idea what we want or need and then we’ll draw names. Each person will have to provide four gifts. So I may end up with 1. something to read for Glenn; 2. something to wear for Dad; 3. something she wants for Mom; and 4. something she needs for Cath’. Or I could end up with two for one person or all something to read, or some other combination of people and gifts. You get the idea. This is the most structured we’ve been with our gift giving but even that will help with our shopping I think.
And because I think if you’re going to do something, anything really, it’s worth taking the time to make cute; and because I am a true believer in fonts, I made us a little page for our wish lists. Next up: the drawing slips and then the gift tags. I’ll post them as I get them made. If you’re interested, I think you can download and print at your leisure. (This is my first downloadable though so let me know if I didn’t do it right!)
Here you go: