Wednesday, December 23

Christmas, done right

This year, I hand-knitted our stockings and embroidered our names on each one in a scrawling, charmingly imperfect script.

A week before Christmas, I baked six dozen cookies—using only organic, locally grown, gluten-free ingredients—wrapped them in hand-folded bakery boxes, tied them with twine I gathered from the brush last fall, and inscribed the letterpressed cards with an old French aphorism suiting each recipient, then translated the phrases into English on the back. I delivered the cookies to my neighbors, with a (BPA-free) thermos full of gourmet hot chocolate I bought from an independent chocolatier on Etsy.

For Ethan, I whittled a few educational toys from found birchwood. I also hand-stitched a number of books for him that I created using my extensive collection of photographs and my limitless imagination. I had them printed on recycled paper.

Noah's gift was more difficult. I had to really scavenge to find all the recycled electronics parts and do some serious self-study of computer engineering before I could piece together the Steampunk personal computer I'm surprising him with. I modeled it on this one:

For my parents, I found a vintage bedroom suite for $35 on Craigslist that I stripped and restained in their favorite wood tone. I did a little hand-painted detailing, but nothing spectacular.

I wasn't sure what might delight Kyle—you know, really fill him with joy—but I settled on a memory book. I spent 40 hours combing our family archives to document all his accomplishments since birth. I'll admit that tracking down his first-grade substitute teacher (for a quote) was the hardest part. I'm only sorry I didn't have time to polish the 1999 Woodridge Baseball All-Star trophy I salvaged from a water-damaged box (that's his secondary gift, just a little something I threw in last-minute).

I hope you all have as spectacular a holiday season as we're sure to have! I'll catch you on the flip side.


Dan said...


You win.

mrs. fuzz said...

Wow, you are aMAzing!

Merry christmas!!

MrsW said...

And all for under £50 :)

Me and my Visa aren't really trying.

There's always next year.

The Naked Redhead said...

Quite possibly my favorite Christmas post of the whole season. :)

Anna said...

THANK YOU for this post. You made my freaking day.

I don't think I've commented before, but I found you through Anne & May's blog. I thoroughly enjoy reading.

Erin said...

Dan—That's because I'm a winner.

Mrs. Fuzz—Thank you for recognizing my contributions to the world.

MrsW—I can give you some pointers, if you like. After I'm done at the soup kitchen, that is.

TNR—I am honored.

Anna—Welcome! And I'm so glad you enjoyed my awesomeness as much as I enjoyed writing about it.

Maggie May said...

Holy CRAP!!!! I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!

Costume Diva said...

Love it!

MrsMonicaLB said...

can you make wrapping paper cause I need lots!

Melanie said...

You were the best Christmas post this season. FUNNY!

Anonymous said...

Eh. Not bad, but does it really justify not posting for five days?

Hope you all had a great Christmas.

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