Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christmas 2014 (an early start)

When I was a child, we drew names for Christmas in our family. We only had to get a gift for that person, but we could get others if we would like. On Christmas Eve, we each got to open the gift from the person who drew our name. As we grew up and left home, drawing names became logistically challenging, so we just set up a system that for any given year, you have the person just younger than the person you had last year. If you had the youngest last year, then you have Dad this year.

Anyway, this year my sister Shaunda, just younger than me, has my name. She sent me a package that arrived December 1 with instructions to open it when it came. I Skyped with her and her family while I opened it. She and her sweet family have given me a gift to open for every day between Dec 1 and Dec 25, with each one labeled on the day it was to be opened.

Here are the daily gifts--I am totally loving this! It gives me something to look forward to each day. Now that it is over, I am going to miss it. It has been such a wonderful December. I really appreciated learning about some of her family's traditions and her sharing them with me. My favorites were the letters.

December 1: A recent picture of her family, and a personalized recording greeting message, along with popcorn and hot chocolate. Broke out the hot chocolate on December 7

December 2: Lifesavers

December 3 and 6:
letters from a niece and nephew

December 4: colored pens and notepads

December 5: Christmas socks

December 7: Marshmallows and cranberries to string during the First Presidency Christmas devotional tonight. Will pull out the hot chocolate and break out the Christmas socks too!

(added later)--the finished product

December 8: Going to make cookies this weekend!

December 9: Emergency stuff always comes in handy. Will go in my car for these cold New England winters.

December 10: letter from my niece who loves sports. The card is a baseball. On the other side she wrote a sweet note and drew  a basketball, a soccer ball, a football and a lacrosse ball and net, along with a baseball diamond.

December 11: Louisiana spice!

December 12: letter from a niece

December 13: 2 containers of hand lotion. The other is my favorite (vanilla lavender) and is already in use

December 14: This came with an email with a link to many Christmas stories

December 15: I thoroughly enjoyed the hot chocolate and doughnut

December 16: letter from a a nephew

December 17: Goodies to ring in the New Year

December 18: Letter from a niece

December 19: cute book for appetizer recipes. I never know what to bring either, so this will be very handy

December 20: letter from my brother-in-law

December 21: A really good Christmas movie

December 22: I love to share my love of sports with this family

December 23: These will come in handy for my thesis!

December 24: Letter from my sister with this picture of us at Christmas many years ago. She was even smiling in this picture. I love this picture too. Shaunda is just 18 months younger than me and we have lots of excellent memories of time spent together

December 25: Cards from my sister and her husband and my nieces and nephews, and some cash.

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