Sunday, December 25, 2016

what we gave for christmas 2016

I know everyone will soon be sharing what they got for Christmas, but I prefer this version much more! Planning out and giving the perfect presents really is the best part of Christmas. And I'm just going to say it, we totally nailed Christmas this year. 
what we gave for christmas
Sometimes picking the right gift can be stressful, but this year Tom and I really focused on parring down our gift list and simplifying things. Everything centered around giving meaningful gifts vs. simply buying things for the sake of the holidays. And when you have people telling you that you're a great gift giver, you know that you picked the right present. 

For my mother, we gave her a framed gold leaf map of Las Vegas. She and my dad visited there just recently so it's all they can talk about now. 
Also gave my mom a set of succulents from our wedding. She's been asking for a set so we re-planted some a few months ago to grow nice and big in time for Christmas. And we also gave her a Yankee Candle that I had customized with my mom's favorite photo of my sister and I. 
For my dad, we gave him a $100 gift certificate to their local playhouse. It's always fun to give an experience as a gift and we know how much he loves seeing plays/shows. Now, he can catch a broadway show on us. 

We put together this bath set for my mother in-law. Obviously, we could buy a set like this, but it was so more fun to hand pick the products we liked best and put everything together ourselves. 
We gave my father in-law this 3D map of Shenandoah National Park. My in-laws live in the area, so it was perfect. And this map really is the coolest thing because it reflects the mountain ranges and elevations. Plus, I think it was really appreciated that we lugged this across the country from Seattle, since we got it at the famous Metskar's Maps store in Pike Place. 

We gift my little sister and Tom's brother. My sister and I are actually headed off to Europe in a few days. Not only will this be her first time leaving the country, but also, her first flight. So we picked up gifts for the trip. Some first time flyer essentials: a memory foam neck pillow and an eye mask are a must to sleep during long flights. Plus, I grabbed a travel blanket and the best adapter ever made from this favorite travel company. 
We also gave her a globe and a nice stack of Euros to spend during the trip. 
We wrapped everything up for my sister and put it in this gingerbread gift box that we made. So fun right?
For my brother in-law, we gave him a chess set that we picked up during our Mexico trip. It's so ornate and well made from sandstone and malachite. The best part is that the pieces are unique. It's the native Maya people of Mexico vs. the Spanish Conquistadors that later invaded the area. I think we all know who eventually won that one. 

Other Relatives 
We put together packages of chocolates for other relatives: grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles, etc. Normally, I'd prefer to bake sweet treats myself, but there was no time this year so this was a good solution. 

Finally, we gave a book of Maps to our nephew. I love it and wanted to keep it for myself as it highlights countries around the world by illustrating what each country is most known for. If you look closely, you can spot Santa Claus on the Finland page. 
That was everything we gave for Christmas this year. We kept things simple, but also so very personal. I loved hand-picking each gift and seeing everyone's reaction. Also, see what we gave last year here

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