2013 in Review: Christmas

I for one was spoiled beyond belief this Christmas.  New charms for my Pandora bracelet…boots (sparkly ones!)…books (The Three Investigators! Classics!)…gift cards…a Coach purse…notecards (I’m obsessed with cards.)…Friend’s trivia…a new phone case…a watch…makeup…a scarf…and those are only the things I can remember off the top of my head.  Most importantly, I spent the holiday with people I adore.

Christmas eve included luminarias…posole…homemade tortillas {I added far too much salt and the dough tasted like Play-Doh.  I felt a bit like Anne Shirley – of Green Gables – who subbed anodyne liniment for vanilla in the cake she served to Mrs. Allan.  Fortunately my mom saved the day by realizing that they were too salty before I served them up.  And she whipped up another – far more edible – batch.}…and Kevin and I enjoyed the wonderful company of my great aunt and uncle, my mom and stepdad, my sister, and Kevin’s parents.  It was a lovely, still, perfect Christmas eve night with the stars clear and bright overhead.


Christmas day was also at our house.  Kevin baked up a delicious prime rib, his dad made some yummy mashed potatoes, his mom made a chocolate silk pie, and some of their family friends brought fresh crab dip.  There was corn, green beans, bread, and gravy to smother it all under.  Great food and conversation and lots of laughing – a lovely Christmas day.

As a post-Christmas shopping guide, here are a few things I bought for others…

  • Shutterfly products.  Shutterfly doesn’t hold back on their email blasts…at least once a week I consider unsubscribing due to the volume.  But then I’m like, “Well, I may NEED that 60% off promotion code…I don’t want to lose money here…”  Great deals and I’m always happy with the quality and the promptness of Shutterfly.  We ordered our Christmas cards from Shutterfly this year and Shutterfly has some great photo book options – my parents and Kevin’s parents each got wedding photo books from us this year.
  • Easy Canvas prints. Much like Shutterfly, Easy Canvas keeps you in the emails.  But I’m really pleased with the canvases I have ordered from them.  Kevin was given one for his birthday, and Lisa received one for Christmas.
  • Chevron scarves.  My sister was gifted with a mint/brown one and my Neighbor with a black/white one.
  • Books.  Goodreads lists are awesome because I am surrounded by book lovers.
  • Gift cards.  A few people on my list are difficult to shop for, so I always default to gift cards.  What they lack in personal touch, they make up for in practicality and the security of knowing a lackluster gift won’t be re-gifted or donated. REI, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Forever 21 were a few that I hit up for gift card love.
  • Pencil sketches.  I’ve ordered from Heather via her Etsy shop several times now, and I am always so happy with her work.  She did a lovely sketch of a friend’s pet for me this year.
  • Wood wall hangings.  Deena’s Designs Etsy shop made a “As for me and my house, we will yell ‘Ride ’em Cowboys’!” OSU wall hanging that was perfect for another friend.
  • For a few work friends, I re-purposed my Birchbox boxes with a label stating, “For your mistle-toes,” and nestled some fuzzy socks and nail polish inside the box.  Obviously this is not an original idea – two friends at work gave me similar themed gifts.  God bless Pinterest.
  • Three month Gold membership to Audible.  I’m loving Audible and they have some great gifting options.
  • An argyle patterned dog sweater from Target for the Goldendoodle in my life and some catnippy little toys for my girls.


Top left: My new boots – with red sweat pants.  A good look for me.

Top right: Finally.  Flo could make herself comfy on the soft tree skirt without the hardship of crawling through boxes and bags.

Bottom left: Bailey sporting a grin and his new sweater.

Bottom right: Kevin and I are excited about our gifts from Lisa!


Left: Tuckered out from opening gifts.

Right: Dapper side profile picture of the doodle.

What was your prize gift – giving or receiving – this year? 


13 thoughts on “2013 in Review: Christmas

  1. Why do I always want to see pictures of everything you talk about on your blog? Specifically I am interested in what Pandora charms and Coach purse you got for Christmas! My prized gift was a Vitamix (juices, here I come)! Also I’m loving my Sodastream. Husband and I both got each other the same red one for the holiday. Great minds think alike. We love carbonated water with lime! We love not having to lug it home from the grocery store every week now, too! Oh, and my Chanel No 5 parfume. Mmmm, I smell so expensive! Sounds like you had a great Christmas! Here’s to a Happy New Year to you and yours! Xoxo.

  2. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas!! :) I gave my mom and step-dad a Shutterfly photo calendar and they loved it! My prize gift was my first pair of leather boots from Peter :)

  3. It does look like you did well and gave some wonderful gifts this year! I agree about Shutterfly – I’ve used them for my baby books and have been very pleased. All I wanted this year was bar stools, so I got a bevvy of gift cards. I’m thrilled. As you know, I sacrificed my dining room table because we’re just bursting out of this small house. But not being able to sit and eat as a family has really been making me feel that something is missing from life, so we’ll have bar stools and we can all sit at the counter – turn the TV off, maybe light a candle and enjoy our meals. It will have added benefits of keeping the living room cleaner and helping Little Miss to learn table manners because she’s severely lacking in that area. So am i, come to think of it! :)

  4. I definitely loved giving this year, although I did get some good running gear, and my dad is helping me buy a legit camera. My cats do the same thing with the tree hahaha.

  5. That’s a great gift guide! I received a new standing mixer and got my husband power tools. We were all about the practical gifts this year! (and I love Coach! Can’t go wrong there, either. :) )

  6. Sounds like you and your gift recipients cleaned up! I’m saving some of your ideas for next year – like the custom drawing. Genius! My family stocked me up with Le Creuset kitchen stuff (a Dutch oven finally!!), so I was happy.

    Love that last pic of your dude and your cat. It’s so “Christmas” – abundance to the point of (good) exhaustion! That was the scene at our house too :)

  7. Can I just say that I love that you referenced Anne of Green Gables (and so specifically at that). You have a great memory for story lines, my friend! :)

    All that food sounds wonderful! Now that I know Kevin can make such delicious prime rib, I will be expecting that for dinner when I come visit. ;)

    Bailey looks great in his new sweater! And great gift ideas!

  8. I love your Christmas pictures (and your gift ideas)! I also gifted a Shutterfly photo album this year–I compiled a “My First Year” book for my baby nephew and gifted it to my sister-in-law. My brother-in-law texted me on Christmas morning and said she was crying as she flipped through the pages! I wish I could have been there when she opened it. She is such a busy mom, I knew that she hadn’t had time yet to put together anything like that for him herself.

    Etsy is a good idea for unique gifts! I always forget about Etsy…

    On Thu, Dec 26, 2013 at 12:53 PM, A Desert Girl wrote:

    > Amy @ A Desert Girl posted: “I for one was spoiled beyond belief this > Christmas. New charms for my Pandora bracelet…boots (sparkly > ones!)…books (The Three Investigators! Classics!)…gift cards…a Coach > purse…notecards (I’m obsessed with cards.)…Friend’s trivia…a new > phon”

  9. Pingback: Spring! | A Desert Girl

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