Hello! Sometimes simple gifts seem the best. For example, my husband and I do a "house gift" instead of presents for each other, so our stocking exchange takes on an element of fun and excitement. Some of the goodies that loaded up our stockings this year were a homemade brownie mix, jewelry, books, and enough candy to make the folks at Hershey's quite happy.
We also gave ornaments to each other:
My husband gave me two glass ornaments,one of which was this royal blue (one of my favorite colors) with a bell design. The other is identical in shape but is red with an round ornament design embedded in the glass. These match the three he put in my stocking last year. I don't know where he purchased these, as he likes to keep his finds secret - perhaps at one of the several art galleries in our downtown.
But there's no mistaking where the ornament I put in his stocking came from :
During our visit to Atlanta in March, we walked through an attractive neighborhood on our way to the Atlanta Botanic Gardens. I scooped up this large pine cone, which had fallen onto the sidewalk, and brought it back home with me. A little glue, glitter, a tag and a gold cord hanger and voila - a memory of our trip. This pine cone ornament joined several that were already on our Christmas tree, all from places we have visited over the years.
Our stockings also gave us an opportunity to add to our collection of small Nativity scenes:
From Peru; my husband selected it.
I'm not sure where this one was made, but I thought the glasswork was pretty - especially when the sun shines through it, which wasn't happening when I took the photo.
Our daughter got in the spirit of stocking stuffers as well:
She'd gone on a class trip to Gettysburg and other historic points east in May and had brought us back some simple but fun souvenirs of her travels - pencils from various museum gift shops. What we didn't know that was that she'd also bought us ornaments in the shape of small snowman snow globes (my husband's says "Dad", of course)and waited until Christmastime to sneak them into our stockings.
She bought these at a gift shop in Gettysburg, she told us. What snowmen snowglobe ornaments have to do with Gettysburg I'm not sure, but I was touched by her thoughtfulness and tickled by her scheming ahead like that!
It's also been her custom over the last several years to make us each our own calendar as a Christmas present, and here's what my gift was this year:
Each page has a photo that corresponds to the month in which that photo was taken, so I imagine that it took her some time to find an appropriate photo for each month! I always use her calendars to keep track of my workouts - I put up a sticker for each day that I've done some exercise and write what workout I'd done and for what duration. It's always a good feeling to look at the calendar and see the number of stickers on it - yes, most months have stickers almost every day (I do count activities like leaf raking and snowshoveling, not just formal workouts).
So in this sense, this is one of the most important and useful gifts I receive all year! And of course, it's all the better since it was lovingly made by our daughter.
I hope that you received some special gifts from your loved ones as well this holiday season.