The Gift that Made Me Cry and Other Christmas Gifts This Year

Each year on the blog, I open up and share with you the gifts that were given to me at Christmas. When we are preparing and shopping for Christmas, I really don’t think much about what I’m getting, as I’m focused on getting the right things for others. Sure, we give each other (George and I) ideas and as we shop if we see something we needed or seems perfect, we’ll go ahead and get it and have the other wrap it. I often forget about it but on Christmas Eve, it hits me “hey I get some gifts tomorrow” and while I’m excited to remember what I got everyone else (ha), I am always surprised at how gleeful I am – like a child on Christmas Eve- that we get to open presents tomorrow. It hits me at the last minute as there is always so much to making a Christmas special for everyone.

I know some families quit the gift giving and donate to charities and if you do that, that is fine. Some draw names in big families and that is fine too. We have always chosen special gifts for each special person that are in our lives and close to us. And that is ok too.

My daughter gave us this wonderful print above, that she had made. How thoughtful of a gift was that? She knows how precious our fur babies have been in our lives and this print keeps them alive in our memories and I will cherish it forever. It made me cry when I opened it. Roger is “spot on” and with his tongue out, Maisy is too with her crossed legs, and Tugie with her tilted head, always understanding and learning language of everything you said. How precious!

How about this “Less Hustle, More Coffee” Notebook huh? I loved it! My first “merch” ha!

Here is “Little Bit” the cat, that I gave George, lol. It was actually “Merlin” ordered at Halloween. But it made George laugh when he saw him sticking out of his stocking, lol. Also notice the Coppola Wine, and olive oils.

Speaking of Little Bit, I had the joy of coming home yesterday a bit early and folding/stuffing checks at home and I let Little Bit in to hang out. He surprised me by sitting behind me on top of the chair, lol.

My stocking, was actually several stockings that George had found and stuffed a group of them together, lol. Lots of Reese’s!

You have to know that I have complained about scissors for like 2 years. None of them cut. So he bought me several, lol! And those stickers I picked out to decorate my planner with. Because the planner has become my Bible. I have since tried to convert to my phone but always come back to the planner b/c you can see the week laid out so much better.

So I bought George a charcuterie board – a very nice one and had bought him a “board” cookbook and he didn’t know that I had done that but he bought ME a board cookbook too, so that we could make some amazing boards when we have company. That was funny. Of course I already am using my iPhone but he wrapped the box up for me. I’d forgotten I picked a 2nd case. I will use the grey one and take it to Texas as the case is not as slick as the one I have now.

We had talked about more Nest cams the last two years. And he found these on sale and ran out to get them!

I’ve wanted the Rode microphone with fuzzy wind muff for a while. I’m anxious to see what it does for audio. We’ll do a test video soon.

Katy and I are big “Ree Drummond” Fans (Pioneer Woman) – you know she was/is a blogger too and that is how she got her start! She was among our circles of bloggers that everyone followed back in the day, telling tales of her days on the farm, her fur babes, kids, and what good meals she was cooking up that day for the cowboys (husband and kids and farm hands, cousins and crew). So her “easy cookbook” came out.

I also found this cute scarf of many colors and had George wrap it for me.

I have another desk calendar! This time it’s dogs! So we’ll have our daily dose of doggie. I usually post these on Facebook lol! Everyone looked forward to the daily calendar. And those packing cubes. I wanted those for our trips to separate out everything. I’m sure it’ll drive TSA crazy though and they’ll probably inspect my bag, lol – to which they will reward themselves by seeing big granny underwear and fuzzy socks.

I wanted Coppola Wines for Christmas. I love them. Or maybe I just love the fact that Nicolas Cage’s uncle owns the winery, lol. I’m a big Nick Cage fan! 😉 The wines, they have always been good.

Foodie gifts are always big in our family and George often will buy me special spaghetti sauces that we would not normally buy during the year. Little upgrades to the palate. We also got the “Illy” coffee which I’m anxious to try.

The gifts you see came from several people – not just George. But Aunt Martha, Katy and Cody, and so forth. Mom gave me $$.

I love hand soaps, and George will probably make us some crepes! Here is a Nonni mouse pad. 😉

So I gave George 3 timers knowing that we needed some more. Ours are old and broken and sad. But guess what. He also bought me 3 timers. Ha! So now we have 6 new ones.

WE also got some gift cards and cash! I didn’t take pics of those.

I am so grateful and blessed to be given thoughtful and personal gifts that mean so much. A lot of it is food and will be consumed. I guess I didn’t get a pic of all my scarves. Maybe I’ll go back and take a pic b/c I found these scarves in Asheville while shopping that were very pleasantly priced knitted scarves in solid colors. Very good quality and I bought them – oh wait – here’s the pic I just found it in the photos! I never see anything like this out. So I bought them and had George wrap them up. They are so basic but I thought they were also a little more elegant than what I normally see in the stores. I was shocked they were affordable!

Some of the gifts were for both George and I but if I was the one opening it – they ended up in my pile – some were food items like olive oil and aioli etc.

And if George opened any to the both of us, they are in his stack and I don’t usually take pics of his stack. So some could be missing from the pics. Sorry if I missed anything.

This is always a fun part of the year to me – putting up our gifts, and trying to work in all the food items, and rejuvenating our cooking impulses, giving us new ideas and writing upcoming meals on the board. I love putting up Christmas stuff and getting the house all clean and crisp for a nice January new year feel. I sometimes redecorate a little differently – moving things about the house and making it look a bit different. The cleaning out starts. We enjoy playing with and putting up our new presents and working them into our lives.

There is one gift not shown here and that is “Final Cut Pro”. When we get back from Texas and Quarter End processing is OVER (aka February) I will allow myself to download and upgrade! I’m a little nervous but very excited.

Also excited to do the new bucket list for 2022 Winter into Spring Season of “doing things”: things we want to do, places we want to visit, goals we want to achieve, etc.

So much fun and a favorite time of the year as reflect on the past one and begin the new one.

Ok so I better get out of here and head to work! Lots of fog out there today. I have not driven to work in the new location on a really foggy day – I go over a lake – so I’m a little nervous and hope it’s not too bad. I’m specifically going in a little later today. Maybe the sun will be up and less fog. Take care!

A Wonderful Family Christmas that Flew By Way Too Fast

First of all Thank You for those that watched the latest “Less Hustle More Coffee” video (see yesterday’s entry for the link to YouTube). Christmas was probably not the best time to put out another video but I didn’t want to put it off as I have so many to catch up on. I’d like to catch us up to being at least 4 to 6 weeks to current time. The next one will be Roger’s tribute and I am formulating ideas. It will involve some filming so that takes even more time. Plus we will be going to Texas soon.

I have a lot of pics to share. I have shared a lot of them on Facebook so some of you have seen them already if you follow me there and I show in your feeds.

This Christmas happened so fast. This past week we were working by day and seeing family at night and then we had a lot of cooking to do and prepping for Christmas, stockings for all that was there on Christmas Day, and so by Christmas Day afternoon, I was exhausted. Yesterday I was able to do almost nothing but ironing for work, washing our sheets for 3 beds in the house, and washing all the blankets. I watched Sister Wives or videos the rest of the day. And I’ve not slept well the last two nights and honestly am just not feeling good. However, life moves on and we have responsibilities so we thrust ourselves forward. Christmas just about kills me every year. But we love it and we have looked forward to everyone coming and it’s been a dream come true. So now we have to build our strength for Texas, to that little grandson’s birthday and the never ending year end processing that we are graced with when we are already beaten to death by the holidays. lol lol lol Yeee Ha, tis the American Way.

Christmas Eve

This was several families worth that had been dropped off for Christmas Day. And several large gifts at that. I think there were presents for about 21 people if I counted correctly. Not that many were there but there was gifts either to/from extended family and friends as well. Some had been shipped in.

We tried to create a good atmosphere and spirit. I loved having the TV on YouTube playing Christmas music to a scene of a living room or cafe with Christmas tree and crackling fire. Oh yeah, we are beyond just the fireplace scene, lol. One day I will share some of those Ambiance channels with you.

Pics of the mantle.

Dinner was turkey, dressing, baked sweet potato, whiskey carrots, cranberry, 7 layer salad, and rolls. It was good and we were stuffed. None of us could eat dessert, cheese cake.

Christmas Day

Little Roo’s Santa where Santa visited our house too.

Some of the food. I didn’t get it all I don’t think.

Katy’s birthday cake. She was born on Christmas Day! We have learned that no one really can eat many sweets by the time Christmas Day arrives. We are often left with most all of the cake leftover. So George bought Katy a cinnamon donut for her cake, lol. I don’t think much of it was eaten either, lol.

Present opening was wild and crazy and I loved seeing what I got everyone, lol. It was so special having Little Roo around.

Part of the Aftermath:

Earlier in the Week…..

A fabulous time!

Now today it is back to work for me to do time sheets and get the next payroll done. If you didn’t get a chance to see the video, see the previous post. Subscribe if you haven’t already so you will get a notification when it comes out.

So I will probably pop in at some point this week. Katy and Cody pushed through and are safe at home. Aunt Martha and Uncle Ken travel back tomorrow. If I don’t get back here in the next few days, it’s just me taking a break. If so, I’ll be back by New Year’s to do the “Year in Review” but goodness, let’s just go ahead and say all we did was move Mom. lol. I think that was most of our year.

Hope your Christmas was special and that you get some time off. Not all of us are that lucky. But I get most of my week off next week. It’ll throw the year end processing in a tail spin and I’ll probably have to make up the hours, thus losing the PTO but that is also the American Way ::sigh:: And I am worn out before it all starts. But I am not missing my grandson’s first birthday party – family is coming first. Maybe one day they won’t be so far away. It’s really hard for us to travel out there. And now especially with so much going on here and with Mom. Over and Out for now.

Photo by Pixabay on

Merry Christmas to you and yours! I hope you have a wonderful day today!

I got up early Christmas Eve and made our 7 layer salad for dinner. And you will laugh, but for this salad I prefer the bacon bits that are the imitation ones. The salad is a mix of iceberg and spring mix, celery, chives, green peas, mayo, a sprinkle of sugar on the mayo, parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, and bacon bits. It’s so good. It’s been a tradition for me to make this for the holidays. Often I made it at Thanksgiving. I rarely think to make it other times of the year, but I should. I usually have enough ingredients to make an extra little salad. So I made one just for me for lunch later.

I also made ahead the breakfast casserole. In a skillet I browned 1 lb of sausage, added some red bell pepper and sweet onion and cooked it til meat done, pepper wilted down and onions turned transluscent and then added the spinach and cooked it down and the rest of the ingredients were in the other bowl. Which I believe was 10 eggs and a cup or so of cheddar cheese. You whisk that up and then mix all of it together and then pour into a casserole dish. At that point you bake it for about 30- 35 min on 350 until the eggs are set.

Katy and Little Roo came over to spend the morning with us so I stopped cooking for a bit to play. And then I made a double batch of sausage balls. And began setting the table for our big Christmas Eve dinner.

I hear George up now, so I am off to get started on our Christmas Day and do our stockings.

I’ll be back tomorrow with pics from Christmas Eve, decor, food, and lots more.

Merry Christmas!