Saturday, December 29, 2007

Collection of Presents

My last posting mentioned some gifts that I'm not a fan of receiving because I feel they lack thought. It's not meant to be a slam against people who give out candles or lotion as gifts. For people who really like those things, those are great ideas! I, however, am particular about my candles and cannot use any bath or body products unless they are completely natural. In the spirit of the season, I'm going to mention some of the best presents I've ever received, in no particular order.

-From my parents, a plane ticket to Spokane, WA to visit my best friend Becca (Christmas 2000/birthday 2001)
-Photo album from Jill with our favorite Sox moments from 2005, plus a card that declared me to be the best Sox fan- finally some recognition! (Birthday 2006)
-Wine accessories from Erin, after she overheard me tell her husband I needed a good wine stopper- sneaky! (Christmas 2007)
-Surprise party thrown by my roommate Michelle and friend Annie sophomore year of college- they even got my crush to come! (Birthday 2000)
-Irish Breakfast tea from Caribou from Dani (Christmas 2007)
-An easel from my brother Matt (Christmas 2005)
-Two Ansel Adams framed prints from my parents for college graduation (2002)
-Canon Rebel camera from my parents- they're pretty good at this! (Christmas 2001)
-Anyone who has ever given me the gift of music (my whole life)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

First Christmas

Christmas is my favorite holiday, although you might not realize that due to my passion for St. Patrick's Day. I love Christmas because you get to give gifts. That's right, emphasis on give, not receive. Thanks to Dr. Gary Chapman, I learned a few years ago that my primary love language is receiving gifts. Now I do love getting presents but what I really love is to get thoughtful presents. Anyone can buy a candle or lotion set- those are fallback gifts and incidentally I can't wear scented lotion due to my sensitive skin. But when you take a few minutes to think about people's interests and what they would really like...that's where I feel most loved. I do take pride in my present-giving abilities, whether it's for a loved one or a White Elephant.
Speaking of White Elephant gifts, this is what my dad's side of the family does. For my present I gathered all the lotions and shower gels I could find in my apartment (that belonged to me and not my roommate) and put them in a canvas bag along with a rubber duckie. These scented gifts had accumulated over the years and since I will be moving again this spring, I figured someone in my family would appreciate them. Aunt Patti was the lucky winner and she was quite thrilled with her pick. Christmas with the Kramer side had a few lighthearted moments but I think it can be aptly be summed up in my dad's words: "At least nobody cried."

Christmas morning was with my parents and my brother, in from Virginia for a week. We had our traditional coffee cake and prayer time. Then came the presents! Everyone loved what I got them- yay! I was blown away by my family's generosity. I'm very excited to be the proud owner of a slow cooker. Now I can make a nice meal for myself without slaving over the stove when I get home from work!

Christmas with the Petit side was at Uncle Terry and Aunt Sue's this year. I was a little apprehensive about our first Christmas without Grandma. Her presence was definitely missed but we are doing our best to start some new traditions. It wasn't the same but it was still a good holiday. It is always good to spend time with my family and eat some good food, especially when Jon deep fries the turkey. Grandma always read a story and a prayer before we could open presents. This year Heather read the Nativity story and I read a story by Max Lucado, Grandpa's favorite author. Then we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and Kelli blew out the candle on His Christmas muffin. After all the presents were opened, I passed out the Memory Books I had made which covered Grandma's last few months. I was a little nervous about how they would be received but everyone really appreciated the effort. I sat with Grandpa while he looked through it and cried. It was therapeutic for me to put the book together so I guess my hope is that it will be therapeutic for my family to look through it. It was a good Christmas but it seemed surreal. Still, it was a start.

Adam LOVES the presents I got him!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Oh no!

Aaron Rowand has been signed by the Giants. There go all of my White Sox dreams. What's an optimist to do? This news was not a good way to start the morning.