The year of research, collecting ideas and pins, listening to their rambling about this or that, paying close attention to their preferences, watching them dive headfirst into a passion, and squirreling away items that match all these things over the course of a year - that is one of my greatest pleasures (and one Alex shares, and we do this for each other, too). We will stay up all night wrapping that. That's what we do. (Did.) That's what we want. No complaints. (Maybe some whining.)
It's becoming more clear with every year, that our children have this desire too. They will craft or seek out the thing that makes the other's heart sing. This year, Olivia made all sorts of beautiful and touching things, including this ornament that looks like one of Adam's Planet Minecraft skins. Adam was so pleased. She also made him a gorgeous felted red fox pin. To the entire family, she gave us adorable ornaments that bear a remarkable likeness to Beatrice and Annabelle. These instantly went on the tree and will be hung every year going forward.
It was great fun to give things that though not handmade by us, were handmade by others. I received three coveted Phoebe Wahl prints from Alex, for instance. Olivia received a few favorite items from some artists specializing in social justice or feminist topics. She adores her Feminist Killjoy collar pin. There were a few Twin Peaks references in her stocking, also.
And sometimes there's just that thing, that they never expected to get, that thrills and amazes them. We live for this stuff.
Sometimes there's another sort of joy, of finding the thing that moves the other with its import. I was crying by the time he came over to give me a long hug with extra grip.
We couldn't resist pranking Papa a little, with a box featuring "Bacon Scented Dryer Sheets" and the mirth (and relief to all) that resulted when it merely contained his favorite candy bar in triplicate. Although he did say we had him going there for a bit, so I do wonder what he must think of us. As if we'd ever use dryer sheets.
Look at these two. Those smiles. Total sweetness.
It's not often I can find something whimsical that will surprise Alex. But after he went on all summer about wearing a straw beach hat while mowing or working outside, I thought he should have a proper straw hat. One made for a farmer. One that looks great with his beard.
It truly was a pleasure to share these moments with these fine people, to experience the joy of giving and receiving with them. It was a good day. Full of merriment and pure fun.
I'd be up for it in oh, say, another year.