A Simplified Christmas

20130106-223618.jpgDon’t be fooled – most of those gifts are for Tristan!

Before it gets too late, I want to make sure I recap our simplified Christmas. I really did enjoy giving myself a break from sending Christmas cards this year. Thank you to all of you who still sent me cards anyways. Nothing makes my day like a Christmas card waiting for me in the mailbox! Hopefully next year I won’t feel so burdened by everything else I have going on and will mail them again.

Since I wasn’t so stressed about Christmas cards and fighting the crowds at the mall or our local Target, I got to spend a lot of time in the kitchen! For me, that’s heaven! You probably saw my post on my family tradition of pizzelles at Christmas. I also managed to make about four pounds of fudge (I made both peppermint and walnut), some killer salmon with a maple glaze for Christmas Eve dinner and a fantastic cranberry-upside-down cake for Christmas brunch. I will be starting a new tradition and making that cake every year – it was sooooooo delicious! The fudge also worked out well as last minute hostess gifts.

Enough about my kitchen escapades – what did we get for Christmas? Did we manage to stay within our self-imposed challenge guidelines?

I would say our simplified Christmas was a success! I pushed it right to the limits of my budget and did end up purchasing one thing from Michael’s (which I don’t think fit the rule for small businesses), but overall I think I did pretty well. My favorite gifts for Shane were of the homemade variety:

Like this photo ornament I made with some scrap booking supplies and a photo Tristan and I took at the church craft fair:

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I also DIY’d photostrips using a tutorial found on Pinterest. I had intended to make them all bookmarks, but I thought they might look cool as-is on Shane’s locker at work.

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I think Shane’s favorite gift was this matchbook-style coupon book. (Also made with a printable found on Pinterest). It includes coupons for Chinese take-out for dinner (not my favorite), movie nights both in and out, and back rubs.

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I also gifted Shane a dice bag custom-made from Etsy (so he looks cool among his D&D friends), and a custom iPhone case with a picture of Tristan.

My favorite gift from Shane was this:

I also got a pretty sweet Hinano swim cover-up that Shane picked up in Hawaii earlier in the month.

Tristan did pretty well this Christmas! His gift from us came just after Thanksgiving and was an activity jumper. His big gift on Christmas morning was a Radio Flyer wagon from Uncle Gavin! It’s pretty cool, and we’re all quite excited for it! He also got a ton of new books. He’s going to be one well-read kiddo.

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I should also note that Santa surprised us with The Avengers on blu-ray for Shane and a copy of Cinderella for me! Not too shabby!

This Christmas was pretty perfect because I got to spend it with the two men in my life! Since it worked out so well, I’m hoping to keep thing simple again next year too!

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