I come from a large family. A typical family gathering with my family, aunts, uncles, first cousins, spouses, and children numbers in the 50's. So you can imagine our Christmas chaos and it goes a little something like this:
Yes, that is a picture of the gift pile from last year. We have tried many things over the years to get that pile under control. Kris Kringle, only getting gifts for the grandchildren, limiting dollar values of the gifts... but somehow, that pile always hovers between a mound and a foothill. Everyone always wants to get gifts for the new grandkids, then ones for the godchildren too, and then for your siblings, and then and then and then...
This year, at least with my own family, I'm suggesting we try a simpler approach - the Want, Need, Wear, Read of gift giving. The idea is simple: give the person a gift in each of those categories. I like how this minimizes the extravagant spending, but it also forces you to think more about what the receiver would want and makes for more meaningful gifts. Here's the things on my own dream list:
Want: Mackinac Island vacation
Okay, this is a pretty extravagant "want" but this is something that has been on my list for years. I would love to go with my parents, my siblings and their families, and my family for a summertime vacation to Mackinac Island. Have you heard of it? Mackinac is an 8-mile long island in Michigan where cars are prohibited and you explore by foot, bike or horse-drawn shuttle. The island is full of beautiful Victorian homes, grand hotels, and an old fashioned main street that plays host to many summer festivals. Sounds idyllic!
Need: Zumi Digital Camera 2.0
I neeeeeed this video camera. I'm under the belief that with this magical video camera I will be more inclined to document my family's life and so my daughter will have more tangible memories of her childhood. Good enough reason, right? Okay, so maybe the real reason I need this camera is that it shoots in 8mm style video. It makes life look so stylish, retro, and fun - and who wouldn't want those kind of memories?
Wear: Jojo Totes Camera bag
I'm not a big clotheshorse so I'd rather have this to wear around than a new pair of boots. Doesn't even look like a camera bag, does it? The faux leather is so pretty with its ruffles and marigold colour. And the fact that it can store my Nikon D80 (with the lens on) and a few diapers and wipes makes it awesome in my books.
Read: The New Traditional by Darryl Carter
Sad to admit that I'm not a big reader (do blogs count??) but if you do find me perusing in a book store, it will most likely be in the Decor & Design section. I could spend hours flipping through magazines and hardcover books filled with pretty pictures of people's homes. One book I'd like to have on my shelf is this one by designer Darryl Carter. I'm drawn to his white interiors and warm woods. His rooms have a gallery-like quality, not overly decorated or accessorized, with breathing room to enjoy each piece in the space.
So tell me, what's one thing on your Christmas list this year?