All Wrapped Up

Christmas is two weeks away. Are you ready? Are you excited? Are you stressed? Are your kids hyped up on a seemingly never-depleted supply of treats? Are you easily tearing up at every inspiring holiday-music-filled-flash-mob-WestJet-surprise-presents video your Facebook friends link to? No? Watch this and get back to me:

As the Chief Present Buyer in our household, I am pleased to report that we are ready for Christmas. We’ve been ready for awhile now. I am an early shopper when it comes to Christmas presents and for the past few years, I’ve tried to have everything procured and stashed by Thanksgiving at the very latest.

This habit began when we lived in the city where shopping even on a random Tuesday in June can be difficult, let alone any of the days between Thanksgiving and New Years. It was always better to just get it done than battle the crowds by waiting until the season set in. That early bird shopping tradition has continued here in Richmond even though navigating the “throngs” of people down this way is not nearly as bad.

And, because Henry starts discussing what he wants for Christmas around Labor Day, it hasn’t been too hard to pick things he will genuinely enjoy. He also hasn’t yet had a last minute change of heart about anything on his wish list. As long as all of his gifts are comprised of small, multi-colored, inter-locking, will-still-be-finding-them-in-our-heater-vents-in-twenty-years plastic bricks, we’re good to go.

Charlie doesn’t have much of an opinion yet about presents. He’s still of the age of unrealistic expectations so when he wakes up on Christmas day and doesn’t find the full-size John Deere lawn tractor he requested waiting for him in our family room, he will be easily placated with the awesome walkie-talkies he’ll unwrap instead.

Millie is easy to shop for. She just wants whatever it is the boys are playing with. While they’re playing with it. So, that’s fun.

With everyone’s Christmas lists checked off, the only task left is to wrap all of the presents. If I didn’t think Millie would undermine my efforts, everything would already be under the tree. Besides, it wouldn’t be Christmas if I didn’t wait until the last minute to wrap and then get annoyed that I had waited until the last minute to wrap. Plus, this year ups the irritation factor because there is a bike to put together so I’m really looking forward to the arguments Bob and I will have on Christmas Eve while completing that task!


Just in case you haven’t crossed everyone off of your shopping list yet, here’s some helpful links to some of my friends and family that might have just what you’re looking for!

My amazing sister, Julie, makes lovely things. This past weekend, she texted me a picture of a pair of mittens she had knit just… for fun. Obviously, she is hoarding all of the genetic code for CRAFTER in our family. She has lots of beautiful scarves listed in her Etsy shop. And, because she is related to me, I will forgive the proliferation of Notre Dame-related items she offers.

My friend and fellow playgroup mom, Michelle, is a graphic designer with some serious talent. She makes whimsical and fun prints for kids on placemats and posters and plaques. You can find out more information on her Imagination by hand Facebook page.

If tasty treats are more your thing, my friend, Becky, makes some unbelievable cookies and cupcakes that are as delicious as they are delightfully decorated. I think she may just be for the locals in Richmond right now but you can contact her through her Facebook page for additional details.

If you prefer to bake your own goodies, my one-time neighbor, Estela, offers a wealth of recipes for holiday (and everyday) treats on her blog, Weekly Bite. All of her featured foods are delicious however, for the holidays, I’d probably start with this one. YUM!

My favorite thing about all of these lovely women is that they have busy lives as moms (and some as employees elsewhere, too) yet, they’ve all made time to work on things they are passionate about. I just love that!

Here’s hoping the next two weeks will be as stress-free as possible for you and yours. We’ve almost made it to the finish line!


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