Thursday, January 5, 2012

our gifts

In the last few years, as we've been moving to more and more of a "handmade" Christmas, usually what happens is that by the time I get all our extended families' gifts done and shipped off,  I'm so depleted of ideas and motivation that we here at home get the good old fashioned (ha!) consumerism Christmas... things I can pick off a list and go find at the store. :)
I did better this year though, at least doing one original, handmade gift for everyone here as well.  Okay, honestly, the kids' didn't technically get done before Christmas, but I'm still counting them.  Savannah's got done...

(extra wood from garage with a whitewashed coat of paint, scrapbook paper letters and a purple painted "you" to make a sign for her room)

And Sawyer's... well, I'll have to check back in for that one.  Not quite finished yet.  Thankfully, I don't think a six-year-old boy cares too awfully much.  He was preoccupied with the new video games last week. ;)

I even made a gift for Clementine... a super cute name tag for the puppy with our contact info on the backside (with a silver bezel, our printer and 3D modge podge, it cost me all of ninety nine cents!)...
[picture coming... I really do think it's super cute!]

And Ryan's gift.
I love Ryan's gift.
I saw the idea on Pinterest (of course) and filed it away months ago.  Filed it away a little too well actually, because I almost forgot that was the gift I wanted to do until the marvelous Katie reminded me of it as she was going about the same project.  Came to find out a couple of other friends were planning the same thing as well.  Which kind of made it even more fun. ;)
Anyway, I buckled down and spent the past month planning it out and here's what I came up with...

You see, Ryan and I have this problem.
We don't date.
We always say we'll be more intentional about it, and always in fact have the best of intentions.
But between moving to a new city with a shortage of familiar babysitters... and the fact that we like to be social, so the few times we do have a babysitter, we often end up doing things with other couples... and the fact that our kids have decently early bedtimes so we mostly feel like we have enough "us" time on a regular basis...
...actual, go out, just us date nights don't really happen.
And there's just something to be said about making the time and the effort and getting out and doing fun and different stuff together.  Getting out of the routine and, whether it's doing old favorites or trying new things, getting out together.
So this box is full of those opportunities.
I made up a "check the box if you'll go out with me" note (folded it old school and everything) and modge-podged it onto the box top with scraps of other papers and pictures that have to do with what's in the box.  Then, inside, I wrote a note explaining the gift and included twelve large envelopes: twelve dates... one for each month of this year.  Each date is prepped and planned and already paid for (with gift cards, groupon printouts, or other necessities already inside each month's envelope).  So all we have to do is pick a day, round up childcare of some sort [and a couple of them are in fact stay-in dates for at home after the kids are in bed, but with an actual plan that doesn't involve us sitting in front of our laptops and/or watching sitcoms on tv] and we're set for a date.  I prepaid for everything that I could because -aside from the fact that I grabbed some great "groupon-ish" deals- that way we have to go do it... if it were just a plan, it might be too easy to just skip it, or just get busy and never get to it.  But since it's money already spent, we will actually be sure to go eat at that restaurant or go see that show or go do that activity, you know?
The dates are sealed up in the envelopes and, except for a picture or clue on the front, are meant to be a surprise for Ryan to open each month.  Here's a peek:
So I won't share what's inside all the date envelopes yet,
but here is the January envelope he opened already...
We're set to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie (the first of which we did actually attend on one of our rare date nights!) and then hang out at an English pub in the famous Printers Alley downtown ...somewhere us oldfolks don't normally hang out ;) .
Included with this note are credits for Fandango (movie) tickets and a gift certificate for the pub.

I'll try and record our dates here each month... in case anyone else is looking for ideas to date your spouse with as well!!  I was thinking this might be a really fun thing to do every year... but trade off; as in next year Ryan plans the whole year for us! ;) hint, hint

He loved it by the way.  I wasn't sure, as other "romantic"/creative things I've put together in the past haven't stirred much excitement, but he mentioned several times that this was his favorite gift this year and he was excited to see what these dates were all about.  Yay!

here are links to the rest of the gifts we made/gave this year


Heidi said...

Hopefully you can add our gift for you and Ryan in the mix of dates!

Mom said...

Let me know when I can babysit!! No really !!! Just plan ahead....XOXO

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