Thanks to all of your amazing suggestions Heather ended up with some pretty great Christmas gifts – that is she told me they were at least! As I alluded to in my earlier post, finances were such this year  (who am I kidding..every year) that I couldn’t afford a truly knockout gift like a pair of diamond earrings or a new BMW, so instead I got a little creative.  As for BMW and diamond earrings, I am certain I will be able to afford them next year – I’ve picked some awesome new numbers I plan to play in the lottery!

Now with no further adieu, here is Heather’s haul for the holiday!

1. Mac Make-Up and Brushes – Okay, so this gift wasn’t very creative (especially since Heather’s Mom tipped me off that Heather needed this stuff), but I did manage to bring home the correct brushes and lotion. Just as importantly, I didn’t guess at what eye shadows she might want, and instead gave her a gift certificate so she could pick her own.

2. Holiday Ornaments – A recurring theme among the comments on the last post was that a personal gift put together with love is sometimes the best gift you can give. With that in mind I thought that it would be fun to get a special ornament to commemorate our first Christmas with Annabel, one that would summon a warm memory of Christmas 2010 even years from now when we are old and grey. I found the perfect ornament at the Hallmark store. It was affordable (just $19.99) and had two neat features – a spot for a photo, and the ability to record a message.

The minute Heather opened the ornament I told her my goal of making it one that would hold meaning for many years, then immediately took a family photo to put in the ornament. Here it is:


After I had printed the photo and slipped it into the ornament, I had everyone gather around to record a message. I started by saying, “It is 2010, and we are celebrating our first Christmas with Annabel! So Merry Christmas, Annie, from Daddy.” This was followed by the rest of the family saying “And Mommy,” “And Grandma,” “And Bampa,” “And Uncle Kyle,”  “And Tia Leah!” Even Rigby got in a bark at the end for posterity’s sake. With the photo in place and family audio recorded, the simple ornament transformed into a pretty special one.

3. Photo Portfolio Books – There were so many suggestions to get Heather a gift that addressed her love of photography that I knew I had to get her something shutterbug related. After thinking on it a bit – and accepting that I would need to do a little saving before I could get her the new lens she wanted – I decided to buy her some professional grade portfolio books which are a must have if you want to show off your work as a professional (or aspiring to be professional) photographer. After picking just the right books I added another personal touch by filling them with 11×14 prints of some of her best work.

Like this shot:

the sun sets sail

And this one:

Music Lessons

Heather seemed pleased with these and said she couldn’t wait to fill them up with more great shots!

What do you think? Did I do good? Okay? Should I expect divorce papers?