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:
And this one:
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?
Kate @ UpsideBackwards says:
I think you did brilliantly! The ornament sounds truly wonderful, that would be *my* favourite…
You did awesome! I love you Mikey!
Sidebar: I am so short.
Mike, I thought you did SPECTACULAR! Heather, when I saw the family photo, I thought, “Wow! What a great family picture and Heather looks so pretty [not short!]!” Happy New Year, you guys! xo
Oh Nanie, you KNOW I am short! But I accept it because I am very good at walking on my tip toes.
Love you – lunch soon? Please?
Kirsten Bernard says:
You did a great job!!!
We were really short on cash this holiday, since we were dependent on my dad and he died 5 months ago. We were worried that we wouldn’t get his pension into my mom’s account in time for christmas so my 4-year-old nephew and I got creative. We made spoon bugs. You put air-drying clay in a plastic spoon, cut 3 cotton buds in half and stick them into the clay to make the legs. Wait for them to dry, slip them out of the spoon, paint them and voila: christmas presents.
Luckily, we were able to get some money in to get my nephew and my mom some prezzies, but I wasn’t expecting anything. My sister and brother-in-law found me a special light that turns and makes rainbow patterns on the ceiling like the northern lights. On the turntable, there’s a glass with an etching inside of a wolf howling up at a shooting star with pine trees around it. It looks very like the tattoo I have on my shoulder. It was cheap as anything, but it’s something that resonates so close to my heart that it couldn’t be more perfect if they’d tried.
Christmas isn’t about spending loads of money. Gifts are tokens of appreciation, small things from those you love that say, “hey, I found this and I thought of you”.
I had a good christmas this year, when I was expecting pain and heartache, because my family found things for me that showed me that they knew me and loved me. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
You did the same sort of thing Mike, and that’s awesome.
I think you did brilliantly. I would genuinely rather receive the kinds of gifts you bought for your lovely wife, which require thought and love, rather than just a big splash of cash on a huge, but impersonal gift.
This year, my husband and I were on a similarly tight budget and we both ended up buying each other books, but they were books which we’d both wanted for a long while and had never got round to buying, and the fact that he’d remembered I wanted them was the best part!
Also, just as a side note, great family picture, but are you really tall, or is Heather really short?!
ANY gift that a husband puts thought and time into is wonderful! You did great!
Jen L. says:
You did GREAT!
You did a GREAT JOB Mike!!! You should be proud of yourself. My hubby’s idea of a personal gift is a lottery scratch ticket as I alway talk about wanting to win the lottery! ha ha. I thought your gifts were beautiful and from the heart…..who could ask for anything more ????
Alexandra :) says:
Well done, Mike!!! Seriously, not only did you get her great gifts (two of which she’ll keep for the rest of her life) that are also useful and personal, but you cared enough to ask people for help and put thought into it. Heather is a lucky woman. You should be proud!!!
You did great!! The personal touches make them perfect.
Staci Ainsworth says:
You did wonderfully, Mike! What’s great is that you took advice from commenters but then spent more time thinking about how to make them uniquely hers. All much better than the toaster oven and impersonal card I recevied.
Mike, you did great. First, you put thought into all of the gifts that you selected for Heather. You also bought her something (makeup and brushes) that she might not buy for herself.
Wishing you all a very Happy 2011!
Love it! Thoughtful gifts are way, way better than some random expensive meaningless item. You get a gold star from me.
The ornament is a perfect gift. What a beautiful present! I love the other gifts as well. My hubby and I don’t have a regular coffee maker but an expresso pot you put on the stove. It’s awesome but takes too long when you have a toddler that wants every minute of your time.
Then I end up walking around like a zombie all day. So he got me a super fast, one cup at a time Krueig coffee maker. Now he doesn’t have to hear me complain, when he calls in the afternoon, about how much time I spent making coffee with the expresso pot and not being able to drink it. I’m so in love. He’s not bad either.
Bravo! Thoughtful gifts all around. I’m sure she loved them! And, did you get a haul too?
They all sound great! I’m so impressed you took the photo and audio immediately, too. It’s easy to get memory gifts and then forget to put the memories in them (or maybe it’s just me who’s guilty of this?). Not only is that a great gift for Heather, but someday Annie will treasure it too!
Bravo Mike! Nice work, my husband couldn’t even bother wrapping my present…
Also, you are freakishly tall! I’m pretty sure Heather and I are the same height, so I know there is nothing wrong with us…
I quite enjoy being able to walk under things and never hit my head
Sarah R says:
You did great! Sentimental gifts are the BEST!
Great job mike!
Good job Mike!!
It’s all perfect! I love that you put so much thought and detail in to the gifts.
Way to go Mike! They all seem perfect!
Fabulous presents Mike!
You did great! Sounds like great presents to me.. Very thoughtful.
It all sounded perfect!
Never heard of such an ornament–great idea. Will have to keep in mind for faraway family next Christmas.
My spouse and older son and I don’t do surprise Christmas presents anymore. We meet and discuss and then get ourselves a family gift. One year it was a new flat screen TV. This year it will be a trip. The little one in the family still gets gifts and of course the kids get (simple) Santa presents. But this system works so well because we’re able to pool the money and get something we all really want!
What did she get for you? You did great.
I think you rocked it! A little bit of the practical and a little bit of the sentimental. Way to go!
Angie M. says:
you did good mike. pretty sure heather’s gonna keep you around for a while
Lori R says:
You did great. How much thought you put into everything was almost gift enough. Hope you all had as wonderful a holiday as the post shows. Love you guys !
I love the personal touches.
You did awesome, personal gifts that she will enjoy herself are the best!!!
You did awesome!
That ornament sounds fabulous I wonder if I can find one of those here in New Zealand … hmm.
You did good.
You did an AMAZING job!!! I’m sure Heather loved them all!
Good work, especially the portfolio with some of her pictures already in it. Totally unsolicited in this post, but here is a suggestion for a future gift-giving occasion: a book that chronicles Annie’s first year that you make and publish at the Blurb web site. My husband did that for me two Christmases ago and it made me cry…something I don’t usually do at the drop of a hat.