Last year, Keith and I decided to start a new tradition among our family of two. We really think it's important that Christmas remain about family and not entirely wrapped up in gifts. Some day when we have a child of our own, we don't want them counting the number of gifts under the tree or excited solely about that part of this time of year. So along with our other holiday traditions of choosing a few nonprofits together to donate to, exchanging stockings on St. Nicholas Day and delivering homemade treats to our neighbors, we started giving gifts to each other in a more intentional way. Last year, we exchanged gifts that fit in these descriptions - something you want / something you need / something to wear / something to read. The idea is not that you get one gift that fits in each category (potentially it could be one), but the idea is about being more thoughtful and intentional with your gift giving.
Here are the two gifts that I gave him during our gift exchange this year:
This year, my gift for Keith that fit his "something he wanted" also happened to be "something to read" and he had been talking about it for weeks leading up to Christmas. Last year, I bought him the first book on tape of the Song of Ice and Fire Series, and we then proceeded to read the rest of the series over this past year. So of course, all he talked about for the past month was The World of Ice & Fire. And for the past few days, this has been all he's read and continued to talk about. In February, we're flying out to New York and Keith will be meeting with an agency and some producers to work on lining up his next film job. The only cold weather coat he currently owns is a ski jacket, so I thought a nice wool peacoat to wear on those East Coast meetings would be really helpful! Thankfully, one of my male coworkers is quite trendy, and similar in build to my husband, so he helped me pick out this style from J.Crew. It looks really good on Keith and I can't wait to see him wearing it in New York in February!
Keith always has a tendency to get excited about gift giving and go a little overboard, but every single year, he also almost brings me to tears with at least one gift. Last year, it was over my all-time favorite childhood series Anne of Green Gables and this year it may have been over a tool.
If you've been following me on Instagram, then you know I've been working on a lot of woodworking projects lately, so I can't wait to figure out how to use the rotary tool he bought me. It's really exciting how much more confident I've become with power tools in the last year and I get a little giddy just thinking about all the new skills I've yet to gain and new projects I'll build in 2015. Also, I don't tend to wear watches often but whenever I have a work event or occasion that requires something dressier, I have to fall back on a really clunky watch I bought years ago at a department store. Not anymore! This Kate Spade watch is feminine, modern and really classy! I feel like I'm wearing a sparkly bracelet when I have it on (which may be every single day since I opened that pretty box). And for my "something I want" section, you're getting a little better idea of who I am. I semi-embarrassingly love that Taylor Swift cd. Seriously, there are so many better songs on it than just the ones overplayed on the radio (though those are great too!) and I may have already memorized a lot of the lyrics too. No shame. And if you haven't seen Chef yet or played Phase 10, do both immediately.
You may notice my list is missing my "something to read". I certainly don't feel shortchanged at all because I got so many lovely, thoughtful gifts, but Keith decided to make that one and it's in the works still. Hope you all had wonderful holiday celebrations with friends and family! Feel free to share any questions you have in the comment section on our gift-giving tradition. If you exchange gifts as part of your holiday tradition, I highly recommend trying this out at least once.