Tag Archives: Christmas

12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2015)

When I published my 12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2014) edition, it was November 2015. But I’ve been thinking that I should post my 12 Days of Christmas gifts (2015) edition in JULY because last year when I decided that I was going to do the 12 Days of Gifts again, I started thinking about gifts and collecting in the summer time. (This may also have had to do with the fact that I was on maternity leave and was in this blissful state of having all the time in the world to do everything I wanted to.)

THAT was SUCH a great idea on my part, because when Christmas/planning for the 12 days came, I had a 7 month old and was working full-time and couldn’t willy-nilly throw together 12 days of gifts like I had done previously, starting December 1.

If you know me, you know how much I loveloveLOVE giving gifts and finding the perfect gift for the perfect person. I NEVER regret doing the 12 Days of Gifts for Peter (until I realize that I used all of my brilliant ideas in December and his birthday is in February, so he ends up with a beard trimmer for his birthday and a wife who is crying because she’s feeling so bad about giving him such a practical gift.). I digress.

For those of you new to the bloggy-blog, the 12 Days of Christmas gifts was NOT my idea, I got it from the brilliant Jenna, but it’s actually all over Pinterest (Sorry, Jen, you were my inspiration though). You give a gift every day starting with December 14 as Day 1, and ending with December 25 as Day 12. You should try your best to make the theme of the gift correspond with the day you’re giving it (PAIR of socks for day TWO), but sometimes that’s impossible and you give a bottle of wine on day 11 because seriously. What comes in a pack of 11??

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OMG. Going through my pics to find the pics I took of the gifts and I come across THIS little baldy. UGH I CAN’T EVEN TAKE IT.

SO! Let’s just get to it then, shall we?

Day ONE! (December 14)
ONE 
U.S.A. ornament

IMG_2474Peter wasn’t supposed to be out of the country when this started. He was supposed to be snug at home. Instead, he was in Indonesia. So I had to do some fast thinking and switch from the original plan I had (which consequently I have no idea what that original plan was at this point). It ended up being cute and made him really excited to come home to me and Daniel.

I’m kind of chuckling because reading this note is hilarious! December was a really stressful month for me because I had given my 2 weeks notice at the company I had worked for the previous 5 years, and the stress of everything made me really sick. My cold virus attacked my eye and it was just awful and gross. Gross eye-gunk everywhere and I couldn’t wear ANY makeup, so that was a really nice way for my friends and coworkers to remember me, obviously at my very best 😳

IMG_2472When Peter texted me and said that he found the gift in his suitcase, I sent him this picture. I am so very proud of the way everything turned out! (It should be noted that Daniel was still immobile so everything stayed right in it’s place!)

Day TWO!! (December 15)
TWO 
gloves

FullSizeRender 6As usual, Jenna’s rhyming genius played a large part in Peter’s notes. She’s so good at that! (Side note: these are supposed to be the best touchscreen winter gloves on the market. Peter gives them good reviews.)

Day THREE!!! (December 16)
A picture of the THREE of us.

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(That’s the only way I know how to accurately summarize my feelings about this picture.)

Day FOUR!!!! (December 17)
FOUR
ingredients (mug, spoon, marshmallows, cocoa mix) to make hot chocolate

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The picture that I put on the mug is one of Peter’s favorite pictures of Daniel. I thought this one turned out SO CUTE! Once again, as she does just about every year, my little elf Kim helped get this to Peter on Day 4 when he was in the office. Below is the picture of the other side of the mug.

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Day FIVE!!!!! (December 18)
Not 5 things, but had to do with the calendar date.

IMG_2494Ah, Star Wars. Not a year goes by that I don’t try to incorporate one of his favorite things into at least one of the gifts. Peter went with a few friends to see the new Star Wars movie on the night that it opened, so this gift was SO PERFECT.

UNFORTUNATELY I ordered the wrong size, so the shirt is a little snug, and of course I can’t return it because I got it off of Zulily. Damn! (But isn’t it a great shirt??)

Day SIX!!!!!! (December 19)
SIX
cards dealt in cribbage.

IMG_2461Soooo this gift ended up being kind of a fail for two reasons.

1. It is now the end of July and I still don’t know how to play cribbage.
2. I actually bought these really cool world map cards, but I lost them so I had to wrap a deck of cards that Peter already had. I didn’t find the world map cards until the end of January. Whoops!

Day SEVEN!!!!!!! (December 20)
SEVEN
Star Wars movies

That Chewbacca thing is actually pretty big. At the time of these purchases, I knew our basement was going to be finished (almost done enough for me to take pics and write a post!), so I thought this would be fun decor for down there. I am not the Star Wars nut that Peter is, so I actually had to Google Chewbacca quotes.

Day EIGHT!!!!!!!! (December 21)
EIGHT
hot dog buns (yum, hot dogs!) (Seriously, I love hot dogs.)

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This one was another kind-of fail, because of course on the day I gave him the hot dog buns, we had plans and didn’t eat them. HOWEVER, they DID get eaten eventually, so I actually call that a win.

Day NINE!!!!!!!!! (December 22)
NINE*
countries visited in 2015

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Hahaha! You guys! So many fails! I had asked Peter a WHILE before getting this map how many countries he had been to in 2015, and the answer was 9. *Until RIGHT BEFORE day 9 when we learned he had actually only (“only”) traveled to 8 countries, but had been to one twice. Oh well! This map is still really awesome. It’s a map (obviously) covered in that scratch-off gunk, so every time you go to the country, you can scratch it off!

Day TEN!!!!!!!!!! (December 23)
TEN cutesy little baby toes (although… Daniel actually has HUGE feet and toes)

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I’m finding a theme that all of my favorite days have been ones where I was able to incorporate Daniel. This was an almost fail because Daniel was (and still is) REALLY wiggly, so getting these footprints done was NO EASY TASK. It was actually a really good thing that Peter was out of the country right before the 12 days started, and also a good thing that I had taken 2 weeks off between leaving my old job and starting my new job so I had countless opportunities to get this done.

For a while I was like “HOW THE EFF DO THEY DO THESE TYPES OF THINGS AT DAYCARE???” But then I remembered that the ratio is more like 3:1 instead of 1:1. That makes a HUGE difference for handprint/footprint projects AND for giving eyedrops.

Day ELEVEN!!!!!!!!!!! (December 24)
ELEVEN dollars to spend at Los Magueyes.

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Los Magueyes has
your favorite food.
Use ELEVEN dollars
To buy a margarita.

Wow, reading that in English really takes away from the cleverness of the rhyme.

Ok, this one was actually a COMPLETE fail, because I completely forgot to get Peter an $11 gift card (once = eleven in Spanish, you’re welcome for the free lesson) to Los Magueyes. So essentially, Peter opened this one and I had to say “Wasn’t that a nice idea?!” Ha!

Day TWELVE!!!!!!!!!!!! (December 25)
TWELVE
hours in a day (kind of a stretch on this one…)

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And that, my friends, brings us to day 12. Peter and I got Apple watches at the end of last summer, and one thing we were constantly wanting was a little stand to charge them up with. If you have an Apple watch and are looking for a stand, I highly recommend this one. It has a sort of sticky padding on the bottom, so it doesn’t slide all over the table surface, or wherever you’re charging it up, when you attach the watch.

So! There you have it! I didn’t do a “big gift” this year, because, well. I just didn’t feel like it, and I thought my love was gift enough.

If you’re planning on doing the 12 Days of Christmas gifts and you have children, it’s never too soon to start stocking up on gifts or ideas. I also HIGHLY recommend keeping a list of things you’ve purchased AS WELL AS where you’ve hidden the gifts. The only way I was able to do it last year with a 7 month old in tow was because I started planning early. Speaking of said 7 month old, let’s look at this picture which is one of my FAVORITE pictures of him.

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I stand by my original caption to this photo that I put on social media that the only thing I love more than Christmas is a baby in a sweater vest.

That round head! Those chubby hands! Ughhhh stop growing uuuuuuuuup.

For more ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas, check out what I did in 2013 and 2014.

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The Romenesko Christmas Letter

Darling family and friends – both near and far,

The time has come to reflect on another amazing year, and as I’m trying to remember what happened in January, the only thing that is coming to mind is that WE’RE HAVING A BABY, making the last part of 2014 super exciting and clearly outweighing the rest of the year.  Suddenly our lives prior to finding out I am pregnant seem more boring than ever.

The year started out as one of the coldest ones in 50 years or something ridiculous like that.  Lucky for me, I was scheduled to be in the southern hemisphere for work during some of the cold snaps, so that was really perfectly planned.  Peter had to stay home and shovel the snow… But he survived and is fine.

In March I went on a mom/sister trip to Disney World to celebrate Taylor’s 21st birthday.  It was so fun and wonderful and WE LOVE DISNEY.

disney collage

Peter went with his dad to California, so everything was fair.  Fairness is really important when fun trips are involved because I have horrible travel envy we like to make sure that we both have equal fun opportunities.

CA collage

At the end of April, we celebrated our second anniversary by spending the weekend in Madison.  It was so wonderful and fun that I didn’t take any pictures.  I had a REALLY bad cold that weekend though, so my NyQuil and Advil Cold and Sinus intake made for a really romantic weekend.

Summer came really quickly, and with that I celebrated my GOLDEN birthday, which fell on a Friday and for the first time in two years I was not traveling for work, so I took the day off and it was just SPLENDID.

Pete treated me to sushi and a cosmo for lunch, and then I went and got an “I LOVE AMERICA” manicure.  Seriously, best decision ever and I will be doing it every year for the rest of eternity.

birthday collage

For my birthday, Peter and I took a vacation to Washington, D.C. and it was SO FUN.  I made a new rule in the Romenesko house that on your golden birthday, you get to choose a vacation.  I think it’s a great idea; Peter is bitter because he already had his golden birthday 10 years ago.  When he asked what our child would do if their golden birthday was when they were 1 or 2, I said that their mom would choose a trip on their behalf.  Again, I thought it was a fabulous idea; Peter was less enthused.

Anyways, we went over the Fourth of July and seriously, I cannot tell you how much I loved it.  I had never been to D.C. before, so I was thrilled to go, especially over the Fourth of July, because I LOVE AMERICA so it was the perfect place to spend the holiday.

We called the trip our “vacation of selfies” because every picture that we have of the two of us from D.C. is a selfie.  Oh well!

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I was feeling very American on the Fourth of July with my Starbucks and “I Love America” manicure.

DC collage

On the Fourth, we sat on the Capitol steps with tens of thousands of other people and watched a fabulous concert called “A Capitol Fourth” that Tom Bergeron hosted.  We also watched the Fourth of July parade which unfortunately was underwhelming.  On the Fourth of July we walked over 10 miles, and to say that I could hardly walk the next day is a sore understatement.  I made a poor shoe decision.

And I just love this picture of Peter.

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Over the summer, Peter got some new responsibilities at work.  Part of those responsibilities include traveling internationally.  In July, we were home at the same time for a total of about 8 days, but they say distance makes the heart grow fonder.  Needless to say, we’ve grown quite fond of each other.  With all of his travels, you’d think that I would be better at staying at home by myself.  Nope.

Fall came, and with that, FINDING OUT WE ARE HAVING A BABY.  The season was consumed with thoughts of our new addition: waiting for the first doctor’s appointment, slowly telling family and friends, and starting to make decisions about colors for the baby’s room (VERY important).

And now it’s December and my favorite time of the year.  We find ourselves thanking God more and more for each other, our families, our friends, and our health.  2014 was a pretty good one!

When we were reflecting on 2014, we were saying to each other that the year was actually kind of uneventful.

I have a really good feeling that all that’s going to change in 2015.

Merry Christmas, my friends.
Peter & Sara

PS: Check out our past Christmas letters here –
Christmas letter 2013
Christmas letter 2012

12 Days of Christmas Gifts (2013)

Christmas is coming!  We’re less than a month away from celebrating the most wonderful time of the year, and I’m already picturing how I’ll decorate my house for the joyous occasion.  I KNOW.  Stop judging me for being so excited for Christmas already.  I get it, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t be excited for the Christmas season all year round.

Anyways.

Two years ago for Christmas, Jenna did this really cool thing that she found on the internet for Mark, where she did “The 12 Days of Christmas Gifts”.  So, for the 12 days leading up to Christmas, she got Mark a little gift.  She also did it last year.  The little gifts coordinate with the number of the day… That sounds confusing…. You’ll get the picture in a minute.

Last year, I decided that I wanted to do the same for Peter.  I am posting this now just in case you think you may want to do it for someone.  It takes a lot of thought to get it all together – well, it did for me anyways.  And then, of course I had to come up with a little rhyme for each day, which added extra stress, but I actually loved every second of it.

Below are the 12 Days of Christmas Gifts that I did for Pete last year.  He really loved finding a little gift every day.  It gave him something fun to look forward to, and he really had no idea what his gifts would be every day!

HUGE thanks to Jenna, B and another friend M who helped brainstorm gifts and rhymes!

Day 1 (December 14): a Dallas Cowboys t-shirt

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Day 1 happened to fall on the day that we were leaving for Dallas to go to the Cowboy/Packer game.  Pete is a die-hard Packer fan, but I thought it would be fun for him to have a Cowboys t-shirt to support his friend that plays on the team.  For this gift, I snuck in the bathroom and put the t-shirt + note on the counter while he was showering.

Day 2 (December 15): a pair of soccer socks

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Day 2 was a bit trickier, as we were waking up in a hotel room and there aren’t many hiding places.  So I put the socks in his suitcase with the little note for him to find later.  Pete had just joined an indoor soccer team, so this gift was super fitting.

Day 3 (December 16): a 3 pack of boxer-briefs

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This was the day we got back from our trip to Dallas, so I put them sticking out of his underwear drawer for him to find when he was unpacking his suitcase.  I put them there right before we left for our trip.  Jenna did the same gift for Mark, and we both used this note.  We were laughing SO HARD when she came up with it!!!  It was especially fitting for Peter because he gets annoyed with me when I call his boxers “undies”.  I can’t help that I think it’s hilarious.

Day 4 (December 17): 4 blueberry muffins

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This one was also a little tricky, because I had no idea how I was going to make it work, since we got back from Dallas really late the night before.  I ended up asking one of my friends who also happens to be one of Pete’s coworkers, to go to the store and get his favorite muffins, and then I scanned the note and had her print it and put the muffins + note on his desk for when he got to work.  He was pretty surprised that I had little elves helping me!

Day 5 (December 18): the Game of Thrones series (books)

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Pete had just started reading the first book, and he REALLY enjoyed it, but he had borrowed the first one from a friend.  How perfect that the series has 5 books!  Credit to B for thinking of this one.  I left the books on Pete’s nightstand before he woke up this morning, since he likes to read before he goes to sleep.

Day 6 (December 19): 6-pack of Mountain Dew

(We couldn’t find the note for this day, must have tossed it.  But I actually kept my brainstorm paper with all the rhymes and gifts, so I still know what the note said 🙂 )

An extra special treat today –
*Six* bottles of Mountain Dew.
Since I’ve never bought them before
It really proves how much I love you!

What can I say.  The man loves his Mountain Dew, and it was an extra special treat that his wife bought it for him.  Left this in the fridge for him to find – shocking, I know.

Day 7 (December 20): $7 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets

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Well THIS ended up being a disaster.  Jenna gave me this idea.  In Illinois, they have a “Lucky 7” lottery ticket.  Well, apparently that doesn’t exist in northern Wisconsin, at least not at the 4 gas stations where I stopped.  And also, I need to say that I’ve never even bought scratch-off lottery tickets (or any lottery tickets) before, so I put $20 in the machine, and learned that you don’t get change back.  So I was mad, and then had to buy all these damn lottery tickets.  I scratched off $13 worth in the gas station parking lot, and of course didn’t win anything, which made me even MADDER.  Pete’s ended up not winning either, but I was just so MAD about the whole affair.

I put the lottery tickets in his wallet one morning before he left for work.

Day 8 (December 21): a date night!

(Couldn’t find the note for this one either.)

Time for a date!
Dinner and the Botanical Gardens at *8*!

This one was super cute and fun, probably because I could reap the benefits as well haha.  For this one, Pete and I went to dinner and a movie – Saving Mr. Banks (Thanks A for remembering!!) – but definitely didn’t wait until 8:00 to see it…  That’s way to late for us haha but I needed a rhyme!!  In Green Bay, the Botanical Gardens have a really pretty Christmas/winter wonderland light display set up, and I love going every year.  It is soooo Christmas-y and wonderful!

Day 9 (December 22): a Packers hat

So… This one doesn’t correspond with the day (it should have been something with 9…) but if you live in Wisconsin you will remember how ungodly cold it was last winter.  Pete, my brother, my brother-in-law, and my sister’s boyfriend went to the Packers game this day, so the gift was perfect.  I put this gift in his coat pocket for him to find.

Day 10 (December 23): $10 gift card to Culver’s

(Ok, couldn’t find the note for this one either, but honestly I’m impressed that he/we kept most of them!)

Go out to lunch today on me.
*Ten* dollars at Culver’s –
Woohoo!  Lunch fo’ free!”

The man loves Culver’s, and I’m not a huge fan (aside from their custard), so it was another special treat for him.

Day 11 (December 24): 11 Hershey’s kisses

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Girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Day 12 (CHRISTMAS DAYYYYYYYY FINALLYYYYYYYY!): a new watch

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Pete had been wanting a new watch for a while, so I splurged on the last day of gifts and got him a nice one.  He still wears it every day!

So folks, there you have it!  If you end up doing a 12 days of gifts, share your ideas with me!  I just love hearing them 🙂

And now imagine me whispering Merry Christmas a little early!! 🙂 🙂