Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sharing Smiley360 Mission

Sharing Smiley360 Mission: I just became a Smiley360 member! Sign-up for free at and you could win an iPad 2. *Please remember the FTC requires you to mention that you received a free sample courtesy of Smiley360 when sharing.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Gift Wrapping 101

We have a large extended family and about 30 people on our Christmas shopping list.  We budget for it all year, but unfortunately the budget doesn't show up and wrap all the blasted gifts.

If I had my way every gift we buy would be plunked in a gift bag, stuff some tissue on top and delivered to the reciepient with a smile.  However I have been told "nobody likes to reach into a bag to get a gift, the fun is in unwrapping it."  Said the male who hasn't wrapped a gift in 14 years.

In order to turn the pile of purchased items into thoughtfully bought and WRAPPED gifts, I have simplified the gift wrap process this year

 1 theme of wrapping paper

Polka dots were easy to find this year and work well for young, old, boy or girl. But I guess if they want their gifts bad enough it doesn't matter if you wrap your 90 year old grandpa's in hot pink Hello Kitty paper.  It's what is on the inside that is important people!

2 coordinating colors of ribbon

1 bucket of coordinating tags

I prefer the tie-on tags versus stick on.  Mainly because you have more options for attaching the tag and they come in more sizes.  So when you are trying to jam all 5 family members names onto one tiny gift because you are too cheap to buy more then one, you will have the room you need.
I also prefer the tie-on ones because the tend to be a little less "festive" then the sticker ones.  And because I'm a type-a, crazy anal, everything must match, weirdo, I do not like using a Santa tag on candy cane wrapping paper.  Just sayin......

And if you are anything like me, it will take you about 3 weeks to completely finish wrapping the gifts for extended family members.  Most likely finishing up minutes before you are to walk out the door to a festive holiday get together with said family members and at some point realizing that you forgot someone's gift and further realizing that you have absolutely no idea where that gift could be.

But when you are done you will have a fabulous pile of gifts stacked in your bathroom, because really where else would you store them?  Under the actual Christmas tree for the almost 2 year old to unwrap daily?  Or maybe in the garage which barely has room for 2 cars it was made for because of all the other crap necessities that are stored in it?
Yes, I did resort to gift bags for several odd shaped, over-sized gifts. Or when I was just to lazy to find a box or look for the tape/scissors yet again because for some reason they just keep walking off (in the hands of the above mentioned toddler).

Happy Wrapping Y'all

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beware: Christmas Rant Ahead

I used to LOVE Christmas time.  Everything about it.  The lights, shopping, decorating and wrapping.  I could not wait to start my shopping every year and then come home, throw on the Christmas music and get to work wrapping every gift just so, complete with matching ribbon and gift tag.  I would do a little holiday baking.  I hate to bake, I hate anything that has to do with the kitchen, so for me that was huge.

After having children, my attitude about Christmas has changed dramatically.  On so many levels.

Begin Rant Here:
My children do not need tons of toys.  Our basement already looks like the backroom of an all boy toy store.  They don't play with toys.  They use toys to throw at each other and to stand on in order to reach other non-toy items that have been placed out of their reach on purpose.
They would rather spend time with you (and YOU know who YOU are).  They might like to go to college someday.  Or perhaps they will need bail money at some point.  Consider gifting your time or tucking a little away for future expenses.  They can always use clothes.  They are boys.  Boys are very hard on things, we go through several pairs of pants in a month.  That gets spendy and unfortunately they can't wear Legos or DS games.

My children whine when they don't get EVERYTHING on their list.  Please.  Did Baby Jesus ask the Wise Men to bring him gifts?  Did he ask them to bring specific gifts?  I don't believe that he did.  However, I do think that he was grateful for what he did receive.  He probably even followed it up with a lovely thank you note.

Whatever happened to just going out and purchasing items that you thought the gift recipient would enjoy?  I saw a sign that said "I hope you enjoy the gift that you told me to buy for you".  That is exactly how I feel about giving out specific lists.  How about I just give you the cash and you can go buy the item.  It's basically the same level of thought and I don't have to haul three children through a crowded store while they ask for everything that they put on their list that they are just absolutely sure they are not going to receive.  Which is a possibility since there are about 500 items on each list!

Also don't ask me for a list and then complain about everything I put on it.  If you refuse to buy my children anything other than toys, guess what, that practical item that we need is going to end up on my list.  Deal with it.  If you think the shoes I want are ugly, keep your opinions to yourself or I will start unleashing my opinions on things.  And we all know that is not a good idea. If you are certain that the item I think that I want, I really don't want, then come up with your own idea about what I do want! Save me the stress and time of making a list that you never really wanted in the first place.

I could go on and on about how cookie baking with children should be outlawed, and how if you hate getting your gift in a gift bag then maybe you should help with the gift wrapping and the stress of the perfect Christmas card picture.  But I will save those thoughts for another time.  Maybe after a few glasses of wine to help me relax and enjoy this Most Wonderful Time of the Year.