In 2011, Matt and I planned to spend Christmas with my extended family. In previous years, my mom's sister has decked out her entire house with a winter wonderland, and we would have dinner and a gift exchange at her house. Most of the people in my family aren't much for cooking, so we'd usually just order pizzas or buy oven lasagnas, but we'd all share the meal together.
However, in 2011, my mom's brother had just bought a new house, and wanted the family to come see and celebrate in it.
Over the last few years, our holidays have been scaled back a little bit. When we were younger, everyone would go all-out for presents. Several years back, some people started complaining about the expense, so we started limiting the number of gifts we should bring for others. Even more recently, we talked about stopping the gift exchange altogether, and just doing a Secret Santa swap (which is what my husband's extended family does). Everyone was on board with this idea, but it never ended up happening. Instead, in the months before Christmas, my grandmother passed the word around that everyone was to buy themselves one gift worth $25 or less, and bring it to Christmas.
Well, I have no problem buying myself gifts, but my sister and I decided that wasn't very Christmas-y, so we agreed to buy gifts for each other instead. We wrapped our gifts up and signed the tags, and brought them to my uncle's.
My sister got me these cute short Charles Albert cowboy boots! At the time she was working at a shoe store, that's how she got 'em so cheap. :)
My family has never been great at communicating, so when we got to Christmas, we found out we weren't supposed to have put our names on the presents we brought — it was supposed to be a game. We were supposed to take turns choosing a gift at random, opening it and guessing who it was supposed to be for.
It was kind of a hard game too! My relatives don't see each other all that often, and a lot of the menfolk ended up wrapping up packages of socks or T-shirts.
Now all I have to do is figure out what to get myself this year.
Are you getting yourself a Christmas gift? What should I get myself this year?