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Cute Holiday Photo:

Isn't he ridiculous?! Oh my goodness, I just love him. He has started to actually pose. I originally was planning to just take a picture of the decorations and he sat his little bottom down and even cocked his head all cute. That's why he's not really in the picture. I just had to share because...well...he makes everything picturesque I swear!

What the holidays really look like at my house right now:

Can you spot Mal's Christmas gift? I'm so excited to even give him his present. Yes, that bone is three-feet long! He's going to LOVE it, I can't wait!

Yes, that’s my spare bedroom in complete disarray, but I don’t care. Do you know why?

Because those are all items that I get to wrap and give away. Two of my very favorite things ever. One of the many little things I love about the season.

I can’t wait to turn the Christmas music on (or a Christmas movie) and sit down on the living room floor and wrap to my little heart’s content. I love plotting and planning gifts to give.

I’m not too impressed with myself this year, I actually haven’t been since I got married and my Christmas list got exponentially larger. It’s hard to keep up.

You see, I like thoughtful and meaningful gifts.

I also like practical gifts. Things that you can use.

A knick knack person, I am not.

Not even a little.

I once had a friend make a remark about “teacher clothes.” She said, “Just because your top matches your bottom doesn’t mean you should wear it to work.” And I laughed and laughed and laughed at that! It’s so true.

I think the same is true for Christmas gifts, just because it’s already packaged and has a snowman on the front, doesn’t mean it should be given as a Christmas gift.” That’s my philosophy anyway.

Zach and I have the perfect little system for Christmas. We stole it from our friends. We each give each other a gift of love, a gift of want, a gift of need, plus stocking stuffers and Santa of course. It limits us from overdoing it. We will continue this tradition with our children when they join us. I like it. It covers thoughtful, meaningful, useful, and it adds a little fun as we try to figure out gifts for one another.

I’ve had a lot of fun picking out Zach’s gifts this year.

But what about everyone else?  Neighbors, extended family, and friends?

I know it’s late, but I thought I’d share some of my ideas, generic though they may be, and link to some other great ideas found via Pinterest.

And of course, I thought I’d ask all of you to fill the rest of us in :

Gift Ideas from Sharlee (now keep in mind, these are things that I like to get or would like to get because I would find them useful):

*Stationary and a book of stamps

*A Membership (Costco, Triple A, X Box Live, Netflix, etc…)

*Books

*If the person is crafty, print some craft ideas (maybe raid their Pinterest boards and pick one or two) and buy some of the needed supplies…then they can start on it right away. If the person isn’t crafty maybe choose another hobby. For example, I love cleaning. Some new or unique cleaning supplies with a few fun new tips would be so exciting.

*Movie Tickets

*An date night/game night/poker night, in a box. A few main necessary supplies for the event. This would make a great couples’ gift. For example: “Game Night in a Box” could include a board game, some snacks for a group of people, and some soda.

*Make a coupon book offering service from you. What can you offer your friends? Babysitting, a home cooked meal when they just have no time,making treats for them, sewing their clothes that need mending, clean their fridge, taking family pictures, etc.

*Freezer meals. If you have someone on your list that has the freezer space, give them a meal or two to store for later.

*If you’re from another state than the people you’re gifting…give them a gift of ‘Idaho” (or wherever you’re from) and fill it with local goodies. I don’t know about you but things like honey, jellies, and of course treats, are always welcome.

For Neighbors:

*Last year I gave my neighbors and coworkers a bottle of Cuddle fabric softener and wrote a note that said “Cuddle Up with your Family and Enjoy the Holidays.” I don’t know about you, but I get more than my fill of treats and I love them, but my goodness. I would be pleased with a bottle of dish soap, BBQ Sauce, Fabric Softener, Spices, etc…Things I can use. Be creative, think of a way to work a message into them and have fun with it.

I got this year’s idea from Pinterest, you may come across it through your browsing, but I am not going to post it on here, just in case.

Those are just a few of my ideas.

Here are some more great links I found on Pinterest:

50 Stocking Stuffers for Men

A Pasta Dinner/Date Basket

15 Gift Ideas Under $2 (perfect for neighbors and coworkers)

Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas from the “Ding Dongs” Next Door (I think you could manage with just one box and say “Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas! Or “Merry Christmas from the Ding Dongs next door!”…or something along those lines)

30 Neighbor Gift Ideas

What about you? Do you have any great ideas to share?

Also, how do you exchange gifts in your family? Do you draw names? Just immediate family? Or everyone buys for everyone? I’d like to know how it’s done, maybe I can get an idea that would take this task from a little overwhelming to just right! Gifts are one of my favorite things after all, and I’d like to keep it that way!