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Posts Tagged: "family"

Santa’s Naughty or Nice List – Add Names of Family

- - Christmas, Family

In 1996, I purchased a print of Santa Claus holding his Naughty or Nice List. The artist was there to write the names of who you wanted on either list.

On the Nice list, I had the artist write my husband’s side of the family – his dad and mom, his sister and her children, his brother, and my husband and our two sons – the lineage of the Drew family. On the Naughty list was my brother-in-law David and me since we were the “out-laws” of the family.

I framed the print and gave it to my in-laws as a Christmas gift. They thought it was a hoot!

Santa's Naught or Nice List Gift IdeaYears later when my in-laws decided to downsize and move into a retirement home, they had the “kids” go through their items and keep what we wanted. I chose the print and and it has been sitting in a box at the bottom of my closet for more than 10 years.

As luck would have it, I recently rediscovered the print of Santa. After looking at it, I realized my husband’s brother has since married and his wife and son were missing from the list. This gave me a Christmas gift idea!

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Refillable Advent Calendar | Christmas Family Tradition

- - Christmas, Experiences, Kids

Something I’ve learned about myself. I enjoy starting family traditions. Years before my husband Kevin and I even started our family, I already had several family traditions on stand-by.

One of them was a refillable advent calendar. I wanted to be able to customize the treats inside for my family each year. Plus, advent calendars started as a German tradition and since Kevin’s side of the family (their last name is Jaeger) is from Germany, it seemed like a perfect fit! It’s also a fun way for the entire family to count down the days until Christmas Day.

Refillable Advent Calendar GiftI bought a wooden advent calendar with larger compartments so I had more flexibility with the size of my treats. I specifically picked this one though because it shows the Nativity Scene – a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be about.

For treats, I like to include a variety of edible treats, small gifts, quotes and family activities. The activities I write down on cute paper.

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An Aloha Christmas | A Surprise Family Vacation

Our family tradition is to open presents on Christmas Eve. But in 1998, we opened gifts a few days earlier. We told our children there were family members going out of town, and they would not be here for Christmas. Luckily, they did not ask which family members because it was US!

For weeks, I had shopped for summer clothes in the winter. Not an easy feat trying to find bathing suits because Internet shopping wasn’t really a thing yet back then.

Hawaii Family Vacation Gift

My sons parasailing over the ocean.

I purchased brand new suitcases for my two boys and packed shorts, t-shirts, snorkel gear, beach towels and sunscreen. On top of that, I placed what I wanted my children to first see – brochures and airline tickets of where we were going to be on Christmas Day!

That evening at my in-laws, we did the usual holiday ritual of eating, visiting and opening gifts. We had our children open their gifts from us last. When they opened their presents and found suitcases containing clothes, they were puzzled. The look in their eyes said, “Uh, what’s this? Clothes? Really?”

We all know 17 and 13 year old boys hate getting clothes of any kind. For any occasion.

I couldn’t believe they missed the brochures of beaches and surfers!

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Let It Be Known That This is My First Blog Post Ever

- - Catch All

Queen Darlene (Darlene Drew) co-founder of Sunburst GiftsUnlike Diana, I do not have a favorite holiday. New Year’s, Valentine’s, the holidays you are off work, Easter, Birthdays, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and everything in between are all equally wonderful to me.

My family celebrated on every occasion because it was deemed important that family and friends get together to share stories, have fun, laugh, give gifts, take pictures, give hugs and kisses and genuinely show love for each other.

You see, for most of my life the only way my family could communicate was face to face. My grandparents on both sides were deaf, as well as my parents. There were no computers, video phones or cell phones to text. You could not call to wish someone a Happy Birthday or Thanksgiving. You physically had to be there in order to communicate through sign language.

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Thanksgiving | My Favorite Holiday

- - Catch All

Princess Diana (Diana Rogers Jaeger) co-founder of Sunburst GiftsSince college, my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. Why? Because people don’t give presents. I know that sounds silly coming from the co-author of a gift ideas blog but hear me out.

Instead of giving presents on Thanksgiving, people give their TIME to spend with their family. Nothing says “I love you” or “You are important to me” more than taking time to sit, talk and laugh together.

But the gift of time is abstract. You can’t see it or touch it. So that’s why there are many occasions where we want to SHOW someone we love them and care about them with an actual gift. Something they can physically unwrap.

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