Christmas has been extended for us this year, a little bit like it was for me last year. I have absolutely no problem with this as I always feel January comes a bit too quickly for my liking, forcing me to reluctantly let go of my holiday cheer. While last year I got to actually celebrate late Christmases with family and friends in January, this year my holiday has been continued in a different way: gift packages!
The first to arrive was from two of my best friends back in Indiana. It was chocked full of fantastic things, like the knitted cowl and fingerless gloves shown here. This was knitted by the same friend who has made me other lovely items, such as my cityscape mittens and the adorable Scotty dog cardigan and hat set. I LOVE this set. These are some of my favorite colors, and I’m sort of obsessed with polka dots, so I basically want to wear it all the time. However, it’s gotten really cold here in Germany these past couple of weeks, so I’m back to wearing my cityscape mittens doubled up with thin gloves underneath, but come milder temperatures again I’ll be busting out the cowl and fingerless gloves on a regular basis.
They also sent me this super cute squirrel bag. Have I mentioned that I’m also very into woodland creatures, particularly squirrels and foxes? Our GABOJ was pretty much destined to have a woodland-themed nursery, no matter what gender.
Also included in the package were a few ornaments (I have to remember to take photos of those next year as they are now packed away), a couple of cute bracelets, chocolate chips (always handy to have for baking as they don’t exist, really, in Germany) and some lovely knitwear for the Mr., too. They didn’t forget about our GABOJ, either. He received a very nice assortment of children’s books that will be added to our collection. There were a couple of hardback Dr. Seuss books, too.
After all the excitement of the above package, it wasn’t long before another one arrived from my brother and sister-in-law and their family! (Note: there was also a Toblerone bar in the box, but the Mr. had wolfed it down before I could snap the photo.) I was really happy to see some of my favorite American treats, like Reese’s and the sinfully delicious Moravian thin mint cookies included in the box. (If you like Girl Scout Thin Mints, do yourself a favor and try these instead. They are a hundred times more delicious, if you can believe it!) I’m also excited to try out Lavanila baby lotion. I try to mostly buy beauty products that are as natural as possible for myself, and I’ll do the same for the GABOJ. See the cute fox wrapping paper that I had to include in the photo? I’ve saved it and I’ll try to figure out whether I can use it somehow for paper crafting. My family and friends know my tastes well
Christmas was also extended a bit for the Mr. and I as it took us ages to open the gifts we bought for each other. I think we didn’t end up opening our gifts until a couple of days before the Christmas tree had to be taken outside for pick-up. (And that was on the 7th of January!) Anyway, that’s sort of the way Christmas has gone for us the past few years. It seems like when we spend Christmas here in Germany visiting family, we get home from the holiday and the Mr. always wants to wait to open our gifts to each other. I can’t decide whether it drives me nuts (I want my pressies and I want them NOW!) or whether I love it (Ooh…Christmas is extended into January – score!) Either way, I think our days for this practice may be numbered. Once the GABOJ is old enough to understand the concept of Christmas presents, he won’t want to wait until January to open them!
The Mr. got me a few things for Christmas that I had on my wishlist. One was this tea calendar, which I absolutely love. I had their 2012 calendar, as well, and decided I wanted the same one for this year as I enjoyed it so much. Apart from the gorgeous photography, I like that the calendar includes interesting information about tea (a good exercise for me to read in German) and different recipes using tea. Another gift was the DVD The Secret World of Arrietty, co-written by Hayao Miyazaki and with animation by Studio Ghibli. I’m a huge fan of both. Ponyo and Kiki’s Delivery Service are two of my favorite children’s films of all time, so I was excited to be gifted Arrietty. The Mr. also gave me the beautiful pop-up book shown in the image above. It’s called “Winter’s Tale.” (Check out this link to it on Amazon if you want to see more of what’s inside.) I love pop-up books, and although it will be quite some time before our little guy will be old enough to be allowed to enjoy them, too, I think they’re a nice edition to a children’s library. Sadly, the house that is supposed to light up at the end of the story by pulling a tab doesn’t work in my copy (even after we changed the batteries), but I’m still really happy with it.
And Christmas still isn’t over! The Mr. had ordered one more gift for me (another book, apparently) that hasn’t yet arrived. There’s another small Christmas package that some family friends sent as well, that we’re still waiting on. And finally, my mom and dad have been putting together a belated Christmas package for us. It’ll be a combination of some things I’ve bought online in the US and shipped to them to send over (Numi decaf vanilla tea and a tea thermometer – so excited about these items!) as well as some gifts from them. So it’s looking like my Christmas season might very well spill over into February….:)