December 30, 2013

Christmas 2013: Gifts, New & Old

Amidst all the holiday festivities Tim and I made a deal with each-other not to go crazy with gifts this year. We've been gifted with many blessings this year — good health, being surrounded by family and friends, a new career path for Tim and finally being able to call it our first Christmas as a married couple. In an effort to have something to unwrap on Christmas morning, I think we both came up with meaningful ideas for one another we thought would be fun to share here on the blog.

Ever since I've known Tim, he's had a favorite pair of L.L.Bean duck boots. He brags about how he's had them since the 80's and it's often a source of laughter when we try to calculate if he's had the boots longer than I've been alive. As you can probably imagine, they've been well worn over the years, the laces were busted and the threading was coming loose enough at the heels that it made them difficult to wear for function in wetlands (you might remember he mentioned them when getting his newest pair of Muck Boots a few years ago).

For the last couple of years he's talked about how he wants to send them back into L.L.Bean for re-threading again (it's a service they provide for a minimal charge) but it's one of those things he's never actually gotten around to doing. So, instead of buying something new for him, I liked the idea of bringing one his most favorite possessions back to full functioning life as a Christmas gift.

It was just a matter of calling up the L.L.Bean repairs department for a quote, sending them the boots with return address info and shipping them off! A few weeks later, they had been beautifully resoled by hand and sent back with new laces, retaining the original and perfectly worn in leather uppers that Tim loves so much:

On Christmas as soon as he opened the gift wrap to see the Freeport, Maine labeling on the box, he knew exactly what I'd been up to...

It turned out to be such a fun surprise — he's worn them almost everyday since opening them and it made me feel like I'd really nailed it this year without going overboard.

As for me, Tim surprised me with a pair of green onyx dangle earrings I'd had my eyes on:

They're from Bara Boheme, handmade in Los Angeles, and we'd seen them while walking through the Union Square Holiday Market on our most recent trip to NYC. Evidently Tim went back into the city while I was at work to get them. The funny part about my gift was, on Christmas Eve, we returned home from dinner to discover Basil had actually unwrapped them himself. Luckily Tim walked in the door first to find the earrings laid out on the floor and quickly slipped them into his pocket while we both searched the house for any signs of wrapping paper and the missing box. Neither of them were to be found, so we're guessing Basil had a little present-opening party of his own that night. Good thing green onyx isn't exactly his particular "taste."

Speaking of our little mischievous four-legged Christmas elf, he received a pretty stellar gift of his own!

His Gran (my mom) wrapped up 2 of the largest deer antlers we've seen. Evidently, her UPS delivery man brought them to her, knowing she's always on the hunt for antlers down at the river for Basil — how amazing is that? You could say Basil was a happy camper for the rest of the day:

As we wrap up our holiday posts for the year, we hope each of you have had a joyful season. Thanks so much for stopping in to check on us — it's truly one of the best gifts we could receive.


  1. Have a safe and joyous and prosperous and loving New Year yous guys!

    Rick & VJ

    1. Happy New Year to you both! All the best in 2014!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I love your little family and always enjoy reading what you all are up to!

    1. Thank you so much for following along! Happy New Year and we look forward to hearing from you in 2014!


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