For the past few years I've given her calendars with artwork by Robert Tuckwiller, an artist who lives right exactly where we are from, and paints the landscape we think of as home. I get one for me to put up at my desk at work, one for Mom, and I started getting one for my sister, too, when I realized how much she liked them.
|No Place Like Home - Robert Tuckwiller|
When I placed the order I told Mr. Tuckwiller how my mother really wanted to know the location of all of the paintings in the calendars, and he wrote out a list for her, even including previous years. She was completely thrilled to get that.
She gets a ton of Christmas cards, and I also gave her this cute display hanger from Pier 1:
|It looks a lot cuter with actual cards in it|
Greg did exactly what I love, which is to get me multiple things to unwrap. The highlights are a 40"x25" canvas art print of Adam Ant! How neat is that? He might know me.
|It's already on our wall|
And a really fancy USB turntable so I can not only listen to all my albums (yes, I still have all my albums from the 70s and 80s, shut up) but I can also convert them to mp3s. I actually have a bunch of albums that were never released on CD, so I'm really excited about that.
I'm also excited about the blu-rays of season 1 and 2 of Downton Abbey, which came along with a promise from Greg to watch it with me. The blu-rays will just look gorgeous on our giant tv.
But the best part was the sneaky way I ninja'd Greg's present. It's pretty hard to spend a lot of money without him knowing it, since we share a bank account, but I realized a couple of months ago that I could just get $20 cash back whenever I made any purchase anywhere when he wasn't with me, and he'd never notice. I racked up a couple of hundred that way, took his $100 cash bonus that he got at work, and with a little extra "Christmas shopping money" from the ATM I ended up with a bit more than the ~$400 he thought I had.
So he was pretty surprised to get the 4th generation iPad with retina display and a red magnetic cover to go with it. Heh. If he ever puts it down, I'll ask him if he likes it.
Despite Mom still being in pain and despite me hovering over her and forcing her to let me do her laundry and take out her trash and turn down her bed (all things she normally fusses at me until I give up even trying to do) we had a pretty nice Christmas.
My sister and her husband came and we all had ham, sweet potatoes, and green beans in the dining room together.
It certainly wasn't the typical Christmas most people picture, but I was with my sweet Mom and my sweet husband and we shared hugs and thoughtful gifts and it was, for the most part, very nice.