My December Gift-Giving Challenge

Bad to the phloem!This post is not garden related, but as it’s 20 degrees out…  I think it’s appropriate….

I’m no dummy, I know when I’m in a pickle.

I have a husband that is turned up to number 11 on the Christmas-loving scale, it’s his birthday on the 11th and our 10th anniversary of meeting and falling blissfully in love on the 19th…

He loves opening gifts, no matter how mundane and expects a pile of them for each occasion.

Also? He accuses me of hating Christmas and never putting forth a good effort. This, of course, is not true. But when you’re married to Buddy the Elf, it’s hard to measure up.

Also, as previously mentioned- I have a bun in the oven and have the energy to do ABSOLUTELY NADA…

So, I know when I’m set up to fail.

And yet, I’ve come up with this idea that makes it sound like I’m an over achiever, but hopefully you’ll see the GENIUS behind it that will really help relieve the pressure.

I’m turning our house into a life-sized Advent Calendar.

Each day in December, Dan will have to find a different door/cabinet/drawer in our house (that will be marked plainly with construction paper, glittered pipe cleaners or EZ Cheeze), that will contain a small gift like a $5 Starbucks card, a package of socks or a giant bottle of that awesome windshield wiper fluid that melts ice.

Perhaps on the big-deal days, I’ll bump up the presents to sweaters, more Pendletons and Woolrichs for his lumberjacky collection, or a life-sized reindeer made from smoked gouda. But you get the idea…

I think by cutting this down into tiny bite-sized pieces, this is actually more manageable for me than having to really come through for his birthday AND Christmas. I already have the first week planned and mostly purchased and it was easy peasy.


What do you think? Am I fooling myself that 24 small presents, cleverly hidden, is any easier than performing a miracle for Dan on the same day that I have to have a present for everyone else I know? Is he going to remember all this effort and stop calling me Scrooge?


Maybe I’ll post some of my Advent Doors on my Facebook page as this goes down… Or maybe you’ll talk me out of it, entirely?


I don't yet have a photo to go with this post, so I went with our old stand-by...


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About Amanda Thomsen

Big, loud and fun- Amanda Thomsen landscapes by day and blogs at night. Her blog, Kiss My Aster, on Horticulture magazine's website has alienated/enraptured dozens.She co-authors a blog called Plants That Suck that is about plants that suck. And she is the less popular half of the podcasting team, Good Enough Gardening, which makes her feel like the "Roy" of of Siegfried and Roy, but without the mauling. She lives in Chicago and does not EVER put ketchup on hot dogs.

7 thoughts on “My December Gift-Giving Challenge

  1. Hah!! It’s perfect!! Wish I’d thought of that while I was still married to Buddy The Elf. Great idea. Good creative energy – but that’s what you’re all about!

  2. That’s a great idea!

    One thing though…I’d be scared he’d view it as a lead up to the day, not the thing itself. He might still want the pile of presents on the day. Is he not going to have anything to open on the day when everyone else is opening theirs? That’s not good!

  3. what a great idea! :) perfect year to do it, also. by the time the One On The Way is almost a year old, s/he will be old enough to destroy anything glittery s/he comes across…;)

  4. I absolutely love your idea and I think it may actually be easier than coming up with the “big” stuff. He may actually remember it but don’t count on it. I did that for Easter one year for my husband and he had a blast but now retains no memory of the whole thing. I recommend getting it down on video or in photos so you have a gentle reminder for him when he gets in one of those moods. Enjoy your celebrating and congrats on the bun in the oven!
    ~Patty

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