For Christmas, I got spoiled.

Here are a few of the best gifts:

  1.  A heated blanket.  Our part of the country enjoys winter weather as much as the next, but I am rarely warm—autumn, winter, or spring.  (Yes, I’m that person who wears their gloves and scarf into May.)  Anyway, this cover of warmth has an automatic setting that turns it off after three hours; by then, I’m sound asleep.
  2. All my kitchen knives sharpened.  Bea and Mr. Anonymous were behind this one.  I have a particular paring knife that I like to use for just about everything (chopping potatoes, peeling apples, dicing strawberries, cutting up Doc’s food, etc.), and it was getting pretty sad.  Now, they could be used to split hairs!
  3. An enormous hatbox packed with lovely skeins of baby yarn.  My grandmother-in-law beamed as I opened this present.  “With all the weddings you’ve attended this year, there’s bound to be some blanket-making in the next year!”  So.  Practical.  I love that woman.
  4. The next gift comes with a back story.  This year, we hosted all our families (over multiple days) for the holidays… something surprisingly new for us.  Usually, we pack everything up, make the long trip to the relatives, stay far too late, repack the car, drive home grumpy kids, unpack everything, and wake up to a mess.  Not this year.  This year they all came to us.  It was not as stressful as I had imagined.  But a week before everyone was due to arrive, Mr. Anonymous and I were hashing out the menus for each party.    Our conundrum was how to serve large, traditional meals (turkey, sides, pies, etc.) at a table that sat only six people.  There was a lot of discussion about card tables, moving my work table into the dining room, and having the kids eat somewhere else, but nothing seemed to be the right answer.

“Well,” I joked.  “We could always just get a bigger table.”

Mr. Anonymous got a strange look in his eye.  “Yes,” he said slowly.  “Or I could build one.”

I laughed.  “Really?  Build a table.  In six days?  You’re out of your mind.”

He smiled lazily.  “C’mon, we have a couple hours before the kids go to bed.”  Then he stood up and grabbed his jacket.

“Wait, where are we going?” I asked.  This was ceasing to be funny.

“To the hardware store.”  He called for Bea and Doc, and soon we were zipping away in the car.

He didn’t finish the table in six days.  He did it in five… while working his full-time job.

It seats ten people, and it is my very favorite gift.  The relatives were blown away.

This week before school starts back up, Bea and I have begun to work on some birthday gifts (FOUR of her aunties have birthdays next month!) and her teachers’ gifts for the end of the school year.  (Yes, I know school doesn’t get out until June, but if we have the time now, we’re making the most of it).  We’re putting together these citrus coasters from the Purl Bee.  I figure we’ll put some sort of card with a set of six that says: Hope your vacation is full of lemonade or iced tea in the shade.  Thanks for a great year!  But we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

After Sunday, the big New Year’s deep clean begins on this old house.

I.  Am.  So.  EXCITED!

Bea has begged me not to take down any of her snowflake décor until we have spring on the way, so the paper lovelies can stay on the windows—but everything else is subject to dispersal and scrubbing.  It’s going to be awesome!

Hope your new year is just as promising!