Merry Christmas and Secret Sister gifts

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you all had a wonderful day.

I spent my day with family, having 16 of us for lunch. There were 8 children (my 4 girls and one of my sister’s 4 girls) and then 8 adults. I was lucky to have my mother, step-father, one of my sisters and my brother spend the day with us along with my husbands parents. Christmas to me is about spending the day with family and this all goes back to my childhood Christmas’s at my great grandmothers. I always remember those days as very happy times. The big tent was put up in her back yard, the tables filled with chocolate coated nuts, sugar coated nuts, pretzels and lollies. We had the baked dinner complete with ham, pork, chicken (or turkey), baked potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin and peas. My nan (great grandmother) used to cook the best peas. She did all the cooking and also made the Christmas puddings for dessert which of course she placed a coin underneath. Didn’t matter how hot it was this was Christmas lunch and it’s exactly the way I feel although I don’t do the Christmas puddings as not many of us eat it anymore. Mind you I don’t think we would have fit it in.

When my girls were younger we used to have Christmas lunch at my mum’s but even though we still had all the meat we had salad. Now that’s okay but my girls aren’t big salad eaters at any time so all they ate was meat.  As my family grew we decided to stay home for Christmas at our own house and we caught up with family at some stage on the day. Of course they were welcome to join us but it’s only been the last few years more of the family has started doing just that. Considering we have the room and the space for the children to still play and do things it just makes more sense.

It was so hot Christmas Eve that we left all the upstairs windows open for the light breeze that was blowing to help us sleep but didn’t consider that the noisy garbage truck and barking dogs would wake us at around 5:30am and that was our day started. Well I was awake but we didn’t get up till about 45 minutes later. Our girls were very patient waiting till we went downstairs to see if Santa had been and what he’d left for us all. Our girls were very happy with what Santa left for them with most of them receiving most of what they emailed Santa for.

I also received some wonderful gifts this year from my hubby and girls. My favourite gift of course was one I helped select and that is a new Flip Mino HD camcorder. Once I work out how to use and edit the video from it I’m hoping to use it to start doing a few video tutorials to share with you all. I also received choccies, jewellery, a new beach towel, and some other bits and pieces.

As you might be aware I’ve also been participating in a Secret Sister swap with fellow demonstrators who are part of the ESAD-SU group. Not only have I been doing the demo one but we also just started one this month on a yahoo group I run called Stampin’ Up in Oz. This group is for anyone who loves Stampin’ Up products and creating with them. You don’t have to use just Stampin’ Up but the main focus should be on Stampin’ Up products. It’s only a small group at present and we’ve been rather quite but there are some new things on the agenda for 2010.

Back to the Secret Sister swaps. I received both of my swaps before Christmas so decided to put them under the tree so I had some more things to open on Christmas Day. Not sure about you but there usually isn’t too many surprises under there for my anymore……..

I received wonderful, and very generous gifts from both my Secret Sisters. The demo group swap was also my reveal so I can now let you all know that my items I have been receiving were from a lovely WA demonstrator by the name of Tanya Kitto. This is what Tanya sent me as my final gift.

and opened

  The item on the left contained 3 lovely tea towels. The item on the right had a box of Sweet Treat cups, Rhinestone Brads, Star Designer Brads, Hemp Twine, Pink Pirouette 1 1/4” ribbon, Versamark reinker, Lindt choccies and a Magnetic Purse pad.  This was very generous of Tanya and I thank her so much for spoiling me during this round and also for including some gifts for my children and husband along the way.

This is what I have received for my December gift from my Stampin’ Up in Oz Secret Sister. This swap has been set up slightly differently than the demo one with our first month being our gift month seeing that it was Christmas. I was so spoilt again and now have to wait till end of February to find out who they are so I can thank them properly.

From the top left I received: A desktop calendar unit which has a drawer filled with note paper, A box decorated with the ‘Fifth Avenue Floral’ stamp set which contained a packet of Stampin’ Dimensionals and a Snail refill, a Christmas Easel card using the ‘A Wish for Peace’ stamp set, A Note pad holder and notepad, Santa lolly, Big Shot Dies cuts from the Bigz Flower –Daisies #2 die and finally in the centre a Peek-A-Boo box complete with a jar of Clear Embossing Powder.

When we sign up for these swaps we have to complete a questionnaire which is then forwarded to our Secret Sister so they have some ideas of what’s on our ‘Wish List’ and also what colours, stamp sets, etc we like. Of course these are only a guide for them to use. There is also a set minimum dollar value that we must include and if we so choose to go over this it’s our choice but no one should feel they have to. My Wish List only stated that I would appreciate any consumables. I thank my Secret Sisters for their generosity with the ‘consumables’ they have both sent me.

I still have my reveal to do for my Secret Sister for the demo group and then I will be able to share with you the items I have made for her. Keep watch early in the New Year for that.

Just in case I don’t get back before New Year I will take the opportunity now to wish you and your family a safe, happy and prosperous New Year.

Happy Stamping

Nikki
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