Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Gift Giving

Ten more shopping days until Christmas.  I am nearly finished.  I ordered quite a few things online this year and saved myself the hassle of walking the mall.  Funny, though, I sort of miss it.  There is something very satisfying about walking in the door with all your gifts, wrapping each and setting it under the tree and stepping back to admire your efforts. 

Ordered gifts may be less of a headache initially but waiting for each to arrive, ensuring it isn't broken or the wrong size/color, and praying it doesn't need to be returned is almost more work and doesn't allow the satisfaction of a job well done.   

Each year, there is one gift that (in my own mind at least) just seems perfect.  Last year, it was the rock hunting equipment for my nephew.  This summer we took a field trip to Morris, Illinois to break it in! M & I packed a picnic lunch and spent the day collecting the "perfect specimens".  If you ever get a chance to venture out that way, stop by and see their local artist in residence.  He creates outdoor sculpture from reclaimed metal and plastic.  It is quirky and quite beautiful! Here is the link to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources if you want more information on fossil hunting.  The IDNR staff can direct you to the artist's home on your way out of town. 

This year, the perfect gift is for my mom.  It is actually two gifts.  The first is an autographed photo of Judge Judy.  I sent an email to the show asking for it and her staff was kind enough to send one for each of us.  I am going to purchase a mat and frame it for her.  I know it will be a big hit. 

The second part of her gift is a boat tour on the Chicago River with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF).  We'll also go for lunch afterwards.  I purchased a membership that gives us reduced parking near the boat launch, access to free seminars, and reduced tickets on the tours.  I can't wait to go!  Check out all the available CAF tours here.  You can also learn more about their memberships.


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