I Have an Idea: 50 Shades of Christmas



Sometimes ideas don’t turn out as planned.

Let me explain. You may want to get yourself a cup of tea, or something stronger and settle in. This may take awhile.

Every year I struggle with what to get my husband for Christmas. I really enjoy giving an unexpected gift, but he doesn’t always make it easy.

A couple of years ago I came up with what I thought was a great idea: a destination present. After some research, I found The Harry Houdini Museum, which was within driving distance and would be a surprise!


My next problem was thinking of a good way to wrap the gift. How do you creatively wrap an experience?

I saw the above picture of Houdini on the website and was inspired. I remembered I had saved some hardware off a purse I had thrown away thinking they may come in handy…

Then I remembered the Sock Monkey my niece gave me…

On Christmas morning, I was so excited for him to open his present. When I handed him the present I explained in a rush, “It’s more of an experience.”

This is what he saw when he opened the bag.

CM Houdini Monkey.JPG

I was confused when he looked confused and embarrassed. Our children looked embarrassed. I realized I maybe was too good at surprising! Sock Monkey did not resemble Harry Houdini- at least not enough.

To add insult to injury, the museum wasn’t open anymore.

Lesson learned: Sometimes fun isn’t as functional as one would hope.


Back to the Basics for his Birthday!



Favorite Things: Brown Paper Packages Part 2


I’m not sure when I started wrapping Christmas presents in Brown Paper but it became a tradition in our home. I probably ran out of Christmas paper on Christmas Eve!


The white ribboned present is for our dog, Katie!


It makes identifying presents easy since our daughter’s presents are tied with red ribbon and our son’s are green, a “Family” present is ribboned with green, red, and white and presents that are shared have the colors of the ribbons of the joint recipients. I never had to worry about running out of Christmas paper again!