Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Simple Gifts

People love presents. That is not news to anyone. But presents are usually associated with holidays, and the excitement and rituals that accompany them sometimes detract from the joy of giving and receiving. Plus, birthdays aside, most gift giving holidays involve a surfeit of stuff, which, in turn, diminishes the individual value of each gift.

Last year, we decided to do a family gift exchange on February 29th, to celebrate the leap year. We drew names a month in advance, and when the day arrived, revealed who we'd drawn, and what we'd got them.

The Gs enjoyed this so much  that they were clamoring to do it again, and we decided to celebrate Labor Day with another draw, setting a limit of $5 in an attempt to combat the evils of materialism and to encourage creativity. Here's the result:

  • BG made bath salts and scented oil for Worldwide.
  • OG organized a scavenger hunt for the BGs, including trivia and stunts.
  • Wordwide made a "Chopped" box for me featuring green apples, pancake mix, green chillies and Cambodian peppercorns.
  • I made a Spotify playlist for the OG, and purchased the Stax Record Story, which I found on Amazon for $6.99 (a little bit over the limit, admittedly, but no-one complained).

 A very successful exchange. I made vegetable risotto with green apples and chillies for dinner last night, along with pancake batter-dipped onion rings, and the Gs did a very funny imitation of the judges ("the apples add a nice crunch, but I'm not tasting the chillies;" "the onion rings are very creative, but I'm not sure they belong alongside a rice dish."

I'm also really pleased with the playlist, as it includes a number of deep cuts, which I'd never heard before, and only discovered by browsing on Spotify. For those of you who use it, here's a link to the playlist. Otherwise, here are the songs:

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