Our family likes to squeeze everything in one big chunk. It all begins in September with Tatiana's birthday, and my parents anniversary. In October, we have Jonathan's birthday, along with his brother's birthday, and Halloween. November holds only Thanksgiving for immediate family, so we only have to buy a bit of extra food that month. Celestia's birthday is in December, along with my mother's birthday, our anniversary, and (of course) Christmas, which always includes both our family, and gifts for less fortunate children, because I could not be so blessed without also blessing others! :) We wrap it up in January with my birthday and my sister's birthday, and (completely off the subject) our truck's registration and inspection are also both in January, which costs money, too! The only people who don't manage to squeeze their birthdays into this block are my dad (who is in June and always within a week of Father's Day) my father-in-law (who is in August, so I suppose I could include in the madness, since it is the month before Tatiana's) and my mother-in-law (who is in May and always within a week of Mother's Day). You can see where someone like me, who LOVES to give people presents, could absolutely lose her mind, trying to buy everyone even a fraction of what they want. I start in December... The moment the current Christmas is over! It's absolutely the only way we can manage everything without going broke. Buy a little at a sale here, and a little more at a sale there, and before you know it, it's taken over my closet! I won't bore you with everything we unwrapped, but here are some highlights.
Santa brings each person in our household one gift (ummm, maybe two if they're small and can be wrapped together), along with a present for the whole family. Celestia got a Miley Cyrus CD, and a Jonas Brothers CD. For our future veterinarian, he brought a horse barn complete with horses, and a "horsepital" play set. Jonathan got some World of Warcraft cards, and I got a Princess Bride (my favourite movie, ever!) card game. The present for the whole family this year was Trivial Persuit Family Edition, that has a set of cards for adults to pull from, and a separate set for kids to pull from, so that everyone can play together. I feel a family game night coming on, soon! ;)
Our big gifts this year were lots of fun! Jonathan got a surround sound system for our tv, which I'm sorry to say, I was not able to surprise him with. It was WAY too big, and there was just nowhere to hide it! I had to call him on the day after Thanksgiving and ask if he would be disappointed if it wasn't a secret. In all fairness, my big-ticket item was not a surprise either. Jonathan bought me my very first camcorder!!! :) We read more consumer reviews than you would have thought possible trying to find just the right one, and I am SO excited to have it!!! Celestia, being the frilly girl in the family, received a big box-o-hair-goodies. She now has sparkly clips, not-so-sparkly clips, headbands a-plenty, hair chopsticks, ringlet curlers, a waving iron (that used to be mine!) and even a fake curly hairpiece! We also got her a beauty bag to keep everything in, so they will hopefully all last more than a week! Tatiana received the third Nintendo DS in the family, so she can play without having to borrow Daddy's or Celestia's. She's had a blast the last couple of days playing with her sister! :) Even the dogs got in on the action, with fleecy clean chew toys, which they promptly began to tear apart, and new Kong toys.
We had great fun this year, and most of all have just enjoyed having a extra time together!