Getting all creative and artsy for the holidays…

When it comes to gift giving, we like to make our own gifts, create something personal and memorable. Not sure how much the receivers enjoy this haha, but so far it has been working out pretty well. It was no different this christmas either.

Ben and his brother grew up next to another family with three kids and the two families have grown to become one family. This is what great friends are: family. Each Christmas they have gotten together to exchange presents but 5 years ago the other family took gift giving to a whole new level with some homemade, creative gifts. They found generic paintings from garage sales and decided to paint over them and make something unique (which Ben and his brother still hang on their walls).  Since then, each family gets together to create presents for the other including, t-shirts, books, memory boxes, adventures, and more. This year was even more special as now the family has grown to 7 “kids” ( including Mary and myself who married into the family) and a new baby, also named Ben.

So here comes the beautiful art 😀 :

  1. For little Ben, the newest, smallest, cutest, most adorable member of the family we decided to make a little stuffed animal. The goal was to make one that was crazy and weird looking enough that hopefully it becomes Ben’s favorite so his parents would have to carry it around in public. We got every kind of materials, as you can see below, ones that match very well…not. We also got huge and non-matching buttons for the eyes. 😀 Ben loved it at Christmas and hopefully our plan is well under way.
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  2. For the other members of the family we made little “awards” that they can put up on their walls. We originally wanted to get trophies but Ben’s brother found these plaques/ornaments and these turned out to be much better! 🙂 These awards were specialized to each member calling on many inside jokes and odd personality traits. We gave the awards in an impromptu awards ceremony with Ben, his brother and myself.
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We were confident that we won this year’s Christmas, but then they came back swinging. They scorched pieces of wood with several soldering irons, calling on famous trees from Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and a tree created for me “Ursulensis brunneis capillos”” meaning Orsi brown hair in Latin 🙂 . Ben and his brother gave them blocks of wood with selected quotes from childhood favorite movies and shows on it 2 years ago, which helped inspire their new creations. I cant believe how much work went into making these pieces of art, but it now hangs proudly in everyone’s house.

Here are the presents we got from them this year, aren’t they beautiful?

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The best part about these presents is the process of making them, it takes longer than going to a store, but it is fun and the process is filled with lots of laughs and lots of creativity. The time I spent with Ben and his brother making this year’s presents was unforgettable and I cannot wait until the next round of presents, and we got memorable presents that we will have and cherish for a lifetime.


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