I'm absolutely of the belief that Christmas isn't all about presents, and that it is too commercial, and giving presents is far more my focus than getting them. All that being said, who doesn't love to open a gift? I got some great things this year, so I thought I'd share my favorites. Please, feel free to share yours in the comments.
I've been wanting a Broken Plate Pendant for years--they've seriously been on my wish list since early 2007. This year, my mom got me one for Christmas! The workmanship is fantastic--just as great in person as on the site. I can't wait to wear it.
My other fantastic Mom present is wine from home--it hasn't arrived yet, but will be shipped early next week. My aunt works at the Brandborg Vineyard & Winery, so I'm sure at least some of the bottles will be from their collection. I'm hoping for some Bradley Vineyards and River's Edge Winery selections as well.
From my Mark himself, I got a bunch of fantastic stuff. One of my very favorite things was the set of Bambud Bamboo Earphones in my stocking. They are a cute, eco-friendly twist on something I really desperately needed and just hadn't gotten around to buying for myself. I love gifts that are things you use often--they remind you of the giver every time you use them.
My other favorite present from Mark is also an eco-friendly, gorgeous take on something needed--the Ironwood Gourmet Acacia Wood Pizza Peel. I've been complaining about not having a peel, but never would have bought such a nice one. I'm hoping I can find a place to display it so it won't have to hide in a cupboard.
As for Mark, my mom was the big winner when it came to his gifts. She got him an autographed copy of Mark Bitterman's Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral and a Salt Starter Set from Bitterman's gourmet shop, The Meadow. It's hard to out-foodie Mark, but he was impressed. Good job, Mom!
My favorite of the gifts I gave was the one I came up with for Mark's dad. Mark's dad is a fairly recently retired guy of intense intelligence and curiosity, and he has recently (last year or two) become very interested in 16th century history. A month or so ago, I came up with the concept of a "course in a box" for him. I grabbed the syllabus from for a really interesting sounding course on how the Inquisitions played out in different parts of Europe, bought all the books for it (used, of course), and gave him Reed in a Box. He was amused, and had only already read one of the ten books, so I consider it a success.
All in all, we had a lovely holiday on the gift giving and getting fronts. Hope you did, too!