It seems that eventually every family has to contend with the issue of what to buy extended family for Christmas, or more specifically WHO to buy for. Some are able to maintain the giving with the growing of the family, others choose to limit it to one another's children, and then there are those who decide that their own brood is as far as the giving can go. Many varieties of happy mediums exist out there as well, although they can be a long time coming. Too often I hear people complaining around the season of the huge number of gifts they must get. Really? I mean, before we get to Christmas again, let me ask you - really?
Growing up in my home we drew a single family member's name out of a hat and were supposed to keep it a secret until Christmas. Eventually, Dad was the only one still trying to keep his recipient's identity hush-hush, and it became the devilish delight of his children to spoil his ability to do so by sharing our names with one another. Ah, holiday memories and traditions... let's just say that we didn't get our wicked sense of mischief from our mother.
As we grew up, we maintained our gift-giving custom, extending it only to the added spouses. That way everyone has one person for whom to give a gift. Anyone who is able to give more is welcome to, but there's no obligation to do so. Some years it can happen, other's not. We all understand how it is.
A few years ago I taught my girls to sing "My Favorite Things" from The Sound of Music, which spawned an idea we have incorporated into our gifting tradition options on some years. We all have little things that we just love. Why not share them with one another? Really, it can be anything. One year my sister T sent us all a tin of cuticle cream. Another, I sent everyone a little box of Jelly Belly popcorn jelly beans with a few licorice ones thrown in. My sister E sent us a bag of Lindt white chocolate truffles. The limit is usually roughly $5 a gift.
So, last year my brother and sister-in-law sent each of us some samples from their neighbors at Cross Timbers Farm. We all enjoyed the goat's milk soap tremendously. However, the wonder product wound up being this stick of Cocoa Lotion Butter Bar. My sister E has used it on blemishes with great results which prompted me to encourage one of my daughters to try it as well. She did and thought it worked pretty good. But she also used it on the horrible mosquito bites on her legs, as well as old scars she has from previous years bites and her incessant scratching. The pediatrician has guilted me about them to the point where I have sometimes just had her wear pants in the summer heat so as to at least protect her somewhat.
Well, a little while back my daughter commented on how that stick has helped her legs. I took a look and was amazed! Her legs haven't looked this good in years, many of her scars have healed and faded completely. The stick is completely natural and I don't know which ingredient or combination of them has made such an improvement in her skin, but I highly recommend this product.
Sometimes the "favorite thing gift" you give becomes someone else's treasure as well. Maybe it will be your's too! Oh, and my brother and sister-in-law have begun their own homestead business as well - Old Paths Homestead.