Not only did the holidays go by fast, so did the gift giving! Adding some creativity to the process made for more joy in the planning stages and more fun and sustained gift opening. I thought I’d share a couple of fun things we did for family.
First up, we gave my brother-in-law and his girlfriend an annual membership to their local aquarium which they love. But how could the short time it takes to open an envelope match up to a year’s worth of experiences? Let the fun begin…
First, we sat around the breakfast table thinking about words and objects that hint at an aquarium. These became small teases that were given ahead of the final gift. (Think jar of jelly meets Swedish fish candy.)
The grand finale, a fish bowl, was wrapped in a cooler, since the aquatic scene was made primarily from blue jello! We also included a plastic plant and a few Swedish fish. But the surprise continues…
After unwrapping the fish bowl, the recipients were instructed to reach deep into the jello! At the bottom, was a note wrapped in a plastic baggie that finally revealed the annual pass to the aquarium. (One recommendation I’ll leave you with: open this in the kitchen and not on Grandma’s carpet!)
Next up, my two year old nephew is REALLY into Thomas the Train right now. Right before Thanksgiving, I was going through a pile of boxes in our basement and got the idea to make a cardboard train for him. And this is where my contribution stops! Livi swooped in and promptly figured out the exact arrangement and stacking of the box cars and then she covered them with black marker graphics. (Ok, so I was the “expert” at covering some of the boxes with kraft paper.)
Christmas morning, we excitedly set up the train and hid presents for my nephew, brother and sister-in-law inside all of the boxes. Lastly, we used black electrical tape to create tracks outside and taped up a few railroad signs.
It was a big hit! And I know that long after everyone forgets the gifts from this year, we’ll remember the train that delivered them!
My favorite graphic: the driver!