Sunday, December 28, 2014

How To Have An Awesome Christmas (The Powers Way!)

Hey everyone! I know you're all being a little over-saturated with posts lately... I guess that's what I get for waiting for so long to post and then having current stuff to post right after! Oops! Let's talk about my Christmas haul and doing Christmas the Powers way! Hooray!

Let me start off by saying that Patrick is a lunatic when it comes to presents. He has rules, and here they are:

1. Starting November first, everything that we buy that isn't 100% necessary gets wrapped and goes straight under the tree, and each gift gets wrapped individually. 

It's all about quantity for Patrick, and things we don't need immediately go straight into the gift pile. The tree starts pooping out presents almost as soon as we put it up (which, for me, is as early as possible because I love Christmas decorations. This year is was around the 14th of November) Frozen chicken? Necessary. New face powder? Well I still have some of the other left, so not necessary... yet. This is how we end up with 130 presents under the tree. This year, he had an eight pack of bottled Vernors shipped from Michigan. Then, he gave me one and then wrapped all of the other bottles individually, so that makes seven separate presents.

2. LISTS. 

Patrick goes from lists. He will buy a gift if A. It is on a list you've given him, B. You have mentioned at least once that you would like that specific item in the future, or C. You are out at the store together and decide on an item together, and then it goes home and gets wrapped. He will not "guess" if you would maybe like an item, because that way nothing is wasted at Christmas. That waffle iron that Aunt Mildred bought you last Christmas that you never opened? That would never happen with Patrick. Personally, I love the way that works out. Christmas then becomes exciting again because you never have to worry about unwrapping a gift that you may have to paste a smile on for, which is always a serious anxiety for me during gift giving situations.

3. Gifts are almost never from a specific person. 

For example, he does most of the Christmas shopping. He buys gifts for himself and for others. Then, he wraps them and puts them from things like "All of Italy," "Steve Jobs," or "Jim Fixx." That way he knows what the item is by looking at the "hint" he has left on it and it gives others the chance to guess what the item is based on the clue. Although, he does sometimes forget what he's written. This year, he opened a gift from "The Mayans" and he had no clue what it was. Altogether, this works out in everyone's favor because that way we never have to play the "Well, you got me 12 gifts and I only got you 5" game. Nope, they're all from random people or things, and he would prefer to buy himself gifts because most of what he wants is pretty specific.

4. Survey gift cards.

Each year, Patrick does hundreds of surveys online through certain websites. These surveys earn him any number of points, which he can cash in at the end of the year for any number of different gift cards. He then cashes them all in for Amazon gift cards, and then finds most of the things you want from your list on Amazon. This year, he had over $600 in Amazon gift cards, and then anything else was paid for out of pocket, however it means that you can either get twice as much as you normally would or you can have a smaller Christmas budget for the year because a large chunk of it is already paid for... and it also means he can go crazy with gift giving.

5. Dollar store stocking stuffers. 

This year, Patrick and I each had three stockings full of stocking stuffers. Crazy, I know. He takes a very small portion of out-of-pocket his Christmas budget and puts it aside for stocking stuffers, then goes crazy at the dollar store buying things that are less practical and more fun. This year, we got things like silly string, hot chocolate packets, gummy bears, Jonas Brothers erasers, glue sticks, etc. Some things are practical but they are mostly ridiculous, which he loves.

Our "stocking stuffers" this year

6. Lay out the presents.

When I wake up on Christmas morning, I go out, tell Patrick I'm awake (or more likely I message him on Google Hangouts...), then I proceed to get ready, shower, etc. When I'm done with my morning routine, I go out to the living room and Patrick has the presents all laid out on the floor so that he can see what they are and easily determine what order he wants to give them out in (and also so he can get really giddy about the sheer number of presents that are coating the floor).

We got new carpet, although I'm not sure about the design. ;)

The way Patrick does Christmas is exciting, and after successfully completing our second Christmas together I'm learning to adjust to it. The only thing that drives me crazy is the stocking part because I am always so careful with things and money. I don't like having things that don't have a use other than for aesthetics, and I can't imagine what I would do with a pack of Jonas Brothers erasers, but it makes him happy so I try not to gripe. So let's get on with it: My Christmas haul!

My "Soot Sprite" slippers, originally from the movie "My Neighbor Totoro" but also known from "Spirited Away"

Pandora bracelet and my first charm, "My Princess"

  1. 1/4 Inch Barrel Curling Wand
  2. Necklace
  3. Ring
  4. Spinning Necklace Holder
  5. Undies (x3)
  6. Blouses (x2)
  7. T Shirts (x2)
  8. Bra
  9. Bandlettes
  10. MP3 player
  11. Iced Tea Maker
  12. Pots & Pans Set
  13. Wooden Spoon Set
  14. Rubber Spatula Set
  15. Tiny Rubber-Tipped Tongs
  16. Purse
  17. Wallet
  18. Pandora Bracelet
  19. Pandora Charm
  20. Face Powder
  21. Cover Up
  22. Eye Liner
  23. Nail Polish
  24. Crystal Pineapple Candy Dish
  25. Taming The Star Runner by S.E. Hinton
  26. Jeggings
  27. Skirt
  28. Scarf Holder/Hanger
  29. Stuffed Giraffe Ornament 
  30. Victoria's Secret PJ Set
  31. Drinking Bird (drinks the water, goes back up to standing, continues)
  32. Ceramic Kitty Measuring Cups
  33. Dyson Pull Along Pet Vacuum
  34. Soot Sprite Slippers
  35. Acne Tools
  36. Minnie Mouse Clip In Ears
  37. Cotton Candy Body Spray
  38. Vibrating Back Massager
  39. Carry On Suitcase
  40. Hedgehog Hanging Calendar
  41. Studded 3/4 Sleeve Knit Shirt
  42. Sketchers Glittery Boat Shoes
  43. Pocketed Yarn Carrying Case
  44. Headphones
  45. Shower Head with Detachable Sprayer (for kitty bathing and hair dying!)
  46. Beastlie
  47. Andy Capp's Cheddar Fries (x4) (I can't find them anywhere in California and they are my favorite)
  48. Vernors (x7) (Also cannot be found in California unless you buy it in a can, but a can of pop could last me several days because I rarely drink it... You see the problem)
  49. Rainbow Bowl & Teaspoon Set
This is just what I got from Patrick, it doesn't even include anything from my family or friends! Keeping in mind that we bought probably 30% of these things way in advance and I wasn't allowed to have them until Christmas (like most of the clothing was purchased in like October or early November simply because I needed new clothes, but I didn't get them until Christmas), we both made out like bandits this year! Christmas with Patrick is way fun, and I wish my family had done it similarly when I was growing up!

Even Marble, my cat, got a present from Patrick, called "Cat's Meow," which is an As Seen On TV item. Don't be fooled by the infomercial stigma; Marble is obsessed with her new toy and even cries when we turn it off! As soon as we can teach her how to turn it on by herself, we won't have to worry anymore :)

"Cat's Meow" featuring Marble

I know that most people enjoy spending the holiday with family, but since my family members are all back in Michigan, at least I got to spend it with the man I love, my precious kitty cat, and a whole hoard of presents.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday with your loved ones and that you all got what you wanted for Christmas :)

I won't be posting again until after the new year (two whole days, what a shame) and so I wish you all a safe, happy holiday with your friends and I hope 2014 has treated you all as well as it has treated me. :)

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