Who out there is still stumped about what to get a certain person on your list? Don't worry, you've still got some time... 4 days to be exact. The trickiest people on my list are Matt's parents. I love them dearly, but their interests don't exactly translate well into things I can present to them at Christmas. They are both die-hard Phillies and Jimmy Buffett fans, and tickets for a game or concert won't go on sale for months. What to do, what to do...
Since I can't be with them Christmas morning, I really wanted to give something the entire family can enjoy, Matt, his brother and sister included. That's 5 people to please with one gift. Talk about a tall order! Matt has said that Christmas day is always hectic for his family, waking around 8, opening gifts, and driving to and from multiple relatives' houses until late at night. Attention Matt's family -- stop reading now, please :)
I can't imagine there is time for a grand breakfast in robes and slippers, so I decided to provide a satisfying quick meal for them! I'm sending home a breakfast basket with Matt for his family to dig into on Christmas morning! I did this two years ago, and they loved it so much (and have asked for some of the contents again) that I decided to return to this favorite with a few changes. I included both homemade and store-bought treats for a balanced colorful mix, all wrapped up in a cheerful new kitchen towel to match their kitchen. A few of the goodies:
- Homemade cinnamon, cherry, and almond granola, packaged in a classic big jar that I found at Sur La Table. Nibble in the morning with milk like cereal, while opening presents and sipping coffee, or take some with you in the car for on-the-go refueling.
- An apple streusel pancake and waffle mix. Just add eggs and milk, stir, and pour for a quick and hearty breakfast. One bowl, one pan, easy clean-up! A small bottle of real maple syrup would be a great addition, too.
- Speaking of coffee, a bag of Starbucks Christmas Blend. Mr. & Mrs. liked it so much that I decided to feature this again. Plus, it's such a festive bag. (If your recipient prefers tea or hot chocolate, there are great options available even at the grocery store.)
- Oranges! Something healthy and colorful to
lightenbrighten up the basket. My mom has put an orange in the toe of each of our stockings for as long as I can remember. Apparently, this tradition started around World War II since a fresh orange in the winter was considered an exotic treat.
- A bag of holiday blend M&Ms. Since I first visited a few Christmases ago, Matt's parents have always kept a bowl of the candies at the top of their stairs. I grab a handful every time I pass, so I figured it was only fitting to replenish the stash :)
Tonight I'll assemble the whole thing so it's ready to send home with Matt tomorrow. Other items to include: fresh scones or muffins, small jars of jam or Nutella, really anything you think the recipient would appreciate. Feel free to change the theme of it, too -- perhaps a movie watchers basket with candy, popcorn, and a DVD or two, just to give an example. I really enjoy putting baskets like this together and highly recommend them for hostess gifts, company, or even a family or friends that you don't want to just gift with something store-bought because you feel obligated. A package like this is sure to please everyone!
Speaking of packages sure to please, Matt and I exchanged gifts last night (a little early) and that guy totally took out all the stops. His creativity continues to impress me and I was so surprised. Permit me a moment to gush about my...
I've made no secret of the fact that I'm going to the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. And now, with Matt's help, I will be super prepared. A cushion for my tush and binoculars to see every bead of sweat and tear coming from the Capitals' eyes (ha ha!):
The ever important hot chocolate emergency fund:
And, to quote Santa himself, what would a Winter Classic survival kit be without one of these? An Evgeni Malkin jersey!
That jersey went on around 6 o'clock and was worn for the Penguins game against Phoenix. Oh, did I mention that Malkin had a 5 point game? Mm hmm. All thanks to this girl and her wonderful Santa :)