All my siblings came to the Pink House for Christmas this year and since Kev cleaned out the "third bedroom" in the basement and installed a heat vent, I think we were all pretty darn comfortable (since four people didn't have to sleep on top of each other in the front room!).
We do a Secret Santa exchange each year so we can focus on getting something more thoughtful for the person to which we're assigned. It's so much more rewarding than trying to get something together for everyone in the family each year.
Aspen and I got matching ear warmers from Julia and I tried mine out that very night walking around Christmas Village with Sophia. I love them, but I probably won't wear mine the same time as Aspen because that's just a little too much. Aspen wore hers on Sunday for about five minutes before it was covering her face and she expressed displeasure. They're so cute though and I absolutely love that Julia made them for us.
Sophia wrote a book for Aspen (and had her roommate illustrate it!) that had me in tears when I finished reading it. My siblings and parents wrote special messages to Aspen that Sophia published in the back of the book. It is a treasure and I'm so grateful for it. My parents sent "Good Night Maine" for Aspen and I enjoyed reading to her about some of the things that make Maine special. We're looking forward to taking Aspen to Maine to see the coast... although I'm not looking forward to traveling long-distance with a toddler. Yikes.
Another meaningful gift Aspen received came from my Aunt in Florida. She knitted an Aspen-sized doll, complete with bloomers, petticoat, skirt, apron and bonnet. It's so wonderful that Aspen got so many handmade gifts from people who love her.
Thankfully, being frugal at Christmas didn't mean we couldn't have a good time. Kev went thrifting and found a beautiful globe for me. I've always wanted one but have never come across one for a good price. It is the perfect gift and I can't wait to put away all the Christmas decorations to make a place for it in the front room. I took advantage of CanvasPeople's free 8X10s and had three photos of Aspen made into canvas prints for Kev. I also sold a lot of media to Hastings so I could purchase Flight of the Conchords for us.
But more importantly, Christmas is never about presents (although they're wicked fun). We could be too broke for presents but we'd still be able to enjoy celebrating Christ and the gift of family.