Birthday Wishes

A couple of months ago I sent special Birthday Wishes to someone I know.  Her birthday wass close to the beginning of the month so I found 15 small gifts plus a birthday card for her to open beginning 16 days before her birthday.  Each gift was wrapped and labeled with the date to open.

Sorry that I don’t have a photo of all the wrapped gifts.

She is a knitter and needed some stitch markers so I decided to make a few for her.

Some were beads on a flexible wire that would fit over an US 15 needle.

And some were large jump rings with a bead glued over the seam.

All slid easily onto a large open ring to keep in her knitting bag.

Most of the items before wrapping:

Here’s the list of the items pictured above: small aluminum baking pans and pumpkin bread mix, Turbie Twist®, cake mix and Jello pudding, a set of spatulas, tissue packet, eyeglass holder, office supplies, planner sticky notes and flags, stitch markers, surfboard-shaped emery boards, Au Jus mix, sunflower potholders, coffee cup sticky notes, a small lidded organizer, and a sign for her office…

She loved each one.

Birthday Wishes – October 17-23

The Birthday Wishes recap for the past week:

Two bottles of paint.  Perfect colors for some Christmas painting.


Spicy Kettle Corn with all the ingredients.  I love kettle corn and this spicy mix will hit the spot.


Vanilla Caramel lollipop.  Caramel – need I say more?


Symphony Bar with almonds and toffee.  I have no control when it comes to chocolate and toffee.  Add in some almonds and there will be no stopping me.  I know I will eat this entire bar at one time.


Colorful ribbon.  Nine yards of beauty!


Constant Comment tea and honey stick.  A favorite of mine.


Grape Tootsie Pop™.  Yummy, yum, yum.


Only four more days of goodies.  I’m so spoiled.


Professional gift wrapper

When I worked in retail many years ago, one of my duties was to wrap boxes in the store’s approved gift wrap to be displayed on a large board.  Customers would then select the package they liked and the professional gift wrapper would wrap their purchase.

wrap 3During the Christmas season, the store hired a part-time person or two to work just in the gift wrap area in the evenings and weekends.  And I would help out during the day hours.  Sometimes I would also come in on the weekends to work as well.

My daughter was hired two years in a row for the job.  She and I watched the video on the correct way to wrap a gift.  It was quite interesting.  We watched how many pieces of tissue were used to line a shirt box.  How to wrap regular sized boxes.  How to wrap odd sized boxes.  How to fold in the corners nice and straight.  How to make a perfect bow.  No stick-on bows for sure!

wrap 5

The gift wrap service was not free so it had to be worth it.

Yes, we were professional gift wrappers.

The gift wrap area had all the papers on a rack so all you had to do was unroll the paper and pull on the cutting edge to get it separated from the rest of the roll.  There was a shelf under the wrapping surface with the store logo-imprinted tissue paper.  Ribbons were also on a hanging bar with a pair of scissors near by.  A tape dispenser, gift tags, and gift embellishments were also close by.

Shirt boxes, lingerie boxes, large boxes for towels and coats, sweater boxes and tie boxes were stacked on the floor for easy reach.

It was almost perfect.

The only issue was that the wrapping table was too low and my back hurt after wrapping gifts for several hours.

When gift bags became all the rage, people stopped wrapping gifts.  That area in the store where I used to work no longer exists and I’m sure it doesn’t exist in a lot of stores any more.

wrap 7

But it’s much more fun for a child to rip open a wrapped gift than it is to reach in a gift bag and pull out the gift.

A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story

I love to wrap gifts.  It’s an art.

So do you wrap or bag?

Advent and Christmas Wishes

Growing up our family always did something special for Advent and I started this particular “Christmas Wishes” tradition a few years ago when I heard about it from a friend.  She would collect things throughout the year and give them to her children (now adults with families of their own) starting December 1st and ending Christmas Eve.  Her “rules” were that the item had to fit inside a business size envelope and cost less than $1.  She collected free pencils, pens, emery boards, samples, shiny coins, balloons, etc.

My rule is that the item has to fit inside a standard brown lunch bag.  Sometimes the item is a freebie and sometimes I buy them.  This year I printed the date (1-24) and person’s name on a round sticker to secure the top of the bag with the treat inside.

Packed up and ready to go

I didn’t get the Wishes bags ready when my son and his family were here last week for an early Thanksgiving dinner so I mailed the box of goodies to them and my daughter’s family. 

Some of the Wishes are edible: packs of cookies, tea bags, puddings, applesauce, popcorn, a piece of candy, a bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce.  Some are usable: postage stamps, lint rollers, shoe polish, note pads, candles, hand lotion, Christmas ornaments, picture frames.  I don’t think it matters what it is as long as it’s a surprise.

It takes a lot of time to get it all together and I have to think about what each person likes or dislikes throughout the year.  When I see something, I pick it up.  It’s hard coming up with 24 different things times five people so I have to resort to crisp $1 bills to fill in some days.

The year my daughter and her husband bought their house, I gave one of them a bottle of wine and the other a $20 bill on the day they closed their loan to help them celebrate. 

Of course I forgot to include some things I forgot about until the box was sent.  Oh well, those things will be stocking stuffers.

Do you do anything special for Advent?