I didn't give anything tangible to anyone today (in keeping with December's blogging theme), but I did give Matt's Mimi a ride home from lunch.
The reason that's notable is that during the drive we agreed to not do Christmas presents this year. My side of the family has been doing this for a few years, but Matt's family didn't give up the fight so easily.
I have concluded that when it comes to gift-giving, there are primarily two kinds of families: those that make a huge deal out of every birthday and Christmas and and tooth fairy visit and good report card, and those that don't.
I have friends who had amazing, elaborate, memorable birthday parties every year of their life. That was not my family's style and it isn't my style either. A pool party with Little Caesar's was a pretty big deal for me and that's probably what Claire has to look forward to too. I'm not saying one way or the other is better; most people I know seem to simply prefer doing it however they grew up doing it, which makes sense.
Anyway, Matt's family leaned more toward making a big deal out of gift-giving occasions so although it's gotten toned down as the "kids" get on toward their upper 20s and lower 30s, they haven't been ready to cut out presents altogether yet. But with Mimi we had gotten to the point where we basically traded gift cards every year, and that's not much fun at all. When that's the routine, I think everyone might as well keep their money and save their time and just agree to celebrate the occasion by spending time together.
When I suggested that again today Mimi surprised me by agreeing. I think it helps a lot that now there's Claire and Riley to shop for. Regardless of why it worked, I'm glad.
My real favorite part of the day was Brooke's "wine tasting seminar," i.e. excuse to get together with the girls (the babies stayed with the dads) and sample several different wines. We also got to meet Levi, tour Brooke's beautifully updated home and eat delish chicken cordon bleu lasagna prepared by Johnathan.
Guys are great, but I love being in the company of girlfriends. There's just something about it that hits the spot. Thank you for hosting, Brooke!