In my family, we draw names for Christmas. Rather than by individual, we do it by “unit,” meaning, my parents are a “unit”, and each of the four original “Hoggatt” kids are a “unit”, regardless of how many people are in their family now. We set one budget, so if you get my younger sister or myself, it’s pretty easy, if you have to spread the same budget over a whole family, you have to get way more creative. It’s lots of fun.
This year, I got what we affectionately call “The Mini Hoggatts,” my brother’s family of four. When I read what name I got, I did a fist pump. “Yes!” But, then I realized that I’m not really sure who I wouldn’t have been stoked about buying for. I love to buy presents. Confession: I slightly cheated. I had a family to buy for that is currently state side, and then a soldier in Afghanistan. As to what I counted to come out of my “budget” from my soldier’s care package: I counted what was his actual gift, the football. As long as I was mailing a football all the way to Afghanistan, I thought I would send some other stuff, too.
I thought you guys might like to know what some of the stuff was that the boys over there like to have.
I sent a little tree. Ellie and I found a little skirt, a tiny star, and mini ornaments. We thought it would make his room look festive.
Candy and treats. He always shares, so I sent lots of “shareable” stuff. There’s regular and mint M&Ms (we call them “yum yums” because that’s what Jake, Gabe’s 5 year old, calls them), Dots, Tic Tacs, gum, Sours, and Mint Nougat, my favorite. (Not pictured: Christmas Oreos from my mom, Coffee for the Keurig machine that another friend sent, plus flavored creamer, microwave popcorn, both regular and cheese flavored, and individual water bottle sized drink mixes and maybe other stuff that I forgot but since it wasn't in the photo I don't remember...)
Books. Gabe was on a small base so they didn’t have the normal library of books that some of the bigger bases have. He reads them and then passes them on and they all share. The same is true of magazines, but for some reason my magazine photo wouldn’t upload to the blog. I sent Men’s Health, GQ, Entertainment Weekly, Bicycling, and 5280 (the local Denver Magazine).
The football. For them to play around with if they get bored.
Flat rate boxes from the post office. They have a weight limit but it’s pretty high, and I’m not sure what it is. It’s $12.95 to mail one, and we could send ours to an “APO” or Army Post Office, then the Army sends it overseas, so it counted as a domestic package, sort-of, but we still had to fill out a customs form, which is a pain in the hiney.
Then I dreaded going to the post office, but when I got there, I didn’t even have to wait in line and the woman who helped me spoke English fluently and was extremely cheerful and the whole post office experience took only about 5 minutes, so it was definitely preferable to going to the dentist, and that’s not what I usually say!
One more photo, of my soldier. I'm pretty proud of him. Thanks for defending my freedom. Merry Christmas, Bubba.