Friday, December 21, 2012

When I Am Secret Santa: The Gifts

This is the first year I have participated in Secret Santa in a long time.  There was one time in Jr. High that we, as a class, did the Secret Santa thing.  I had drawn a guy's name and remember making him a paper mache lime green football.  It wasn't the prettiest thing but hey it was middle school, what can I say.  Anyhow, after giving him the gift I later found it destroyed and in a puddle of water.  I was heart broken and of course tattled.  Hey, it was middle school.  To his credit he did apologize, but it I was always leery of Secret Santa from then on out.

This year, I guess I had a change of heart on the matter and decided to put my name in the box for Secret Santa.  I then immediately went to Pintrest!  I had no name, I had no gender, but I was going to get ideas!  I narrowed it down to several options that would fit a variety of people and then finally got at name, Rachel!  We all had to fill out this slip of paper about our likes and interests to help our Secret Santa out.  I used that to decide on the four gifts.

Gift 1:  She likes Pepsi.

No Pintrest needed for this one! I bought an 8-pack of small Pepsi bottles and planned to give her one each of the 8 periods of our school day.  I decided to deliver them myself and tell her that her Secret Santa asked me to deliver them.  I did good period 1 and period 2, but after that it went downhill from there.  I decided to take the remaining six to her at lunch.  She thought it was funny that she was getting all these Pepsi's and was telling other people the story.  So my Secret Santa confidence was steady.

Gift 2: She likes Italian food.

I found a recipe online for lemon and thyme infused salt that sounded like it would go great with some pasta and chicken.  So I made a batch but switched out the thyme with some dried basil.  I paired it with a recipe that included the salt and a box of pasta.  She wasn't there the day I was to give it to her so, I just placed it in her chair.  Confidence still steady.

Gift 3: She likes chocolate.

I found a picture showing how to make a Hershey Kisses Christmas tree (there is more to the picture if you click on the link).

I made my own version with less embellishment because I was going with what I had on hand since I didn't want to drive to the store. (Lazy, I know.)

Hershey Kiss Tree

I think it came out cute and when I delivered it, she was impressed and so were the students that were in her classroom at the time.  Confidence was soaring!

Gift 4:  She likes games.

This was the big gift at the end of the week.  I saw this vertical chess board on Pintrest and fell in love. 

When I clicked on it, it wasn't a tutorial on how to make it, but went to a link where you could buy one for $300.  Well, that wasn't happening!  So, I started searching for how to make one.  I found this link, but after reading through it, it was starting to get more complicated than I could handle.  I just didn't want to give up on this project, so I kept brainstorming.  The shelves were the thing causing the problem.  So I started thinking of how I could do it differently but still keep the vertical theme to it.  My first thought was magnets.  I could buy a sheet of thin metal and glue magnets to the bottom of the chess pieces.  But then I dismissed that because I was running out of time to go search for the supplies. 

Thinking, thinking, thinking, and then it hit me.  Velcro!  I had a wooden unfinished shadow box that I pulled the shelving out of (couldn't use it for the chess board, already thought of that) and painted it.  You know, of course, that it did not split easily into 8 across, 8 down, so the outside rectangles (no squares here!) were a little larger than the rest.  I also painted the plastic chess pieces that I already had to make them prettier.  I then took small circle Velcro pieces and stuck them to the chess pieces and to the board.  

The Velcro immediately came off when testing the strength.  Grrr.....   That's when Gorilla super glue came into play.  I glued my finger to the tube so badly that I thought I was going to lose skin pulling it off....twice.  Finally, finally, finally, all was in place and ready to go.  I told my husband it was all good except there was no place to put the discarded chess pieces as the game progressed.  He suggested I put a strip of Velcro down each side.  I told him he was a genius.

Here is the final product.  I almost didn't give it to Rachel I liked it so much.

Vertical Chess Board Front

Vertical Chess Board Pieces on Side

Vertical Chess Board Close

Vertical Chess Board Side

I took it to Rachel and she opened.  She oohed and awwhed and then asked me where I found it.  I told her proudly, that I made it.  She said that made it even better.  Secret Santa confidence restored!

Next year when this time comes around, I will have no trepidation in becoming a Secret Santa....if I don't get too lazy that is!

We have a trip coming up!  Paris for Christmas AND New Year's.  I am so super excited and will be posting all about our trip when we get back.

Until then, I hope y'all all have a very merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!