Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Of Gift Swaps and Christmas Scrabble

So I don't even know what's cooking in Blog Land these days. I'm sorry about that. It's just that I have been such a little ADD elf that I barely have time to sit down for a pair of minutes.

Decorating  wasn't supposed to take me as long this year  Due to that economic side trip earlier this fall, I decided to keep my decorating very simple. If it was good enough last year, it's going to have to be good enough this year.


How in the world redoing the same old thing can take so long is anyone's guess,
 but it is.

Today, I leave it all behind and head out for a little shopping adventure. I haven't had a lot of luck with my gift getting in East Podunk this year so I am tagging along with the husband for parts unknown.

I'm on the hunt for several gifts, not the least of which is a gift for an annual gift exchange. That gift swap is the reason for my ramble this morning.

I love gift swaps.

Over the years, I've participated in a lot of them with friends and coworkers. We've exchanged ornaments and mugs, swapped cookies and made recipes-in-a jar. One year, my Bible study group decided to keep it really simple and just exchange the recipe cards instead.

Better for the pocketbook and the waistline.    

For nearly a decade, I've done a long distance gift exchange with a group of friends.  Every year, we try to switch it up and do something a little different as an exchange theme. We're sort of a themey bunch.

We've sent gifts inspired by our states or locations.
Then, by the first letter of our last names.
And then by the first letter of our maiden names. 
We might have done first names too; I can't remember. .

This year, our creative Exchange Queen has come up with a new idea. It has been so fun that I thought it was worth a yakabout.  We're playing Christmas Scrabble. 

Here's how it works. First we created scrabble list of all the words that can be made using the letters of our first and last names. (She furnished this online Scrabble Maker  for those of us too lazy to scrabble it ourselves.) Then, we chose a word from the list as our theme inspiration. Doesn't that sound fun?

Yeah, I thought so too.

So I used that nifty little scrabble maker and scrabbled my name, and do you know what word came up first?

It was Babble.

I also had Babel.
And dibble.
And dabble.
And edible.

So there you have it. Apparently, I'm living up to my name.

I would mention that the word bile was on my list as well, but some things should probably remain unyakked.

Not to worry, though. I have used my scrabble list to come up with an exchange theme which includes no bodily fluids. Since the intended recipient of my scrabbled Christmas has been known to read this blog, I can't share what I came up with just yet. 

However, since the Christmas Scrabble game was such a boost of creative fun,  I thought I'd pass along the idea  to the rest of you.

And that's all I have for now. Somewhere in Georgia, there is a mall with my name written on it. So fellow Georgians, if you happen to see a confused blonde eating her way through the Babble Dabble Mall, please stop  me and say hello.

In the meantime, how about you? Do you enjoy gift exchanges? 
Care to share a creative theme from a gift exchange of your own?


Decor To Adore said...

Oh your Christmas NOEL is so pretty! It makes me feel so cheery and festive.

May the peace and joy of the season be yours.

Debbie said...

I found this all soo amusing as always, haha. I have not been involved in gift exchanges for a while, and truthfully can't say as I miss them much. However your scrabble game one does sound pretty fun. Enjoy your shopping today!

Terra said...

I like the Christmas scrabble gift exchange idea, and I will look for that confused blonde gal you describe, even tho I am in California.Maybe you will extend your shopping trip to my area :)

Unknown said...

If the Noel (love that!) on your wall is an example of last years decor....your Christmas decor will be fabulous! I have not done a gift exchange other than Dirty Christmas (and I must say I am not a nice player in this game) but your scrabble exchange sounds like tons of fun! Enjoy your shopping trip, I look forward to seeing what magic you devise with your scrambled name :)

Vee said...

Fun post! ☺ Sounds too complicated for me of wee brain. Hope that you find just what you need in the big mall. I haven't been to a big mall in several years. If only the bookstore hadn't closed, I'd be there. Oh well. I have done a few gift exchanges...they've been fun, but not necessarily practical. That's part of the charm, I'm sure.

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie,

Your NOEL signs are so cute -- what a great idea! I'm glad it's not just me, because I put up mostly the same decorations every Christmas, but it still takes me forever to do.

This is such a funny post, as usual. :-D I love the words you came up with (with the exception of bile). Your group should have lots of fun with this challenge. I look forward to seeing the theme you came up with!

Have a wonderful day!


Janettessage.blogspot.com said...

As usual your life is full of fun and entertainment...go girl...enjoy! What a creative way to enjoy the holidays.

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

What a cute idea to have a theme for your gift swap, and how funny that babble was the first word you came up with. (I'm laughing about your bodily fluids remarks) I love the NOEL letters. Have fun, and good luck with your shopping. laurie

Chatty Crone said...

This post was so funny - yet so cute. I love the way your family plays together - I have never heard of such a thing. You are a plucky gal. I will look for you at the mall.

Barbara Neubeck said...

Hi Debbie,
If you put last year's decorations in the same places this year it wouldn't take too long....BUT...I'm guessing that like me...you can't help but change them around. This is where the fun and time comes in..II love it.
We do a family Kris Kringle with names in a hat and a spending limit.
Hope you find what you're looking for.
Have a good day
BBarb from Australia

Sharon said...

So, I'm sitting here playing Scrabble Maker (on my own, no help, thank you very much...)

My name has such fun stuff as YAK, NOSY, and HAIRY. No, not as much fun as BILE...

But I also came up with SHIRK and RISK. I found that worth a ponder or two. I'm wondering if I should apply that as a theme to my life next year. Do I SHIRK my responsibilities and challenges - and channel my inner shrinking violet? (SHRINK is also a scrabble). Or do I choose to RISK some things, and break out of my comfortable mode?

Hmmm - only I could take a simple scrabble game and make it into a metaphor for life...

Yes, I do enjoy gift exchanges - and I really, really miss buying toys for the boys. (My future grandkids are going to be spoiled, I'm afraid).

And next week I have a white elephant exchange. Maybe I'll use HAIRY for my inspiration - that might make for some interesting possibilities!

I've written a novel here - I'm in SHIRK mode. Time to get up and go NOSH...


http://bitsandpieces-sonja.blogspot.com/ said...

What fun!! The only exchange I've done has been white elephant, with some pretty funny exchanges.

BTW... the only thing I can come up with when I scrabble my name is
SONJA = JONAS... I sure hope it was after he obeyed and not before!

Christa said...

Yes! The most fun one I've ever participated in was one where the gift combined with wrapping, tags and bows could not cost over $1.00. I thought of this one year when two of my coworkers were in serious financial straits. It was a blast!! People were extremely creative. We still laugh about that Christmas party. Merry Christmas, Debbie!

Gina said...

Sounds like a fun exchange! I can bet the person you're exchanging with that reads your blog, was sweating for a second when they saw the word bile. I bet they're mighty relieved that you didn't go with that one! lol

Lynn said...

Fun! Of course I had to check it out and made a silly post about the Scrabble site-Thanks Debbie! Enjoy your gift exchange:@)

Sue said...

Hi Debbie,
You had me with the line about how can it take so long to do the same old thing ~ ya how can it? I can not believe how long it is taking me, with very few changes from last year.
I don't do any gift swaps, just a white elephant party, but I have agonized all week about a little something for my book club and ended up with a so so ornament. I do not have the crafty gene.
You evidently do as evidenced by your cute NOEL.
Well, better get back at it, besides my ornament I have to set a table and read the book by Thursday!!
Merry Christmas Debbie!

InGodzHandz7 said...

Wow! Love your NOEL! I have participated in Secret Sister type gift exchange before, but not ever really had any fun with it, so I haven't participated in years. My favorite kind of gift giving is the ones that I do for people who are not expecting anything, and I'm definitely not expecting anything in return. Love to make my list of people who have touched my life during the year, and also the list of possible gifts to give. This year I'm having to be quite creative at it due to financial reasons. Neatest thing though, I opened a box that had been in storage for a few years and found lots of gift type gifts that I had purchased with no recipient in mind when they were purchased. I love how they fit with my list of recipients this year - folks I didn't even know when they were purchased!! God does great things like that - He cares about the little things that make me happy.

Merry Christmas, Debbie!


Unknown said...

Dear Lord. I am sitting at our local Corner Bakery restaurant with tears streaming down my face because, well, I tried the scrabble-maker-thingy.
I am officially "cannily" or somewhat canny. Also, I am "Carlisle", otherwise known as Resembling a Carl. My favorite? "laddish", meaning somewhat ladylike.
Oh, thank you. I really, really needed that.

Unknown said...

Oops-ladyish that would be the correct spelling...

The Decorative Dreamer said...

That scrabble word maker is so cool. I had to check it out too. I am all about reusing what you already have for Christmas. Of course, I like to add on new as well and that makes for a pile of stuff, so consider yourself blessed that you are streamlining your decor. Seriously! LOL! I love your NOEL pictures. They are wonderful! Hope you find what you are looking for and enjoy your shopping day!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

That is SO cute, Debbie. I love this idea. And I know your gifts are the best.

I don't do gift exchanges, but this would be fun. We do an ornament exchange at Antique Club, and that is a hoot. You can steal each other's ornaments. We always have fun doing this. This year I gave a bag of coal as an ornament, and then no one wanted to swap with the person who got it. At the end, I gave them their real ornament. LOL So I guess that counts. It's always fun to pick out an ornament that the group will like. I had the popular one last year, and this year's popular ornament was a silver bell. They went over the quota, but they were new. We have a less than $20, preferably less than $10 quota. It makes it a lot of fun, and then you have an ornament from antique club to hang on your tree each year.



Christine said...

You come up with the most interesting things!
No gift exchange but I sure am having fun with that web site.

Always Nesting said...

So funny AND fun! I'm doing a white elephant with some of my lunch pals that I workout with. That will be hilarious to see what everyone brings.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Your noel sign is so cute!

Well I won't be running into you at any Georgia mall. I stay out of the malls most times and especially this time of year. I did most of my shopping on etsy and Amazon this year. It's been great!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

Love your NOEL! Cute stuff!

Good luck with your shopping....I haven't started really. Must get on with it!

I haven't done gift exchange for years! Your scrabble one sounds fun!


kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

I'm going to give the Scrabble game a try, Debbie! Thanks for sharing.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

Oh goodness you yacked so fast to night I couldn't keep up...Or maybe I just read it to fast lol! Can you believe I have never been in a gift exchange (Sheltered life) oh wait, I have an ornament exchange party every year...Does that count? (Except this year,,,Wedding) Oh, so glad I just had one child...OH you will have two! Well, anyway sign me

Lorac...er Carol

Angel said...

I guess I'm behind too since I'm just now seeing your post. This scrabble theme sounds like a lot of fun! And your "simple" decor is simply marvelous. Hope you had fun at the mall!!!

Denise said...

Maybe it's our age or something but why does it take so long to decorate anymore? I don't think I'm ever going to finish.

Love your framed NOEL pictures. They turned out so cute.

Except for white elephant exchange thing, I can't think of any others I've ever participated in. Yours sounds so fun. I can't wait to hear what gift you choose.

Loved the scrabble idea. Just sign me "Weenie"

Merlesworld said...

I like your NOEL in frames that's different, no gift exchange this year we did the secret santa for the family. Our families are spread wide across Australia my sister and her lot are up north and the beer fairies mob are in central NSW so we don't see them at Christamas time but in the middle of the year when it's cooler. I do like to buy gifts for people when I see something I think they will like, no matter what time of the year it is.

Kim@stuffcould.... said...

I agree if the decorations were good last year then they are good this year...I have done gift exchanges with the ladies at church but we were just drawing names

Ruth Kelly said...

I use my same decorations every year. One year I bought some candy cane lights that stick in the ground and light up the sidewalk - they were about 4 feet tall but they only lasted two years. I haven't decorated or shopped for Christmas presents yet.

Renée said...

How creative! I'm thinking it would be great fun to use like you did, scrabble tile names at each place setting. Then between courses I would set the timer and see how many words they could create from their name awarding an after dessert prize. Thanks D-E-B-B-I-E...ho! ho! ho!

Latane Barton said...

Love your blog so I decided to follow you. Hope you will come over to see me at my blog and maybe follow me, too. Have a Merry Christmas.

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Well, I'm generally not a big fan of gift exchanges, but this might change my mind! I love the Scrabble-inspired idea for selecting gifts -- just glad you included the last name. My first name alone only lends itself to gag gifts. ;-)

oursearskithome.blogspot.com said...

Babble. How excellent!
I haven't done gift exchanges. A cookie exchange, once.
So I've got nuthin! But enjoyment reading your post!


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