Tuesday, December 1, 2009

245/365 Annual ornament exchange

I'm all in favor of gift exchanges. It brings a group together -- reinforcing the spirit of gift-giving -- but lessens the strain on our wallets.

Until last year, the adults in my extended family did an annual Christmas gift exchange. The kids of the family were added to the pool when we graduated from college (time to be a grown-up). I had only briefly been a part of the exchange when the majority of the family voted to discontinue the practice.

I miss it. Sure, some people are difficult to buy for. But I enjoy the process of thinking of a person, considering what they do and love, and finding a great gift for them. The family Christmas gathering now feels empty and rather cold without it.

Luckily, my girlfriends still continue to do an annual exchange. Rather than doing individual gifts, though, we each buy an ornament and exchange them instead. The tradition was borne from meager young-professional salaries and rather barren Christmas trees. I really enjoy it and look forward to this part of my holiday.

We did our ornament exchange a little early this year to catch as many people as possible who were in town for Thanksgiving. The one I bought and exchanged is pictured above. I chose black and white to reflect the spirit of the Indianapolis 500 (with which we were all associated as Princesses), but the majority of the ornaments did not follow any particular theme.

The one I received was the first ornament hung on my tree this year. The season is here!

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/125s, f/2.8 at ISO 400

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