We had our annual BBQ last week and made it a Christmas in August party because everyone was suffering turkey withdrawal (we do a really great brined BBQ turkey that everyone LOVES and asks for so this was our excuse to make it). Early on in the year, one of our friends suggested we do a gift exchange/Secret Santa with it. Another friend upped it a notch and said that it should be one where EVERYONE has to MAKE something for their giftee, and it should be something fun or silly - so long as there is a homemade/handmade component to it. We did the name picks early - in May, so everone had time to make something for their giftee. Of course, being people, almost everyone made their gift the weekend before. But we had fun, and a lot of laughs.
Here are the pics of most of what was there:
The table of gifts
Makes me happy to see that - and I even had a little tree decorated on it too.
Our so-called hippy friend got a couple of peace symbol plates - but painted with car paint, so really, I don't think he should eat off them. Not bad - considering it was my BIL who got him, and he forgot all about it until we reminded him two nights before:
One of my best friends is planning on decorating his spare room in his condo in an "opium den" style, as he refers to it. His mom got him. She modified a Trish Stratus towel to look like a belly dancer wall-hanging and made him some floor cushions - I think she did a great job.
Her other son picked her, and made her a cat. For years she has collected cat - but they had to "have personality". We interpret that as being "ugly" so for years and years she has been the recipient of some of the quirkiest, ugliest cats imaginable. Her son made her one - carved the head, put it on a spring so it bobbles, and used old bolts from an old swing from the backyard for it's legs.
One of our friends got my husband, but he failed to make what he wanted to - stymied by problems with materials and time. So he made festive green rice crispy squares and wreaths. Hey, he tried!
One of my friends got me, and she had no idea what to make - so she played with Fimo for the first time, and sculpted me a glow-in-the-dark cow (I collect cows) with KISS make-up (DH and I are KISS fans). I think she's cute!
Another friend is a DJ and made a CD for his giftee of obscure Rock n' Roll driving music for her - photos don't do it justice
This I thought was hilarious - here is a friend opening her gift. I think it says "Mr. Bill's Kitchen Utensil Play-a-long set." Someone sculpted Mr. Bill from Playdoh, and placed him on top of kitchen gadgets in the box.
For the guy that made the cat - he was really afraid of what someone would make him. But it was pretty innocuous - he got a gift certificate to the liquor store - framed in a decorated frame:
DH got his brother, and made him a lovely oak picture frame - to hold an enlarged memory from the past - a picture of his brother getting his head smashed into the wall (don't worry, it was paper thin veneer) when we were helping friends renovate their basement 15 years ago. Ahhh, memories.
My giftee - John - is known for being a bit of a pervert man pig, so I went along that theme. Coupled with a bedtime theme. I call it "Goodnight Little Johnny". I found pin up girl pictures (non-naked, I don't porn surf), and decorated lamps for him for nightlights, and wrote a story/picture book for him. I tried to find a glass sippy cup, or baby bottle to etch or paint to match, but couldn't - that would have been great to complete the set. I also know if he got a bottle or cup, he would have used it for his beer too
. I used more modern pictures for the lamp, and more classic pictures for the book. The cover was an old report cover from a project from university - I just decoupaged Japanese paper over it to hide it.
It was all in good fun and silliness, and we had a lot of laughs. It's something I would be glad to do again.