I am big on gift giving. I don’t like junk or clutter, so I try not to give it!
A lonnnnnnnnng time ago I saw the following quote – and I thought it expressed my sentiments about gift giving to a tee and it has stuck with me ever since!
“The excellence of a gift lies in its appropriateness rather than in its value” said by the honorable (?) Charles Dudley Warner.
Anyways, now that we are adults and get presents for all family members… I was struggling to get something appropriate/thoughtful/not wasteful for every couple, and it was tough.
And then, this exact chain of events occurred in early December:
-We received our quarterly shipment of our favorite wine from Laird (of which I have raved about before here…)
-Thought… a bottle of Laird would be a GREAT gift since we love it so much. I know it doesn’t sound like a unique idea, but to me – I rarely give wine as a gift (unless we are talking housewarming, hostess gift, etc.) because it does not usually fit the thoughtful bill. However, we love this wine, it is special to us, and we personally love discovering a great wine to add to our go-to repertoire – so if I got this as a gift, I would be thrilled! Their Napa Valley Cab is where it is at! It is our anniversary wine, date night wine, in home wine, I mean – we are basically a Laird cellar over here. It’s a little ridiculous, but once you find something great, it’s hard to stray!
-After this thought, I shot an e-mail to Laird to figure out logistics and… BOOM. Ordered up some wine.
Present compilation coming to life…
-I was going to give everyone a Cab since that is our main jam, BUT as people who do not enjoy white wine on the regular or basically ever (that’s us)… this winery’s Chardonnay is the only one we like and therefore thought it should be shared with the world.
–Cards Against Humanity (game similar to a saucy Apples to Apples) was hitting the mainstream hard and became super hard to obtain. Waiting lists, the whole nine yards. We have this game ourselves and have been the weird couple who have brought it to a party… had a few weird looks but then all of a sudden, someone wants to play and…. BOOM, instaentertainment. So I thought this would be a good addition if we could get our hands on the game. Got on the waitlist, and was able to get them in time. WIN!
THEN…. this guy came to mind, and basically formulated the tone of the gift:
We have knownwho we wanted to be our bridesmaids and groomsmen for way longer than we have been engaged, as they are of course our nearest and dearest! Because of that, and the fact that they all had the date on their calendars, I guess I took my sweet time in reaching the launch phase! #girlgottawork!
But I have an excuse! I started tossing around ideas in the back of my mind as to how I was going to ask my bridesmaids, and as recalled HERE, no gems worthy of my gals were coming to mind! Whyyyyyyy!
After drumming up a multitude of ideas that didn’t end up resonating with me, I was stumped and kind of bummed! So a few/many Fridays ago, I am working late. Like past midnight/it’s actually now Saturday late, and my pend list for the next day pops into my inbox as per usual and I decide to take a break from the monotony to take a look at what I had lined up for my productive Saturday.
While my work items are regimented and always have specific due dates, I also use my pend system as an artificial memory keeper- typing in any weird ideas that pop into my head and pending them for a random weekend day to remind me to explore/execute said idea. Needless to say, I never know what my own Ghost of Yet to Come is going to remind me of! Oh life.
Mid-list this little stunner appears:
Translation: A while back I randomly wondered if Oriental Trading Company was still in business, and upon a quick Google I saw that it was. Something about my memories of OTC, includes inflatable items. I don’t remember why, but a ton of years ago I found an inflatable parrot leftover from a party pack of inflatable animals (weird, I know) in our party supply closet at home and I felt compelled to inflate it and hang it in my sister’s room so she’d have a question mark face when she got home. That’s how I roll, I love a good question mark face.
Anyways, the light of my life (and now Maid of Honor!) my sister Elyse (“E”) is in college at the University of Texas in Austin, and I miss her dearly! I am always thinking of weird stuff to send her in the mail to let her know I am thinking about her, and that I am still the weirdo big sister she grew up with! So I hop onto the OTC website and am considering a pink flamingo and all of a sudden my brain realizes that this absolutely fulfills my requirements for a peculiar “Will you be my bridesmaid?” vessel.
I am pretty sold on it, but still want to see what other awesome inflatable animals exist out there. Options have value. So I hit up Amazon and Google and come up with a few, but nothing is really trumping the pink flamingo. UNTIL I decide to search for a swan, you know, just to check it out since it’s kind of a universal wedding symbol. BOOM. Sauciest inflatable animal I have ever laid my eyes on! FFWD to me having MAJOR issues finding enough of these swans in the appropriate size (wanted it to have a sizable impact!), but finally do and order them. Plan it all out in the next 24 hours because I’m nuts like that and basically have everything ready to roll, just need the swans to arrive! Get a phone call from New Jersey on the following Monday that goes like this:
NJ POOLMAN: Hi, we received your order for a lot of inflatable swans over the weekend. We looked high and low in our warehouse and they are nowhere to be found! ME: Wow, what a system you have over there! How long will it take if you order them directly from the distributor or manufacturer? I need these puppies ASAP. NJ POOLMAN: Uhm, well…. it’s sort of off-season for inflatable pool items. ME: So, you cannot get them? NJ POOLMAN: I’m afraid not, sorry! What do you need all of those swans for anyways? ::CLICK::
I scurry off to man handle Google in a way that it wasn’t meant to be in hopes of finding these swans that in my mind are now irreplaceable. Finally find a bro with a shoddy looking pool supply website and pull the trigger. Who cares if he steals my CC info? I’ll leave that to AMEX, as long as I get the swans!!! Blind shopping rage is unmatched.
THEY FINALLY ARRIVE. Upon their arrival, I seriously drop everything to inflate them. I proceed to tie each one of them up with grey ribbon (wedding color integration, heyooo!) to attach the card I made, pop them into the boxes I had adorned with creepy question marks, affix the corresponding FedEx labels and ship them out! Henry Ford would have been proud of my assembly line action for sure!
SO – my favorite aspects of this idea are 1. It’s RANDOM! I sent it inflated in a box with question marks on the outside of it. So when they opened the box, it was basically like HEY! look at me! 2. It’s of course DEFLATABLE, so the 20 inches of awesomeness can be deflated and put away (…for a rainy day?) or tossed! So it’s not taking up a considerable amount of room for anyone! Which I love. Because I hate clutter. and I love storage.
The rest is pretty self explanatory VIA the pictures. The only thing left to add is that each person sent their picture to me within like an hour of receiving their package and it honestly made my life. It would have killed me if I had to wait in suspense any longer. They all know what an oddball I am, are all still my friends despite that fact, and all said yes!
I have been mulling over how the “Will you be my bridesmaid?” is going to go down.
So far, ideas are NOT turning up roses!
I initially thought, why not do a brunch! But everyone being scattered throughout the country & landing on a mutual date has a high potential of being difficult for at least some of them. Then I thought about flying out to each one of them to see them briefly, grab a bite and ask them in person! Due to myself being booked every single weekend for the rest of 2012, I had to quickly scrap the idea of Bridesmaid Tour 2012. BOO!
I am not wild about anything that I have seen people do to ask their bridesmaids, and I have got to tell ya, Pinterest is no respite from that, either.
According to the pins on Pinterest I have run across, here are your top two options:
1. Give them a card that literally says “Will you be my bridesmaid?” on it Further findings: Maybe if you get it from Etsy you will feel less boring about it…?
2. Compile a box of worthless items like: neon sunglasses, an itty bitty fake dress on an itty bitty hanger, a chocolate bar and a keychain. Oh, and include the question somewhere on or in it “Will you be my bridesmaid?” Further findings: I saw many variations of this idea and they all ranked TERRIBLE on my scale of acceptability. Don’t get me wrong, I saw some decent looking boxes (when was the last time you heard someone say that btw?), but then sure enough they were chalk full of useless junk! I know the dollar spot at Target can be fun people, but don’t get someone who is supposed to be one of your closest friends a box full of dollar spot crap! Get it together America!