As it turns out, people are still finding me by searching for things like “how to get along with the boyfriend’s sister” and “gifts from the boyfriend’s sister” and that made me realize that I never updated you as to the gift situation. The boyfriend and I exchanged our gifts before I left to spend the holidays at home and he seemed very happy with his umbrella and cufflinks and I was very happy with my lovely new coffeemaker.

Now, it was really no surprise that I love said coffeemaker because I a) picked it out, b) searched around for the best deal on it, c) found a 20% off bed, bath and beyond coupon, d) went with the boyfriend to buy it, and e) filled out all the rebate information so the boyfriend would save even more money on it. If I’m being bratty honest, I am a little disappointed by how the boyfriend handled the whole thing, but I guess it’s just a difference in approaches. I tried my best to keep the boyfriend’s presents a surprise, whereas he just let the coffeemaker sit in the middle of our living room unwrapped for 2 weeks until the day before we exchanged presents. I know I knew what it was, but I would have appreciated a little more effort on his part. Had it been me, I would have wrapped it immediately and probably also would have gotten him some nice coffee beans to use in the machine to have a little surprise. But whatever. It is exactly what I wanted and I am happy.

So anyway, I returned to New York bearing gifts for the boyfriend from my family (golf pants from my parents and golf balls from my brother. He ended up returning both of them and using the credit to buy a new golf bag, which he is very happy with. God forbid I ever return a present from his family, but he is in absolute love with this new bag, so that’s fine) and to find a stack of presents from his family. A nice tote from his parents which will be good for beach trips in the summer, a book (that I really wanted) from the boyfriend’s brother’s family, and really lovely pjs from his aunt and uncle.* But that’s not what you all wanted to know. The boyfriend’s sister got “me” (and I say “me” because she said the second ticket is for the boyfriend – not that I wouldn’t take him anyway, but still) two spaces in a wine-tasting class and a book about wine because she thought I would like to learn about wine (I know it sounds harmless and nice, but it is the WAY she says things – like I don’t know anything about wine and she thinks it is time for me to get an education) and because she knew that the boyfriend has been wanting to take a wine class. So we are taking a wine class. Woot.

I KNOW I sound like such a bitch, really I do. But you have not met this woman. And she did not single handedly ruin the 30th birthday party you threw for the boyfriend out of pure spite (that is the story I have been meaning to tell you-I’ll get there one of these days). Even though I was not entirely accurate about what the boyfriend’s sister would get me (i.e. something from work), I do know that she got a substantial discount on the class, so I’m not sure why she decided she needed to make such a fuss about how much she spent to the boyfriend. I am all for getting deals and saving money so I absolutely don’t begrudge her that, but I’m not sure why she would tell the boyfriend how much she spent, unless she wanted to make sure I spent enough on her. I know, I am horrible. Really, if I a) didn’t feel forced to buy the extra present by the boyfriend and/or b) thought she cared about picking something I would like, I really wouldn’t care. I really need to work on not letting her get to me and work on the whole being a bigger person/forgiveness thing.

The boyfriend has been pushing me to make resolutions. Maybe that should be one.

Or not.

*Also, TOTALLY RANDOM AND UNEXPECTED. We have never exchanged presents in the past, so I didn’t get them anything. Apparently the boyfriend’s aunt stumbled on them at Lord&Taylor and thought they would be great presents for all the females in the family and was very sweet and thought of me as well. And they might just be my favorite present from the boyfriend’s family because they are SUPER soft and comfy and I seriously considered wearing them all day today.

Also weird about the whole thing: the boyfriend’s aunt signed the tag “Aunt boyfriend’s aunt and Uncle boyfriend’s uncle,” which is cute except for the fact that, despite the fact that the boyfriend and I have been dating for five and a half years, the boyfriend’s parents still expect me to call them “Dr. and Mrs. boyfriend.” Apparently, should we get married, they would then expect me to call them “Mom and Dad,” which is all kinds of not happening because even though I like the boyfriend’s parents very much, I have my own Mom and Dad who I love and adore. But I digress, as always.

Now I am not saying what you should get your family, I’m just telling you what I got mine.

Dad: Season 2 of Deadwood because he finally finished Season 1 2 years after I got it for him and has been hinting strongly that Season 2 would not go unappreciated.

The Madre: She has these in other patterns and says they are the most comfortable shoes she’s ever worn. I love the pattern and the fact that they have brown and black so they can be worn with lots of different outfits. And they are HOT. (Also an excellent deal with the $10 off and free shipping deals on DSW).

The Bro: The Bro has decided he wants to start wearing a watch. He really likes the military style with canvas bands. This was a little bit of a splurge, (but still on sale!) but I thought about it a lot and realized I’d rather spend a little bit more and get him a watch that he could have for a long time, than just get him a cheap timex and be done with it. I also got him a 2 of these in different colors so he can play around with styling the watch.

The boyfriend: The boyfriend has been wanting cufflinks for awhile now. Since this was so personal, we looked at a bunch together, but he ended up liking these from Red Envelope best (this is likely in part because the boyfriend’s sister has him convinced that Red Envelope is SO COOL right now). I do think they are attractive and a bit more modern than a traditional monogram.

Since these were so reasonable, I wanted to get the boyfriend a little something else to go with them. Lately when we’ve had bad weather he’s been trying to steal my ginourmous golf umbrella because, really, when you walk to work every day, there’s bound to be some nasty weather and the little fold up umbrellas do NOT keep you dry (I speak from experience). I may have mentioned this on here before, but the boyfriend LOVES his undergrad school because he had such a great experience there (like loves to the point where, if he had $10, he would give Princeton at least $1). So I thought this would be perfect.

I don’t have a huge family, so those were the big presents. For my cousin and his wife and my aunt and uncle, I got steaks from Omaha Steakmmmm…bacon

and the Bro and I are splitting something from the OSU bookstore for baby T. I suggested something like this:

but it’s ultimately his call. My two best girlfriends in the entire world both got this:

which I love for my skin. Baby and Godson Z got this and this respectively:

while the Divine Miss E got this:I think she will make an awesome doctor. The boyfriend’s niece got this:

(She’s not sure how she feels about me. She recognizes I am responsible for sending awesome gifts, but she also ADORES the boyfriend right now and thinks I’m treading on her territory). Her new baby brother got two outfits:

because who could resist those feet? Not me. Even the boyfriend was a little charmed.

The boyfriend’s sister got this to go with her books because apparently she’s OD-ing on ruffley, frilly stuff right now (nothing wrong with ruffley, frilly stuff – in moderation. But that is ALL the boyfriend’s sister wears. It’s like frilly shirt with ruffley cardigan with headband with a big bow on it. Maybe someday I will show you what she wore to her rehearsal dinner and you will see). BONUS though – I got 25% off because the boyfriend did his shopping for his sister at the same time and so we qualified for the discount (I think this sale only ran through Sunday though).

The boyfriend’s mom is getting a Dunkin’ Donuts gift card because she loves their coffee

and the boyfriend’s dad is getting some fancy dark chocolate and some marzipan from here because he loves his chocolate. And his marzipan (he’s Sicilian).

Finally, I leave you with my go-to gift. I know it’s kind of cliche and if someone told me a few years ago that I’d be sending out Harry and David for the holidays, I’d probably ask: “what am I, some corporate drone sending out impersonal presents to clients?” HOWEVER, these are quite possibly the most delicious pears known to man and everyone I know who has gotten them adores them. If you need a good present for, say, a boyfriend or girlfriend’s parents, you really cannot go wrong with these:

Unless, of course, they were allergic to pears, in which case you might have a giant FAIL on your hands. Just check with your significant other before clicking send, is all I’m saying.

Apparently, people are finding me because they are searching for things like: “christmas card for the boyfriend’s sister” and “gifts for the boyfriend’s sister 2009.”

So, to help, I got the boyfriend’s sister this:

and this:

and this:

The Steingarten is one of my favorite books and a large part of why I had this in the first place. And the third? I love this series and would love my own copy of this one as well should Santa leave it under the tree. Given the boyfriend’s sister’s interest in food and cooking, I think she will enjoy these. As an added bonus, the second and third are collections of short pieces so she could read one or two before bed or when she has a break.

No card for the boyfriend’s sister, but I don’t really do cards these days anyway. Perhaps next year when I am feeling a little bit more financially stable.

Now, if I were the boyfriend’s sister, (and I am in fact a boyfriend’s sister, so if the Bro’s girlfriend would like some ideas…) I would like any of the following very fun and very-reasonable-price-wise-for-the-relationship presents:

Essie Winter Collection 2009

Body Shop Peppermint Foot Lotion

Godiva Chocolate Truffles

Old Navy Scoop-Neck Top

Laura Mercier Eye Shadow in Pewter or Coffee Ground

SM Capps Quilted Ballet Flats at DSW

(this last one is more of a splurge, but I couldn’t resist – SO cute!)

The Christmas cheer edition.

So this past weekend was that time in the fifi household during which we run around like banshees transforming the house into a holiday wonderland. You may have wondered where I was all weekend – I was decorating. The Madre LOVES both decorating and holidays and so we don’t just put up a tree, throw some fake pine boughs around the place (fake because the Bro is horribly horribly allergic to real pine so after a couple of years of torturing the poor kid, the parentals invested in a fake tree and fake garlands because they finally figured out what he was allergic to decided their love of the Bro outweighed their love of that wonderful Christmas-y pine scent), put up some lights outside and call it a day.

Oh no. In the fifi household, artwork comes down, pictures get hidden away, and the normal decorative accents all get stowed away for a month. We put up eight trees in total (Most get stored with all their decorations on, fyi) and artfully places countless Father Christmases around the house (the Madre rarely sees a Father Christmas that she doesn’t love, particularly if he’s decked out in maroon robes). We take our holiday decorating VERY seriously in the fifi household.

I’m working on two other posts right now, but with all the aforementioned decorating and then getting back to New York and work I haven’t had time yet to finish. Instead, let me present to you the fifi house, in all of its holiday glory:

main tree

stockings (with a couple of Father Christmases)

kitchen tree

kitchen window


entry tree

living room