OKMH: Secret Santa-Edition


From Left to Right, Top Row: Madelyn, Kirsten, Megan, Bottom Row: Jeanne, Allison et moi.

I know.  I know.  It’s that time again.  In some ways it’s hard to believe that the year has finally ended and at the same time, I feel like I have spent a lifetime with these women.   I still don’t know how that’s exactly possible, but I am officially done trying to figure it out.

I was telling them the other day that these women could send me a box full of rocks and I would love them more than any other rocks that I had ever seen.

Because really, these boxes have nothing to do with the things inside of them (though they are a lovely surprise) and everything to do with the fact that this is how I stay connected to My People.

Since we completed our mailing rotation last go-round, this month our fearless leader Jeanne offered to send us down a new path by actioning a cross-country version of Secret Santa for us to round-off the year.  This was the perfect grand finale.  And it was a really great way to kick-start holiday celebrations across the country.

What’s more, once the boxes came in, we were expressly forbidden from spilling the beans to the rest of the group about who we sent to/received from/what was inside the box.

And we actually managed to keep hush.

So today, we are all as surprised as you are.

I sent a box chock-full of snowy love to Allison in Arizona, and I was SO TICKLED, when I found a pair of boxes from the desert her in our mailbox!

Box 1

Box 2

All together now: HOLY COW.

It’s safe to say that this is the closest I will ever get to feeling like I am five years old at Christmas time ever again.  Allison, thank you for that.  Looking at all of the presents waiting to be opened was joy in the extreme.

Box 4 Box 5 Box 6

I mean, really.  Do you not feel like you are five just looking at this?

Allison, gets the Varsity Letter for Hanukkah Celebrating because she devised this magic plan.

Box 7

Beer Menorah.  Heartsong. A native-Arizona microbrew a day.

Even though if you’re a failure like me, you probably misread her directions and opened all of the beers first and all of the other gifts later.


I got confused about the gifts in the bag versus the gifts not in the bag, okay?

But even though the beer really would have been enough, it wasn’t.

Another reason I know we share the same mind:

Box 8

Marzipan.  It’s sort of like fruit.  Except for the part where it is not at all like fruit besides when they form it into fruit-shapes.   I think it’s actually a hardcore divisive food group.  There is no such thing as a marzipan-neutral person.  You either love it or they hate it.  I happen to love it 11/10.  How The Universe directed Allison to act and fill this space in my soul, I will never fully understand.

Box 9

The treasures: Marzipan, two knit ear warmers (Allison hand-knit the gray one for me!), a over-the-cup cookie cutter, homemade marshmallows (to die for), peppermint sticks and freeze-dried fruit.

That I love hand-knit things is no secret.  So I was secretly thrilled when it was so cold the night the box came in, that I could sport the gray headband around the house.  It is my new favorite.  And it is the warmest ever.

I also need to take a moment to plug these marshmallows.  Allison sent me a packet of strawberry flavored ones this spring (?) that were TO DIE FOR.    When I finished them off, I thought, Well, that’s the last time that will ever happen.  Except then it wasn’t.  They’re by Tracy Dempsey Originals and if I ever move to the desert, this will be the first reason why.

As I try to wrap up this post, I find myself at a loss for words.  Because anything I could possibly say sounds so small and insignificant when I try to tap it out.  My heart is so very full right now.

My heart is full.


4 responses to “OKMH: Secret Santa-Edition

  1. WOAH Those beers! I’m thoroughly impressed with the Hanukkah beer theme! I’ve never had homemade mallows before, but they sound like they would melt in your mouth. Do they do that? Do you think it would be worth it to try and make them at home? The recipes always look a little challenging and sticky.
    Merry OKMH-mas!

  2. I love the Hanukkah beer, too. Fitting that Allison should gift you with holiday beer. That she spent so much time carefully selecting & wrapping your Hanukkah gifts speaks to how much we’ve come to care for one another. I think we really nailed the OKMH-mas boxes, Kat. And I think you picked the perfect name for it, too. Happy holidays to you & Marcus!

  3. The Arizona microbrew a day thing is brilliant darn brilliant. I will have to pocket that idea for next year, for sure.

  4. I’m so thrilled that you liked everything! I was seriously so excited at the beer thing that I very nearly exploded. And wow, relieved at marzipan – that was the calculated risk there. I love it, but you’re right – I’ve never met a marzipan-neutral person before. Merry everything! XOXO

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