I had heard lots of great things from those that have participated in the Christmas in the Country gift exchange in the past. This year, I decided to try it out.
They pair you with someone throughout the country for you to send a gift to, but you have no idea who is going to be sending you a gift! I liked that there was some mystery to it. You could learn about the person you were paired with by reading the short bio they filled out, visiting their blog, browsing their Facebook pages and other social media channels. I was busy checking out Kathy Hasekamp’s blog as I was paired to send her a gift as part of Christmas in the Country! I ended up sending her 2 scarves that my Aunt makes. My Aunt keeps busy with tons of knitting and crocheting, so she always keeps me supplied when I ask her for items to send or give as gifts. I also sent her a redneck wine glass – have you seen them? They are really popular in Minnesota. I wasn’t sure if Kathy was a wine drinker or not, but I did fill the wine glass with chocolates just in case! I also made her a “H” Hasekamp family print out on burlap and framed it. I bought the burlap “paper” a few years ago and it has been in my scrapbooking drawers waiting for the right time to be used, what better time than to make a homemade gift such as Christmas in the Country suggested! It took a few tries with Photoshop and my printer to get it right, but I’m glad it turned out as cute as it did! I also sent her a handmade hand soap, and some Christmas dish towels/hot pads. She said she liked to cook, so I thought that would be a good idea on the dish towels and hot pads for Christmas.
While I was reading all about Kathy’s family and farm on her blog, someone was doing the same to me! Mindy from Farm Fit Mama had my name for the swap and sent me an amazing box of goodies all the way from Kansas!
For those that don’t know, I have been busy working at completing my Master’s degree, online, through Kansas State. Notice those purple and white snacks? Or their awesome Christmas card with their adorable little girl which has quite a bit of purple in it?? I would venture to say, we both have a love of K-State and the Wildcats! It made me smile, knowing I was getting some awesome stuff supporting K-State! :) I also thought it was pretty awesome that she sent a copy of the Wizard of Oz! Definitely Kansas! She wrote that she hoped I would read it to my little girl when she arrives, and I definitely plan on doing that! We already try to read a book to her every night, and she isn’t even here yet! I’m thinking I should start a few pages of the Wizard of Oz every night now!
I’m not sure who was more excited about the honey, my husband or me! We love trying honey from new places, now that we have honeybees. We search out for where the bees were pollinating to try different flavors and varieties, we search out local honey and typically will purchase honey from all of our vacations now if we can find it! We were almost out of our last bit of honey we had purchased – a cranberry honey from the cranberry bogs of Wisconsin- so my husband was ecstatic! I love that this is totally “us” now that we have this as a farming venture, and she went out of her way to send honey all the way from Kansas!
This piece in the box, is probably what I loved most. Being a fellow farmer, the quote that went along with this brought tears to my eyes. My husband and I hung it on our Christmas tree for now, but I’m going to find a hook for it and place it in my kitchen window for the remainder of the year, because I think it is something I need to be reminded of.
“Wheat Weaving symbolizes the cycles of nature – the endless struggle, eternal hope and perseverance of the farmer.”
Mindy sounds like someone I would love to meet in real life, and I hope one day I can! I found it pretty awesome that they raise meat goats – another idea Mark and I have toyed with since Minnesota has a greater need for meat goats due to our ethnic populations. I loved reading about her chickens and egg recipes. We raised chickens for about 3 years before moving, and I sincerely miss the eggs and meat. She is also all about fitness if you didn’t guess from her blog. I am excited to get back in shape once Baby Hewitt makes her appearance, so I will definitely be turning to her blog a lot more.
I will definitely be back to participate in next year’s Christmas in the Country swap! I will have to get on canning of my garden produce for next year’s swap, as many people sent yummy canned salsa, jams and more! What a great idea!