What did Santa bring you?

There are always so many gift-idea lists around before Christmas, but then once it’s all over we keep the presents we received that were other people’s ideas to ourselves. Wasn’t the only consolation to the end of Christmas break as a kid getting to ask all your friends “What did Santa bring you!?”? So here is my list of some of the niftiest gifts I got this year; get ideas for next year, or someone’s Birthday, or for yourself as boxing week madness continues, or just be jealous.

1. Avocado slicer

As a new vegetarian, I have recently discovered my love of avocados beyond guacamole.  Avocados are high in valuable fats, potassium, fiber, and are rich in B vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. They are great in sandwiches, salads, pitas, as salsa, on top of toast, or even in a soup. When an avocado is ripe, it’s not hard to cut, but involves at least a knife to halve the fruit and a spoon to remove the pit and peel. Thanks to my new Christmas gift, I can perform all three steps with one tool! The avocado cutter has a serrated edge for halving, a pick for stabbing out the pit, and the tear-drop shape that works almost like magic to scoop the meat from the rind.  I can get all the avocado off the peel in one scoop most of the time! It even comes with easy to follow step-by-step cartoon instructions right on it …  just in case you forget what to do. It’s one small utensil that is sleek and unobtrusive in my kitchen drawer, such a small little thing but I love it and use it all the time. A great stocking stuffer for anyone who likes avocados.

2. Periodic Table T

Maybe a classic gift for a science geek like myself, but I’m ticketed pink by my Periodic Table t-shirt. It would have been very useful in some of my undergrad classes, and now it’s just nice to know that my geekyness is recognized and encouraged by my friends and family.  I think mine is from Urban Outfitters, it’s a nice soft cotton, a little over-sized, and features the element symbol, full element name, atomic number, and atomic mass. The logical organization of the Periodic Table -its ability to predict natural elements that were not yet known- the heart of chemistry itself, is a thing of beauty I can’t wait to wear.

3. Buddha Board

I’ve been lusting over this one for a while, and my amazing boyfriend surprised me with it Christmas Day. The self-proclaimed philosophy is that

Buddha Board is based on the Zen concept of living in the moment. You simply paint on the surface with water and your creation comes to life in bold design. As the water slowly evaporates, your art magically disappears, leaving you with a clean slate and a clear mind – ready to create a new masterpiece.

The way a Buddha Board image constantly changes makes it, in many ways, like a metaphor for life -its also really fun, eco-friendly, simple, clean and stylish. I also love that Buddha Board Inc. is a Canadian company. As a bonus, the website www.buddhaboard.com plays water and wind-chime sounds that are quite nice, especially on a stressful day at work.

(skip 0.21-1.00, it stupid, but the rest of the video shows off the Buddha Board nicely)


4. Sh*t My Dad Says

Cover of "Sh*t My Dad Says"
Cover of Sh*t My Dad Says

I only started following author Justin Halpern’s twitter feed after the book was published, but it was so funny I had to put it on my amazon.ca wish-list, and was lucky enough to get it from my dad this Christmas. If you don’t know the story, basically Justin, a part-time comedic writer, moved back home with his parents, and started to tweet some of the funny stuff his father, Sam, was saying. He just wanted to use twitter as a place to keep the amusing quotes, but the whole thing took off and is now a book and a TV series starring William Shatner.

I just checked the feed and Justin hasn’t posted in close to a month, but some semi-recent examples are;

You don’t have to be good to succeed. You just gotta be the least sh*tty option. Example: We’re eating at The Olive Garden.”

Don’t focus on the one guy who hates you. You don’t go to the park and set your picnic down next to the only pile of dog sh*t.”

You came out of your mom looking like sh*t. She thought you were beautiful. Don’t know what scared me most, your looks or her judgment.”

Anyway, it will be fun to crack this one open and have my own collection of these little ditties unedited and in hard copy. Fun gift for anyone with a sense of humour, makes a great coffee table book.

5. Stepping Stone

By far the nicest gift I got this year was from my 5 year-old god-daughter Maya. She made me a personalized stepping stone, with her mom, from a kit they bought at Michaels. It’s absolutely beautiful, way better than the picture on the box, and meaningful because she wanted to include both our names, her hand print, and the year. Now all I can think of is buying a house, because I’m dying to have a garden to put it in! For now it will be displayed proudly on my apartment patio. Such a sweet personalised present, I think any grown-up would love to have a gift like this from a child in their life. It’s a special memento that is adorable now, with be treasured into the future, and will one day be a link to the past. I look forward to when we are both older, getting her to place her hand over the print so she can see how much she’s grown.

What did Santa bring you this year?


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