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25 of My All-Time Favorite Gifts...and One Extra :)

The holidays have arrived....yay! Merry Christmas!!


Now that our homes are filled with tinsel and sparkle, it time to start asking ourselves what to give loved ones and friends for Christmas. If you are anything like me, I always struggle with finding meaningful gifts. I sat and really thought about the gifts that I have received in the past. I reflected over many years and came up with 25 of my all-time favorite gifts. Some gifts cost nothing and some well...let's just say they weren't free. However, no matter the cost of the gift, each one brings special meaning and has a cherished place in my heart.


25 of My All-Time Favorite Gifts


These gifts are in no particular order.


Family Recipe Book



At the Christmas of 2017, my Granny handwrote recipes and made a recipe book for my cousins and me. She wrote it just liked she spoke with little sayings that I now hold dear to my heart. Some were "whip it like hell," "just call Dairy Queen if it doesn't work out," and she put the date and person that gave her the recipe. Since my Granny's stroke, her handwriting and these recipes have an entirely new meaning. I use my recipe book all the time and have added some of my own favorite recipes I have found over the years. This book is one of my favorite gifts of all time, and I will pass it down to my grandchildren one day.





Special Family Dishes



I have loved receiving special dishes from my Granny, my mom, my mothers-in-law, and aunts. All of these dishes have such a special meaning such as the coffee creamer and sugar containers from my great grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary to the bowl my mom mixed brownies in when Brooke and I were little. I treasure these dishes and will pass them down to my boys.



A Special Broom



Okay, this one is a little strange, but my mother-in-law, Suzanne, gave me this broom for Christmas probably 10 years ago. I cracked up when I opened it, but it has the most beautiful handle and I love it. I always think of her when I sweep, and honestly, it's the prettiest broom I have ever seen. I love having random items in my home that are beautiful, and well...this broom is definitely one of them.



Embroidery Machine



I have wanted an embroidery machine for years and years. I was just wanting a small one that looked similar to a sewing machine. Well, my "go big or go home" husband bought me this amazing machine. I'm getting much, much better with my embroidery and this gift will be the gift that keeps giving to all my family and friends.



Turbie Twist Towels



I love, love, love these towels. It takes forever for me to dry my hair, but these towels help take a lot of the excess water out and make drying so much faster. I use these towels every time I shower and think of my Aunt Debbie that gave them to Brooke and me for Christmas.



Mirror



Y'all Santa gave me this mirror in 1997! That's right, 1997! Oh if this mirror could talk! This sweet gift has seen me through high school, college, wearing my wedding dress, and pregnant with the boys. This mirror is so special to me, and I pray I can pass it down to one of my granddaughters one day.



Marshall's Shopping Trip



Last year Cam got really sick the day that he was supposed to take the boys shopping for me, so I had to take them myself. The boys were so upset and didn't want me to know what they were going to purchase. Well...when God closes a door, He opens a window, and so this began a new tradition for the Schluens!


I had to think quickly on my feet that day and decided to take them to one of my favorite stores, Marshall's. I gave the boys a budget, stood by the door, and let me shop for me all on their own. Let's just say I have boys with good taste! One of the gifts they bought me were these super comfy houseshoes that I wear all the time and these beautiful Ralph Lauren Pajamas.


It was so much fun opening their gifts, and I loved that they were able to take ownership of what they bought. I'm excited to do it again this Christmas!


Popcorn Bowl



I love this bowl y'all! My mom gave it to me a few years ago, and if we are watching a movie with popcorn you better believe it is served in this bowl. This bowl has been with us during many memories while watching movies together, and I love that we think of Lola every time we eat popcorn.



Five More Minutes Sign



Any time Brooke or my mom try to leave the house, I always say "just five more minutes." I never want them to leave. Well, this triggered Brooke to buy me a custom sign that says "Just Five More Minutes." She seriously is the best gift giver! I love this sign and have it hung up in the mudroom by the backdoor.



Fancy Shoes



So, it's not so much the shoes but the meaning behind them that makes this gift very special. Let me explain. When Cam and I first were married we were walking around the Galleria in Houston, and when I saw these shoes it was love at first sight! I mean I went right to them! We didn't have a penny to our name back then, but he remembered how much I liked them and bought them for me as a birthday gift. I love it when people remember something you saw and months later they surprise you with it!


From the picture, you can see I have worn them a time or two! :) These sweet shoes have gotten me two jobs, nights out on the town, pregnancies, and I promise, they definitely make an outfit. Fancy shoes are a great gift for the shoe lovers out there!



Cake Stand



I collect cake stands! I adore them! When I was in high school, I had a friend whose mother always had something baked in a cake stand. I will never forget that, and I now do the same with my family. I actually love this tradition so much, I give cake stands as wedding gifts with a note sharing our family tradition.


My mother-in-law, Sonya, (I have two mothers-in-law...just FYI) gave me this cake stand a few Christmases ago, and it's the one I have on my kitchen island. This stand has held many a pastry for my sweet boys.



Handbags



Okay...so this is one of those pricer gifts but they are timeless. When we took a family trip to New York a few years back, Cam bought me my first Louis Vuitton speedy purse, and he gave me a never full one to carry my laptop for my birthday. These bags are so precious to me, and I plan to give them to my daughters-in-law when the boys get married....or my granddaughters (here's hoping).


The brown alligator print purse I have had for 14 plus years and still love it as much as the day I received it from my mom. Yall...I remember carrying diapers for Caden (who is 14) in that purse!


I truly believe that when you buy quality such as these special bags, you will have them forever.



Catering Items



For anyone that loves to entertain, these classic white plates from Pottery Barn make for an incredible gift. For several years, I asked my family to buy me catering dishes, silverware, napkins, and napkin rings. I now have enough to use for any large gathering and love them so much I use them every day as well.


I have had these white dishes for years and years and still absolutely adore them!



Drink Dispensers



Going right along with the serving ware, these drink dispensers from Pottery Barn and the lifts are a gift that I have used and used throughout the years from my mom. Yall, I have used these suckers for weddings, showers, family get-togethers, company Christmas parties, and even PTO school events.


For any loved ones that enjoy entertaining, you can't go wrong with this gift.



Tables and Chairs



Since I'm on an entertaining roll, here is something else I asked for over many Christmases. Tables and Chairs! It took several years to collect them, but I now have 12 tables and over 50 white chairs. I joke that I have a small party supply store, but let me tell you, they sure do come in handy! I have used these tables and chairs casually such as this Halloween party and have covered them with table cloths and rented nicer chairs for other occasions such as this birthday brunch.


You don't have to ask for twelve, but have one or two I promise will come in handy!




Prayer Scarf



I had the sweetest student, Laura, at A&M that become a good family friend. This girl has a heart of gold and would even bring me cookies when I was teaching. Laura has given me many thoughtful gifts like a braided blanket she made, a beautiful Christmas wreath, and this prayer scarf.


In the morning when I do my devotionals, I wrap up with my prayer scarf. I treasure it and always think about sweet Laura when I have it. This was such a meaningful gift, and I know anyone would love to have one.


Also, you can never go wrong with the Bible either. This was a gift I gave to myself when I began a personal relationship with Christ in 2011. I had my name and the year put on it, and through the years have highlighted and written notes. This is another gift I hope to pass down to my grandchildren.



A Mixer



Just FYI...I never really cooked or baked until I had kids, and this mixer was one of my motivations to get to it! Cam and the boys gave me this mixer over ten years ago, and I use it all the time. You can see from the picture it's a little beat up but this sweet little mixer has made many special treats for my family.


For any loved one that enjoys baking, I promise you cannot go wrong with this gift.



Christmas Apron



Along with cake stands, I collect aprons too! My sister-in-law, Amanda, found this apron at an antique show and gave it to me for Christmas many years ago. I cherish it and wear it every Christmas while I'm baking.


Many memories have been made with this apron, and it's another gift that I will pass down.



Christmas Memories Passed Down



This is another gift that keeps on giving. Our dear family friends, The Kovar's, gave these Christmas dishes to my mom years ago. I mean like 20 plus years ago! My mom treasured them, and it was what we ate Christmas brunch on every year.


Now that my mom sold the house and downsized, she gave Brooke and me all her meaningful Christmas decor. I received these plates, our family Christmas tree, and a few Santa figurines from her. I love that the family and year are at the bottom of each figurine. I adore looking each year and seeing them as I decorate for Christmas.






Timeless Jewelry



For any Southern lady, major milestones in life require a special piece of jewelry. When I was sixteen my parents gave them this gold ring with my birthstone, my mother-in-law, Suzanne, gave me these pearls and earrings when Cam and I got married, and my parents bought me diamond earrings when I turned 30. I treasure these items and think about them every time I wear them.



Wreathes



When my mom sold my Dad's truck she gave Brooke and I some of the money. I knew that I wanted to purchase something special with it so I gifted myself fall wreaths. I love these wreaths and think of my Dad every fall when I put them out.



Burberry Trench and Earmuffs



For many, many years I have always wanted a Burberry Trench coat, as this will be another gift I will pass down to my daughters-in-law. This coat is a classic, and I will cherish it forever. Also, Brooke bought me these earmuffs in blue for the many nights I will be cheering on the Snook Bluejays in the cold weather watching football and baseball.


A classic trench and earmuffs are a staple in anyone's closet, and I will wear these for the rest of my life.



My Dad's Quilt



My mom, Brooke, and I kept our family home freezing. Seriously, our house was around 68 on most days, and my Dad was constantly cold. For Christmas, we always bought him flannel shirts that he would wear in July, Texas 100 heat due to the temperatures in our house! :) Oh, and usually a jacket too! The poor man had to deal with three, high maintenance women in the house at all time! (And usually their friends too!) He had it tough! :)


When he went to Heaven, my mom made Brooke and I quilts out of his shirts. This is one of my most treasured possessions and snuggle with it whenever I miss him.



And...One Extra that is By Far My Favorite...My Family



My husband, Cameron. My best friend and partner in life!


My beautiful, healthy boys Caden and Cooper.

May God continue to bless and keep them safe.


Finally, my parents, Larry and Kathy, and my beautiful sister, Brooke.



Merry Christmas Friend,

Amber :)








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