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My Christmas Gifts

December 29th, 2012

Yesterday, Mr Chiots and I finally celebrated our Christmas. What did I find under the tree?
First off, Mr Chiots and I bought each other snowshoes. Technically they weren’t Christmas presents, but around this time of year just about everything gets labeled as a gift. They’re nothing fancy, just the cheapest ones offered by L.L.Bean. We took them out for a test hike yesterday and LOVED them. No doubt we’ll get more than our money’s worth with these.
Brian Snowshoeing
I also received a few cookbooks: The River Cottage Cookbook and River Cottage Every Day
Books 1
Lucky me, I even found a Clarington Forge long handled shrubbery spade and potato fork under my tree. I would have never purchased the potato fork for myself, it’s rather pricey, but I’ll take it as a gift. Clarington Forge tools are well made, this potato fork is a beastly tool, heavy and very well made, it will certainly last me the rest of my life and probably long outlive me.
Clarington Forge Tools
Mr Chiots and I are very practical gift givers, generally we buy useful stuff for each other. He lucked out with a nice Filson wool shirt, a wool sweater, new suspenders and a few books as well.

What did you find under your tree this year?

21 Comments to “My Christmas Gifts”
  1. Dawn on December 29, 2012 at 5:30 am

    My husband got me a certificate for a massage, a rare Marvin Gaye vinyl and a stocking stuffed with smart wool socks. I got him vintage reflectors for his ’65 Falcon, Richard Dawkins’ The Ancestors Tale and tickets to a guided snowshoe hike up the south face of Mount St. Helen’s volcano. Guess snowshoes are the thing this year! Happy new year to you – love reading your stuff.

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  2. daisy on December 29, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I got all practical gifts too, which is just the way I like it. I’m a no-frills kinda gal. Enjoy your snowshoes!

    Reply to daisy's comment

  3. Jennifer Fisk on December 29, 2012 at 8:22 am

    My son got me two Nigerian whethers. I’d been thinking about them for a long time but on Christmas morning they walked into my family room. I love them.

    Reply to Jennifer Fisk's comment

  4. Robin Follette on December 29, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I love River Cottage Cookbook. It’s huge and full of information. Enjoy!

    Reply to Robin Follette's comment

  5. Sue on December 29, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Wanted to let you and Mr. Chiots know we’ve been watching Hugh @ the River Cottage…we’re up to season 5 now. Looked him up on wiki; he’s written like 20 cookbooks. We love him and the show; what a great gift his cookbooks would be! Lucky girl!

    Reply to Sue's comment

  6. Mary Schier on December 29, 2012 at 10:51 am

    Practical gifts are great. Years ago, my husband bought me a long-handled ice chipper for Christmas. (I requested it, and despite lots of joking about getting his wife a weird gift for Christmas, he followed through.) I used it yesterday to chip compacted snow off of our driveway and was grateful to have it. Enjoy the potato fork!

    Reply to Mary Schier's comment

  7. angie h on December 29, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Sounds like a nice Christmas!

    We got a mix of practical and impractical gifts this year. A maple syrup starter kit, dehydrator, a nuc for our beekeeping endeavors, and some new glassware ( no more yucky plastic) are some of our favorite practical gifts. I also got a flash for my camera, a bracelet, a camera “purse” I wanted, and spa day from the hubby! We are excited to check Brian’s new trail cam for activity this morning! I bet you guys would see some neat wildlife with a trail cam set up!

    Reply to angie h's comment

    • Susy on December 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      We’ve been talking about getting a trail cam to set up in the back, figure we could get a few shots of the moose we see tracks for.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  8. Jennelle on December 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Hey–I noticed your Afield cookbook. I got that for Christmas, and I can’t wait to use it. Merry Christmas!!

    Reply to Jennelle's comment

  9. Maybelline on December 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

    We purchased new mattresses for all the beds. Guess our gift was a great night’s sleep.

    Reply to Maybelline's comment

    • Susy on December 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      Now that’s a good gift!

      Reply to Susy's comment

    • Mr. Chiots on December 29, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      “Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.”

      Reply to Mr. Chiots's comment

  10. Sincerely, Emily on December 29, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    Completely practical gifts around here too. I laugh, because it is just like you said, everything gets labelled a “gift” this time of year. A favorite for both of us was a replacement handle for the waterpik that I kept forgetting to order. Basically, I finally remembered to order it and just called it a Christmas “gift”

    Reply to Sincerely, Emily's comment

  11. KimH on December 29, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I love getting practical gifts.. I’d much rather get something I’ll use than something that will mostly just sit around.. Enjoy those tools.. I know you will. A potato fork has been indispensable in my garden world.. 14 years later, Im still sad because mine got left behind accidentally when I moved to Ohio. Few things matter that much to me, but this one was hand made by someone I loved and kept him close in spirit when I was using it. Oh well.

    I got a wonderful 14 bottle case of my favorite brandy fortified wine from Pa (River Queen from Foxburg Wine Cellars) , a certificate for 2 massages at my favorite place, a 6 qt stainless steel pressure cooker, “Dont Panic, Dinner is in the Freezer” cookbook, a cedar plank for grilling, a garlic slicer, a gravy boat,and a great big super warm & fluffy throw cover.

    I always put things Im either thinking about buying or want to order from the library in my Amazon wishlist.. Unbeknownst to me, my step daughter had access to my wishlist & got the pressure cooker & cookbook. Im pretty tickled and I’ll tell you.. I was super surprised! Shocked may be more like it.. Thats like not telling anyone your deepest secrets and then having someone come along & fix them for you. ;) I have an 8qt ancient aluminum pressure cooker but I really wanted SS. Im thrilled to have this one.

    I also got a gift this year for the entire family… I got us a Big Berkey with the black & the arsenic/fluoride filters too.. I’ve been fretting about our water for a long time.. and when I saw this on your blog last year, I knew this was what I wanted but kept waiting to take the plunge.. Im so glad I finally did..

    Reply to KimH's comment

    • Susy on December 29, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Love the Big Berkey, now that’s a great gift for the family!

      Reply to Susy's comment

  12. pinepod on December 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I got a nice Vera Bradley all-in-one wristlet, a nice scarf made by my sister, a check from my Grandma and some hand sanitizer from my Grandma, and some nice fingerless gloves from my brother and some nice pictures of my 8 year old niece, 6 year old niece, and almost 11 month old niece that my sister-in-law sent us from Shutterfly. Got to Skype with my 3 niece’s and sister-in-law on Christmas Eve and got several e-mails from 2 of my niece’s since they had gotten Tablets for Christmas.


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  13. kristin @ going country on December 29, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    A duster from my MiL. Lame. But useful.

    My Christmas gift from my husband was supposed to be to fix the butcher block counters that have split and consequently leak spilled liquids onto the pots in the cabinets underneath. He hasn’t done it yet. I told him today he’s late with my Christmas gift and he’d better get on it, or next year I would demand something high-maintenance like a diamond necklace.

    My birthday gift (December 27th, BOO) from him is supposed to be to fix the hole in the floor of the upstairs bathrooms that’s been there since the plumber had to get at the pipes in there four years ago. He hasn’t done that yet, either. Delinquent gift-giver.

    Reply to kristin @ going country's comment

    • KimH on December 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      Happy Birthday Kristin.. My daughter was born on the 26th and she was never really very happy about that either..

      Reply to KimH's comment

  14. Joy Giles on December 30, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    After 34 years of using a hand mixer, my sweet husband gave me a Kitchen Aid Classic. I can now make the various recipes I’ve discarded due to no mega mixer.

    Reply to Joy Giles's comment

  15. SusieB on December 31, 2012 at 10:09 am

    I’m with you on practical gifts. My game plan is usually edible or practical so people aren’t just piling up more “stuff.” I received several new books that I’m trying to read all at once (ha) and my mom actually found some great warm sweaters for me, which can often been a challenge since my parents live in SoCal.

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  16. Beth K on December 31, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I much prefer practical gifts. I was excited to find that my husband had gotten me a pretty and functional storage bench for our new mudroom this year! Now if only the mudroom was finished… lol.

    Reply to Beth K's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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