Recap of 11th Living Out Loud project: Tis the gift to be simple

It's 19 days before Christmas and I haven't bought a single gift. Rich has bought two on my Amazon Prime account, but those don't count. As someone on Facebook remarked the other day, "you mean they sell Christmas presents before the 24th?" So I thought this would be a good topic to bring up as we all struggle with the idea of what "perfect" things to get each other. I've been treated yet again to a great selection of Living Out Loud entries this month of everyone's thoughts on the matter. I admit to spending these last moments before the 5pm deadline reading everyone else's entries and marveling at how great they were while lamenting that my own entry could not compare. I hope you enjoy them all as much as I did. Gina's Gifts This pleases me to no end that my compilation CD means so much to Gina. I'm always happy to find someone else who gets as excited about music as I do and after our chat I knew she would understand. Obviously, she understands more than I ever could have known.

Janet's Holiday Happiness When I read "You need a ride, you listen to Christmas carols" I literally laughed out loud. Janet shows how all those Christmas items taking over and turning it into HallowGivingsMas might not all be about commercialism. I should be a little less last minute and bah humbug and do a little more humming myself.

Deb's Tis better to give Deb's entry is one I could have written as well. I suck at receiving gifts and spend way more effort on the giving. Sometimes I wonder if people really know what I want or who I am. Rich says I think to much about these things. And I would totally love power tools wrapped up with a bow.

SuziCate's Please Don't Let It Be Underwater! All her examples are great, but the gifts from her husband are winners! Rich and I were discussing a driveway as our Christmas present this year (I have driveway envy with all our neighbors getting new ones), but I like the idea of having a little something you weren't expecting from someone you love.

Megan's Mix Tapes Again, music is something near and dear to me so it's great to hear about all the heartfelt items Megan has received over the years. My brother is not the romantic type so I could imagine his gifts would be similar but just as personal.

Kim's Two Gifts That Kind of Broke Me I had forgotten about both of these gifts from all those years ago but hearing about them brought it all back. More and more I lean towards the idea of no gift giving that she and Jack have but I'm not sure Rich would stand for it. And the line that cracked me up the most was "Also, we lived in a giant, unassailable castle of dorkitude." because I can hear Kim's voice saying that much like Morgan Freeman might discuss penguins.

And my own Trying to change someone else's tune

I had such a hard time picking a winner this month that we had to go out for Mexican food before I could decide. The chicken enchiladas inspired me to pick Kim as our winner. Her entry had a unique voice that really entertained me while staying true to the spirit of sharing on the Internet. Since there were several entries this month with the theme of music and Kim is a music lover herself, I'm making her prize a $25 gift card to so she can purchase DRM free music for her collection.

Everyone kicked ass this month and you should all pat yourselves on the back for your writing. Really this project is the best present I could receive for the holidays. You all inspire me.

I already know the theme for the next Living Out Loud and it's a tough one, but I know you can rise to the challenge. Details will be posted soon. Let's finish out the year strong! Go team!