Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Great Exchange

What can I say? The Easter Basket Exchange was a rip-roaring success. My basket arrived on Monday but I was very disciplined and waited until this morning for the great satisfaction of getting an awesome Easter basket I didn't make, and opening it in my pajamas.

Mine came from my friend Melanie who I roomed with in the BYU Spanish House and traveled to Mexico and cross country with, but we haven't seen each other in many years. Nonetheless I know her to be fabulous and I was not disappointed. My basket included several kinds of awesome chocolate, a springy shade of nail polish, Mel's favorite lip gloss, a cool make-up case, handmade card set, an Easter dish towel, an actual basket, and an amazing handmade apron! Here are some of the other baskets that got passed around:

(I am still receiving pictures by email and will put them in the slide show as I get them.)

But it was equally about the baskets we gave as the baskets we got, wasn't it? I was collecting things for mine long before the names were assigned, and even before I wrote the original blog post announcing the exchange. At one point I had way over $25 worth of things I wanted to include (and I know I'm not the only one!), and worked very hard to pare it down, often laying things out, admiring, rearranging, etc...and I know I'm not the only one who did that, either! I did end up making small Easter baskets for my family, but my basket for the exchange was by far more fun and satisfying, making the whole experience more than worth it to me.

As the exchange "administrator" I had all the fun of hearing the cool and funny stories everyone had in the process. There was Tamara in NY who went to Enrichment one night where a girl in her ward came up and said, "My sister-in-law (Mia) in Tennessee has you for an Easter Basket Exchange!" There was Cherry in my ward who chased me down the hall at church to breathlessly gush over her new friend Jen in Colorado and how much they have in common, including the same birthday. There were several who emailed their giftee detailed surveys in order to perfectly personalize a dream basket. Everyone's emails to me seemed to carry a slightly giddy tone. And there was me, who excitedly unearthed my beading supplies to make Katy several pairs of earrings, only to discover she happens to have "crazy mad healing powers" and her pierced ears have closed up...thrice.

I hope everyone who participated will leave a note here, mentioning something about the experience and maybe the favorite things she got or gave. I hope everyone got as much enjoyment out of this as I did.

And I hope to see you all, and maybe more, back here next year for:
EBX '09!


Mia said...

I will get my pictures to you tomorrow. Please do let me gush about my awesome basket. I loved every bit of it. It arrived on Thursday and I slowly peeled the corners up a bit each day (I have no waiting power when it comes to gifts). Finally this morning I ripped it open. It was wrapped in the cutest easter paper and had so many goodies in it. There were all these amazing chocolates and some super yummy lotion and soap. I handed a piece of chocolate to my son who ate a bite, and looked at me like he loved me even more than ever before. I loved this entire exchange and I loved finding an "it's a small world connection" with my basket. Heather, thanks so much I love my basket and I appreciate it so much. Kari, great idea!! Thanks for putting it together and for getting us all organized. Tamara, glad you liked your Tennessee basket.

cherry said...

"Holy macaroni!" the Bunny dark chocolate is superb--thanks Tamara Hall--i took the M&M's Almond and the bunny dark chocolate and selfishly put it on top of my computer table to enjoy while working on my computer but Geri(oldest daughter) would sweet talk me while sneaking her hand in to the M&M's package..hahaha!(she can't have too much chocolate--allergy)

My kids were more excited to open the box...back home(Philippines)we don't have this kind of tradition--Easter Basket...they only receive presents during christmas, birthdays and when they do good in school.I did not make a basket for them this year but witnessing me open my Easter Basket i'm sure they will now look forward to getting a basket next year.

I love this whole idea that Kari put together. It opened doors for friendship and or strengthening friendship. Who knows maybe someday Kari will organize an activity for all the participants to get together! Woot-woot!!That will be fun!!

Thanks again Tamara! I love the dark chocolate soooo much...Mmmmmmm!

Jenifuz said...

I was too excited about the basket and forgot to take pictures of it. Cherry did a great job! I loved everything and my kids were definitely jealous!!! They love the singing egg though and we all dance around the house to it!!! I will say to Monica that I wanted to put so much more in it but life got in the way and I didn't get to get out to get it with all my kids! I hope you ejoyed it anyway! I think this is a great idea and I'm getting ready for next year!

kat said...

my basket was great: book, cute napkins, chocolate tangerine cookies, caramel apple butter, dk raspberry eggs, more chocolate squares. i'm sharing with katie, but only because i have to snack and she keeps catching me!
another great idea younce!

The Henrich Family said...

I think my husband stated it perfectly, "you hit the jackpot!" THANKS to Sara M. for my wondeful Easter surprises. Your box had been tempting me & my boys all week (I got it on Mon). It was very exciting to open yesterday. I'll enjoy all the chocolates, nail polishes, makeup, lotion, book & vinyl. Your basket rocked and I appreciate you.
GRACIAS to Kari for the great fun!

Sara said...

I have been having trouble all weekend with email but hope to get a picture to you soon. For now, THANK YOU Melissa F. for the great basket! My mother held the box for me so I couldn't peek, which made an exciting Easter morning. I will definitely enjoy using the S/M cards and papers, candles, and of course devouring the fabulous dark chocolate.

This was a lot of fun, Kari. Thanks for organizing the event.

Melanie - I'm glad to hear the box arrived safely. Enjoy!

SuperGabers - The Mom said...

Ok... Next year I won't be such a looser, and I will participate. What a fun idea Kari.

Michelle said...

Thanks for the awesome basket. Since all of my world is packed in boxes right now,the thank you card will be late. I am moving to England and packed out of my house this week, excuses excuses. But you will get one, I promise! Kari, thanks for allowing us to get to do something nice for someone else and get little surprises ourselves. Sometimes we need something special, just for us. So THANKS to everyone.

Kelsey Carreon said...

Kari, that was such a good idea!! I want in next year. It must have been so much fun shopping for and creating baskets for adults!! BTW your girls are precious. Like Cherry said my in-laws (filipinos) don't do easter baskets so it was an odd tradition for my husband to start

Tamara said...

I absolutely love my Tennessee Basket, thank you so much Mia. What I have really enjoyed is getting to know Mia and Kari a little bit more. I knew Kari growing up but have not talked to you in about thirteen years.
Mia really out did herself. My brother called to say how jealous he was that I got something from the Loveless Cafe. We are huge fans of the food network channel.
Also Cherry, I am so glad that you enjoyed your basket. It all looked so good that I was tempted to eat everything myself.

Heather said...

This was too fun! I loved the red licorice!!! Thanks Michelle! Kari, this was an awesome idea.....I too have no will power with mine was opened the day after I got it! My kids begged for chocolate out of it daily!

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