You heard it here first.
Each year during the festive season I meet with two of my school friends Jen and Emily, for the exchange of birthday and yule gifts. We live scattered across the country so it's rare we all get together other than this time of year. Our friendship has attracted us the name 'The Weird Sisters', and another friend Adam insists we are more foul than fair. You've seen the birthday gifts already, Branching Out for Emily and the lizard hot water bottle cover for Jen. Keeping with the themes of leaves and lizards I made them decoupage candle holders from glass vases and tissue paper (there are only so many knitted gifts you can receive before they become Weasley-tastic). The cartoon above is the first page from the book that Emily gave me for my birthday. It's 'Great Lies to tell Small Kids' by Andy Riley. I used to work with kids and came up with a few corkers myself, but this provides some excellent inspiration. She also got me 'Change the World for a Fiver' which gives social, economic and environmental ideas for improving the world around you. It's a great book with some brilliant suggestions.
I'd already had my birthday present from Jen, a croquet set. For Yule she got me this beautiful money jar. The only problem is that you have to smash it to get your money out, although i'm sure a knife can solve that issue. You are supposed to write a wish on a slip of paper and put it in the jar with your first coin. The wish comes true when you smash it. You're also supposed to buy a new jar from the contents too.
It was lovely to see everyone again and we had a great evening out with much food, wine and merriment.