Arguably the greatest transition when becoming a full-time RVer is the shift from many possessions to few possessions. Before purchasing our 2004 Tiffin Phaeton and hitting the road in February 2014, Eric and I only had a two-bedroom apartment. Even so, we had so much to sell, donate, and throw away. Over our past four years on the road, we’ve done constant battle against clutter. So when it comes to Christmas gifts, ours look a bit different than many Americans.
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Our Philosophy When It Comes to Stuff
When it comes to material things, we’ve learned through experience that we need next to nothing. Every six months, we do “spring cleaning” of the large pass-through basement storage under Meriwether, our Class A motorhome. We also go through the cabinets inside. If we haven’t used something for a year, it’s usually an automatic ejection. Six months, and we examine it carefully. Do we have something else that serves the same purpose? Would the storage space be used better in another way?
Basically, we’re careful about what we keep and what we buy. Our reasons are practical (less stuff = better fuel economy and staying under the RV’s weight capacity) and philosophical (it’s a gift to be simple).
But we’re still human! There are still things we’d like to have.
This is not one of those general lists of “what to get your RVing friend.” We don’t expect any Amazon Prime packages to show up on our doorstep in two days. 😛 Rather, this is a personal behind-the-scenes of what our Christmas 2017 looked like.
Christmas Gifts for the Man of the House
Disclaimer: I’m pretty horrible at giving gifts. But I’m getting better. I find it really difficult to come up with good ideas for Eric. Plus, he wants really expensive things and I’m hopelessly frugal.
This Christmas, I’d give myself a 6 out of 10.
Top Notch T-shirt
I got Eric a t-shirt showing off one of his favorite burger joints in Austin. I knew he would like it, but I also wanted to celebrate his major health milestones this past year, after his diabetes diagnosis. Since he went on the ketogenic diet less than five months ago, he’s lost over 40 pounds. We’ve had to revamp his entire wardrobe as his clothes have been falling off him. That’s an ongoing process!
ProForm Dumbbell Set
With his overall health goals largely achieved, Eric has wanted to start weight-training. When we saw our friend in Somerset this past summer, he had a cool weight set Eric really liked. ProForm’s dumbbell set is space-efficient for the RV because–instead of having multiple weights of different sizes–the weights slide off and on the same handle.
Hi-Lift Jack Mount
Since getting our Jeep Rubicon last year, we’ve made a lot of modifications. But Eric still has a “wish list” for the Jeep, and one of the more necessary items was a mount kit for the hi-lift jack I got him last Christmas. It’s been sitting in the basement of our RV since then, which isn’t very helpful.
Customized Daddy Mug
Eric also got a personalized mug from Silas, our 13-year-old. Isn’t it sweet?
Christmas Gifts for the Lady of the House
Do I have expensive taste, or does Eric just like to spoil me? You decide.
Ben Bridge Earrings
I have really sensitive ears that require certain earring posts. Eric is really sweet about getting me earrings for special occasions, and they’re always from my favorite jeweler, Ben Bridge. That’s where my wedding ring is from. 💗 This year, Eric got me gold hoops. Thank you, love!
I’ve been gradually replacing my economy cookware with pieces that should last the rest of my life. Last year, Eric got me a 3-quart All-Clad Copper Core saucepan, and this year I got the matching 2-quart saucepan. This things are beyond amazing and cook so evenly. Considering the extra time I’ve been spending in the kitchen since Eric started keto thing, I’m very grateful!
My mom also got me a ton of SmartWool socks, which I’ll definitely use for all the hiking we’re going to do out west in 2018.
What About Baby Nomad?
One of my mom friends, whose baby is only three days older than Caspian, said this is her “free year.” I totally agree! On Christmas morning, Caspian was thrilled to hang out with the family and play with the tissue paper.
Nonetheless, we couldn’t leave him out. Grammie (my mom) gave him his first puzzle and a xylophone. Grandma Lety (Eric’s mom) gave him a Radio Flyer convertible scooter. And Eric and me? We gave him a set of tactile balls, and re-wrapped his birthday present from Dec. 3 to give to him again. No shame in our game.
So Yeah…Not a Lot
No riding lawn mower. No kitchen appliances. No sound system. No excess anything. We don’t get a lot because we don’t need a lot! Christmas 2017 was an absolute joy, as we went down to my parents’ house in Corpus Christi. Since it was an odd year, my brothers and their wives were there (they go to their in-laws on even years). Plus Eric’s mom. Plus two of our “big kids” from California. A full house full of amazing food and lots of love.
If you’re not impressed by or interested in our list of Christmas gifts, that’s kind of the point.