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Christmas In The Country: Gift Exchange Reveal

A few weeks ago I shared that I was going to be participating in the Christmas In The Country Gift Exchange and today I get to reveal what I received from my secret Santa, as well as what I sent as my gift to Darcy!

The gift that I received was from Amber Rugan of A Gentle Word. Amber is from Kansas and writes about faith, family, food, farming, fun and photography. I wasn’t familiar with Amber’s blog so I was looking forward to meeting someone new and learning more about her!

Amber’s Secret Santa gift to me came in two stages. First I received this large box on my doorstep which contained a real Christmas wreath from Delp Christmas Tree Farm, a local farm in her area. How neat!


We always had a real Christmas tree when I was growing up so this was a nice little reminder of home for the holidays. She later revealed that she tried to send me a wreath with Purdue colors but it didn’t work out. (That would have been awesome though!) But the wreath she ended up sending worked perfectly and was right in time to add some more festive decorations for the Christmas Sweater Party we had at our house!


The box the wreath came in didn’t have much description of who it came from besides her name so I was intrigued to learn more! A week or so after that I received Amber’s second package. It included a very sweet note sharing more about her and the story behind her gifts, some cute mini jars with mints in them for me to share, a package of M&M’s to share, a blog ornament and the infamous Christmas Gift Exchange lump of coal! (I’ll explain more about that in a minute).

Amber joked that the blog ornament was tacky and it was the only one that she could find. But I think it’s just perfect. I’ve never even seen a blog ornament before so great job to you, Amber, for even finding one! 🙂  I already have it hanging up in my office at home!


Alright, now for the story behind the lump of coal. Back in 2013, this bag of coal was gifted to Amber as part of her Gift Exchange present by Colby Miller of It serves as a light hearted reminder that coal-deserving sin places us on Santa’s naughty list. But thankfully, naughty boys and girls are offered the gift of Jesus.

In reading the tag closer, I realized it is actually a bar of soap colored and scented like real coal, but what a creative reminder about the real reason for the season! You can read more about Amber’s experience of receiving the coal here. On the back of the tag it has the history of where this coal has traveled each year so my job now is to keep it and pass it on to someone next year!

Thank you Amber for all of your creative and thoughtful gifts! I truly enjoyed them and am grateful for the opportunity to meet and learn more about you. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and I look forward to keeping in touch!


The recipient of my Secret Santa gifts was Darcy Sexson of Success is Reason Enough from Oregon! I had never been to Oregon so I had to do a little research on her blog to find out what type of things she  might like.

I wanted to send her something local, something fun, and something homemade. I started with a cute calendar from a local shop that featured images from Indiana. Then, in reading Darcy’s bio, it said she isn’t a huge fan of cleaning (who is, really?) and ended up finding the perfect little decoration for her! And my homemade item was an arm-knitted infinity scarf!


I was really proud of this one because it was my first attempt at making one. It wasn’t the easiest of project at first, but it turned out great once I got the hang of it.


I was really excited to see what Darcy thought of my gifts and based off of the sweet thank you card she sent me and her gift reveal blog, she loved them! You can check out her response and learn more about her here. Glad you enjoyed your gifts, Darcy! 🙂

Finally, I want to say thank you so much to Robyn at The Ranch Wife Chronicles, Jamie at This Unchartered Rhoade, Laurie at Country Linked, and Erin at Diaries From the Dirt Road for hosting and organizing this fun event!

To see all of the other bloggers who participated, click on one of the host’s links above for the link up!



Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange

After two wonderful days of family time, eating, and Black Friday shopping (which my waistline and sleep pattern are still recovering from), I’m already starting to get into the Christmas spirit!

The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year, for many reasons. First, we celebrate the main reason for the season, the birth of Jesus. Second, I also get to celebrate a unique connection with this because I get to share my birthday with Him! That’s right – I’m a Christmas baby! And third,we get to celebrate family and friends by giving thoughtful gifts of love and appreciation.

I always love trying to find unique and thoughtful gifts that my loved ones will enjoy. And this year, I’m excited to give another gift of appreciation to one of my fellow Ag Bloggers by participating in the Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange!

Christmas in the Country

Here’s how it works: Christmas in the Country is a Christmas gift exchange for Agriculture Bloggers and Agvocates hosted by Laurie from Country Linked, Erin from Diaries From the Dirt Road, Jamie from The Uncharted Rhoade, and Robyn from The Ranch Wife ChroniclesIt is a great way to get to know bloggers/friends of agriculture across the country and engage with others who have the same interests as you!

But don’t worry – you don’t have to be a blogger to participate, just a lover of all things agriculture and country!

Sign ups go until TOMORROW, November 30th. To sign up all you have to do is fill out a quick form giving us some very basic information about yourself.  They ask for a mailing address so that your secret Ag Friend can send you a special Christmas surprise, your email address and give us some of your likes and dislikes. And they share some of this information with the individual who has your name and you in turn will receive the same information for someone.

  • You will receive the name and information of who you will be sending a gift to on December 1st.  (Please email one of the hosts as soon as you have done so as we will be keeping track that everyone who signed up sends and receives a gift.)
  • All gifts need to be sent by December 17th to ensure delivery before the holidays.
  • If you are a blogger, then join us on January 7th for a Link-Up party. Write a blog post about what you sent, who you sent it too, what you received and who you received it from.  This is where the real fun begins! They loved seeing the fun and creative things that everyone came up with to send to each other, especially the ones that sent things from their region or area of the country.

 If you’d like to join me in the Christmas in the Country Gift Exchange, sign up here! And don’t forget, sign-ups end TOMORROW!

I can’t wait to find out who my person is and I’m excited to start shopping for my gift! Today is also Small Business Saturday so I’m planning on trying to find some unique Indiana products to include in my gift! 🙂

Do you have any ideas of neat Indiana things I could include in my gift box?

I’d love to chat more, but I have to go get ready to go shopping. I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with your friends and family and spent some time reflecting on the many things we all have to be thankful for!

Love and Holiday Blessings,



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