I know it's late, but our family Christmas gift was not ready "on the day". My husband works in the building/furniture arts but has put that on hold lately to go back to school for architecture.
School is fun and exciting for him, and thrilling to watch for me. He put all of his stuff on hold to go with me to the Netherlands for 5 years to study, and I'm glad that he is getting a chance to do his thing now.
So, he has all these skillz, if you will, but no time. We bought a house in the summer of 2009, and he went from working FT to going to school FT. Our house is about 100 years old. It's got "good bones" but could also serve as a work-in-progress for the rest of our lives.
As Christmas rolled around we talked about what we would give to each other. I could spend my life savings (sadly small) on books, but between the library and the occasional small splurge I manage fine. He loves a good tool, but buys them as he needs them. We really didn't "want" anything this year, except improvements around the house. He wanted the time to work on them, and I wanted the house to look less thrown together.
So that's what we "did" for Christmas gifts to each other-- but of course he didn't have the time until after Dec 25th.
May I present our new bookshelves! I am super excited. They're made from salvaged cherry and walnut. There will eventaully be cabinets below-- but that's part of the long term plan. For now, we are just SO EXCITED to have used the space in our place a little more efficiently.
Here is the mid-way shot.