Did you ever wonder what happened to the Christmas presents?

I know (hangs head in shame).

I promised.

I teased.

I said all those handmade gifts were just a post away.

And then?

The videos and the book and the pantry and the dining room got in the way.

So I’m celebrating Christmas in January with you today. 

On Christmas morning, my brother handed me a box wrapped up with ribbons and string and told me not to get excited because he felt like his gift this year was nothing special.  He shrugged and looked sheepish and explained that he wasn’t sure if I’d like it.

I smiled to myself.

He says that every year.

He’s funny and smart and makes me laugh and has eyes that twinkle and a grin that makes you want to grin back.


He’s the most humble amazing person I know.

And his gift is woodworking.

He can take a few simple pieces of wood and make something like this.

A tea caddy.

And those letters?  They aren’t glued on (although that might be an awesome DIY idea of you didn’t have a brother giving you one for Christmas).

The letters are routed out from a piece of wood.  You can see the simple sanding marks around each letter.  He made the box and then he made mini-boxes and routed out the front of them.  And when you open up the boxes?

There are tiny tea bags inside.

When I opened it and looked at it, I could see him in his workshop.  The hours it must have taken to make a piece like this.  I could see him nailing and routing and putting each piece together and then sanding it all by hand.


He was right.

The gift wasn’t anything simple.

Nothing simple at all.

It couldn’t be simple because my wonderful, incredible, humble Christmas gifter of a brother….


Here’s my tea from this morning.

Just sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for me to take a sip.  And when I did something amazing happened.

It must have been the cuteness of the caddy….

….but it tasted even yummier. 🙂

PS  I love you Mark.

You are forever and ever my heart.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Katie Heidinger Katie Heidinger

    He's an Amazing woodworker and a very creative Amazing brother! I would love that on my counter. Hmm.. I'll have to show this to my husband and add it ti my "please make this honey" list.

  2. Image for Peg Peg

    You have THE most amazing family heirlooms to treasure forever and ever! And, it's never too late for Christmas!! xoxo

  3. Image for beverlee beverlee

    I have been WAITING!!!! and this did not disappoint. Amazing, and amazing the love y'all share. That is the best. Are there more? I love you for sharing this.

  4. Image for Debbie Debbie

    The tea caddy is truly amazing, I love your family made gifts you share with us each year! As I enjoy my cup of coffee reading your blog, it warms my heart and makes me smile. Thank you!

  5. Image for Carrie Carrie

    That gift fits you to a "Tea".....the truly amazing gift of all is that you have love in your family. And it shows in so many ways. Thanks for sharing just one of those 'loves'

  6. Image for Susannah Susannah

    I don't comment on blogs or newsletters and very rarely subscribe. But I had to tell you.......you make my day ~~ always!

  7. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Awwww!!! Tears streaming! That is so sweet. What a special gift! So awesome to have such an amazing brother. So glad you shared it with us. ❤

  8. Image for Gina Gina

    A book. All homemade Christmas featuring all the homemade gifts of your family with the corresponding posts and anecdotes. ;) Awesome, Mark!

  9. Image for Lynette Lynette

    Will he adopt me? That is so sweet. I just adore you and your beautiful home. Wish you could come visit and decorate my house! And bring Mark too!

  10. Image for Terri Terri

    That is amazing.... what a wonderful gift from (obviously) .. a very gifted brother who loves you so much !! ..... and yes I did wonder why we had not seen any family gifts yet !!! lololol... Awesome as usual !!!

  11. Image for Michele (Finch Rest) Michele (Finch Rest)

    Wonder how long it will take for a knock off to be available at Hobby Lobby - that is AWESOME! I highly recommend ordering individually wrapped teabags (my favorites are Harney and Sons.) That way they;ll keep forever, even when right up to the wood! Or if there's room maybe lining it with wallpaper inside - or felt if there's room in there could be neat too. What a sweet, amazing, kind, generous and awesome tea bag caddy - I love it and would love to own one, too! I can see peeps painting the outside of the box in such fun ways - but the raw wood is how I would want it. Well done, Mark, well done KA's rock star brother!!!!! ♥

  12. Image for Susie Susie

    Your siblings have amazing Christmas present ideas! I love that it is your tradition and his tea caddy is something I would love to have on my counter.

  13. Image for Mary in VA Mary in VA

    What an awesome tea box, I love it! What an awesome brother! He is so talented, those letters! You are a lucky sister to have such a talented brother who loves you so much he builds you awesome things like this!

  14. Image for Paula Paula

    I just love it! You are one lucky lady to have a brother like that, but I am sure he feels just as lucky to have you as a sister or why else's would he devote so much time and effort. Your parents did a wonderful job making such wonderful children. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Image for joie joie

    I love the tea box. I can'nt make the letters but I can glue them on . he is great. I cant wait to try to make with hubby's help

  16. Image for Sharon H Sharon H

    I am a tea drinker from waaaay back, and a friend of mine and I used to do Tea Parties....big girl tea parties....that's how much I love tea! Beautiful.

  17. Image for Betsy Betsy

    I love tea! I put ground Earl Grey in shortbread cookies, I dye linens with tea. I drink tea by the gallons. Anything that utters tea is perfect to me. Your Christmas gift was incredible! Tell your brother I said so! xoxoxoxoxoxo

  18. Image for Tracey Tracey

    I love your stories of Christmas traditions in your family. I think I found a great present for my mom in the DIY breakfast tray on your blog. My son built it and I painted it. My mom LOVED it. She used it as a coffee station for the family Christmas dinner. I'm going to find something to make for her next Christmas for sure. But I think I got the best Christmas present--I'm going to be a grandma! My son and DIL are expecting their first child Aug. 22, 2018!

  19. Image for Kathy Kathy

    Wow! That is awesome! What a treasure! I love a gift from the heart like this one. (And, it is the best one yet!) I think I might have told you about the time I painted watercolors for each member in my family and had them framed. When we went to pick them up from the framer my husband said, "You could have given them a real gift for what that cost." NOT a good comment! But, I still love him. Some guys just don't get it. I am glad your brother gets it.

  20. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    I may have squealed when I saw the title of this post!! It’s never too late to share your amazing Christmas gifts! And I love this one! How truly special and to be reminded of him each time you make a cup of tea. Aaaaaaaaahhhh!! Thank him for making my day in reading this, please. He is truly amazing, too.


    KariAnne, you have such a precious family! Your Tea Box is a real treasure and I know it will always be so special to you. Your dear brother, Mark, is just so amazing -- and so are you! God Bless you all! Have a wonderful week!

  22. Image for Cindy Hurley Cindy Hurley

    Whay a wonderful gift from your brother. I really need to try to save some my old barn wood pieces to get someone to do this for me. So cute an idea and so much love to do for you. He really does know you and he, too, is AMAZING.

Comments are closed.