So what went over big? - What was the best gift you gave?

Well, to quote our younger son totnak (aged nearly 8):

“A Wii!!! A Wii!!! I’ve wanted this my whole life! I got a Wii! This is the best day of my life ever! How did you know I wanted a Wii?!?” Several minutes of Snoopy dancing followed.

How did we know? Um, kiddo, how could anybody in this house not know, the way you’ve been “hinting” for the past, say, fifteen months?

My 3.5 year old son’s been obsessed with cameras since he was old enough to recongize one. Loves getting his picture taken, poses, the whole works. And he always want to run over and see the pciture as soon as it’s taken. My wife found a kid-friendly digital camera that’s super padded and reinforced.

My god. He LOVES it. It’s been twenty-four hours, and he’s taken over 500 pictures with it already. And yes, I’m downloading and storing them all, although I’ll need to start getting choosy at some point.

So cute to hear him saying “little to the left…little to the right…PERFECT!Say cheese!”


TikkiDad, Middle Sis and I were at Younger Sis’s house in the morning and at Middle Sis’s house later in the day. We opened presents at both places. I’d given both sisters elegant beveled glass window hangings but Middle Sis didn’t know that until the afternoon. She was so thrilled when she opened hers. She said she’d been jealous to see the one I’d gotten Younger Sis and had secretly wished I’d gotten it for her. Sure made me feel good to see the look on her face. Especially since I had been considering getting her some tools, which she really needs at her new house but wouldn’t have gotten quite the same reaction.

The Christmas List this year was on a 3x3 post it for all 3 boys. A new WoW capable computer for the oldest made him squeal (though he now denies doing that because “17 yro boys do not squeal, Mom”), #2 has wanted a dartboard for a while, he didn’t squeal, but wanted to carry the thing 3 blocks over to show his best friend! I had to mount the thing to keep him from taking it outside with him. Star Wars Lego, The Complete Saga has made #3 forget he was afraid to be downstairs by himself. Dad went gaga over the 22inch computer monitor - he actually cleaned off his desk and even went so far as to dust it!

The most coveted present? That stupid toy with 6 different fart sounds on it.

Years ago, when #1 was 9, I got him and his father tickets to a Cowboy’s game to happen just after Christmas. I found the biggest box I could, taped the envelope with the tickets in the bottom and then filled it with peanuts (I have pictures of him inside the box searching frantically). When the boy discovered the tickets, he screamed and jumped around the room flinging peanuts everywhere. He still talks about that present.


I gave the in-laws gourds with a WWF adopted stuffed animal stuck into each one (their favorite animals, of course!). I was really surprised at how much they liked them. I’m already brainstorming for next year’s gifts (which will also include a wildlife adoption).

For the second year in a row, we gave each of our mothers a subscription to Harry & David’s fruit of the month club (the mini version – four perfect pieces of fruit each month). It’s been just a huge hit – both moms are in their 80s and trying not to accumulate more stuff, so this is a great and healthy option. And they both just rave over it, so we’ve definitely been successful with this one.

I did well on several of my gifts. None were complete flops, although my 16-year old son raised his eyebrows at me when he unwrapped the books. Three items that went over big:

  1. Fisher Price’ Imaginext MegaSpinosaurus for my 5yo son. I have a great picture of him in the victory pose, holding it aloft after he managed to release it from its wrappings.

  2. A Calophan rangetop double grill pan for my Mom and a set of nice knives. She celebrated by making us all dinner.

  3. A bottle of 12 year old GlenMorangie, the Port Wood Finish for my Dad. He was very surprised and pleased. He usually gets some type of home improvement gadget, and this was just something for him to enjoy.

Amidst the various Wii games, and the Wii Zapper, my older sons received (in the words of my eldest child) “beaucoup moolah”. They were pleased about that.
As for myself, I danced with glee when I opened my KitchenAid Stand Mixer…and as a bonus, Santa brought me the KitchenAid Immersion Blender with all the attachments!
Woot! No jewelry or perfume this year, and I’m perfectly okay with that!

I’m so jealous FaerieBeth.

By far the biggest hit on Christmas was the bacon salt. “It really tastes like bacon!”

Everyone loved it.

Actually this was something that I had recieved for Christmas. A furbie which happens to be the character Gizmo. Now I thought that he happened to be a snob since he does’nt deign to speek with the other Furbies, not really his fault since he does not have the infra red port on his head. But he does seem to respond to motion, when one of the other furbies started up, he joined in.

So I videoed the three wise furbies and sent as an MMS to a friend of mine in Calgary , who almost squealed in delight and demanded to know where I got a Christmas present.

Good times


I dropped a million and one hints, and then knew I was getting it because my Mom couldn’t figure out how to work the Amazon Wish List. Incidentally, the price for the mixer on Amazon was good. Mine is silver, but right now this white one is just 200 bucks!

Now I just need to decide if I’m going to purchase flame decals for it, so it will look like Alton’s!

Alas, I can drop hints but will not see a Kitchenaid mixer for many a year - even if I get a cheap one, a power transformer runs about $50-100 on top of that, then there’s shipping etc. And locally they’re between $600 and $1200 depending on which HP you get.

So I shall live vicariously. Dreaming of the day when I can have one of my own…

I got my brother a hand-made Gransfors Bruks axe. He was pretty excited and I was (and am) totally jealous.

I only gave 2.

To my youngest son, money and a bunch of clothes he asked for.
To my oldest son, a ticket to an Iron Maiden concert that he’s been talking about wanting to go to for months now, and a plane ticket to NJ (where the concert will be held.) And a little bit of money.
Both were very well received.

But we’re not done. We still have Three Kings Day to celebrate. I might get the younger one an Ipod mini and my older son a gift cert. to the book store and maybe the movie theatre.

My nephew (mid-20’s) hugged the 12" deepwall Anolon pan with lid that we gave him.

My 13yr old niece asked for a lime green bathmat for her bathroom. Her room is in lime green, hot pink and purple.

So we got her:
A lime green bathmat with pink flowers. (No, they aren’t easy to find.)
A set of hot pink and a set of green towels
Purple rope lights
A purple and pink lava lamp
3 bottles of fingernail polish, in lime green, hot pink and purple.

Me? I got a titanium spork. SPORK!

My wife always goes overboard with Christmas, but this year we agreed that we’d scale it back because we had a two-week vacation in Hawaii this fall. (We still had way too many presents; for example, more than $100 of Littlest Pet Shop stuff.)
My wife comes from Hawaii, and her pre-marriage last name (chosen by her–long story) is the name of a Hawaiian plant. On our trip, we bought a woodcut print of women picking the plant. On Sunday, my daughters and I went to a framing shop and had a custom frame built for it, as our main gift to her. The girls helped choose the color of the mat, and the wood of the frame. She loved it.

Why, yes, how did you know? She has this huge farm with lots and lots of donkeys! Little donkeys, donkeys pulling carts, big donkeys, baby donkeys…

Silly Paulie!

Seriously, the woman has hundreds of ceramic donkeys.

I got some awesome cookbooks. However, ironically, the grocery store is closed on Christmas Day and I couldn’t make anything from them!

I went on trips with my parents this summer, and I got two of those picture frames with multiple picture spots in them and filled each with some of my favorite pictures from our trips.