What are you giving as gifts?

Already given or mailed from me and mom:

Steamed date cakes
Starbucks gift card
Homemade CD mixes
Red velvet cake mix
Fresh and Easy gift card
ceramic candy dish
Bracelet and necklace set
Computer (early gift for mom, given before Thanksgiving)

How about you?

Mom - a sparkly bracelet and a Vera Bradley cosmetic bag.

Step dad and step brother - gift certificates

sister 1 - two murloc figs (WoW) and a big herbal heating pad for her shoulder (she has tendonitis).

sister 1’s boyfriend - a box of football trading cards.

sister 1’s kids - snuggies for each kid. lots of candy.

sister 2 and her husband - money

sister 2’s kid - moon sand

boyfriend - a large RC helicopter with 3 channels. At least one of them shouldn’t set off the CO detector, got his car detailed.

Not a very interesting list this year…

Fluffy socks
Monty python t-shirt
Enamel pendant
Cupcake carrier
Books about cupcake decorating
Game for PS3 about shooting stuff (forget the name)
Mariokart for Wii
Star Trek on Blu-Ray
Homemade cookies
Blu-ray player
Target Gift Card
Netflix subscription
Copies of the DVD of our engagement pictures
Wooden “growth chart” for a child’s room
Cookie Monster DVD
Lego set

Wow, a longer list than I thought. I also sent out 40 Christmas cards - 3 or 4 of those are actually not sent yet because I needed address confirmation. Gotta get them in the mailbox!

We’re getting my Mum and Dad a limited edition painting of an artist they like. It was more than we would usually spend but they have also just had their silver wedding and got a new house, so lots of reasons to celebrate.

My husband’s Mum and Grandma both got Christmas boxes filled with things to represent our Christmas traditions. Because we are in England and they are in America, we sent them British snacks and candies, as well as Christmas Crackers and little trinkets.

I won’t say what I’m getting for the other half, just in case he reads this thread…

framed pictures of kids/grandkids
belly dancing book and DVD
walkman radio with speakers and noise-cancelling earbuds
wall plaques
heated mattress pad
various DVDs and books
hat and scarf
chef’s hat
music box
homemade bacon
chipping in for tv
homemade marshmallows and caramel
gift certficates

Mom - a framed collage of her grandfather’s World War 1 papers, and a signed letter from Ronald Reagan celebrating his life which was sent when he died in 1988. I randomly came across all of these in an envelope a couple months ago, and I’m not sure if she’s ever seen these before

the rest are just things I bought:
Dad - How I Met Your Mother Season 4
Brother - Punch-Out for Wii
Grandfather - digital counting coin bank
Aunt - one of those stupid Snow Village figurines that she collects
Cousin - Ninja Gaiden 2 for X360
Stepmom - a 3 tier o’deruves serving tray
another aunt & another cousin - Fail Nation books

For St Nick (Our Dutch gift exchange festival, at dec 5th) I gave: ( I drew my mom and my brother)

a rose set. A climbing rose in a pot, a bag of rose manure, a bag of soil, and a (used) book specifically on how to make little gardens in the city (up on roofs, or the kind where you lift a couple tiles and plant a rose) for my brother and his wife, who just aquired a house with a stony backyard.

a box of fine chocolates for my mom.

One of those throwsticks and a ball for my mom and her dog.

a toy for my husband, a kind of toy he loved as a kid and now can play with our son.

A set of sewing supplies for my mom, for her second home.

Money is short this year so for some folks I am making personalised puzzle books using some online puzzle makers
Dad - Tractors
Mum - Depression glass and gardening
My friend Ruth - dog and horse puzzles

Both sides of the family quit doing traditional gift exchanges years ago. We do a $10 swap-and-steal gift game and have a nice meal together. I enjoy it so much more than the years we fretted over what to get for this or that person.

We do give my husband’s parents gift cards to several restaurants because they like eating out and they’re on a fixed income, and since we live near my mom, we take her out when it’s convenient for her. But there are no more little kids, and all us adults buy our own toys and clothes. The goofy swap is lots of fun, and no one worries about whether they gave good presents. Certainly makes my Christmas merrier.

My fiance and I are getting married about 3 weeks after Christmas, so we can’t afford to give gifts this year. Also, we know people are dropping some real cash to travel for the wedding, for tuxes/dresses, etc., so we don’t expect gifts.

But we still wanted to give something. So we bought Christmas cards that seemed particularly fitting for each person in our family and we wrote something meaningful and special in each card. We’re giving “warm fuzzies” this year.
(side note: despite the “no gifts expected” disclaimer, my mother in law still bought me adult-sized footie pajamas… she said they’d be perfect for the honeymoon…)

Mom - going in with my sister on the gift cert she asked for from Williams-Sonoma

Dad - nothing; parents have been divorced for 31 years and I generally get a gift of his secretary’s choosing, but she does it independently and it’s usually something he’d give a client (a tastefully priced Harry & David basket every year). I’ll call him instead.

Husband - gold subscription to an Xbox thingy

Brother-in-Law - memory for his Xbox

Sister - Nice handbag and gag gift of fuzzy slippers to go with another gag gift I got her for her birthday (a Snuggie)

Son - from Santa he’ll get a Santa suit; from me, he’ll get a matchbox truck, a Transformer and a copy of Polar Express

Daughter - probably nothing since she’ll be six weeks old. I want to take advantage of this while I still can

We draw names on both sides of the family, with a $25-$30 limit. So my husband and I each have two people to buy for, plus parents and grandparents. We went a little crazy with jerseys this year!

Mom—watch; I spent too much on her but she deserves it and always takes care of our dog when we’re gone.
Dad—Vikings jersey (Jared Allen)
Step-mom—Vikings jersey (Brett Favre, pink)
In-laws—GPS (combo gift with husband’s sisters)
Grandma 1—Sweater in her favorite color
Grandma 2—Velour zip-up jacket
Niece (drawn by me)—My Little Pony hair salon and Strawberry Shortcake doll
Brother-in-law (drawn by me)—All in the Family DVD and hunting hat/gloves set
Nephew (drawn by husband)—Vikings jersey (Favre)
Brother-in-law (drawn by husband)—Vikings jersey (Favre)

In the past couple of years, my husband and I have just picked out our own gifts. This year he got snails for his saltwater aquarium, Inglourious Basterds on Blu-ray, a belt, headphones, and a Favre jersey. I got a new wool coat and matching scarf (50% off!), a sweater, another scarf (to be worn with a sweater), and a pink Adrian Peterson jersey. Together, we got a new alarm clock and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on Blu-ray.

MP3 player, digicam, DKNY perfume, Wii, Lego, Scooter, DVDs, books…jewellry, silk scarf

Books for everyone, mittens, opera tickets, and a tea mug for mom_mcl, T-shirt and CD for bro_mcl, jewelry for mrs_bro_mcl, fancy jam and tea for stocking stuffers.

“Secret Santa” thing at work - “Fixing Your Feet” (footcare book for endurance athletes) and a Pedegg for my coworker who runs and bikes a lot.

Mom - new kitchen knife (they have an old set, needed a good chopping blade)
Dad - bio of Alexander Hamilton
Sister & her husband & their kids - big jigsaw puzzle, box of tea, box of cookies so they can cozy up on winter nights and puzzle away.
Aunt - Field guide to Northa American birds (she started birdwatching)
Uncle - “Areas of my expertise” by John Hodgman
Cousin #1 - Pearls Before Swine book
Cousin #2 - Snuggie (kind of a gag gift, she thinks they are wonderfully corny)

The most I spent on anything was about $30, majority were less.

Lots of cards to friends.

Holy crap, I just figured out what to get Mom. Thanks matt!

I’m giving my mom a black and gold-plated pen and a journal.

I’m giving my brother What to Expect When You’re Expected.

It’s really idiotic – I was riding the metro and saw an ad from the City of Montreal that said something to the effect of “give an environmentally friendly gift – give the gift of culture.” It occurred to me that several years ago Mom had given me tickets to Le Nozze di Figaro for Christmas and it was time I reciprocated.

I drew a comical cliché fat Wagnerian soprano as a sort of gift certificate and wrapped it up with a copy of the opera schedule. Tosca is playing in January, so there’s a possibility.

Most of this is from wish lists, barring the last items. My husband and I already got our presents with/from each other (new entertainment system receiver and other electronic goodies).


  • nice kitchen canister filled with mixed dried fruit
  • nice kitchen canister filled with cocoa-powdered almonds from Trader Joe’s
  • Target gift card

Sister’s husband:

  • Walmart gift card

Mom’s boyfriend:

  • A couple of books (a Dickens novel and Band of Brothers)


  • “Pink-ribbon” Snuggie
  • set of sharp kitchen knives

Sister-in-law (picked for Secret Santa on that side):

  • bottle of Thierry Mugler’s Alien eau de toilette

(Left out my inlaws accidentally as my husband does shopping for his Secret Santa recipient and the others - gift cards for the nieces/nephews (who are all adults, we’re almost closer to their age than to my husband’s siblings), gift cards for my FIL/MIL’s vacation, and he’s picking out something for his Secret Santa person.)

Mixed gifts (not from wish lists) given to my mom, sis, and a friend hosting us on Christmas:

  • homemade white/brown sugar scrub (containing sunflower oil, jojoba oil, and glycerin), scented with a spicy-sugary fragrance, in a secure jar - the friend has young kids so she is getting it packaged in a plastic (no BPA) kitchen storage container with a well-sealing lid
  • homemade soap bars, made from melt-n-pour glycerin and shea butter soap, coloring, and lemongrass fragrance, molded in a flower-shaped silicone muffin pan
  • Yet to make: homemade, water-canned sealed jars of a spiced pear chutney
  • Yet to make: homemade jars of dried apricots poached with cardamom
  • Yet to make: homemade jars of beer-laced mustard

My final gift is for Mom. She said years ago that she was disappointed that she didn’t have much of her family tree, especially on her dad’s side, who said he couldn’t remember a lot of that stuff. Qadgop the Mercotan and I share a particular heritage, and he hooked me up with someone who did a lot of ancestry work in immigrants to the US of that descent. Turns out she knew my parents from years ago! I finally did something with the information she sent me - I got a scrapbook, slide-in page holders, a label maker, and various stickers, and am compiling these pages into a big book. Her dad’s side is sparse compared to her mom’s, but still way more than she knew. Her dad’s side goes maybe back 9 generations or so at most, but on her mom’s side some branches were traced back at least 15 generations! (I know at least a couple branches go back farther, but that’s the most I’ve actually counted out so far.) The oldest date I’ve seen is from somewhere in the 1400s. It’s pretty much just names, birth/death/marriage dates, and places, but that’s still an amazing leap forward in info for us. I’ve been putting in pages with stickers indicating which page you flip to in order to continue along that branch, and am now inserting labels noting how many generations back that particular page covers.

One somewhat boring discovery is that pretty much everyone is from the same two municipalities in a single province of that country. It’s the same on my dad’s side, as far as I’ve seen. At least it’ll make the planned map insert really, really easy… :smack:

to matt:

Yeah, I’m not getting her opera tickets exactly, I’m getting her tickets to the theatre here. But damn, that’s a good idea! And she told me not to get her anything because she has too much clutter, so it’s perfect.