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The Christmas Gift "What to Buy" Dilemma...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sure that there are quite a few people like myself and my family when it comes to buying Christmas gifts. We've never really been the kind of people who can just buy something and surprise someone with it on Christmas. Every year after Thanksgiving dinner is done we all sit around and talk "So, what do you want for Christmas?". We all get ideas from each other, and usually wind up buying some of things mentioned. Maybe once in a while one of us will get a rare moment of inspiration and get something that no one is expecting, but it's rare

This year it's even worse. Not just for me and my wife and what we're telling people we want, which is pretty much just gift cards because we don't need nor can with think of anything. But for what we're buying for friends and family. This year almost no one can give us an idea as to what they want, and of course as I said, we're terrible at thinking of anything for the most part. So it seems as if the majority of what we're buying for people are in gift cards. Is it just me or does anyone else feel like this is the easy way out? Sure, everyone loves gift cards, especially if it's a place you always go. My wife and I are thrilled to get cards to restaurants and stores. But we feel especially this year like it's going to feel a bit strange when most of our family gets envelopes with gift cards instead of things to unwrap.

I think it's even worse for me and my wife when it comes to buying gifts for each other. My wife has given me a few ideas (all of which I've basically gone for), but when it comes to what *I* want I just feel like "What's the point? If I want it, I could just buy it myself. It's both our money"
post #2 of 13
I am soooooooo with you on this!! I've resorted to creating a bookmark folder for things I like so my husband has ideas on what to get me (it's both our money after all), and my husband and I are agonizing over what to get our friends and family this year. We haven't even started shopping yet cause we don't know what to get.

Just yesterday we settled on guess what? Yup, gift cards and probably from Borders. In part because we're spending all of our spare time right now shopping for the finishing details for our new kitchen (it's under construction right now) and don't have time to shop for others, and in part because we're so busy at work. Somehow it doesn't feel like Xmas when you cop out with gift cards. I have to buy online and ship if I get something other than a gift card - anyone have ideas there?

Are gift cards really a cop out?
post #3 of 13
We have gotten to the point where we have a small stocking stuffer gift for each other and donate to a charity we all decide on.
post #4 of 13
I know this feeling. I resorted to printing up a "Wish List" for each of the grandkids having them put down favorite color, clothing and shoe sizes, and what character they are into this year and give it to the parents to fill out. But I get really stuck with my in-laws. They are in their late 70's and if they need something they just get it.
I did come up with a solution to just giving the gift-card in an envelope. I have used various sized boxes and filled them with everything from crumpled newspaper to popcorn then wrapped it and the receiver gets to hunt for the real gift (the card) in the box. It kind of adds some fun to the occasion.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trinettec View Post
I know this feeling. I resorted to printing up a "Wish List" for each of the grandkids having them put down favorite color, clothing and shoe sizes, and what character they are into this year and give it to the parents to fill out. But I get really stuck with my in-laws. They are in their late 70's and if they need something they just get it.
I did come up with a solution to just giving the gift-card in an envelope. I have used various sized boxes and filled them with everything from crumpled newspaper to popcorn then wrapped it and the receiver gets to hunt for the real gift (the card) in the box. It kind of adds some fun to the occasion.
I did this to my brother in-law last year. I think I actually did something like put the gift card in about 10 different boxes and put them inside one another.

Served him right, the year before that he put mine in about 50 different plastics bags inside one box He got the idea from a friend of his who wrapped his gift in about 15 layers of duct tape that he had to cut through before he could open the box
post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReesesPBC View Post
He got the idea from a friend of his who wrapped his gift in about 15 layers of duct tape that he had to cut through before he could open the box
My sister does that to someone every year
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
My sister does that to someone every year
This year I think I may put his gift card in a plastic bag, wrap it with duct tape, put it in a small cooler, fill the cooler with water, freeze it, wrap that with duct tape, then wrap it
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I have to buy online and ship if I get something other than a gift card - anyone have ideas there?
http://shop.theanimalrescuesite.com/...der_THS_to_BCS
http://shop.theanimalrescuesite.com/...der_BCS_to_THS
http://shop.theanimalrescuesite.com/...der_THS_to_CHS
http://shop.theanimalrescuesite.com/...der_CHS_to_LIT
http://shop.theanimalrescuesite.com/...der_LIT_to_TRS
http://shop.theanimalrescuesite.com/...der_TRS_to_ARS

How about any of the above? Part of the proceeds go to specific charities or causes, like breast cancer, literacy, the rainforests, etc..
post #9 of 13
For my BIL and his fiance, we get them a giftcard to coles or chapters because they both LOVE to read. I figure this isn't a copp out because I know they would much rather get a book of their choice then me guessing and getting a book they didn't like.

My family is really easy to get for, because they aren't picky or anything. The hardest is my dad though, but I just get him stuff for his hobbies, like fishing.
post #10 of 13
I hear you on this. I'm getting to the point where I don't want anymore clutter so it is typically clothing or books that I request. I would so love to get away from the obligatory gift giving but there is something nice about having a gift under the tree and I don't want my husband to feel neglected.

I have toyed with the idea of asking for a charity donation instead but I don't think my family is comfortable with that idea. They want to give me something more material.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by icklemiss21 View Post
We have gotten to the point where we have a small stocking stuffer gift for each other and donate to a charity we all decide on.
We started doing that a few years ago when Dave's Pop got sick with ALS. We all buy things we want all year long, why make someone else agonize over it??? We just have a really nice meal, like lobster or something, and socialize for a couple hours.
post #12 of 13
I have to admit that this year, I finally resorted to buying my sister a giftcard. My excuse is that shipping gifts is expensive, shipping a gift card is the cost of a stamp....
They are so convenient, and yes, ensure someone gets exactly what they want. I still feel however, that it puts a direct monetary value on someone, and that yes, when I get one- as much as I love it- I never feel as though of as when I open some hilarious book that someone saw and *knew* I would love because they *know* me....
I suppose its easier to resort to gift cards if you have multiple people (like neices, nephews etc) to buy for....
post #13 of 13
I have gardeners on my shopping list so I pick up stuff on sale in late summer/early fall like good gloves. I am making up a couple of spring bulb containers that two people will enjoy in about 6 weeks. I am pretty practical-I'll buy new spatula's, wood spoons, serving spoons. How about a nice small fire extingisher?? Good heavy duty electrical cords. I am not doing any candles or lotions stuff-I think many people have quite a bit of that!!
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