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Thread: Christmas presents outside your family

  1. #1
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Christmas presents outside your family

    I went on a baking spree and a cd copy blitz (made my own Christmas mix of music) for people other than my family to save money on presents

    as in for my:

    2 secretaries
    my husband's office mate
    close neighbors
    close friends
    the guys in the post office
    my kids' teachers
    my daycare provider

    and extra's for that person that you weren't expecting to give you a present, argh!

    in years that i had more cash, i used to buy an ornament or a small christmas decoration (like candles or trinkets) for everyone - one year, in a lean year, we published our own cookbook!

    how about you - what do you do for other people beyond your family?
    Last edited by luckless pedestrian; 20 Dec 2005 at 9:41 AM. Reason: forgot to subscribe

  2. #2
    Last year Mrs G knitted scarves that were quite popular. This year she is hand making custom designed bookmarks with jeweled beads at each end and silver "rope" between. I expect they'll be warmly received as well.

    As for me, I'll be making klejner to bring in to the office Christmas party on Wednesday.
    Je suis Charlie

  3. #3
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    You are much more generous than us!!

    We are getting our daycare provider a gift certificate to a restaurant.

    My grant assistant is getting a small candle warmer and candle. I don't have any secretaries

    Ummm.... that's about it. We don't get a paper, and one year got the mail carrier something, but nothing since then. I usually try to get a gift for my friends babies, but this year after everyone has gotten pregnant, probably have to stop this practice.

    Both of your suggestions of hand made gifts (cookies, recipe books, scarves, bookmarks) are awesome. I wish I had time and creativity! I hand stitched my daughters stocking, and it took a year, having to do it at night when she was sleeping otherwise she wanted to "help".

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    We ususally do a ornament or small toy to the kids of our friends (and they the same) and nieces / nephews only. Used to do things for office people, but we all decided to do Secret Santa instead.

    I do have a friend that does a CD mix with a recorded message - limited to 25 copies each year - as their christmas card.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    In my office we drew names a month before the office party and gift exchange.

    Given - Chieftains CD
    Recieved - Book: "The Best American Short Stories 2005" and a Road Atlas
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I get something small for the co-workers on my team, several gifts for my former sister-in-law, and this year of course, that guy that I'm an "item" with.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    .... and this year of course, that guy that I'm an "item" with.
    Atta girl, thread killer. Nobody wants to hear about this. BTW, this puts the pressure on me. Guess I'll need to stop at Dollar General on the way down. I've never been in one of those stores. What do they sell?
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Dec 2005 at 3:52 PM.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Here they go again.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Dec 2005 at 3:52 PM.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    Here they go again.
    Hey! You changed your post! Wine was a good idea. (Do you know what they sell at Dollar General? Can I find a special gift there?)
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Dec 2005 at 3:52 PM.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake
    (Do you know what they sell at Dollar General? Can I find a special gift there?)
    Here I thought you were willing to spend just a bit more and go to Wal-Mart.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Dec 2005 at 3:53 PM.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    You guys are hilarious. NOT. Dollar General, huh? I'll take your Dollar General and raise you one 7-11! Hah!
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Dec 2005 at 3:53 PM.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by JNA
    Here I thought you were willing to spend just a bit more and go to Wal-Mart.
    I have this cataloge that advertises "a wide selection of football apparel and collectibles." I'm thinking about going with the women's pink unstructured fashion slouch cap (49ers logo, of course). Or maybe the classic team property of t-shirt. Oh, there's plenty of time to decide on a special .
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Dec 2005 at 3:53 PM.
    Annoyingly insensitive

  13. #13
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    You guys are hilarious. NOT. Dollar General, huh? I'll take your Dollar General and raise you one 7-11! Hah!
    Reminds me of that commercial a few years ago where this guy presents his unwrapped presents to his family at Christmas. Proudly announces "I did a little last minute shopping and got you some gifts". The gifts consist of: windshield washer fluid, 2 liters of pop, beef sticks, air fresheners, packs of gum, and lottery tickets. When the family sees the lottery tickets they all jump for joy (I think it was a Michigan lottery commercial).
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 21 Dec 2005 at 3:53 PM.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    In a feeble attempt to bring this thread back on-topic...

    I made orange-cranberry-nut chutney for a select few coworkers of mine.

    Tomorrow, we're having our Christmas luncheon where we do the white elephant game with the gifts. For the past couple of years, I gave 2 tickets to a Hornets b-ball game, but since they're not playing in New Orleans this year, I scrapped that gift. This year, I'm giving a poker night - poker set with cards & chips, snacks, and a poker-related movie - "Rounders."
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    My wife made christmas cookies. Got to work a 7:00 am, cookies gone at 7:04.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planderella
    In a feeble attempt to bring this thread back on-topic...
    ...
    OK, I'll try to get back on track, too. I'm baking cookies tonight for my staff and for friends down south. Oops, there goes the timer....
    Annoyingly insensitive

  17. #17
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Bah Humbug!

    Ok....I did tell everyone at the office Merry Christmas but the only two people that are getting gifts from me are my husband and daughter.

    Merry Christmas!

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Gift cert for my assistant. Cookies for other coworkers. Gift certs/cookies for my kids' teachers.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
    Bill "Spaceman" Lee

  19. #19
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    This year I bought some pretty wire and glass bookmarks for the ladies in the office, and chocolate for one of the guys I supervise (the bookmark was a little girly for him).

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    I leave small gift certificates for the mail delivery person, the newspaper boy, and people in my office. Neighbors and friends get a batch of spritz cookies.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian rosierivets's avatar
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    Christmas Thread, REACTIVATE!

    This seems like a good thread to bring out of the woodwork.

    I'm having a hard time cutting down on gifts for my best friends' children. Four of us ladies went to college together and the whole gift giving thing was born of our friendship. We've been doing an exchange at a New Year's Eve party for the last 7 years. The women give each other gifts which morphed into the men giving each other gifts and now there are five little ones to shop for besides. I'm the only one without children and I've been battling the desire to whittle the kids off of the list and stick to getting my best friends a present. Maybe we can open them after the kids are in bed that night or something so that they aren't left out. Also, the guys are only participating because the women do it; I suspect that it's the wives picking out the gifts for them and it's just a formality.

    The same financial issue has come up because of birthday party invitations; I love my friends, I love their kids, but I have decided to go to first birthday parties only and gift for that one and nothing after that. I hope that no one will resent me when I finally do have a family and start inviting them to celebrate my child's birthdays with their kids, but I just don't find it necessary to celebrate at kid's parties outside of my immediate family right now.
    How about you take a gander at making an executive decision for once, huh?

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Why not do a "family" gift like a game or magazine subscription of they are old enough kids. From your family to theirs?

    Or something like one of those make your own gingerbread house kits?

    You get off the hook for something for everyone and its a family activity.
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  23. #23
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    I never plan on gifts for non-family members.

    I do however usually buy a few 1lb bags of coffee from my favorite place and keep them wrapped in newspaper for a few days before Christmas at my desk at work and when I receive a gift from a co-worker, they usually get a bag of coffee in return. This year however there will also be an iTunes gift card in my desk because I know that the girl in the cube next to me is getting an iPhone soon and if she gets me a gift, the gift card will be a good one for her... and if she doesn't get me a gift, I know I will not have a problem spending that gift card on my own.



    My wife on the other hand, has a group of about 4 or 5 girls (I guess women now) who she exchanges gifts with. Only one of them is married and that married couple began giving me a gift each year a few years back. I told them it was not necessary but they continue to do it now. I have yet to reciprocate for the hubby of that couple.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    Office - already drew a specific co-worker - giving a restuarant gift certificate for 2 adults and 2 kids and still need to find funny/gag gift.

    Cyburbian Secret Santa - mailed.

    RJ and ZG sent me "those slippers" one year and I recepicated with local stuff.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  25. #25
    Cyburbian beach_bum's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by rosierivets View post
    I'm having a hard time cutting down on gifts for my best friends' children. Four of us ladies went to college together and the whole gift giving thing was born of our friendship. We've been doing an exchange at a New Year's Eve party for the last 7 years. The women give each other gifts which morphed into the men giving each other gifts and now there are five little ones to shop for besides. I'm the only one without children and I've been battling the desire to whittle the kids off of the list and stick to getting my best friends a present. Maybe we can open them after the kids are in bed that night or something so that they aren't left out. Also, the guys are only participating because the women do it; I suspect that it's the wives picking out the gifts for them and it's just a formality.
    I have a group of girlfriends that I have been doing an exchange with for years as well. We do a ladies lunch, its fun for us to all get together without all the SOs and catch up (no one has kids yet!) and exchange gifts. Maybe suggest a get together outside of the party to relieve some of the gift giving pressure or a family-type gift is a great idea!
    "Never invest in any idea you can't illustrate with a crayon." ~Peter Lynch

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