Sunday, November 4, 2018

From a Reader: How do you answer the question, what do you want for Christmas?


From a reader:
I have a question for the community. As the holiday season approaches us earlier and earlier each year, what are our holiday gifting suggestions? After nearly 6 decades of life, I need nothing and have too much good stuff! Any recommendations for family and friends (especially friends) when you need to give them a gift in recognition of this special holiday. Perhaps because I just returned from my first holiday gift fair of the season, this issue is on my list. I know this community will provide great input, because I feel I am already at the mercy of our merchandising world. I welcome all responses!

23 comments:

  1. Just got my first gift of the season - an extra hour added to my morning schedule.

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  2. I always follow the 4 gift rule, something they want, need, wear or read. Books are my go to, but receiving Home Baked goodies are always welcome. An experience such as concert, museum or event tickets might be considered. With old friends, just a visit and conversation is enjoyable and might include an adult beverage...

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    1. My family knows I always give books or an experience gift. It works wells for all of us. (Once a year we go through our books and give ones we don't think we will re-read to the library or the Episcopal book store.)

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  3. We’ve tried to shift towards consumables...a nice dinner, some delectable baked goods, soaps etc.

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  4. Our family strongly dislikes the vulgar commercialisation and excessive consumerism of the modern Christmas. My wife and I don't need anything either and only start thinking about Christmas gifts in mid-December. Following the example of the Magi, we usually give each other favourite scents, jewellery or a small luxurious gift, e.g. a silk tie or a cashmere scarf.

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    1. "Following the example of the Magi"; what a perfect standard!

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  5. Claxton fruit cakes! Every year at Christmastime, they loomed large in our southern (North Carolina and Georgia) family that had spread up and down the eastern seaboard post-WWII. As a matter of fact, I think I'll present these to my mother and step-father, and possibly also my sister, for the festive season this year.

    FYI: https://www.claxtonfruitcake.com/

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  6. A gift card from Amazon.com or from a favorite retailer. Since the cards do not expire, you can take your time deciding what you want.

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  7. In this age of email "Christmas cards," send a real one. Add a handwritten note, don't just sign your name, or add "Merry Christmas" to the printed message in card, and don't assume that your long "Family Newsletter" is a substitute for a genuine, handwritten expression of regard. You don't have to do this for everyone unless you want to, but it's a terrific gift substitute.

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    1. Yes! Wonderful suggestions for our over-hyped electronic age.

      Best Regards,

      HE

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    2. ...but, receiving "The Grandest Family Newsletter" makes us scream with laughter and shout out...truths.

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  8. My mother-in-law used to gift us family antiques - that way she gave us something meaningful and, yet, she didn't have to shop! Each year, it was one special item and, slowly, she made sure that family mementos found a new home.

    slf

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    1. My mother-in-law used to do that but didn't give the family antiques. She'd go up to the attic and give her grown children and their spouses whatever she found. We always had a secret bet as to who would get the gift with the most mildew on it. :)

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  9. I try each year (it truly is a year-long task for me) to make each gift personal and meaningful (but very small - almost an "over-looked" detail). For example, last year, my husband kept tripping on a loose corner of our back steps, so I fixed it in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve. I might try to find a gift that reminds a friend of a treasured memory from when we first established our friendship. I might take note of something a friend mentions they would like to try in passing and arrange that experience. In sum, I try to listen very carefully and each person will give you plenty of ideas, imho.

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  10. I like to give (and would be very happy to receive) a large can of Virginia Cocktail Peanuts: https://virginiacocktailpeanuts.com/products.cfm?cID=1
    I love the dark chocolate covered ones. I'm also fond of Squirrel Brand Creme Brulee Almonds.

    Jacqueline

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    1. I love the Hub's Virginia Peanuts!

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  11. Blackberry Brandy, Leroux, the BIG bottle. ;-)

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  12. The option of giving to charities we support.

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  13. My only request from my family, always honored, is the next year's New Yorker cartoon desk calendar.

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  14. Since I'm allergic to pecans and walnuts my mother makes a wonderful nut free fruitcake just for me. She'll make it around Thanksgiving and soak it in brandy until Christmas. Incredibly good!

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  15. I have everything I want and at my age, I buy anything I need throughout the year. I hate for people to feel obligated to buy me anything so I usually suggest they make a donation or volunteer. Some folks give lottery tickets. I don't play the lottery except when my grandmother and I would drive to the local 7-11 and buy each other a ticket at Christmas just for fun and it really was fun! I suppose some would call that an ' experience' gift. I enjoy fun books like "An Incomplete Education" or " The Book of General Ignorance". " Maybe everyone should read Scroogenomics! One year, I had a list of everyone's birth year and I shopped on Ebay for vintage items made in their birth year. I bought the children Wallace silver-plated sleigh bells with their birth year and the adults received vintage magazines from December in their birth year. Elizabeth

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  16. AT 74 there is little I need. My wife and I purchase clothing items that we both want long before Christmas and consider them to be gifts. I still have a list of material and education things I hope to acquire before my demise, but I certainly don't hope to get them as Christmas gifts.

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