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Ideas for consumable gifts to ask for - Xmas

mommabird
14 years ago

ideefixe said in another post that she's told her kids to get her only consumable gifts the rest of her life - GREAT IDEA!!! Every year about Thanksgiving my MIL & SILs start asking "what do you want for Xmas?" So what are some consumable gifts ideas to give them?

I thought of the following but they seem a little lame:

- Oil of Olay soap

- Neutrogena Rainbath shower gel

- Knee-hi stockings in black & in beige (I can never wear a pair more than once!)

- My favorite coffee, Brew Masters Donut Shop Blend, which no store in Ohio carries any more so I would have to mail order direct from the roaster.

- Kitchen dishcloths (I'd love to throw ALL of mine out and get all new!)

- Potholders (ditto -throw out the old nasty ones)

I'm trying to think of things I either won't buy myself because they're too expensive (like the Oil of Olay soap, Rain Bath & coffee) or am going to buy anyway but can always use like the knee-his. Can you all help us make a wish list? THANKS in advance!

Oh and no giftcards for me - I never remember I have them in my purse - have been carrying around a JC Penny gift card for almost 2 years, have been to Penny's a dozen times and never remember it!

Comments (99)

  • homecarecentral
    13 years ago

    How about domething like cloth napkins, or a nice set of silver ware for special occasions. I think coffee makers are great to have, as they need replacing very often. Teas or flowers are very cool to have. You can obtain some of these things from my website homecarecentral.info

  • imgodsgrl
    13 years ago

    I thought I would share something that I have asked my Grandmother to do for me. I'm not into dust collectors and she is, so I found myself with lots of trinkets...so I asked her to give a donation to a local charity in my name. "I" have donated funds to children who need an xmas, hospice, a local food group, and a local children's organization...I think they appreciated it and I felt as though I had done something good.

    I will be honest, it took some convincing that I would consier it a gift becuase it wasn't wrapped with a box and bow, but now it's a tradition.

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  • vannie
    13 years ago

    One of the best gifts I ever got was tulip bulbs. Even better, daffodils b/c they don't have to be taken up like tulips. We enjoy gardening and a gift card to a local nursery is just great.

  • Frankie_in_zone_7
    13 years ago

    If you are in a position to actually do something at someone's home, that is great too. I've given a "gift" of shelf-organizing and my SIL created several seasonal gardens in a small area for my MIL--planted a nice arrangement of annuals in the spring that looked nice all summer.

    When my kids were in elementary school/early teens, I gave part of their Christmas gifts as "certificates" that were a big hit and were part of our attempt to "gift" without it all being "stuff". Some items were: a free pass to not have to do certain chores; free movie/TV on a non-TV night ( we allowed no TV or movies Sun-Thu night when they were in school) , free "take me to the mall" or go for ice cream pass, and so forth. The idea was they could pull these on the parents and get our time or something special without us going, oh, we're too tired, or whatever--they loved it! Of course you have to be up for occasional spur of the moment things! It might seem like you would do all these things anyway, but when kids are still young they see it as pulling something over on the parents and it's "cool".

  • lexi7
    13 years ago

    How about we put Christ back in Christmas with a T for the cross. How about Tmas if one must abbreviate.

  • THOR, Son of ODIN
    13 years ago

    How about we put Christ back in Christmas with a T for the cross.

    Huh? X is the traditional abbreviation, based on the Greek word for "Christ".

    But I am in favor of including everyone by referring to the winter solstice holidays as Yuletide.

    -Lena

    Here is a link that might be useful: Xmas at Wikipedia

  • debsan
    13 years ago

    My senior-citizen mother-in-law has never been able to manage her own footcare. One year I took her to a salon for a pedicure, she loved having someone take care of her callouses and nails. The next holiday, I bought her gift certificates for return visits.
    I'm sure that gift certificates for other salon services would be as well-received!

  • mary1helen2
    13 years ago

    One of the best gifts my mom ever received was from my eldest daughter, who was used to giving her expensive beautiful things from her travels. Mother appreciated them but they weren't useful at her age. The year mother received the very generous gift certificate from Kroger, she was totally thrilled. She had a ball purchasing little treats for herself each week, things she would normally bypass because of her *frugal* nature. That gift lasted a long time and sounds like something a lot of people would enjoy.

  • mommabird
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Last year I told my MIL I wanted Arm & Hammer liquid laundry detergent for Xmas. She didn't believe me but I convinced her I was serious. (I love that brand.)

    She bought me 12 large bottles! I just ran out a few weeks ago at te end of September. It was wonderful to have almost a years supply of laundry detergent. Best gift I ever received! I'm hoping she does it again this year.

    My birthday is this month. I told my mom I want 2 gallons of paint to paint my bedroom and gave her the paint chip for the color. I hope she gets that for me!

    My friend told me this week I must have been a man in previous lives "because women don't like practical gifts." I told him not to judge all women by his wife and mother. I know a whole community of chicks who like practical gifts - this Forum.

  • talley_sue_nyc
    9 years ago

    I used to put Waxtex- brand waxed paper (the only roll that cannot fall out of the box!). At the time it wasn't easy for me to find waxed paper here in NYC, period, and they didn't have Waxtex!

    I never got it, though.

    Mommabird, I remember your huge supply of something practical as a gift (did we joke about asking for toilet paper?)--I think that's really great. Because PART of the gift is the idea that you just don't have to spend time on it. That's the non-practical, indulgent side of those gifts.

  • mommabird
    Original Author
    9 years ago

    Talley Sue - Bacon is getting so expensive that I might ask my folks for a case of bacon this Xmas!

    I did ask for a year supply of tp one year but MIL thought I was joking and didn't get it. I was actually serious. I'd rather have a case of to than another top, scarf or sweater! Or how about the most thoughtless gift if all - gloves? To me gloves are as personal as underwear. They have to fit "like a glove." Many times over the years MIL or SIL have gotten me gloves and they never fit.

  • Spicebush
    9 years ago

    We are rather poor so one thing we have done for birthdays and Christmas is give "coupon books". We make these up and give coupons for various homemade food items and acts of service. For birthdays, we (two parents and two adult children in the same house) give the birthday person a full 8 hours of work on a project of their choice. They help so that's 32 man-hours of work. We all love it! My Mom especially likes the acts of service. Our other daughter and SIL like the food coupons.

  • jannie
    9 years ago

    Mom's eyes got bad in her seventies and eighties, she said she could no longer do hand sewing because she couldn't see to thread the needle. So I bought a pack of needles, spools of neutral colored threads, black, white, tan, navy, etc. I threaded a bunch of each color, left a long train and knotted them, then stuck them in a pincushion. She was thrilled! Some gifts that DIDN'T work were: We gave in laws a "fruit of the month" subscription. MIL said it was awful, so expensive, you can buy fruit in any store... Also sent Mom plant or flowers of the month. She said they always died, don't send them again. I complained to the company and they promised a refund that never arrived. Just my experience.

  • donnamp14
    9 years ago

    DH's parents are in their 80's, and really have too much stuff altogether. We update their digital frame with the latest photos of family gatherings. This year the kids and grandkids are pitching in and buying them a tank of heating oil. That is something we are sure they will use!

  • peegee
    9 years ago

    I cringe when my neighbor leaves me cookies and chocolates at Christmas because I don't eat those, and feel awful that I give it away. I imagine them thinking that I'm enjoying their gift. I've left hints, but to no avail yet. Yeah, I know it's the thought etc., but I really dislike getting things don't like...my daughter and I both feel the same way, and are both really picky, so we buy and give each other gifts throughout the year when we *know* we find something the other wants, and don't necessarily give anything at Christmas. I eat organic foods, including tea, no sugar, no coffee, only certain organic lotions, cremes, etc. So please, no gift baskets! And I have already selected every kitchen item or mug etc that I want to use and have in my house...don't use candles, no more THINGS! I think if you know what someone wants, great, but I would NOT want a different laundry soap than the unscented brand I use, and for me, I think holiday cards and stationary are personal things that I spend time selecting just what I want - Well, I guess just like about everything else!!! I have already even stocked up on lots of stamps that I picked out, and even though I like that idea, I would not want disney stamps or something ! So, unless it's really something I want, I find getting stuff I don't like painful. Yes! to gifts of help to rake or do handyman chores - help hang pictures, or clean gutters, the car wash coupons someone mentioned, Whole Foods gift Certificate, help with cleaning out the tool shed, gas card, ., etc. And as long as I'm scrooging, my pet peeve: please don't give any charitable gift in my name. Bah humbug!

  • peegee
    9 years ago

    I cringe when my neighbor leaves me cookies and chocolates at Christmas because I don't eat those, and feel awful that I give it away. I imagine them thinking that I'm enjoying their gift. I've left hints, but to no avail yet. Yeah, I know it's the thought etc., but I really dislike getting things don't like...my daughter and I both feel the same way, and are both really picky, so we buy and give each other gifts throughout the year when we *know* we find something the other wants, and don't necessarily give anything at Christmas. I eat organic foods, including tea, no sugar, no coffee, only certain organic lotions, cremes, etc. So please, no gift baskets! And I have already selected every kitchen item or mug etc that I want to use and have in my house...don't use candles, no more THINGS! I think if you know what someone wants, great, but I would NOT want a different laundry soap than the unscented brand I use, and for me, I think holiday cards and stationary are personal things that I spend time selecting just what I want - Well, I guess just like about everything else!!! I have already even stocked up on lots of stamps that I picked out, and even though I like that idea, I would not want disney stamps or something ! So, unless it's really something I want, I find getting stuff I don't like painful. Yes! to gifts of help to rake or do handyman chores - help hang pictures, or clean gutters, the car wash coupons someone mentioned, Whole Foods gift Certificate, help with cleaning out the tool shed, gas card, ., etc. And as long as I'm scrooging, my pet peeve: please don't give any charitable gift in my name. Bah humbug!

  • graywings123
    9 years ago

    I understand not wanting most of the standard things people give as gifts if you can't/won't use them. Giving to charity in place of wasting the money is an elegant solution, IMO, assuming the recipient supports the cause of the charity.

  • tripletmom83
    9 years ago

    Wow Peegee, I'm glad you're not on my list. I can understand being picky,especially about food, but Postage Stamps !?! Sounds a little control freak to me, not to mention ungrateful. I believe the purpose of a gift is fulfilled as soon as it is given: ie. "I have been thinking of you and have chosen something especially with you in mind." Received in the spirit in which it was intended "Oh how lovely, Thank You" Then the recipient is free to do with it what they will. However, I do think there is something a little bit passive-aggressive about the person who never seems to keep or like any gift I give them. Even though I've often made a concerted effort to pay attention to what they need, or what their particular style is. Sometimes that is when I just give up and buy some prepared food basket or something, and who cares what they do with it.

  • peegee
    9 years ago

    Graywings - I know, but I'd rather receive a giftcard than what I consider a non-gift of someone's else's charitable gift-giving in my name. I do donate to the causes that are important to me....many may be very pleased with such a 'gift'; just saying people shouldn't assume everyone shares the sentiment...
    Triplmom; I did say I *like* the idea of stamps, but was just trying to make a point - after spending all that money on ridiculous fancy stationary, wouldn't want to mar it up with Winnie-the-Poo or superhero's etc.!! I pay all bills online and use stamps mainly for my special cards and notes, etc. Again, many people would LOVE Disney stamps, but just because stamps may be welcomed, not ALL stamps may be appreciated by everyone.. geesh- I don't think that makes me ungrateful, or a control FREAK, thank you. I like what I like, and don't want what I don't like in my life/environment. I ADMITED I am picky, but what I apparently didn't make clear enough, is that some people, and I'm one of them, have a much harder time just throwing out people's gifts, or even passing them along, regifting, donating, what have you. I can do it, usually, but it's harder for me: I Feel SAD that I don't like what someone took the time to buy me and spend their money on. I've always been a sentimental person, and I doubt I'm the only one who really has to struggle to deal with an unwanted gift. If it were always easy, I would NOT CARE what I got, because I could just dispose of it without a second thought.

  • tripletmom83
    9 years ago

    Sorry Peegee, I must have misunderstood.

  • graywings123
    9 years ago

    We are all just expressing opinions here, and no one's is right or wrong . . . IMO, giftcards have their place, especially when it is a socially obligatory gift-giving event like a wedding. But as a gift from a neighbor at Christmas, a gift card would seem strange.

    I agree that charity giving should ideally match the known interests of the recipient, but unless the donation is made to a charity whose mission I oppose, I can live with it.

    Peegee, I know about struggling with unwanted gifts and the sadness of wasted time and money. But it is possible to reduce your angst over these things if you work at it. If you support the mission of Goodwill or Sal Army, you realize the unwanted gift ends up being bought by someone who wants it and the proceeds help people who need help.

    It's good to have a plan and get the item out of the house fairly quickly. Don't let it sit there and fester in your mind.

  • cupofkindness
    9 years ago

    Each year I pick out one "thing" to give my girlfriends, sisters, and SILs. This year, it was a small OXO measuring cup (and I mean small) that measured out teaspoons and tablespoons. Same for the men: my brothers, sons, etc got thin metal bookmarks that say "Never Never Never Quit -Winston Churchill." Were giving these plus a small box of Panda black licorice (available at Whole Foods or Amazon). These are very small gifts that unique and don't take up a lot of space, and have immediate useful value.

    My children are each getting a colorful Swiss army knife in their stockings (the tiniest size comes in 10 colors and patterns-or at least it did 6 months ago). I've also found that basic black "tech" cases are good gifts for guys. There is a ton of stuff that they can put in them... cords, chargers, headphones, etc. For gals, nothing beats a Vera Bradley item... these are so cheerful and you can find rather small things that are useful. Check out the Vera Bradley slim case that I've linked below. It is tiny but holds things that are usually hard to keep track of in a purse or bag.

    I know these suggestions aren't "consumables," I'm sorry to have hijacked this thread! I just wanted to share what I have found to simplifiy my life: choosing one or two simple gifts that work for everyone. My husband and I have large families, so this helps, time-wise and money wise too. The measuring cup and bookmark cost about $4 each. The licorice is about $3 a box (small box).

    Someone mentioned Penzy Spices up-thread. I wanted to add that Penzy Cinnamon is the sweetest, most flavorful cinnamon I have ever tasted. It's amazing and would be welcomed in my home anytime!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Vera Bradley Slim Case

  • talley_sue_nyc
    9 years ago

    The one thing that I think would work for almost anyone is personalized stationery. You can make correspondence cards on 8.5x11 paper (4 to a sheet) and buy envelopes that match in size. Print their name on the correspondence card and their address on the back flap of the envelope (it usually involves hand-feeding the printer, though).

    I did this for my daughter and added a quote about reading to the bottom corner of the card.

    Inexpensive, but both useful AND consumable.

    This would be good for a baby (how cute--the baby's own stationery!) and an elderly person, and all ages in between.

  • talley_sue_nyc
    9 years ago

    Here's the how-to on that stationery from Martha Stewart Weddings.
    (they got the idea from me, though)

    Here is a link that might be useful: personalized stationery

  • talley_sue_nyc
    9 years ago

    Someone mentioned liking plants but that Christmas was not a good time to receive them, since it's winter.

    Last Christmas my son wanted to give his grandmothers plants, so we found a mail-order roses site (David Austen, actually) and ordered them each plants. We printed out the page and wrapped it in a box with a note that said they were on their way.

    They were both very happy--but my mom died at the end of January, so she never got hers. Dad decided not to plant it at the house and gave it to the church instead.

  • jollyrd
    9 years ago

    We are in Virginia, and My husband's work gives everyone every year a package of cured spiral cut Virginia Ham, bone in. We eat it for months, put it in queche, dogs enjoy the huge bone.

  • ChloeP
    9 years ago

    Magazine subscriptions are good, there's something for everyone and then people tend to pass them on to others when they've read them.
    Theatre/restaurant vouchers.
    Cookery courses etc. A friend was once given a chocolate making session.
    Homemade jams/chutney.
    Hampers, either toiletry hampers or foody ones.
    Gift vouchers for a local DIY store.
    My daughter wanted to learn how to knit so her Grandmother gave her a 'starter kit', with some wool, knitting needles and a date for her to go round one afternoon and have a lesson. There are lots of different crafty things that I'd love to be able to do.
    For me, I like fancy notebooks/paper/pens.

  • suska6184
    9 years ago

    Thought I would pass along an idea that may help someone, not necessarily a gift for the elderly, but it could be applied in creative ways.

    My husband used to stress about birthday gifts for me, because, let's just say he wasn't good at it. One year when the kids were small, I told him I really missed sewing because I never seemed to have time to get to it, so that's what I wanted for my birthday. He seemed skeptical but I assured him that was what I wanted. My sewing room is in the basement, so from the time I got up until bedtime I was down there alone by choice. No crying kids to attend to, not one diaper to change, no phone to answer, meals to make- nothing. My husband periodically brought me fresh coffee and called me when dinner was ready. I was thrilled, and we did that for several years. I actually made progress on lingering projects or was excited about something new. Maybe your hobby lover would like this sort of gift. Not an item, but the uninterupted opportunity to enjoy something they like and the peace of mind knowing their responsibilities are not neglected, so the pleasure is guilt-free!

  • bspofford
    9 years ago

    Last year I was faced with making livable and safe my MIL's house, where my SIL had also lived before having a stroke. When I sat with my MIL and we emptied out the refrigerator, I came across a cello-wrapped package, never opened, with the Christmas-y label indicating it was a plum pudding. She wistfully remarked it was the last gift her sister had given her before she had died. I remembered attending the aunt's funeral about 14 years earlier! When I shook the package, the contents rattled. I was able to convince her to dispose of the item after reassuring her that her sister would not be offended, it was no longer edible, and she had many memories of her sister. She subsequently became hospitalized, and agreed to let me 'clean' her house. I also came across at least 5 large fruitcakes that had never been opened. These were those very expensive ones that are almost all fruit and nuts, the kind that make fruitcake lovers go over the moon.

    Yes, this could have been on TV, it was that bad.

    However, my point is, before sending food, make sure it is something the individual would in fact eat. I love fruitcake, she did not. If she had regifted it to me, I would have been in fruitcake heaven!

    Barbara

  • trekaren
    9 years ago

    Lots of great ideas!!! Wish I had read this in November. We'll have to resurrect this back to the top next fall.

    My DD, the 12/23 baby, always ended up with too much 'stuff' each year. This year, on her own, she chose to celebrate her birthday by taking donations for the ASPCA. The kids had so much fun with the idea, and she collected a lot. We even garnered donations from the balloon lady at the store who always makes DD's birthday balloons for her party.

    The intriguing thing was that some of her friends could not accept that she really didn't want anything for herself. And so they got something for the animals, and something for her.

    I really hated it because some of the kids did bring just the pet gifts and felt like they had undergiven.

  • musicteacher
    9 years ago

    My kids used to love getting those little cokes in glass bottles. They would almost freeze them and have a slushy. Yum. They also love that cheeze that squirts out of a can. I love getting socks - soft comfy ones to sleep in, and baby bell cheezes. I also love a good writing pen, or a set of Pilot or Sharpies. I am a teacher so I love gift cards to half priced books, and would really love (from someone who knows me well) a craft class or a cooking class. A really nice teacher gift might be bringing dinner right at school closing time - maybe a lasagna or pizza, or a pretty salad. For a young mom: a small gift card AND an offer to babysit while she goes shopping. When I had surgery once my church group hired a maid to clean my house. Wow, I loved that. Flower bulbs are a great idea - especially if you offer to plant them too. I know my mother would love for me to organize her boxes of photos. I think I am going to ask my brother and sister who live far away for us to just give each other a long phone call to catch up on the year.

  • rockpine
    9 years ago

    One year I asked for a giant bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for my birdfeeders. I loved it and so did all my winter birds!

  • rockpine
    9 years ago

    One year I asked for a giant bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for my birdfeeders. I loved it and so did all my winter birds!

  • rockpine
    9 years ago

    One year I asked for a giant bag of Black Oil Sunflower Seeds for my birdfeeders. I loved it and so did all my winter birds!

  • talley_sue_nyc
    9 years ago

    I want cheese curds for Christmas!

  • gabbythecat
    9 years ago

    One of my brother in laws gives his parents a pair of tickets to a local theater, to which they also have tickets. So he and his wife pick up the parents, take them to dinner at a nearby restaurant, and then on to the theater. It makes for a nice evening for the four of them.

    In regard to tossing out unwanted gifts - I don't have a problem doing it. The giver was happy giving the present; I'm not going to keep something I can't use (I hate clutter and useless stuff in my home). So when we get home from a Christmas event, the first thing I do is add the unneeded presents to my box for the thrift store - when the box is full, I drop it off at a collection site.

    Perhaps instead of the gift dilemma, a white elephant exchange would be a good option. I've been to some that were really fun. Of course, some people want *real* presents, but WE parties can work well, especially if you don't know the recipients very well.

  • thescribe
    9 years ago

    I love all the suggestions. Helped me think of new ideas in this decade of a down economy (as in: everyone may be in a bit of a pinch.)

    (Aside: Christmas is about caring and loving. And it's not Yuletide, sorry. Christmas has a history, even as it is celebrated at the old Yuletide. Whatever gift you give or receive shall, and should be understood as the effort of someone to give to you.)

    As to gifts, I've given the layered glass jars or masons often and they always seem to be appreciated. With a little bit of your own design and ideas they work well for teens at college, single mothers, men who have no idea how to cook or older folk who miss an old recipe. I'll try to add a link but this is my first time posting, Although I am a very long time lover of Gardenweb. At 63

    http://christmas.organizedhome.com/crafts/gifts-in-a-jar/recipe-index

    I also give banana walnut bread loaves to fire stations, police stations and postmen. They always ask for more next Christmas.

    I really love the idea of photo postage stamps. I didn't know! They will be going out this year.

    And, a gift card to a local garden nursery is always good it seems, even for an apartment dweller, you can always by houseplants or a tiny garden ornament to accent your love of the outdoors.

    And for teachers with children in these hard times, Amazon gift cards, or two gift cards for pizzas or a gift card to Office depot.

    Thank you for all for your ideas.

    Oh, if you can afford it, and I can't anymore, Virginia smoked hams are indeed wonderful gift.

    And, maybe i'm getting old, but I still like that box that comes from my 86 year old Dad from Hickory Farms.

  • thescribe
    9 years ago

    I love all the suggestions. Helped me think of new ideas in this decade of a down economy (as in: everyone may be in a bit of a pinch.)

    (Aside: Christmas is about caring and loving. And it's not Yuletide, sorry. Christmas has a history, even as it is celebrated at the old Yuletide. Whatever gift you give or receive shall, and should be understood as the effort of someone to give to you.)

    As to gifts, I've given the layered glass jars or masons often and they always seem to be appreciated. With a little bit of your own design and ideas they work well for teens at college, single mothers, men who have no idea how to cook or older folk who miss an old recipe. I'll try to add a link but this is my first time posting, Although I am a very long time lover of Gardenweb. At 63

    http://christmas.organizedhome.com/crafts/gifts-in-a-jar/recipe-index

    I also give banana walnut bread loaves to fire stations, police stations and postmen. They always ask for more next Christmas.

    I really love the idea of photo postage stamps. I didn't know! They will be going out this year.

    And, a gift card to a local garden nursery is always good it seems, even for an apartment dweller, you can always by houseplants or a tiny garden ornament to accent your love of the outdoors.

    And for teachers with children in these hard times, Amazon gift cards, or two gift cards for pizzas or a gift card to Office depot.

    Thank you for all for your ideas.

    Oh, if you can afford it, and I can't anymore, Virginia smoked hams are indeed wonderful gift.

    And, maybe i'm getting old, but I still like that box that comes from my 86 year old Dad from Hickory Farms.

  • emma
    9 years ago

    My husband and I were hard to buy for, at our age we had what we wanted. His son started buying us gift cards for restaurants. He could not have bought us anything better. We were kind of stuck in a rut and ate at the same places all the time. It was fun to go to restaurants we would not have ordinarily gone to. It was a mini adventure/experience.

  • pink_warm_mama_1
    8 years ago

    We are talking about giving at Christmas time, so let's not pick at each other about anything. No matter how often I've insisted I need nothing, I've always gotten gifts for the house, and here I am getting rid of most of them out of necessity. Thank you for wonderful, sensible ideas. I can hardly wait to turn in my new list!

  • bananafana
    8 years ago

    Hope this hasn't already been mentioned----I give a year of Netflix to my Mom and Dad each year. Netflix charges my credit card. They love it. They get the dvds as well as the streaming videos. It's a major hit. We count it as their birthday gifts and Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts. I just buy a card when one of those days happen.

    We only buy for the little kids for Christmas since no one wants more stuff at this point.

  • bspofford
    8 years ago

    Just a followup to my post of Dec, 2012. I went back this summer to finally empty the deceased MIL's house. In the basement with a lot of previous rat activity, there was the gift box from the mail order food company, and there was indeed a small fruit cake in it. On the bottom was a dated sticker; Oct 1984. My question is this; when you have rats that have chewed thruough plastic medicine bottles, bottles with vitamins in them, and of course wooden boxes, why is it they didn't touch that box? Do they know something about fruitcake that the rest of us don't?

    Barbara

  • Chemocurl zn5b/6a Indiana
    8 years ago

    Do they know something about fruitcake that the rest of us don't?
    Ha! Good one. They must know that there is no such thing as a good fruitcake...imho.

  • Spicebush
    8 years ago

    Lots of good ideas in the thread. Thanks to whoever brought it back.

    One year a friend gave us a season pass to our local state park. It also worked for all the state parks in our state. We only live a couple of miles from the park but never went because it was $5 every time. With the pass we could just pop in there any time and we did..a lot. Sometimes when just passing by, I would go in to check on what birds might be around. I loved it.

  • tripletmom83
    8 years ago

    This thread just shows that there are no one size fits all gifts.What one person would love, another hates. Consumable gifts always seem like a great idea, but there will always be those who will never consume them. When I'm given a food gift that I know no one in the family will ever eat,like certain kinds of candy, I try to serve it when I have guests. Or I will give it to someone I know will like it, or bring to work to share.
    I just thought of something that everyone should have, a fire extinguisher. Have one, and hope to never need to use it.

  • LuAnn_in_PA
    8 years ago

    LOL!
    I just gave away a fire extinguisher that I was gifted.

    We already have one on every floor, one in the garage and one in each car.

  • jollyrd
    8 years ago

    I am not sure if someone made this suggestion (it's a long post!) -- but here is what I am doing this year:
    - some friends will get the baked goods (cranberry bread, ginger cookies)
    - some friends will get a bottle of homemade vinegar-based cleaner, infused with natural flavors (lavender from my garden, lemon, orange, spices).
    - some friends will get skin care products or candles (these are either get used or can be regifted)

  • grandmamary_ga
    8 years ago

    One year I gave my extended family, nieces and nephews each an inexpensive Christmas mug for each member of their family,a box of $1. hot chocolate and a bag of mini marshmallows and microwave popcorn. A video too. Mini candies and cookies too.
    Mary

  • esga
    8 years ago

    Great thread. My family gave up giving gifts to each other some when we were in our 50s - we all have too much stuff, so we visit each other instead. But I recently married a man whose family is into expensive presents of clothing and jewelry and expensive technology. He, and they, have given me some beautiful things which are not to my taste and I will never use. Some I have been able to exchange - the problem is that I have too much as it is and am trying to have less, not more. So exchanging doesn't work for me. My husband has refused to pass on my suggestions of more practical gifts (like an outdoor compost bin).

    I am going to try telling my husband that every time he buys me a piece of clothing or jewelry I am going to have to give away something I already have. He knows I am down to what I really love. We are also about to combine households next month, which means paring down even further. Maybe that will make him change his view!

  • canuckplayer
    8 years ago

    For many years now, my DD and GD's stockings have contained mostly toiletries. Every Christmas I restock their moisturizers, shampoo & conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, headache medication, band-aids, razors. I've also put in hair brushes and combs, and even hair color. Essentially, the stockings have become portable medicine cabinets.

    During college, along with her "medicine cabinet" stocking, I gave my GD everyday things she needed, but really couldn't afford..laundry and cleaning products, TP and other paper products, cases of water and tetra drinks, and grocery store gift cards. When my DD saw it, she requested the same for the next year.
    I still give these things every year to them both - in the Costco sizes. They last all year, and they don't have to dust them.