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Holiday Hits and Misses

runninginplace
6 years ago

So, now that all the prezzies have been unwrapped...proposing a follow up to the gift idea topic. I"ll start :).

Hits I gave:

  1. The tracking system for my husband--he does a lot of deep, off the grid back country exploring in the Everglades, and this is as much a gift for my peace of mind as for him! Wasn't sure he would go for it but he was delighted, and I'm actually tracking him today on his first outing with it.

  2. The book I gave my MIL, who due to dementia can no longer follow or retain what she reads. She loves history and made many happy trips with her family to national parks so the many beautiful pictures captivated her, and the text will be something she can at least decipher, even if she doesn't retain it. She was so thrilled.

Hit I received:

  1. This book from my daughter, along with an incredible note about her love for me and how much she treasures time we spend together, particularly on a family trip South this summer-actually, to my family's long time home site which is precisely where Rick Bragg grew up. It's even more special because due to some nasty family drama, the much anticipated trip didn't go well, leaving rifts that still haven't healed and may not for years between what was a very close group of us sisters. However my girl and I managed to spend a solid week together 24/7 with nary a cross word while making some happy memories. Because I lost my own mother when I was a teenager, the bond with my daughter is one of the deepest and greatest joys I have ever known and the note means the world to me.


Miss of the year:

The box of Godiva chocolates I gave my SIL, who announced as she opened it that because she can't control her sweet intake when she has candy and her doctor was concerned, she quit chocolate completely in August :(. Oops. At least I also gave her a necklace she did seem to like!


Anyone else want to share?


Comments (47)

  • Nothing Left to Say
    6 years ago

    The venison summer sausage I had sent to my dad was a hit. He finally gave up hunting recently (he is 80) and was lamenting the resulting lack of venison summer sausage. So I found a place that would ship some to him. He is very, very hard to give good gifts to so I was pleased this was a hit.


    Ds is thrilled with his wall world map. I had suggested it to my parents as a present for him (they asked). Unfortunately he doesn't seem very interested in any of the rest of his presents. We will see if maybe some of it gets used and liked over the next several days.


    We told the kids they could each pick one new app for their iPads. Dd picked some random bug game that she LOVES. It cost $1.99.



  • eld6161
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hits I gave: Fitbit HR monitor for my DD

    Tiny cardboard wind up Santa toy that was actually hard to put together. We got lots of laughs trying to put it together and then laughed more at the dog's reaction to it "walking" around on the table.

    Mac pro for my youngest. Very useful for a side business she is starting.

    Sweaters for my SIL. She seemed to like all three.

    Halva for SIL's boyfriend. Had to go to a town 30 minutes away for this candy.

    Workout shorts for DH from Lululemon. Oldest found these special shorts that have a few built in features.

    Miss: Books for DH given to him by our youngest. DH wasn't really interested in any of them.

    Miss that I received: A Burberry quilted jacket. Oldest gave this to me because she thought that she was replacing a jacket that my youngest lost, thinking that her younger sister lost MY jacket. In reality, the jacket that was lost was one that belonged to my oldest from years back.

    The jacket doesn't suit me, but I love the sentiment behind it.

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  • carolb_w_fl_coastal_9b
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Granddaughter gifts were a big hit this year - from both me & my mother. She got them each cute little sets of nail polish & I got them deluxe sets of hair chalks (Grandpa got everyone gift cards for Target).

    They were delighted w/ everything = )

    Hubby & I exchanged monetary gifts; he gave me a generous gift card for TJMaxx/Marshalls/HomeGoods & I gave him a deposit in his Paypal. We're both happy campers today; a-shopping, we will go!

  • Bunny
    6 years ago

    The jacket doesn't suit me, but I love the sentiment behind it.

    Ellen, so what will you do? I've been there before, when either my late husband or daughter gave me something to wear that didn't suit me, either in style, color, fit, etc. I always kept the item because I loved the giver so much and felt returning it would hurt their feelings. I would keep the item, never wear it, get asked about it, rinse, repeat. Just wonder how others deal with it.

  • eld6161
    6 years ago

    Linelle, as luck would have it, it is a bit tight. It doesn't look tight, but feel its. My oldest will be fine with me returning it.

    Now that I think about it, this same daughter gave me a Coach bag a few years ago . (She does seem to like the designers.) It was so heavy, even before filling it. Luck was on my side again, when the strap broke. I was able to exchange it (although with a bit of a hard time) for a different style that was lighter. They wouldn't give me back the difference so bought a wallet and I had to add money as it didn't quite work out evenly.

  • LisaD82
    6 years ago

    As much as I lament them, the gift cards were the biggest hit. They were to specific stores for age groups from teens to young adults who appreciated the extra $$ to spend on themselves.

  • kswl2
    6 years ago

    Our hits were apple watches and a set of earbuds for the kids.

    Very cool toys for grownups :-)

  • violetwest
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Everyone was excited about the illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone book. Set of Nike workout shorts and sports bra got a very enthusiastic OMG from GD#1.

    Miss kind of: An original art piece of birds made with butterfly wings from Brazil, expertly and fancily matted and framed by and from DD#1 (who is a frame shop manager at Michael's). Although well done and appreciated, I don't particularly like the art itself, and of course I will now have to live with it forever.

  • deegw
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I gave my DD a cute raincoat that we briefly talked about months ago and it was never mentioned again. When she opened it up she said, "oh my goodness, I was thinking about this coat the other day."

    My Mom gave my younger DD an adult coloring book. Unfortunately we don't think she looked to closely at the patterns. Instead of pretty graphic designs many of the pages have poorly drawn animal faces and odd themes. A cow and a walrus with a hat in a candy store?

    DH gave our girls an inexpensive (<$100) drone with a camera and we have been having a lot of fun flying it outside.

  • OutsidePlaying
    6 years ago

    Big hit I received was a lovely bracelet from DH Which was a total surprise. He also surprised me with a Yeti cooler and running shirt in a highly reflective color I had casually mentioned. Another hit was a Gel-pro mat from DD which I already love. And DGD (16) picked out a really cute pair of lounge pants for me. I really didn't receive anything I would call a miss.

    The new iPad I got for DH was a big hit. My DD's SO was thrilled with his new sleeping bag, DD was especially loving her new collection of make-up brushes, and DGD loved her new North Face rain jacket, which she could definitely use with our weather lately. She also appreciated the gift card. We exchanged gifts with the other part of our family last weekend and did mostly gift cards since most were traveling this weekend. Our youngest and his fam have been in Yosemite, Sequoia and SF and the grandkids loved their Visa gift cards to spend. I too feel a bit guilty going the gift card route, but as they get older, the grands love them.

    Running, if I had thought about it, that Rick Bragg book would have been on my list! I love his stories; I flip to the last page of my Southern Living magazine first thing just to read his latest. Didn't realize you were from this area either. I presume you have also read his books?

  • Oakley
    6 years ago

    I did pretty good this year picking the right gifts. I'll just list a few of the hits.

    iPad Air to DS2.

    Indoor Hockey Set, Walkie Talkies, and Snap Circuit Lights for DGS.

    Saddle and Ride Barbie, a porcelain tea set in a beautiful pastel green wicker case for DGD. She's only 5 but she and my DS get dressed up (him in a suit) to have their private tea parties.

    Waffle maker for DS.

    Visa Cards for both sons, with limits of course.

    Only one Miss but it may not be if I can figure out what to use it for. A Yeti Colster. Apparently it was the last one in Oklahoma. I don't drink beer, nor do I drink anything in a can. I'm sure I'll figure something out by summer.

    A fun gift I got was a Diamond Candle where you burn about a third of it to find a ring inside. It showed up after 4 or so hours of burning, and I need to go to the website to see if I won a nicer ring. The one inside isn't too shabby either!

  • terezosa / terriks
    6 years ago

    In additional to individual gifts I made a "grab bag" of inexpensive gifts for my three adult kids. Items included a (regifted) cocktail shaker, a Lagerhead Black and Tan Turtle (which someone had mentioned here), a Hydroflask, Trader Joe's, Target and Starbucks giftcards, a wine cork coaster kit and some other items. The grab bag was the gift exchange "finale" and a big hit.

  • Funkyart
    6 years ago

    Pretty much all of the gifts I purchased were big wins this year.. it doesn't always work out that way but was so glad it did this year! I put extra time into finding the right things on my more modest budget-- and it really paid off!

    One of the big hits of the year was a toy guitar shaped like a dog Woofer B. Guitar. My niece wanted musical toys for her 8 mos old son. This is designed for an older age group but the review said that younger brothers and sisters loved it too. It was perfect. He loved it.. and all the adults in the room appreciated that it didnt sound tinny and silly as so many kids gifts do. It has a quite pleasant sound.. the wammy bone was a big hit as well as the fact that it actually strums in addition to the preset songs/sounds. I am very impressed with the quality of this item -- and all toys made by Battat.


    I received a number of nice gifts-- but a special favorite was the vanilla-coffee-sugar coconut oil body rub my niece made. I can't wait to try it!

  • bpath
    6 years ago

    Hit: well, it must be, because DS16 immediately put on and has been wearing his sweater for 2 days straight now. It caught my eye in Costco as I dashed in for trays of mashed potatoes the day before Christmas Eve! I wish Costco carried more size M than L, I'd have gotten more colors for both boys!

    Miss: my brother asked for a fitbit, and other people had talked about it here,so I also got one for DH and asked for one for me, too. Not until I opened mine and found that you have to go online for all information related to it did I learn that it is not compatible with my phone (well, it is probably 6 or 7 years old and in need of replacing anyway, but still, a half dozen of my android brand supported, but not my particular model) and I also have to upgrade my ancient iPad to 8.0. Oh well, guess I have an excuse not to exercise lol!

  • Bunny
    6 years ago

    No bpathome, you have an excuse to get a new phone and iPad. :)

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    6 years ago

    Everything I gave was a hit except for one, and everything I got was loved because of who gave it, but generally, my presents themselves were very nice.

  • Delilah66
    6 years ago

    Misses were the roller skates for DGD and DGS because my DIL gave me the wrong sizes.

    Hits were the slake bracelet I gave my DIL (mentioned and shown by smhinnbin the earlier gift thread) and the dash cam DS mentioned this past summer. The biggest hits were all the games we played with DGD (5 y/o) and DGS (3 y/o). The games were styled after the Minute to Win It You Tube games. DGS had all of us laughing by giggling his little head off as he tried to knock down cups using ping-pong balls in pantyhose on his head (see pic which is not my fam; imagine a 3 yo/). DGD said "He's just so cute; I want to hug him." It was a wonderful time with family!


  • JennaVaNowSC
    6 years ago

    Hit: beautiful tree of life necklace and Hobby Lobby gift card for DD3.,and for stepDD2 who lives here in SC (she and dd3 are same age, 36)...we made a brunch gift basket....cookie sheets, mixing bowls, batter bowl, nice dish towels, oven mitts, wooden spoons, locally sourced foods, grits, pancake and biscuit mixes, maple syrup, honey, jams, pancake molds, hot cocoa mixes, mini marshmallows, with grocery store gc gor the eggs, milk etc. That was a huge hit!!! Just a family gift to add to the gift cardswe got her and SiL. GKs here, ages 3 and almost 5, got clothes and 2 games, per their mom's request. California grandkids are older and just want money. So gift cards and small gifts. (Shipping fees have gotten outrageous!)

    MISS: gave oldest daughter adult coloring books, gel pens etc, . I was so excited to send that..she is always so "stressed".....blah blah ...but she wasn't impressed. :( she did however like her HL gift card.

    Next year I think it will be just checks for family gift / fun day...whatever. of course by next Christmas I will change my mind, and rack my brain again to please them all. DD1 ( who didn't like the coloring books).. never even bothers to send DH and me even a Christmas card. Sad.

  • mayflowers
    6 years ago

    Don't feel bad. People don't "get" the coloring books unless they know it's a trend. I only know about it from GW and have no interest in them, but I got two from my sister. Maybe it's an east coast thing that hasn't made it to the west coast yet.

  • eld6161
    6 years ago

    Littlebug, I think that gift gets my vote for best gift ever.

  • Fun2BHere
    6 years ago

    Hit: NY Times books of birthdays for my dad. He got so involved looking at it that we had to take it away from him (in good humor and temporarily) so we could move on to opening other presents.

    Hit: Amazon Echo for my mother. I was concerned about this one because technology gifts aren't always hits with her, but we all had fun giving commands to Alexa.

    Miss: Framed Map of his hometown for adult nephew. I thought it was interesting; he didn't. Luckily, I also gave him money which he always welcomes.

    Hit: I was given a loaf of homemade banana bread by a niece...yum...and a spatula that says, "Christmas calories don't count." Cute and thoughtful.


  • 4boys2
    6 years ago

    BIG HIT :)

  • joaniepoanie
    6 years ago

    An unexpected big hit with DIL was what I put together for son and her, who are expecting. When they told us about the pregnancy DS jokingly said "I call dibs on the green and blue toy box." I had a light bulb moment and decided to fill that Little Tykes box that sat in our LR/playroom for 7 years.

    DH cleaned it up and had a new bottom cut for the inside. I waded through the nightmare basement to find a lot of stuff I had kept all these years to put in it.

    . Here's what I filled it with:

    • a Fisher Price light up globe....their nursery is a travel theme.....and the bulb still lit up!
    • A FP map of the US where u can get facts on each state
    • his first Legos....he and still best friend played with Legos for hours growing up....I threw them in a lingerie bag and washed them with other stuff on the delicate cycle and dried them on a towel....wasn't going to hand wash 1,000 Lego pieces!
    • His wooden Brio train set...which he asked if we still had a few days before Xmas...I played dumb
    • A little bunny stuffed animal.....one of many I kept
    • the outfit I brought him home from the hospital in.....DIL was so touched and excited she took photos of it and texted them to her family. I think she plans to bring their baby home in it.
    • a yellow knit blanket.....I must have 10
    • a yellow knit sweater and bonnet
    • his first little white tie shoes
    • two receiving blankets
    • a framed hospital picture of him....to compare who baby looks like

    The best part was seeing how touched DIL was. She and I have not had a close relationship so I hope I scored some brownie points with this one!


  • maire_cate
    6 years ago

    Joanie that was a brilliant gift and I hope it goes a long way to soften the relationship with your DIL. And another great idea to launder the legos in a lingerie bag.

    Hits here:

    Perfex salt and pepper mills for DS and DIL.

    Craftsmen tools for DS who just bought his first condo.

    Cashmere wrap from Garnet Hill.

    Waffle maker.

    DD loved her E.B. sleep sweater and a necklace - a delicate silver chain with a tiny diamond set in a textured silver pendant.



  • runninginplace
    Original Author
    6 years ago

    Littlebug and Joanie--what lovely gifts, created and given with such love!

    4boys, is that gift for real???

  • daisychain Zn3b
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We are a crazy bunch and my 85 year old mom is just about the craziest of us all. She never has any money (she generally gives it away to someone who needs it more - even tho I remind her she is now one of those people who need it more) and has always loved shopping at thrift stores. When I was little we were definitely upper middle class, but she would still buy all our clothes at thrift stores just for the fun of it.

    This year, she collected these wacky thrift store shirts for all the girls in the family. I'm still not sure if she meant them to be a joke or if she seriously thought we would like them, but she is such a good sport that when we were all rolling on the floor laughing about them, she did too. We all put them on for Xmas dinner over top of our clothes and I know those pictures will keep me laughing all year.

    Here's mine. Didn't want to post the one of all of us without their permission - but my niece's leopard print skin tight tank top was one of the best.

  • deegw
    6 years ago

    running - 4boys "gift" is a prank gift box. No bathe and brew inside. Bed, Bath and Beyond had an assortment of prank gift boxes this years and I am sure they were at other stores as well.

    Genuine Fake Gift Boxes

  • graywings123
    6 years ago

    Definitely a HIT and a complete surprise: Gerbing Gyde battery-powered heated gloves for when I walk the dog. My hands have become increasingly sensitive to cold, and these things heat the whole hand down to the fingertips.

  • 4boys2
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Running~ The sad part ....my son actually thought it was real and had no problem saying he was going to try it.

    My niece is expecting soon ..What do you think of this one :

  • hhireno
    6 years ago

    Hit

    My 8 yo niece made a calendar in school, each month was a different type of art. I bet the teacher assumed every kid would give it to their mother but she gave it to me. I told her I might have to sleep with it under my pillow so her mom didn't steal it. I did manage to get it home and will be happy every time I look at it. It's the gift that will keep giving me joy for a full year.


  • Delilah66
    6 years ago

    4boys2- LOL! Nice that it's appropriate for energy drinks as we know new moms like their infants to stay awake for hours on end!

  • nini804
    6 years ago

    The HUGE hit (no surprise there) for 13 yo dd was a hoverboard. Yes, I know they are dangerous, prone to spontaneous combustion, etc...but she has been begging for one for months & when I ordered it I didn't know above the fire thing. I have to admit the thing is pure fun! She is on it constantly and the whole family has tried it, some more successful than others. ;) We have strict rules about only charging it under supervision, never over night, and I make her clean & inspect the wheels for little rocks before she brings it inside so it doesn't scratch the wood floors.

    Ds got a MacBook Pro. Definitely a hit. ;)

  • Jak Perth
    6 years ago

    Huge hit for our fourteen year old techie is a small 3D printer! He thinks he's died and gone to heaven!

  • Sueb20
    6 years ago

    I gave my two BFFs the famous EB sleep sweaters -- they were both so excited they put them on in the restaurant (we exchanged gifts over dinner).

    My surprise gift to DD (ie not on her list) was a french bulldog lamp from PB Teen for her room. She loved it. (We have a french bulldog.)

    Santa brought us a family gift of a few coloring books and two sets of markers. Then a SIL gave DD and me two coloring books and a set of colored pencils! So we have been doing some coloring, which is kinda fun and therapeutic.

    DH gave me a coat, which was very risky! I didn't ask for it, and he NEVER buys me clothing unless I give him very specific parameters (like a web link to the actual item, including size and color info). It fits me perfectly and I actually like it! He also gave me earrings that I did ask for, so I love them, and a Tiffany bracelet that I did not expect and, well, I like it but it's not really my style. I think I will like it more in the summer -- for whatever reason, it seems summery to me.

    DH gave me a cowhide ottoman from Room & Board, too, which I had only jokingly said I wanted. It is cute!


  • IdaClaire
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    The children in my life are tween/teen-aged, and they received one big gift each from several of us family members who pooled our funds. The kids loved it, and it was easier on the adults who didn't have to wonder what to buy for them. They received an iMac, a gaming system, and an expensive hoverboard. I was concerned about the hoverboard because I'd heard of the fires, but apparently that danger is not applicable to all makes and models. The hoverboard was a hoot, and it impressed me how quickly the young ones were able to get up and go on that thing, having never been on one before. Us oldsters? Not so much. I stood on it for about a split second, rocked back and forth shakily, and said forget it. I prefer to be on unmovable ground!

  • Mimou-GW
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    We had a very merry GW Christmas! Every year since Trailrunner (I'm pretty sure it was her) posted her honey chipotle pecans, DH has made them and gifted them to friends and coworkers. A few years back someone posted a mirror decorated with garland ladened with pinecones, it seemed perfect for our entryway mirror so I have done something similar the past couple of years. This year I added french toast casserole for Christmas breakfast. My boys all raved about it! I don't usually eat bread, dairy or sugar but I did have a bite after all the happy eating and it was very good! A big thank you to mtnRd for the gift thread! The echo was a giant hit with my 14yr old. The slake bracelet went to my oldest son's GF, she loved it. My MIL got an EB sweater and easy adult coloring books and gel pens (she has dementia). So thank you GW!

  • bpath
    6 years ago

    Update on DS' hit gift: he has worn the sweater every day since donning it Chrismtas morning, while working on his other hit gift of Super Mario Maker for the Wii U his brother brought home from college. I guess the arduino kit he also got isn't cool enough.

    Me, it's too treacherous to head out for a new phone compatible with my new FitBitZip, but that's okay because it's too treacherous to exercise anyway. What's that? Exercise indoors? Pshaw! This is surf Gw with a cup of hot tea weather! And maybe a couple of Hershey kisses...I really need that fitbit.

  • Olychick
    6 years ago

    I make the honey chipotle pecans each year, too. I think it was Natal (aka CindyMac, I guess) who posted it. I silently thank her each year because they are so delicious and such a hit with everyone who receives them. But no reason to be silent about it, Thank you, Natal/Cindy!

  • Mimou-GW
    6 years ago

    Oops! Apologies to Natal/Cindy. I'll write that on the recipe.

  • CindyMac
    6 years ago

    I'm glad so many people like that recipe. It's a favorite here too.

  • happy2b…gw
    6 years ago

    The hit- Google cardboard: Yup, that's right, the $15 piece of cardboard. Everyone liked/loved all their gifts but this was the gift that got the most play with all ages. There were dinosaurs loping and thrill seekers riding roller coasters in my family room.

  • Fun2BHere
    6 years ago

    I just returned from a belated Christmas celebration. We had to wait until we were all in the same city to get together. The three who received EB sweaters were very happy with them. Thanks, GW and the original poster who mentioned them!

  • misforminkGW
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hits gave - I feel we nailed gifts for all the kids in the family. I love seeing their faces light up and squeals of excitement.

    Scalp massager - bought one for myself too. Love it.

    scalp massager

    Hits received - I received a D&B florentine vachetta satchel I wanted. I'm not a purse person, rarely change bags, and feel most myself when sporting bag colors in cognac or black. I'm very happy with this one.

    Misses - For some small extras I made some marbled (with nail polish) mugs for a few people. I don't think they were as excited about them as I was.

    There are some people who continue to buy me perfume, body sprays, and lotions and I wish they would stop. I have one perfume I favor if I bother to wear any and I'm weird about chemicals in lotions. I have said (not at the time of receiving a gift) I just don't use the stuff, etc. and they continue to buy it. I say thank you and pass it along to people I know will like and use it.

  • Holly- Kay
    6 years ago

    All the grandchildren's gifts were hits. My eight and nine year old grandsons favored their Underarmor hoodies and Hershey Park season tickets. My toddler grandson's favorite was the fire truck pedal car that DH got for him and he loved the youth tablet and case. The babies got clothing and money in their bank accounts.

    My DDs loved the Spode Christmas tree mugs, Penzy spices, Rough Linen tea towels and as always the money gifts.

    The big miss was an Underarmor hoody I got for DS. It was black with the UA logo outlined in green. I saw the roll of eyes and asked if he liked it. He answered that it's ok but he would never wear it outside of the house. Nothing new with him not liking a gift. Even the rare times he raved about a gift at the time months or several years later I hear how crappy it was. One year we bought him, his s.o. and her daughter the best desk top computer and printer that Circuit City had. It was expensive but it was needed. A few years later he told me it was a pos and he bought something else. Next year he will get a cash gift only.

    DH gave me a Fitbit. I had planned on purchasing an Apple watch for myself. but I love the Fitbit because he got it for me. He also gave me a Chico's gift certificate that I will put to good use. My all time favorite gifts though this year is a little ceramic heart that my DGs gave me that says "life is sweeter because you're my Nana", and the family photo books from my DDs!

  • bpath
    6 years ago

    I got myself two of the EB sweaters and omg I love them.

  • maire_cate
    6 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I received a wonderful and unexpected gift. My kids usually come over Christmas morning, have a leisurely breakfast, open presents and then hang out until dinner but this year we had to change plans since my DS's MIL was going to be in town. We switched our dinner to Christmas Eve and opened presents while having dessert. I can't complain because at least we were all together - but I did miss our old routine.

    After DS and DDIL left my other 2 kids announced they were sleeping over so that we could still have our traditional Christmas breakfast. Then they went out to the cars and brought in 2 coolers and several bags with everything we needed for breakfast.

    That was one of the most thoughtful gifts I've ever received.


    Maire