Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Weekend Open Thread: Your Best and Worst Presents

Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet? Hanukkah starts Tuesday night and Christmas, of course, is next weekend, so in our home, where we celebrate both, it’s beginning to look a lot like Chrismukkah. The tree (a real one) is up and decorated. The stockings are hung by the chimney — well, credenza — with care, and the menorah is ready for its candles. On Tuesday, my parents arrive from Germany to finally meet their first grandbaby, something my mother has been looking forward to for … oh, probably forever. She and my dad (who I’m sure is also excited) will be here for ten days and if they manage to leave without trying to smuggle Jackson away in one of their suitcases, I’ll be surprised. My sister, who met Jack when she came for his bris back in October, will be here for a few days as well, and I, for one, am looking forward to having some extra hands to help out around here.

At two-plus months, the exhaustion of new motherhood is really catching up with me. Jackson is an easier baby now (well, with the exception of yesterday, which is a story for another time), but after ten weeks of being the sole caregiver during the day (and balancing this website, too, which has been a unique challenge), on top of sleep deprivation, I’m really, really ready for some extra help, even if it just for a few days. I think that that — and getting a chance to see my parents interact with my son – my healthy, happy baby son — will be the best Christmas gift this year.

So, speaking of good gifts, I’d love to hear what some of your all-time favorite (or least favorite) gifts have been. And what are you hoping for this year? And are you done with your shopping yet or just getting started?

63 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Anna December 16, 2011, 5:10 pm

    Wow, he is so precious! I’d say you already got the most awesome gift of all this year, Wendy! I don’t have any cute babies yet so I’m kinda jealous 🙂

    We don’t have a tree yet but we’re getting one this weekend. In the past, my best Christmas present was last year when my boyfriend gave me a 4 wheeler. Yes, a real one. I just about passed out. This year, I’m hoping he tops it with an engagement ring 🙂 My worst Christmas present ever was when I was about 14. I’m sure everyone remembers that awkward phase at the beginning of high school where you are desperate to fit in and the best way to do so is to wear the type of clothes that are “in style.” In the late 90’s it was all about the wide leg jeans and name-brand Nike and Adidas t-shirts. Having asked for those particular items multiple times, I thought I was in luck when my parents gave me items that could only be clothes. I was wrong. They got me purple stretchy pants with a matching purple old-lady style shirt decorated with bows and sequins. It was the most hideous thing I ever saw in my life. I modeled it for them once and pretended to like it but never ever wore it. I didn’t get the clothes I wanted until I was 15-16 and started working so I could actually have spending money.

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      atraditionalist December 17, 2011, 12:15 pm

      HAHAHA. Once my grandma gave me purple pleather snake skin print skin tight pants when I was 13. And a matching purple pleather snakeskin print coat to boot. That same year my mother also gave me a dress that was mostly see through except for the maribou fur trim on the top and bottom. Also she gave me green plastic pants. And a pink purse made entirely of sparkly faux fur.

      Not only did someone make “stripper goes to the circus for tweens”-esque clothing but my family bought it for me. And sadly I wore the green plastic pants to school and carried around the sparkly fur purse. But the rest I never wore

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        Anna December 19, 2011, 7:58 am

        Wow! Your parents were trying to dress you up like a circus hooker and mine wanted me to look like a very crazy old cat lady! LOL

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    • ScrambledMegss

      ScrambledMegs December 18, 2011, 9:58 am

      Oh god, I remember the wide le jeans and adidas tee trend so vividly hahaha

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    AKchic December 16, 2011, 6:44 pm

    *sigh* Money has been tight, so I’m still working on presents. I finally got the cash infusion I needed. Stupid teeth needed work, so that had to come first. I blame my mother’s mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. Even though I didn’t eat them, and I didn’t actually break my tooth on Thanksgiving Day (just sometime that weekend).

    I’ve gotten some things, but not wrapped a single thing. That will come sometime during the week. We set up the tree and put up the rest of the decorations this weekend (outdoor stuff went up earlier, then the wind blew half of it down or “away”, and the yearling moose pulled some down a few days ago and yesterday – the little shit).

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      McLovin December 17, 2011, 7:41 am

      OT. You all are some seriously tough people in Alaska!

      On my first business trip to Anchorage I;
      a) was stared down by a moose, and, thankfully there was a window between us. Those are some big-ass critters.
      b) made a client presentation to a guy during his lunchbreak – while he fished for Salmon in downtown(literally) Anchorage. Ship Creek, I think?
      c) survived an earthquake
      d) was told by the hotel desk clerk not to dilly-dally in the hotel parking lot because someone had seen a bear in the neighborhood that morning. I think she was messing with me, but who the hell knows.
      e) was introduced to the Great Alaskan Bush Company.

      I’ve been back many times and I actually really enjoy Anchorage. Plus, the food at Sullivans’ is incredible!

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      • EscapeHatches

        Escapehatches December 18, 2011, 7:57 pm

        Oddly enough, we have a Great Alaskan Bush Company here in… Phoenix.

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      • avatar

        AKchic December 19, 2011, 12:56 pm

        Ship Creek fishing is common. There’s normally a guy who sells defused grenades. Many of them are tye-dyed. It can get so busy that people are standing shoulder to shoulder in thigh-deep water. We call it “combat fishing”.

        In my neighborhood (in midtown Anchorage, commonly known as “Spenard”), I’ve got 4-9 moose wandering on a daily basis. They are all related. The yearling was born in my yard last year. His mother had twins the year before and she raised them on my block. Her son the year before stole a football from our yard (it was partially deflated thanks to low temperatures)

        Earthquakes are common. My family survived “the big one” in ’64. The family house is still standing (Grandma still lives in it).

        As for the bear… not sure what year you were up here, or where exactly you were staying, but yeah – it happens. Anchorage has been having some issues the last few years thanks to overpopulation (humans, bears), environmentalists who don’t want anyone to shoot the bears, idiots who leave their trash out (which gives them a great source of easy-access food), and idiots who decide to build houses in their habitat because it’s a “great view”.
        Should have seen it in the 90’s when we had a wolf pack that came out of the Chugach and then some idiot musher who started breeding wolf-hybrids for a few years that got loose the same year. THAT was fun. I lived in the neighborhood the musher did.

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  • avatar

    amber December 16, 2011, 6:46 pm

    first of all i’m so glad it’s friday. i tried to donate blood yesterday but they let it clot and so i donated 2/3 of a bag but then they couldn’t get it started again so they had to toss it 🙁 and that was after 6 sticks! today i ate some questionable dip at my office luncheon. does anyone else have that person at their office that uses old food or makes casseroles for parties out of questionable leftovers? i knew better than to eat the person’s food but i got confused and thought that someone else made it. i’m crossing my fingers i don’t get sick! now on to wendy’s questions! i don’t think i’ve ever gotten a terrible gift. except for one year at white elephant party i got a box of the worst chocolates ever. and you wouldn’t think chocolate can be bad, but it tasted like old plastic. this year my grandfather is having surgery two days after christmas, so this year the best gift i’m going to have is time with my family 🙂 i am finally done with all my shopping which makes me very happy. now how to fit all the gifts, my husband, my two dogs and i in to our tiny car.

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      AKchic December 16, 2011, 6:54 pm

      *laugh* I purposely give the weird gifts at the Christmas parties. Last year, I gave a “How To Make Balloon Animals” kit. This year – bacon-flavored toothpaste *insert evil grin here*

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      • avatar

        amber December 16, 2011, 7:41 pm

        yeah we have to bring two gifts to our my husband’s white elephant party and we always do one normal and one gag gift. we’re still working on the gag gift, bacon toothpaste might be a good idea though!

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      • avatar

        AKchic December 16, 2011, 7:44 pm

        Order quickly, before it’s too late for delivery. thinkgeek.com

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki December 17, 2011, 6:22 pm

        They have bacon EVERYTHING. My little brother wanted the bacon wallet.

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    • MissRemy

      Ally December 17, 2011, 6:03 am

      Well done for going to donate even if it didn’t work out! Hope it won’t put you off in the future, it’s such a worthwhile thing to do 🙂

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      • EscapeHatches

        Escapehatches December 18, 2011, 7:59 pm

        Agreed. I had to start going to the Red Cross instead of UBS after I couldn’t convince UBS to take my pulse and BP before sticking my finger for the iron count. I’d fail out 3/4 of the time due to a rapid pulse. Just takes follow through.

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    • avatar

      honeybeenicki December 17, 2011, 6:23 pm

      We have one person in our office who always does that. We have a potluck on Monday, so I volunteered to partner with her on a veggie tray with dip and I went and bought the stuff and will just have her pay me back. That way its safe.

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  • fast eddie

    fast eddie December 16, 2011, 6:59 pm

    Ditto on Anna’s comment about Jackson, I can’t imagine anything better then that.

    My most memorable Christmas present was a Cadillac. The bicycle not a car, it was a 3 speed and had a horn in the tank between the seat post and handlebar. I was about 10 years old and was the envy of everybody my age in the neighborhood. The worst present was underwear that was repeatedly under the tree almost ever year.

    As I’ve mentioned a couple of times recently my parents were abusive but during the Christmas season they were quite generous. Perhaps they were trying to make up for their brutality the rest of the year.

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    MsBorgia December 16, 2011, 9:23 pm

    Best present: the stuffed Lars the Lost Polar Bear toy I got when I was 2. I loved that thing and I still take him with me every time I move.

    Worst present: My mom gave me a loofah that I’m pretty sure came out of the free sample basket at the YMCA locker room 10 years ago. I think it went through the dryer too because it was weird and half-melted. I don’t know what she was thinking.

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  • avatar

    Jess December 16, 2011, 10:43 pm

    I’m more excited for my family to give my boyfriend his christmas present than anything else, honestly. He’s super into things for the bar setup he’s trying to get going, so my mom thought of getting whiskey glasses with his family crest (which he’s never thought of looking up) etched onto them. My whole family’s chipping in to pay for them. It’s one of those gifts that he’s always wanted without ever realizing he wanted it.

    My worst present was also at a white elephant, I got a box of white chocolate covered pretzels. My desire to unwrap a present of my own beat out the rational thought of grabbing “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” from my roommate. Ah well.

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    • avatar

      Painted_lady December 17, 2011, 12:15 am

      Reminds me of that Family Guy episode where Peter hears a timeshare pitch and at the end can either pick a boat or a mystery box. He picks the box – there are tickets to a crappy comedy club.

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      • avatar

        Lolabeans December 18, 2011, 5:34 pm

        What. The heck is a ‘white elephant’?

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      • EscapeHatches

        Escapehatches December 18, 2011, 8:01 pm

        White Elephant is usually a goofy gift exchange. Everyone brings a gift and then gets to pick one from under the tree, can ‘steal’ an already opened package, etc. It usually gets pretty raucous and fun.

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    Sue Jones December 17, 2011, 12:38 am

    An ex-boyfriend gave me a vibrator for Christmas. I opened it in front of a bunch of people, too. I was NOT amused, especially since I was a poor student and had just bought him a really nice and expensive sweater that I really could not afford and this was before they let poor students have credit cards, so it was, like, my grocery money… Needless to say it was the beginning of the end…

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    • fast eddie

      fast eddie December 17, 2011, 9:30 am

      Lousy tasteless immature behavior of him but least you didn’t have to worry about having a date for New Years Eve eh? (nudge) One year I gave my platonic housemate silk man panties because she said that’s what she wanted.

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  • avatar

    Morgan December 17, 2011, 11:07 am

    Well the ultimate Christmas gift would be a job for next year.

    But I got a car, so that’s not all bad. It’s not new or anything, but its mine to use for now, and should said hypothetical job be somewhere I’d want a car or need one to commute.

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  • avatar

    MissDre December 17, 2011, 11:30 am

    The best Christmas present I can remember is last year, when I begged my parents to each pay 1/3 of the cost of the Siamese kitten I fell in love with. Normally I am against buying pets from the pet store (please adopt from the humane society people!) but she melted my heart… so $800 later I brought home my furry little bundle of joy and she’s given me endless happiness! I don’t have children, but I imagine the way somebody feels about their baby is how I feel about my cats (as in…. my heart nearly bursts with love and happiness when I think about them).

    I am really looking forward to giving my boyfriend his present this year. He’s been working so hard at 2 jobs all year to be able to get a better place and start his music studio, so I got him the newest version of the industry-standard music production software to help him on his way. I cannot WAIT til he opens it =)

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    • katie

      Katie December 17, 2011, 1:24 pm

      i feel the same way about my kitties…. hehe

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      • avatar

        SpyGlassez December 20, 2011, 3:37 pm

        Me, too.

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    Painted_lady December 17, 2011, 12:04 pm

    My worst and my best material gifts both came from my mom, and they’re related. When I was in high school, I somehow got it into my head that my mom’s inability to buy clothes I liked in any way stemmed from my poor description of what I wanted, so I started getting catalogs and circling the items I liked, not in a “I want ALLLLL of these” way but rather a “Hey, here’s some ideas if you want to know what I’m into” way. I was fourteen or fifteen when I found this pair of charcoal tweed wideleg pants and some chunky black distressed Mary Janes with skull buckles that I was absolutely in love with. Christmas morning, I opened my presents to find some gray slacks in that mom-jeans shape – bunchy waist, tapered leg, possibly even pleated, and some super-shiny patent platform Mary Janes – very Cher Horowitz, whereas I was very much a Daria type. I was so let down, but I played it off pretty well until we all went to change out of pj’s to get ready to have the whole family over, and I wore something I already had. My mom then wanted to know why I wasn’t wearing the mommy pants with the Clueless Mary Janes. I avoided the question, but she kept at me all day until I finally broke down late that night and told her I wasn’t wearing them because they “weren’t my style” was probably what I said. She then interrogated me on exactly what was wrong with them, and I didn’t have words like “silouhette” or “distressed” at my disposal in those days, so I mumbled something like “too big in the hips” and “too shiny,” at which point she stormed off declaring she would NEVER buy me clothes again. Now, at some point a few weeks after Christmas, we were talking about the clothes and I asked – trying not to sound ungrateful – why she couldn’t have just bought the items straight out of the catalog. She confessed she feels weird about buying the exact thing someone points out because it ruins the surprise. I pointed out that as I had circled around 50 pieces and could only realistically expect 2 or 3 articles, I would never know which ones she was getting, hence, SURPRISE! (although one thing I didn’t say was, so you surprise me with stuff I don’t want?)

    Luckily, they still had those tweed pants the next year, and I got them. Along with a shirt I really loved and shoes that weren’t the Mary Janes but just as good. I wore the pants until they were so threadbare they were almost white, the shoes until my dog chewed them up when I was in grad school, and the shirt is in my chest of drawers right now – I still wear it.

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    • avatar

      Temperance December 17, 2011, 12:24 pm

      My mother does the same thing! One year, I requested pajama pants, suggesting the ones at Old Navy. (My mother always bought me itchy, ugly flannel nightgowns that I HATED, or those awful sleep shirts that I similarly hated).

      I even told her what kinds of prints I would like. Instead, she goes to BIG LOTS (which is an awful, awful store that buys things that other stores don’t want) and buys me this awful flowered yellow pajama set with a giant lace piece on the front.

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      • avatar

        Painted_lady December 17, 2011, 6:55 pm

        She’s gotten SO much better since I was in high school, partly because she’s also putting effort into her own clothes. I honestly don’t know if she saw things like cut and shape back then because all her own clothes were three sizes too big. She always got the color and fabric right, but everything else was hit or miss. Granted, I’m hard to buy clothes for because I’m six feet tall and not particularly curvy except for on top. So anything cut to accommodate hips look like riding jodhpurs on me, and most things for women with no hips to speak of are too short, plus normal fitted tshirts get all hiked up both because of the height and because my boobs are huge. It wasn’t like I was doing it on purpose, though. But she knows now which brands of each article work best on me, and she usually does a really good job picking out cute stuff.

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    Temperance December 17, 2011, 12:20 pm

    The worst gift that I have ever received was from Mr. Temperance’s sister. She likes to think that she’s artistic, and she’s just … not. Her work sucks. She’s also a spoiled brat, so she’d rather save money on gifts and just get it things for herself.

    So, two years ago … she made us these disgustingly ugly decoupaged wine bottles. It looked like a 4 year old stuck random pieces of tissue paper all over them. It was so obviously half-assed, too; she didn’t even do it right! You could stll see the bottle through it, it honestly looked like she just pasted it all over.

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      Painted_lady December 17, 2011, 1:31 pm

      That irritates me to no end – it is NOT that hard to do handmade gifts that are thoughtful and actually good, and I do most of mine that way, not because it’s cheaper (it can be, but not always) but because I see stuff in stores that are kind of what someone I know might like except for this or that detail or I can do it better, or in some cases I know I’m never going to find something they would like. That throw-some-crap-I’ve-got-lying-around-together makes me crazy because it gives the rest of us a bad rap.

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      • avatar

        Temperance December 19, 2011, 7:28 pm

        I know! I have received some wonderful, thoughtful homemade gifts, but hers just scream I HATE YOU.

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    Sarah December 17, 2011, 12:38 pm

    Funnily enough, my worst present was just a few days ago. It was from my boss at Secret Santa. Everybody got really great gifts for everyone, we even increased the price limit to $40 so that people could splurge. A co-worker got nice scotch, another got a gift certificate to their favorite chef supply store, and my boss got me……crap. Literally. He got me this novelty pad of paper made from elephant crap. Not even wrapped either. He gave it to me in a brown paper bag. He thought it was hilarious. I wanted to cry! I spent $80 on secret santa gifts because their was an odd person left out and I didn’t want them to be without a present. And I got crap. Worst part is that he’s talked about being given that paper months ago. I got re-gifted crap.

    The next morning he came up to me and was like “I didn’t mean anything by it, I was just trying to get something funny and this company has become to corporate because we used to get gifts that were funny.” And then he walked away. Not even with an apology gift certificate to Starbucks or something. He thinks the fault is on everyone else for getting nice thoughtful presents. I can’t wait to get out of this place.

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    • avatar

      Carolynasaurus December 18, 2011, 1:23 pm

      Is it sad that I’m jealous that you guys at least have some sort of Christmas exchange at work? At my work, my manager took us to dinner to dinner at the fancy place at least a 40 minute drive from where everyone lives (it’s like he looked at a map, said “No one lives around here so I should pick a restaurant in that vicinity”) that start an hour after work ended. I worked the extra hour, got a red-light ticket (not my fault) on the way to the restaurant, spouses weren’t invited so it was the same people I see all day, I had to eat some weird entree that was the only vegetarian thing on the menu, and then got home late and packed for the business trip I was leaving on the next day.

      I personally would have preferred the crap paper. Sounds much simpler all around.

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      • avatar

        Beckaleigh December 19, 2011, 8:11 am

        My boss acts like Christmas doesn’t even happen. No “Merry Christmas” or anything. We don’t even get to leave a few hours early the day before Christmas or get off the day after unless its a federal holiday and the boss has no choice.

        If he got us crap paper or took us out to eat, we’d all die from shock. And there aren’t that many of us here, so even a nice gesture like Dunkin Donuts would go a long way for morale around here.

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      Lolabeans December 18, 2011, 5:44 pm

      Omg I’ve heard if that paper! I used to work at my university bookstore and it was called ‘poo paper’

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        bethany December 19, 2011, 11:48 am

        I have a book made from Poo Paper! I love it- it’s really cool.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't December 18, 2011, 8:16 pm

      Do you watch the office?? Because that is like, exactly what happened in the Yankee Swap Christmas episode from a few seasons ago. I can’t even imagine how horrible and/or awkward it would be in real life.

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    • Budj

      Budj December 19, 2011, 11:18 am

      I’m curious where one can find good scotch for $40.

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        Sarah December 19, 2011, 1:18 pm

        Bev Mo! They have crazy good sales right now!

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      • Budj

        Budj December 19, 2011, 1:48 pm

        haha – unfortunately…I don’t think we have those around here.

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      AKchic December 19, 2011, 8:14 pm

      I’d LOVE to get the “crap paper”. Seriously. I’d think it’s hilarious. Granted, I’m the type that sends moose “nugget” (poop) jewelry, swizzle sticks, chapstick, etc to friends out of state for the holidays. Sometimes, I’ll even “decorate” moose “nuggets” for “homemade ornaments”. We do the same thing for Easter, if the out-of-state relatives are particularly annoying.
      Just a note – the “nuggets” are collected while frozen during the winter, and freeze-dried and shellacked prior to “decoration” by us, so it’s not like we’re passing on germs.

      One of these years, I may just send an oosik to my former MIL, just to liven up the party! (please, if you don’t know what an oosik is – google it)

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        SpyGlassez December 20, 2011, 3:41 pm

        +1 for the oosik!

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    Painted_lady December 17, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I’m actually really excited to give my Christmas gifts this year. I’m an artist (hence the user name) so I tend to make a lot of my gifts, partly because it’s more fun and partly because I’d rather make something that’s *exactly* tailored to my loved ones’ interests and style than pick up something that comes close. This year my mom is getting a lino-print seashell in the colors of her beach house (blues and tans) and my dad, who has specifically requested more artwork to go up in his office after Father’s Day’s charcoal drawing of his old baseball hat and baseball from when he played in the minors, is getting an ink drawing of a baseball stadium (any suggestions as to which ones, baseball fans? I was thinking Fenway or Wrigley because he’s not a Yankees fan). Since I get Painted Dude full-time for Christmas, he’s getting an “instant romantic evening” of bubble bath, candles, massage oil that my dog keeps trying to eat, and a couple other things I’m not sharing 😉 It’s cheesy, but neither of us has lived alone the whole time we’ve dated, so I’m totally reveling in the huge amount of privacy we’re going to have after Christmas.

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      kali December 17, 2011, 2:40 pm

      I give a lot of portraits as gifts. It’s a good excuse to get me drawing and something not many other people can give. And folks LOVE them!

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      honeybeenicki December 17, 2011, 6:28 pm

      I’m not a very artistic person, but this year I wanted to make something for my family members, so I am making tie blankets for everyone. I already made (and gave) my sister and her kids theirs (big hit!) and I have 4 more to make this weekend for next weekend. And it makes people think I’m talented (because I can cut and tie fleece).

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      Lindsey December 18, 2011, 12:52 am

      That sounds awesome! I’m super excited to give my presents this year too! I didn’t have a ton of money so I decided to go crafty. All of my friends are getting a knitted scarf (as well as a few family members). My brother and brother in law are getting a custom case of beer filled with six different kinds of weird beer. (And I’m crafting the case with fun logos and such!)

      But I’m so excited to give my mom’s! I knitted her a big blanket and then made a bunch of stuff for her stocking including potpourri, tub teas and a box of tea with specialized sayings on it. I also made my own swirly crayons for the kids!

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    kali December 17, 2011, 2:38 pm

    My mom gave us both knock-off snugglies last year from Big Lots or some other super bargain store. Price tags were still on the bottoms of the boxes: $4.99! It cost her more to ship those suckers to us from another state than she paid for them.

    One year, my ex-husband bought me a bowling ball with my name engraved on it. And I hate bowling. With a passion. At least it was my favorite color.

    I’m firmly in the “just give me a hug and a smile” camp. I don’t need anything more as gifts.

    Wendy: Jackson is super cute and I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmukkuh!

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      kare December 18, 2011, 7:49 pm

      At least the bowling ball had your name and not “Homer”.

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    6napkinburger December 17, 2011, 5:27 pm

    Hmm, was my worst gift when my ex’s mom gave me a shirt from k-mart which she explained that “she tried it on first and it was big, so she thought it would fit” (she’s way bigger than I am); or the hideous jewelry box with a fake porclean picture frame on top? or the 5 oz glass cut mugs (6.99, price still on them) that were so heinous my sister busted out laughing when she saw them, and i had to give her a death stare because his mom was in the room, because she was disappointed that I didn’t have enough mugs “for company.” or the coasters from the mall of america that say “mall of america” with a silver emblem of … the mall of america. hmm… (and this is after explaining that I really really really really don’t need/want presents, much preferring her to stop asking/guilting my boyfriend for money)

    best gift: a cd of my favorite obscure musician; my le cruset dutch oven, a 3 hole punch, a necklace from my ex that i thought was beautiful. im forgetting something but i don’t know what.

    I haven’t had time to go shopping this year; I honestly don’t know what i’m going to do about the fact that no one is going to get a present from me. I wish I could just take myself out of the running.

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    honeybeenicki December 17, 2011, 6:26 pm

    My grandparents used to give me shampoo and conditioner for Christmas (not even some awesome kind – it was usually Suave or White Rain and LOTS of it). It was a little odd, but it is something I can always use.

    I can’t really pinpoint a perfect present I’ve received, but every year for the past few years my mom has given up present buying and instead takes me, my sister, her flavor of the month guy, my husband and all of our kids to a resort to stay in a condo for the weekend. It is by far my favorite gift each year. Last year, my dad bought me a really nice zip up sweatshirt that I really liked. It doesn’t sound that “awesome” but he has never bought something for me by himself (usually his ex-wife, my step-mom did it and she was bad at it too) and this sweatshirt was exactly something I would pick out for myself and was a perfect fit. He was so proud of himself 🙂

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    Marie December 17, 2011, 8:13 pm

    I have this step-grandma who basically told us she only married my grandpa for his money. She now is very rich and likes to take dramatic trips all over the world (like cruises in the Antartic etc.). I have had some of the craziest gifts of all times from her, a carved swordfish, a furry clothes hanger, used make-up in some old make up bag from the 80’s, she gave me an american doll every year for like 10 years (Ok when I was 10 – not so much when I was 20!). She only gives each of her 4 step kids $ but she gives one of them less than the others. Yup she’s a strange one!

    Favorite gift – the beautiful Italian shoes I couldn’t afford, pearls, basically anything from my bf, he’s the best gift giver ever. Can’t wait to see what he found this year!

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    SGMcG December 17, 2011, 10:38 pm

    Would you look at the fingers on Jackson?!? So adorable! Is he getting piano lessons in the future, because with fingers like that, he totally should!

    My all-time favorite Christmas present has to be the last Christmas toy present I got. Do you remember how as a kid you would get all excited about one thing, ask your parents for the one thing, hope you’d get it for Christmas (or Hanukkah) and squeal in delight when you did? When I was 10, that present was this stuffed bear I saw at Macy’s while my parents were shopping for other presents. I kept going back to the shelf where he was on display and kept touching him. That bear was THE toy I wanted that Christmas.

    I asked Dad if it was possible if I could just get the bear for Christmas, and he said he’d think about it. Little did I know, Dad snuck behind my back and got the bearto purchase and wrap that day. That Christmas, there was an untagged box under the tree, and Mom said that it was a present for me – and there was the bear! According to the tag on his ear, his name was Cubbins and he was the last Christmas toy I ever got. After that, my sister and I still had happy Christmases, just no more toys anymore.

    Cubbins turned out to be one of my favorite stuffed animals ever. Not only did he go on grand adventures with the other stuffed toys my sister and I had, but he became a prop to distinguish my character in a high school musical, he was the only stuffed animal in my college dorm room and when I went to move in with my boyfriend-now-husband, he moved with me. As I write this, Cubbins is on my lap, comforting me as I suffer through this horrible cold. The leather on his nose has worn off and his fur may not be as fluffy as it was over 20 years ago, but he is a wonderful reminder of all the happy times I shared with him in my childhood, a memento on how much I have grown and how lucky I am to be loved by my family, then and now.

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      Lindsey December 18, 2011, 12:53 am

      Great story!

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    Visharoo December 18, 2011, 9:07 am

    I just opened my gift today from the hubster- he gave me a calender that has a template to make a small paper robot for each month! I know it doesn’t sound like much but I love it and it proves that he knows me so well 🙂

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    Lolabeans December 18, 2011, 5:49 pm

    Hmmm… Best gifts have been from my boyfriend, our first Christmas be bought me a Coach clutch. It’s insanely beautiful, I use it every day and still get compliments about it. Last year he bought me a professional kitchenaid stand mixer…and it was red!!!!!!! Sooooo happy. But the best isthe creative way he “gives” the gifts. 🙂

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  • Ophelia

    Meghan December 19, 2011, 10:57 am

    The worst gift I have ever seen was given by my best friend to her boyfriend. He has a tendency to get depressed in the Winter and had been complaining for a while that he was fat, that he was going bald, that everything sucked. So, being a dope and thinking she was giving him what he wanted (as he had said as much at different points during his malaise), she filled his stocking with dexatrim and rogaine. Which he opened in front of her family. She told me the story after the fact and still didn’t get why those wouldn’t be good gifts, because “He said he wanted those things!”. I, needless to say, found it hilarious. This was two years ago; I still think it’s the most ridiculous thing ever.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee December 19, 2011, 1:57 pm

    I’m a little late, but had to chime in. The worst gift I ever received was a jeweled mini-notebook and pen set, think something an eight year old girl would love- but I was 24! My now-husband’s aunt gave it to me two Christmases ago, right after she exclaimed ” God, I hope not!” when my mother-in-law talked about us getting engaged soon. Needless to say, my husband and I now laugh everytime we look at the wedding picture with his aunt and I in it, because you could clearly see me clenching my jaw shut trying my damn hardest to smile.

    The best gift I ever received was my dog! She is now 4 years old, still an insane puppy, and the (second) love of my life.

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    HelloJello December 19, 2011, 2:40 pm

    High School Musical Lip Balm… I was 26….

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  • Roxy_84

    Roxy84 December 19, 2011, 6:35 pm

    The best gift I ever got was the year before last, when my parents got me a sony e-reader, the year all the readers started hitting the market. It was so awesome because I didn’t even realize how much I needed one until I started using it. So easy to get books now! And now I can take 10 books on vacation easily. I’m a huge reader, but I had sort of mildly bought into the ‘it cant replace real books’ thing before I started using it. And while I’ll probably still buy the occasional physical book, this thing has revolutionized my reading. Wow I just got really worked up over that…side note, I totally thought of making digital books like 10 years ago. One of the computer companies had a laptop that they were calling an ibook or ebook, and I thought it was going to be what the e-readers turned out to be. I should have done something about that.

    The worst gift I ever got was when I was about 8, and there was a big package for me under the tree and I got so excited because big = something awesome. It turned out to be a suitcase, which, now, would be a great gift but at 8, not so much.

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    twiglet December 27, 2011, 8:03 pm

    best gift-boots perfect in every way from Mr Twiglet. Worst gift- STD from bad Ex, haha.

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