What are we getting people for Christmas?

It’s that time of year again…

For my sister I got a lipstick-sized USB battery and universal USB cable.  I’ve gotten these (but different brands) at two conferences and they are just so incredibly useful.  I don’t know why they don’t come as a combined set on amazon, but after some poking around I was able to pick out a cable that looks decent, although it has a couple more connectors than she probably actually needs.  The smaller sets of connectors got worse quality reviews with the iphone connector stopping working.  Also per her request, I got her the Hamilton cd.  DC1 made a glass sushi plate at camp this summer for her as well, and I assume DC2 will give her some art.  DC2 has been doing a lot of art lately.

We got my mom a kindle last year so this year I sent her the brothers sinister  box set, a steal at $10.  Even though there’s very little murder mystery in it, I think everybody enjoys the series.  Except the first novella (A governess affair) which, sadly, isn’t as good as the rest of the series.  And a $75 gift certificate to the regional bookstore chain in her area.

My father we are getting a fancy black cherry balsamic vinegar.

FIL:  $75 gift certificate to Cabela’s as per usual.  I suspect DH gets his joy of the shopping process from his dad.

MIL:  A picture frame engraved with the names of all six(!) grandchildren.  The last time she had professional group pictures done, there were only 4, though the fifth was on the way.  We will be getting a full family photo done when we visit this year.

BIL1:  DH picked out a video game to play, Titanfall 2, and picked it up at a holiday sale for $35.

SIL1:  SIL1 thankfully populates her amazon wishlist on a regular basis.  She seems to want to become a fiction writer, so I’m torn with getting her books about writing from her list vs. novels from her list.  Usually she’s got a bunch of novels on the list that I’ve already read and enjoyed so it’s easy to get her more, but this time around she seems to have gone heavy on Ilona Andrews and Patricia Briggs, so it’s not as tempting.  I’m tempted by this adorable electric tea kettle.  But I’m going to wait to see what other people buy and if she adds anything I find more interesting as the season progresses (update:  She added the first Incryptid novel!  So I got that and also Rat Queens Volume 1).

Since Tegu blocks were so popular with our kids last year, we’re getting a set for the cousins.  We’ll also be getting some A-Z mysteries for the older child and the princess cookbook for the younger (it has surprisingly good recipes).

SIL2 and BIL2:  They make the least amount of money of DH’s siblings and they just bought a house.  We’re guessing that the lack of amazon wishlist updating is a hint that they’d be happy with money.  (Even if they just spend the amount of the check on obligatory gift giving to us.)  We did send them a house-warming check after they bought the house just as we did when BIL1 and SIL1 bought their first house, because there’s always unanticipated expenses right after purchasing and got a nice thank you card back.

The IL2’s kids are a little more difficult.  I like getting them books, but there isn’t anything right now that my own DC2 is really into which is how we usually decide what to send their oldest (who is just a little younger).  Maybe some easy readers like Hot Dog and Cat Traps and Too many dogs.  These Tug the Pup books are pretty good for early readers too.  For the younger child it’s a bit more difficult because we already gave them a lot of board books with the first child and we can’t quite remember what.  So I think we already gave a bunch of Sandra Boyntons and Dear Zoo and Where is baby’s belly button.  I’ll have to think harder on this.  I wonder if we gave them chicka chicka boom boom

Despite DH’s relative getting a new job right away, we will probably send him a check, but for $50 instead of, say, $500 [update:  DH says $100].

Target gift-cards for all the daycare ladies at daycare, probably $20/each.  And I think a gift card for $50 to half-price books for the school.  Even if we’re retrenching otherwise, it’s still important to be generous to others.

What are you getting for people this year?

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33 Responses to “What are we getting people for Christmas?”

  1. Zenmoo Says:

    Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter is an excellent board book that my two year old loves

  2. Bardiac Says:

    Is the lipstick charger thing rechargeable itself? Because it looks helpful!

      • Contingent Cassandra Says:

        They’re very handy. I both own a couple (some have a flashlight beam as well, which can come in handy) and have given several as gifts, always to thanks.

        I didn’t know about universal USB cables. That may be a purchase for myself and for gifts.

  3. Leah Says:

    Books my two year old is into (if this is the range you’re looking at): Llama llama, The Global Baby books (a little young but the pictures are so good), Night Night Forest Friends, Hoot (owl counting book), Neil Gaiman’s Chu books, Curious George books, Corduroy books

    The last few would scale well to a 3-4 year old, I think. Our kid is very into reading. We have to cut her off at bedtime or else she’ll make us read for an hour, even if she’s exhausted.

  4. Leah Says:

    What we got my in-laws (still shopping for my family, but we do Christmas at Thanksgiving for the in-laws):

    – lots of Penzey’s spices, especially since Bill Penzey, the owner, has come out with several emails calling out racism and calling on people who voted for Trump to fight against his racism
    – every adult is getting a Penzey’s bag plus one extra thing in their interests, like a new pair of running socks, a new kitchen knife, an Oregon ducks jersey (for my BIL obsessed with them despite living in Fargo), ornament in a nerdy theme, etc
    – the three kids are all getting lego sets in their interests, and we also got a board game (Blokus) for our nephew (the oldest) since he loves playing it when we bring it down

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      The last issue of the Penzey’s catalog (which doubles as the best cooking magazine we’ve ever gotten) before the election literally brought tears to my DH’s eyes. It featured family recipes from immigrants. We love Penzey’s so much.

    • Contingent Cassandra Says:

      I need to update my spice selection anyway, and I love Penzey’s (but tend to get lazy and buy from the grocery store). This gives me added incentive to put in an order.

      • Leah Says:

        Yup, me too. Not anymore. We have a Penzey’s about 40 minutes away, and I’ll be finding the time to make the trek or order online. I am _so_impressed_ at his advocacy.

        If you read this, they really would like more likes on their facebook page. They’ve about doubled their likes since the email, even with people proclaiming they’ll boycott Penzey’s in the comment section. Also heartening is the number of people supporting and thanking Penzey’s in the comments and standing up to those angry about his email.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Today’s action item:
    http://my.elizabethwarren.com/page/s/trumpfeedback?source=20161122fb#.WDTFH3U8KEc

    Elizabeth Warren is asking that people fill out this form on her website with their biggest concerns about the Trump Administration.

    • chacha1 Says:

      I submitted this:

      “I am appalled by some of the choices, including Jeff Sessions and Steven Bannon, for Trump administration appointees. Our government should not be front-loaded with people who come right out and say that some people don’t deserve the same rights and protections as others.
      I am very worried about climate change and the environment. If the EPA is gutted, environmental regulations are relaxed, and resource-extraction companies are given the free hand they seem to have been promised, we could even lose our National Parks system.
      I am also extremely worried about the Trump administration appointing one or more Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Court is supposed to be a check on the other branches of government, not a rubber-stamp.
      Finally, I am very worried about the financial conflicts of interest inherent in the new administration. A first thing that I think our new Congress should do is ensure that the Trump family is not maintaining two residences at the expense of the American taxpayers; and the second thing is to ensure that the extended family is not being given improper access to government information and funds.”

    • Contingent Cassandra Says:

      Putting this on my own to-do list. I second all cha-chas concerns, and would add concern over treatment of refugees and immigrants (including undocumented immigrants — especially young adults with DACA status and adults who have an established record of being contributing members of communities and families in the U.S.) and members of religious, sexual, and/or racial/ethnic minorities.

    • crazy grad mama Says:

      Done! I decided to go the personal-fears route and talk about how I’m worried that I’ll lose access to the medical care I need to function if the ACA is repealed, how I’m worried that my husband will lose his job if Executive Order 13672 is revoked, and how I’m scared that the appointment of anti-Semitic white supremacists will encourage attacks on minority organizations including the Jewish daycare my son attends.

  6. delagar Says:

    I bought Dr. Skull a new pepper mill from Penzey’s — we’ve been needing one for literally years, since we lost the screw top on our old pepper mill, with the result that every month or so we spill little peppercorns everywhere. Also I bought him some of the expensive soda he likes, which we never buy, because $$$.

    I bought the kid lots of little things (these are Hanukkah presents, so that’s the way it’s supposed to be) like a new sketchbook, and Bourbon biscuits. Her big present (she always gets one big present) is going to be an upgrade on her phone — she’s had the minimum, the $29/month, but I’m going to upgrade her to $49/month, so that she can access data everywhere, not just where wifi is available.

  7. chacha1 Says:

    I truthfully have zero plans to buy anybody anything for Christmas. If DH gets motivated to decorate, he will put up our Christmas stockings, one fewer this year since we lost our little black cat. :-( I will then shop for small things, mostly consumables, to put in his stocking. But because of the ridiculousness at my job it appears I won’t get my review till Dec 7 and thus a lot of “I’d like to …” type stuff is simply on hold.

    If anybody wants to buy books for people, I would like to recommend the author Susan Gabriel. She is going through some personal shit (can’t give details without invading her privacy) and could use a boost. I haven’t personally read all her books but I did read her young-readers book “Quentin and the Cave Boy” and really liked it. susangabriel.com

  8. Ana Says:

    Book recs for little kids: Our kids LOVED the “food books” (I think they are called “world snacks“) by Amy Wilson Sanger. We still read them on occasion. Also the Little Pea/Little Oink/Little Hoot book set. Both of those were gift books we never would have found on our own. My kids also love “Dragons Love Tacos” and the Oliver Jeffers “Once there was a boy…” books.
    For early readers: Frog and Toad.
    I haven’t planned anything for anyone yet.

  9. Shelly Says:

    A more recently published book that my kids (2 and 4) love is Rosie Revere Engineer. The Little Blue Truck books are also a long lasting hit. (The Christmas one is the least engaging of the 4 published so far.). The older one also loves all three of the Shel Silverstein poem anthologies.

  10. delagar Says:

    Dav Pilkey’s Dragon books — Dragon’s Merry Christmas, Dragon’s Fat Cat, and so on — are wonderful for five to seven year olds. Also Cynthia Voigt’s Angus and Sadie, for seven to ten year olds. As long as we’re doing recs!

  11. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    Unfortunately since we didn’t get wish lists started early this year as originally discussed, it’ll have to wait until midway through December I’m guessing. Maybe we can avoid it entirely this year… (haha I can always hope!)

    I usually give PiC the gift of “I’m planning for our financial future and bought us more dividend stocks”, but there’s nothing I’m prepared to buy yet so it might be I-Bonds this year to diversify a little.

    JuggerBaby gets a pair of pajamas and book. The pajamas are already here because ze had a sudden growth spurt and needed something quickly. The book I haven’t decided on yet but we have been enjoying the Down at the Beach board book and the First Second nursery rhymes comic book an awful lot.

  12. accm Says:

    For the younger kid: The Gruffalo and other books by that team. They’re clever enough to give a few years of enjoyment.


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