What are we getting for people this year?

My sister said she wanted a chef’s knife and a paring knife, so after some conversation, we got her a santoku (Shun), a paring knife, and an electric knife sharpenerThis post of ours really helped me!  I don’t know what DC1 is going to give her this year, but DC2 has been working really hard on a 4 plate pixel hobby with 8 ballet dancers on it (DC1 gave my sister a pixel hobby with a pair of ballet slippers on it at about the same age).

Sadly, the bookstore in my mom’s town just went out of business (as did the Barnes and Noble a few years back), so either I get her a giftcard to someplace half an hour or more away, or she gets an Amazon giftcard.  Aha!  I realized that she’ll be staying at my sister’s around Christmas, so I can get her a card she can use at the half price books near my sister’s place.

For everyone else it has been harder!

MIL:  She started an amazon list this year!  Woooo!  When DH found that out (on the phone on Thanksgiving while trying to pump her for any hint of what she could possibly want) his stress level visibly dropped 75%.  We popped through and got a bunch of “Nanarelated merch (I guess replacing her previous Green Bay Packers theme?) as well as a number of hard-boiled mystery novels.  (My mom runs more towards cozy mysteries, DH’s prefers the tougher stuff.)

FIL:  Now that FIL is retired, he’s spending more time hunting.  Plus he’s making sure there’s plenty of game on the plot of land he inherited from his parents.   So in addition to the Cabela’s giftcard we usually send him, we’re also sending a highly rated game cookbook.

BIL1:  DH is waiting for a game to go on sale so he can get a copy for his brother and his cousin both.  (I assume we’ll also be sending a check to the cousin, but I don’t know for how much yet.)

SIL1:  It is always a pleasure to shop for SIL1 because she has an up-to-date amazon wish list!  And she puts cool things on it!  And she has great taste in books!  This year I’m adding the Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal and KJ Charles’ regency series.

Cousins 1 and 2:  The younger has been learning braille, so we got her a subscription to the children’s braille book of the month club.  (It is pretty heavily subsidized, so we added on a donation.  What a great program.)  This is the first time we’ve known what to get hir!  For the older we’re getting the dragonbox complete math pack and big numbers which is too new to be in their complete math pack.  (Usually we also buy books for their oldest, but he’s already got most of what our DC1 likes.)

BIL2 and SIL2: This one was hard this year.  The past few years there’s been a good excuse to just write a check (a new house purchase, saving for a house, babies, paying off wedding debt, etc.) but this year none of that has been recent or immediate.  When DH tried to pump SIL2 for information on the phone, she was non-committal and said she’d update her amazon wishlist, which she always says and rarely does.  DH suggested not exchanging gifts among the adults with her nuclear family, but apparently she demurred.  I wish he’d just asked her straight up about checks vs. giftcards, but he didn’t.  We do have a bunch of $5 off amazon luxury beauty products and she does have a $20 foundation from 2014 on her list– we could get her that and the pair of $14 earrings from 2014 but that’s literally all that is on her list right now, other than a bunch of size 0-3 month onesies and diapers that will probably not fit either her rising 3 year old or her 5 year old.  [Update:  We got her the foundation and the earrings, and then a little over a week later she actually did update her list so we got her one of the books on teaching she wanted and now we are 100% done with holiday shopping other than that one game that DH is taking care of and stocking stuffers.  Yay.]

Cousins 3 and 4:  SIL did ok us buying books again for her kids (given how many toys everyone gets from the grandparents).  For the older one (about the same age as our DC2), we got Magic Treehouse and Magic School Bus books and the Magic School Bus chemistry kit.  For the younger one, ladybug girl, the Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, Elephant and Piggie books, and Beautiful Oops.

For someone who likes art and lives in Milwaukee

What are you getting for peeps this year?

28 Responses to “What are we getting for people this year?”

  1. SP Says:

    My sister took care of the parents by suggesting expensive things we could “go in on” together – yay! That would be a Nest thermostat and a Roomba. I do have to think of some smaller stuff for them so they have a few little things to open. My little sister requested target gift cards so they can pick out a TV. Again, I probably should get her some small fun stuff I got my older sister several kitchen items from her list, her husband gets a long extension cord from his list, my niece got a giant pink reading pillow and unicorn lamp, and my nephew got a Clue game and a book. We do the amazon wish list thing too, which takes the stress away for me.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I’m hoping that the mass quantities of gifts for the kids will be smaller since they’ll be getting the present of Disney World this summer.

      DH and I don’t tend to do the “small fun stuff” (other than literal stocking stuffers for the kids so they don’t end up with an insane amount of candy), though my inlaws do. They’re already sent me some candy I can’t have because I have a temporary crown that they don’t know about. (DH is going to take care of it for me.)

      Amazon wishlists are the BEST.

  2. SP Says:

    Also, there is some hope: http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/10/politics/susan-collins-tax-reform-vote/index.html

    Although, it is probably mostly political grandstanding, at least she might fight the crazy stuff in the House Bill.

    Also, this is odd (won’t affect me, but odd): http://www.cnn.com/2017/12/10/politics/susan-collins-tax-reform-vote/index.html Under the passed senate bill those making between 300k and 750k would pay the AMT with just the standard deduction.

  3. Leah Says:

    My favorite gift I gave this year: Lands End tote bags with a zip top. I picked out colors my SIL and MIL would like and had their last names embroidered on the bag. I have two (now three because I got another one for me due to the insane sales when I ordered theirs), and I use them all the darn time. I’ve got one that just has all our swimming stuff in it all the time, so it’s super easy to grab and go in the summer.

    They were so appreciative, and I normally find them both hard to buy for. My in-laws are hard in general because they thank me in the moment and then never mention gifts again. Hoping I’ll be able to see them using their awesome bags, because they gushed about them.

    I also got my FIL an original piece of art from etsy of a tent at a camp site in the mountains (like a camping trip I took once with him and my husband). Surprisingly inexpensive!

    We got Penzey’s spices for the rest of the in-laws. Always a hit. And, bonus that we are supporting a progressive company (and a tiny secret little jab at my more conservative inlaws, but they don’t know and I feel a little guilty about it). Oh, and our nieces and nephew all got books I liked when I was their age. Interstellar Pig; Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe; and Wrinkle in time for the 11 year old. Misty of Chincoteague, Ramona Quimby, and one newer pioneer girl one for the 9 year old. Two Elephant & Piggie and Zoey & the Dragon for the 5 year old (Zoey and the Dragon looks cool — picked one up for my gal when she’s ready for early chapter books).

    For my family, we’re doing unlimited ride wristbands at the Mall of America for my brothers along with charity donations. Still trying to figure out my SIL. Buying my dad some new pans for his cottage — he asked for these. I’ve got one (the fancy copper inside “seen on TV” ones), and they are so awesome. So it’s a gift that will help him and help me when I visit.

    My kids are getting books, clothes . . . maybe a toy each. Honestly, they have so many. My dad is getting our oldest a kitchen, and my MIL got her a dish set and a pot and pan set, so I’m getting her some felt food from ikea. I think that’s all we’ll do. Oh, and I’m getting her some “Christmas raspberries” (Haribo raspberry candy) because I ate all the ones that came in my stocking and she wanted me to share. That’s all she asked Santa for, so I figure that’s not a big deal. For our little dude who’s under a year, he’s getting an indestructible book from us, and his sister picked out another book from him, and that’s it.

    • Leah Says:

      oh, I forgot my husband! He’s hard because he has a birthday soon plus Christmas, and I have to suggest stuff to my family and now get presents for him from the kids for both Christmas and birthday. He’s getting some etsy original art too, coffee, new work gloves, and likely some fancy socks. Still figuring him out.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I can’t get things for my DH at all, he’s too impossible to shop for. So he just gets 10x his allowance to buy what he wants (I swear he gets more pleasure from shopping than from actually having the item).

      • Leah Says:

        For DH, if you want something, has he ever tried Darn Tough socks? They’re pricey but so amazing.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        He is extremely particular about his socks (they have to be thin, but not too thin, also they all need to match each other for easier folding) and prefers to pick them out himself. He prefers to pick everything out himself—all the joy is from shopping and none of it is from owning.

      • Leah Says:

        wow, that is tough! Tho perhaps also nice if you can put him to work comparison shopping everything. My husband and I both hate to comparison shop. I definitely satisfice, and I only research a bit to make sure I’m sort of covering my bases.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yeah, he likes to comparison shop. But it’s ok, he gets 10x his weekly allowance at Christmas and his birthday. He bought himself a really nice microphone for himself (and some games) for Christmas this year.

    • Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

      The always filled swim tote is genius. I’m doing that with my work stuff but we’re going to be in swim season soon and that would be fantastic not to have to think about getting ready for that.

      • Leah Says:

        Do it! Here’s the link: https://www.landsend.com/products/natural-canvas-tote-collection/id_299717

        Key is ZIP TOP for the tote so you don’t drop stuff everywhere. And I zip at the pool — people who might grab something off the top don’t usually have the guts to unzip your tote and root through, so I stick my phone way at the bottom. I keep sunscreen, goggles, suits, and towels in there. Plus a wet bag for the wet swimsuits. When we get home, I hang everything up (or wash if it’s been awhile). Once things are dry, they immediately go back into the bag for storage.

      • Leah Says:

        I should add that we have a large zip-top, which is big enough for three beach towels and swimsuits. We’ll see what we do next summer and if I can cram a fourth towel in or have to upgrade to an extra large bag. We also have nice Land’s End beach towels that are good and substantial. Totally worth having a good towel post-swim.

  4. becca Says:

    I got Carebear the Very Romantic gift of a deep-chest freezer. This is
    1) an investment in our relationship, since he hogs the regular freezer and it bugs me
    2) maybe a long-run thrifty choice? It’ll take a long time to pay off.
    Also, I am a mostly vegetable person and Carebear is a Meat Lover. I am planning on filling the freezer with 12 kinds of meat (yes 12 days of Christmas theme- though no cannibalism, so I welcome creative interpretations for ladies dancing). If any Grumpeteers who are meat people want to make suggestions it would be very welcome!

    My kids are getting books (Btw, what is an “indestructible book”? most of our board books are looking the worse for wear after 2 kids). Still debating if I want to get the elder a tablet (he had one before, and currently has an old touch-screen laptop).

    For my birthday, I am doing a FB fundraiser for the ACLU.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #1 is a good reason! I’m not convinced about #2 unless you like buy a cow share instead of the high priced individual pieces you normally buy (or you freeze your own raspberries that you would normally buy organic in pints). But it could increase your quality of life.

      The indestructible book is an actual thing (I can add a link when leechblock goes off)– they’re a vinyl (but not actually vinyl) like cloth that cannot be torn. IIRC. I don’t have any myself but we’ve seen them at friends’ houses.

      I like elk and venison! But they’re hard to get around here without knowing a hunter.

      Yay ACLU!!!

    • chacha1 Says:

      how about smoked turkey legs for “ladies dancing”? LOL

  5. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I am a little confused by the exchanging of money as gifts between adults. What do they give you when you give them checks or gift cards? Because I feel like we basically do the same thing a lot and it’s weird.

    JB is trying to get into the Magic Treehouse books already that were gifted when ze was born but I think it’s just because the covers seem tantalizing. We’re supposed to be focusing on Elephant and Piggie books, instead.

    I’m giving PiC the gift of 100 shares of dividend bearing stocks for our portfolio and he gave me some fuzzy slippers early so my feet aren’t perpetually freezing in this house.

    We usually get JB a book or two, and this year PiC wants to go the puzzle route, so we’ll probably do that instead. I think ze is the last one who hasn’t gotten anything from us yet but I’m not going to stress about it.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      One of my friends said that after a few years of exchanging gift cards, she and her immediate family decided to stop exchanging gifts at the holidays. I remember my mom used to get a check from my grandma each Christmas that she would never ever cash. I’m not sure what she gave in exchange.

      Re: the cousin that DH gives a check to. We don’t get anything in return (one year, they sent homemade fudge, but then had a financial emergency right after and we were like, why did you spend so much on shipping?)

      DC2 isn’t as into The Magic Treehouse as DC1 was. Elephant and Piggie are awesome.

    • chacha1 Says:

      My DH can be relied on to give me an Amazon gift card. I almost always spend it on Kindle books that I’ve put on my wishlist but not bought yet (I generally wait till they go on sale because … I buy a lot of books). This year I’m getting him a gift card for Dick’s Sporting Goods since we finally live near a store and he is close to being able to properly set up the home office/home gym. Have to come up with a creative way to package it for his stocking.

  6. Solitary Diner Says:

    I only have to buy my nieces and my mom gifts this year. For my nieces, I bought them a craft book by one of my favourite bloggers (https://www.amazon.com/Stitch-Camp-Projects-All-Time-Embroider/dp/1612127509), and I’m going to get them gift certificates to a craft supply store. For my mom, I always get her season’s tickets to the theatre, but I’ll try to get her something physical to open on the day as well (no idea what that will be).

  7. chacha1 Says:

    I don’t actually buy “presents” for anyone but my husband and my sisters. Sis & her wife have Amazon wishlists and husband … well, I know what he wants. :-) This year he is getting a gift card for Dick’s Sporting Goods (mentioned above) and beyond that I have to ponder. We have spent a carload of money this year renovating and moving-in and dressing up our new old (rental) house.

    And speaking of wishlists, I had better look at those and get that shopping done!

  8. Leigh Says:

    We made wedding photo albums for each of our parents! The one for my in-laws arrived already and it is delightful! SIL1 is getting a Sephora gift card; unsure about SIL2. (My husband is more of a last minute shopper and he’s in charge of Christmas presents for his family.)

    My sibling and I agreed to not exchange Christmas presents, which sure simplified things. My parents gave us cash. My husband and I agreed to not exchange presents, preferring to do something else with the money. His friend said that my husband got off easy not having to get me anything.


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