What are we getting people for Christmas this year?

DC1:  A set of trick decks for the stocking (DC1 is really into card and coin tricks),

DC2:  Spanish coloring book,  a set of 5 field notebooks and a wellspring flip note (DC2 is really into drawing and list making and notes)

BIL1:  Anti-hero, for the king, and into the breach.  I am told these are steam games.

SIL1:  Usually we get SIL books off her amazon list but this year we only got her Binti:  Home and instead got her the first Timestories game off her wish list because DH really enjoys Timestories.

nephew 1:  A meccano microid and a minecraft plush pig from his amazon wishlist.

niece 1:  We renewed her subscription to the Braille of the Month book club.  Apparently they’ve really been enjoying it.  (The nonprofit provides the books at less than cost, so we also gave them a donation– what a great program.)

BIL2:  We never know what to get for him, so we generally just give an amazon gift card.  This year is no exception.

SIL2:  She had a bunch of stuff for work, mostly craft paper, on her amazon wishlist, so we got that.

nephew 2:  He’s easy to shop for because he’s a similar age to our DC2 and has similar interests, so we got more Magic Treehouse books (our DC2 is not a fan, but our DC1 was, and they were a big hit last year), bad kitty books, and a book of facts that DC2 really enjoyed.

niece 2:  She’s a bit harder because we have to remember what we gave nephew 2 at that age (not to be confused what we gave the other niece and nephew).  Generally we make a list and then ask SIL2 if there are duplicates.  This year we got Go Dog Go, Put me in the Zoo, Big Dog Little Dog,  Sneeches, Green Eggs and Ham, and one fish two fish.

MIL:  Life has gotten easier since she got a wish list!  We got her the Michelle Obama memoir and a non-crisping ninja foodi (so.. basically an instapot?) that is backordered on amazon and may not get there until after January.

FIL:  An instant food thermometer and a gift certificate to Cabela’s.

Sister:  She’s been doing a lot more cooking lately and asked for a bread book, so we got her DH’s current go-do– Bread by Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno.  I would call this a recipe book for the advanced beginner.  It has a lot of really good information (with pictures) about different types of bread, ingredients, and multiple techniques before it gets into the recipes.  It’s not a coffee table book with rich histories like Home Baking, nor is it a trendy artisan bread in 5 min a day, but we learned a lot of techniques from it and it’s got a lot of variety and almost all the recipes we’ve tried have been excellent.  (Exception:  DH notes on the soft pretzel recipe:  THESE ARE NOT PRETZELS, need baking soda.)  We don’t know what else to get her– she has said she will think about what she wants.

Mother:  The local bookstore in her town went out of business, so I guess it is back to Amazon gift cards.

Father:  I’ve given up here.

For #2 I got her a bunch of excellent books off her wish list including three for kindle that I sent her right away because Amazon sucks for gift giving via kindle (stuff stays on the wish list so you might end up with two people buying you the same thing).  I got her Deception by Amanda Quick, KJ Charles’ retelling of the Prisoner of Zenda, and Band Sinister.  The other stuff is still a secret.


#2 says:  This year, as with most years, it’s an Icelandic-style bookflood for me.  Though I still have to figure out what to get for DH.

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

  1. Zenmoo Says:

    I generally buy books for my parents & one of my aunts. For my SIL (who I drew in our family Santa) I’m going to see what I can find in the way of beautiful useful things at our local arts centre markets. For the 10 nieces & nephews aged 14 to 8 months, it will be a book plus either PJs or a T-shirt. Because I am absolutely that aunt who gives everyone a variation on a theme.

  2. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    I make photo books for the grandparents (though I, uh, didn’t last year, so I’m a bit behind). I knit socks for my mom every year, and I got the spouse and me batteries for the hand tools. The kids get small stuff- a watch, a make your own erasers kit, fun nightlights, a small pack of candy, maybe a book or a shirt. My in laws always go overboard with the presents so we try to keep it reasonable.

  3. Steph Says:

    I always buy books for my cousins, but this year I’m having a hard time deciding what to get them. There are 4 boys 15-18 and 3 girls 18-22 (plus two non-readers who get photo/coffee-table books). The boys are the hardest, because they’re not quite old enough for most of the books I read this year, and I’ve already given them a lot of the YA I read at their age. Probably at least one of them will get Binti…recommendations welcome!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch books are great for both boys and girls.
      Someone should get Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho.

      Can you tell us more about what types of recommendations you’re looking for, or more specifics?

      • Steph Says:

        I’ll definitely check out Akata Witch (I’ve heard good things but hadn’t gotten to it yet), and Sorcerer to the Crown looks fabulous – one of the college girls will love it.

        For specifics it’s really for the boys – I try to give them SFF books that star girls and/or POC. They can either be definite YA or just regular SFF without sex. Last year, the Tiffany Aching books, Legend of Earthsea, and Wrinkle in Time were met with immediate excitement, but I don’t know if they actually read them. They all like to read, so length isn’t an issue.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Akata witch is sex-free. :)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        (edited to add links)

        Ok. Suggestions [I can’t remember any of these having a lot of sex but that doesn’t mean it’s not there; but some are YA] [Also, some have a lot of violence; is that better or worse than sex?] [Anyway, they’re all great]:

        Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
        Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
        All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
        Zoo City by Lauren Beukes
        Fledgling by Octavia Butler
        Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (I can’t stop recommending this)
        everything ever written by N.K. Jemisin, ever
        Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

        (limited to text only, because including graphic novels got too long)

      • Steph Says:

        That’s a great list, thanks! I did give The Fifth Season to one of the girls last year and it might work for the 18yo boy. In this case it’s not as much about general mature content – I just feel weird handing books with sex to my high school cousins, even if they could probably handle it fine

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Speaking of graphic novels—squirrel girl cannot be beat. Here’s volume 2. Everyone in our house loves it from my DC2 (age 6) to my DH.

        I’m pretty sure zoo city had sex…(also the heroine is not very likeable IMO)

  4. chacha1 Says:

    I ain’t getting nothing for nobody, except for my sisters. I’ll find something on their wishlists for them. :-) The husband is getting treated to a New Year’s Eve dance event, and he’s the only essential.

  5. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    #2 here. I am somewhat amazed at how #1 is done already. I just had a long videoconference with my sister this weekend, trying to figure out what to get people. Some people are significantly more difficult than others. If my brother doesn’t tell me what he wants, he’s getting another book on intersectional feminism. (He admits this is fair.) He might even get one if he does.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #1: My SISTER still doesn’t know what she wants. But everyone else has learned to update their amazon wishlist right before thanksgiving so that I (and more importantly, so that my mother-in-law) can do the shopping on black Friday. I’ve already gotten the larger of my two gifts from her– a bunch of 2 cup Pyrex containers (off my wishlist). I assume she also got me the 2019 moleskin pocket calendar off my list given that she got me the 2018 one last year and the 2017 one the year before. Those are small so that’s the item I get to unwrap on Christmas day at their place.

      The nieces and nephews don’t really have updated amazon wishlists as much, but Thanksgiving is a really good time for DH to ask my SILs if their kids already have stuff off our list. DH also keeps a running iphone note whenever he gets an idea for Christmas gifts because this stresses him out a lot.

      I do have an update on my mom– she’s getting a starbucks gift card and a barnes and noble giftcard, though she has to drive 30 min to use the latter. She said Starbucks and either B&N or Half-Price books (also a 30 min drive) and I’d like B&N to stay in business given that it is *our* local bookstore.

  6. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    We’ve mostly given up on buying presents, because no one we would give to can think of anything they want. I’ll probably be buying my wife some opera tickets—she’ll tell me when she figures out which operas she wants to go to next year.

  7. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Last day to send letters for Georgia runoff. https://votefwd.org/district/GARUNOFF
    You can still probably send postcards for a couple/few days. https://postcardstovoters.org

  8. revanchegs Says:

    Ooooh I was eyeballing those field notebooks! I might get a pack to put in my purse for whenever we’re out and about and ze needs something to occupy zir.

    Binti is a fantastic book.

    I’ve been trying to figure out a decent wish list and have been mildly annoyed at people pushing us to pick luxury items. You write your wish list, I’ll write mine.

    It would just all be books if I had the space but we can’t fit any more in here until I clear up a lot more space – I don’t want to ask for claustrophobia for Christmas.

  9. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    We have been informed that the meccano microid is a Toy that Makes Noise. (But the kids love using it, apparently.)

  10. Books I’m getting people | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] post is a follow-up to our earlier post about what we were getting people… I wasn’t done shopping […]

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