Author Topic: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all  (Read 6839 times)

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Vall

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #45 on: December 02, 2012, 12:59:41 PM »
My DH is a serious gardener and has requested a garden item or book, among other things. This is not as easy as it may sound because I know little about gardening and he knows so much. He already has many gardening books and tools. I don't even know what he has. I imagine this is a problem for anyone trying to buy something for the serious hobbyist. They either have it already or they don't want it. I think my best bet is to get a recently published book.  Any ideas?
I love to garden too.  Dave's Garden is the largest on-line community for gardeners and their forums are open only for paid subscribers (I think it's under $20).  I think it's worth the money.
Their website has a free database with reviews of books.  http://davesgarden.com/products/gbw/

As a gardener, there are many things that are on my want list.  A small greenhouse.  An arbor that I could grow roses on.  For small spaces, a downspout trellis would work well.  http://www.leevalley.com/us/garden/page.aspx?c=&p=10442&cat=2,33286&ap=1

A water feature (pond, fountain, etc).  A digital weather station.  Gift certificates to my favorite gardening stores (local and/or on-line).  Shelves and lights for seed-starting--bonus points if it came with a gift certificate for a seed catalog.  Premium pruners (in my family, a gift of Felcos is a gift of love).  I'd love to have a nice backpack sprayer.  The Atomist ones are very nice.

Plant markers are also nice and available in many price ranges.  My favorites are ones made of slate and carved for you.  The price isn't too bad if you don't have too many different varieties of plants.  http://www.mystoneworks.com/stoneworksblackslate.html

There are also computer programs that help with landscaping and dreaming/planning about new garden ideas.

demarco

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #46 on: December 02, 2012, 03:39:38 PM »
Thanks, Vall.  These are great ideas. 

Firecat

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #47 on: December 02, 2012, 06:47:25 PM »
It depends a little on what type of gardening he does. Vegetables, flowers, herbs? Organic methods or conventional methods? Depending on where you are, would he be interested in something like a rain garden or a butterfly garden? If vegetables or herbs, maybe a book or class on preserving/using the produce? Something on edible flowers if he grows flowers?

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #48 on: December 03, 2012, 11:12:30 AM »
My quandaries for the year are my recently widowered grandfather and my 17yo male cousin. I normally don’t get the latter anything, but since my aunt always gets presents for us, and she’s hosting this year, I feel like I should. I don’t know if he has iDevices or any particular game systems.

As for grandpa, normally I’d get him and my grandma a gift card to eat out, but I was talking with my dad the other day and it sounds like the restaurant ones have become a bit of a joke (he’d get grandpa and grandma one too, they’d give him one, and since they live together, they’d often end up just treating each other…).

He used to hunt, fish, and have a hobby race car, but I don’t know if he does all that anymore due to time and health (well, I know he sold the car, ’cause my dad couldn’t drive it anymore). I don’t know much about his taste in movies or books. My go-to would be food, but he’s diabetic and I don’t know much about what is verboten or not (a box of sugar-free chocolates is another cliche we’ve given him and grandma for years).

Any suggestions?

Firecat

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #49 on: December 03, 2012, 01:13:39 PM »
My quandaries for the year are my recently widowered grandfather and my 17yo male cousin. I normally don’t get the latter anything, but since my aunt always gets presents for us, and she’s hosting this year, I feel like I should. I don’t know if he has iDevices or any particular game systems.

As for grandpa, normally I’d get him and my grandma a gift card to eat out, but I was talking with my dad the other day and it sounds like the restaurant ones have become a bit of a joke (he’d get grandpa and grandma one too, they’d give him one, and since they live together, they’d often end up just treating each other…).

He used to hunt, fish, and have a hobby race car, but I don’t know if he does all that anymore due to time and health (well, I know he sold the car, ’cause my dad couldn’t drive it anymore). I don’t know much about his taste in movies or books. My go-to would be food, but he’s diabetic and I don’t know much about what is verboten or not (a box of sugar-free chocolates is another cliche we’ve given him and grandma for years).

Any suggestions?

I used to give my grandfather a fruit basket. Or maybe something like fancy mixed nuts or cashews, something like that?

For your cousin, could you contact your aunt and ask for a couple of ideas? Otherwise maybe movie passes if you know what theaters are available near where he lives?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #50 on: December 03, 2012, 01:54:44 PM »
For the gardener, how about a garden planning book?  It has graph paper so you can plan out next year's garden and they usually allow you to run for at least 5 years so you can keep track and rotate the crops that need to be.  For example, tomatoes shouldn't be planted in the same spot for more than a couple of years to prevent pests.

Failing that, any gardener would drop down and kiss your feet if you gave them a Lee Valley gift card.   ;D
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

jpcher

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #51 on: December 03, 2012, 07:18:22 PM »
stitchygreyanonymouse -- I don't know what your budget is, but how about a "something of the month" club type of thing.

Here is Fruit of the Month:

https://www.security-shopping-cart.com/cart/fruit.html

Look at the left side menu there's also coffee, ties, movies, and a variety package along with gift-certificate so that Grandpa can choose whatever he likes.

Or maybe a build-it model of his hobby race car http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/rmx/rmx854217.htm for example.



For the 17 yr. old -- I like Firecat's suggestion of movie passes.

Peregrine

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #52 on: December 03, 2012, 07:56:54 PM »
My go-to would be food, but he’s diabetic and I don’t know much about what is verboten or not (a box of sugar-free chocolates is another cliche we’ve given him and grandma for years).

Any suggestions?

Have you thought about something like Hickory Farms or Omaha Steaks?  They tend to have more savory offerings that might be more suitable for a diabetic.  We got my diabetic father in law (and his hoarder wife) a gift certificate for Omaha Steaks one year and it was a real hit since it was a consumable gift that wasn't just more "stuff"

KenveeB

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #53 on: December 03, 2012, 08:44:26 PM »
My go-to would be food, but he’s diabetic and I don’t know much about what is verboten or not (a box of sugar-free chocolates is another cliche we’ve given him and grandma for years).

Any suggestions?

Have you thought about something like Hickory Farms or Omaha Steaks?  They tend to have more savory offerings that might be more suitable for a diabetic.  We got my diabetic father in law (and his hoarder wife) a gift certificate for Omaha Steaks one year and it was a real hit since it was a consumable gift that wasn't just more "stuff"

Every few years I buy Omaha Steaks for my brother. It's always a big hit.

Kaypeep

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #54 on: December 03, 2012, 09:16:34 PM »
An opinion please...

A few months ago my uncle asked if I could get him and his new wife free or discount tix to VERY EXPENSIVE SHOW through my job.  I said I would try, but as it's very popular AND expensive, I couldn't make any promises.

Well, the show is this week and turns out we do have some extra tix available, and my co-worker (who I have been hounding relentlessly since the summer saying "Hey, will there be any leftover tix for BIG EVENT?  Might you save me a pair if there are?") saved me two very excellent seats, valued at several hundred dollars a seat.  I am getting them for free, as the company doesn't want any empty seats at the event.

QUESTION: Can I make this my xmas gift to Uncle and his wife this year?  While they didn't cost me anything moneywise, I did have to "work" to get them, and will be giving my coworker a Starbucks gift card as a TY for saving me a pair.

Extra info if necessary:  I tend to only gift my uncle, usually a book, for xmas.  I do not gift new wife, I don't really care for new wife actually.  Uncle called to ask me for tix because new wife wanted to go see the show.  He's only going because of her, it's not a performer he would ever go see on his own.  I'd also like to stop doing gift exchange with uncle and just exchange cards, so I'm hoping this favor/gift could be a bridge to "no gifts" in the future.

Firecat

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #55 on: December 03, 2012, 11:45:32 PM »
An opinion please...

A few months ago my uncle asked if I could get him and his new wife free or discount tix to VERY EXPENSIVE SHOW through my job.  I said I would try, but as it's very popular AND expensive, I couldn't make any promises.

Well, the show is this week and turns out we do have some extra tix available, and my co-worker (who I have been hounding relentlessly since the summer saying "Hey, will there be any leftover tix for BIG EVENT?  Might you save me a pair if there are?") saved me two very excellent seats, valued at several hundred dollars a seat.  I am getting them for free, as the company doesn't want any empty seats at the event.

QUESTION: Can I make this my xmas gift to Uncle and his wife this year?  While they didn't cost me anything moneywise, I did have to "work" to get them, and will be giving my coworker a Starbucks gift card as a TY for saving me a pair.

Extra info if necessary:  I tend to only gift my uncle, usually a book, for xmas.  I do not gift new wife, I don't really care for new wife actually.  Uncle called to ask me for tix because new wife wanted to go see the show.  He's only going because of her, it's not a performer he would ever go see on his own.  I'd also like to stop doing gift exchange with uncle and just exchange cards, so I'm hoping this favor/gift could be a bridge to "no gifts" in the future.

The tickets still cost you time and effort, and they are an expensive item. So I think it would be fine to consider the tickets your gift to them, and a generous one at that.

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #56 on: December 04, 2012, 09:48:23 AM »
Have you thought about something like Hickory Farms or Omaha Steaks?  They tend to have more savory offerings that might be more suitable for a diabetic.  We got my diabetic father in law (and his hoarder wife) a gift certificate for Omaha Steaks one year and it was a real hit since it was a consumable gift that wasn't just more "stuff"
stitchygreyanonymouse -- I don't know what your budget is, but how about a "something of the month" club type of thing.

Here is Fruit of the Month:

https://www.security-shopping-cart.com/cart/fruit.html

Look at the left side menu there's also coffee, ties, movies, and a variety package along with gift-certificate so that Grandpa can choose whatever he likes.

For the 17 yr. old -- I like Firecat's suggestion of movie passes.
Ohh, those are great ideas. Thanks! I’ll look into it.

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #57 on: December 04, 2012, 09:51:57 AM »
For your cousin, could you contact your aunt and ask for a couple of ideas? Otherwise maybe movie passes if you know what theaters are available near where he lives?

I was trying to avoid Aunt, just in case money gets tight and I can’t end up getting the cousins something. But movie passes are a great idea and easy to come by (even though the big theater chain near him doesn’t exist within hundreds of miles of here, all the stores sell their gcs… go figure).

jpcher

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #58 on: December 08, 2012, 05:39:08 PM »
Okay. I decided to go with the 25 episode for the Carol Burnett show simply because I decided to get my mother a Nook. The cost difference between the 50 episode and the 25 episode came out to be the same with the Nook purchase.

My new quandary is for the DDs. I'm booking a surprise spa deal with a hotel overnight stay and it's turning into quite a headache, hopefully it will all work out in the end.

But I'm thinking that I should have something small like stocking stuffers or a simple gift for them to open on Christmas day.

Any suggestions?


Slartibartfast

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Re: Xmas gift quandaries . . . open to all
« Reply #59 on: December 12, 2012, 12:18:27 AM »
I've got my family all taken care of, but I have no idea what to do for some of DH's kin  :-\

SIL1: mid-forties but still acts like she's in her teens (as far as personal responsibility and rational choices goes).  She divorced The Convict, moved out of their apartment and into a pay-by-the-week place which cost three times what their previous rent did, and swore she'd never tell him where she moved so he couldn't find her.  Then he called her a few hundred times a day and she believed his apology and he moved back in with her (again).  SIL1 has no financial sense whatsoever and only is staying afloat because she has a good-paying job and MIL keeps bailing her out.  She does have a decent sense of style - her personal tastes run toward animal prints and the 1980s in general, but she has a way of making tacky stuff look good (in both clothing and decor).

Niece (SIL1's daughter): 20ish, lives with her other grandparents, raising a 3-year-old boy without the father in the picture and is doing a fairly decent job of it (or so I hear).  Works at a teen clothing shop at the mall.  She's always been a bit of the social-butterfly-cheerleader type, but has grown up a lot in the last few years and added a layer of responsibility which far outstrips SIL1.

Nephew (SIL1's son): 16(?), also lives with Niece and his other grandparents.  Average kid, average student, plays a lot of sports-related video games but plays no actual sports.  Doesn't have an opinion about anything.


I'm pretty sure I made SIL1 and Niece necklaces last year, which is my "I don't know what to give you" present, and I'm not a fan of gift cards.  (In part because DH and I are much better off than SIL1 is - through our own actions, mostly - and we choose to avoid dealing with the monetary value of anything as much as possible with her because it leads to resentment when she thinks we should have spent more.)  Anyone have any other ideas?  I'm thinking I might give Nephew some sort of food - three cases of Mountain Dew or something equally ridiculous - because I did the smarmy t-shirt thing last year.  I think I'm having the hardest time with gifts for this branch of the family because we have absolutely nothing in common - we never see them except for maybe once or twice a year when MIL and FIL take the whole clan out to lunch, and they only show up then for the free food.  It would be awkward not to get them anything, though (even though they rarely get anything for us) so I have to come up with something.