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January 07, 2010


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Since It's really just me, I got a pack of 12 blueberry muffins, a pack of razors, lotion & laundry detergent.

I was satisfied with everything but the razors [cheap brand].

My Wife- Gift cards to Nordstom, Kohls, Chic-fil-A
Me- New IPOD Nano with the radio built in
My 6 mo. old son- Lots of wrapping paper to play with.

Pretty fun Christmas. This year, we recalled a line from Dave Ramsey saying that Christmas happens every year at the same time so you have no excuse not saving or planning for it. We put some money aside before my wife quit her job to stay home and it was nice knowing we had the money waiting.

My husband - Keyboard and piano bench from me (he mentioned that he wanted to learn to play). He was so surprised and has already learned a few beginner's songs. He also received a bunch of high quality kitchen supplies from his family (he's the cook in our family). I'll total his cash and gift cards and my cash and gift cards below since we bunched them together immediately.

Me - My husband took me out for Italian and to feed the ducks at a pond nearby...a me day since he doesn't like Italian much and picnics aren't his thing either. It was very sweet and I loved it, especially since he seemed to have a great time too. We laughed alot as he got mobbed by the quackers. My parents gave me an amazing jewelry's gorgeous and mirrored, matches our bedroom set, and is HUGE. They also put together a package of all my favorite books when I was a kid and the ones I read to my little sisters...a big box of really great memories! His parents got me a cute pug figurine...the pug is wearing painters clothes...very cute. His family also gave us a bunch of cash and gift cards which we always welcome!

Together we received about $600 in cash ($460 just from his paternal grandparents) and $200 in giftcards (all of which were perfect for us).

Everybody liked the gifts we got them as well...especially his paternal grandma. She doesn't get out much anymore and they don't have a computer. We (I) set her up a Yahoo mail account and got her a Netflix membership. She LOVES it! It's been less than two weeks, and she already has called me and got a list of more than 75 movies lined up and is on her third batch of three.

His mom loved the flip flop pillow I tracked down (her hobby/collection is flip flops) and we gave his dad a Discover gift card since he said he wanted options. We also gave his maternal grandpa two huge tins of his favorite cookies since he usually doesn't buy them for himself but always talks about needing some more.

My youngest sister loved the detailed zebra fish bowl I got her for her Beta. My other younger sister loved the UT paraphenelia since she's a freshman and her friends were pushing her to get more UT stuff. I bought my mother a set of my current favorite book series...I don't know if she's read them yet, but we love the same books usually. We also got her a bicycle storage pouch. We gave my dad (step-dad) a really funny gag gift (a HUGE universal remote control with GIANT buttons) since he just retired. I also got him some bicycle supplies he wanted. My parents have started bicycling 5-10 miles a day (sometimes a 40 mile round trip in one day to my aunt and uncle), so the supplies were what they wanted. Everyone was really happy.

Overall, it was definitely a consumer Christmas with tons of great time with family! I think this had to be one of my favorites since everybody had such a great time!

I got Bath, body, and makeup stuff from Sephora... world's largest gummy bear (it's impressive)... a Snuggie... a couple of necklaces... an electric fireplace (it's really cute!)... chocolate... a whack of other stuff...

My wife: remote car starter that she's been asking for the last few years.
Me: new 24" monitor for my desktop computer - so i now have dual screens!

While both those gifts sound pretty expensive, they actually weren't. We asked others in our family for gift cards and cash to help pay for those items. So they ended up being pretty reasonable.

XoXo, are you going to attempt to eat the gummy bear or put it on display? I only ask because it made me pause and then it made me think "yum". :-)

Oh, and how is the Snuggie? I saw mixed reviews online and held off, but I think it would be great...

We cut back this year, but we still felt like we got plenty. We're big readers, so gift cards for bookstores are always in evidence at Christmas. My husband and I enjoy trying new wine, so we usually pick out several bottles for each other and then share. We like giving each other gourmet snacks or chocolate that we normally wouldn't buy for ourselves. The most expensive single gift was the Sony MP3 player I bought for my husband and that was less than $100.

I got a bunch of crap I don't need, a subscription to the Baltimore Sun, and the Wii Fit and exercise equipment I asked for.

Santa bought us a Wii and games (we have a 10 year old) and this has been getting good use.

My daughter also made out with craft kits, a jewelry box, toys and cash.

My spouse got some loungewear, a charging station, and a replacement baseball cap for one he lost at Seaworld.

I got a CD and DVD I wanted, and a board game.

I got some Sherlock Holmes books and DVDs and a book about JP Morgan and his financial dynasty. Love the presents!

FMF - Glad to see you have the PS3 and hope you are enjoying some Blu-Ray's on it!

For me, I recieved the "one size fits all" gift of cash.

Tons (!) of sweet and very awesome stuff from my BF! Including an axe with a heart with our initials on the handle (swoon!). So nice--he'd seen me struggling with the too-big firewood pieces that I'd gotten delivered last fall. He also got me 2 college courses on CDs, earrings, a scarf, chocolate, a DVD of a romantic movie, more chocolate, ball-point pens, and many other gorgeous things that he knows I like. I got him X-country skiis and related gear, and an orchid plant (he's a plant nut and he'd been renting ski gear when we went skiing together).

My kids got a robot and star wars legos (boy), and an american girl doll, a stamp set, and a rubik's cube (girl). Also, PJs, fuzzy socks, and lots of books (but of course they complained, "Mom, you would have gotten those for us anyway!" which is perfectly true).

Frustratingly, none of us can do the rubik's cube--even though it came with instructions! (I couldn't do it back in the 1980's either when it first came out). Advice, anyone?

MC --

Send it to me and I'll give it to my daughter. She'll have it done in no time at all. ;-)

Sorry MC, the rubik's cube is a life-long nemesis...I prefered those little number puzzles with the numbers that slide around and can be arranged 1 through 9.

How old is your daughter and are you saying she can actually solve the thing? I gave up long ago!

Small gifts from family members: Blu-ray movie and funny t-shirt from my wife, a Beatles book I didn't have from one in-law (if I'm a fan about anything - it's the Beatles), a copy of Lego Rock Band from another and an assortment of stocking stuffers - bits of chocolate, some socks, etc. Mainly, Christmas was six HUGE meals with the whole family over a two day period (my wife has really got the "cooking bug" these days and wanted to go all-out this year) where we played games, watched movies and took little field trips to interesting places I've discovered locally. Not much consumerism at all (we never really have, come to think of it), but lots of good cheer.

Barbara --

She's 11 and yes, she can solve it. I can't. ;-)

Actually, I've yet to receive my Christmas presents :-)

Wanted to get a new GPS for hiking but the one we were looking for isn't available till mid this month so have to wait.

The other gift I asked for from the wife was kite surfing lessons- it really looks like fun. I guess I'll be able to do this in a few months!


Ugh, England? Really? Email me your address and I'll send you an Irish shirt :)

I got a resubscription to my home town newspaper, some books, several fantastic meals and the promise of a puppy in April.

guinness416 --

It could be worse. I could have gotten a French shirt. ;-)

Lol.. yea, those French. Don't know the meaning of fair play!

j/k :)

ps - I like the new blog header.

J in FL --

You get the prize for noticing first! Post on Monday about it.

One word - Tiffany! Thanks to my fabulous BF. A man can NEVER go wrong with the little blue box.

We did a family vacation for Christmas this year. My wife's parents took our family and my wife's brother and sister's families to Florida and on a Caribbean cruise. This was a special one-time only deal, and we had a great time.

Ah, blatant materialism! ;) What fun! We too saved for Christmas and enjoyed spending our savings. I got a pair of new Dansko clogs and the Dance Dance Revolution game I've been wanting from my husband, and some clothes and knitting-related goodies from family members. My husband had no "big" item this year, so from us and all our family, he got a ton of things from his Amazon wish list - a dozen books, some tools, and various kinds of sausage. He is a teacher, and his class gave us a gift card to a nice restaurant where we went for New Year's Eve, which was a real treat. My 8-year-old daughter got a marble track, Legos, books, several Wii games that got tons of use over the break, and some Breyer horses for her collection, plus American Girl goodies from her grandmas.

I made quite a few gifts, and we gave a lot of books. It was a treat to make nice gifts for my grandparents (an afghan and a lap pillow that holds a book to give hands relief) since they are reaching the age when every holiday has them saying "You never know how many more holidays we have together ..." :(

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