Saturday, 9 December 2017

Gifts At Christmas


I've just wrapped a few Christmas gifts to be sent in the post
My " decorations" gifts were posted a while ago now , I've had a tradition for many years now of sending certain friends a large padded envelope full of assorted Christmas decorations.
It's just something I like doing.

The Prof knows one of the gifts I bought him as I have had to ensure that he booked the time off from work. It's a ticket to see Giselle at the Royal Opera House and unlike so many places now that insist that you print your ticket conformation on line, the official  tickets look plush, decorative and reassuringly expensive.
Having said thus..... one year I made him a desk tidy out of a decorated kitty Kat tin!

I always joke with the Prof by saying every gift I buy him is very very expensive, even when it isn't !

Years ago, I realised that a relationship that I was in wasn't going anywhere when I received a microwave oven as a Christmas gift. It was the equivalent of being given a petrol station bunch of carnations .
An ill thought out gift is worse than no gift at all in my book.
I bet that sounds ungrateful to some.
But I don't care.
It's the truth.

93 comments:

  1. You send people Christmas decorations? I have a friend who says he is going to give his fiancé an iron.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I have friends in Australia and Derbyshire that I send decorations to each year, every year.
      I have also sent a few choice decks to my mother in law for many years

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    2. I worked with a bloke a few years ago who bought his wife a set of saucepans for Christmas. He kept them hidden at the office until Christmas Eve. He couldn't understand it when I said I didn't think it was a very good idea for a Christmas present.

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    3. I have received sets of nice cookware for gifts before, and I loved it. But I like to cook, and good tools are invaluable. I realize that for someone who doesn't like it, pans would be a crap gift though.

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    4. Yes I get that Jennifer. But these could have been bought for her when she needed them for the household at any time.
      He was a wealthy man so not as if the cost was a big deal to him.

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    5. Perhaps he was supplying a chef as well?? ;-)

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  2. I think a microwave is a very tender gift. Like life, the wheel turns and sometimes it pings happily with love. Once I gave Shirley a wheelbarrow. I guess I am an incurable romantic.

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  3. I remember one time my father gave my mother a vacuum cleaner for her birthday, she was not pleased!!!!

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  4. My OH bought me a strimmer as a Birthday gift some years ago. First time I used it, it hit a stone which flew up and smashed a pane of glass in the conservatory window. It turned out to be a very expensive strimmer. A weekend in Paris would've been so much more affordable.

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  5. I agree with you on ill thought out gifts and have had some humdingers in my time. My ex gave me a classical cd and a foot scraper one year and the following year, exactly the same cd and foot scraper appeared! I think sending Christmas decorations as gifts is a lovely idea as there are so many beautiful ones out there.

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  6. A pair of his old pyjamas and the cheapest pair of earrings for pierced ears. I have never had my ears pierced. I'd bought him a gold neck chain. It wasn't the best gift exchange.

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  7. I don't want something for the home! I want a well thought out present or nothing. A microwave is for the home and everyone. Unless you say to everyone no you can't use my microwave it's my Christmas present. So unless you want to be told where to put your microwave don't buy me one.

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  8. What a lovely friend you are John. It's weird how you are permeating my life. I was shopping in Hong Kong this morning, husband said what are you looking at those miniature food things for, I replied "John's mother in laws dolls house" LOL

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    Replies
    1. :) I get that - I carry blogworld with me all day.

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  9. Well i can't say much... One year for Valentine's Day i received a microwave oven...lol But i was so happy to get it... We didn't have much money in those days of our marriage and we felt any money spent needed to be spent on something we needed.. On another note though.. i never liked receiving roses..... grabbing a dozen red roses just seemed ...' too easy ' and could be done without much thought....Instead i like that he knows my favorite flower is gladiolas and makes the effort to find them... I'm up early this morning John.. too early ... it sure was nice to see a post from you to read over my morning coffee... Hugs! deb

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  10. Totally agree with you on the gifts. I also give Xmas decks as gifts, my own creations.

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  11. I always feel a stab of discomfort when I recall an Xmas gift my mum gave me of a beige tie with black polka dots. When I opened it (in her presence) I laughed scornfully and put it aside, never wearing it because I didn't dare. It must have hurt her a lot and I never apologised. The memory of my careless sleight to her has followed me around for something like 50 years.

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    Replies
    1. Awwww raymondo

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    2. Like any Good Mother, she would have forgiven you that transgression in a heartbeat.

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    3. It had HURT her, N G-G, and that's what hurts me in turn the most, only to be compounded by my failure to say "Sorry".

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  12. thoughtless gifts are painful. i would rather receive nothing at all.

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  13. A few years ago my husband gave me 10 yards of mulch for my birthday. He also allowed me to spread it. He is still alive and we are still married but that is because I am a saint.

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  14. Someone once gave me an egg poacher for Christmas. Someone and I parted ways a long time ago. I never understood that gift.

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  15. At long last we have eradicated 'the grown ups' exchanging gifts. Thank goodness. The people closest to me seem to have no idea who I am. The hubs and I have purchased gifts for each other this year for the first time in many many years.....we each picked out what we wanted and I wrapped them both. I intend to be pleasantly surprised by my gift.

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  16. Anonymous1:48 pm

    Love the idea of decorations for Christmas.
    For Mother’s Day one year, I got a stepstool. My SIL got an iron. The other SIL got a vacuum. Needless to say, our spouses did not have a nice day.
    Debbie

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  17. At Christmas I'd find an orange, some peanuts and an apple in my sock. Later I found gold coins which I quickly discovered were good enough eat. The best present ever was racing bike. A Dawes Red Feather it was called. It wasn't new, which was just as well because I crashed it a few times.

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    Replies
    1. I still buy chocolate money for people

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  18. The gift really is in the eyes and mind of the giver, and ours to question very little. I had gold coins in my stocking for the first time ever last year, in seventy odd years. It was several months before I ate them. I liked looking at them on my desk.

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    Replies
    1. Sometimes the best gifts are ones that have been thoughtfully chosen and not expensive ....

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  19. Some people are just very, very good at gift selection and giving. I am terrible at it and it causes me so much anxiety because I want to give everyone something that says, "This is how much I love you." The perfect gift. And I always fall short.

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    Replies
    1. One year I made all of my gifts , that may be a way forward

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    2. Trust me, it's not!Don't be fooled by Kirstie Allsop- she's in it for the money she can make rather than save!!!

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  20. My Rare One just melted down her microwave in a spectacular fashion and had to throw it out. What a mess! Now she's hinting that she wants a new one for Christmas. See, it's all in the perspective . . . .

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    Replies
    1. But she WANTED one! Lol

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  21. When I was 18, my boyfriend said to me: "I don't want my friends to know that I didn't get you anything." Yeah, can anyone top that?

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    Replies
    1. Awww....did you tell everyone?

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    2. I should have!!!!!!!!!! But I felt so low and worthless, of course, I kept my mouth shut.

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  22. Christmas 1981, snow for a few weeks before Christmas and he was working 12 hour shifts on the gritting lorries, Couldn't get to town for shopping so got me a bun tin from a hardware store locally. I did need a bun tin but have reminded him about it a few times! Still married, just have to hope he gets through the cancer treatment and is around next year - any present will be OK then

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    Replies
    1. I truly hope he's around next year, I have everything crossed that this treatment works for Col, he's never far from my thoughts. You can buy HIM a bun tin ... and a dozen red roses next year. xx

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    2. Yes sue....your reply is a lesson to me and all of us......to be grateful xx

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  23. The Christmas present that could have gotten me a life sentence for murder was .... an ironing board.

    My now ex husband had told me right at the start of December NOT to go into the shed as he was storing my very large and exciting Christmas present in there. For once I was good and didn't even peep in the window not wanting to spoil the surprise. On Christmas morning when the boys had finished opening their presents off Santa my 'darling' said close your eyes and hold out your arms and I'll bring your present in, it's very big. He honestly thought I would be pleased, even though I already had a bloody ironing board. The boys thought it was hilarious. How I resisted the urge to poison his Christmas lunch I'll never know!!

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  24. My X gave me a sweatshirt with a deer head on it...something a hunter would wear,,,,and I am totally ANTI-hunting...so go figure. Needless to say I donated it to the Goodwill.

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    Replies
    1. Joined up thinking was not his forte

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  25. My ex gave me a bottle of Chanel. His mother hit the roof as she had thought it was for her... He asked me if I would mind if he gave it to his mother and he would buy me another bottle... He never did. I don't know how she had the gall to make the fuss that she made.

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    1. I would have sprayed her in the face with it

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    2. If you ever watched the TV programme 'Sorry'... it must have been based on my ex's mother.... We used to chuckle when watching it as even he could see that it was most deifnitely his mother

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  26. Anonymous5:13 pm

    A relative of mine is one of the first to send me a Happy Christmas in a text message. Rarely a card or any presents. I was chuffed when my message arrived later than usual because they'd made the effort to top up the phone special so they could send me a merry xmas/ birthday message. hey hoo

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    Replies
    1. Being thoughtful doesn't mean it has to be expensive

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  27. Every year for Xmas my wasband would buy me an ugly microfiber mens jacket. :/

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    Replies
    1. "Wasband" is a brilliant term! I have a wasband myself, a man as sentimental as a wet paper towel. After the Christmas when he gave me a Bic pen and pocket-sized spiral notebook I gave up any expectation of a thoughtful gift from him. The next year I bought myself a jade ring, relatively inexpensive but pretty, which I told relatives was from him and which made my SIL jealous. The year after that he became my wasband due to far more egregious deeds and omissions.

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    2. A pad and paper? WTF

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  28. One year, I had started a cleaning job because the hub never gave me any money to buy children's clothes (truth), he thought it would be a good idea to buy me a bucket*, and fill it with separately wrapped cleaning cloths, sponges, rubber gloves and cleaning sprays. the cashier at the shop thought it was a weird idea and said so, which hub thought was a funny thing to say, cos he thought it was a witty and clever thing to do. He didn't understand when I wasn't amused. His gifts are still rubbish. I find Christmas underwhelming and am glad when it is over. Though I do love my kid's gifts to me - they always get it right.
    * I was pissed off cos he had nicked my lovely mothercare lidded nappy bucket to mix plaster in and ruined it.

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    1. I laughed at this and got a funny look from the woman in the next car ( I'm waiting for the Prof at the station
      )

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  29. You mean I should have left the year I got the pressure cooker?

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    Replies
    1. Yes leaving the half wrapped offering in the bin

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  30. Jonnie, guy I dated off/on, had a masterful gift not-giving system. He was always around for his birthday – for the gift I imagine, but would find a reason to leave the relationship just before the holiday, coming back into my life end of February. Took me two years to wake up and realize it was a pattern -- his game was not to be around to give me a gift for Christmas, my birthday in January, and Valentine’s Day in February. Once I realized what was going on, I became no longer available to take his calls when he was ready to begin the process again. I later learn it was a thing some guys do, called The Turkey Drop. That it isn’t personal, that the guy is twisted and for some psychological reason is unable to spend the money or sentiment on getting you a present and consequently ops out of the relationship. Go figure.

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  31. I'm loving these stories

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  32. My last Christmas with jackass ex I received a small aluminum trash can, a pair of wiper blades for the car, & a large thermometer for handing on the garage. All purchased from a hardware store a city block away. Eternally grateful to be rid of him.

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    Replies
    1. There is a theme here!

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  33. Worst Christmas present - matching oven glove, tea towel and ironing board cover. The relationship stopped on Boxing Day.

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    Replies
    1. Lol like I said there IS a theme here x

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  34. You are right about a well thought out gift. One of the worst I received was an iron (not a chore I enjoy). From the same person I also got one of the best ever gifts. Bath crayons. Christmas here is often hot. That year I spent most of it in a cool bath drawing on the sides...

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    1. And I don't have to do the round robin gift thing at work....no more plastic antlers

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  35. I received a pen knife for my birthday one year.

    I had a conversation with my MIL along the lines of, please lets all not do presents this year. They have invited people we dont know for christmas dinner and I have no idea what to get them as I have been told to get them something. It is going to be AWKWARD!

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    Replies
    1. A few years ago we put a financial limit of 15£ on gifts for family..it was great fun as we all bought silly gifts

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    2. I always have a couple of spare gift wrapped boxes of Lindt chocolate on hand in case randoms turn up whom I do not know. If nobody arrives, I give them to myself! ;)

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    3. For people you do not know, I agree with Snoskred that a nice box of chocolates works. Even a pretty holiday soap with decorative towel or even a pretty tin of tea and biscuits. NO reason to go crazy. Here in the US Home Goods and Marshalls have some of the best gourmet food gift sections which make it easy to throw a little bag or basket together.

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  36. Hubby and I have been together almost 50 years. We hardly ever exchange gifts, instead either have an expensive dinner/movie or play or when we were young, over spent on the kids and enjoyed their squeals of delight! At this point we indulge the grandkids . It's truly better to give than receive. (Not having huge bills in January helps too!

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    Replies
    1. I like to buy the Prof one quality gift....just one

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  37. Can't say that I ever got a crappy present but my dad always bought my mom western shirts. He liked wearing them so he thought she should, even after being told she hated them!! A friend of our sons got an electric frying pan and a toaster for Christmas one year from his parents, they were trying to tell him it was time to move out!!!

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    Replies
    1. Heterosexual men are notoriously bad at being thoughtful gifts

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  38. You are absolutely right about presents John.

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  39. Forgive me if I’ve told you this story before but many (44) years ago I was expecting our first child due two days before our 1st wedding anniversary and eleven days after my 21st birthday ( in the olden days when 21 was the big birthday not 18th ) a friend had hinted it should be an eternity ring and the more I thought about it the larger and more diamonds this ring had.. and on my birthday I had ....a nonstick frying pan !! ..it taught me a lesson ..don’t expect anything and you’ll never be disappointed .. the frying pan did last for the next 30+ years though

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  40. The best comment at last debs x

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  41. But a microwave is so useful! I am hoping Santa will replace my broken dishwasher this year.

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  42. My family in general hates Christmas because they work in retail so it is madness right up to Christmas Eve, then they get one day off, then back to work on Boxing Day for sale madness. They do not give us gifts, it is always cash. I personally love giving gifts and I do put a lot of thought into my gifts but these people are impossible to buy things for, as they pretty much have everything they want. Which mostly leaves me with wacky and odd gifts to give..

    One year everyone got ice cube moulds. When I was a child my Grandmother had a special ice cube mould which made round ice cubes, it was very special to all of us. I was walking through a shop and found the exact same thing and I thought it would be perfect, but decided to expand on it somewhat, and bought other shapes as well. My mother did love that but as far as I know has never actually used them. I use mine all the time.

    This year I am completely at sea and with very little time to go to the shops as I have got roped into the retail. I have not found anything online that floats my boat. It might be dodgy cheap stuff from Kmart which is open 24/7. :/

    What most annoys me is, I am the worlds easiest person to buy a gift for. I love sparkly things regardless of what it is. I would prefer a cheap but decent brooch in my favourite colours than hundreds - even thousands - of dollars in cash.

    Once my parents retire, they are trying to work out what they are going to do next. I have suggested all kinds of useful ideas, but the next time I will mention perhaps they could spend a couple of minutes - or weeks - finding me the perfect Christmas gift, seeing as I have had to go nearly 20 years without anything to open from them at all. :)

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  43. I agree. no gift is better than a gift that is a gift because they feel obligated and then you have to act like you are pleased with a thoughtless gift.

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  44. My parents had a good 35 + years marriage. But then there was that year Dad bought Mom a plastic juice container for Valentine's Day. What possessed him to do such a thing I will never know ! He was always so thoughtful with his gifts. Anyhow, I can still hear Mom plonking the container down repeatedly on the kitchen counter with a satisfying thunk.

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  45. I will always remember the year my dad gave my mom a pressure cooker so she could “can” things.
    She cried when she opened it and saw what it was.
    My husband was brilliant at present giving.
    I am brilliant at present receiving:)

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  46. My mother-in-law gave me a, one, uno potholder one Christmas! I gave her a handmade quilt that took several months to do. That was her last gift from me.

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  47. An early boyfriend gave me a bottle of scent - and chose the one his mother wore. Still find that a tad worrying.

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    Replies
    1. A warning sign me thinks

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  48. My hubby bought me a pressure cooker for my birthday many years ago, in the hope my cooking would improve. It didn't, but he got his meal faster. Lol

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  49. Loved this post, especially all the 'wasband' comments!

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