2020 Christmas in July Week 3 July 12th-18th

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Miss JoDee

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Let's talk about gifts, a big part of our Christmas season. I have a few questions:

Christmas Gifts

How important is gift giving to you

How important is gift receiving to you

Do you give gifts only from the gift list provided or do you add a surprise gift.

Are you one that must spend equally on all or go by number of gifts. Do you sometimes get items at a good sale/clearance price and use the original price as the cost to equalize the monetary budget?

Homemade gifts vs purchased gifts?

What’s in your gift closet? Name 5 items.

Name 5 items on your gift list.

Stockings Gifts

Are they decor or filled with gifts?

Size: Small, Medium, Large, or XLarge?

List some items you use to fill them. Be specific, help your fellow MHH’ers out.

Is a specific person assigned to the filling of stockings?

Do you have a dollar limit on stocking fillers?

Do you have a theme for them?

Do you fill with the same thing every year?
 

sweetpumkinpye

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Loving this topic. Will be back later to answer.
 

rabble

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Gift giving is important to me, but I can't specify one particular reason. Growing up, the only form of 'affection' I received was having things bought for me, so in part, i feel like if I don't buy someone something, they'll think I don't care (I feel serious pressure around gift buying!). I love buying things that people actually want/need and seeing them happy.Bonus if it's something they weren't expecting! I like wrapping the gifts too.

I unashamedly love receiving gifts, BUT! it has to be something well-thought out otherwise I'd rather the person not bother. I'd prefer to have a 50p chocolate bar that I like than £50 worth of stuff that I've never been interested in. I see it as the giver either doesn't know me/doesn't care/felt pressured into buying something. As spoilt as it sounds, I find it more upsetting knowing someone has splashed the cash on expensive stuff that has never been me just to show that they'd bothered! I'd rather have a happy birthday text.

I buy things from a list AND add in surprises. I usually get things not asked for but linked to things the recipient likes etc. I'm reasonably good at getting surprise gifts; I did buy some iffy ones for my kids when they were younger. I fell into the quantity over quality trap and bought silly little things that they did not like lol.

I've never made a homemade gift! I'd love to be good enough at something to do that though! Not sure if it counts, but this year I'm making homemade advent calendars and filling them with gifts/activity things.

Arrgghh, gift closet is non-existant. I haven't bought anything so far! I am gathering ideas though, so I'll probably start in August.

Can i be the first to say "all i want is a nice day"? :p
There isn't any big ticket items I want, mainly upgrades of things I own. Like nicer pjs, a new pair of jeans etc. I'd like beeswax candles! Anything I need I get myself.

I LOVE stocking gifts! Ours are decor and used practically. We didn't hang them above the fireplace last year because we have a dog that loves socks/soft things, but we did fill them and put them on beds.

Ours are all individual; mine is a massive one I had as a kid, we have an Eeyore one, gingerbread man, a lion one that was handknitted in Africa... they're all quirky!

The kids usually get small collectable things (trading cards/surprise box stuff), novelty erasers and pens. The last few years Ive put in Japanese candy and drinks (have you ever tried Marble drinks? They're an appreciated treat in my house!) I like to squeeze in a book too. General stuff that they've asked Santa for as he does the stockings ;)

I try and stay around the £30-40 each mark for stockings and I find it such a challenge. It's very easy to overfill a stocking with cheap nasty tat for pennies, but buying stuff my kids will like/not end up in landfill AND fill out a stocking is difficult on a budget. I made the mistake of buying said cheap nasty (mainly plastic) rubbish when they were much younger, so now when I go to buy a few well-thought out gifts that don't entirely fill it, I feel guilty. Doh.

I do a stocking for dh too - he gets stuff like coffee, protein bars, maybe a magazine. If anyone has ideas for mens stocking fillers that would be great!

I don't stick to a theme; i do like the "something to wear..." one, but again, that's four gifts and I get bad mum guilt around buying very little. Does anyone else get this? I did like the sensory idea from the previous thread.

They tend to be filled with similar items year to year. Last year I did cut back on gifts in general and it wasn't noticed, so I'll do the same this year. I'm trying hard to think "less but better".

I used to (with the kids) try and buy them the same amount of gifts for the same price. Took military level planning! I asked them last year whether they care about cost/amount and they looked at me like I was mental and said "it only matters on whether it's stuff we like". I think i put myself under too much pressure!
 

girlsinmo

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Great questions.

Gifts- I prefer to give & receive gifts that I know are wanted or needed. I also prefer to give or receive GC's to businesses they/I shop at. Or money if I don't know what business are shopped at hope that makes sense.

My DD doesn't like giving GC's she said that makes her feel lazy. But I tell her to me a GC to a place the person likes ensures they'll receive a gift they like. To me a gift is more about the person receiving it. I can't stand to get a gift that feels like the person got it just so they can feel like they did something.

I don't care about to size or price of a gift as long as thought went into it. DD says no thought goes into a GC. I say it does because I need to think about the places the person likes.
 

rabble

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Great questions.

Gifts- I prefer to give & receive gifts that I know are wanted or needed. I also prefer to give or receive GC's to businesses they/I shop at. Or money if I don't know what business are shopped at hope that makes sense.

My DD doesn't like giving GC's she said that makes her feel lazy. But I tell her to me a GC to a place the person likes ensures they'll receive a gift they like. To me a gift is more about the person receiving it. I can't stand to get a gift that feels like the person got it just so they can feel like they did something.

I don't care about to size or price of a gift as long as thought went into it. DD says no thought goes into a GC. I say it does because I need to think about the places the person likes.
I absolutely agree with you - i love gift cards.

One year someone from my past asked what I wanted for Christmas, and I told them the name of a book that I wanted. They replied with a "Im not buying you that" (well okay, but why ask lol?) So I suggested a gift card for a bookstore. They agreed to that. I was expecting a £10-20 gift card. I love books! Anyway, what i got was a very pricey designer bag that I would never in a million years want/use/ask for.

No idea what was going through that person's head - they must have spent hundreds rather than buy an £11 book.

It sounds really ungrateful, i know, but it's just such a waste of money. And then hurt feelings when said item is never used. Gift cards are a safe bet and you still have to put the effort into going out to get them!
 

girlsinmo

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I absolutely agree with you - i love gift cards.

One year someone from my past asked what I wanted for Christmas, and I told them the name of a book that I wanted. They replied with a "Im not buying you that" (well okay, but why ask lol?) So I suggested a gift card for a bookstore. They agreed to that. I was expecting a £10-20 gift card. I love books! Anyway, what i got was a very pricey designer bag that I would never in a million years want/use/ask for.

No idea what was going through that person's head - they must have spent hundreds rather than buy an £11 book.

It sounds really ungrateful, i know, but it's just such a waste of money. And then hurt feelings when said item is never used. Gift cards are a safe bet and you still have to put the effort into going out to get them!
I absolutely agree. You demonstrated my point with your book & designer bag story.

I wonder esp in this day & time what kind of gift would leave the biggest impact. An expensive (fill in the blank) gift they wouldn't use or a GC to their favorite grocery store? I'd prefer the GC it could be used when money is low or when they have an item back in stock. Just the way I think.

I have bought e- gift cards for folks too. But from a place I know they like to shop at.
 

girlsinmo

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Btw I do buy & like to receive other kinds of gifts IF I know it is something that will be enjoyed by the person receiving it.
 

MrsSoup

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I love to buy gifts for my family and I love to receive gifts. :) Let me specify, I love to receive little gifts that are thought out and are things that I love. I don't need large, expensive gifts to make me happy. I can easily go overboard shopping for my kids. I always have a list of items that I plan on buying for them, but then I end up seeing other things that I know they want or will love and I have to reign myself in. They give us a list and we will get some things from their list but I try to pay attention throughout the year as well when they say they like something. I also think about things they may need for their room or something they might like but would never ask for or might not think to ask for. So what they get isn't just from their list and expected, there are surprises in there too. What is the fun in only getting what you ask for and then you know what you are opening on Christmas? I hate that! I love a good surprise myself. DH is the hardest to shop for so he will usually get mostly whatever is on his list. Not many surprises there. I personally don't like GC's unless they are for books or coffee. I don't tend to use them and end up forgetting about them and find them years later. haha

We go back and forth on spending equally and having the same amount of gifts. Now that the kids are older, the price of the items has gone up significantly and it's just not possible to have them all have the same amount of items. The 17 year old will not have the same amount of items as the 11 year old. The 14 and 11 year old may have the same amount of items and the same amount of money spent with a few dollars. We try our best. I always count the actual price the item was purchased at, but don't count the tax in the price.

I never do homemade gifts anymore. I don't have the time or the creativity. I wish I was that crafty. We have done it for the grandparents and each other before but not for our kids and not in a very long time.

There is nothing in my gift closet right now. I don't usually shop this early though. I haven't even started a gift list yet honestly. I need to, especially with how this year is looking.

Stockings for us are filled with candy and small, useful items. They are medium in size. I buy Christmas themed candy, cologne or perfume, last year I found characters that hang from backpacks (i.e. Harry Potter, Nightmare Before Christmas), a 12 pack of favorite soda (sits beside stocking), gum or fun mints, lip balm, whatever other fun trinkets or small toy or needed items I can find or think of that are out of the ordinary. Stockings are sometimes difficult and take a lot of time. I start on these earlier than anything else, keeping an eye out for small things to purchase early and stash away. I always have to keep in mind that they aren't that large though.
 

Miss JoDee

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We buy gifts for our immediate family and my mom. So 7 adults and 3 granddaughters. I usually begin my Christmas list in June/July because we have birthdays July (1) Aug (3) Oct (2) Dec (2). While thinking of birthday gift I add Christmas lists. We limit gifts to 3 as for the 3 gifts of the Magi. With all adults I usually theme the gifts. Last Christmas they got new pillows, homemade pillow cases and a gift a bookstore. The granddaughters gifts I sometimes coordinate with Ddil but lately it is high priced items and I am not willing to spend that much. Last year they got the same as the adults and we took them to the bookstore to use their gift cards. They loved, loved, loved, being able to choose a book or toy. Our Christmas celebration was on NYE and all other gifts were open so they had the opportunity to choose a want.
 

girlsinmo

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With gifts another thing DGD & I like to do is give them in a way that whatever they're in can be part of the gift and used for different things throughout the year.

Last year we bought mailboxes from dollar tree. We put lotions, finger nail polish, jewelry etc in them for my nieces. The mailboxes can be used all through the year. We also like to buy gift boxes that can be used the same way.
 
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Miss JoDee

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I have learned not to expect gifts. I always get one from mom (sweater) My family draws names so I will receive that gift. DH and I have not exchanged gifts in years. Last year the 5 senses gifts was the first time in years and it was decided upon so we would have something to open Christmas day. We usually get a family photo from DS and family but didn't get one last year even though one was taken. I was a bit disappointed. I just feel like my family doesn't put thought into my gifts yet I see the thoughtful gifts they give other.
My joy for Christmas comes from the sights, sounds, and smells of Christmas more that the receiving of gifts. After all I have received the greatest gift of all Jesus.
 

halimer

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I enjoy giving and getting gifts. Sometimes I cannot say what I want to people and I hope that by choosing a special gift for them they realize how much I care for them

I try and do the 8 gifts for 8 nights of Hanukkah for DH, DS and DDIL; for DS and DDIL it is often a combined gift - something for the house.

For Christmas I try to do "something to wear, etc." and a toy/puzzle/Lego gift from Santa. DS and DDIL have medium sized stockings. DH bought himself a tremendous one shaped like a rifle cartridge so I got myself and equally big one. It is hard to fill DH's but for the other two there is usually stuff that winds up lying on the side:). I get stuff in mine from DH and DS.

We have other long time friends that we get gifts for. I used to spend a lot of time getting something that I thought was perfect for them but have now noticed that DH and I are receiving more generic gifts - candy, jams, etc. - not home made - so I think I will head in that direction too.

Some people are very happy getting gift cards and I will continue that tradition.

My gift closet currently has some generic gifts like candles. I have socks for DS and a few things for DDIL.

I no longer know what to do with DH. I have bought him several big, expensive gifts that he has never used. I refuse to buy him ammunition. Problem is also that his birthday (and it's a big one this year - 70) is two weeks before Christmas and often falls in the middle of Hanukkah.
 

Pam Spaur

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I love to buy gifts for other people! I try to listen thruout the year as to their likes and dislikes. I also ask, especially the grandkids, for a wish list. Having Brysen has been so much fun. I am a big believer in books, and this child already has a library building up. Most of the family birthdays are August-November. I want to do homemade gifts this year, too. One year I made DGS #1 camo pillowcases, and he was thrilled, especially when I told him I made them for him. It was nice to see the love on his face. I want to do some cross stitch things, too. Carrie has inspired me.

I try to stay within a dollar or two for everyone. If I can afford it, I would like to make p.j. pants for some of the family. Maybe make some bowl cozies for DD and family. Thing is her family is used to high priced gifts! Esp. Samuel! One year, DD's MIL put diamond earrings in her stocking! Oh well.

I do appreciate everything that is done for me personally. I love to receive g.c.s, and give them as well. The grandkids love them, as they are all older. Every year I say I am going to do the four things, read, wear, etc. Never works out that way. So far this year, I have ordered some jewelry for the dgc, and some socks for Jay and some big hoops for Melanie. That is her signature...big hoop earrings. I look online at different ideas. At least Brysen is easy to buy for right now. DS said the kid does not need any toys. Just try to keep me from buying that boy a toy. Maybe I will get a really noisy one for him so it will get on Stephen's nerves! Bwahhaha!
 

girlsinmo

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DS said the kid does not need any toys. Just try to keep me from buying that boy a toy. Maybe I will get a really noisy one for him so it will get on Stephen's nerves! Bwahhaha!
@Pam Spaur maybe he needs one of those popcorn popper push toys lol
 

PamelaG

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Christmas Gifts

Gift giving is important to me because I love to shop for my family and I love see the look on Vic's face (usually one of surprise, "How did you know?") and Sophia's face (always happy because it's something she wanted). Gift receiving is nice, but as many of you have said, it's the thought that goes into the gift that is the most important. I buy both from wish lists and add surprises as well. I've never worried about spending equally - I have a budget and it's split between the three of us but it's not adhered to strictly at times.

I don't think I have ever made a homemade gift - no talent for things that would interest my family. I have given baked items as gifts for co-workers or neighbors.

Right new I have two gift closets (totes), one for family and the other one a general stash for exchange or hostess gifts. Family: a kitchen boa for Sophia, an ornament for Vic (it's a three-tier afternoon tea design), Pyrex bowls with dog designs for Sophia, a stir fry sauce bottle for Sophia (it has markings on the side for four different sauce recipes - you pour in the liquids listed for Canton Oyster, Beijing Hoisin, Sichuan Black Bean, and Mandarin Orange), and mini hand sanitizers and hand lotions for Walking Pharmacies). The general stash has a variety of guest towel sets, dish towels, Christmas plaques, and treat bowls.

Five items on my gift list: Something from Godiva, a new planner, milk frother, Indian spice box, and a storage box for my Nora Fleming minis.

Stockings Gifts

Our stockings are decor until Christmas Eve and then I fill them with gifts. We have medium-sized ones that hang on the mantle but I end up swapping them out for extra-large ones which I prop up near the tree. Stocking stuffers can get pretty large in our house and are the items we buy during our Target shopping trip which is usually cosmetics/toiletries items for Sophia, kitchen bits and pieces, and stationery items. Vic usually picks something from the auto aisle or a new wool hat or gloves or something from the electronics accessories aisle. I add in any gift that is stocking-size. I fill the stockings and there's no dollar limit or theme. There's also candy that goes in each person's stocking - usually the treats I buy from the British Food Stores online. I can't say they are filled with the same things each year because everyone picks different things at Target from year to year. There used to be DVDs in each stocking but since we've switched the using our Amazon Video Library, we don't buy DVDs any longer. This year I'll be making everyone a movie box - I've seen large popcorn boxes, the red and white striped ones like the photo below, and I plan to add a box of movie candy, a package of microwave popcorn with some popcorn seasoning, a soda, and a gift card to Amazon so that we can each choose a movie or two.

Popcorn Box.jpg
 

Rose94

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Gift giving—it’s important to me. We do gifts just for my children/grandchildren and my in-law.
Importance of receiving—I like to get gifts especially if they are items my grandchildren have made like a winter scene using their foot to make animal shapes or their handprints using shrink plastic for keychains.

Gifts from list—for the grandchildren I try and get them one item from their list. They also get a couple other items of my choosing like a decoration. My children sometimes give me a list and others not. They do drop little hits throughout the year either way. In-laws is usually food gifts like items to make a meal or homemade canned items such as jams, relish etc. For the past couple years—bird feeders

Spend equally on all or by number of gifts—equally on each. We have a limited budget. I go by the price of item at time of purchase but do not include the tax in amount spent.

Homemade vs purchase—both. I like to make some gifts and purchase some.

Gift close—bath products, fabric for pj’s, supplies for making decoration, Christmas pillowcases, yarn. I use the gift closet as a place to hold supplies. Easier to remember where they are.

stocking gifts—no set amount or theme. They always have a little candy in them but otherwise it’s different items and just a couple items. In the past I have put in them keychain, special pens, tie clips, phone cases, eye glass cleaner/cloths, show tickets, coupons for car washes or for baked goodies.
 

GeeWibble

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How important is gift giving to you- I Love to give gifts, but I have a hard time surprising my kids now that they're older and live away from home. Children are so much more fun :)
How important is gift receiving to you- I like getting gifts but I feel bad when people have a hard time thinking of what to get me.
Do you give gifts only from the gift list provided or do you add a surprise gift- I like both, A list is good since it's things they want or need and it's my choice to pick what I like. It depends on the person, I have someone in my family that just has such a different taste in everything a list from her is best.
Are you one that must spend equally on all or go by number of gifts. Do you sometimes get items at a good sale/clearance price and use the original price as the cost to equalize the monetary budget?- I try to stay with equal money spent, I have a set amount to spend on each but wouldn't buy 10 little things just to use the remainder of their money. If there's any money left for one I'll get a gift card for gas or coffee for the person.
Homemade gifts vs purchased gifts?- Haha I've given some hand made gifts that have gotten the biggest laughs and others who were seriously not interested. So mostly purchased.
What’s in your gift closet? Name 5 items.- Winter soup mugs, jewelry, Christmas hand towels and spoon rest, wooden cutting board
Name 5 items on your gift list- none yet
Stockings Gifts
Are they decor or filled with gifts?- Both
Size: Small, Medium, Large, or XLarge?- Medium
List some items you use to fill them. Be specific, help your fellow MHH’ers out.
Is a specific person assigned to the filling of stockings?- So for 30 yrs I've been in charge of filling the stockings and all of a sudden my husband decided he would take that job. Here's a few thing he put in the girls stockings - mini flashlights, small thermal cups, fire starter for camping, etc. his favorite store? Harbor Freight, haha. It was adorable to watch their faces. Oh, and he put one joke gift in that he ordered online - edible bugs (like dried crickets)?! When my daughter opened it she screamed and threw it into the air, haha
Do you have a dollar limit on stocking fillers?- No, but I wouldn't put expensive gifts in them.
Do you have a theme for them?- No, but I do use different paper to wrap them so I know who gets what.
Do you fill with the same thing every year?- I don't think too much about what I put in last year.

Great questions Jody!