Christmas 2010 Thread


#1

I just thought I’d interject something a little different and perhaps a little more lively:D

I would like us to use this thread to do three things:

  1. Help each other out with gift ideas for families and friends, and share your ideas and suggestions. (if posting pictures, keep them small and refrain from using ones with ads)

  2. If you’d like, share what you’re planning on doing for Christmas-- are you traveling, staying home, getting together with family, etc.? Do you have any traditions in particular?

  3. What are your favorite things about Christmas as a secular holiday, and what are your favorite things about Christmas as a Catholic/Christian holiday?

I’ll share first: I am having trouble coming up with unique and relatively inexpensive gift ideas for the guys in my life-- my husband, dad, and brother. I’ve thought of a few for my mom, sister, and girlfriends but I don’t want to get a lame tie, another sweatshirt, or a wristwatch for any of the guys. So guys-- what do you suggest?

I’ll also most likely to heading out to see the in-laws for Christmas. They tend to have a few traditions, but over the years they’ve been getting a little lax with them since the adult kids in the family have things going on. We tend to all get together at a certain time to open presents, we have a Christmas meal together, go to church, and watch movies. Christmas as a secular holiday is not something I get majorly into, but I do enjoy sending out cards, looking at lights, and seeing people actually realize that they have to take the time to care about those close to them. From my experience this tends to prompt them to think more about these relationships and want to do more in the future. As a Christian holiday, I like knowing that after all those years of listening to Christmas songs before I was a Christian, now they have more meaning:)


#2

Well for Christmas, the wife and I are staying home this year. Last year we went down to Florida to spend it with my entire fam, but this year we’re keeping it at home. So this’ll be our first Christmas together at home as a married couple :slight_smile: But we’re still going to Florida for a few days. Not for Christmas, but to celebrate my father’s wedding cause he’s getting re-married. But yeah Christmas day we’ll be here at home.

As far as what to get the men in you’re life, it’s kinda hard to say because I don’t know them. You should find out what they’re interest are and get them something according to that. Me personally, I love martial arts, video games, UFC, things of that nature and I make sure my wife knows what I like. So when my bday and christmas comes around, she already knows what to get me :), lol. But I will say this, you will never go wrong with clothes or anything electrical, lol.


#3

As far as gifts for the guys in your life, that's something that I always have trouble with as well. Maybe it's because I'm a woman, but I always get the ladies' gifts relatively quickly and easily and struggle forever to think of what to get the men. And buying for my husband always seems to be the most challenging. My husband doesn't put much emphasis on giving or receiving gifts for Christmas, so whenever someone asks him what he wants, he says that he doesn't want anything. He'd rather get nothing than get another trinket that will gather dust, or another tie that he won't wear, etc. My dad is pretty easy, though. He loves electrical stuff and working on cars, so I can usually find some tool that he'll enjoy.

For Christmas, my husband and kids and I are staying home. My parents live in town, and my in-laws will be flying in to join us. We're doing a southwestern style dinner this year. We'll have grilled pork ribs, Texas toast, grilled corn on the cob, salsa, etc. For dessert, we bake a cake and decorate it with the kids, then sing "Happy Birthday" to Baby Jesus. We usually do Mass on Christmas Eve, and open all the presents on Christmas morning and then make some sort of breakfast together. Our church does a Christmas dinner for the less fortunate of the community, so we usually head over to help out over there.


#4

With the gifts thing, it's hard for me to know what they really like. For instance I have no idea what my dad likes mostly because he usually grunts as a form of communication and he already has a ton of things-- tools, clothes, electronic gadgets, etc.

Ooo southern style:) Maybe you should come up north by me and try to grill food for us here in the wonderful snow blizzard that's supposed to come tomorrow!!:D


#5

I am living at home with my parents - I am still not divorced yet. I am hoping that this will be one thing off shoulders soon. For the Holidays it is my parents and I - my Church young adult group has some activities planned and I am staying busy. I am also getting ready to start school.


#6

Thank you for starting this thread, I've been thinking about doing so myself. About gifts? that's hard for me. My husband & I have been married for 51 years & buying gifts for each other has never been a priority. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't. With 4 children to be "Santa Claus" to, there was seldom money in our Christmas budget
to purchase something for each other.

I am a Christmas person. I decorate every inch of the house, (even the bathrooms) & our Christmas tree almost touches our 12' ceilings. When our children were growing up, my FAVORITE Christmas custom was taking them shopping. By the time the oldest was about 14, they were really BIG on buying for each other. We lived on the farm, so it wasn't that hard for them to earn Christmas money & it was still safe to let them "loose" in the mall. My husband & I would sit in the coffee shop while they went to the various stores to find their treasures. They had to check back with us every half hour. They bought for each other, for my husband & myself & for their grandparents. Sometimes their gifts were hilarious, like the crowbar our second son bought for his dad. They also had to wrap their own gifts & I remember son #2 trying to convince his Dad that his gift was a giant candy cane. Another time, one of them bought a basketball for our oldest son & wrapped it.........only to see the recipient dribbling it around the house, Christmas wrapping still on it. For me, I could always count on the latest kitchen gadget being advertised on TV. Through the years, I received an apple peeler, a thing that was supposed to help take corn off of the ear, an onion chopper & on & on.

I remember my daughter SO excited about the gift she got for her Grandmother. It was hideous, the Serenity Prayer written on a terrible blobb of plastic. We never interferred with their gifts so Christmas Eve of 1978 Grandma opened her plastic prayer. She died in 1998 & when I cleaned out her house afterwards, the Serenity plaque still hung on her bedroom wall.

BTW. This is about our secular Christmas. I'll post about our Catholic/religious customs later. :)


#7

[quote="SummerSmiles, post:3, topic:220551"]
As far as gifts for the guys in your life, that's something that I always have trouble with as well. Maybe it's because I'm a woman, but I always get the ladies' gifts relatively quickly and easily and struggle forever to think of what to get the men. And buying for my husband always seems to be the most challenging. My husband doesn't put much emphasis on giving or receiving gifts for Christmas, so whenever someone asks him what he wants, he says that he doesn't want anything. He'd rather get nothing than get another trinket that will gather dust, or another tie that he won't wear, etc. My dad is pretty easy, though. He loves electrical stuff and working on cars, so I can usually find some tool that he'll enjoy.

For Christmas, my husband and kids and I are staying home. My parents live in town, and my in-laws will be flying in to join us. We're doing a southwestern style dinner this year. ** We'll have grilled pork ribs, Texas toast, grilled corn on the cob, salsa, etc. For dessert, we bake a cake and decorate it with the kids, then sing "Happy Birthday" to Baby Jesus. ** We usually do Mass on Christmas Eve, and open all the presents on Christmas morning and then make some sort of breakfast together. Our church does a Christmas dinner for the less fortunate of the community, so we usually head over to help out over there.

[/quote]

WOW!! You make my Turkey/Ham, potatoes & gravy, dressing, veggies & apple pie sound so BORING. Come to think of it.....it IS boring. I've cooked the same Christmas dinner for many, MANY years. I wonder what my family would do if I served steak....or stuffed pork chops?? Hmmmmmm


#8

Nice Thread! Thanks for starting!

As for gift ideas, I'm in my 40's and think that for "kids from one to ninety-two" Lego is a wonderful gift! (OK maybe not a good idea for kids under 4 - choking hazard)


#9

Cool thread! I think I'm going to Chi-town for Christmas to see my bro and his wife...although I may go south to visit my other bro...not sure yet.

Re: gifts for men...well, it all depends. A) for anyone (men and women) you need to figure out what they like.

Here are some random ideas thoughts... Do they like to drink? I find a really good quality Scotch is often appreciated...or perhaps another beverage of their fancy. ;) Do they golf? There are always golf-gadgets you can look into...but some of these are cheesy... Music is always welcomed by any of my brothers so sometimes I buy CDs...or itunes gift cards. If a man likes a particular show sometimes I'll buy them the "boxset" of DVDs...or the latest season. Do they like to build things? Maybe a GC to Home Depot or something? Or a GC to Ebay or Amazon? Books are often great. Movies too. I tend to avoid clothes like the plague because many men I know aren't into getting clothes...but there are always exceptions! My Dad for example is a clothes hound! As is one of my brothers. A really awesome tie can be a last resort lol. A fabulous cologne? I know that can be really personal, but if it's for a family member or husband it can be appropriate. My one brother is the big cologne guy so I always get him a really nice one he doesn't have. If I'm completely lost for gift ideas for men I often go with nice chocolates...say Godiva or something similar. A lot of guys won't turn that down...(or women for that matter) lol. Is he a chef? How about a collection of "must have" spices from a really great spice company like Penzeys or the one out of Chicago (I forget the name)? Also great for women who love to cook!

Ok...I'll shut up now. HTH! :D


#10

Thanks, too, for starting this thread.

Regarding gift ideas for the men in your life, you can sometimes find unique, inexpensive gifts on places like Zazzle.com There's a t-shirt over there for example, that reads, "Next to a Dog, Man's Best Friend is Duct Tape." Now if one of your guys uses a lot of duct tape, that would be perfect. You may be able to find something else over there that fits hobbies, habits, etc.

As for other inexpensive gift ideas, well -- see my signature. :)

In my family, I'm the one who's hard to buy for because honestly, I don't want anything at Christmas. My idea of a perfect Christmas is to attend Mass on Christmas Eve with my family (husband isn't Catholic--I converted after we were married -- but he's willing to attend Mass with me on Christmas), then spend the next day making a nice dinner for them, listening to Christmas music and reflecting on the wonderful gift God gave us in the person of Jesus. I love the peace of that.


#11

Ahhh...just thought of one other thing - how about art? One year I visited the Art Institute with my brother and his wife in Chicago...I remembered an artist they mentioned that they particularly liked...so come Christmastime I hunted around online for posters of art by the artist, bought a poster of a painting, had it framed, and then shipped to them. They loved it! There are so many really cool websites now where you can browse for artists/photos etc...and you can buy and ship things really easily. It's pretty cool...but again it's very personal and helps to know an artist they like...hmmm....:hmmm:

Oh! And one other thing...some guys are big into science...in which case gifts from science museums and things can be cool. Or tickets to museums, etc. Tickets to the zoo/aquarium? It's always good to support our local nonprofits! ;)


#12

And for guys who love sports, you cannot lose with game tickets!


#13

[quote="GardenMum232, post:12, topic:220551"]
And for guys who love sports, you cannot lose with game tickets!

[/quote]

Oh yeah right! That's an awesome idea!!! :thumbsup:


#14

For those of us who are broke this is a great site to send free Catholic greeting cards from - you can pay for premium but the free e-mail ones are great:

Free e-mail Catholic Greeting Cards


#15

Wow the ideas have been great!:D

Is my family the only one that does fruitcake during Christmas (blech!)?


#16

[quote="spunjalebi, post:15, topic:220551"]
Wow the ideas have been great!:D

Is my family the only one that does fruitcake during Christmas (blech!)?

[/quote]

Well since you know there is only one fruitcake in the world - it must be your families turn to have it his year - maybe we'll get it next year!!! LOL ;)


#17

[quote="CradleCath, post:6, topic:220551"]
Thank you for starting this thread, I've been thinking about doing so myself. About gifts? that's hard for me. My husband & I have been married for 51 years & buying gifts for each other has never been a priority. Sometimes we did, sometimes we didn't. With 4 children to be "Santa Claus" to, there was seldom money in our Christmas budget
to purchase something for each other.

I am a Christmas person. I decorate every inch of the house, (even the bathrooms) & our Christmas tree almost touches our 12' ceilings. When our children were growing up, my FAVORITE Christmas custom was taking them shopping. By the time the oldest was about 14, they were really BIG on buying for each other. We lived on the farm, so it wasn't that hard for them to earn Christmas money & it was still safe to let them "loose" in the mall. My husband & I would sit in the coffee shop while they went to the various stores to find their treasures. They had to check back with us every half hour. They bought for each other, for my husband & myself & for their grandparents. Sometimes their gifts were hilarious, like the crowbar our second son bought for his dad. They also had to wrap their own gifts & I remember son #2 trying to convince his Dad that his gift was a giant candy cane. Another time, one of them bought a basketball for our oldest son & wrapped it.........only to see the recipient dribbling it around the house, Christmas wrapping still on it. For me, I could always count on the latest kitchen gadget being advertised on TV. Through the years, I received an apple peeler, a thing that was supposed to help take corn off of the ear, an onion chopper & on & on.

I remember my daughter SO excited about the gift she got for her Grandmother. It was hideous, the Serenity Prayer written on a terrible blobb of plastic. We never interferred with their gifts so Christmas Eve of 1978 Grandma opened her plastic prayer. She died in 1998 & when I cleaned out her house afterwards, the Serenity plaque still hung on her bedroom wall.

BTW. This is about our secular Christmas. I'll post about our Catholic/religious customs later. :)

[/quote]

Sorry, this was so long. My Brother is very ill, been in a VA. hospital since last March. We were really hoping he'd be out by Christmas & back to the city where we live. Found out a week or so ago........that's not going to happen. So, I'm trying to remember the Joy in past holidays, while driving 120 mile round trip to visit him & trying to make a great Christmas for my children & 8 Grandchildren. I DO know what I'm getting my Brother, though. Some house slippers with his Alma Mater's logo on them. He doesn't miss watching a Missouri Universtiy football game.

Sorry, for rambling in my first post.


#18

You and the fruitcake are not alone. I actually had a friend (new to my town) ASK me where to buy good fruitcake. Honestly. He actually ASKED! :slight_smile:


#19

As far as I'm concerned, CradleCath, your post didn't ramble.

Sorry to hear about your brother. :(

I've discovered that at times like those, it's helpful to remember one of the great things about being Catholic, in that our suffering can actually do some good, if we offer it up to God to help the souls in purgatory.

I think you're taking the right approach. Remember the joy of past Christmas' and keep in mind that it will return. Perhaps not this year, but in years to come.


#20

[quote="CradleCath, post:17, topic:220551"]
Sorry, this was so long. My Brother is very ill, been in a VA. hospital since last March. We were really hoping he'd be out by Christmas & back to the city where we live. Found out a week or so ago........that's not going to happen. So, I'm trying to remember the Joy in past holidays, while driving 120 mile round trip to visit him & trying to make a great Christmas for my children & 8 Grandchildren. I DO know what I'm getting my Brother, though. Some house slippers with his Alma Mater's logo on them. He doesn't miss watching a Missouri Universtiy football game.

Sorry, for rambling in my first post.

[/quote]

I will pray for your brother in the hospital. God bless him for his service.


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