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Huzza! I'm done! (Read 1019 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    With the exception of stocking stuffers and little odds-n-ends I am DONE with my holiday shopping (and without entering a single brick-and-mortar store)! Now I just need to get around to doing cards and wrapping (usually I leave DH to do a lot of that, since I am a HORRIBLE gift wrapper). How is everyone else doing?

    Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

    '14 Goals:

    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Jealous. I ordered some stuff for my sister (who turns 21 in a couple weeks) to be sent to her at college....hopefully it will arrive before she goes home. Otherwise, just ideas. Speaking of which, any ideas for a couple who is moving to Switzerland? (ie, they dont want "stuff" to take with them....and I dont know what kinds of things one would want in Geneva.) Maybe electrical converters or something? And for a mom who likes horses (and buys herself everything she wants that is equine-related)? She doesnt really like the usual "mom" gifts (the idea of her in the kitchen is funny! the last thing she needs is another scarf hanging in the closet, etc), which basically leaves us with boring stuff like candles and hats and such.


      Needs more cowbell!

        I like the idea of power converters...they would need those for things like laptops, Mp3 players, etc. Maybe some American specific things? I think peanut butter can be $$ and hard to find abroad. I really missed that in the UK when I was there 13+ years ago. Maybe buy the horse-lovin' mom some gift cards to stores she likes to shop at. And if you don't know of any specifically, I know Eryn/backroadrunner could give you some great advice. Or even just gift cards to favorite restaurants, since she doesn't sound like someone who likes to cook, LOL. I'm always relieved when I have my shopping done (of course, now I still have to get stuff wrapped and shipped, which is more work when so many family members are in all different places). When too much gets left to the last minute I find that the fun parts of the holidays seem to get lost and by the time I get a chance to breathe it's over and done and I feel like I missed out. Smile k

        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

        '14 Goals:

        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

          Sad I'm trying really hard not to think about Christmas chores like shopping and wrapping. My guilt tells me I'm supposed to enjoy this because it's a chance to give to people I care about, but really it's not a very convincing argument this time of year...

          Roads were made for journeys...

            The problem is she and my dad already eat out all the time, so a gift-certificate would just be for an budgeted expense. (Sort of like giving them a gift certificate for their electric bill, if you know what I mean.) And she likes shopping about as much as I do - translation, when I am in danger of going naked, I go to a store and if I find pants\skirts that fit, I buy them. (My dad, on the other hand, always loves a nice knife or wok - though they rarely get used, when he does cook, he appreciates them and we like to encourage him to cook when we are home because it is usually really yummy!) Shout out to Eryn - what kinds of stuff do you recommend???? What stores??? (Other than Lands End, LL Bean, and Eddie Bauer.) I was thinking of maybe getting her some of the nice long-sleeved tops which are capilene or tech or under armour or whatever they are - she can wear them riding and then she can take them skiing and get horse hair all over their hotel room. I dont know why it never comes off in the wash, yet when my stuff comes out of the drier it always has Sophie's white equine hair on it. Clowning around My brother and his fiance are moving this month, so I was going to send them something in Boston before they leave. But I know they are enjoying packing about as much as we are enjoying shipping and shopping, so I dont want to add to their stress with anything bulky or heavy.
            I like the idea of power converters...they would need those for things like laptops, Mp3 players, etc. Maybe some American specific things? I think peanut butter can be $$ and hard to find abroad. I really missed that in the UK when I was there 13+ years ago. Maybe buy the horse-lovin' mom some gift cards to stores she likes to shop at. And if you don't know of any specifically, I know Eryn/backroadrunner could give you some great advice. Or even just gift cards to favorite restaurants, since she doesn't sound like someone who likes to cook, LOL. I'm always relieved when I have my shopping done (of course, now I still have to get stuff wrapped and shipped, which is more work when so many family members are in all different places). When too much gets left to the last minute I find that the fun parts of the holidays seem to get lost and by the time I get a chance to breathe it's over and done and I feel like I missed out. Smile k


            Needs more cowbell!

              It really is a lot of work. I mostly don't mind it, but I have a REALLY hard time shopping for my sister. She's a complete ingrate, for the most part. She's very proud of the fact that she receives public assistance and is doing nothing to change that. She has actually proudly declared that she doesn't want to marry her BF (who is, BTW, a really sweet, smart, good guy...we call him "Derek Lite," since he reminds us so much of a younger, smaller version of my hubby) because she would lose her second "income." So every year she gets gifts, gives little to nothing, and never gives a single thank-you. I send her several boxes of my son's outgrown clothes for her boys every year (last shipment cost me $30 to send UPS ground); again with no thanks...in the meantime I ponder what I could get on eBay to list the same gently-worn stuff. At least this year I don't have to buy for a SIL, since my brother got divorced in March (yeehaaa!!!). She was another one who was happy to take (and she did so for 6 years with my brother...she took dropping out of college 2x on his dime--the second time while doing her nursing practicals, a car, quitting multiple jobs because she didn't like them, etc.). Heh, that turned into a rant, there. But mostly I like finding things that I know my friends and family will enjoy (still hate wrapping and shipping, though). Over the years I have received some very thoughtful gifts in return. Smile k

              Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

              '14 Goals:

              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


              Needs more cowbell!

                Shout out to Eryn - what kinds of stuff do you recommend???? What stores??? (Other than Lands End, LL Bean, and Eddie Bauer.) I was thinking of maybe getting her some of the nice long-sleeved tops which are capilene or tech or under armour or whatever they are - she can wear them riding and then she can take them skiing and get horse hair all over their hotel room. I dont know why it never comes off in the wash, yet when my stuff comes out of the drier it always has Sophie's white equine hair on it. Clowning around
                Sounds just like cat hair! I ordered some shoe care products from this catalog a long time ago and they keep sending me their catalogs in the mail, even though I have no use for most of what they sell. Looks like good stuff for horse people, though.

                Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                '14 Goals:

                • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                  It really is a lot of work. I mostly don't mind it, but I have a REALLY hard time shopping for my sister. She's a complete ingrate, for the most part. She's very proud of the fact that she receives public assistance and is doing nothing to change that. She has actually proudly declared that she doesn't want to marry her BF (who is, BTW, a really sweet, smart, good guy...we call him "Derek Lite," since he reminds us so much of a younger, smaller version of my hubby) because she would lose her second "income."
                  A gift certificate for career counceling? Or a box of thank-you cards? Evil grin
                  Heh, that turned into a rant, there. But mostly I like finding things that I know my friends and family will enjoy (still hate wrapping and shipping, though). Over the years I have received some very thoughtful gifts in return. Smile k
                  I think those are my thoughts exactly. I like to get things for people I care about that they will appreciate and enjoy and think about me when they wear or use them. Which is why I dont really wnt to go the candle route for my mom (at least she will then have some with scents I can stand then!). I also like to get things that someone wouldnt get for him or herself. I know it is impersonal, but I love gettingn stuff from bath-and-body since I dont normally get it for myself, but appreciate the treat. Thats always a fall-back for me. Or CD's and books are always fun especially if the person thought about me and what I would enjoy reading\hearing. I might just send your sister's kids gifts - since your sister doesnt seem to care anyway. Kids never complain about books and toys or whatever (especially if they are young!), and maybe just throw something really, really small in for her - like some holiday nuts or a box of candy or oven mitts. Or maybe a book like Tiffany's Table Manners for Teens or something by Miss Manners. Oh wait, did I say that? I would also say stop sending your sister clothes unless she ever says something close to "thank you he\they wear\s them." Dont take this the wrong way, but it is very possible her sons dont even wear them - we used to get stuff from my cousins that never fit and when it did it was usually not stuff I would wear because it always just looked awful on me. (Her situation could be different and you may know the kids are indeed grateful and wear them even if she doesnt say so, in which case ignore my comments!) One piece of advice: on-line stores! Blush Yes, shipping seems to be a fortune everywhere this year (has it gone up that much!!!), but it saves the packing, wrapping, and trip to the PO. (And I guess you pay shipping anyway if you dont see them during the holidays.) And Kirsten, the holidays can so easily bring out pent-up feelings about family members. It can be stressful and frustrating shopping, especially when you feel like no matter what you do, it wont be appreciated. So dont worry about venting. Much better here than to your sister!


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    Heh, have you met my sister...? She's a mess. 25 going on 15. I think my parents realized too late that by not expecting her to be responsible they helped turn her into a very immature adult. She even babytalks. Her boys have different fathers (not her boyfriend) and are only 14 months apart. Her placenta with her younger son also tested positive for BOTH barbituates AND speed. I still am amazed that the state didn't step in and take her sons away. My nephews are good little guys, but she doesn't do right by them. The eldest (5) has serious respiratory issues (she smoked while pregnant) and the youngest (4) has been diagnosed with moderate autism. She claims she didn't know she was pregnant with him...right down to going into labor with a 9# baby. She does dress them in the stuff I send, at least...I have seen them wearing Dane's old stuff and my mom always thanks me and tells me how much she likes the things I have sent--would be nice if my sister told me, though. It's not as if we never talk...man, she calls my cell phone at least 2x every day (I WISH we didn't have the same provider, then it would cost her minutes and she wouldn't be ringing me nearly as often to talk about what her next bad choice for the week will be...). She would be so much better off if she went to college and had to pay for it--at least then she might work hard and gain some self-respect. But living on the public dime is so much easier for her. Because her son has autism she also gets SSI payments on top of the standard support payments because she is a low-income single mom (and she could make SO much more. She works at a Perkins and is a good server--she could easily go more upscale and make a few hundred in tips every night). At least I can be proud of my brother. He's working on his master's degree in some sort of computer engineering. He is a major nerd (Northwestern grad) and works very hard. He's a fun guy (he's 30 and single, for any interested gals...and he runs, too) and I really enjoy shopping for him, since he sincerely appreciates the effort and thought. I wish I didn't have to ship his gifts to him, though...it would be so much more fun to be with him Christmas day. Next year is our year to be with my family for the holidays...last year we did it at my brother's home and had a riot with my son and my nephews under one roof. Smile k

                    Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      Kirsten, I was inspired by your ideas and I just e-mailed my sibs with lots of stuff from LLBean for my parents.....I think for my mom, she has this "old warm ski hat" she wears around the barn (before\after riding), so I think she needs a new one. And some earwarmers to go with her helmet. And she loves these long-underwear type wicking shirts for skiing (and maybe riding?) so I think we can get one or two of those. And my family always like extra ski socks. You would think we all lived somewhere really cold or really hot and visited someplace cold the way I am thinking! Oh well. And my dad is easy - he has ancient slippers, he has now asked for gym shorts two years in a row, I am sure he would like a new bathrobe to go with the slippers, maybe one of those shirts my mom loves for skiing, and ski socks. (Also on my list Wink). Can you get your father flannel boxers to sleep in? He has worn the same pair for years! Also, hugs! It sounds like you can use them! The only thing that is harder than seeing someone you love make bad decisions is when he or she is hurting his\he kids whom you also love. I am glad you are able to help your nephews. (Also glad you know your family better than I do and that they are wearing your son's old stuff and I am sure they appreciate it, as well as your mom. Your sister probably does too, she just wont admit it!) It sounds like your mom is around also and your sister's boyfriend sounds really supportive which should also be great for the kidlings. Having kids with medical problems is stressful on all parents, and autism can be super hard! The fact that she is holding a job, even if it is not your ideal job, and is taking care of the kids (at home!) and they are at least hooked into the system at some level (hopefully if she is receiving SSI he is also getting some Special Ed and health benefits and such), so I think you DO have stuff to be proud of about her, just not what your dreams are for her. I can totally understand why she drives you nuts and you get frustrated. Abigail PS: Caller-ID on cell-phones is today's gift to screening calls and only talking to sisters\BF's\Exes\Parents when YOU feel like it! I bet if you answered your phone less you could "train" her to call less.


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        PS: Caller-ID on cell-phones is today's gift to screening calls and only talking to sisters\BF's\Exes\Parents when YOU feel like it! I bet if you answered your phone less you could "train" her to call less.
                        Ha, you'd think...she just leaves me voice mails...arghhh! Wink Yeah, she is getting pretty good therapy for her youngest, but I think my parents are behind that, for the most part. Luckily they have a lot of background and interest in special ed, as my mom works in a disabled classroom (she's an RN) and my folks did some foster care work when I was little. For a couple of years my sister lived at home with the boys and my parents were helping to raise them. My sister moved a couple of hours away from them earlier this year and now my parents aren't able to take as active a role in helping, unfortunately. Sounds like you are finding some great gift ideas for your family! My hubby's family is easy, since they always make lists that include EXACTLY what they want (my family is starting to do this, too)...a good assortment of things, that way they are still surprised Christmas day. My MIL wanted flannel PJs from Victoria's Secret, since they come in longs (she and I are built like complete opposites, LOL) and she likes mine so much. The lists are kind of fun. We give them lists, too. I think it makes it easy on the gifter and the giftee--less likelihood of things needing to be exchanged, too. Smile k

                        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                        My dogs are fast, not me

                          With the exception of stocking stuffers and little odds-n-ends I am DONE with my holiday shopping (and without entering a single brick-and-mortar store)! Now I just need to get around to doing cards and wrapping (usually I leave DH to do a lot of that, since I am a HORRIBLE gift wrapper). How is everyone else doing?
                          We need a tomato throwing emoticon. I haven't even started and I'm normally done by Thanksgiving!
                          Robin


                          Needs more cowbell!

                            We need a tomato throwing emoticon. I haven't even started and I'm normally done by Thanksgiving!
                            Hey, I'm normally done with the bulk of it before Dec. 1, so I'm actually having a bad year! Wink k

                            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                            '14 Goals:

                            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                              He's a fun guy
                              I think there's an ointment you can get for fungi.
                              My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                I think there's an ointment you can get for fungi.
                                Heh, I think it's like Lotrimin, or something...Hmmm, I should give that to him for Christmas. I wonder if he'd figure it out...? Big grin k

                                Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

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