Ho, Ho, Ho

it sure is easy to shop for people who like to cook! Husband and I got a lot of our Christmas shopping done for our kids last Saturday at the local kitchen store. Daughter wanted us to shop at small, local, businesses, and so we did.

Husband and I don’t bother with surprise gifts for eachother any more. We spied a nice Emil Henri tagine at the kitchen store and we decided that was our present this year. We are picking up the goat at the butcher shop next week, and I forsee making Morrocan goat dishes with our new purchase.

Our children are often frustrated with us over the holidays since we really don’t need much and can never give them many ideas for gifts. I asked for a cookbook and a calendar. Husband asked for a couple of books. Nothing too exciting, and pretty easy to come by, supply chain problems not withstanding.

How is your holiday shopping coming along? Who are the easiest and most difficult people for you to buy for? Having any trouble finding what you want? What was your favorite Christmas present as a child?

51 thoughts on “Ho, Ho, Ho”

  1. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    HOHOHO.

    I have not even started on my Christmas shopping, but then I do not do much anymore. My mom, at age 93, needs nothing. The past few years I bake her cookies, package them in baggies, 2 per baggy, then put them in my sister’s freezer. Then my sister takes them to Mom when she visits. Co-workers and cleaning lady get homemade jelly and the ear warmers I knit. My son and his wife do not want stuff, they want to do things with us, which I just love. So that is most of the list. Our Arizona crew loves getting stuff, although they do not appear to appreciate it much, and DIL appears to have become a hoarder. It is a really big house full of disorganized stuff. I keep my mouth shut and do not comment and I try to avoid going to that house. They get gift cards or cash. Lou and I do a few stocking stuffers, but otherwise we will put any money we would have spent towards paying off the kitchen remodel.

    The dog, however, seems to get all of Santa’s affection and somehow signs off on many small surprises found under the tree. I did not know she could write, but that is what happens.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. Christmas shopping has gotten much easier over the years. My older sister and her family get donations to my favorite charities. My nephew and oldest niece provide suggestions for their young children. For my younger sister here in town, I give them money to help with needed house projects along with gift cards for something personal. My two younger nieces get gift cards or something on their wishlist (if they provide one). Beyond that, I exchange small gifts with a couple of friends. The hardest person to buy for was my dad but he has been gone for over 20 years. The best gift (at least as a kid) was the year there were three identical large boxes under the tree. Each box had one of our names written out in glitter. We opened them at the same time and were thrilled to find Chatty Cathie dolls. We must have spent the rest of the night pulling their cords to hear them talk.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Morning-
    I’ve got a start on shopping; we don’t do a whole lot either. Just immediate family and Kelly and I often share some household something or other we wanted anyway. But we’ll throw in some surprises.

    My mom, 95 and in assisted living and kinda having a tough time lately, told an aide the other day that for Christmas she wanted to get out of there. Ugh. She was half serious.

    I remember some specific Christmas gifts…I’m not sure any one stands out more than another. Memories are so interesting… Toys anyway.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I thought the CDC recommends a five to seven day wait before testing after exposure to Covid for people who are vaccinated. Has that recommendation changed, or haven’t you and Sandy been vaccinated?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. All 3 shots for us and for the worker. In ER they want to check now to begin with. Taking her back to her home once we get results.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. We and her whole building were negative. Waiting a few days is better but it works soon, plus Sandy could have been exposed any one of last few days.
        She is back. I am home, trying to deal with trauma of grandson and still terying to straighten out her insurance mess.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Clyde, do you have an insurance navigator? I do and that is the only way I have been able to make effective decisions about my insurance plans. Just google “Insurance Navigators” and your location. They will pop up.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. When someone goes into both Medicare and Medicaid they have only 3 real choices which once you choose are handled through the county. I made the choice, then somehow Medica made a mess of it. The issue is not the choice which I had to make in November.

          Liked by 2 people

        3. Let me add that because she went to ER today everything is five times the mess. It should have been charged to Medica but since I do not have a card or numbers, the warm-hearted moneygrubbers called Mayo will not listen to any delays and will charge it to her supposedly closed but not closed BC/BS policy. And what problems will that cuase me? It will end up not paid I assume and Mayo will come at me to pay the bill myself. Then they will send me a flurry of letters on why I should donate a few pence of my miserable little income into their vast billions of dollars. The issue is not one of choosing a plan any more. It will be a legal issue to straighten it out. She fell today for the second time in a week because she insists she can do things herself and she cannot and they cannot watch her every minute. She got light-headed because she is dehyrated and will not drink very much.
          Plus right at this moment she has on record two policies, which happens to be illegal, not that anyone will prosecute me. The only one who can help me right now is Medica but they cannot because I have to have a number to call and membership numbers, which I do not have. Or maybe the state and county only think she is subscribed to Medica and they did not do it. I have Medica but calling them does not work. They want to help but have no idea how to help.
          And my nine-year old grandson told his teacher he is just fine with not being here anymore and is not afraid to die and then later in the day he got mad ast himself for getting mad and scratched up his face.

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        4. Clyde, I’m impressed with how much you are handling and how much you DO have under control! Or, at least, it appears you do! Give yourself the credit for that.

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        5. Clyde, Medica, Medicare and Medicaid are three completely different entities. Please be sure you know which one you’re dealing with. From what I know of your situation, it seems to me that Medicaid is who should be handling your situation. Surely the nursing home where Sandy is has someone on staff who can help you navigate this mess?

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        6. Of course I know the difference. Let me repeat, when you put some in assisted living you get approved for medical assistance, in other words Medicaid. But in attention you have to choose a health care plan. In MN it is BC/BS plan, A Medica plan, or UCare. I chose Medica. There is no cost for these plans. But you have to choose one. I chose Medica. One of the reasons by the way I chose Medica is that they have the highest customer rating of the three. No the nursing home does not handle this. It is the county through the state who handles it. One of my big frustrations is that there is no guidebook to know all this going into it. You learn on the fly as they suddenly throw something at you did not know about . I had only 5 days to choose a plan.

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  4. I am at ER with Sandy. This is all so much fun.
    I have ordered that there be no Birthday or Christmas gifts for me for a decade. My son would rather buy his own. He loves searching internet for things. So he gets cash. His son does not want things except for computer games, which they limit. Otherwise he loves seeing his bank account grow. So cash to my son for him. Daughter and son-in-law would buy better for themselves and kids than I would. So a bunch of cash for them. And daughter can shop for Sandra better than I can. Some toiletries this year. We got her lots of clothes that staff can get on and off her easily when she moved in. So hard to do much else. We give a gift to building maintenance man, who now is also a friend. That is all we do.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Sorry to hear you’re at the ER… I hope everything works out OK.

      Same situation with mom; clothing and toiletries. I’ll start baking Friendship bread soon and will gift some of that to staff.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. OT – OMG, I’m so excited. A few minutes ago, a peregrine falcon landed in the yard right across the street from our house. It sat there on the ground for the longest time, at least five minutes, long enough for me to run and grab my binoculars so I could study it in detail. What a gorgeous bird. Made my day.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. That is really cool!
      I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a peregrine falcon, even though they nest on the Mayo Clinic buildings and have the falcon cam.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Once the nieces and nephews were adults, we stopped exchanging gifts. Instead, we make charitable donations to local organizations with the money we would have spent on presents. We’re all fortunate to be relatively well off and no one “needs” anything. We spend our money time and effort on a festive holiday dinner with my family in MN.

    Best Christmas gift I ever got was a trumpet in the middle of my senior year in HS. I was totally surprised and bawled like a baby when I got it. Never thought my folks could afford anything like that.

    Otherwise, as a little kid, I loved my steel-rod-operated hockey game, my race car track. And one year, we kids got a kitten! I loved that little guy to death. (Not really, but I considered him to be mine because I was the only one he’d hug (put his paws around my neck.) 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Our gift giving tends to be impulse driven rather than planned and organized. If I stumble on something that I know husband would like, I’ll buy it and try to save it for a special occasion. I also buy a few items that I know will make welcome gifts anytime, or for a special occasions. I like to have a supply of Barb’s goats milk soap on hand, they make a nice hostess gift. I also like having a couple of locally produced jars of honey on hand for the same reason. Ditto for locally produced maple syrup. A friend of ours each year harvests wild rice in northern Minnesota. We typically buy enough from him to be able to share with friends who enjoy that special treat.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. I haven’t done much shopping at all lately and in truth, I’m not much of a holiday shopper. My parents are no longer with us and my brothers and their families have much more than they need. They’re not big on holiday shopping either and we all agreed that we wouldn’t give each other gifts anymore. I do get gift cards for my niece and nephews but they’re almost grown out of it. I made mittens for a lot of people (20 pairs).

    My best friend and I don’t exchange Christmas gifts because I couldn’t get her to stop buying me stuff. After she bought me a recliner, I had to be firm. She still buys me little things she sees, which is nice but I really wish she wouldn’t. She can’t help herself with some things. So I made her some mittens and I’m giving her goat milk soap from our Goat Mom, Barb. Truth is, I really don’t like the consumerism that’s associated with the holiday season. Gift giving is wonderful but consumerism is, well, unfortunate at times. Books are a great gift! Handmade, locally-sourced gifts are also great. I do send out cards and I need to start writing them out soon!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Mittens make excellent gifts, as does anything hand knit, I think. I never wear gloves. Don’t give a hoot how silly it might look that a woman my age wears mittens. To my mind, they’re warmer, and somehow easier to keep track of.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. The best gift I ever got was a Marshall Acoustic Soloist guitar and vocal amp from my brothers. It blew my mind that they would get me that. I totally bawled and cried and carried on and it’s still one of my most treasured things. (It’s getting older though and I really should re-home it because I only use it at home now.)

    Liked by 5 people

  10. There are very few gifts I’ve received that I actually remember, and some of the more memorable ones were memorable for all the wrong reasons. Like the “antique” brass floor lamp that no doubt had been picked up at a garage sale for 50 cents. Tarnished and pitted beyond restoration, needed new wiring, and a shade. Uglier than sin, to boot. This, believe it or not, was a wedding present, and of course, it wasn’t wrapped. I got the message loud and clear, “I really don’t care that you’re getting married again.” One of my Danish friends received a used pizza warmer as a wedding gift, I kid you not, from an aunt of the groom. Another yard sale item, with the price sticker still on the box. At least these “gifts” were good for some laughs, and they certainly were memorable.

    Probably one of my favorite gifts was a hot air balloon ride over the St. Croix Valley. Thirty years later, I still treasure the experience.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. We still do a lot of gifts here. And we make 98% of them. We’ve been done for quite a long time here except for one last piece that has to be done right before we ship it. We’re doing that this weekend. In terms of gifts to YA, I’ve completely gone down a path but I’m sure Miss Manners would think is horrific. YA sends me her ideas with links that I can click on to purchase the items she wants. And I have given in and done the same for her. It works for us.

    I’ve also completely evolved in terms of wedding gifts. I have become a great devotee of paying for experiences instead of things. So even though a lot of people still feel that giving money for a honeymoon is crass, I’d rather have them enjoying an experience than trying to figure out how to use a new toaster.

    Liked by 5 people

  12. `OT—I finally was heathy enough today to leave the house for awhile and to work a little bit. I found out that everyone in my family who was at Thanksgiving got this bug—so far 100% transmission. We don’t know who had it though because no one was sick when we gathered over 2 days. Tomorrow I go to the office to work.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Son and I discussed the logistics of having a German Christmas with the Christ Child delivering the presents, as he always does, on Christmas Eve, so as to captivate the three year old. They celebrated St. Nicholas Day on Monday, and he left chocolates and a new book by our grandson’s shoes. The Christkind will arrive as we are in the car in the driveway preparatory to going to church on Christmas Eve, when someone has to go back into the house to get something.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Not much to buy from here – gift cards for step-grandkids, and my nephew, with some little thing (i.e. a Mad Magazine Christmas issue) thrown in for laughs. My sis and I usually buy something for ourselves “from” the other, and tell each other what that is. I hope that’s what we’re doing this year.

    When we used to get together with Husband’s family, it was all gag gifts, but I would try and find something for EVERYone, and it was way too much. Then we went to that game where you draw lots, and can steal what’s already been opened…

    Like Krista, I think my best Christmas gift was when my dad bought me an acoustic guitar… not an expensive one (Estrella?) but had a nice tone and was beautiful.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. There are two Christmas gifts from my childhood that stand out in my memory. Both were complete surprises and totally unexpected. The first was a small, toy sewing machine. I don’t really know where it came from, some service organization no doubt. I was thrilled, but had to rewrite my thank you letter because I said in it that the sewing machine was my favorite Christmas present, which it was, but the nuns thought that would give the wrong impression to the giver. I was supposed to be some destitute kid that didn’t get other presents, apparently. But I really loved that little thing.

    The other gift was a brand new bicycle. I had no idea, and my family, which was not good at keeping secrets, had somehow managed to keep this one from me. I was fifteen at the time, and the bike was a Swedish bicycle, a turquoise “flyg staal” Monarch. I rode all over Europe on that thing a few years later.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I remember getting roller skates when I was nine. They were the kind that clipped on to shoes. I think I put quite a bit of mileage on them, and still have a small scar on my left eyebrow from running into a pole that I somehow failed to see.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ooh, how could I forget my roller skates? I remember going to the train station in Nykøbing to pick them up.I must have been nine. After I brought them back to the boarding school, the nuns wouldn’t let me go outside to try them out. I cried and carried on long enough that they relented, and I was allowed to strap the damn things on an sail around our fenced in school yard while all of my boarding compatriots were watching from our upstairs playroom window. One of the highlights of my life. I LOVED those skates.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. It’s funny, so many posts on this blog trigger memories that I haven’t thought about in ages. I find it interesting that I’m a lot more inclined to embrace that lost and scared little girl in so many of those memories I would have previously just dismissed. It feels really good to have reached a point in my life where I’m willing to forgive myself for some of my mistakes, and heaven only knows, I’ve made plenty of them.

        Liked by 3 people

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