Monday, November 22, 2010

Turkey, Dressing and Christmas Presents?!?! Oh My!!!!

Of course we know that it is too early to really start in on the Christmas spirit of things, after all...Thanksgiving hasn't even happened yet!  However, we do think that it's never really too early to shop for your loved ones.  We don't always know exactly who all we have to buy for - but we usually have a pretty good idea.  Every year, for his side of the family, we all get together sometime around Halloween and draw names, so we don't have to buy everyone a gift.  We also keep the limit to $25 per gift.  For my side of the family, we buy for everyone - which means 4 people and 1 dog.  Then of course, we also buy for ourselves and our own pups.  But, even with the few people we have to buy for, we get stressed trying to find the "perfect" gift!

My mother used to have what she called a "Pandora's Box".  It was a box that held a wide array of gifts, that could be used for any occasion.  So when someone's birthday came around that we accidently forgot - or an anniversary - or a housewarming party...we'd be prepared without having to go out in a  mad dash to find something.  She would also go into the box for the holiday parties where there was going to be "White Elephant" games.  (that's where everyone draws a number, and when it's your turn - you can either pick from the pile of wrapped gifts or take someone else's gift - it's usually kind of fun...but there are times where people can be very serious about "stealing" a particular item!)

As much as we would like to be that organized and on top of things - we aren't.  At this time of year, we usually go to and look at their gift suggestions...that way we can see what they have - and sometimes we find it (or something similar) cheaper in a store in town - but it also throws ideas at us that we would never have thought of on our own. 

This year, judging by the amount of parties we're going to be attending - we might just have to start a "pandora's box".  So here are some ideas of what to keep in there:

gift certificates
all occasion cards (you can buy a 40 card pack, or just keep nice blank cards)
a couple of bottles of wine
kitchen items (towels, aprons, cute timers, coffee cups, etc.)
nice picture frames
crystal (glasses, frames, serving dishes, vases - we can usually find them pretty cheap at places like Ross or TJ Maxx)

We also thought about how many times we've been to different fairs, exhibits and even yard sales and flea markets and thought "oh that's cute, but what would I do with it?" - well, now we're kicking ourselves!  We could've been collecting for times such as these!

The point is - don't fret because it's the holidays - enjoy this time.  Live and Learn.  That's what we're doing - we've realized now that if we see something nice/cute and/or a good deal - buy it, stockpile it for any occasion.  And realize, that it's not the cost of the item you get - it's about the thought behind what you give.  Besides, I tend to use Thanksgiving as my way to sort of get info from the people I have to buy for.  Listen to the conversations, look around you - you're bound to come across something, someway that they want and/or need.

Hope this helps a little bit,

The Young Couple

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