For us, Christmas is mostly about the kids and we get most of our joy from giving to them. Despite our firm conviction at the beginning of the season, we always end up overshooting our budget.
My wife and I have given up trying to get each other gifts. My wife is especially hard to buy for -- unlike many women, she's not big into jewelry, she's impossible to buy clothes for and is not involved in any activities that require accessories.
So we usually buy a joint gift. Last year was a big screen TV, but this year it was a nice leather computer chair. Kind of boring, but very comfortable (I'm sitting in it right now) and something we both wanted.
I've sort of passed on the word to my wife to tell the kids to get me booze -- usually a kind that I wouldn't buy, like a selection of Irish ales or other imported varieties of beers. I like that much better than a necktie.
My mother also usually asks for suggestions and I usually oblige otherwise we end up getting something that we'd throw out. This year it was a selection of nice bath towels (again boring but something we wanted).
Books. Every year at Christmas I get a bunch of books, and it takes me all year to get through them; by the time the next Christmas rolls around I'm ready for a new batch.
This year I got the complete stories of Mavis Gallant, which will probably take me all year to get through on its own (I'm a slow reader and suffer from the "kewpie doll effect" when I read in bed: put me in a horizontal position and my eyes close).
After 40+ years of marriage, my husband and I don't need anything. If we do, I use it as a joint gift. This year, he found a bit set on special for himself. I needed a new saucepan to make a pudding for Christmas day. We did our own shopping.
As neither of our daughters came up, I didn't buy stuff to mail and transferred cash. They live in the city and the shopping is 400% better than in our small town.
My son got lots of stuff is favourite gift was a set of "pens" from Staples for 20$
Also stickers lots and lots of stickers
I got a video camera one of those new digital ones with no tape which works really well. I asked for it because i really wanted to video tape my son hopping around the house shouting happy happy happy and doing a little dance.
Best present ever.... having a son that hops around the house shouting happy happy happy.
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