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gifting made easy

Posted Dec 15 2009 10:14am

If you're like us, you're probably running around this week trying to finish up (or start) your holiday shopping. This year, I was much better about shopping online because really....I still can't figure out how to take my Bunch to places that requires actual browsing.

Our goal this year was to give gifts that 1) didn't clutter up people's lives/houses 2) were "green" in some respect. I love getting gifts. But I am not a fan of getting silly gifts that I will never use. But it's hard with those who are not your close friends and family to decide what they will like or not like.

I will not steal Rookie Mom's thunder since they are running Clutter-Free Gift Guides for Moms, Kids and Grandparents. But I will say I fully support some of these awesome ideas that require not getting in the car and mean a little more than another Brookstone gadget. (OK, I love these gadgets, but really do you need a wine cooler machine to get your wine to the right temp....isn't that what the freezer is for!)

I am finally learning to streamline things for friends and family.

--Grandparents (both sets) always get a fresh wreath from LLBean. It's easy to order, free shipping (most years) and this year I got $10 back with each one I ordered. Score!

--I love the idea of giving a class. For my father in law, we gave him a cooking class at a local cooking school. He got to choose the class, made some friends and was served wine with the meal. Bonus! And for a few years, he received a cheese-of-the-month.

--Last year for my mom, I attended a meal-assembly place to make meals for her and my dad. I have discovered if I'm organized enough to buy double the ingredients, I can do this at home and make her the meals I make my own family at half the cost. This is a great gifts for grandparents, too.

--iTunes gift cards or even movie tickets are perfect for tweens and teens who seem to need nothing and everything at the same time.

--But my most difficult gift each year is to my favorite Baby Bunch in the world....besides my own....Cara's kids. And this year, we'll see what she has to say about my gift to her kids. After Thanksgiving, I sent all three boys a giant box of Christmas crafts, complete with their own little trees to decorate. It makes me crazy when my kids want to decorate with my good decorations so this year, all her kids had their own to adorn their rooms/home/garage.

On a whim, yesterday, I stopped in at the Container Store without my kids to look at a few things I actually wanted to order online. I ended up purchasing quite a few gifts in the store. I realized how fun things from the Container Store are to have and how little of it I would ever purchase myself....even things like food storage containers, lunchboxes or stainless steel water bottles.

What great gift ideas do you have?

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