At our point in life, we're not into accumulating much stuff. I was just at Costco and they had the first two seasons of "Call the Midwife" on DVD. So I bought them, called my hubby and said, "Wait until you see what you just got me for Christmas!" The joy of being our age is that I'll have forgotten all about it by Christmas, and will be genuinely surprised when I open the gift!
First, I love Call the Midwife. Great call on a gift for yourself.
Second, last Christmas, a friend's daughter went back to the home where she and her brother had grown up and explained to the people who lived there that they were living in her childhood home and asked if the cement that they had laid for the patio in the back still had the block with their handprints and names, the names of their parents (their father is no longer living), and the paw print and name of the family dog intact. It did, and the present owners were fine with her request to photograph that portion of the cement. She then had the photo reproduced beautifully, framed it simply, and gave it to her brother and mother for a Christmas gift. It didn't cost a lot, but it was so sentimental and perfect, particularly since she had her first child this year and her brother just got married, so they each have that piece of their childhood to display in their homes. Incidentally, when my friend and her son opened their identical gifts, they were very surprised, because just the night before, the two of them had a conversation in which they discussed the way they'd left their handprints at the old house and wondered if they were all still there.
I also heard my mother mention once that her oldest brother had photos of their mother and father taken when they were very young that she'd never seen before and thought were so nice. I got in touch with my uncle and asked him if I might pay him for copies. He had two sets made in a lovely sepia tone--and refused my offer to pay for them, as I was in grad school at the time. I then had the two photos framed side by side in the same frame. My mother was very surprised that Christmas.
Speaking of getting to the age where you get forgetful, one Christmas when she was in her early eighties, my mom gave me a set of quilt blocks she'd embroidered, that I'd given her years ago (because I got such a good deal on them) and had forgotten all about. I had them quilted into a lap quilt and when I showed it to her, she said, "So what kind of a deal did you get on an embroidered quilt this time?" (she was referring to a ridiculously low-priced embroidered double bed sized quilt I'd gotten at a craft sale--fifty bucks for the quilt and two matching embroidered pillows with the pillow forms). She didn't immediately recognize her own work once it was quilted--and she was sharp as a tack mentally right up until she died at 88. But I'd forgotten having given her the quilt blocks in the first place, and then she'd forgotten giving them back to me, as it took me over a year to get the quilt made.
One of my favorite gifts recently was when my brother found a rare book my parents had had that we really enjoyed as kids. It wasn't a children's book, but an "odd" thought-provoking book in an illustrated format. He had it color copied for each of us and it brought back so many memories! I'd have to find it to tell you the title, but the point was that I had forgotten all about it and it was a pure delight and surprise.
Count your blessings!
There are a bunch of little foster boys in the house across the street from where I am moving. I am going to make brownies or some other goodies and take them over there and maybe over to the little girls around the corner. When I was little, one of my elderly neighbors would do that. And I loved to see her coming.
The last word isn't really important in situations when nobody is listening.
How nice of you.
Count your blessings!
One of the most appreciated gifts I ever gave was a book called The Giving Tree to my nephew. He loved it and he's not normally big on books, though I try to encourage him. He still treasures it.
I have a sweet gift for my dad. This year I got group photos of the grandkids at Easter. I found a frame that says I love Papa, which is what he's called on the top of the frame. That's going to be one gift I give him for Christmas. I may have to make it an early present and give on Thanksgiving!
My mom's birthday is in mid December. I just gave her an early birthday gift this weekend! She's wanted a snow globe for years. I found one that had a church, trees, and trio of Christmas carolers inside! It plays Oh Holy Night, which is her favorite Christmas song AND the song that she and I sang as a duet in a Christmas program when I was in high school!!!!!!! It was so perfect. I couldn't wait until Christmas or her birthday!
Another gift I gave last year that was a big hit with the teens and young adults were the Isotonic type pillows. I found some very nice ones at JC Penny last year that were reduced to under $20.00!
The best gift I ever gave was a picture of my dad's mom. There weren't many pictures of her and I found one and had it enlarged and framed it and when he opened it the look on his face was priceless. I will never forget the look he had and I cherish that in my heart because my dad didn't ever care if he got a gift. He was giving them away as he went out the door. We loved him anyway.
I like to give practical gifts. My daughter texted me yesterday and asked if I would buy her 3 boys a trampoline and that is what I am doing for them. I have wanted to get them one sooner but dad had balked so I guess now it is okay. They love the one I have at my house and spend endless hours on it so what better gift to give. All I have to do now is buy a small gift to go with it for each one. The nephew I help raise one of his will be easy, FIFA 14 soccer game.
You don't have to attend every argument you are invited to.
My dad gave an anniversary gift to his parents once of all the coins from their year they were married--pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, etc. He had them mounted on red velvet and framed. They really liked it and thought it was a different and interesting gift. Although he gave it to them as an anniversary gift, I don't see why you couldn't do it for Christmas. You could use the year of birth for an individual instead of an anniversary date.