Christmas presents for cooks

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This is the time of year when I realize that I already have more than I need to cook anything I want. I have things that I've gotten in previous years and barely used. Anything I've really wanted in the past year, I've already gotten. I know it's cynical, but when it comes to gift ideas, here's my favorite:

Money!

Money is great! You can get anything you want (depending on how much there is) and it's accepted everywhere!
 

Backbay

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This is the time of year when I realize that I already have more than I need to cook anything I want. I have things that I've gotten in previous years and barely used. Anything I've really wanted in the past year, I've already gotten. I know it's cynical, but when it comes to gift ideas, here's my favorite:

Money!

Money is great! You can get anything you want (depending on how much there is) and it's accepted everywhere!

I agree!!! I also like receiving gift cards
... nothing better than going to out to dinner and “hey, we have a gift card to use”

Unfortunately, not all the gift givers in my family see it that way.
 

MypinchofItaly

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This is the time of year when I realize that I already have more than I need to cook anything I want. I have things that I've gotten in previous years and barely used. Anything I've really wanted in the past year, I've already gotten. I know it's cynical, but when it comes to gift ideas, here's my favorite:

Money!

Money is great! You can get anything you want (depending on how much there is) and it's accepted everywhere!
Behind every gift, there is a thought, there is someone who has had a thought by spending time, fancy and money at the end. And that’s regardless if it’s a nice gift or not exactly what you wanted, or even if it’s an awful gift. It depends then on you if and how to use that. That’s my opinion.
 

epicuric

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Behind every gift, there is a thought, there is someone who has had a thought by spending time, fancy and money at the end. And that’s regardless if it’s a nice gift or not exactly what you wanted, or even if it’s an awful gift. It depends then on you if and how to use that. That’s my opinion.
An chap who works with my wife lost his false teeth down the toilet a few weeks ago. Guess who is going to receive a tube or two of Dentifix for Christmas this year.
 

CraigC

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I agree!!! I also like receiving gift cards
... nothing better than going to out to dinner and “hey, we have a gift card to use”

Unfortunately, not all the gift givers in my family see it that way.
The problem is that most of the gift cards I receive are for places I will never go to.:headshake:However, DD will go to those places!
 

TastyReuben

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Unfortunately, not all the gift givers in my family see it that way.
I love buying gifts. Love it. I love putting thought into and coming up with something, then scouring the shops or (last resort) online and finding something. A bit of a brag, but back when my wife's family were doing pick-a-name gift swaps...everyone wanted me to pick their name, especially the kids.

That said, ultimately, the gift is about the receiver, not the giver, and if someone really, truly wanted a gift card, I'd get them that...grudgingly. I will say, though, I've never given a gift card (or money) for a gift.

I take that back. One year, I drew my niece's name, and she's a Francophile like you wouldn't believe. Her gift that year was a box of French-themed items, from less-serious gifts (like a make-your-own-crepes kit) to more traditional things (an Eiffel Tower charm for her charm collection). She was saving for a trip to Paris the following year, so I donated some money for that - but in francs!
 
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That said, ultimately, the gift is about the receiver, not the giver, and if someone really, truly wanted a gift card, I'd get them that...grudgingly. I will say, though, I've never given a gift card (or money) for a gift.
I think I've had my sense of wonder and magic about the season affected by years spent around my wife's extended family. When I first met them, it was hilarious:
  • My wife's sister would give her and her parents each a greeting card with $50 inside.
  • My wife's parents would give her and her sister each a greeting card with $50 inside.
  • My wife would likewise give her sister and her parents each a greeting card with $50 inside.
So basically, everyone had to get $100 out, and then they'd pass it around in a circle (figuratively) and each end up with $100. The card itself was never important, sort of like a husk on an ear of corn that you quickly shuck to get to the good stuff.

Prior to that, as I understood it, people would go out and buy gifts, but inevitably they'd want the receipts so they could return them. They ALWAYS wanted to return the gifts so they could buy something they REALLY wanted. So, they mutually agreed to save everyone a trip to the return line. It also saves the trouble of agonizing over a perfect gift, only to have the recipient make it clear that they're going to return it.

This sounds cold and heartless, and it probably is. But, it works for this family. To be honest, when I get cash for a gift, I don't use that cash to go out and buy myself a gift. My wife's mom always tells me, "Now Rob: don't go out and buy groceries with that. Get yourself something that YOU want." But, I don't. I use gift cash to buy groceries, gas, or some other necessity. For that reason, I'm happy to get cash for a gift, rather than something that I likely won't use.
 

TastyReuben

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One year, my curmudgeon of a BIL drew my name. He's naturally bossy and gruff and older than me, and when he drew my name, he shouted into the phone: "Cash!"

Nope, not gonna happen if I can help it. :D

They'd been to our house over the previous summer, and while here, ate at a local pizza joint that he loved - and he doesn't love anything. I mean to say, he even told me himself, I didn't have to hear it roundabout fashion, that he really liked that pizza.

I went into the pizzeria, hoping that maybe they shipped pizzas. They didn't, but they did the next best thing, they sold kits. Yep, everything you need to make a reasonable facsimile of their pizza ate home.

So that's what I got him, a three-12"-pizza kit.

Christmas Day, and we did the usual thing of calling family, and when we called them, my wife asked where Lonnie was, because he wasn't audible on the phone.

Both girls squealed, "He's makin' pizza!" Their mom confirmed it, Lonnie was indeed in the kitchen, making pizza.

This is a guy who probably didn't know where the kitchen even was in his house, and who certainly had no idea how to work an oven, but he was in the kitchen, making pizza, and insisting that he do it himself, apparently.

That was probably 13 or 14 years ago, and it still comes up on that side of the family: "Remember that time Reuben got Dad those pizzas for Christmas, and Dad actually made pizza? That was awesome!" :laugh:
 

Mountain Cat

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Behind every gift, there is a thought, there is someone who has had a thought by spending time, fancy and money at the end. And that’s regardless if it’s a nice gift or not exactly what you wanted, or even if it’s an awful gift. It depends then on you if and how to use that. That’s my opinion.
Eloquently put...
I do agree... but I ended up giving gift cards or the like to my nieces when they were growing up. I tried to find things they'd like to play with, but being that I got to see them once a year or less, it was hard to track that. I tried giving them things I'd probably have liked at their age, but they were girly-girls and I'd been a tom-boy. I tried clothing - when they were young, their mother (ex-sister-in-law) didn't care for the outfits I'd send. When they were older, I sent them gift certificates to their favorite stores - that actually worked.

There was the year my parents gave one of the young daughters (around age 5??) a doll house that she could use her Barbies to play in. However, it wasn't a BARBIE doll house - and my ex-sister-in-law (who wasn't yet an ex or anything), returned it for the "REAL" thing. This one was just as good, but it didn't have the proper NAME on it.

This sort of thing rather discourages one from buying actual gifts, and is different than a recipient not liking an actual style, or a gift that will arrive that would not be useable. A five year old kid doesn't know from a BARBIE-named dollhouse from another one - as long as the dolls fit inside.

I am, however, having fun buying things for birthdays and holidays for my little great-nephew, age 4. I'm waiting to find out what size he now is, and will be sending both toys and clothing down to Florida for him. My niece is always very appreciative - doesn't take after her mother in that regard!

PS: My brother and I have gotten in the habit of sending each other food for the holidays... Last year I got a package of smoked poultry, and I sent him a selection of cheeses... Just to bring this back to the food topic...
 
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