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Stumped for Christmas Ideas

My family keeps asking me to create a Christmas list, but I’m struggling to come up with any ideas. I typically include experience related items like tickets to sporting events, cooking lessons and certificates for dinner, but this year I’m not sure if I should include the usual list of suspects. It seems like I keep writing the same things down year after year.

I keep hoping that inspiration strikes, but so far I haven’t had any brilliant ideas. So I thought I’d ask my wonderful readers if they have any thoughts on the matter.

What are you asking for this Christmas? If you aren’t asking for anything do you have a gift idea for someone else that you’d like to share?

I still don’t have many ideas, but here is an updated list for my husband:

  • LED Lanterns. We keep a few of these in the house in case our power gets knocked out. They are great for providing enough light to play cards or board games and even light up the bathroom if you need it. We also keep one of these in each car in case we are stranded on a dark and lonely night.
  • Of course LED flashlights are a must have. We keep a handful of these in various rooms in the house and one in each car too.
  • Headlamps. I know, I know you’re thinking “another light!” But trust me this one serves a different purpose. Headlamps are great when you are fixing cars, household appliances or just about anything else where you may have limited light. You can place them on your head and keep your hands free to do the real work. My husband LOVES these! Ever try to hold a flashlight while changing a toddler’s diaper. With headlamps you can have both hands free! They range in price from as low as $10 to $15 to as high as a few hundred. The more expensive ones usually burn brighter and more directly.
  • With all those electronics you’ll certainly need batteries, so throw in a pack or two. Make certain you double check the type you need. There is nothing worse then buying something that needs AAAs and you have nothing but AAs in the house.
  • Favorite candy or cookies. Some guys like to chomp on gum, others prefer something chewy like Starburst or chocolatey like M&Ms. Throw in a bag of whatever your husband loves. Odds are they’ll be eaten before the end of Christmas day.
  • Walk inside any gourmet grocery store and you can spend hours picking expensive vinegar or olive oil from the shelves. If your husband is a foodie he might enjoy using a more expensive version of one of these staples. You can also look for unique bottles of honey or jam.
  • Spices are another great gift for someone who loves to cook. Have you ever looked at the price of saffron? If your guy likes to cook try buying him a more expensive version of a spice he typically cooks with or buy him an ingredient he’s never tried before. Find a new recipe that includes the ingredient and tell him part of the gift is finding a night to cook together.
  • If your guy doesn’t like to cook, but loves to eat, how about some unique hot sauces to spice up his meals? Tacos and enchiladas are a staple in our home, but dinner always feels a little extra special when you can add something unexpected to the meal.
  • Does your guy love pancakes or waffles? Why not buy him a box and promise to make him breakfast in bed. Don’t forget to throw in a small bottle of maple syrup.
  • My husband LOVES to eat movie theater popcorn. You could add a few bags to your husband’s stocking along with a new Blu-ray movie. Tell him you want to plan a date night where you light a fire in the fireplace and stay snug indoors. There are also all sorts of popcorn seasonings that might be fun to try. Consider buying vintage sodas too.
  • For the man who savors a cold beer after a long day’s work you can search for a unique brand he’s never tried or buy him a special beer mugBottle openers are good ideas for stocking stuffers too. If your husband is like mine he likes to keep one near the fridge, one in the garage and one in the cooler for tailgating.
  • If your spouse travels a lot for work think about buying him photo luggage tags or tags that are unique or unusual in shape. He won’t confuse his bag with the guy standing next to him ever again.
  • What man doesn’t like to put his feet up at the end of the day? How about a pair of warm slippers. My husband prefers slippers with plastic soles so he can go take out the trash, pick up the newspaper or walk around the yard without ever having to put his shoes on.
  • If your husband is anything like mine he could also use gloves, scarves or a warm winter hat. My husband tends to leave his gloves behind and often needs a spare pair mid way through the winter.
  • If your guy loves his car consider buying him a car cleaning kit. Even better offer to help him clean it on a hot, sticky day next summer.

If you have any ideas or think I left something hot and juicy off the list feel free to leave a comment below.

One Frugal Girl

Wednesday 1st of December 2010

So many amazing ideas!

@Amanda - I love the idea of a mortgage gift. You could provide someone with a house shaped ornament with a check inside :-)

@Merveilleux - I'm desperately trying not to be one of those annoying people that doesn't provide a list. I love the idea of a spice rack and chocolates. I don't know if I've ever asked for chocolates before.

@Maureen - I've tried the gift card route, but I think my relatives are getting bored by this answer :-)

@graduatedlearning - A tasty gift from the heart is a great idea. My mom makes delicious fudge.

@Muttersome - Travel trinkets are a great idea as is the wine class. I don't drink wine but I would love to take a class in making sushi!

@Heather - I always have spa certificates on my list! It's a nice way to indulge without footing the bill for it. I also just switched to glass containers. I should've waited a few more weeks so I could have put that on the list too.

@Stephanie - I asked for knives a few years back. My husband bought me a set and now we cook at home much more often!

@halfdozendaily - I love the idea of creating an experience out of something simple like a book. You buy some nice slippers, tea and a book and now it's not just a book, it's a whole reading experience! Love it!

@Dreamin - I've asked for donations before, but no one has ever taken that approach. I think they still want to buy me something :-)

@Pam - Time is a wonderful gift. I never considered formalizing that idea, but I think I'll create some small paper certificates for my grandmother. You know simple things like lunch out at her favorite restaurant or dinner somewhere she chooses. Great idea!

Pam

Tuesday 30th of November 2010

I ask for time. I don't live close to my family, so when my husband asks what I want for Christmas my answer is always "take me home." I have a friend whose birthday is the day after mine, so to celebrate our birthdays we take each other out for lunch. If you live away from family, ask them to take the funds they would spend on your Christmas gift(s) and save it to meet you at your beach home (or somewhere in the middle).

Dreamin

Tuesday 30th of November 2010

Another option, might be, to ask for donations to your favorite charities in the amount that someone would have spent on a gift for you. Win Win situation.

halfdozendaily

Tuesday 30th of November 2010

I don't get much in the way of gifts at all, but we do exchange names for gift-giving on my side of the family. I asked for a wooden bench for my front patio, (would love to sit out in the spring & summer with a tea & a good book!) a warm pair of slippers, and an apron! lol!

Stephanie

Monday 29th of November 2010

We asked by parents to split the cost of a professional knife set with us as our gift. It is a larger purchase but one that we will be able to appreciate for years, and splitting the cost makes it more resonable from a gifting standpoint.