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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
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    340

    Default Need Ideas for Family Gift Exchange

    I need some help with our family gift exchange this year...here is what we do.

    We buy a $50 generic gift (suitable for a man or woman). Then everyone picks a number and the first person chooses their gift. The second person to go can either take the gift from the first person or choose from the pile...this goes on until all the presents are gone. Make sense? I hope I explained it the right way.

    Anyway, I have NO clue what to get this year! I thought my gift last year was cute - I got things that went with my movie and game night theme - but it didn't go over well. I personally think we should do a secret Santa where you pick a name, but we are trying this again.

    Any ideas are greatly appreciated! TIA!

    J & J 8-2-03
    KJ! 8-30-04
    KA! 7-12-06

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    3,471

    Default

    Are you sure you can't talk them into doing Secret Santa instead? $50 seems like an awful lot of money to spend on a generic gift that someone may or may not like. We draw names in DH's large family, and we also each fill out a card with 3 suggestions of things we'd like to receive that fit the predetermined price range. Maybe it's not quite as much of a surprise, but we still don't know exactly what we're getting or from whom we'll receive a gift.

    Hrmm... I am trying to think of suggestions for your situation, but it's really hard to think of many good gifts that aren't gender-specific in some way.

    What about a gift certificate for a massage?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    340

    Default

    My brother in law and I pushed so hard for the Secret Santa this year, but we were overruled!

    Oh - the other catch is No gift certificates...see why this is so hard!

    Thanks!
    J & J 8-2-03
    KJ! 8-30-04
    KA! 7-12-06

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    4,245

    Default

    No gift certificates! That is hard!

    Do people in your family drink alcohol at all? I would go with food or drink related. Maybe a gift of a really good vodka, gin, etc. and then suitable mixers (i.e. fancy cranberry juice, flavored sugar for rims, shaker, martini glasses)? Port & chocolates? Gourmet dried fruit and nuts? What about a set of board/card games? You could get a couple in that price range.

    It's not easy to come up with something!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    3,079

    Default

    I wrote this in the 'someone who has everything' thread, but it may apply here too... Penzey's Spices has some fun gift boxes... they're about $20 each, so you could get 2 and if you factor in shipping, that's about $50. I'm with SiValleySteph... food items seem to be the way to go here -- food is non-gender specific.

    You could do 3 sets of 2 movie tickets... they sell those at costco for $15 each, and somebody might like to go to the movie three times during the year 'for free.'
    Janey.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Northwest 'burbs of Chicago
    Posts
    1,061

    Default

    MrsHill has a brilliant idea! Penzey's is a GREAT way to go!

    Also, you might want to check Harry and David - they have brick and mortar stores as well as online - they have very nice gifts!

    Oh - you could also go to Williams-Sonoma - check their $50 gifts page.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    340

    Default

    Thanks for the replies! I wish we could do gift certificates, especially since this is a gender neutral thing!

    Steph - I would love to get some nice wine, but this side of the family are more of beer drinkers..guess I could wrap up a few cases of beer!

    I came up with a few ideas yesterday - was going with the "is this something I would want if I picked it" idea...all would go a little over $50, but that is ok.

    From Crate & Barrel....

    This Ice cream machine with 4 dessert dishes:




    This fondue set - I have it and love it so I would have to make sure DH doesn't pick it...



    I was also thinking maybe $50 worth of Christmas ornaments or something like that...

    I don't know - this is just so hard!
    J & J 8-2-03
    KJ! 8-30-04
    KA! 7-12-06

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    13,072

    Default

    We do something like this with my cousins, except our gifts are $25. I personally love it. The food ideas are good, but in my experience ones that combine "ready to go" food with the gift are better. Like winter ale beer with 4 pint glasses or homemade salsa w/ chips and a serving dish.

    Here's a few more ideas that have worked well at our gatherings:

    A nice throw, in a nuetral color.
    Techy gadgets, like a jump drive or wireless mouse
    Lottery tickets
    Games, though they tend to be hit or miss depending on the crowd
    Beer brewing kits
    A household basket, like a nice woven laundry basket with upscale detergent, fabric softener, etc. It's not a sexy gift, but everyone can use it and you know if won't go to waste.


    ETA: Unless your get together is before Christmas, I'd stay away from ornaments or any other holiday themed items. It's no fun to get a gift you just have to pack away for a year.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    3,930

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cpbride8203
    Thanks for the replies! I wish we could do gift certificates, especially since this is a gender neutral thing!

    Steph - I would love to get some nice wine, but this side of the family are more of beer drinkers..guess I could wrap up a few cases of beer!
    I'm not a drinker, but DH's family is and this is how they do their gift exchange too, and one thing that someone did last year was they bought some neat beer mugs and a selection of imported beers, along with like beernuts and stuff(some spicy ones and fancy pretzels) that kind of stuff. I was surprised, but even the women liked it! And even if a woman didn't like it? A man could swap with a girl to get it, right?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Morgan's Point Resort, Texas
    Posts
    220

    Default

    I like that ice cream maker with dessert bowls. And I also like the idea of nice beer mugs (a set of 2 or 4) and beer. You could even add koozies and a bottle opener (if the beer needs it). Something like that would go over very well with my DH's family. You could do a blender and smoothie mixes (or anything else that needs a blender). I've also seen at Target some nice "limited edition" board games. I'd love to have some of those but I guess it would depend on your family. You could also do a poker set and dominos. I'm very glad that our family stopped drawing names. Good luck!
    "The highest result of education is tolerance."--Helen Keller

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