Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Our Christmas Gift Plan for 2013

It's now a few days into December, and about time I did a quick check through my gift list to make sure I have everything I need for this holiday season! For the last few years I have shared my Christmas gift plans with you here on the blog, and hopefully it has given you some inspiration to help round out your own gift-giving strategy for the season.

If you're on my gift list, please stop reading NOW :)

This year there will be very few surprises under our tree, because our "big" gifts are going to be shared and family gifts.
Since we desperately need new winter bedding, hubby and I decided to splurge a bit on an L.L. Bean flannel sheet set and duvet cover. As it's been close to a decade since we last purchased new bedding, we feel justified in spending a bit more and getting a good quality set!
We have also decided to get a family gift this year - tickets to a Walk Off the Earth concert in January. With the boys now both in their teen years, it's getting more and more difficult to find things to do as a family that we will all enjoy (other than our annual camping trip!) and we want to start taking the boys to see more live music. The tickets for this show are very reasonably priced and I think we will all enjoy seeing this band. Walk Off the Earth are a creative and fun bunch so I'm hoping they will capture the boys' interest! (Check out their new Little Drummer Boy video HERE).

We'll still give the boys an individual gift each as well: 
My 16 year old son doesn't have anything in particular he'd like this holiday, so we might just end up giving him some cash as he and his brother are saving up money to build their own computer.

My 14 year old son will be getting new Nine-O sports base layer top & bottoms to replace the ones he's outgrown - both my husband and son have worn these for years under their hockey gear, and we love that they are made by a local company that is owned by a family in our neighbourhood! 

Stockings have always been one of my favourite parts of Christmas! One year when things were really tight, my hubby and I decided not to do stockings for each other. I don't know what we were thinking - we *really* missed them and I don't think we'll ever try skipping them again :)

Stocking stuffers for teenagers are a lot harder to do on a budget than they are during the little-kid years There is a great list of 97 Stocking Stuffers for Teens or Tweens over at Frugal Upstate that is handy for browsing through if you're in need of some ideas.

For the boys: $5 gift cards for Tim Hortons (we have one in our neighbourhood and they love to go there with their friends), a box of Gingerbread Spice tea (one of the holiday teas by Celestial Seasonings and a favourite with both of them), assorted candy (mostly homemade), some "natural" pepperettes (bought on sale and stashed away) and a can or two of Blue Sky natural soda (These were on sale for 6 cans for $3 and I used a $1.00-off-when-you-buy-6 online printable coupon from The Healthy Shopper and got 6 cans for $2 plus tax). It's a tradition in our family that an apple and a couple of clementines go in the very bottom of the stocking, so that should just about fill them! 

I will probably add in a couple of small personalized items for each of them as well. My 16 year old is always in need of painting and art supplies so I might throw in a few new brushes for him. Not sure about what to put in for my 14 year old yet but I guess I better hurry up and think of something :)

For hubby: He will also receive homemade candies in his stocking, plus a homemade Bay Rum Aftershave Balm that I'll be sharing the recipe for here on the blog. I've also got him some Camino chocolate covered coffee beans (Fair Trade, organic, and yummy, purchased through ONFC) and a
Camino Chile and Spice chocolate bar. And of course he will find fruit at the bottom of his stocking, too.

My dad and his partner, and my grandmother will be receiving gift baskets of baked goodies and canned goods which I have been giving them for years and years, so this year will be no different in that regard. The contents vary somewhat from year to year to keep things interesting; this year's baskets - which are usually repurposed clementine orange crates - will include Cran-Raspberry Jam, Pear Chutney, Candied Peanuts, Coconut Neapolitan Candy and Christmas Granola as well as the Floral Tea Blend I shared here earlier this month. I'm hoping I might also get around to this Chai Chocolate Chip Biscotti, which I planned to make last year but didn't get around to as we were busy dealing with a nasty virus :( In addition to the food gifts, I also have Chocolate Orange Body Butter, Vanilla Bath Bombs and Lavender & Calendula Lip Balm for the ladies, and my dad will be getting some of the Bay Rum Aftershave Balm as well. Everyone will also be receiving some of my first-ever batch of homemade soap! It's got a lot of great fats in it, including shea butter, avocado oil, castor oil, coconut oil and olive oil. I just tried a bar myself a couple of days ago (it was still curing up until now) and it has a nice rich creamy lather.

I'm sure there will probably be a few last-minute additions to this list, as there usually are, but that gives you a good idea of what Christmas gifts will look like around here this year.

 Are you "ready" for Christmas? What's going under your tree this year?

 For even more holiday ideas, you can find my whole Christmas on a Dime series HERE. 

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  1. Love that video - thanks for sharing! Stockings are the best aren't they! I always have such a hard time with Rich's.

    1. Yes, I think the men's stockings may be even more of a challenge than the teenagers!! It's funny though b/c Joe also thinks it's hard to do mine, whereas I think doing one for a girl/woman would be SO much easier than doing them for all my guys :)

      Glad you enjoyed the video - they have lots of other really fun ones on YouTube.

  2. You are so organized. I finally made a list today of what I have purchased or made etc for allocation. Doing OK. Better than I thought. I manage to organize it all without actually doing the paper and pen organizing.
    WOTE!!! Best family pressie ever:)


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