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Hugs. Lmao I'm sorry bad joke but round these parts Christmas is pretty much cancelled. This year I just want to have a Christmas that is not spent in the labor and delivery ward...or the NICU. However! As a pregnant lady the best gifts for me are foods I didn't cook. Especially baked goods. As someone who can't even bake pre-made cookie dough properly it's always a treat to have something home baked. For your ten year old, I am assuming she hasn't hit the clothes and/or make-up stage yet? That in-between age is so hard! Maybe a boxed set of a favorite t.v. Show? Target has decent prices there. I remember the year I read about your infused vodka...best gift ever!


Favorite "personal touch but I don't know you that well" gifts to give and receive: those recipes with dry ingredients for fancy hot chocolates or cookies that come in mason jars, a couple of DVD's in a dollar store popcorn tin with some candy and microwave popcorn for a family date night/date night, banana bread in any form, homemade dog treats for pet owners, cute ornaments (oriental trading has great ones) for anyone.


I would tell the friend to cut some of the gifts like the boyfriend's parents and neighbors. Sometimes you cant do everything. If that isn't doable, then Christmas cookie plates with a ribbon work nicely. As for the 10 yr old -- MP3 player.


Tootsiesstriderite.com seamless socks!


For the 10 year old girl who decided she doesn't like dolls anymore - spirograph, roominate, lego architecture sets, duct tape & an idea book, fashion plates.

For the friend (or maybe even parents of a boyfriend)- a pan of brownies (or a quickbread or coffee cake) in a new baking dish (for them to keep).


Bake for the neighbors. iTunes or sbucks card for daughter's boyfriend. Card with a nice note for boyfriend's parents and anyone else who wouldn't be on your list except you know they're giving you something.

Focus on ten year old. Does she like building stuff? Computer games? Horses?


Wow. Um.

Well, to be completely frank, if your friend is cash-strapped, what in the name of Elf is she doing buying all of these gifts? Really? Is debt worth a big pile of stuff on one day--things that probably will be forgotten in a week at the outside? All of the stress?

I think that unless my kids were a) adults and b) in significant, long-term relationships, there is no way I would be buying anything for their girl or boyfriends. OR said gf/bf's parents. My kids are teens, fwiw,

A few years back, we cut xmas down to 3 gifts per person max for immediate family, one per person extended, with an emphasis on consumable or practical. Oh, but people say, this is no fun! Uh, it was actually the kids who SUGGESTED this. We do shop for the homeless shelter annually (this yea's stuff will be personal care items --things that do not often get donated).


Homemade Kahlua always goes over well. But . . you want it to age at least one month.

Jennifer B

I agree with the baked goods suggestion, or a nice card with a mention that awesome baked goods will be coming in January, because (in our house at least) we are swamped with kids parties, work parties etc.... no one gives home baked goodies in January!

For the 10yo, we are in the same boat..... but for a boy.


Baked goods. Who doesn't love baked goods? I'm doing pies this year. Pies instead of cookies, because then people can take them places or serve them at a party without needing to make something themselves. Maybe a bottle of wine...doesn't need to be a pricy one.

10 year old, well see mine wants all Legos all the time still. However, I also tend to buy the random crap at Justice that I ALWAYS say no too. The little purses. The socks/gloves/hats with puppies. The nail polish and pens and notebooks that have more glitter on them than anything should ever have.


My friend is caught up in the gift part of Christmas. If you are cash strapped then it's a year to step back and think about good deeds and just spending time together. You loved the egg nog gift so much. Make something similar for the unexpected person giving you a gift. Parents of a boyfriend don't need a gift. Bake a loaf of bread or gingerbread and wrap it nicely for them. The ten year old girl may be old enough now for an "experience gift" any deals on groupon for a mani pedi, show or restaurant she loves?


You are supposed to buy for the kids' boy/girlfriends? We aren't there yet, so I didn't know. The 10 year old is hard - my 10 year old son only has 3 things on his list - laptop, iphone or ipod (of which he is getting none). What about a case for a device (if she has one?) or a set of sparkly nail polishes? Or maybe some gift certificates for the movies? (Really boring to open, but seems like something fun. Or a show, like Karen added.) I am at a loss, too. And bake your neighbors some cheesy beer bread perhaps?


Daughter's boyfriend - FOOOOODDDD! Teenagers are always hungry. Gift card coupons - like how 1 hour lesson on how to make your favorite pizza (or their favorite food to be redeemed after December), a cookie tin with his favorite cookies or chocolate chip cookies or our favorite apple cheddar cookies; movie coupons (we got those one year and they're a hit).

Card for a get-together or service you share? Coffee date coupon with you, tea for two, mani at the beauty school together, milkshakes at the ice cream parlour, girls night together -- we'd do mother/daughter sleepovers with jacuzzi tub, mani/pedi & facials; food again - my favorite from a friend that I hoped for again each year was sourdough muffins and her homemade fireweed jelly (but any would do).

Best gift for a ten year old girl who has decided she doesn't like dolls - books, music, art supplies, clothes, purse with big girl goodies - a couple of dollars, tinted chapstick, new small brush/comb, fingernail file, coin purse, coupon for $10-20 to be spent at goodwill/2nd hand store to be redeemed after payday, socks, hair clips, tennis shoes like her friends - vans, converse, etc slip-ons, new pillow covers & curtains made from sheets, re-decorate coupon for her room - pick 1 new thing to re-do or replace each month for a year, calendar (w/her favorite singer or animal or thing), puzzles, Sequences (adult version), Mille Bornes, or Pass the Pigs games, braiding book, rink roller skates, felt or cloth wristlet with cute applique, jewelry or jewelry making supplies, chip cookies;

Parents of a boyfriend or neighbors - cranberry orange bread, orange carrot coconut yellow cake cookies or their favorite cookie, bar, or cake, the sourdough muffins & jam/jelly or tupelo honey. Mix CD of your favorites or holiday tunes. My hairdresser gave me a Christmas CD mix one year and it turned into my favorite.

Food is always good.

Sarah B.

Art/office/hair/nail/beauty supplies for the girl… and as for the rest, I'm with everyone else and voting baked goods. No sense spending a ton of cash. I can't imagine getting gifts for all those people, though… I think maybe your friend's love language is gifts, perhaps…? I'm purchasing gifts for those who live in my house this year and not a single person more (except maybe my daughter's teachers… I want to get them a little something because they've all gone above and beyond to take care of my wee missy).


10yrolds? I have no idea. My Mom used to buy my hubbie (premarriage) a christmas Ornament and/or socks.
neighbours cookies, you are probably making multiple batches of cookies before christmas take 6 or each type and throw them in a $store can?
loaves are awesome. Wine! If some people are over 21 there (19 here) a gift card for the liqour store?


I know it's not original, but despite everyone's claims that they need to watch calories and carbs, my bags of homemade fudge and pralines always seem to go over well. This year, I think I'm going to add rum balls to the mix. But I haven't figured out how to accommodate the co-worker with celiac disease.


My 10 year old loves funky pens and doodle/diary books, I'm thinking of getting her a Spirograph this year. She's getting a microphone/karaoke thing from her aunt that looks super fun.

Baked goods, nice candle, rosemary bush/mini tree.


My 11-year old who doesn't like dolls (and never has) is getting a date to see Wicked with either mom or dad, two tickets to go stand-up paddleboarding at a local lake next summer with either mom or dad, earphones, some artsy stuff, etc. BTW, my 11 year old also despises anything Tween-y with glitter and puppy dogs - can we say hardest person in the world to shop for???

Why is my friend exchanging presents with a boyfriend's parents? Yeah, no. But my eldest is 11 so maybe things have changed in recent years. My parents never gave boyfriends a gift until I was an adult and was engaged. And even then it was a token gift - like a good pair of socks or some car cleaner. Nothing fancy.

For the neighbors? I keep a stash of clearance items wrapped just in case anyone shows up, but I don't actively pursue neighborly exchanges.... maybe a nice bottle of hand soap (I just bought some delicious peppermint glycerin hand soap that is divine!) or some Christmas-y dish towels? I will bake up a big batch of Christmas goodies, but they usually don't make it to gift-giving time... that is A LOT of work for people you may not know very well.

Remember the reason and say a Mass for said people - that really would mean the most in the way of long term gifts! :D

God bless, friend!

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution who rarely sleeps and loves coffee and happens to have six outstanding awesome kids. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she has learned more than she ever thought possible and knows less than she ever could imagine. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), rowing, sleeping, exploring coffee shops, homeless ministry, photography, and cooking.