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Old 12-25-2008, 04:29 PM   #21
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The best gift ever is mine this Christmas .....my retirement day!

Then of course, the company of family to share with!

Merry Christmas
The gift that keeps on giving.

My official retirement day was 31 Dec 2004.
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:35 PM   #22
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DD made me the glass. She bought etching cream, and stuck letters on the glass, then put on the etching cream and waited. It says "Al's Beer Glass."

DW knitted me the arm warmers -- they are for biking.

Love the homemade presents!
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Old 12-25-2008, 05:37 PM   #23
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My 2 young adult kids and I enjoy a moderate gift exchange. Through the year the kids get almost all of their clothing from the thrift store or freecycle. So at Christmas I splurge on socks and underwear for them. I got my son his own new suitcase (so he can quit borrowing mine) and daughter got a couple new silky soft underwear tops for winter work travel to snow country. We have a lot of laughs from silly inexpensive gag gifts. My son made a potting table for his sister which she is crazy about as she is getting into the plants and garden hobby. She got him a baby shop-vac which pleased him immensely. The little bulldog seemed very happy with her new bed and some of the burger style dog food which is a change from her basic kibble.

The most important thing is spending the time together. Last night we all made appetizers and played a few hands of cards. Right now they are all napping and a standing rib roast is cooking. I may have to open a bottle of wine up shortly. For me the presents are nice but their presence is the best part of the holiday.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:13 PM   #24
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My best present was that all six of my Mother's children were there for what may be the last Christmas she will recognize us. Three days of 25-35 family members laughing, talking, eating, marveling at the grand children, reminiscing about our own idyllic childhood, and more laughing.

We fill stockings for each other and some participate in a $15 exchange (Max $15 from a couple to a couple). Many gifts are packaged in reusable fabric bags. Oohs and ahs are all about how much people can do with $15. My favorite this year was in a tiny bag that contained: homemade earrings, eyeglass repair kit, softlips chapstick, blank 3x5 cards, and an assortment of sewing machine needles. Doesn't sound like much when I write it, but it felt like a little bag of teasures.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:25 PM   #25
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:35 PM   #26
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Well, only the gifts that I can mention here in a public forum will be described.
My best gift was a digital photo frame. I loaded up a goodly sample of photos from the 3.5 years of our new life together. For contrast, I threw in some visual and spectral diversity - from www.space.com photos of galaxies, plantets, star clusters, and some gorgeous scenery photos. It is displaying right now on random slideshow. It is highly directional (viewing angle is critical in the vertical direction), so methinks we will need to mount it to the wall for best quality.
dh2b's best liked gift, judging by his grin, was his 2 year subscription to Playboy magazine and free CD. 2nd place goes to the Batman motif boxer shorts for lounging around the house. and yes, men of the forum, I bought him regular underwear as he asked.
Santa left some Dove choc miniatures and Hershey's Bliss (creme de menthe and choc) candy in our stockings.
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:40 PM   #27
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The best gift ever is mine this Christmas .....my retirement day!

Then of course, the company of family to share with!

Merry Christmas
BALLOONS STREAMERS FIREWORKS
Congratulations!
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Old 12-25-2008, 06:47 PM   #28
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We don't give or get many presents, actually. Frank and I went to his family's Christmas celebrations (sometimes stressful, as family celebrations can be) and managed to "escape" after a couple of hours. Seeing the stress falling away from Frank after we left was a great Christmas present!

Among other things the two of us went to the casino, and when I doubled my money we cashed out. Amazing how many people are there on Christmas day.
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:11 PM   #29
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:43 PM   #30
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Yesterday morning DD and SIL took us for a walk and stopped in front of a house and said TA-DAAAAA!!!!

They've been married 7 years since their 2nd year at college and always lived in rented apartments but they are now 2 weeks away from buying their first house. It was a lovely surprise and we are so pleased for them. Their agent met us and gave us a good tour.

It's a 3 bed 1850 sq ft house in the neighborhood they have lived this last 3 years (in NW Austin) and they have a really good price at $176K. Mortgage of $126K at 4.6% fixed 30 year, well within their means to pay.

We are more excited about this news than the gifts we exchanged.
That's fabulous Alan!

Son and DIL pestered me for weeks before Christmas asking what I wanted, complaining that I'm so hard to buy for, etc. It's tough to explain to them that just being part of their lives, the good times we have all year, sharing the ups and the downs, that's the stuff I appreciate from them. 365 day per year inclusiveness. That's hard to find at the store, even if you're willing to pay list price!

Sitting in the Lazy Boy next to the Christmas tree watching the grandkids shred wrapping paper off gifts did it for me. Oh yeah, the new gps is nice too. I'll have to investigate that further tomorrow........
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Old 12-25-2008, 07:49 PM   #31
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Favourite gift: hand made cuddly scarf (because it was from the heart); least favourite gift: food (I"m on a diet). Good choice: gift card from my favourite bookstore.
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Christmas in Manila
Old 12-25-2008, 08:01 PM   #32
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Christmas in Manila

I'm visiting family in the Philippines, and this is my first Christmas here in 25 years, since I left for the U.S.

Christmas Day here is sorta like Halloween in the U.S. minus the costumes and with money as give-aways instead of candy. It's a day for kids--they visit relatives, family friends, and neighbors and pay respects with the traditional "mano" where they take the hand of the elders and put it on their forehead. In return, they get money, just small change.

So, I have been giving money to the kids and the "big kids" alike (sibs, cousins, mom). I really did not expect to get any present from anyone but I did get a box of "ensaymada" from one aunt:

I expect that I have at least a knitting book or magazine subscription when I get back to Wisconsin. I can't wait to get back to snow and knitting

"Maligayang Pasko mula sa Pilipinas!"
(Merry Christmas from the Philippines!)
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Old 12-25-2008, 08:44 PM   #33
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I got a butler . He's wooden stands 5' tall with a tray . I've wanted one but was too cheap to buy one . My SO did not even know
I wanted one & just bought it for me . I love it . Today the grand kids came over and placed all their toys on the butlers tray . He also got me a great watch . We had a great day . Sixteen for dinner but the weather was so great that some of the guests ate on the deck . All in all a nice Christmas !
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Old 12-25-2008, 09:49 PM   #34
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....Oh, by the way, not all gifts take up space. What about a trip to a day spa or a wonderful dinner or wine tasting or a trip to Disney World.....
Oh yeah, I forgot about the 'trip' gifts! About a month ago I called the local tour outfit we travel with a lot, and paid for a bunch of day trips for my Mom for 2009....several to see theatrical productions in the Chicago area....several of which are at Drury Lane Theater, with a nice dinner served before the show. And she gave me a couple of paid trips in 2009!

Those are always great gift ideas for either of us, because we both love to travel and go to shows and such. So instead of more "stuff", we get 'experiences' and 'memories' that we can hold onto for a lifetime!
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:32 PM   #35
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Bummer. Sometimes it's not what you get but what you give.

I recommend a dose of the Christmas Carol.
Actually deepc, most of our friends are in a similar position to ourselves, childless and have everything they want. None of us believe in shopping just so we can "give" something when none of us are religious and isn't that what Christmas is all about.

We do have nieces and nephews, however we no longer buy Christmas gifts for them either. This may sound terribly stingy to you, however they have no appreciation for how much they do have in the way of material possessions. Add in they can not be bothered attempting to save and buy anything for their parents so we have decided the only thing they get from us is a match on the interest they get on their savings.

Like Rich, I get much more satisfaction out of writing to checks to charity at this time of the year than heading to the mall to buy more worthless crap that we do not have the need for.
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:39 PM   #36
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i got the last tool i really will ever need...a table saw with lots of neat gadgets....i cant wait to tear something up so i can use it!
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Old 12-25-2008, 10:42 PM   #37
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Actually deepc, most of our friends are in a similar position to ourselves, childless and have everything they want. None of us believe in shopping just so we can "give" something when none of us are religious and isn't that what Christmas is all about.

We do have nieces and nephews, however we no longer buy Christmas gifts for them either. This may sound terribly stingy to you, however they have no appreciation for how much they do have in the way of material possessions. Add in they can not be bothered attempting to save and buy anything for their parents so we have decided the only thing they get from us is a match on the interest they get on their savings.

Like Rich, I get much more satisfaction out of writing to checks to charity at this time of the year than heading to the mall to buy more worthless crap that we do not have the need for.
This year I am up to 'tithing' (10% to charity), though not to religion. I tend to avoid the mall all year round.
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Old 12-25-2008, 11:15 PM   #38
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I got:

1 really nice watch
1 sweater
1 shirt
3 books
and a nice check from my dad (down-payment on my inheritance as he put it).
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:02 AM   #39
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i got the last tool i really will ever need...a table saw with lots of neat gadgets....i cant wait to tear something up so i can use it!
I finally broke down from my cheapskate ways of using my skilsaw in creative ways & got new tablesaw about a month ago for a flooring project. All I can say is: Watch your fingers!

My L. middle (cut through the tip to the bone) is just about healed now, nail hasn't grown back yet. (Boy did I feel stupid cause I well knew about how careful you have to be with table saws - been working with power tools & equip for 40 years & first major injury - just 1 second of inattention &..... ouch)
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Old 12-26-2008, 12:26 AM   #40
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... None of us believe in shopping just so we can "give" something when none of us are religious and isn't that what Christmas is all about ?
.....
Forgive me if I've gotten the wrong impression DangerMouse, but your attitude about Christmas sounds a bit judgemental and perhaps even scornful of others.
(Kind of reminds me of my younger years when I was an "angry atheist" and looked down upon all things religious - nowadays I can attend, enjoy, & even appreciate a religious service or event on the occasional once in a while a religious friend invites me)

I'm a stone-cold atheist & I just revel in the Xmas holidays - it's really more of an American cultural event than a "religious holiday" for me. Why should I deny myself the festivities of the culture I live in? And if one enjoys engaging in a little gift giving, what's the harm (all things in moderation of course - doesn't mean we have to buy-into the commercialism "whole-hog")

I suppose being of Northern European ethnicity I could say I'm celebrating the winter solstice or some other such thing but I'm not really into that neo-celtic, neo-pagan, neo-whatever stuff either. (I enjoy renaissance festivals though & a lot of those folks are, doesn't bother me or keep me from having fun with them)

Isn't St Paddy's day "all about" being Irish & Catholic? I'm not either, but given the chance I still like to play at wearing the green, drinking some Guiness, listening to Irish folk music & dancing a jig, etc.
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