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lynn

Do you mind if I ask some questions about..... Christmas???

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1.  What gift to bring to gift exchange that's all women $15 limit.  No candles or scented anything a couple are highly allergic to scents.  What gift would you like to receive in this case?  I do not know  which lady will receive this gift.  

2. I think we may be having my sons friend over the holidays.  I know she's part guatamalen.  Any christmas food traditions I could consider making for her?.  Also some good sides I can make that do no containt dairy at all.

3.  What to get a sailor who will be underway less than 6 months.  Ones on a ship the other somewhere in on earth.

 

TIA

 

Edited by lynn

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1. A book, or a gift certificate, or food item. Nothing decorative or cutesy.

Is the exchange blind, or is the gift targeted to one specific person? If specific, target to person's interest. Craft supplies, small outdoor item, something for the yard - if you know what they like  Never mind, Missed that in the OP.

 

Edited by regentrude
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29 minutes ago, lynn said:

 What gift would you like to receive in this case?  I do not know  which lady will receive this gift.  


I won’t mind an insulated mug that would fit into a car’s cup holder. Even if I already have one, it would be nice to have extras for guests.

23 minutes ago, regentrude said:

Is the exchange blind, or is the gift targeted to one specific person?


I assume OP won’t know who the gift would go to as she said that in her post.

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1.  I love consumable things: Chipotle or Corner Bakery-type restaurant gift card, a set of nice greeting cards and the same number of Forever stamps, coffee house or movie house gift card, a couple of packages of gourmet soup starter (the add chicken stock kind) and crackers or croutons to accompany.

A few current magazines

A book or two that you love (with a note about why you love them)

An Amazon gift card to purchase a month or two of Hallmark movies for the Christmas season ($4.99 a month after 7 day free trial), with a jar/package of homemade hot chocolate mix and some marshmallows to accompany it

2.  I think Guatemalans eat tamales at Christmas.  Last year I made oven fries with sweet potatoes for my dairy-free dd.  Most veggies can easily be dairy free, though until dd cut dairy I hadn't realized how much cheese we use here!

3.  I will have to think about stuff for the sailor...

 

Edited by DoraBora
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The very best gift I got last year was a set of hot sauces. Mmm.

But since you don't know the taste preferences of the people in the first group you should probably stick with something like a blank journal, or a gift certificate to B&N, or one of those cutesy stuffed animals that you can heat up in the microwave to stay warm. (An unscented one.) Something useful for a wide variety of people, WITH the gift receipt included. Do not get food items for people you don't know. For example, upthread somebody suggests hot chocolate mix - well, I don't eat most chocolates because they're produced with slave labor. What am I gonna do with hot chocolate mix, then? Sit there and tell everybody about child slavery while at the Christmas party? I mean, I *will*, but that might be why nobody invites me to Christmas parties in the first place.

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Last time I went to one, these were the popular items:  rudolf ears and nose for your car, fleecy throw, and adult coloring book.

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1 - I like a new big warm throw blanket. 

Insulated mug with starbucks gift card. 

Fancy Carmel Apple and box of truffles.

Silly Holiday earrings or socks

2 - no idea, just help her feel comfortable and welcome in your home. 

3 - Not really sure what is allowed when on a ship, but here are things I have sent to dh when deployed:  a variety of interesting beef jerky. Small packages of healthy snacks - nuts with fruit, etc.  Funny t-shirt/socks. Deodorant. Magazines about favorite topic, or National Geographic.  Audible Credit.  Noise Cancelling Earphones.  Fancy earphones like EarPods.  If it is family, a little personalized calendar with family photos.  New socks for running at the gym (those get lost easily.) New running shoes if needed. 12 days of Christmas items - something fun to open for a few days.  Lego Christmas Advent. Chocolate Christmas Advent.  A stocking full of travel bathroom items and little fun things.  A santa hat - this was a big hit for dh last year - wore it in his office for a couple days...

This is making me excited for Christmas!!  yay!  Dh will be home!!!!!

Edited by WendyLady
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Oh, wait, about your party. I remember posting this last year, I read somewhere that at one person's party they had a white elephant sort of game, joke gifts only, and the most popular gift BY FAR turned out to be a 36-roll box of toilet paper. Useful AND funny!

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15 minutes ago, Tanaqui said:

Oh, wait, about your party. I remember posting this last year, I read somewhere that at one person's party they had a white elephant sort of game, joke gifts only, and the most popular gift BY FAR turned out to be a 36-roll box of toilet paper. Useful AND funny!

I would totally love to get that! I'm not a gift person and would be so happy to get something so practical!

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Our favorite sides with no dairy (other than grilled veggies and fruit salad): 

deviled eggs

broccoli salad - chopped broccoli, diced red onion, diced bacon, cashews, raisins, 1 cup mayo and  1/4 cup sugar and 2 tsp cider vinegar (mixed for dressing)

Skinny mashed potatoes - boil potatoes in chicken broth then mash using broth

Sauteed apples with coconut oil instead of butter: https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/21672/sauteed-apples/

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When I attended a gift exchange where you could "grab" other gifts, the most desired items were cute apron (not too frilly but with a sprightly print) and cute 1 hr timer (ladybug, I think). 

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For the gift exchange, either B&N or Books-a-Million (probably both) have boxes of very pretty blank note cards for about $10. I love keeping those on hand, as they can be used for thank-yous, birthdays, or thinking-of-yous. Also, nice pens, etc., are something I always like to have. So maybe a pen and note cards? But I'm not a girly girl, so there are things that many women like that I don't care for a whole lot.

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For #2 the traditional dish is tamales.  Making them from scratch is fun but a bit of an undertaking.  You may wish to buy them instead.  On the plus side, tamales can be dairy free.  Some have cheese but many do not.  

I don't know about gifts for a sailor.  If they are a young adult, I default to money attached to something like a book to unwrap and enjoy.  

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Tamales are traditional.  Can you find out if they want to experience a traditional white American Christmas?  Just asking as when I attended a bilingual church the people there asked for a traditional holiday meal....or just add tamales to your foods.

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#1-- a pretty frame or some thirsty coasters

#2--no idea, but the raw cooked at home TortillaLand tortillas or similar brand they have at Costco are AMAZING

#3--Amazon gift card

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On 10/30/2019 at 6:29 PM, Tanaqui said:

 Do not get food items for people you don't know. For example, upthread somebody suggests hot chocolate mix - well, I don't eat most chocolates because they're produced with slave labor.  

Okay, but the cutesy stuffed animal you suggested might be produced using unfair labor practices as well, or might be produced by a company that donates to hate groups, or whatever. Knocking out food items makes a $15 gift for a stranger much harder. They may not like the food item, they may not like the stuffed animal. If you get something you don't like, give it to someone who does like it or donate it. The profit has already been made, so I generally don't hesitate to pass on something that can be used unless I think the item itself is harmful. 

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#1, a scarf or winter hat, mini silicone spatula set (I bought these months ago for christmas gifts when I saw on sale.  I love the size, so handy), special food stuff like local homemade jams or syrups or raw honey, maybe a fun board game or card game.  Feather quill pen, or fancy pen set, or nice tall mug.

I'm thinking of exchange ideas too. We are thinking of trying a gift exchange where you pick a number and can steal gifts at our family party.  However, it will be a mix of kids and adults.  Not sure if this idea will be fun or a flop.  Not sure if we should make it a gag exchange.  We'll decide on Thanksgiving. 

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4 hours ago, katilac said:

Okay, but the cutesy stuffed animal you suggested might be produced using unfair labor practices as well, or might be produced by a company that donates to hate groups, or whatever. Knocking out food items makes a $15 gift for a stranger much harder. They may not like the food item, they may not like the stuffed animal. If you get something you don't like, give it to someone who does like it or donate it. The profit has already been made, so I generally don't hesitate to pass on something that can be used unless I think the item itself is harmful. 

 

That is true, though for my own sanity I draw a line between 'unethical labor practices that aren't out-and-out slavery' and 'yup, that's slavery', but at least you can trust that the person you're giving it to probably isn't allergic to the stuffed animal and doesn't have a religious or prohibition against keeping it. This isn't something you can say about food. The only safe food on that front is bottles of water. A surprising number of people in this world are allergic to chocolate, gelatin is frequently made with pork bones (not kosher, not halal, definitely not vegan), many people have health reasons for not consuming sugar at all....

I gave my reason for not being thrilled if somebody gave me something with chocolate, but there are lots more common reasons for that. And if everybody goes "LOL, just give a food treat!" then the person with serious dietary restrictions is going to have to expect to have to give away their gift to somebody else. That's not fair to them. It's one thing if it just happens, but it's quite another when everybody's go-to gift is always going to be something that they might have wanted but actually can't have.

Getting something non-food rather than navigating the social minefield that is food is a lot safer. Sure, it's a little harder to come up with a non-food item, but it's not impossible. It's not even all that difficult, really. There are LOTS of impersonal gifts you can get for Secret Santa and the like that aren't food.

Edited by Tanaqui

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I think the idea of a pretty Hot Water Bottle with a Knitted Cover would appeal to some people. If you search Amazon for "Hot Water Bottle with Knitted Cover", there are many lovely colors in the bottles and the covers for about $10.00 with 4-5 stars. I would work hard in a game to end up with that gift. 

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On 10/30/2019 at 3:09 PM, lynn said:

1.  What gift to bring to gift exchange that's all women $15 limit.  No candles or scented anything a couple are highly allergic to scents.  What gift would you like to receive in this case?  I do not know  which lady will receive this gift. 

I would bring a plush fleece throw to the gift exchange.  Either a Christmas/winter themed throw, or a more neutral option if you think that would be better.  Last year I saw various sizes of these at several different stores for $15 or under.

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2 hours ago, TrixieB said:

I would bring a plush fleece throw to the gift exchange.  Either a Christmas/winter themed throw, or a more neutral option if you think that would be better.  Last year I saw various sizes of these at several different stores for $15 or under.

 

I bought a $15 dancing/singing Snoopy for a similar gift exchange this Christmas.

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On 10/31/2019 at 11:33 PM, Tanaqui said:

at least you can trust that the person you're giving it to probably isn't allergic to the stuffed animal

Actually, I'm allergic to dust and dust mites and since I'm not a child anymore and I don't play with stuff animals, they collect dust and then either become something I have to clean constantly to keep dust down or they become an asthma/allergy hazard for me. I have 3 or 4 stuffed animals that I kept from my childhood but they are special to me because of who gave them to me. And they have to live in a storage box to keep dusting and dust to a minimum for my health. I'm not likely to have a fond memory of a gift I received from a blind gift exchange so I'm very unlikely to keep a stuffed animal that I received that way.

Generic gift cards to a grocery store or big box store would be pretty safe in my opinion. Even something like Home Depot or Lowes would be much appreciated at my house but even Walmart or Target or any other big box store would be useful. In truth, without knowing who is going to receive the gift, it is impossible to please everyone who might receive the item(s). Cash is going to be about the only thing that would be safe for just about anyone but I would imagine it would be seen as "no fun" or "impersonal" to some  so like I said, you can't please everyone. 

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Fair enough. I just think that bringing food is exactly akin to bringing alcohol to any gift exchange that isn't actually  at a beer or wine club.

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Guatemalans eat their main Christmas meal on Christmas Eve like people in so may other Spanish speaking countries, so you may want to make it a little special, perhaps by serving tamales?  Then I would do a traditional American Christmas meal on Christmas Day itself.

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