Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Question of the Day #364

Now that we've rounded the corner to November, my family is giddy with excitement over Christmas in Vermont. My parents live on a mountain, near this tiny town where like 24 people live. Seriously, you can't see a neighbor's house from their house.

And that is awesome! We go sledding, walking past the sugar shacks through the snowy woods and snowmobiling. My siblings and I battle on Scrabble boards, hunch over puzzles by the fire and last year, when it rained, we went bowling.

It's kind of like a winter paradise. And this December, it will be an exceptional wrap up to a not so great year.

In anticipation of the big trip, my brother, N, suggested we cut down on presents this year. Between four siblings and two spouses, buying six presents before we get to the parents or the little ones is a lot. And being all sorts of broke, I'm loving that idea.

H suggested we pull one name out of a virtual hat and buy that sibling/spouse a gift. I like that idea, but how do we do that? Am I a total dork? Because I'm having trouble seeing how we virtually pull names from a virtual hat if two of us are in Ottawa, one's in Massachusetts, two more are in Jersey and I'm way out west?

So I'd like to know, how do you and your loved ones handle gift giving during the holiday season? Do you have any suggestions for us?



  1. I will soon find out. ;)

    I'm wondering if the virtual hat could come from the parents. They can pull names out of a hat, and post the results. It's the best I can come up with.

  2. Oh! Excellent idea Simply V! Maybe I'll get you... ;) xoxo

  3. My sister and I just decided not to bother this year. Saves money and a trip to the post office.

  4. I'm with Simply V - that's how we do it. One of us volunteers to be the "hat". We keep in all "Secret-Santa-ish" and swear the "hat" to secrecy.

  5. We are cutting down this year as well. When we did do secret santas, one person really just selected the names for the others.

  6. We do the same thing Suzi - my husband has 3 brothers, 2 of which are married and have a kid each. On Thanksgiving we each pick a name out of a hat (literally) and that's how we decide who to get a holiday gift for. For your "virtual hat" you can have a non-participant like your parents put all the names in a hat and draw names for you, then your parents would tell each of the participants who he/she needs to buy a gift for.

    My side is small (mom, bro, and sis-in-law) so we get gifts for all. Although with my bro in Antarctica I suppose I won't be buying much for him this year... and quite frankly I'm so over the gift buying thing. My husband and I just make a big purchase together - this year it was bedroom furniture which I hope arrives by Christmas!

  7. Good luck! It sounds like a lot of people are having to cut back this year. With one child in college and another coming home from Indonesia soon, we'll have to do the same.

  8. We'd be so happy to be the hat!!!

  9. Evelyn, I've always loved a good hat!! ;)

    And Beck, I love the idea of swearing the "hat" to secrecy...and adding the element of surprize!! :)

  10. My husband's side of the family is small, so we buy for everyone but my family is huuuuuge. We have a gigantic Christmas party the Sunday before Christmas every year. The adults have a yankee swap which gets crazier and crazier every year. Then Santa comes and gives each child a gift. It's such a blast and something we look forward to all year long. We're trying to Skype in my cousin, who is in Afganistan, this year. He has to make it back to one of the major bases though. Now that would make for an excellent Christmas present!

    I don't think your family need any help celebrating the holidays. You have all of the important stuff taken care of!

  11. Secrecy it is Simply V! Swearing to it, is not necessary, since we can't remember anything
    Thanks for everyone's help!

  12. We always have a plan and that plan never works. Someone is always left out. I think the best way is to just buy for the little ones. Here is one idea though. Agree that only the little ones get big presents. Then everyone else gets a stocking. Everyone can put something in everyone else's stocking and it won't cost very much. It can even be just a note that says. Thank you or I love you or I think you are special. Something from the heart.


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