Monday, November 17, 2008

Christmas is Coming Whether You Like it Or Not So Thinking Caps on Please!

Right, what good are bloggy friends if not for offering suggestions and advice. OK some are silly and some are banal and I'm expecting little useful from my lot of comedic commentators but next weekend, is the only weekend I have free to complete my Christmas shopping. If I was as creative as Ces, I'd give them a drawing. Or if I had a penchant for photography a framed print. Or capable of writing a decent yarn, a bound manuscript. If I'd been to kj's Yart Sale, I'd have probably picked up a few original gems or had JD's penchant for photography a few framed prints.

I know, I know, it's early but then the problem is also compounded by two badly planned birthdays, Clare's on the 4th December and Adam's on the 11th. Traditionally, they've had decent birthday gifts and a load of rubbish for Christmas. Then we have early Christmas at the Groovy Grannies before our more traditional Christmas Day celebrations. That's every weekend in December occupied.

So here's a quick precis of the people in my life and I want your suggestions for an appropriate gift. I have the younglings covered. It's the oldies that cause me grief!

Babybro: sports freak, new to the Wii and PS3, dapper but casual dresser, likes novelties and fun stuff, keen red wine buff, music DVD fan and an habitual buyer of things in the Innovations Catalogue that rarely work. 2 years ago he bought me tickets to the Cricket (that went down like a lead balloon so I told him to ask a friend in my stead and didn't go but received no replacement). One year ago, a nice base for a large pool umbrella which didn't fit and was returned but never replaced . . .

Stressany: Petite, sporty, loves a chardy or a Merlot. Sudoku nut, bookworm, totally stressed by full time work even though she does little else (Pete's the domestic type). Likes her pampering, spas, weekends away, theatre and sports events. Needs slippers rather than the ugg boots that are drying on the windowsill but wouldn't thank me for a 'domestic' or practical gift.

Babysis: very materialistic, loves things. Nice linen, crockery, platters, jewellery, quirky ornaments (the rusty bronze garden doggy thing with a bobbly head went down well). Candles, fragrance, earrings . . If I bought her a Ba mix or a Kitchen Maid it would go rusty before being used. She loves surprises although cannot resist the urge to peek.

The Plumber: every year he asks for a pair of Havaianas and some Dunlop Volleys or an unusual tree . . .no clothes horse, family man, keen gardener, low level gamer, DVD watcher . . he usually gets his thongs and a T Shirt or a rain gauge but I want something different this year. He was very impressed with an electronic pepper grinder . . any clues?

Groovey Granny: 75, goes to Senior Citz exercise classes. They travel locally, picnic, enjoy their Sunday drinky poos and are well equipped with folding chairs, beach umbrellas eskies and all things outdoorsy. She plays tennis, cooks healthy food, likes her little knick-knacks from the little solid gold cat sitting on a silver chair to Swarsovski swans and picture frames. She's sea-sidey but slightly 'frilly'. Wouldn't go a week without her New Idea . . or Women's Weekly which is odd because it's now a periodical and published monthly.

Spunky Art: my father in law. Also plays tennis, is the ultimate barbecue guru. Slightly wizened but very active (last year I bought him nose hair trimmers by request - I never thought of implements of torture as an appropriate Christmas gift but Groovy Gran was happy that his ear and nasal hair was now controllable). He's the sort of man that if you bought a wallet it would go in the top drawer because he likes his soft bum moulded old one. He's deaf so movies hold little joy but he does like the odd 'nature' DVD (no not that sort . . the David Attenborough sort!)

Angela: My sister in law. She's a beautician. Not a bimbo. Picture perfect and no stranger to giving the odd Brasllian wax. She's beautifully 'turned out' as we horsey people say. Manicured, trimmed, classic. A redhead with a penchant for putting herself together. She likes the high life but can't really afford it. She's quiet, sweet and I see her once a year. No hobbies to speak of but crafty and impeccable taste.

GB: Ray's brother only bigger, louder. Plays golf. Sells real estate. Likes brand clothing and always buys the 'ladies' in the family a bottle of Moet and Chandon for Christmas, a tradition he can ill afford but cannot give up. Likes his food, wine, gadgets but is a technophobe. He's generous but not really 'connected' to us. Something humorous would do him well.

So thinking caps people! Next weekend is it so sagitate and prognosticate all you want but gimme some clues before Friday! I'm also open to T Shirts with inappropriate slogans so share please! We've already done "James Blunt Must Die" and "I'm With the Drummer" and "Drummer: someone in a band that isn't s roadie" and "I'm not Immature You Great Big Poopie Head".

As for the kids! I was going to buy Guitar Hero World Tour as a joint birthday present for Adam and Clare but Mr Impatient decided it HAD to be purchased for last weekend's parentless shenanigans despite his past employer now holding out on paying him for his last week's work . . .right he's now getting a Bridge Climb whether he wants it or not! Oh and the only casualties were my wall clock, smashed after an enthusiastic closing of curtains and my Bodum glass coffee plunger . . .the Fringelet thought it was adhered to the frame . . .God life will be interesting when they move out together!


Terence McDanger said...

Both your kids were born in December?

Was March the 'lurrrrrrrve month' in your house then? :)

Anonymous said...

oh Bainobebe, I am the last person who can help you with such a task.
The best present shopping I get done is almost always when I am aimlessly wondering around and I bump into stuff which immediately reminds me of somebody and I buy it then keep till their birthday or Christmas. For the life of me I have never been able to decide ahead of time and then go find what I wanted. Christmas gift shopping therefore completely eludes me every year.
Sowwy chicka! And good luck!

Quickroute said...

Our family agreed not to buy each other presents - I think my dad was tired of his ever growing sock collection :-(

Nick said...

Comedic commentators? To whom could you possibly be referring? I'm hopeless at Xmas gifts myself, I can never think of anything appropriate. Usually J and I cop out completely by buying our own presents. Now if you'd said books, I could have suggested a few good ones. Exotic food can go down well, that is if people aren't already sickened by the thought of all that Xmas bingeing. Some luxury coffee, or chocolate or honey. Mmmmm!

Christopher said...

Like Nick I'm hopeless at gifts. I see a lot of Aussie wines for sale up here, but I don't know if you get any of our wines down there. If you do, though, Stressany might like Forest Glen Merlot. It's a very rich wine, and I've never found a person yet who didn't like it.
That's just one small suggestion, but it's about the best I can do.

Grannymar said...


I have enough trouble buying things for my lot! As I get older it is more of a chore and since I hate Christmas anyway... I'll opt out of this shopping trip.

Megan said...

What's so funny is that you already suggested all kinds of things in this post!! :)

I will ponder...

Ces said...

I will not celebrate Christmas for the next 4 years!

Babysis said...

OOh this is fun....I could just say what I'd like!

The Plumber has started reading books - rather than just motorbike mags - this is good and should be encouraged!!!! Maybe "The Book Thief"....nice easy to read book!

Babysis - remember I too love a book and read them VERY VERY quickly I am currently very into Tim Winton....I also play Tennis and love Tennis Balls or a trendy (red and shiny) thermos!!! I object to being materialistic! I do like things - I desperately need new pillows - european & standard and for something cheap - LOVE ALDI BLOCK CHOCOLATE WITH HAZELNUTS!!!!

Happy Hunting!! Dont forget Kris Kringle!

laughingwolf said...

i quit, long ago... kids get a card with some $$$, those oldsters online get ecards... probs solved

Baino said...

I know Terrance. One was a desperate attempt to get pregnant after a miscarriage so no thought into when and the other a happy accident! (every month was lurrve month!)

Well thanks Gaye! You sound very organised. I have a few girly things that I bought a while ago but the mature agers have me STUMPED!

Quickie, I'm betting squillions of pesos you haven't done any Christmas shopping since you got married! 'cept for herself of course!

Books are good . . .throw 'em my way (the suggestions, not the books!)

Thank you Mr Waldrop, I'll seek it out. We do have Californian imports and some good selective wine cellars so I'll see what I can find!

Grannymar, hush your mouth! I love Christmas not the pressie bit but the family and sparklyness. My tree goes up the day Clare gets home!

Yeh I did Megan but they're things I've already bought for them or others have given.

Oh Ces, we'll have to start calling you the Grinch and you so will! Your economy needs you to fiscally stimulate it!

Thanks Doo doo I knew you'd have some suggestions!

Ces said...

I changed my mind.
I want world peace and see Obama walk on water like every infatuated liberal thinks he can.
I do not want another terrorist attack.
I want a dog for my son.
I want to be able to eat solid foods.
I want a revolver and a shotgun.
I want you to have everything you want that makes you happy and be surrounded by people who love you.

kj said...

i;ll be happy to give you my not-so-expert shopping ideas, but it'll have to be in a day or two, when sleep and work have had their way with me.

i started last weekend. every year i say i will be done by thanksgiving so i will have time to bake, cook, enjoy my family and friends, but every year i fail. still, i care most about stocking stuffers. i take my time with those.


kj said...

ps baino, last christmas i gave mostly everyone magazine subscriptions. it was alot of fun to pick out the mag i thought each person would like. it turned out to be a good gift and easy to order. for what it's worth.


Kath Lockett said...

Terence McDanger, Feb/March is ALWAYS 'lurve' month in Australia - it's that lingering summer warmth with cooler autumn nights, when the typical red-blooded Aussie male's mind turns away from the telly and towards romance several hours later when he taps his missus on the shoulder, ready for foreplay with the phrase: "Are you awake luv?"

As for pressies Baino? Chocolate. And booze. Or chocolates filled with booze. Or vouchers so that your loved ones can get chocolates and booze......

Nick said...

Well, how about The Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer, or anything by Lionel Shriver, or A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hosseini.

Thommo said...

I have told my family that all presents must come from St Vinnies or the Salvo shops...that way the trinkets and oddities are cheap and the money goes to a good cause and if they hate it, it can go back to St vinnies or the sSalvos and everyone's a winner!
I downloaded a list of Salvo stores tonight - wanna go shopping?

Gledwood said...

There's nothing worse than a badly planned birthday. The simple solution is to shuffle them round. Have 2 birthdays like the queen!!!

As for pressies I can advise on the computer one: that snazzy new game that's just come out. I think it is for the ps3 it's called wonder world or something . you control a cloth guy through myriad levels.

i remember it so clearly from the reviews as it's the ONLY sort of game I like playing: ie no reflexes are required and you don't bother scoring points ~ you just hang out in the onscreen world and explore!!!

Gledwood said...

o man i cannot for the life of me find out what the ******* hell it is called but get your Baby Bro that game

it has WORLD in the title, I am sure of it!

something like Wonder World

or something

I would buy it for myself therefore it must be a perfect gift for anyone else, ha-har!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

But you've listed all the potential presents already, just in describing each individual. So whaddayawaitin'for - get going, or is this procrastination I sense... ;-)
I'm planning on boycotting Christmas this year, so I'm probably the last person to ask anyway.

Ropi said...

Well I am not good at picking gifts. For girls I buy perfume usually and for guys deodorant or books. There are those Christmas parties in the class when you put your names to a hat and we pick a name and we buy gift to him her. So that rule works for that case mainly.

If I know the person then it is easier.

Baino said...

There there Ces that's better. I hope Sanda puts a shiny new Glock in your stocking and a puppy to pee under your tree. And thank you for the early blessing. Same to you. As for Obama walking on water . . .we'll see. I saw him palling up with McCain on telly last night. Now that's an unusual move.

Thanks kj, Mag subs are pretty good. Adam usually gets a Motocross magazine subscription from someone. My lot aren't great on the magazine front otherwise.

Kath well done on putting McDanger straight and enlightening him with the great Australian foreplay "Are you awake love!". Chocolate's good but I bought those little chocolate coins to put on the tree once and they all melted before Christmas . . vouchers . . hmmmmm!

Thanks for the hot tips Nick. "A Thousand Blessed Suns" is doing the rounds at the moment.

Thommo mine would have a hissy fit if I bought them Grandad's old shorts or a cracked tea cup but I'll come shopping with you anyway. One year Hippybro gave everyone a cheque for a pre chosen charity. Dad wasn't impressed with his $100 for Alzheimer's Research

Wow Gleds, two comments, you must have found a new Internet Cafe . .cloth men and multi levels. I haven't heard of it but will seek it out! I thought you might have suggested a family of Hamsters! I still have an unused mouse house in the garage!

Oh AV! Another Grinch. I love Christmas even if the gift giving is a bit of a chore. As for procrastination, I am the world's best!

Ropi, perfume for girls is a good one but a bit expensive for the decent scents. "Deodorant" God the men in my house would not be impressed with deodorant or do you mean 'cologne or after shave'. We do that 'out of a hat' thing for a small table present at Christmas dinner. It's a 'Secret Santa' or 'Kris Kringle' lots of fun and we usually buy something silly for each other.

Melissa said...

I love your posts, Baino -- this one cracked me up! I have a couple of hard-to-buy-fors on my list, too -- dear husband is at the top, but I can usually figure something cool out. :)

And ... I've tagged you over at the forge!

Jay said...

I love Guitar Hero, but I sincerely hope no-one gives me one this Christmas. I shall be recovering from shoulder surgery and I can't help thinking it might be Bad for me. LOL!

You are very sneaky! I hope you post ALL the gift suggestions so we can all benefit from the advice handed out!

Baino said...

Hi Melissa . . go over to English Mum she's solved all our problems! Just hope I can order in time for Chrissy delivery! Cheers for the tag.

Oh Jay. Sneaky? Moi? I may well do after Saturday's shopping spree. I'm generally a 'power' shopper. In and out as quickly as possible. Sorry about the shoulder surgery, at least you won't be lifting the turkey out of the oven! Last Christmas I was recovering from my hysterectomy so was spoiled rotten generally!

Babysis said...

Babysis again.....The Plumber and Babybro both have the book A Thousand Splendid Suns.

How about a trip to Ikea...Ikea is funky...I like Ikea...Shiny things are always pritty too!

Thommo....I dont like your idea of Vinnies stuff....

Board Games are good too! Love games!

Don't Bug Me! said...

My solution - go travelling for 4 months and make sure that you don't return until Boxing Day! Pick up a few trinkets on the way and you are done. I suppose I could send a few Christmas cards.......

Ropi said...

Well, Maths teacher has her notebook to check the marks when she was talking to my dad and she has never mistaken anyone's name after the first week. So I guess she was talking about me.

kj said...

baino, your babybro sounds like my son-in-law. i have no idea what to satisfactorily get him. we pile up on small presents and stocking stuffers. last year we got him a premier bottle of beer, a special cuban cigar, a script to a financial magazine, a video game, etc, etc. etc. and i still don't know what he liked and didn't like. that leaves us with the old standby: omaha steaks!

this was alot of fun reading your christmas list.


Ernest de Cugnac said...

Nothing useful from me, I fear, other than to volunteer that the French don't really "do" Christmas - hooray!

Baino said...

See Babysis, you're a fountain of inspiration! That's you covered, what about the rest! Erm I didn't think Thommo's suggestion would fill you with awe!

DBM . .thats an awful shirking of your gift giving responsibility. If I was you I'd give everyone framed prints of your nature shots!

In that case Ropi, well done. Should keep the parental units satisfied for a while!

kj he and my father in law are the hardest to buy for but the easiest to please. Fortunately, the pool umbrella stand broke last night in a storm so I have my inspiration!

Ernest I gathered that. Once had a French Exchange student visit and we had Christmas in July. He thought we were totally off tap sitting eating turkey with our paper hats and crackers!

Ces said...

Really, I do hate American Christmas because of "stuff", not very spiritual at all. People love to give and receive junk, I don't. Junk to me is anything I don't need. I love the parties and family gatherings and going to church, Christmas tree, lights and music though.

Bimbimbie said...

Baino I'm exhausted just from reading your list! Send them all a card letting them know how lucky they are to have you in their lives ... that should do it *!*