The Beauty of the $25 Grab Bag

When I had one niece, I showered her with presents. A couple more nieces and nephews came along and while the shower continued, we turned the spout down a bit. Add a bunch of my kids to the picture and even if my family had unlimited funds, there would simply not be enough time to shop for and wrap all the presents and still remember what the holiday is truly about. So, we’ve scaled back … and no one is yet to complain.

On my side of the family, there are 16 kids, ranging in age from 9 months to 18 years old.

– This year, we asked my dad to send us all to a Broadway show instead of shopping for individual presents. Experiences make the best gifts anyway!

– We only buy for our godchildren, and we’ve put a limit on the spending.

– We do a cousin Kris Kringle, which is the absolute highlight of the holidays for my kids. They are markedly more excited about the giving than the receiving.

– And, adults partake in a $25 grab bag

Sometimes, it is difficult to think of something a lot of people might want, need or use. Often, as is the case in my family, there is a range of ages and both sexes are involved.

Here are some ideas if you are stumped:

Easy & Useful

Gift Cards to Amazon, Apple Store or Barnes and Noble
A bottle of wine or liquor
A soft throw
A coffee table book
Keurig K-cups
A Holiday Decoration or Candle

Outside the Box

Adult Snuggly
Ice Scraper with Mitt to keep your hand warm
DVDs of a hit series
Interesting Barware or Glasses
Jumper Cables
Games — last year Kan Jam was a big one
Mini-tool kit
Scratch Off Lottery Tickets

Ridiculous, Not Useful, but Really Funny
(these have all been given at my Christmas celebration)

A Canned Ham with $25 on the bottom
A Light Up Gnome
A Brookstone Headlamp

And, my all-time favorite … my cousin gifted this last year. It’s a picture of him on his Communion day… and, it’s a blanket. I still laugh every time I think of my brother-in-law opening it. You can put your face on just about anything these days! Go crazy.

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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Doctor, mom of five and founder of Tips From Town.


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