15 Things to Get Your Family for Christmas

15 Things to Get Your Family for Christmas

I am the queen of gift giving. Just ask anyone.

My family is the hardest family to buy gifts for. Thank God that I am the queen of Christmas and love giving gifts, or else I would be screwed. My family consists of my Mom, Dad, and 2 brothers, so that is how I compiled the categories. Sorry if you have a sister. I can't help you with that.


1. Massage

You can never go wrong with a massage. Moms have a lot of things on their plate and sometimes they just need "me" time. Make sure when you get them a gift card/certificate, the amount includes the tip that they would give the masseuse, so they don't have to worry about anything.

2. Converting old home videos to DVD

Home videos

My mom has been wanting to do this for years, but she has never gotten around to it. If you are tech savvy and have the right tools, you can do it yourself. I however, hired a company to do all of the work for me. It doesn't cost that much and it is a sentimental gift your mom will love.

3. Personalized jewelry

My mom wears jewelry to work every day and last year my brothers and I decided to add to her collection. We got her a bracelet that had "I love you mom" written in all of our handwriting. There are so many Etsy shops that can do this at a low cost, making it a perfect gift for kids to get their moms. She cried when she opened it, which I always say is a good way to know that your gift was successful.

4. Recreating old pictures

This can easily be a gift for your entire family, which is what I'm doing this year, but I know that my mom is probably going to love it the most. I found a bunch of old photos and decided that my brothers and I should recreate them. I am compiling them into a cute and sappy video that I will show on Christmas.

5. Spending time with you

Now that I am a college student, I really appreciate getting to spend time with my mom, and I know she misses me a lot. This year, my gift to my mom is my time. I have an entire day planned out where we will get our nails done, go to lunch, and do other things that I know she will love.


1. Wallet


My dad seems to always need a new wallet. I swear he gets a new one every year, but I guess when you use something every day, it gets worn down. I found a company that makes custom wallets and I am customizing him one for Christmas this year. You can add pictures or other sentimental touches, or you can just customize the layout to exactly what he wants.

2. Watch

Like the wallet, my dad pretty much gets a new watch every year too. He wears a watch every day and he likes to have different ones. He has his lucky baseball watch that he wears when he's coaching my little brother. He has an older, more comfortable one that he wears when doing work around the house. But the one that I am getting him is a really nice watch that he can wear to work and to formal event, that I know he will love.

3. Beer of the month club

My dad is an avid beer drinker and he really likes trying new kinds of beer every time we go to a restaurant. Because of this, I searched for a company that has a beer of the month club. Each month my dad receives a 12-pack with many different kinds. If he specifically likes a certain one, he can order more directly from his club-member page. To say he loves it, would be an understatement.

4. Anything golf related

My dad loves to golf with his friends which is why my family has a country club membership. He always needs tees and balls or new club, which is why this is usually one of the things we get him. Last year I got him shoes and this year he's getting a new bag. Anything golf is always a good option for dads.

5. Tools

My dad is basically Bob the builder because he is always starting a new project in our house. First it was the bathroom, then he personally installed hardwood floors in our living room. I have no clue what is next, but I do know that my dad loves getting new gadgets and tools he can use in his various projects.


1. Top golf

Both of my brothers are obsessed with, and annoyingly good at, every sport. Top golf is a perfect gift for them because they can go with their friends, play and eat food. If you don't know what top golf is, it is basically bowling for golf and it's actually pretty fun. This is a perfect gift for sports-obsessed boys.

2. Batting cage membership

My little brother is trying to play in the MLB at some point in his life. Because of this, he spend every waking minute, other than when he's in school, playing or practicing baseball. He love going to the batting cages to blow off steam or practice, which makes this gift perfect. If your brother likes a different sport, you could get him equipment or a membership that fits him best.

3. Shoes

I swear boys love shoes just as much, if not more than girls do. I know my brothers love getting new tennis shoes that they can show off to their friends. This year, I am customizing a pair for each brother and making them unique to fit their style and personalities. If there is one thing I have learned, it's that you can't go wrong with shoes.

4. Lanyard

My younger brother just turned 16 and I knew that he was going to need something to hold his keys. All the guys I know keep their keys on lanyards that are printed with their college or favorite sports team. I got my brother one and he loved it. It might not be something he really wanted but he definitely needed it. He uses it every day and I swear that is the only reason that he hasn't lost his keys.

5. Bluetooth speaker

Three years ago I won a Bluetooth speaker and I still use it all the time. So does my brother. By that I mean he is constantly stealing it from me and keeping it in his room. Last year I finally had enough and bought him one. He loves it. He blasts music in his room, he brings it out to our pool, and he brings it to baseball and has proudly been made the team's DJ. Speakers are good for anyone, but teenage boys love them.

Cover Image Credit: Public Domain

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Where Have the Christmas Lights Gone?

A lament on our cultures insistence on taking down Christmas ornaments before March.

Every year around this time I go through what I like to term as post-Christmas blues. The world is wet, cold, slushy, and everyone seems to think that all Christmas ornaments should have been taken down weeks ago. Being somewhat of a rebel, I tend to passionately keep on playing Christmas songs well into July. I also might be guilty of having Christmas lights strung up in my room year round. I understand that some of you may get sick of the Christmas stuff after a little bit, but I honestly feel that as long as a chance of snow resides in our skies the Christmas ornaments should be liberally sprinkled across our houses. The overwhelming majority of people that I express this opinion to seem to disagree vehemently. Why is that? What is so objectionable about Christmas? It has good color schemes, is the only time of the year when playing non-auto-tuned music on the radio seems to be a widely excepted practice, and it celebrates what is for most of us one of the most exciting moments in human history. Stopping on that note of color schemes, why is it that we seem to like picking atrocious color schemes for most of our holidays? Valentines day, Easter, and Halloween all are offenders in this regard. Pink? Every neon color of the unnatural rainbow? Orange and Purple? Why? But I digress, the real question is,what makes us so eager to tear down the Christmas decorations the moment Christmas is technically over? I cannot personally think of a logical argument for such actions. After all, if we extended the Christmas season we could have eggnog and candy canes for months after Christmas. Twould be interesting to see a winter where we kept the ornaments up till spring. Alas, I have a sinking feeling that I won't be able to convince the rest of the world of the glorious splendor of such an idea. Something to think about though.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Home For The Holiday: A Short Story (Part 2)

Chloe's story continues.

She heard the door open and shut and hoped it was her mother coming to apologize

“It's cold out… you might need this” No such luck. Behind her, Ryan stood holding out her coat. It was freezing. Something Chloe hadn't thought about when she stormed out of the house but a thought that hit her as soon as the wind did. She had on a thin tee shirt, a pair of jeans and sneakers. But then again when she dressed to come downstairs she hadn't thought she would be storming out into the cold.

“Look just take the coat okay?” She hoped if she didn't respond the first time he spoke, he’d go away. That way she could follow behind and hide in her room until he left, but when he spoke the second time she knew he wasn't going anywhere. She should just take the coat. Or even turn around and go inside. Either way, she had to turn around and look at him.

And she did slowly. In the short amount of time between her leaving and him following, he had managed to put on a hat, gloves, and a coat. He had a concerned but amused expression on his face that annoyed her. He was probably laughing at her. He would no doubt try to make a joke or small talk. Both of which, she did not want. But because the wind seemed to be pushing her towards him, she found herself heading in his direction and taking the coat from him. She put it on and felt relief, it was fleeting and they really should go inside but she was happy for the shallow warmth.

He watched her the whole time, something she wished he hadn't done. She always left like his eyes could see right through her. Like he knew exactly what she was thinking at all times. She on the other hand never had the slightest clue as to what he was thinking. Especially now.

“You can go back in now.” She said. He seemed surprised she had actually spoken to him

“Aren't you coming?” He replied.

“Yes… I'm just giving you a head start.” This time he laughed.

“You haven't changed a bit... Well, I mean not completely…” Chloe rolled her eyes. Was he seriously trying to flirt with her? “I just meant you look older, not old, just mature.”

“Thank you.”

“But it also proves looks can be deceiving,” he said with a smile. A smile she wanted to slap right off.

“What's that supposed to mean?”

“When a mature adult sees someone they weren't expecting to see they might take a second but then they extend their hand and greet the other adult. Instead, you saw me and hightailed out of the house into the freezing cold like a teenager would have. Seeing as I haven't seen you since we were teenagers naturally I thought you would have had a different response.”

“I'm sorry, I don't remember asking you to follow me.”

“You didn't. Your mom was going to but seeing how it's 17 degrees out here, I insisted.”

“Why are you even here?”

“When it's warmer I'm going to be doing some work around your mother's house and I started shopping for things. I just wanted her input.”

“And it had to be today, huh?”

“You haven't been home in I don't know how long and I was supposed to know that you would choose now to come back? I can't read your mind Chloe. You've always been the biggest mystery to me. All I know is I'm not standing out here begging you to come inside. It's cold and I have to be home in an hour.” He turned to walk away, stopped and looked at her. “It's good to see you by the way.

Chloe was angry. Angry that her mother hadn't immediately warned her that she might see Ryan. Angry that her father had brought him around the corner in the first place. Angry that Ryan could have such a casual conversation with her and could find the nerve to say it was “good to see her”. But more than anything she was mad that she was glad to see him too. That she had replayed the conversation in her brain several times over the past two days. Angry that it was Christmas morning and she couldn't even enjoy it because she was thinking about Ryan.

And his stupid face.

She was standing in the kitchen, sipping a cup of coffee while Christmas music played in the background. Amanda was dancing around the kitchen preparing for the dinner that would happen later that evening and her father was setting up on of the many gadgets he had received for Christmas. She hadn't told her parents she was coming until she arrived on their doorstep just three nights prior. She hadn't planned on going home. She was supposed to be in Florida on a beach, drinking Martinis and enjoying warm weather. Carefree and happy. Instead, she was here, trying not to ruin her mother's cheerful mood. The day before Christmas Eve her mother went out to the store and bought her a few presents. Chloe opened each present not sure what to expect. She received a cookbook, a pair of slippers, and an exercise DVD. She smiled, at least her mother tried.

“I wasn't sure what you would want. When we visited you, you had a lot of exercise equipment and no slippers so I thought…”

“Thanks, mom.”

“I got you the cookbook for my future son-in-law and grandchildren’s sake.” Her father said with a proud expression. There was no point in picking a fight with him today. It was Christmas after all. Instead, Chloe thanked them both and handed them the gifts I had bought for them the day before. Her mother received a new apron and Kitchen Aid mixer and her father got a new cell phone and a FitBit for his walks around the neighborhood.

“Wow, these are some fancy gifts Chloe. They must pay you well.”

“Well, I only had you two to shop for.” Chloe mustered a smile and after they exchanged a look they both hugged and thanked her.

Clark was now connecting his FitBit to his phone and walking around the room, shouting out how many steps he had. Amanda would congratulate everyone as she blended and baked. She wore her new apron with pride and gave me a kiss on the cheek anytime she passed.

They were happy and life was simple. Chloe wondered why she missed that train. Just then her phone rang. She looked at it and immediately excused myself up to her room.

“What?” She answered.

“I wanted to know that you got home safely.”

“I'm fine. Goodbye.”

“Wait, please. Chloe, I know you're mad but you have to understand my predicament.”

“What I understand, Walter, is that you are a coward. I understand that you are a liar, and aside from the fact that we work together… For now anyway… I understand that I don't want to see you again.” she hung up then.

Feeling particularly proud of herself, she walked downstairs to rejoin in the Christmas cheer. Her phone rang again, but she didn't answer it this time. Instead, she turned it off and turned up the radio.

Cover Image Credit: cogdog / Flickr

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