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.
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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.

Mom:

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.

Dad:

1. Wallet

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.

Brothers:

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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Putting Away Christmas

It sometimes feels like the end, but it's not.
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It's probably the worst time of the year for those of us who love Christmastime. At least in the days immediately following December 25th, it's still socially acceptable to listen to your favorite Christmas carols, keep your Christmas lights plugged in, and enjoy your tree and decorations.

But, sometime after New Years, the day inevitably comes when the celebration of the Christmas season must give way to the next one. Whether you throw your tree out promptly on January 1st, wait for the official changing of the Christian liturgical season at Epiphany (January 6th), or just take everything down when you have time, there's a definite sadness that accompanies the un-decorating process.

First, there's the sheer amount of work involved in taking everything down and packing it away for next year. It takes time and effort to locate every tiny ornament hidden in the boughs of your Christmas tree, tenderly wrap each fragile figurine in a Nativity set, and untangle the many strands of lights that illuminated your yard all December. We spend hours putting everything away, not to mention vacuuming tree needles and glitter off of the rug.

Once everything is safely stored in the basement or garage, of course, it's guaranteed that we'll find one last decoration that we completely forgot about, meaning that we have to somehow make space for it in one of the already-overstuffed boxes of ornaments and tinsel and lights. It can all be pretty overwhelming.

Christmas teardown is also a reminder of just how much stuff we accumulate, and just how little of it we really need or care about. Now is probably a good time to get rid of some of it so that we'll have less to store, put up, and take down next year, but often in our mourning for the ending of the Christmas season, we find it difficult to part with almost anything. We make mental pacts with ourselves not to buy any more decorations next year, but then immediately break our resolutions when we see the cute little nutcracker ornaments on a great sale a week after Christmas, or when all the new decor begins to appear in stores the following October.

And of course, there's the essential fact that putting away Christmas decorations means the ending of one of the most beautiful, festive, and happy times of the entire year. The decorations in the stores and around town gradually disappear, the number of family gatherings and parties on our calendars begins to dwindle, school and work resume as vacations end. Everyone and everything just seems a bit less jolly as the bleak wintry weather of January sets in.

But even in the face of a long winter devoid of Christmas cheer, there's still hope. There's hope for exciting holidays ahead, like sweet, romantic Valentine's Day or joyous Easter Sunday. There's hope for changes in weather, like potential snowfall and the eventual coming of spring, when the earth will finally come back to life in flowers and birds and trees and EVERYTHING. And for those who celebrate the coming of Christ at Christmas, there's the promise that Immanuel, the presence of God With Us, doesn't go away even when we've put away our manger scenes and stopped listening to O Holy Night.

Before we know it, Christmas will be just around the corner once again, and we'll get to enjoy our favorite holiday traditions and celebrations sooner than we think. Even though lovers of Christmas will never not struggle when Christmastime comes to an end, we can take comfort in the fact that the cycle of the seasons continues, bringing so many other things to enjoy until Christmas comes again.

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