Christmas. What I got. What you got. Hope it wasn’t herpes.

Yes I know. Christmas is about family and friends and good food and charity and peace on earth. I understand and acknowledge that.

But I love the presents.

I know a lot of families cut out the presents once everyone gets past a certain age or they draw names out of a hat and everyone only gets one gift but THANKFULLY no one has done that in our family. It is a present giving and getting free for all. It’s obscene really, as anyone who has ever witnessed the event will attest to. We still mourn the toddler we lost in the carpet of wrapping paper one year. We refer to her as the dump child, assuming that’s where she eventually ended up, being raised by a group of loving garbage men.

The thing is, we all really like giving and getting presents.

I love it. I love knowing someone paid attention to something I said in the middle of the year, remembered it and then bought it for me at Christmas. I love that I’m sortta cheap and don’t buy myself everything I want because it makes Christmas spectacular! I love when people buy me things I’d never buy for myself. Like a $60 Beeswax candle. Or Chanel hand lotion. Or any hand lotion.

These are some of this year’s favourites.


Chicken Chocolate Lollipop molds. (from a reader)

Buy it here


Vegetable keepers (from Bikram Yoga niece)

Buy similar here.




Mini house shaped humidifier …




… that fits on a water bottle and plugs into your computer. Even more fun, you an add essential oil to it. (niece again)

Buy it here.




Indoor Skydiving Lessons (niece again, seems to me she’s showing off this year)

See about it here.





Toast coasters … (from Pink Tool Belt)

Buy them here.



… they are toast. They are coasters  Which makes them Toasters.

I think someone used that term on Christmas Day and I’m stealing it. Who knows. Maybe I’m the one who said it. Let’s go with that.




Hand Sanitizer.(show off niece)

Buy it here.





Yup.  Smells like Innocence.




Rusted metal toy truck.  (me)

I also bought myself an office desk and a shoe caddy.  I got some other stuff.  A Smart TV from my mother, some great photography gear from my sister Fish Pedicure and squishy socks.  Who doesn’t love squishy socks?


Yup. I love the presents. So now I ask you … what was the most memorable thing you got for either Christmas or Chanukah or Kwanzaa this year? I’d especially like to hear from the Kwanzaa celebrators actually because I’ve never met a Kwanzaa celebrator and would love to hear more about it. I know I’d like Kwanzaa based on the one thing I know about it.

It involves presents.

[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”5342563″]


  1. Bobbi says:

    My daughter got me a pair of handmade scissors. Made in England. I think Sheffield, England. Lurv them.

  2. Pati Gulat says:

    The hubby put me in a 16×36 , 8 ft deep in ground swimming pool for my Christmas/Birthday gift. My birthday is December 18th. My sister and mother got me an electric hand circular saw . My daughter bought me my favorite childhood book “Little Women” with a copywrite the year I was born (1956)…. And our family lives to buy for everyone too !!!!

  3. Cheryl says:

    So…… All our friends, family, coworkers and acquaintances are often asking us “when are you getting married?”

  4. Lis says:

    Nice haul! But where are pics of your self- given presents though? For our family of 4, we gave us a trip to San Francisco ( we live on the East Coast U S). What a gorgeous city.

  5. Elizabeth Sellon says:

    A long time ago you did a post about retining copper. For christmas my guy had my grandmothers copper sauce pot re done for me! My favorite present by far… miss cooking with her.

    • Karen says:

      Great idea. I actually spent part of my holiday SEARCHING for someone to do my copper pots. I finally found someone a couple of cities over from me. Glad you’re gramma’s pot is restored. πŸ™‚ ~ karen!

  6. Valerie says:

    Something I would never have done for myself ever: I received an on line (UBC) course from my significant other which commences January 27/15. Given the subject material it was heartfelt and truly appreciated that he knows me so well!

  7. Rhonda Davis says:

    My favorite gift was from my daughter. She gave me a Tillandsia plant AKA ‘air plant’. I love these plants for several reasons, but mainly because I haven’t been able to kill one yet. Mind you, I haven’t tried to kill one, but I never set out to kill any of the indoor plants I’ve killed. ‘Honest, Officer, I watered it, put it on the windowsill and the next thing I knew, it died.’ Seems to have happened too often. Anywho, what was really cool about the gift, was my daughter put it in a small clear jar that holds the plant in place with a little scene she created with some sand, a few shells and three miniature penguins dressed in Christmas-themed scarves. My daughter created the scene herself, chose the penguins to represent my three grandchildren and because she knows I am fond of penguins. It was personal, creative, and has special meaning; my favorite types of gifts.

  8. sandra says:

    The best gift was having all four of my kids home for Christmas. I would forego any wordly item just to hear the laughter and see the love my kids have for each other. So proud of my youngest daughter (16), an amazing artist who handmade every gift for family and friends. Lucky recipients received portraits, screened tee shirts, sketched art etc. Incredible!

  9. Jenny n NC says:

    Our son made me two giant planters for the new barn-actually my studio-I’m a floral designer. And our daughter gave us apple and fig trees for the new orchard. Wow!! Guess we raised them right! Oh-and my dear husband gave me a new leather handbag-a concealed carry Piazza bag. Again–wow! Been a great year.

    • Langela says:

      I first read that as “pizza bag” and thought what an awesome gift to be able to carry around concealed pizza!

      • Kim from Milwaukee says:

        Ya, I had to re-read that, too!! LOL Almost started googling concealed pizza bag!

      • Jenny n NC says:

        LOL!! That’s what I get for name dropping…… But that thought is funny! And it is a really nice piece of leather work. Guess that those living in Canada might not have a grid for having such a handbag. I’m married to a shooting instructor, live in the southern US and all the family hunts and shoots. And we all like pizza…….thanks for the giggles!

  10. tiffany says:

    my sister made me an apron with a handwritten label
    “the stylish crofter…egg collecting apron by debs

  11. Kimberly M says:

    Mine was a keyboard, that is actually a present for my boys, but hey! Who says I can’t play it???? I guess my favorite gift that was actually for me was a new sewing machine from my husband. He’s deployed right now so I think he was sucking up feeling bad for not being here.. haha.. We missed him a lot this year. 5th year in a row. Hoping for holidays with him next year! Just thankful for friends here and not being alone on Christmas. I’m so getting my husband that hand sanitizer for a home coming gift though. That is awesome.

  12. Lin N says:

    My best fun gift was a mug with cats on it…looks like an ordinary mug but when you move it, it ‘meows’. Hand wash only cuz it’s got electronics in it. I love movies and my practical gift was a 3D, Blu-ray DVD player with 2 movies, Maleficent and The 100 Foot Journey…both excellent!

    • Karen says:

      Do you need a 3-D TV for that? I imagine you have one otherwise it would be a weird present, lol. Like getting a steering wheel, some tires, a brake pedal and no actual car. ~ karen!

      • Lin N says:

        P.S….I have the 3D enabled TV in order to used the player….good point Karen about if I didn’t have the 3D player it would be like getting a steering wheel, some tires and a brake pedal but no car!

  13. Rondina says:

    Your niece is a riot and your gifts were cool. Since we still buy everyone a present, I’m going to forward the middle child (the director of Christmas) this post for future ideas.

    It wasn’t what I got. It was watching my 26 year old son and his girlfriend of about four years. They really, really wanted to get each other something the other one wanted. They usually do, but this year there was something different about it. And my hope-to-be-one-day-daughter-in-law went to great lengths to get my son’s gift. She had everyone in our family and everyone in her family give him gift cards. These were totally worthless as they had already been redeemed. Instead, we all contributed what we could to his present. They had Christmas here on Christmas Eve and with her family Christmas Day. With all those gift cards he was thinking that he would run to the store after work the next day to get his toy only to find—at 9 PM Christmas Day when he opened her present—there it was.

    Seeing them trying so hard to please each other (and watching my grandson for an hour on Skype) were my real Christmas presents. Really.

  14. Jasmine says:

    Guess what I got??? I got FAT!! Woot.
    Actually the family and I took off for the desert in Arizona and that was our present to each other. A good time was had by all. Hence the weight issue…

  15. Mel says:

    I adore all the good smelling LUSH products – bath fizzies and shower gels and so forth. So the day after Christmas, when they have their buy-one/get one sale, hubby took me out for a brunch, treated me to the biggest bestest “12 days of Christmas” box of Lush gifts – and there are 2 of these boxes, so I’m sharing with him. And then we went to see Into the Woods. Deeeelightful. Not surprising, but everything I wanted to have that day.

    I gave a couple of the day planners covered in leather from your tutorial! As well as some leather tassels and hair bows, and various things.

    I totally think gifts are one of the best things about Christmas. No doubt.

  16. Mike says:

    I got herpes.

    But really my favorite gift was from my girls at work, they got me socks and a moustache ice cube tray. Warmed my cold, dead heart.

  17. Pam says:

    I fully expected to have nothing to open on Christmas but received a suprise box of edibles (cookies from Italy, chocolate from England, assorted teas, etc.) from an old friend. I spent the day alone, but treated myself to a movie. Not an exciting Christmas, but not the worst I’ve had either so that’s something. πŸ™‚

  18. Anti Kate says:

    I wish I could upload a picture. We did the kickstarter for this thing, getting version 2.0. It’s coming in February and I CANNOT WAIT!

  19. Diana says:

    When I saw the main line I was a bit taken back LOL then I laughed.. I thought someone has a sense of humor .
    I got a recliner to crochet in, perfume, piggy slippers, and a band saw ! wooohoooo .. me !! LOL

    • Karen says:

      The comment section of this post is proving I have a really interesting bunch of readers, lol. Everything from band saws to special edition books to concealed carry purses. ~ karen!

      • Diana says:

        Why yes we are all unique in our own simple ways. LOL

        I do crafting (hence the bandsaw for wood projects), quilting, crocheting, sewing, simple painting projects. I really wanted a cordless Dremel, maybe next year Santa will be nice to me and get it.

        So glad I found this blog, just love it .. Thank you for putting it out there in cyberland for us to read and glean new ideas from.

      • Grammy says:

        Yes, Karen, this is an interesting bunch. It’s like you’ve set up a very cool bar where dullards never go, and the rest of us all look up and smile when someone enters the room because we know that they will be smart/serious/bawdy/kind/funny and make us glad they came.

        I came back to read the latest responses to your question (okay, I admit that I wanted to look at that beautiful toy truck and the hilarious hand sanitizer again) and find that reading comments here always makes me glad I took a few minutes to check back and see what went on after I left the other night. Thanks for making good people want to drop in.

  20. Cynthia says:

    I want your old tin truck. Wouldn’t it be great if you found that exact one real-size with a perfect engine, diff and gearbox and delivered by someone like ‘ol’ Silver Fox’ wearing Bib & Braces overalls. Even a red checkered flannelette shirt would do. I digress. That would be your perfect truck.

    I’m looking for something similar or a kid’s peddle car to put on the roof of my garden shed.

    I got a bottle of “Beautiful” by Estee Lauder for myself. A whole bunch of brass cow bells in the different sizes for hanging in my outside trees, some home-made selves from my best friend who used herbs from her garden and mixed them outside at night to add some magick.

    I also got the most perfect set of flocked mushrooms in red with white spots. I haven’t tracked down the perfect flocked deer to appease my flocked deer envy yet. Also, a miniature Hairy Mac Clary doll which is what my woggy, Devil looks exactly like. He got diagnosed with leukaemia just after Christmas, but at least it’s the good kind. CLL.

    I think Santa forgot two new dresses, so as I have them Bookmarked on my laptop, I think there might be some internet activity still going on soon in the guise of belated gifts.

    Now, back to doing demented image searches with words like ‘flock’, ‘fuzzy’, ‘deer’, ‘stag’, ‘fawn’ . Want a deer hide too now. For a floor rug. Is that bad?

    • Karen says:

      No. Not bad as far as I’m concerned as long as the meat isn’t wasted. I’m fine with hunting if it’s done right, respectfully and above all not as a sport but as a way of life. Eat the meat, use the skin, etc. etc. It’s the Viking in me. I can’t believe you’re still going on about The Silver Fox, lol. I actually saw him in town over Christmas. πŸ™‚ ~ karen!

  21. Janelle says:

    I got Felco pruners. I got an Alice Munro book. I got super amazing sewing scissors and a rock solid guarantee that no one in my family will use them to cut paper or for any other purpose. I got fancy tea. I got two cashmere sweaters. Pretty nifty stuff, but the best thing I got was right before Christmas. Our little Westie dog, Harry went missing when we went way out to the side of a remote mountain to cut down a Christmas tree. He was gone for six days. On a mountain. His third day up there was his third birthday. We hiked and called and searched worried and didn’t truly sleep and then we got him back Dec. 20. I got my cold, skinny, filthy, wet, sore, exhausted and significantly humbled….Harry.

  22. silvie says:

    A fuschia coloured New Yorker desk calendar, with my name engraved on the cover. This is the BEST gift that i’ve received, ever.
    and i love your truck!

  23. Cynthia says:

    AW! Onya Harry, what a guy.

    Quote from Karen “Eat the meat, use the skin, etc. etc. It’s the Viking in me.” Ok, well, If I find one I can only assume someone ate the meat and I can use the skin guilt free.

    “I can’t believe you’re still going on about The Silver Fox, lol. I actually saw him in town over Christmas. πŸ™‚ ~ karen!” I can’t believe you haven’t crash-tackled him yet. What the hell is wrong with you girl.?

  24. Grammy says:

    My best present was my son spending two weeks of vacation time to hang out at our house doing nothing out of the ordinary. We only get to see him once a year, so it’s special to me. For goodies, my best presents were a set of stemless wine glasses from my better half and several books from the people who know me best (husband and son) so they are books I actually will love to read. My favorite things I gave were hats I knitted for everyone, all different styles and each in the favorite color of the recipient. It was a very good holiday.

  25. SusanR says:

    I love the little truck! Where did you find it, Karen?

    Museum wax from significant other. I have a Galilean thermometer sitting in a cat-free closet. Now I can display and enjoy it. Also tin cat sign and beautiful glass cannisters from Italy.

    Heavy-duty cordless drill, jig saw and oscillating tool to me from me! Whoo hoo!

  26. Mumo3kids says:

    An 80 metre roll of tin foil from my 13 year old son. Thank you Poundland.

  27. Catherine says:

    Silver converse – love them, they are my ‘glamour’ shoes! An easel for my daubs. A Laura Mercier eyeshadow palette. Camper wabi slippers. Best of all was watching my 7 year old niece open her ‘fun present’ from me which contained (as well as sweets) elaborately wrapped things like Chapstick, tissues and best of all, a large onion. She insisted on keeping it!!

  28. Greer says:

    Yotam Ottolenghi’s new recipe book “Plenty More” Have “Plenty” from him already – probably the best recipe book I own. The man is a culinary genius!

    • Penley says:

      I got ‘Plenty More’ just before Christmas – it’s high summer here in Oz so Yotam’s salads are great for this time of year. I did his pomegranate and tomato salad for one of the sides for Christmas eve dinner – first recipe in the book! I love all his stuff, they’re my go-to recipes for interesting sides, vegetarian-friendly dinner parties etc.

  29. Jess says:

    Well, we did dismiss presents among the adults this Christmas. Because the budget of presents in the family is very low, we might as well just swap cash with each other…..All though, I was given a pair of homemade mittens from my sis and I love them! They say “Cold as F***” and are wooly and toastyβ™₯ One year I got clothhangers, it was one of those things that I really needed but always forgot to buy for my self and I got loads of them. I was happy..inlaw .family thought I was weird……One year I got a dildo. Purple with sparkels……Inlaw family still thinks I’m weird and my sister inlaw was not happy as, when she went to buy it, ran in to a friend and stammered that she was buying it for “a friend”…..Dildo was cheap and is now retired….

  30. Debbie Bashford says:

    I got a pair of oven mitts, skull lip gloss and antibacterial hand sanitizer that smells like lavender, I got myself a new cast iron bio mass pellet stove installed on the 23rd, along with a new front door and patio door which have not yet been installed.

  31. Tigersmom says:

    My most favorite gift was a decoupage plate that my son made for us at school. He has seen me make many things and was very proud to present us with his handmade gift. My heart is still warm from it.

    On a less idyllic note (and not actually one of my presents, but no less a gift to me), my husband finally agreed that we could and should pay someone to come and scoop the dog poop from the backyard once a week. This may sound like a frivolous waste of money to many, I know, but considering its only $10 for both dogs, one who is very large and the other who is the most prolifically pooping Corgi in the world, to me, it’s a bargain. Seriously, the Corgi poops enough to be four dogs and it was getting to be more than I wanted to try and keep up with.

    • Karen P says:

      Money well spent, in my opinion! I have two labs and wouldn’t want to think about having to clean up after them. Thankfully we live on heavily wooded property and they do as the bears do in the woods and not on the landscaped lawn.

  32. Susan says:

    My favourite gift is a giant brown coffee cup that holds well over 500 ml (2 cups for you guys south of the border) and says “Coffee Makes Me Poop.”

  33. Beckie says:

    The best gifts: the Little House on the Prairie book set (the one I had as a kid got ruined in storage) and red enameled Dutch oven that I swear I have used every day since I got it.

  34. Karol says:

    I bought all of my own gifts… been doing that for years. I get what I want and no one has to worry about picking out something for me. I did a good job this year, got some new clothes and a Cuddledud blanket for my living room chair. Perfectly cozy for our “cool” Florida nights.
    I love, love your rusty truck, and the hand sanitizer. Happy New year, Karen!

  35. Darlene Cox says:

    5 days in New Orleans!!!!

    • Karen Young says:

      For the Sugar Bowl? That’s what my brother and sister-in-law got. Go Bucks!

      • Larraine says:

        GO BUCKS indeed! We have the only car license plates in Ontario that say GO BUCKS. We get lots of envious looks driving through Ohio. Now on to the Championship….

    • Bonnie says:

      I still consider New Orleans my hometown although I have not lived there in many years. I always love going back.

  36. DanniS says:

    Love giving presents and getting presents it is so much fun. This year I got fancy rubber boots which are amazing in the snow if not very fashionable,a beautiful butcher block knives set,iPad mini, makeup, sheets, pots and pans, candles and chocolate covered cherries πŸ™‚ my favorite gift I gave was a mouse pad I had made for my mom as a joke I had pictures of myself put all over it with the saying my daughter my love. Cracked everyone up lol.

  37. Mary Duffy says:

    My favorite present is the cream and navy poka dot pj’s I bought for myself from LL Bean.

    PS. I was reading about a guy yesterday who has a pet rooster named Gregory Peck. Clever, eh? Thought you might like it if you haven’t already heard of it, or thought it of yourself. You’re pretty clever yourself so you probably already thought of it.

  38. Pat Kichinko says:

    I must have been a very good girl this year because Santa brought me a beautiful Serger. Happy sigh.

  39. Heather says:

    Hubby got me a GC to an LCBO “Knife Skills Class” for this week. (Knife included).
    Daughter & BF gave me a plate that she had painted the rim of with chalkboard paint – so you can label your cheeses and 2 great cookbooks.
    Son & GF got me an AeroPress coffee maker – which I haven’t tried yet.
    It was a quiet but awesome Christmas.

    • Heather says:

      Oh, and I forgot….a Pedi Perfect roller for my feet. This item – WELL worth it. My feet have never been smoother, softer.

  40. Adrienne in Atlanta says:

    I was given the online course for sugar cookie decorating by Alison Faulkner ( A great creative outlet for me, so it was my favorite gift. Her recipe is the best I’ve ever tried.

    Love the humidifier, Karen. I might have to spring for one for my home office.

  41. Amber says:

    I gave my parents a huge photo album of all the pictures of us from the last 2 years. I spent 3 days adjusting images and looking for old pictures they’d emailed me. I found a great album and printed big, 5×7″ and was sure to include several pictures of their cat. They really loved it

  42. Cathy Reeves says:

    Urgent! Need to find source for hand sanitizer! Most of docs and assorted males at work are constantly fluffing and readjusting. Want to hand them this or antibiotics for whatever is going on down south.
    Or Christmas sounds like it was wonderful and everything you wanted it to be. Have a happy new year, Karen

  43. Alice says:

    So this may sound strange, but I got a bromeliad (Tillandsia) in glass blub. I’m sure it wasn’t expensive, but it was given to me because I love plants, indoors and outside. It is only 3″ tall, but every time I give it a little squirt of water, I think fondly of the giver. Also, unlike other bromeliads, I have keep it alive for about three weeks–an all time record for me!

  44. Tyler says:

    A new kitchen knife! The bark river petty-z custom knife in ironwood. So happy! Also those handmade scissors are by Ernest Wright & Sons and are on my short list for purchases this year, they’re amazing!

  45. Kyle says:

    Gave my mom an kit where you spit in a little tube, send it away and 4-6 weeks later you find out exactly what your DNA contains…..I read that…lots of white people in the southern USA are finding out that they are really black! Side splitting to me. Mom hasn’t done her spit thing yet, I’ll keep ya posted.

    • Karen says:

      !!! That’s going on my list for what to get everyone next year! ~ karen

    • Anna Lee says:

      I did that for my boyfriend last year – who actually is black (and from the South) – he found out he is 20% European (6% Scandinavian!) and 1% mystery East Asian. So fun. The great thing with the kit is you have the option to connect with people who are related to you. He called his mom when the results cae through and said, ‘mom… you’ve got a whole lot of white cousins…’ πŸ˜‰ Seriously though, one of those connections helped us confirm that his 3 x great grandmother, a slave, was the daughter of her ‘owner’. So interesting.

  46. Connie S. says:

    While i decorate the house to the nines and our christmas dinner is a feast, we keep it simple when it comes to gift giving . From hubby I got my annual box of Turtles chocolates πŸ™‚ Plus a new variety Pecan praline with sea salt- and this salt-oholic is in heaven! Plus a new pair of boots I’d been dreaming of.
    A CD from my son ( i luv music) and a walk-fit DVD from my daughter ( i luv my walks) Simple yes, but so very , very thoughtful gifts!
    PS : Karen , I’d luv to hear about your experience with the “I FLY ” gift you got. We drive by the I FLY place regularly and my hubby who can’t stand heights always comments on how he’s going to “try it out” one of these days . Cracks me up every time πŸ˜‰
    I might surprise him ( or shock him?) for his birthday.

  47. Erin says:

    Hoop house to be installed over March break. Yeah!!!!!

  48. ChickenMom says:

    I asked for AND GOT! an automatic chicken door. It can be set to open/close on a timer OR when the sun rises and sets. Electric OR battery operated. Your choice. And husband installed it ON Christmas Day for me. Hens were wary of it, of course, but are used to it now and WE love it. No more arguing about whose turn it is to close the hen door every night. OH, and the hens who haven’t been laying since they molted in the fall started laying again right after Christmas. Coincidence? I think not. We went away for 5 days after xmas and didn’t have to hire anyone to open and close the doors. (They had plenty of food and water.)

    • Karen says:

      I looked at those a couple of years ago but then sort of forgot about it. Can you tell me where you got it or what the name of it is? I’d love one because I can’t tell you how many nights I go out to check to make sure I closed the coop door. Other times I’m stressing about getting home to get the door closed. ~ karen!

      • ChickenMom says:

        I spotted one at that I thought was perfect but I think my husband got mine elsewhere. they cost around $200 US but are very easy to install if you have a drill and a level. also, make certain the batteries are easy to find in a local store. If not, plan ahead. (ahem)

        If you google automatic chicken doors you can find all sorts of ideas.

        I will say they ALL look like they were designed by someone who eschews aesthetics. heh. Paint might help.

    • jennifer says:

      I just love my auto door! I have the Pullet-Shut which sounds exactly like yours. I’ve had it over 2 years now without a problem!

  49. Carol says:

    I got meat. A glorious hunk of meat. Best gift ever! My family is massive so we have no choice but to cull the gift giving. Now the adults do the gift exchange where you can steal from each other – and we always have a theme. This year it was ‘the finer things’. I had last pick this year – unprecedented. I stole (from my 81 yr old father, natch) the most beautiful expensive roast I’d ever seen. It was accompanied by 30 handmade truffles. I cooked it to perfection and served it for New Year’s Eve dinner. Seven of us ate the entire beast. It was an incredible meal. Still need to thank my brother-in-law for his brilliant interpretation of the theme. And apologize to my dad.

  50. Jacqui says:

    We draw names and this year my daughter drew mine. She got me an art class for a day and she is joining me. The best gift of all, time with my precious girl!

    A side story, my grandsons (3 & 5) each got a store bought toque and gloves from my BFF. They insisted on putting them on and asked me to send a video to her so they could say thanks. They then made up a game about super heroes who had super powered gloves to fight the bad guys. Another gift of watching their imagination and witnessing their thankfulness.

    Thanks for asking Karen. All the best for the new year, looking forward to more adventures

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