The Gifts That Keep On Giving

It’s Christmastime again, and we’re down to a week or two left of actual shopping time before things get way hectic. And so I thought I’d take a moment to go over a few of my favorite all-time gifts that I’ve given or gotten, and give you all the chance to do the same. I know I start to scramble for ideas some years, and so it can be really helpful to me to hear what other people have had good success with. Ready? Here’s the quick rundown:

  • By far, the gift that went over best last year was the Blendtec. I got it for around $200 refurbished, and my family uses it at least once a day. Usually twice. Everyone in the family loves the shakes and smoothies it makes. It’s easy to maintain, easy to use, and worth every penny I paid.
  • Speaking of food, this pressure cooker continues to see regular use in our household as well, five years after we got it. Denisa really appreciates how easy it is to use. Two thumbs up.
  • Our Apple TV has been a favorite, and it’s especially great if you have other Apple products. It plays all my music, puts up family pictures as a screen saver, lets us watch Netflix, etc. Great stuff. I haven’t used the new one yet, but I have nothing but good to say about the old one.
  • Rocksmith 2014 continues to chug along for me, three years on. Great game to learn guitar on.
  • Kindle Paperwhites are a favorite for both Denisa and me. Easy to use, and great for reading at night so we don’t keep each other up. They’ve also been a book to helping us fall asleep easier.
  • Rainbow Loom was surprisingly popular with both TRC and DC. Go figure. Cheap, and hours of entertainment. A good combination.
  • Seven Wonders is a favorite game to play with three or more. Hanabi is easy and cooperative. Pandemic is great (and I’ve heard great things about Pandemic Legacy, though I haven’t played it yet).
  • Our Kitchenaid Stand Mixer is still chugging along, ten years or so after it was a Christmas gift. We got the 6qt professional.
  • My favorite remote control of all time is easily the Harmony Smart Control. Operates tons of devices easily and effectively. And you no longer have to point the remote at the device you’re trying to control. I’ve set up 4 of these puppies, and they all just keep working.
  • Our family started a handmade Christmas present challenge a few years ago, and that continues to do well. We exchange names, and the one requirement is that whatever you give the other person has to be handmade. Great way to make things less money, and have it be more about love than stuff.
  • A Minecraft account does wonders for a child. Not kidding.

That’s a good start for ideas right there. No idea if what I’m getting the fam this year will end up being as good as those. I’ve certainly given some duds over the year as well. But such is life. Ideally, you find a gift that ends up making a real impact on someone.

Any good pointer from anyone else out there? I’ve finished my shopping at this point, but I’m always looking for new ideas. (Pro-tip: I keep a private Amazon wishlist, and any time I come up with an idea for a present, I add it to the list. Buying gifts becomes a million times easier when you do that.)

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