Your favorite gifts?

December 29, 2006 | 9 comments

I’m always looking for good stuff for my “Gift Ideas” folder that I reference for birthdays and Christmas. So, tell me, what were the best gifts you saw this year that you or your family received for Christmas?

I’ll share some of our favorites in case any of you also collect gift ideas:

– My husband loves fresh tomatoes but we don’t have the space/time/competence to have a garden. So he loves this Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter he got.

– My dad had a novel he wrote a long time ago. I casually asked him for a copy of it this summer and had it printed at as a Christmas present. The results far surpassed my expectations — it looks just like a “real” book you’d get at Barnes and Noble!

– I love this Good Home Cookbook I got. It is jam packed with great, traditional recipes. The best part is that a manuscript of the book was sent to 1, 000 test families to see how the recipes actually turned out when attempted in the average American kitchen, then modified based on the results. (I love my Food and Wine cookbooks but my suburban grocery store isn’t exactly overflowing with Lebanese mini-cucumbers or amchoor.)

– Everyone in my family got a customized calendar with our family photos from Shutterfly (you can get them lots of other places as well). They were a huge hit.

– My husband got me a big, beautiful coffee table book about the lives of the saints. I’ve wanted one of these beautifully illustrated books but could never justify the cost, so it was great to get it as a gift.

I hope you all had a great holiday season. Happy new year!


  1. Julie D.

    I have been very interested in the Good Home Cookbook for the very reasons you mention. I only wish our library would get this book! I’ll be curious to see how you like it once you’ve had a chance to cook from it.

  2. Professor Chaos

    My wife took a pregnancy test on Christmas Eve. Turns out our second baby is on the way.

    Top THAT!!!!!

  3. Anonymous

    No, can’t top that professor!

    I was given a jar of some lovely home-made tomato relish. A small gift, but with all the best wishes of the maker, who I will remember each time I use some of the relish.

    I have been teaching five year olds these last few months, and received many precious cards from them at the end of the year. Just reading their beautiful printing, knowing how much effort has gone into it, makes these cards a gift that it is a real joy to receive.

  4. Jennifer F.

    Professor Chaos – Congratulations!! That’s so exciting. How old is your first?

  5. Anonymous

    I can’t top it this Christmas, but it was right about Christmas time 10 years ago when my wife came to show me that little stick turned blue.

    This year I got two new books that I’m very interested to read. My middle son got the two books of the Eragon series, so those are being read by everyone. (Yep, me too once the kids finish.)

    For my wife I was fortunate enough to be able to get one of these: That should get to a page with clickable thumbnails of front and back of the pendant.

  6. Tim

    PC- Congratulations on the baby news! What an awesome gift!

    I got a jacket. It’s nice, but it doesn’t come close. You win.


  7. Ouiz

    Wow! I love the book idea!!! I’m filing that one away for MY dad next year….

  8. Professor Chaos


    I’m sorry, I thought I answered your question but I guess it didn’t take. (Translation: I probably forgot to click ‘submit’, like the idiot I am.)

    Anyways, my baby girl will be eleven months old in a couple weeks. We’re so glad that they’ll be very close in age, probably about 18-19 months.

  9. Jennifer F.

    PC –

    How great! My children are 20 months apart, and overall it’s been really wonderful. It went much better than I thought it would. One of the many advantages of having them close together is that I had zero sibling rivalry with my oldest. I think he wasn’t quite old enough to be territorial. 🙂 Also, when my daughter was born I was still in “baby mode” with my first, so I didn’t have to re-remember anything.

    With a little help from Tivo (every time I had to nurse the baby Teletubbies or Barney would just so happen to be on), it’s really been quite smooth sailing.


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