Saturday, January 11, 2014

Christmas Gifts - 2013

I decided to do a post this year, similar to my Christmas Gifts - 2012 post from last year. There is a striking difference between the gifts I received, which I find encouraging.

Itasca Mens Winter Snow Boot - I've been wanting a good pair of insulated boots to wear in the winter. Several months ago I ran across a pair that fit the bill at a farm supply store, so picked them up with the intention of them being a Christmas gift. Since my grandmother always gives us money to pick out a gift, I decided the boots would be from her.

Stanley Thermos - This was gift was a surprise as I received it as part of a gift exchange which typically includes lesser value items. I'm assuming that whomever gave it had either gotten an incredible deal on it, or had received it as a gift and didn't need it. Either way, I'm very pleased to have ended up with it, and will put it to good use keeping my hot chocolate warm this winter.

West Chester Insulated Deer Skin Gloves - I have been using West Chester gloves for a couple of years now, so typically ask for a new pair for Christmas, since I know I'll use them. This year I was pleasantly surprised a pair of the higher quality deer skin gloves, with the Thinsulate insulation.

Black & Decker 18-Volt Cordless Pole Saw - This was another item which I picked out for myself, as a gift from my other grandmother. Earlier in the year I had tried pruning limbs from the Black Walnut trees along the driveway, and after a lot of frustration decided it was time to get a pole saw to make the job easier in the future. I considered investing in a gasoline saw, but due to the cost opted for the 18-volt.

Torin Big Red 3.5 Ton Fast Lift Service Jack - My parents typically try to buy a Christmas gift for me that I don't know about, but this year decided to go ahead and buy this jack, since I had expressed an interesting in getting one. In fact, my Dad had me pick it up one day when I was in London, and just keep it here rather than transporting it to their house to open it, then back home after Christmas.

Torin 3 Ton Jack Stands - To go with the floor jack, Andrea picked me up a set of jack stands as a gift from her mother. I was going to buy a set anyway, so it was certainly a good choice.

Amazon Gift Card - Since much of my shopping, especially for items like books and music, is done via Amazon I asked for gift cards this year. It worked out well for my uncle who wasn't able to make it in this Christmas, as gift cards are much easier to ship than a physical gift would have been.

Visa Gift Card - Andrea and I also received a Visa gift card to split. Its always easy to split something like this, as we can just use the card for household purchases and then spend an equal amount of money in cash on whatever we choose.

TGI Friday's Gift Card - This was yet another gift card that Andrea and I received as a joint gift. One of my aunt's likes to buy restaurant gift cards for us, which is always appreciated. The closest TGI Friday's is in Lexington, but we travel there often enough that we should have no problem spending it.

Cash - Finally, I received cash from a couple of different people. Andrea's grandparents use to write us a check, but have, in recent years, switched to giving cash instead. We also draw names with her aunts and uncles, and this normally results in receiving a gift card, although sometimes cash is given instead, which of course if appreciated. I can't think of anyone who couldn't find a use for cash.

I was very pleased with the gifts I received this year. I have nothing that needs to be returned, unlike last year when I received four truck nets. I also received fewer gifts, eleven, compared to the twenty-two I received last year. This is from a combination of receiving more higher priced items, and from not getting a gift from as many people. I'd love to see this drop even more next year, if I can convince some of my aunts and uncles who still buy for us to stop, but I'm very pleased with the decrease.

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