Gift giving in our family has become sort of complicated. We had 15 people in the house on Friday, all eager to accept and give gifts. But the rules of who to give to, what kind of gift to give, and who to just skip has gotten cloudy over the past few years.
Of course, most people want to give something to the little kids. They like everything, except that my most wonderful gift that I had chosen for Little Miss M was completely rejected by her. It was a darling gift set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (Dwarfs????) with DVD of the movie. She took one look at it and said, "I don't want this". Her mother was aghast! So was I. But we had folks who cheerily adopted the dwarves, and we gave her the movie.
Then there are in-laws, uncles and aunts of various generations, big teenage kids who are problematic as far as who to include. We have people in our family who are in very different circumstances in regards to finances, so what works for one doesn't necessarily work for all.
So last year, MonkeyGirl devised an excellent plan. The siblings would give to each other. SewWhat, who is sibling to 3 and mother to 5 would give to all. That seemed to work out fine.
For my siblings, we just give to each other. It isn't an extensive gift list to fulfill, and it works out well. My brother is single, so I make sure he has a bounty of things he wants, and my sister does the same.
My children decided to do something different this year, and it turned out to be a big hit. They played "Rob Your Neighbor" for their gifts. Even though there was only 5 of them, it worked out OK. And there was robbing! But the theme of the day was "A Christmas Story" Two of the gifts were "leg lamp" ornaments, one accompanied by PJ's that had pithy sayings from the movie, such as "you'll shoot your eye out", "it's a major award" "fa-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra-ra!"
My children love that movie! More than one spent Christmas Eve watching as much of the 24 hour marathon viewing of it as they could. And I have a new appreciation of it myself after sharing it with my students a few weeks ago.
So the "Rob Your Neighbor" thing may be the way to go next year. I'm not sure how they/we will be able to come up with any more interesting gifts than these kids came up with this year. A surger protector shaped like a human? Alien ice cube tray? Pac-Man hot mitt? How do they find these things? And the leg lamp ornaments and PJ's. I'm not sure how this can be topped.
But we have all year to figure it out--watch out, Christmas, 2010!