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Diamonds are Forever

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mya, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. mya

    mya
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    And here we are again....that glorious time of year where we select an item to purchase for family, loved ones, casual acquaintances, officemates, to show them how you care about them.

    Or some bullshit about baby Jesus, Santa and Rudolph, but really, the GIFTS!

    FOCUS: What is the best/worst holiday gift that you have been given? (I'd prefer worst, but we can open the floor up for some bragging).

    ALT FOCUS: What are the perfect gifts that you are planning on giving this year? The average holiday spending is expected to be about $750 this year. Are you planning on falling somewhere around there?
     
  2. DrFrylock

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    And thank you Mya for enhancing the theme this week!
     
  3. Parker

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    I'm getting a case of 6 bottles of Mangria, Adam Carolla's new drink. I'm going to get a bottle first, try it, then give it to my friends.
     
  4. audreymonroe

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    The most powerful cervix... in the world...

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    This year is frustrating, because I actually have good ideas for presents for the people I would get presents for but they're all out of my price range. My dad has mentioned a few times this year how he's been thinking of trying to brew his own beer, so I was going to get him a starter kit but HOT DAMN that shit is expensive. I found this photo online that I knew my best pal would love, and she did, so I was going to make a poster of it and frame it for her and it isn't terribly expensive but it's low-res so it would look shitty anyway and I'm not sure I can fix that. My other best pal hates getting presents, so I haven't even thought about ideas for him in years, but all of his climbing gear and tools got stolen from his apartment recently so I'd like to help him replace a few things but nope, not unless he'd be okay with what I could shell out for, which is the Ikea tool kit and a couple o' carabeeners. Thankfully, I'm in that stage where we're all broke so no one expects presents from each other, so really the only person I have to think about is my dad. BUT DAD GIFTS ARE THE HARDEST GIFTS. I mean, he's contractually obligated to love anything I give him, but I do prefer to step up my game from crayon masterpieces so I'm trying to come up with some alternative. Last year, I got him this nice hand-thrown clay shaving soap dish with homemade soap and a fancy brush (made in Brooklyn, of course) and he really liked it, so I'm feeling the pressure to come up with something good. Good Dad Gift Ideas are appreciated. (And I know between the artisanal shaving kit and the homebrewing idea that it sounds like I'm trying to turn my dad into a hipster, but he does like to yell about how he's liked to ride bikes since wwaaaayyyy before it was cool.)
     
  5. slothers

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    This year I got my brother a new iphone 5 as a really early Christmas gift ... and the early gifts are the worst since they undeniably forget 3 months later. Too bad my financial aid does not kick start again till after the year so I will not be able to get any more fancy stuff with all that tax payer money.

    My Dad on the other hand is getting all weather car mats for his car and a slight detailing job. The reasoning is pretty retarded. My Dad has slight OCD issues with his car and anything valuable (he comes from a communist era which scarred him). It is sad because he covers the entire floor with cardboard cut outs because he does not want to get the FLOOR MATS dirty. So for this Christmas, I am going to secretly toss all the cut outs away, and provide all weather mats for which he hopefully will not shed tears of anguish on.

    Last time I bought my Mom a present was for her birthday. It was a couple's massage thing for my pops and her. Well they never used it, and 8 months later the shop closed down. No more presents for her.
     
  6. rei

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    Best Christmas gift I've ever recieved was a dual core processor and motherboard when I was like 14.
    I might be kind of a nerd

    I usually focus on making sure my gifts hit the perfect balance between "sure they'll like it" and "new exposure" - usually music related because I'm pretty good at looking at someone's tastes and introducing them to something they'll like. Failing that I'll just get people something cool that I don't think they've heard of. I usually will spend probably $200-300 because my list of people to buy for isn't very big... especially now that my girlfriend is out of the picture and I don't feel obligated to match the "puppy" or "computer" I've bought her in the past.


    Worst gift was honestly a jealousy thing more than anything. In 2004 my brother opened up Half Life 2 and I opened up a pack of rechargable batteries + charger.
     
  7. lust4life

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    My wife, bless her heart, tries to "surprise me with the perfect gift" each year (and if she ever succeeds,it will truly be a surprise). Honestly, sometimes I don't know where she gets the ideas that some of the gifts she's given me are even remotely of interest/need/desire, but the absolute worst had to be one of those electronic foot bath things that supposedly drawn out all the heavy metals and toxins from your body through your feet. Accessories that she bought along with it are sitting on a shelf in my closet in the Christmas wrapping. That was about 5-6 years ago. I've learned that, unless I am specific about what to get me, she will undoubtedly waste money on something completely useless. And it's not like I'm hard to shop for. She knows my preference in clothing and size, that I wear a variety of colognes and can readily see which ones I'm running low on, I download a lot of music and books from iTunes.

    One of the most "puzzling" gifts I've seen given was my brother and his wife gave my sister, who was 32 at the time, a 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. There was an awkward silence of confusion followed by disbelief when she unwrapped it until I broke out laughing. My sister-in-law was pissed off and my brother embarrassed.

    Now that I'm back working again and have a staff (3 women, one guy), I've got 4 more on my list this year. The women are easy--they love chocolate so I'm ordering each of them a box of chocolate sloops from Harbor Sweets in MA (incredible candies). Not sure about the guy. He's a quiet type so I don't know much about any hobbies or outside interests, but he's a new father so I'm thinking about getting the matching "Big Guy" "Little Guy" shirts.

    For my wife, her mom has Alzheimer's which has been steadily growing worse and she lives in NJ, so my wife doesn't get to see her as often as she'd like. Her mom turns 80 this March during the week of spring break for both our girls, so I've purchased plane tickets for the three of them to spend the week back east and as a little present for myself, didn't purchase a ticket for myself.

    That's all the shopping I have to do. My wife handles the rest of Christmas shopping and she enjoys it (she'll be standing on a line somewhere at 4:00 am Black Friday) and I handle all the holiday cooking, the anti-Christmas letter and photo for the cards and some assembly if required.
     
  8. effinshenanigans

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    The worst gift I've ever gotten was a fancy wolf sweatshirt from my mother. When I was a kid, I liked wolves, and my mom latched onto that and bought me every wolf thing she possibly could. I humored her efforts as best I could, but the sweatshirt was too awful, and I threw it out, pretending that I lost it and feigned great disappointment.

    It looked like this, only somehow much gayer.
    This year, my fiance and I are asking for money to help purchase some new blinds for our place (boring, I know). We're getting married next year and both of our families are doing a lot for us, so we've begged them to not get us anything. We know they will anyway, so we gave them an idea so we at least get something we need. As for anything else, we're at the point now where if we want something, we get it ourselves.

    As far as other gifts are concerned, we're buying things for my mom, dad, sister, three aunts and uncles, and her parents and brother. I'm also buying something for my cousins young kids because kids gifts are fun. I'm getting his son laser tag, and then hunting him. All of the cousins have agreed that we're not doing gifts, and to just bring booze for when we see each other.

    Aside from the laser tag, I have no idea what I'm getting any of those other people. Nor will I know until probably a week or two before Christmas, when I lose my mind and frantically stress shop for whatever they might like. Normally, I do ok. I am spending nowhere near $750.
     

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  9. CharlesJohnson

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    Worst: Avon. My uncle's widow sells this shit. She's her own best customer. I don't even think she breaks even. So every year I get a bag of the most foul smelling shit imaginable. Some of the stuff, like the Suede Cologne, actually burns on my skin. The smell is a cross between an old leather thong that was wedged in a fat woman's asspussy and rubbing alcohol. It doesn't come off for 2 days no matter how much soap is applied to the afflicted areas.

    She gets my mom slippers, socks, earrings. The slippers fall apart within 4 wears and I'm surprised the earrings haven't given her an infection because they corrode as soon as you open the package. Avon is Nicki Minage to me. So, I will stop myself here.

    Best: Many, many moons ago my mom got me an ESP guitar. I wasn't expecting it, it cost a shitload of dough. Despite a few dings that thing sounds just as good as the first day I played it 15 years ago. The fiddle is magic. Mom doesn't do gift buying well, so this was special.

    My ex got me a variety of vodkas. That was possibly the most thoughtful gift I have ever received. I'm tearing up a little actually. No girl has ever put in effort or thought into getting me something. Ever. It was a no-brainer gift, but she went out of her way to do something she knew I'd like without me even bringing it up.

    Alt Focus: Don't stress me out with this yet, I've no f'n clue what to buy anyone.
     
  10. Angel_1756

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    The worst gift I ever got was a half-eaten box of chocolates from white Grandma. I think she forgot she'd already opened them. Although, she'd labeled the card "to Terry, my favourite granddaughter", and Terry is actually her SON... but it's close enough to my name that I claimed the gift as my own. Either way, it made for a crap gift.

    When my mom went to China a few years ago, she brought back stuff for my brother, sister and I. The sister and I got nice silk scarves (that we will likely not wear until we're in our 60s). My brother got a shirt unlike anything I'd seen before. It was a black dress shirt with a shiny gold dragon appliqué on the front of it, sequins all over the back, and BLING BLING written down each arm in gold embroidery. He looked absolutely horrified when he saw it and never wore it out of the house. I think Mom eventually realized her indiscretion. The last time I saw it, my dad was wearing it to trim the tree branches in an effort to keep the birds away.
     
  11. Binary

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    A few years ago, my girlfriend gave me a 12 day trip to Costa Rica. That was pretty badass.

    The weirdest gift I ever received was a long time ago. An ex of mine's dad was a brusque, surly guy who didn't like very many people. He had warmed up to me after we discussed tools, cars and guns - I wouldn't say we were best friends, but we got along. He was also notorious for never giving gifts, even to his children or wife. His wife does the Christmas shopping alone, and everything comes from her.

    My ex and I had no firm plans for the holidays, just a vague indication that we'd get together after Christmas when I was done traveling, and I'd probably have dinner at their house. So Christmas comes and goes and I call to arrange dinner plans - 3 or 4 days after the holiday.

    I arrive to discover that her dad put the kibosh on Christmas entirely, until I could join them. Tree still decorated, presents still wrapped, ham still in the refrigerator. Needless to say, I'm pretty taken aback by this, but I smile and tell them I appreciated it and we proceed to have Christmas dinner. Afterwards, the family unwraps their gifts, with the kids opening the presents that their mom bought and their dad looking disinterestedly out the window. We get to the end of present unwrapping and her dad suddenly snaps out of his daydream, stands up, walks to the tree, grabs a small, badly wrapped present, and hands it to me. On it, in his handwriting, is written "To <me>, From <him>."

    He looks enormously pleased with himself. The rest of the family looks shocked, and the room is dead silent. Nobody else received a present from him. Nobody has ever seen him give a present before.

    I manage to smile despite the intense awkwardness of the situation. I unwrap it to find... a Hershey bar.

    A plain, milk chocolate Hershey bar.

    The first present the man gave in 30+ years.

    I stammered out a thank you, he grunted, nodded, and went back to staring out the window.
     
  12. rei

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    That shirt does sound like it would scare away wildlife.
     
  13. caseykasem

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    Focus: The best holiday gift I have been given (I feel like I've posted this before) was a beer of of the month club membership. Each month three bottles of four different kinds of beer would be delivered to my door. This was given to me by one of my old girlfriends. At first I was skeptical because I can buy beer at the liquor store. I soon discovered the wonderment of having strange beers being delivered straight to my door. It was awesome.

    I would also have to put the Neversummer SL snowboard I received as a junior in high school in this category. I wanted a Neversummer for years but because they were more expensive than other boards, my parents were a little apprehensive about purchasing one for me. I would like to think their investment was worth it, as I still ride this board today (7 years later).

    Alt. Focus: My parents don't like us to buy them gifts. My brother and I are still and school so it's basically their money anyway. Their philosophy is that if they need something, they'll buy it. I'm getting my brother some clothing. Probably a few t-shirts and maybe a sweater. He pretty much likes anything I buy him so I'm not too worried about shopping for him. I'm not sure what to buy the new ladyfriend. It's not at all serious but I feel like I should buy her something. Feel free to make suggestions folks.
     
  14. happyfunball

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    We do a Christmas Club every year where I have money taken from our checking every week and put into a separate savings and every October I get a check for about $2600. I have 3 brothers and a sister, so I have no problem spending all of it, but it's nice because I don't have any big bills coming due afterwards.

    I have to say this is the first year I really have absolutely no idea what to get anyone. My mom and dad are always hard to buy for as they are at a point in their life where when they need something they just get it. The kids aren't really asking for anything either. My middle daughter asked for a computer case and a SIMS game. That's it. Plus my in-laws tend to spend a bit more money and are always looking for ideas for the kids, so any ideas I do get, I give to them.

    My husband is an awful gift giver. He tries, to give him his due, but it's like, he comes CLOSE to what I asked for. Some examples: I wanted a new coffee pot one year. I said I don't care what, just anything but white. I get a white coffee pot. I don't really care enough about the color, so I kept it. Another time I asked for a swim sweatshirt. We had a huge swim store near us, so I figured, easy gift. Three times I told him when he asked me. I open the present and it's this lavendar XS, almost like a half-shirt, sweatshirt that he got at Target. I picked it up and looked at him and said, "Are you serious?" He said they only had XS and Mediums. To which I responded, "By all means, get me the one that definitely won't fit!" Problem is, he's a procrastinator, so when he decides it's time to go shopping, stores are either out of what I want or closed. This year I asked for a gift certificate to my hair salon and they are currently offering 20% off all gift cards. I imagine I will be getting a gift card to a salon I've never been to before. You know, CLOSE to what I asked for. I've resigned myself to it at this point. We've been married a long time.
     
  15. Noland

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    I have three children, a wife, and an older brother and I wouldn't spend $2,600 on Christmas gifts even if it would cure AIDS.

    The kids are easy, so that isn't a big deal. Kids are also really fun to shop for.

    The wife and I just decide what we want for Christmas and then go by it ourselves and show it to each other later.

    A few years back things were really tight financially and Mrs. Noland came up with the idea of "adopting" an animal at the zoo for $50 and got that for my brother and a certificate or something with his name on it. It was a lousy gift, I agree, but we were deep into "house poor" territory and that's what we did. He bitched about it to my mother (chickenshit) who then told me that next year I had to buy him a "thing". He wanted something tangible.

    I hope nothing is tangible because that's what that motherfucker has received from me since then.

    I'm not a big fan of Christmas.
     
  16. happyfunball

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    Maybe I should add that my oldest brother has 4 kids, my second oldest brother has 5 kids, I have 3 kids, my younger sister has 2 and my youngest brother has 2 also. That's just my side. I buy for everyone as I enjoy doing it. They aren't necessarily big presents, but it's fun for the kids to open something. Not counting parents on both sides. I don't buy for my aunts and uncles (as I have about 30) but I do for my husband's side as he only has 2 sets and they are a much smaller family and that's what they do. He has one sibling who has two kids. When we first got married he would have to leave the room during holidays for quiet time as it got way too loud.

    Edit to add: I am not Catholic, just hick.
     
  17. Kubla Kahn

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    Man the way it looks in my family I might be the only one willing to entertain the idea of having kids. Presents for my brothers and mom are about all I have to really focus on.



    Maybe an additional focus to the thread. Could someone recommend a good butchering knife? That's what Im wanting for my birthday/christmas present and don't know where to begin. I want a set for carving up deer myself. I don't really want to just ask for a Cabelas or Bass Pro set. My chef buddy recommend getting a mixed and match set as it's better to find what you like. Im guessing it'd be in the 100-125 dollars total range for two or three knives. He gave me a few japanese knife suggestions. Im looking for butchering type knives.
     
  18. bewildered

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    Now that all of my siblings are adults, we do a small secret santa exchange so that we don't have to buy all 5 of the other siblings, plus spouses and their kids (gifts for the kids is optional...usually something small is purchased for the older kids, and the infants can just suck it), gifts. The upper price range is $35, and then we also buy both of my parents several larger gifts and split the bill. We're good shoppers and get stuff on great sales, so that plus the fact that there are 6 of us means that we're usually spending about $50 on their gifts. Speaking of which, I really hope my secret santa speaks up in an email soon because this shit needs to get bought. I hate waiting until the last minute.

    Christmas for us is about being able to get together for at least one day, which can be hard because every couple's plans are divided between us and their in-laws. Orchestrating 5 couples with 2 plans each can get hairy, but we manage it. There is a constant stream of wine and other booze, cheese and crackers, relish trays, homemade chocolates and junk, etc. I'm looking forward to it!
     
  19. dixiebandit69

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    WORST: This wasn't a holiday gift, but a birthday gift. Just go with it.

    When I was about 5 or so, one of my mom's friends gave me a PINK "MY LITTLE PONY."

    WHAT THE FUCK?

    Here I was hoping for some dinosaurs or Legos, but no, a pony. There aren't words to describe the disappointment I felt when I unwrapped that present.
     
  20. Juice

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    Best Gift: If I gauge in terms of utility, I guess Id have to say my IPad. I got it last year and use it every day.

    Worst Gift: Spice Girls' Spiceworld cassette. Not a CD, a cassette.