Make sure your gifts are on the use, enjoy and special list

When we moved almost a year ago I was frankly staggered by the amount of stuff we had.
Moving is a great opportunity to re-evaluate your possessions, see which ones you use, enjoy and have real meaning, and simply get let go of the rest.  

I realised there is very little more than I really need. Sure I would love to swap out some existing furniture for new that will suit this house better, but those are big ticket items I will need to choose and buy myself.
That got me thinking about this Xmas, I want to give my dear ones things that are on their use, enjoy and special list.  I don't want to give things that will go into cupboards and never be used. Sometimes you find something you know someone will love, but usually choosing is so difficult.  
This is when I had my clever idea, how about making a family Xmas 2012 board on Pinterest and getting everybody to pin what they would like.  What do you think?  Want to do one too?  

  • Add a board on your Pinterest, invite your family so that they can pin on it too, and let the fun begin.
  • Make sure to add your name when you pin so people know who wants what.  
  • Family who don't pin can probably get somebody to create a pin for them.  
  • Add something you think somebody else will like and ask for comments.  
  • People can join together to gift more expensive items.

I am excited to see what everybody puts on already already.  For myself I am thinking luxury consumables, hmm...  
    - I would love to replace items like old, tired towels and pillowcases, and old unmatched coffee cups.  
    - I would love Grown hand wash in every bathroom
    - a few bottles of Moet to put on ice
    - a gorgeous bunch of peonies

Here is a sneak peek at my board so far, click on the image to see more.  

Organising the gift list
The last few years the Voice of Reason and I have bought our gifts from each other ourselves, BUT kept it a surprise.  So when I opened my present on Xmas morning I knew what it was, but he didn't, and vice versa.  It worked pretty well but this year I found something I think he is going to love.  

Miss E's favourite present of both Xmas and birthdays is the parcel of many little things that my mom and family send from Cape Town.  Its always a selection of bits and pieces that they have found during the year and its always the highlight.  She loves the parcel arriving, she loves all the little things wrapped inside, its like a Santa sack all of her very own. 

In some families the tradition is that each adult buys for just one other family member, randomly chosen out of a hat.  This way you can spend a little more and get something a little bit special, or spend time creating a special gift pack.   I like this idea myself, especially when the family is large like ours and trying to buy gifts for all ends up really expensive.  I have yet to convince my family this is a good idea.

Others have a $15 limit for store bought gifts, keeping the focus on the sentiment of gift giving.  
Last year I came across a family giving only luxury food and wine for the pantry, to be enjoyed with friends and family another day.
Each family seems to find its own way.

How do you organise presents?  Any good tips to share?

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