a christmas twist

craft beerLast week Nina shared her family’s Hannukah ideas as they bust out their bags to gear up for the holiday. This week it’s my turn to share a holiday gifting twist from our house. (For those with very young children, this may be an idea better tucked away for few years down the road.)

The idea that I share today is that of Categories. Here is how we did it: we began with a brainstorm and then settled on 5 categories. Each person would receive one gift from each of the categories (5 total) from a single other person. We randomly drew names to determine who gave to whom. Where someone got stuck, or if someone else had a great suggestion for another, we helped each other out. Sure, there were some pricey prezies – like winter bike tires – but mostly we spent more thought and creative energy than money, and on Christmas morning, it was so much fun to watch a gift being opened and see how each giver interpreted the category and adapted it to fit the recipient.

Last year our categories (and some examples of gifts) were:

  • Begins with “B” (brunch, blue pants, bandaids)

  • Something foreign (a novel in translation, gift card to an asian restaurant, Japanese candy)

  • Comes in a bottle (favorite roadside beverage my daughter found on a family vacation, bubble bath, a craft beer)

  • Something round (small hoop earring for a single piercing, bike tires, cd)

  • Something printed (a book, money, a framed favorite photo)

We’re now in the process of determining the categories for this year…Something fuzzy? Comes in a pair? Grew out of the ground? Ah, the possibilities are endless!

I will add here that some in our family thought 3 categories might be a better number than 5, which we may shift to. This could also be a fun twist (with a single category) for a yankee gift swap at work or a larger family gathering. -t

Take this idea, make it yours, let us know how it goes. Speaking of gift ideas, it’s time for our Annual Holiday Survey.  For those who didn’t participate last year, it’s simple: you share your kids’ favorites in the survey, we compile ideas, and share them back in the coming weeks.

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