I want to simplify my gift giving/selection process, try to make it a little more routine and so easier for me to cope with each year, without being boring for the recipients. I'm thinking of having a list of categories for gifts (food consumable, household/personal consumable, sentimental, kitchen gadget, interactive) like I've heard some people do with kids gifts (something to read, something to wear and something fun)... [more inside]
What is the best service or method for designing and printing about a dozen copies of a cookbook? Lulu? Amazon? iPhoto? Kinkos? [more inside]
My friends and I are staging a white elephant style gift exchange, and the theme is the most ridiculous thing you can find for around $10. I need ideas! [more inside]
I would like to host a holiday/Christmas party this year, but I have never done it before and I would like some advice on how to do it in such a way that (1) people will attend, (2) people will have a good time, and (3) it is fun for me as a host. Lots of specific questions and info ahead. [more inside]
I am the only one that moved away from my extended family. I'm dealing with some built up anger/stress about always being responsible for going "home" to see my family. How did you stop feeling guilty, obligated, or responsible for visiting? [more inside]
I made my Christmas gift list early, and I'm looking for a way to watch for sales on this specific list of items between now and early December without having to check every sale flyer for every possible store every week. Does this exist as a web service or an app? [more inside]
I just became the person to put together a 125 person holiday party (I have the caterer, location and liquor confirmed as of today) for our top-level donors. How do I execute on the phrase "looking forward towards the future" which is the somewhat vague theme that I was given from my boss to make the decorations, theme, etc, come together in one beautiful swoop? We're hiring a designer to do decorations but I am supposed to come up with what I want first to give this person direction. Our budget is reasonable but not extravagant. [more inside]
Just received a pudding mold, anything I should keep in mind about using it? I've heard one should make an Xmas pudding months in advance - do I start now? Other questions as well! [more inside]
I'd like some ideas for warm-weather Christmas vacations for a family with special needs. [more inside]
flying solo, two-week christmas adventure, 2014... but where? [more inside]
So I love giving gifts and, if I've committed to 'Giving Someone A Gift' instead of just 'Checking off the Box' I tend to put a lot of time and energy into them. However I've noticed that my pleasure in giving gifts is directly tied to how the recipient responds. MeFis, teach me to give unconditionally. [more inside]
What is the best city in Western Europe in which to spend Christmas? My spouse and I have decided to spend Christmas and New Year's in Europe! We will be going to Athens for New Year's Eve, but we aren't sure where we should spend Christmas, and the days leading up to it. [more inside]
Due to family tragedy, last Christmas felt more like a never-ending marathon than a fun and meaningful holiday. I resolved that Christmas 2014 would be a more mellow, loving holiday that didn't involve hundreds of dollars flushed down the drain on disposable gifts. What are your ideas for meaningful Christmas gifts for family that take some time to make (or not!), don't cost much and might be actually appreciated and used? [more inside]
I need help coming up with a vacation place for this year for the week after Christmas that won't break the bank. It's harder that it seems, and so I'm hoping you all can help out. Snowflakes inside. [more inside]
So my original Christmas day plans fell through, and I live 5000 miles from most of my family. I do have a brother who recently moved to San Jose, though, and we'd like to spend the day doing something together. We're both wary of bringing each other to friends houses (we're different kinds of people, move in different circles, etc) - so we'd like to try and find something fun and novel that we can go and do, just the 2 of us (though if it were something social in the sense that we may meet a bunch of strangers doing this thing, then that would be cool). Anybody have any ideas? We're also British. I don't know if this information will help you, but hey, there you have it. 2 British guys in San Francisco with no idea what to do on Xmas day. Hive mind, halp!
Despite no one wanting to go there, it seems that we're doing Christmas at my sister's house this year. No one wants to go there because a) she doesn't cook well and b) she has two big, untrained, messy, and annoying dogs. I can handle the crappy food if I don't have to deal with the dogs. How can I get her to keep them in a separate room without getting really pissed at me? [more inside]
We're thinking of getting a friend of ours some kind of Tea of the Month club subscription as a (slightly belated) Christmas present. We're not big tea drinkers ourselves; can anyone recommend a particular company to get it from? [more inside]
Every year my family does a craft project around the Christmas table. This year we're decorating picture frames. I'm supposed to buy the supplies. Except I've never done this before and I don't know what to get. Help. [more inside]
What would Jesus bring? Just moved, most of my kitchen stuff is still in boxes, but want to bring something homemade. Hosts making "a" salmon, so I assume that means whole and poached or roasted, so I'll bring a nice pinot noir. But what side or dessert or whatnot would work and be easy enough with let's say just a skillet and a pasta pot and a few tools to work with? (I don't have myrrh either.) Help! Thanks!
I want to do a special day after Christmas dinner for myself and my boyfriend. The only thing is, I'll be in a car for 6-7 hours heading back from my parents' before I'll be back at my house. I'm looking for ideas for a festive meal that can be transported in a cooler for that long and will reheat well once I'm home, or be really tasty served cold. [more inside]
How much should I give the staff of my luxury condo building in Brooklyn in Christmas bonuses? [more inside]
We just decided to drive from SF to Seattle via Portland for about a week. What are some fun family things to do? Places to eat? Places to stay? Snowflake details inside. [more inside]
My boyfriend is having some coworkers over tomorrow night for a little get-together/party thing. This isn't their official christmas party (they had that at work last night), just a few (6-7 or so people) getting together. When asked about what he's doing for food, my boyfriend just assumed they'd all just go to the grocery store to get something, which I personally find pretty... weird. As I'm helping host, I want to provide better noms! [more inside]
I'm a 40 year old man, recently single and spending Christmas with my parents for the first time in two decades. They're excited, help us have a good one. [more inside]
For various reasons including pets with no available sitter and a few failed plans, I have my first Christmas Day in NYC by myself. I don't feel particularly sad about this, but it might be weird to wake up in the morning with nothing to do. Fun and meaningful activities? [more inside]
I need to get a Christmas present for my mom (I KNOW HOW LITTLE TIME THERE IS LEFT, THANK YOU!). I'd really like it to be related to our recent trip to Spain, ideally somehow either to the flamenco dancer Adrian Sanchez or to the Cortylandia display in Madrid. Any ideas welcome! [more inside]
It's my turn to come up with a surprise advent activity, and I'm running out of steam! Help me find a short, seasonally-appropriate thing to do with my fiance. [more inside]
My parents, both in their 60s, have recently gone "mostly-vegan" for health reasons. I'd like to get them some Christmas gifts that support this decision (and their overall commitment to more healthy eating). I've already gotten them some kelp noodles (they loved them at a vegan restaurant we went to). Other thoughts about basics/add-ons/general useful and inspiring stuff for a couple of vegan noobies? [more inside]
Vegetarians of MeFi! What are you having for Christmas dinner? I am totally capable with vegetarian dishes in general, but most of them are rather light and don't seem substantial enough to be a Christmas dinner. So what are you having? [more inside]
My brother is going to depart for Brisbane (the one that isn't near San Francisco) to do a postdoc in invertebrate biology about 15 minutes after Christmas and is pretty much taking everything he's going to take as check luggage. While the $100 note has that cool Lyrebird graphic and is easy to pack, it seems somewhat unimaginative. [more inside]
The #1 item on my eight year-old son's Christmas list is "AN ACTUAL PENGUIN". Please help me creatively accommodate his request without violating the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. [more inside]
I need help finding a Christmas gift for my dad. I'm looking for: - Something that requires occasional hands on -- a project, but not a full-time project - Something a little science-projecty and geeky, but that does not involve a computer (he's 72 and not terribly computer literate; he does have an iPad, though) - Something that has a definable end result - Something he can attend to while my folks spend three months in their RV this winter - Most likely something plant-related More... [more inside]
I'm trying to grant a Christmas wish for my sweetheart. Shh! Don't tell! [more inside]
Say you're a hip and adorable lesbian- what snowboots would you buy? I'm trying to buy my partner a pair of snowboots for Xmas and want to find some really cute, stylish ones but am coming up short. We're in the Rockies. I just buy utilitarian boots, so I am bad at this. [more inside]
For Christmas my family is hosting two teenagers (~12 yrs old) from Kazakhstan. They are in town for a hockey tournament, and the place where the team is staying is closing for the nights of the 24th and 25th, so we are taking them on while other families take other members of the team. Help us make them feel welcome while being so far away from home! [more inside]
NYC-ers: Where have you eaten dinner on Christmas Day that's awesome? Caveats: $30/person max, coming from UWS and we have a show in the Hell's Kitchen area (50th and 8th) at 8pm... [more inside]
I am trying to find a good, actually any version, of Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer, with 'callback' or 'kid's addition' lyrics. For example, "They never let poor Rudolph (Rudolph)/ Join in any reindeer games (like Monopoly)". I have searched, unsuccessfully, on iTunes and Google Play, for such a version. Any recommendations? I am sure there are plenty out there but I'm just not finding any.
We are doing secret Santa exchange at work in which everyday we leave a small gift for the recipient. I want to make all my little gifts tie together using a poem. Halp? [more inside]
Another gift-question, but I didn't find anything in the archives that's exactly applicable, so here goes: I'm looking for a Christmas gift for my 11-year-old cousin. He's pretty into science and math, and according to my aunt, already has tons of toys/games/kits. So it seems like she would prefer for him not to get another one of those, but her only other suggestion was to give him "coupons" to play card/board games with me. I'd be happy to do that except frankly I'm not sure he'd actually appreciate it - fwiw we rarely see each other, and I'm ten years older and female. I'm thinking a good book might be nice, but I don't know exactly what he's already read and liked, other than the typical series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Diary of a Wimpy Kid etc. Any suggestions - either lesser-known books or other options I might not have thought of? My max price range is probably $25-30 but I can be a little flexible.
Has anyone found a reliable source for Lego Technic Power Functions builds? [more inside]
My family and I will soon be embarking on a trip to Spain. We'll be in Seville the 19th-27th, Cordoba for a couple of days after that, and Granada until January 2nd. What's cool stuff to do in these places (we've already got Alhambra tickets), or very nearby? Is there anything associated with the current winter festivities to do? Any good restaurant recommendations?
We're having a vegetarian Christmas. I love a good nut roast. There's only going to be three of us, and no one to freak out over vegetarian clichés. So I'm looking for a scene stealing nut roast recipe to be the main attraction. [more inside]
I'm visitng NYC for the next couple days and would like to pack in some quintessential Christmastime in New York City activities. ! [more inside]
I can't stand my sister's boyfriend. He's coming for Christmas. They're inseparable. Now what? [more inside]
Are there Christmas/holiday films or TV specials that star non-white protagonists? I was watching a holiday ad for The Criterion Collection on Hulu and was nonplussed at how white the casts are for all the classic holiday films. I mean, I have a soft spot for Home Alone as a child of the Chicago suburbs, but I'd love to show nieces and nephews and cousins more than whitebread suburban holiday cheer. Are there Christmas films featuring people of color (foreign or American) you would recommend? And if foreign, hopefully subtitled? I can poke around for Korean films, but am otherwise linguistically stuck with the English language.
What kinds of smallish or flat things can I wrap into a surprise ball that teenagers would like? [more inside]
Ayo- My four-year-old niece thinks Superman is pretty bitchin', and I'm thinking about maybe getting her Superman-related toys for Xmas. Are there any good Superman toys for someone her age that might be educational? Failing Educational, what about Superman toys that are just rad beyond belief?
What's your favorite Christmas instrumental, classical-sounding music? [more inside]
So, after decades of basically ignoring them, I'm finally getting into the spirit of enjoying classic Christmas songs. But I don't know much about them. I know many of them have been covered literally hundreds of times. As a starting point, I'd like to better understand which versions of popular Christmas songs have been MOST popular over time. [more inside]
Where in NYC can I order a printing of 250 photo cards with the quickest turnaround? I'm talking like 24-48 hours. Can pay $$$. [more inside]