Friday, December 20, 2013

Gifts that Give?

I come from a large family, so shopping for birthday and Christmas presents is a yearlong adventure.
I try to keep the gift special for each person and stay within a meager budget.  
Therefore, I hunt down sales, get coupons and compare items over the internet and in circulars before I make a purchase.  

I’m not going to fool you, I also buy things when the notion hits.  
I figure if dollar-cost averaging works for my long-term financial goals, then this must also average out over the year.  
Scott won't agree with this kind of logic and he says I buy too much.  
Sadly, I have to agree, but shopping is fun, too.

Non the less, I am a discriminate shopper.  
There are quality presents and then there are those that shouldn’t even be on the Dollar Store aisles. 

My favorite bookstore stocks unusual items for gift giving, so I have to ask, “Are these the kinds of gifts we should give, moreover, would we want to receive them?”

I’ll let you make the call.  Are these great gifts?

“Learn to Throw a Boomerang Like a Pro”- $14.95, it contains a pamphlet and a boomerang, and it’s for right handed throwers only.  
Rats, Scott is left handed.

“The Complete Sushi Book” and DVD, dipping bowls, serving boards, chopsticks, rests and sushi rolling mat- $24.95, made in China.  
At least it wasn’t made in Kansas, you know the great Sushi state.

“Robot Wars”- $14.95, made in China.  
You would think that it would have metal models that combat each other; instead, you make robots out of paper- they look like paper doll robots.  
Can you imagine the amount of warring you can do with paper robots? 
Then you can light your fire with them when they get crushed.

“How to Cartoon”- made in China for $17.95. 
It contains a 96 page instruction book, 66 pages of drawing and tracing paper, 8 coloring pencils, 1 pencil sharpener, and 1 black gel pen.  
Interestingly, the cartoon faces look Chinese.

Lastly, I found a “Rock Painting Book and Kit”, from China at $7.95. 
There is a book with 100 designs, 1 acrylic brush, 8 bottles of paint (black, green, red, blue, yellow, purple and 2 white), with an assortment of large river stones.  
There is a warning for a choking hazard and not suitable for children under 8.  
Imagine the child that gets a rock painting kit in their stocking.  

I wonder if Chinese children like to paint rocks.

Except for the boomerang, which I think was made in Canada; the other items were from China…you know the great Christmas present country.

Ho, Ho, Ho…

I think I'll start looking for great presents made in the U.S.  The hunt is on.  I'd love to hear from you, email me at

I'd love to have you become a "follower".  I'll even let you lead sometime.

Have a great shopping day.


  1. Hi Helen. I agree with you except the rock painting --- I've actually painted a few rocks. Better to paint them than to throw them or have them thrown at me. :) I also have a tendency to buy gifts throughout the year as I see them and they make me think of someone in particular. I then "put them away" until needed. That's right, you know where I am going - I forget about them or can't remember where I put them. Sigh! So then, I decided to put a lock on my craft room door (stole that idea from your mom). Now there's no room in the craft room has turned into a junk room. I now feel like the dog chasing its tail. Merry Christmas, Leona

  2. I'd like to have the boomerang thing. If it works, I've got a new toy. And if it doesn't, I've got a new stick.

    Merry Christmas ;)


  3. Toys come in all sizes and shapes, for kids of every age. I'm so glad that I'll always be a kid a heart, looking for great toys and things that make me smile like my Sock Monkey Christmas inflatable. Merry Christmas, to all the children in the world.

  4. Found your blog through the Yahoo site/Erma Bombeck connection. Most of your suggestions are perfect for my nine year old grandson. He would give the sushi book to his Mom and demand she start cooking now.

    1. Glad I could give you some suggestions. Merry Christmas.