My least favorite questions that follow Christmas are -
"What did you GET this year?"
The more disarming - "What did Santa bring you?"
Help me start a trend, one that I truly believe in - ask your relatives, your friends, your neighbors, and those quirky people you talk to in grocery store, or coffee shop lines - "What did you give this year?"
Now here is the fun part, watch their faces. See, I am willing to bet there will be about a one second delay as they are taken aback and realize what you asked. Following the delay they will hardly describe the gift card they sent to their brother in a far away state (guilty here).
So (drum roll please) - my favorite gifts that I gave this year are:
1) An electric blanket to my fiancé because she is always cold (also allows me to turn the heat down a few degrees at night)
2) A subscription to Cook's Illustrated to my retired bachelor friend who loves to cook and happens to have all the "stuff" he would ever need. I wanted to GIVE something "consumable". Something that did not need to be hung up, stored, or dusted - Clip the article(s) you want, then toss the rest.
3) A group of navy friends participate in a Secret Santa - I turned a pic of my friend into a Simpson at http://www.simpsonizeme.com/. Then sent him a t-shirt with the pic on it. He happens to be a huge Simpsons fan.
So then, under the comments section, brag a little - its okay just this once!