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23 December 2006

Ack! It's that day tomorrow? Last minute diy present help! [More:]Amid the chaos that has been the last couple of months, I haven't had a chance to even think about xmas presents. For the most part that's okay--my family understands, bless 'em. Thing is, I'm going to my uncle's for the big feast tomorrow (he's on call for the ambulance on the day, so they're having the dinner a day early). He & his gf put me up for three weeks while I was waiting for this place, and my uncle and I have always been close, so I want to do something for them. All I've managed to pick up for them is some insanely yummy chocolates. His gf doesn't like anything that's for sale on the island, and although this book would be perfect for the uncle, it's too late to get it and more than I can afford. I can bake and I have a bread machine, though my ingredients are slightly limited. My tired brain isn't helping me here. Ideas, bunnies? Any suggestions most gratefully received.

More info: they both have incredible sweet tooths/teeth/teeths/whatever. She doesn't like my music collection, is 24 and into anime and Civilization and not much else that I can tell. He's a contractor and loves a lot of my music, so I could burn him a cd at least, I guess. He's also into astronomy, physics, medical science, chainsaws, cheese, and eating like a lumberjack. I don't do gift certificates and can't afford one of any significant value anyway, so that's out. She doesn't drink and he doesn't drink much, so a nice bottle won't work. The only thing about cooking something for them is that I get the impression she's sick of hearing what a good cook I am, as her repertoire is pretty limited and includes jello-pineapple salad. /me tears her hair out of her non-functioning head
Okay, on actually looking at the amazon price for the chainsaw book, I would get him that. I read about it in Books BC, where it was listed at $51.
posted by elizard 23 December | 17:08
skip the worry about cooking.

How about combining some gifts? Burn the CD for him and get her a new hobby. Just kidding. The anime part is pretty easy, burn a torrent of something new coming out of Japan. Easier said than done of course, but with that genre there are so many fan things to pull out of the hat.

My advice is to stick with the cd, do some googling through the anime forums and burn what is the hottest or most long standing works. No disappointment and everyone gets reminded its the thought that counts.
posted by funmonkey1 23 December | 17:08
That's a great suggestion, funmonkey, and one that hadn't occurred to me. The only problem is that where I live, it's dial-up only, do burning video isn't really feasible. Or is it?
posted by elizard 23 December | 17:13
Aw you shouldn't stress yourself out. Anything you give them will be appreciated! Cooking is a huge time sink though, right? You have to plan and shop and chop and prepare and make and clean up...argh.

Some random thoughts - you've already gotten chocolates, so what about continuing with that theme?

- a fondue kit so they can make more yummy sweet desserts? They're cheap, and really popular right now. You could bundle it up with pound cake and some fruit or some butterscotch sauce, or fudge, or something. Pretzels are great too. You can get it all at the supermarket.

- a chocolate fountain? Tacky, yeah.

- IOU coupons, printed by you via the magic of your computer, for some yummy foodies or a special dinner for two sometime in the future, including music you've selected just for the occasion.
posted by iconomy 23 December | 17:19
- Dancing Santas. You can't lose with dancing Santas.
posted by cmonkey 23 December | 17:32
≡ Click to see image ≡
posted by iconomy 23 December | 17:35
iconomy is on the right track - what is needed is a solution for her. And thats the tough one. On dial up there is no chance to burn the latest from Japan so I guess its time to go original.

Do you know what her favourite character or part of Civilisation she loves the most? Maybe a try here for some ideas?

There is a large part of me after reading your post there is no gift that can meet her wants. Sometimes that happens. If that's the case, just do the best you can and stop worrying about her. He will do damage control if the burned CD is really good ;)
posted by funmonkey1 23 December | 17:39
I'm sorry, hon, I'm still back on:

chainsaws and cheese

There's GOT to be something in that that would at least be memorable.

Unless, of course, you happen to drop it in an ENORMOUS PILE OF SALT on the way home.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 23 December | 18:10
I think they'll understand if you just make some nice handmade cards with "IOU"'s for a more time-intensive gift later.
posted by matildaben 23 December | 19:46
Bake 'em a loaf of bread with some anime and chainsaws inside.

Hmm. Nevermind. They might not like that so much.
posted by brina 23 December | 20:51
I dunno, Brina, in my family Christmas wouldn't be the same without wide-eyed girls flying spaceships and a quick gustatory trip to the E.R.

Some traditions just get more wonderful over time.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 23 December | 21:14
Some possibilities: A fancy flavoured oil (you know, the kind with herbs, etc. inside? You can also make this yourself) or designer vinegar; a good pepper grinder, if they don't have one, along with peppercorns - or a salt grinder (I want one!); coffee beans and grinder; fancy tea.

A nice houseplant. Seems unimaginative, but I love to get them myself. Maybe you could hang one cool, "collectible" ornament on it, if it's that kind of plant.

Or, if you have a nice bead shop nearby and are a little bit artistic, you can make her some lovely earrings very inexpensively. The shop will have a couple of different kinds of wires for the earrings, and usually they have examples around the shop showing different ideas. I made some gorgeous ones for a friend this year.

Or whip her up some of iconomy's coconut oil and shea butter body cream (and keep the rest for yourself!). Most of us have some trouble with dry skin in winter. (Also one of my gifts this year)

I've often chanced upon wonderful gifts by just going to a great culinary arts shop or a place that sells stuff for campers/hikers outdoors stuff. Small things that don't cost that much but are very groovy. I got one friend a pineapple slicer (and a fresh pineapple) after getting one myself (after essexjan told me that's what she uses for fresh pineapple). $5 - $10, and a great thing to have if you like pineapple. WHO DOESN'T LIKE PINEAPPLE? After you slice the pinapples, you can serve mai tais or pina coladas in the shells!

Cooking ideas: Gingerbread! God I love gingerbread. Even if she's a bit jealous of the cooking skillz, gingerbread is so perfect for the season, and so delicious, she'll get over it right quickish! :)

Good luck!
posted by taz 24 December | 03:57
Don't do the downloads on a dial-up. BAD idea. They'd eat up your bandwidth & take forever to d/l. I could do them for you, but they'd be in .avi or .mpg format = need a computer to watch them on.
I could go to a few places in Vancouver and find anime DVD's though I'd need to know _exactly_ what to get (meaning series and episode #'s, and whether you'd want to spring for a boxed set).

Let me know if you've any ideas that I can get for you here, k? I'm away to Qualicum until the 27th.
Maybe I can buy some nice Celtic Fleur de Sel and you could drop some jello in it. actually, this is available in at least two places in Van. heh.
posted by Zack_Replica 24 December | 06:42
A Revolution in Music || Explosions on TV?