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Author Topic: The "what should I ask for the holidays" thread  (Read 886 times)
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Teggy
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« on: November 28, 2011, 05:10:52 PM »

If you're like me, you have relatives asking what you would like for the holidays. If you're also like me, you don't have a lot of great ideas. I don't like asking relatives to buy me video games, and a lot of what I want is also more expensive than relatives should (or want to) pay.

I thought it might be good to share a thread of relatively inexpensive items (I'd say $20-$40 is the sweet spot, but not a strict guideline) that maybe we don't realize we want or need.

Personally, I just bought a house, so I could use guidance on tools or other items that every homeowner should have.

Something I bought this weekend that helped me finish wiring cable through a wall was this:
Ryobi 11 inch flexible shaft extender for $12 (maybe a good stocking stuffer?)
http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202078690/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053

Another neat item, which I bought as a gift for my wife is the:
Belkin kitchen stand for iPads ($30)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NHTG6O/ref=oh_o03_s00_i00_details
« Last Edit: November 28, 2011, 05:53:59 PM by Teggy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 05:48:49 PM »

Socks. You can never go wrong with socks. Unless they insist on knitting them for you themselves.
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 05:59:25 PM »

maybe food, drink or coffee beans?  do you like any of that stuff?  its personal enough that it doesnt feel like a gift card, its right in the price range you feel comfortable giving to your relatives and (while i get a HUGE kick out of yankee swap stuff) it doesnt clutter you up with a bunch of stuff you kinda sorta maybe want - thatll sit in your home collecting dust
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 08:14:15 PM »

Can't go wrong with gift cards
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« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2011, 08:19:04 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 28, 2011, 05:10:52 PM

Personally, I just bought a house, so I could use guidance on tools or other items that every homeowner should have.

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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2011, 11:29:54 PM »

Quote from: USMC Kato on November 28, 2011, 08:14:15 PM

Can't go wrong with gift cards

Yeah, who doesn't want a gift that says "I couldn't be bothered to pick something out for you, so go shopping yourself." I think they're ok for people that you don't know very well though.

I always ask for flannel shirts. Haven't actually had to buy myself one in many years.
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 12:21:36 AM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 28, 2011, 05:10:52 PM



Personally, I just bought a house, so I could use guidance on tools or other items that every homeowner should have.



How handy are you, what are you planning on doing, what shape is the house in? I have enough tools to build a house, but that might not be what you are getting into.
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 12:35:31 AM »

Quote from: Default on November 29, 2011, 12:21:36 AM

Quote from: Teggy on November 28, 2011, 05:10:52 PM



Personally, I just bought a house, so I could use guidance on tools or other items that every homeowner should have.



How handy are you, what are you planning on doing, what shape is the house in? I have enough tools to build a house, but that might not be what you are getting into.

Um, low-medium handy? For example, this weekend I ran a little cable through my bedroom wall down into the garage. It's not a fixer-upper. I need to do things like fix a few shelves, put up towel bars, etc.
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 03:02:43 AM »

Quote from: Ironrod on November 28, 2011, 11:29:54 PM

Quote from: USMC Kato on November 28, 2011, 08:14:15 PM

Can't go wrong with gift cards

Yeah, who doesn't want a gift that says "I couldn't be bothered to pick something out for you, so go shopping yourself." I think they're ok for people that you don't know very well though.


Thatís a horrible way of looking at it.  If people insist on buying me a gift I feel much better knowing that it will be used for something I actually want instead of knowing they wasted money on something I will never use.
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2011, 03:48:07 AM »

Quote from: Lordnine on November 29, 2011, 03:02:43 AM

Quote from: Ironrod on November 28, 2011, 11:29:54 PM

Quote from: USMC Kato on November 28, 2011, 08:14:15 PM

Can't go wrong with gift cards

Yeah, who doesn't want a gift that says "I couldn't be bothered to pick something out for you, so go shopping yourself." I think they're ok for people that you don't know very well though.


Thatís a horrible way of looking at it.  If people insist on buying me a gift I feel much better knowing that it will be used for something I actually want instead of knowing they wasted money on something I will never use.

I just really loathe shopping. When someone gives me a card my first thought is "oh great, now I have to go to the gorram store."

I've tried asking for good cigars, but antismoking righteousness keeps anyone from ever complying.

What I truly need are a new compost bin and new trash barrels. Been asking for them for years, but my wife doesn't consider them worthy gifts. "I'm not buying you a trash barrel for christmas!" she says, like the reason is supposed to be self-explanatory. She'll probably give me a gift card to Home Depot and make me buy my own gorram trash barrel.
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« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2011, 03:54:45 AM »

Sorry, I just snickered at shaft extender.

Carry on.
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« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM »

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja
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« Reply #12 on: November 29, 2011, 01:53:15 PM »



Suntan Lotion,arcade spending money,beer money,snorkel Tongue
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2011, 02:06:57 PM »

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Some people have families (mine included) that celebrate more than one holiday.
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2011, 02:34:03 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 29, 2011, 02:06:57 PM

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Some people have families (mine included) that celebrate more than one holiday.

My wife is Buddhist and I'm a recovering Catholic. Between ourselves we say Christmas, we say "Merry Christmas" to our closest friends and say "Happy Holidays" to those we know are of different religions and to strangers whose religions or cultural practices we don't know. I think its the polite thing to do.
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« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2011, 03:20:31 PM »

A dremel (or comparable rotary tool). I've found it to be the single biggest help as a homeowner with a surprising amount of uses.

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« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2011, 10:20:36 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 29, 2011, 02:06:57 PM

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Some people have families (mine included) that celebrate more than one holiday.


so do you guys say Happy Holidays for Easter?
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« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2011, 10:23:48 PM »

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Merry X-mas Roman!
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« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2011, 10:25:51 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on November 29, 2011, 10:23:48 PM

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Merry X-mas Roman!

 thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup  Happy Holidays CeeKay!
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« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2011, 10:27:16 PM »

Quote from: metallicorphan on November 29, 2011, 10:20:36 PM

Quote from: Teggy on November 29, 2011, 02:06:57 PM

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Some people have families (mine included) that celebrate more than one holiday.


so do you guys say Happy Holidays for Easter?

It doesn't have to do with what you say to people. The topic was what to ask other people for whatever holiday they happen to celebrate, so I wrote "holidays" so it was all inclusive. Despite the fact that my people killed Jesus, I assure you I am not trying to wage war on Christmas.

My wife celebrates Christmas, so by extension so do I (in the commercial sense), and I haven't lit a menorah in ages because I don't really feel the need.
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« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2011, 10:28:59 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 29, 2011, 10:27:16 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on November 29, 2011, 10:20:36 PM

Quote from: Teggy on November 29, 2011, 02:06:57 PM

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Some people have families (mine included) that celebrate more than one holiday.


so do you guys say Happy Holidays for Easter?

It doesn't have to do with what you say to people. The topic was what to ask other people for whatever holiday they happen to celebrate, so I wrote "holidays" so it was all inclusive. Despite the fact that my people killed Jesus, I assure you I am not trying to wage war on Christmas.

My wife celebrates Christmas, so by extension so do I (in the commercial sense), and I haven't lit a menorah in ages because I don't really feel the need.

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« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2011, 11:05:56 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on November 29, 2011, 10:27:16 PM

Quote from: metallicorphan on November 29, 2011, 10:20:36 PM

Quote from: Teggy on November 29, 2011, 02:06:57 PM

Quote from: Roman on November 29, 2011, 01:05:04 PM

I would ask for the word CHRISTMAS to be used more.  ninja

Some people have families (mine included) that celebrate more than one holiday.


so do you guys say Happy Holidays for Easter?

It doesn't have to do with what you say to people. The topic was what to ask other people for whatever holiday they happen to celebrate, so I wrote "holidays" so it was all inclusive. Despite the fact that my people killed Jesus, I assure you I am not trying to wage war on Christmas.



My question about Easter was a legit one,i wasn't trying to make out you were waging war on Chrimbo,I celebrate Christmas because we get days off work and that's about it,but then again i would celebrate national Carrot Top/Pauly Shore/Adam Sandler day if it had the same outcome Tongue
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« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2011, 11:13:39 PM »

Can we get back on topic please?  Mostly because I need help in figuring out what to ask for as well.   icon_biggrin
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« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2011, 11:17:10 PM »

 

Quote from: Graham on November 29, 2011, 11:13:39 PM

Can we get back on topic please?  Mostly because I need help in figuring out what to ask for as well.   icon_biggrin

 thumbsup  icon_smile

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« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2011, 11:23:07 PM »

Quote from: Graham on November 29, 2011, 11:13:39 PM

Can we get back on topic please?  Mostly because I need help in figuring out what to ask for as well.   icon_biggrin

how about a Ryobi 12 inch flexible shaft extender?
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« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2011, 11:24:49 PM »

Quote from: WorkingMike on November 29, 2011, 03:20:31 PM

A dremel (or comparable rotary tool). I've found it to be the single biggest help as a homeowner with a surprising amount of uses.

Can you please tell me what you use it for, because I bought one and can't find a single use for it.
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« Reply #26 on: November 30, 2011, 12:55:00 AM »

Quote from: Jag on November 29, 2011, 11:24:49 PM

Quote from: WorkingMike on November 29, 2011, 03:20:31 PM

A dremel (or comparable rotary tool). I've found it to be the single biggest help as a homeowner with a surprising amount of uses.

Can you please tell me what you use it for, because I bought one and can't find a single use for it.

Hemorrhoid removal.
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« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2011, 05:20:17 PM »

Bumping this one - no one has any favorite gadgets, tools, other that they'd recommend?
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hmm...


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« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2011, 06:02:02 PM »

step ladder
extension ladder
heavy duty shelving for garage
those garage shelving units with little drawers for nails & screws
cordless power drill
bits
halogen work lamps
hammer/screwdrivers/wrenches/the other usual stuff
socket wrench set
belt sander
rotary sander
router
garden shears
hoe, rake, shovel
miter saw
table saw
air compressor
level
multimeter
clamps of all sizes
vice
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« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2011, 06:05:59 PM »

Now that's more like it! I have some of those, but a socket wrench set, that is something I can definitely use.

Keep them coming!
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« Reply #30 on: December 08, 2011, 12:49:55 PM »

I'll second a good cordless drill.  I emphasize "good" because some don't hold a charge very well and others have poor power.  My father-in-law got me one for Christmas a few years ago when we were still knee-deep in home renovations and I had no idea just how much more useful a quality cordless drill was than a regular corded drill.  

Also, depending on how much storage space you have (in Arizona we don't have any), I really like having a telescoping step ladder like this one.  It breaks down and folds up into a compact package that even fits into my wife's Hyundai Elantra's trunk and it requires minimal storage space versus a 6' A-frame step ladder.  It not only works well as an A-frame ladder, but it also unfolds into a 13' extension ladder.  Plus its adjustability allows for access to odd spaces in a home (the 2nd floor of our house has a peaked ceiling, so painting above the stairs would have been impossible without my ladder's various settings).  

Another thing to consider would be a hex wrench set.  If you buy anything from Ikea and have a habit of losing the hex keys they provide then you'll truly appreciate having a hex key set.  They're also useful for cycling adjustments on a bicycle, and I've been surprised at how many other places I've needed to use them.  

I also appreciate having a couple of adjustable wrenches (not just one) for installing sinks and other hardware that requires tightening multiple nuts at the same time.  

Another item few think of until they have to access a remote spot is a good extension cord.  I have a nice cord reel I really like because it's easy to wrap up, can be unrolled to a variety of lengths, and it's easy to store without having to wrap it up manually.  

If you're going to be doing any painting, I've been surprised how useful good brushes can be.  They're not cheap, but if you have to do edging by hand or touch-up small areas, good brushes make a world of difference.  I'm a big fan of disposable tray inserts as well.  Although if you have dogs I'd recommend not painting while they're around.  I stepped outside one afternoon and upon returning found Nala acting like she did something wrong.  When she walked up to me her black nose was white.  She apparently sniffed a little too closely to the paint tray.  

A good tape measure.  I say "good" because some flat out suck and crap out after a few uses.  You'll want something that has a brake that works, that can handle rough retractions, and can be dropped without breaking.  You'll appreciate the difference if you ever wind up with a cheap tape measure.  

We also have a Leatherman in our kitchen cupboard.  We don't camp or have much use for one outdoors, but it is awesome to have inside the house when you need to make a quick fix and don't want to have to dig through your tools or head out to the garage.  It takes up minimal space, sits right in our "utility cabinet", and if I need a screwdriver, blade, pliers, etc without having to turn something into a major project then I love being able to just grab the Leatherman when needed.

That about covers what I can come up with that hasn't been mentioned already.  

Edit:  Almost forgot, what about a decent water hose?  I wash my car regularly and we often have to water my wife's plants, and I love the "soft and supple" hose.  It is easy to maneuver, it doesn't crack or degrade even in the Arizona heat, it has a lifetime warranty, and it wraps up super easy.  It practically coils itself. 

Now I think I'm out of ideas. thumbsup
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 12:54:25 PM by PeteRock » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2011, 03:05:06 PM »

Boy, A halogen work lamp sure is a good idea! Gonna add that to my list.

Extension cords
A pnueumatic Jack.

A good crepe pan.

small garage/basement/mancave fridge

External storage. You can never have enough external storage. If by chance you do have enough storage then you need more solid state external memory.
Power strips/cable octopi
I prefer to have a wired keyboard and mouse. Extensions for those cords would be nice.
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« Reply #32 on: December 08, 2011, 04:20:56 PM »

Thanks for the input Pete and dfs!
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« Reply #33 on: December 08, 2011, 04:39:10 PM »

Echoing Pete, don't skimp on any of these things quality-wise.  Almost all of these tools can last you a lifetime, and if you get subpar stuff to save a few bucks now you'll end up paying more overall when you inevitably replace them, and you'll be grumpy in the interim.
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« Reply #34 on: December 09, 2011, 02:46:37 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on December 08, 2011, 04:39:10 PM

Echoing Pete, don't skimp on any of these things quality-wise.  Almost all of these tools can last you a lifetime, and if you get subpar stuff to save a few bucks now you'll end up paying more overall when you inevitably replace them, and you'll be grumpy in the interim.

Especially when they fail right in the middle of a project, when you're on a ladder, holding up a ceiling fan, and you've already made four prior trips to Lowe's.  Grumpy doesn't even begin to describe the state of mind.  We've all been there.

Also, since dfs expanded the list to include kitchen items as well, along with a quality crepe pan, a decent cook set is a must (for our wedding we received a complete Calphalon One nonstick set and it has elevated my cooking from great to occasional extraordinary).

But I think one of my personal favorites in my kitchen is my cast iron dutch oven.  This thing can do almost anything, including beautifully searing meats, it holds heat wonderfully for braising or roasting, it's amazing for soups, stews, chili, and sauces, it's easy to clean, it can go right from stove top to oven and back again, and while I was apprehensive of the entry price at first, it has gotten so much use that I've more than gotten my money's worth.  If you cook any kind of soup, stew, or do any braising, roasting, or need a good, heavy pot for deglazing, making sauces, etc, then it's a no-brainer.  Get one.  We got a Martha Stewart version on sale at Macy's last Christmas with a kick-ass coupon and in essence got it for 1/3 of the asking price, giving our investment that much more value.  If you do wind up getting one, I would suggest a personal favorite recipe that has become a key option in my repertoire to break it in.  Braised short ribs with fresh linguine, finished with shaved bittersweet dark chocolate over top.  Fabulous

We also use the hell out of our KitchenAid mixer.  They're hella expensive, but just simply awesome, especially for soufle or my wife's new obsession, French macaroons with homemade fruit curd.

Granted, many of these make fantastic wedding gifts for the hobby chef, but if you're beyond receiving wedding gifts then they make excellent holiday gifts. 

Just trying to think of the things in our home that get the most use and we feel are the most valuable (outside of our entertainment center), and the dutch oven, KitchenAid mixer, and our cookware all get used every single day.  I couldn't get through a winter without our dutch oven.  The moment the weather drops below 60 I start rubbing my hands together in anticipation of making a hearty meal.
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« Reply #35 on: December 09, 2011, 02:49:02 PM »

Oh, add a good voltage tester to your list if you plan to mess with any switches or electric sockets.

And then make sure to use it.    ninja

It really is worth that extra second just to make sure.

 retard
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« Reply #36 on: December 09, 2011, 02:52:45 PM »

My wife is a bit of an obsessive kitchen collector, so we have just about every kitchen gadget out there, including a KitchenAid mixer and every All-Clad pan you can think of (although I made her return the panini pan because I just knew we'd never use it), but we actually don't have a dutch oven (or a crock pot for that matter).
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« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2011, 02:53:46 PM »

Quote from: PeteRock on December 09, 2011, 02:49:02 PM

Oh, add a good voltage tester to your list if you plan to mess with any switches or electric sockets.

And then make sure to use it.    ninja

It really is worth that extra second just to make sure.

 retard

I do have a multimeter that I got from my father in law, but messing with electricity is one of those things I'm happy to leave to professionals.
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Arkon
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« Reply #38 on: December 09, 2011, 03:02:29 PM »

I definitely second the cast iron dutch oven.  My cookware is stainless steel, and while I thought they were great when I first got them, they tarnish very easily, and stuff sticks to them all of the time, even though I use plenty of oil over medium heat.  I am thinking of asking for a set of hard anodized cookware for Christmas.

I would love to get a KitchenAid mixer, but my kitchen is just too small, and counter space is too much of a premium.
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Arkon
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« Reply #39 on: December 09, 2011, 03:05:37 PM »

On the tools front, I highly recommend an Oscillating Tool such as this.
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