Happy Hanukkah – Why are gifts so hard to buy?

Posted by at Dec 2, 2010 6:00 am

So last night was the first night of Hanukkah. I love the holiday. I loved it as a kid – my favorite memory was my parents putting all our gifts on a long table in the den (we got them all at once instead of one a night) and opening them. I remember favorite pajamas, a Neil Diamond 45 Record (I hope people know what that is!) and the songs were Long Fellow Serenade and Desiree and I was SO happy! Sometimes it really is the little things and the memories.

So why is buying gifts for my kids so hard? I LOVE gift giving and it’s not that they’re difficult or even ungrateful but sometimes you just know when you’ve disappointed them – or on the other hand really hit it out of the ballpark. I find the older they get the harder this gift buying business has become. Now they’re 18 and almost 15 years old. I’ve done makeup gift cards to their favorite store, and some other things they picked out, but I need more things … and it’s hard!

So what about your holidays? For Hanukkah or Christmas do you find choosing gifts as difficult as I do?


31 thoughts on “Happy Hanukkah – Why are gifts so hard to buy?

  1. 1
    Stacy ~ says:

    :candles2: Happy Hanukkah, Carly!

    I cut back on shopping a lot, so now I demand lists LOL. Seriously, shopping is stressful, so I need all the help I can get.

  2. 2
    Michele Benard says:

    my kids are 10 & 5 they have so much crap that they had to have it collects they don’t use it I’m over it so we are thinking of doing a cruise just a few small gifts

  3. 3
    Gigi says:

    :candles2: Happy Hanukkah, Carly.

    I think it is so hard to buy for the kids because most kids get stuff all year long.

    When I was a kid birthdays and Christmas were the only times in a year that we got toys and stuff other than clothes to start the new school year.

    • 3.1
      Carly says:

      Yeah someone said to me yesterday, “every day is hanukkah in your house.” I’d laugh if there weren’t something seriously wrong with that. :hannukah)

  4. 4
    Patsy L Roberts says:

    Buying for my daughter and husband are easy it is wehn I start to look for my sister-in-law and Brother-in-law that I run in to trouble. I buy thiongs I think they may like. Sometimes it’s a hit and others not so much. :fainting:

    • 4.1
      Carly says:

      We only do the kids. No adult gifts. Does make life easier!

      • Patsy L Roberts says:

        On the hubbys side there is only his sister, her husband and my hubbys mother. Now on my side everyong buys for the kids (anyone under 18) and then each person buys a gift costing between 15 and 25 dollars for the same sex as you then we start at the oldest and a woman picks a womens gift and a man a mans ect. after opening your gift you may exchange it for some one elses gift and they must give it up. But mostly everyone likes what they got and keeps it. :bananaangel:

  5. 5
    Michelle in NJ says:

    Happy Hanukkah Carly! I find the older they get, the harder it is to buy. Plus the gifts are so much more expensive. My daughter will be 17 and I can’t even buy her clothes anymore. So I will get her a few things that I think she’ll like and then we’ll have a shopping day where she picks out her own clothes.

  6. 6
    katie says:

    It’s the pressure, the obligation and the expectation. There’s so much pressure to buy the “PERFECT” gift and the expectation that it’s going to be the “PERFECT” gift. Then, there’s the ‘obligation’ to give gifts for people that, frankly, you don’t want to. This sounds like I am a control freak (which I probably am), but I would really rather that I buy my own gifts. I’d get what I want, I could even wrap it for the person. I would also rather that my relatives give my boys gifts rather than myself a gift. I would also rather that they gave money to their favorite non-profit in my name (preferably that it helped kids or people who don’t have a lot). I guess I don’t really have any ‘needs’, so that is part of my problem.

    • 6.1
      katie says:

      It’s like your Neil Diamond record (who, Yes, I do know who he is and I have seen him in concert many times and I even know what a record is!)….was it the most expensive? Probably not. But, it probably was the most meaningful because you REALLY wanted it…..and the person who gave it to you, just knew.

    • 6.2
      Carly says:

      That’s why we don’t do adult gifts. I can get (mostly) what I want during the year! And if I can’t, I couldn’t afford it anyway. Sad but true.

  7. 7
    Cher Gorman says:

    Lilly gives us a list. My husband tells me what he wants and I order it or go to the store and buy it. I tell him what I want–this year it’s a Kindle which I already ordered. It’s downstairs waiting to be wrapped. I can’t wait! I also ordered something from Levenger which is downstairs waiting to be wrapped. He wanted a new computer monitor which was ordered and am waiting for it to be delivered. My mother has a small collection of decorative bird houses on top of the cabinets in her kitchen so I got one of those for Lilly to give to her. I will probably pick up some makeup and bathstuff for my stocking and Lilly’s. I have some stuff for the granmas stockings. My niece and nephew are the hardest to buy for. We usually give them money but this year I want to give them something wrapped. So I have asked them both for a list. If they don’t send us a list they are getting a check because I’m not a mind reader.

    Have a great day all,

    Cher :fallleaves:

  8. 8
    Valerie says:

    I find choosing gifts for my family a real chore. I’d rather give them gift certificates for their favourite store, but the hubby says we must get them something more personal….ugh!!!

    in Germany

  9. 9
    SandyG265 says:

    My neice is 18 so I just give her money. She can always use money for gas.

  10. 10
    Janelle says:

    Happy Hannukkah, Carly! :hannukah)

    I agree that the older the kids get, the harder it is to buy for them. I ask for a list, and if I don’t get one, I give them money to buy what they want when they figure it out. :lol:

    For me, the hardest people to buy for are my father, and my father-in-law. I agonize over gifts for them every single year! And if I can’t figure out what they might want/need, they get a gift card! ;)

  11. 11
    Liza says:


    I go the easy route with my oldest 2 nieces (19 & 16) usually. Middle is getting itunes giftcards from us and Oldest is getting my old Sony ereader(she has wanted it for a year) fully loaded with books and with 2 charges. Youngest(6) is a little easier to buy for, since she wants books and Zhu-Zhu pets this year. Her big wish is for the Barbie Dream Townhouse, because it has a hot bathtub and a toilet that makes a flushing sound. Santa will be taking care of that one for her. Other family members have to give me a list so I know what to buy them.

  12. 12
    Donna M says:

    :candles2: :hannukah)

    My humble opinion is that there is to much pressure at the holidays, both Christmas & Hannukah, for everything to be perfect. It seems as if all of us have gotten so caught up in the giving of gifts that we have lost track of what is the most important part of the holidays which started in the celebration of the birth of Christ. I’m not a terribly religious person but so much has become so commercial. Due to a small income my giving is very limited therefore I do what I can without going overboard. The holiday, in my humble opinion, should be about being together with family & friends, about spending time with people you do care about.

    I’m sure, Carly, that you will be able to decide on gifts for your daughters that they will love. :candles2:

  13. 13
    Silver James says:

    :candles2: Happy Hanakkuh, Carly, and everyone else celebrating the season. It is hard to buy “meaningful” presents anymore because the kids do get so much throughout the year there’s not much left at Christmas.

  14. 14
    ev says:

    The Spawn already got her gift- a new ipod touch because hers died and she uses it a lot. I also sent her a set of luggage because I knew she really didn’t have anything but a huge one we used when she moved west and a small over night one. She called me the other night when it showed up, surprised and thrilled. It’s bright pink too, so I don’t think she can lose it. At least without trying.

    Hubby is hard to buy for, but mom, my oldest step-daughter, youngest step-son and 3 of the 5 grandkids are no problem. If no one gives me ideas, then they get a gift card. I am almost done with shopping except for those difficult ones.

    But I still don’t have the enthusiasm to put up my :bigtree: . I have no idea why either. But it does need to get up and soon.

  15. 15
    Ilona says:

    Happy Hanukkah, Carly! :candles2:

    I hate to admit this after your post but, not only do I have all the christmas present for everyone, I also have them wrapped.

    I even managed to save on postage and gave two of them out to my sons who were down from Scotland for a family wedding last month :blushing:

  16. 16
    Nissie says:


    Happy Hanukka,Carly! One of my sons is extremely easy to buy for and the other extremely hard, but the hardest person to buy gifts for is my dad. Impossible!! I think men in general are harder to buy for than women.

  17. 17
    Vanessa says:

    If I can’t think of a gift idea, I bake a large batch of cookies and candies. Everyone always loves homemade treats this time of year in a pretty box or tin. Wishing you a Happy Hanukkah!

  18. 18

    I have the hardest time buying gifts for my son Kenny,he’s 20 and Marian is almost 17 and she hates surprizes so she is usually with me when I buy her something. On top of that after you buy what she wants, she still is disappointed so I’m beginning to dislike christmas shopping. I love to bake so i give out my favorite banana bread and assorted cookies I make for my friends and I mail my dad his goodies. My mom made christmas special but since she died in Jan.1992 I made it special too when they were small, I try but I disappoint myself so I’m at my wits end. I even want to skip the holiday…thats not very nice but thats how I’m feeling. My attitude may change from now till Christmas-at least I enjoy going to my women’s group (church) and the midnight service. Happy Holidays to you!

  19. 19
    Diane Sadler says:

    My kids are 28 and 26 and they ask for gift cards mostly. I can find the odd thing to surprise them but not much; they also like DVDs of their favorite shows, new movies just released and books.

  20. 20
    Carly says:

    Everyone makes good and interesting points. Always fun to hear how others think, what they buy for their families, etc. :bigxmas: :candles2:

  21. 21
    Amber says:


    My kids are still fairly young and easy to buy for. One likes anything science and the other anything with wheels.

    I love finding the perfect gift for someone. I give a lot of thought to it. There’s a special look people get when you’ve chosen the perfect, unexpected gift for them. And if I can make something myself, all the better.

    And, of course, I give baked goods to most of our friends.

  22. 22
    Cheri McCollum says:

    Our family does a dirty Santa for the adults. We all buy gifts that are between $15-$20 and then draw numbers. You can either steal a gift from someone who has opened one or open one yourself. It always gets hysterical. My hubby always looks for a crazy gift for it, last year it was the ugliest serving platter I have ever seen – recycled plastic! He ended up with it and we took it back to the store! It was funny watching everyone trying to get rid of it. :SmallSanta:

  23. 23
    Nancy Alexander says:

    I wish I had that problem of deciding on gifts. There is just my son & myself here for the holidays. The rest of my family is back east. :hannukah) Have a wonderful holiday.

  24. 24
    Brenda H. says:

    I’m so there with you. Some things have stayed the same like buying them music– but video games are crazy at 50-60 bucks each! :angryred:

    I hate to say this but for my nephews and inlaws I’m buying giftcards this year. I simply have no idea what anyone wants and I hate doing it but I’m going to. Then I’ll spend my energy on finding stuff for my 17, 16 and 10 year old.

Comments are closed.

:zip: :yuck: :yourock: :wtf: :write: :worship: :woot: :wink: :wiggleeyebrows: :whip: :waves: :wave: :violin: :vampire2: :ugh: :type: :twisted: :topsecret: :tongue: :thumbsdown: :thud: :thewinner: :thankyou: :tears: :taz: :spider: :sorry: :snowman: :snoopydance: :sleep: :sick: :scratch: :scared: :rothfl: :roll: :rofl: :ringaroundrosey: :readthebook: :reading: :rant: :present: :present3: :pray: :pan: :oops: :ohmy: :needhug: :mrgreen: :mothersday: :moon: :moon2: :monkey: :monkey2: :mickeymouse: :meditate: :loves: :love: :loser: :lol: :lips: :lightbulb: :lie: :kicking: :hug: :hot: :horn: :hidingunderchair: :heart: :heart2: :headbang: :hbday: :happybirthday3: :happybanana: :hairpull: :hahaha: :haha: :groan: :glasses: :giggle: :fume: :flowerforyou: :flamey: :flagwave: :fire: :evil: :doh: :dog: :dog2: :devilbanana: :crying: :cry: :cry2: :coffee: :cocktail: :cloud9: :clap: :cheese: :cheerleader: :cheer: :cat: :candles: :cake: :bwhip: :brokenheart: :boxking: :bored: :blahblahblah: :bite: :birthday: :birthday2: :batlash: :barf: :argue: :argue2: :angry: :angelbanana: :angel: :-| :-x :-o :-P :-D :-? :) :( :!: 8-O 8)