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Gifts: Success Stories and Suggestions...and Cautionary Tales

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@DeLurker putting in the extra effort! That's great! 

16 hours ago, ari333 said:

Holy crap on a cracker are these real books? I HOPE? These are right up my alley.

I think you really need to own those books and have them sitting on coffee and end tables around your place for everybody to see.

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3 hours ago, JTMacc99 said:

@DeLurker putting in the extra effort! That's great! 

I think you really need to own those books and have them sitting on coffee and end tables around your place for everybody to see.

Hee. good idea, but they will never be here in my home to see them. I need to read them though for sure.  And thanks for the suggestions. If we see each other it will be me going there and I cant seem to do that to myself. My mother is not well enough to travel (and she wouldn't anyway) and I am several hundred miles away. My bf , who was with me when they did some of their hateful stunts the last time we were there, witnessed it, - he refuses to ever visit them again based on their behavior.  I'd be on my own on any visit and I just cant do that to myself right now or soon.   Iow, if I did visit, I'd want some support

I thought you were kidding about the book titles. They are very spot on. :)

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Other books (yes they are all real -I'm a librarian)

When you and your mother can't be friends - Victoria Secunda

Mothers who can't love

Toxic parents  -  both by Susan Forward

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On 2/8/2017 at 10:06 AM, DeLurker said:

Yep, found them on a quick search on Amazon.

That's amazing, I was convinced you'd made them up!

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I need some advice.  My family usually gets together for Christmas Eve with our good friends.  The wife has an adult son who last year married a woman with two boys, ages 12 and 7. This adult son also has a daughter, age 8, from another woman, whom we have known since her birth (the adult son has a custody arrangement)

 

We have always given the daughter a small Christmas gift ($25-35ish).  This year I’d like to give the boys something too, but I have no idea what.  I only have daughters and my sister only has a daughter so I have no clue as to boys (and my husband is no help).  

 

I may ask my friend if she knows the boys clothes sizes, but otherwise can  anyone suggest other ideas?  I’ve met the boys a few times, but don’t really know their likes. 

 

Thanks.  

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10 hours ago, Hanahope said:

I need some advice.  My family usually gets together for Christmas Eve with our good friends.  The wife has an adult son who last year married a woman with two boys, ages 12 and 7. This adult son also has a daughter, age 8, from another woman, whom we have known since her birth (the adult son has a custody arrangement)

 

We have always given the daughter a small Christmas gift ($25-35ish).  This year I’d like to give the boys something too, but I have no idea what.  I only have daughters and my sister only has a daughter so I have no clue as to boys (and my husband is no help).  

 

I may ask my friend if she knows the boys clothes sizes, but otherwise can  anyone suggest other ideas?  I’ve met the boys a few times, but don’t really know their likes. 

 

Thanks.  

Most boys don't want clothes.  I'd be looking for vintage comic books -  or I'd just ask the first man-child i encountered ... they all seem to share a working brain.  :-)

These days, isn't it possible to "know" somebody just by their social media footprint?  Perhaps it's time for a little cyber-stalking, my friend.  ;-)

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I wouldnt personally get clothes for little boys that I dont know at all...except maybe if I found a fun hat or gloves - maybe I would include that as part of the total gift items.  

I would get something and include a gift receipt so it could easily be exchanged - legos, nerf guns are the first things that come to mind for those ages from what our boy heavy family has enjoyed over the years.  If youre doing stockings  as well (stockings are a big deal in our family LOL) you could do small lego set, deck of cards, little magic or gag set (Dollar Tree or Five Below), can of snow, candy item etc

Edited by Kelly
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35 minutes ago, walnutqueen said:

Most boys don't want clothes.  I'd be looking for vintage comic books -  or I'd just ask the first man-child i encountered ... they all seem to share a working brain.  :-)

These days, isn't it possible to "know" somebody just by their social media footprint?  Perhaps it's time for a little cyber-stalking, my friend.  ;-)

I so agree with @walnutqueen about not going the clothes route. The only exception would be a funny or cute tee shirt relating to their interest. I volunteer at an elementary school and I see a lot of Star Wars tee shirts and cool super hero tee shirts. I also see tee shirts related to the Halo and Minecraft games. Sadly, the boys on my list want video games. 

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33 minutes ago, Spunkygal said:

I so agree with @walnutqueen about not going the clothes route. The only exception would be a funny or cute tee shirt relating to their interest. I volunteer at an elementary school and I see a lot of Star Wars tee shirts and cool super hero tee shirts. I also see tee shirts related to the Halo and Minecraft games. Sadly, the boys on my list want video games. 

So sad, too bad.  Because I get the COOLEST Boys' clearance graphic tees at Kohl's for less than $3 - before my coupon discount!  My favorite Circle K clerk comments about my awesome tees every time she sees me, so I know it's not just me!  :-D

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Older boy, I don't know. My 6-year-old loves Minecraft, Legos, Minecraft Legos, Minecraft books, basically anything with Minecraft in the name, Star Wars, Mario (and I don't know where he learned about it) and Pokemon (including the card game). He also enjoys board games and books, but not all kids do. He has been enjoying a book series called Time Warp Trio. It is a middle grade reading level, so if he reads well and likes to read, it's probably good. Also, Captain Underpants is fantastic. My son loves them.

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6 minutes ago, stewedsquash said:

You can't go by my middle son (all three of my sons are weird on different levels at different times), but the Captain Underpants brought back the memory of him being six and asking for Junie B Jones books, a coffee pot and a leaf blower for Christmas. One of our teacher friends gave him her whole collection of JBJ books, and Santa brought the other two items.

This begs the question, is he grown now and does he like to make coffee and do yard work?

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Help!!/Need gift suggestions ASAP.

I'm on a really tight budget and I need to buy presents for 3 kids under the age of 5. There are two kids of roughly two years of age and another who is I think five. All the ideas I had 10 years ago for things that I thought young kids would like kind of don't apply now (DVDs, action figures, stuffed animals). Currently the kids have enough stuffed animals and DVDs now gone the way of the dinosaur. It's hard to know what action figures to give them and figures have gone up so much in price that I wouldn't know what to buy. Also, figures are things kids can chew and choke on.

Help!

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1 hour ago, DisneyBoy said:

Help!!/Need gift suggestions ASAP.

I'm on a really tight budget and I need to buy presents for 3 kids under the age of 5. There are two kids of roughly two years of age and another who is I think five. All the ideas I had 10 years ago for things that I thought young kids would like kind of don't apply now (DVDs, action figures, stuffed animals). Currently the kids have enough stuffed animals and DVDs now gone the way of the dinosaur. It's hard to know what action figures to give them and figures have gone up so much in price that I wouldn't know what to buy. Also, figures are things kids can chew and choke on.

Help!

 

Books are a good gift, and economical.    a couple of ideas - Barnes & Noble, go to a clerk, give the ages and genders of the kids, ask for help finding a book for each.  Board books are great for 2 year olds.  

OR - Amazon - search for books, or toys, put in the kids ages, and suggestions will come. sample amazon listing

For toys - pay attention to the suggested ages listed on a toy.  Basically, if the toy is a choking hazard, it will say it's not safe for under age 3. 

Good luck. 

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15 hours ago, DisneyBoy said:

Help!!/Need gift suggestions ASAP.

I'm on a really tight budget and I need to buy presents for 3 kids under the age of 5. There are two kids of roughly two years of age and another who is I think five. All the ideas I had 10 years ago for things that I thought young kids would like kind of don't apply now (DVDs, action figures, stuffed animals). Currently the kids have enough stuffed animals and DVDs now gone the way of the dinosaur. It's hard to know what action figures to give them and figures have gone up so much in price that I wouldn't know what to buy. Also, figures are things kids can chew and choke on.

Help!

You can never go wrong with one of the many Lego sets which are marked with the appropriate ages. Both girls and boys like Legos. Also, regarding books, you can't go wrong with the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems. Heck, I love E & P!

Edited by Spunkygal
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I'm an advocate for books too, but have also found some art supplies are great too.  My kids loved that I would buy a giant roll of paper (no fancy holder thing for me) and we would cover the entire kitchen table with it so they could draw to their hearts content.  A simple roll of paper became airport landing strips and towns that my son lay his wooden toy trains or airplanes on.  Or with a litter glitter and a set of markers, kid-made wrapping paper.

Places like Michael's usually have a variety of kid appropriate art sets s0 everything comes in a tidy carrying case.

You could also get a bunch of stocking stuffers for them - crayons, kid safe glue, washi tape, colored chalk (kids love chalk), rainbow scratch paper, mini Buddha Board (self contained, writes with a brush you dip in water, portable - parents will love you), paper drawing pads that are bound with a hard back and thicker paper (more expensive, but the thicker paper doesn't tear easily which frustrated my kids.  They would doodle and draw on every square inch of these).

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My BFF (aka my fairy godmother) sends me presents.  Lots & lots of practical stuff that I NEED (like gift cards for Starbucks & Walmart, etc. - for coffee & critter food), but also stuff that just tickles my goddamned fancy.  The latest treasure trove included a zippered pouch that is a facsimile of a police evidence bag (I'm a true crime TeeVee fanatic), a coffee mug stating "I don't spew profanities.  I enunciate them clearly, like a fucking lady" and the most perfect glass I've ever held in my hand, etched with the saying "Shut up, liver.  You're fine."  She knows me SO well!  ;-)

One fine day, if we both live long enough, I'll be solvent again and able to reciprocate in kind.  Until then, I'll just agree to be gracious, but only because I love her so very much.

'Tis better to give, than receive.  Le sigh.

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3 hours ago, walnutqueen said:

a coffee mug stating "I don't spew profanities.  I enunciate them clearly, like a fucking lady" and the most perfect glass I've ever held in my hand, etched with the saying "Shut up, liver.  You're fine."

I need these items in my life.

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19 minutes ago, Bastet said:

I need these items in my life.

I never knew how much I needed these items until I received them.  Now, I don't know how I lived so much of my life without them!  :-)

Stuff that makes me smile, and gives me the will to live another day (well, that & the endless critter hunger) ...

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On 12/16/2017 at 11:19 AM, walnutqueen said:

the most perfect glass I've ever held in my hand, etched with the saying "Shut up, liver.  You're fine.

Hahaha! If you're looking for me, I'll be on the internet searching for several of these to give as gifts this year.

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Thank you all for the suggestions. I ended up going with some Archie comics and puzzle books. The two youngest ones probably don't even read yet but they went ape over it! You guys got me thinking in the right direction - thanks.

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On 12/16/2017 at 10:38 AM, DeLurker said:

I'm an advocate for books too, but have also found some art supplies are great too.  My kids loved that I would buy a giant roll of paper (no fancy holder thing for me) and we would cover the entire kitchen table with it so they could draw to their hearts content.  A simple roll of paper became airport landing strips and towns that my son lay his wooden toy trains or airplanes on.  Or with a litter glitter and a set of markers, kid-made wrapping paper.

In my circle, glitter ranks up there with noisy toys. In fact, it may be higher on the don't-you-fucking-dare meter due to glitter being the herpes of craft supplies.

 

My dad is in his late 70s, is morbidly obese and has some balance issues, where hes been tripping. When he walks he shuffles his feet and I realized it's because he's wearing slippers that instead of putting on properly he squishes down the back, because he can't put them on properly. So I bought him a nice pair of fuzzy Columbia brand shoes (that I got a kickass deal on) that double as slippers and made a BIG!DEAL! about how nice these are (Columbia vs something cheap from Target) and how he has to wear them properly. He says he likes them. 

 

My mom bought him a Soda Stream to make his fuzzy water I suspect after the first cartridge runs out he'll go back to buying it at the store instead of buying a new C02 cartridge.

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I hate glitter. It's up there with Play-Doh for me. Play-Doh always gets stuck in the carpet. I also hate the feel and smell of it. My son never knew he had any because I put it up and then got rid of it.

With noisy toys, it depends. If he is making the noise -- drums or other musical instruments -- I'm OK with it. If it's playing insipid electronic music, the batteries will disappear.

My son once had a glitter incident at day care. We don't know what happened, but it took a month to get it all out of his hair.

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Funny that you guys mentioned art supplies. That's exactly what I got my granddaughter this year. Last year I went to the used bookstore and got her about 40 books as one of her presents and this year is an art Xmas.  She's really into drawing this year so I got her a nice art kit in a wooden box, a bunch, I mean A BUNCH of paper and other art stuff. My favorite thing I got her is a blank coloring book. It's just a coloring book with a blank cover and blank pages for her to draw on the pages and make her own coloring books.  She is going to love it.  She's really good at drawing and I hate to say it but she gets it from her biological grandfather (my horrible dead ex). A man who we hope to never have to tell her about. He was a tattoo artist who did beautiful work. 

My grandson loves to build stuff. For his 6th birthday in October he got real tools and a real drill and he was in heaven. He's like my son was at that age, he takes his toys apart, figures out what makes them work and then puts them back together. My son did that with every toy he had.  For Xmas I got him a lot of building toys, he loves Legos so I got him a bunch of those and some other building sets. 

I'm finally ready for Xmas. Everything is wrapped and ready. I can't wait for it to be over. 

Edited by Maharincess
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Last year one of my friends gave me a wine glass etched with three lines--Good day, Bad day, Don't even ask.

Not as good as the ones upthread, but I love it.

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OK.  I'm sitting here with tinfoil on my head and wondering if evil corporations are trading information in ways way more detailed and creepy than I ever imagined.

Amazon has my home page showing stuff I might like.

One box has four toys in it.  Two I recognize.  One of them I bought for my niece.  The other I bought for my nephew. They are not hot and trendy toys that would randomly show up out of the millions of toys out there.  They aren't even related to each other.  They don't even seem related to the category they are in.  I've never searched the internet for them.  I randomly found them in two separate stores when searching for Christmas gifts.  So how do they know?

Edited by ParadoxLost

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On ‎12‎/‎16‎/‎2017 at 10:00 AM, auntlada said:

One year, one of my nieces (in high school at the time) got my toddler son a big roll of bubble wrap. He loved it.

Reminds me of this video: 

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Have earlier received my purchase (made w/$50 gift card from Amazon that my brother gave me) of The Computer Group's release of the 1986 Fiesta Bowl between Nebraska and Michigan from Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ (OAD 1/1/86 on NBC; Charlie Jones and Sam Rutigliano on the call). The picture quality through the first quarter (that's all I've seen so far) is, IMO, quite right on par with how it actually looked 32 years ago tomorrow. Not only that, but there is a short sequence with Bob Costas in NBC's New York studio laying out the games as they would be shown that day on NBC: this one between Michigan and Nebraska, the Rose Bowl between UCLA and Iowa (Dick Enberg and Merlin Olsen [both now deceased] on that one), and the Orange Bowl between Penn State and Oklahoma (Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy on that one).

Here are some assorted screenshots from that release; the last one is of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh back when he was Michigan QB (and is against a backdrop of NBC's Proud N stadium banner). 

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Edited by bmasters9
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Just finished a belated gift exchange with family that live local as we were out of state over the holidays.

I got my niece's kids mini Buddha Boards - the kids are 3 and 5.  They went over well with both kids, especially the 3 year old who loves to paint.  An even bigger hit with their parents since they are self-contained units and portable (just add water).  Actually, my niece and nephews (25 - 30) were quite taken with them too.

My daughter got Nerdy Nummies Cookbook based on my suggestion to her cousin as my daughter watches the author's youtube program.  It has a bunch of fun ideas in there and all come with more pictures than your average cookbook.

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My sister has a tradition, which I think is kind of cute.  Of all the kids and grandkids in the family, everyone has a theme, i.e., my niece gets penguins, my daughter gets cats, my son gets spiders, so on and so forth.  Throughout the year, as she finds things with these things on or about them, she picks them up for the following Christmas.  These can be anything from blankets to socks to hats or whatever, you name it.  I have no idea if all the gifts are needed or wanted, and if they can’t use them, I suppose they can be given away, but we always have fun checking out everyone’s gifts. 

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11 hours ago, Fable said:

My sister has a tradition, which I think is kind of cute.  Of all the kids and grandkids in the family, everyone has a theme, i.e., my niece gets penguins, my daughter gets cats, my son gets spiders, so on and so forth. 

My SIL's sister decided as a joke that each of her nephews and nieces had a collectable (sp?) that she assigned to them.  One was garden gnomes, another roosters and I forget the others.  Even 15+ years later, the family still uses that joke in gift giving.  They might get a rooster calendar or kitchen towels as part of a gift.

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Can anyone truly imagine most city kids playing with new pet bunnies and baby chicks for even a few hours after Easter Morning- much less being able to take care of them and their resulting offspring? For anyone thinking of surprising a family after Easter services with these pets, please think again!

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5 hours ago, Ninta said:

Hello, I'm looking for a chef gift. Please give me a suggestion!|
Thank you

Hi!  Your post got put into this thread because we already have a thread about gifts- but I also wanted to reply to you about this because my daughter is currently in culinary school and has worked for some chefs and gotten them some gifts.  To better help, is this a new chef (ie, graduate, or just starting out) you're getting a gift for, or an established chef?  The gifts my daughter and her friends have gotten their chefs were more personal, fun gifts.  The first one was a chef who used to sing a certain song all the time, so they recorded him singing the song one day, went to Build-a-Bear and used that recording so when he squeezed the bear's hand it would sing.  They have a video of him and the chef LOVED it!  The other chef my daughter bought a gift for was when she completed her externship.  He had a certain saying he would say when he left every single day.  My daughter put the saying on a tshirt with a picture of his face and he also loved it!

My point is, if it's an established chef, they don't need any "chefy" things.  They have everything.  If it's someone just starting out, well that could depend on what kind of chef they are.  My daughter is a pastry chef and she was excited yesterday when she got a good deal on a marble slab.  What kind of chef is it? 

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I just found the perfect gift for my step-dad, these socks, unfortunately, they only come in women's "one size fits all", and he wears a size 15 shoe. They have similar ones on Etsy, but they're still too small. 

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Well, it's time to begin thinking about what I can buy for our library's staff Christmas luncheon next week.  We play 'dirty Santa', so gifts get passed around, so providing a good gift is always a plus.  We do have a limit of $10, which can make it difficult sometimes.  I lucked out last year and bought a Crockpot  brand slow cooker at Wal Mart for less than $10.  It was well-received.  I'm going to Wal Mart tomorrow (mainly to pick up supplies for holiday party cooking/baking--I have three luncheons to bring food for this week) and I'll take a look around, but if I don't find anything good, I plan to use the 'Star Wars' salt and pepper shakers that I bought on sale at Walgreen's last year and never opened.  I'm sure there are some Star Wars fans in the crowd.  

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Years ago, I used to hit the after-holiday sales and pick up a few items that could be used as random gifts for things like a gift exchange at work. I no longer work in a regular office, and my siblings and I quit exchanging gifts at least a decade ago, because it seemed pointless. So for a while now, 95% of my gifts have just been cash, because that's what my two adult kids (and DIL) prefer, with the exception of my grandson, who's five and so it's very easy to find toys for him. This year, though, my 90-year-old mother is living with me, and this is the first time in a few years where she's been in an actual home as opposed to an assisted living facility. While she was in the facility, the range of presents was fairly small because there was limited space, and again, often cash was the most useful thing for her, to use for cosmetics and similar stuff. So now she's expecting a wider variety of presents. My older sister and I are going together to get her a couple of stems from her crystal pattern, to complete her set (she is still very intent on replacing some items that were lost/broken over the past few years). I'm getting her a fancy tablecloth and matching napkins that go with her good china; she's generally  just used white table linens in the past but was intrigued because I have some nice table linens in color. She's decided she wants to use her good china for Christmas dinner, so the new table linens can be used immediately. We're also planning on getting a couple of practical gifts, and then a couple of gag gifts (tacky Christmas sweater and tacky Christmas leggings). I can only say I am extremely grateful for being able to order stuff online, because my idea of hell is having to go to a shopping mall. My other siblings will manage gifts for her on their own, and that should round out the gifts enough to give her a good variety. 

After the holidays are over, though, I think I will go back to my old habit of picking up an item or two every month, so that I have a present on hand for her for her birthday and so forth, instead of having to come up with ideas at the last minute, and eliminating those that can't be delivered before Christmas or are temporarily out of stock. 

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For my parents I picked up two Google Cardboard units at Best Buy for $5 each. I did not expect my mom to be as interested as she was. 

My dad has a very short attention span and loses interest in things quickly so I picked up the super cheap Cardboard units instead of something better.

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Well, I picked up a little tabletop fountain as my 'Dirty Santa' gift to take the luncheon today.  It was well-received.  The person who chose the package and unwrapped it got to keep it for just a few minutes before someone else stole it from her.  That person got to keep it.  I ended up with a nice assortment of bath accessories, including a net sponge/loofa thingy, candle (pine scented), microfiber washcloths and two cute little soap dishes with pine-scented little soaps in them.  Very nice! 

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Hey) Can you please recommend a good present for Christmas to my sister who is fond of reading and some cute notebooks? Have you bought something interesting recently? I really need your advice))

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  Did you have a price range for her?  I recently got my niece a 3 month book box subscription. She will get like 3 books a month in a box. She is a child but they do have them for adults as well. 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cratejoy.com/amp/box-insider/gift-guide-book-lover-subscription-boxes

 

Possibly just one box and if she likes it you can continue

 

4 hours ago, Fallbr65798 said:

Hey) Can you please recommend a good present for Christmas to my sister who is fond of reading and some cute notebooks? Have you bought something interesting recently? I really need your advice))

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