the present dilemma.

I’ve gotten myself into a situation… and now I’m stuck. Yes, I am a genius.

The first Christmas after my grandma died, my family did a Yankee Swap where you had to get a gift that started with a letter in her name (first and last). It wasn’t too bad even though she has a few repeating letters… we were left with a, k, m, n, r. I made up a lovely basket of nuts, Kit-Kats and Kermit the Frog. It was a big hit. My mom ended up with it.

This Christmas is the first without my cousin Joey. It’s very sad… he was young… but the brain tumor wouldn’t quit. I can’t talk about it. So… anyway… I brilliantly suggested that we use his name… j – o – e – y… for the swap this year. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking because I have no idea what to buy.

The gift needs to be appropriate for a male or a female… and it needs to cost $20 – $30 (USD)… so nothing extravagant.

No jewelry… and we sort of try to stay away from kitchen stuff because that seems to be everyone’s fallback — we all have so much. But I do hate buying useless gifts that are essentially a waste of money. I know, not very Christmas-y… but it’s how my brain works. One year… I got a giant pack of paper towels and one of toilet paper. Practical, useful, and I didn’t have to buy my own for a while. Best swap gift ever!

But none of that starts with any of the right letters… so now… what the hell do I get?

Jump Rope? Oatmeal? Elephant? Yo-yo?

J. O. E. Y.

I need help! Anyone??

©2017 what sandra thinks

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy, too. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
This entry was posted in holidays, writing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to the present dilemma.

  1. Hmmm. Let me think on this one for a bit. I’ll get back to you. Can you pick select letters or do you have to use all 4?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok, how about a flower themed gift basket. You could find bulbs of flowers that begin with those letters, a bit of Monty’s Joy Juice, throw in some good garden tools, and then whoever gets the gift could plant a “Joey’s Garden”. Maybe?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. isi says:

    ummm, exercise equipment?? or food like expensive eclairs, or anything that has the word Japanese before it

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks! I didn’t think of the word exercise… that could be helpful! I can’t get anything big within the budget… but I could look into that. I’m not sure about food. Getting it might make this easier but I’m not sure I want to go that way…


  4. Depending on who you are buying for a Jo Jo Bow? You could go with a basket of some type of food. I wouldn’t say no to a basket of Jacobs Creek wine, oranges, eggs and maybe yogurt, ok so its not most the glamours, but I would be able to do breakfast for a couple of days

    Liked by 2 people

  5. It’s my name… so I can just sit in a basket for you and you can pay me $20?

    Liked by 2 people

  6. J Special London Dry Gin – made with Juniper berries!
    O Obelisk for the garden
    E Eggnog
    Y Yoda lightsaber

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s hard because I don’t know who will end up with the gift. No one in the swap will care about a lightsaber… except my husband… but he already has one. Haha! Seriously, he does… Most of them don’t drink or don’t drink much.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ghostmmnc says:

    Fun game! Here’s’ s some suggestions. Jigsaw puzzle, Christmas Ornament, extra batteries, envelopes (asserted sizes & some stamps), yearly calendar. We used to do a game like this with only Christmas ornaments, & there were pretty ones & really silly ones, which everyone got a kick out of. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Meg says:

    Jams, (Jellies), Oatmeal cookies, Earl Grey Tea, Yankee Candle

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lee Dunn says:

    What about something they could use at Christmas…Jingle bells, ornaments, Elf, Yule log.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. mandibelle16 says:

    I don’t know if you have it the U.S. where you live, but we have a restaurant called ‘Joey’s’ in Canada, formerly called Joey Tomatoes. The food and drink is great, has awesome appetizers and usually a lovely modern dining room and a great sport bar section. Good cocktails, wine, and other slushy drinks and excellent lunch or dinner entrays.if you have one of those that covers you for the whole gift with one gift card.

    My other idea is to find different wines (not too expensive ones) that have labels or brands that start with each letter of his name. You could do one for J and for O stick in a wine ‘Opener’ than find another couple bottles with brands starting with E and Y. Just head to the biggest wine store in the city we have one here called ‘Wine and Beyond’ and you can look for wines around $12 to $15 and then the opener. I’m not sure what your spending limit is? If you can think of akind of chocolate that starts with one letter or a type of cheese, that would be great to throw in as well and then youonly hVe to buy 2 bottles and can spend a bit more on the bottles, opening you up to more wine brand options.

    Good luck and hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the ideas! Not everyone drinks, so that’s a tough one. We don’t have Joey’s restaurant… but it sounds great!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mandibelle16 says:

        I think you’d love it.
        I was just thinking, you might be able to do the same sort of thing with tea at David’s Tea. There are so many choices and you can throw in a Tea ball that somehow relates. Also, you could look for authors in bookstores maybe keep it top ten stuff but if their name starts with the same letter — first or last name.
        Or maybe little gift cards to different places starting with his name that most people would like?
        It’s a very cool gift idea honouring your relatives. Not an easy one but a great tradition.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The V Pub says:

    A juniper. They can plant it, it’s hardy, inexpensive and can be planted in a place that will serve as a wonderful reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Marquessa says:

    I’m fresh out ideas! But everyone above has great suggestions!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hunida says:

    I’ve never heard of a Yankee Swap. What a great idea for the family! Though it does seem very difficult. I hope you figure something out! If I come up with anything I’ll be sure to let you know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Yankee Swap is where everyone brings a gift and they all go into a pile and everyone gets a number… you choose in order and on your turn, you can choose a new gift or steal from someone who picked before you. You never know what you’ll end up with! It’s fun but hard to buy for when you’ve got males and females of varying ages and interests!


thoughts? talk to me.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.