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Gift Giving & Holiday Mules

This episode is all about the season of giving. To celebrate and kick off the merriment we are sipping on this twist on the classic gin mule…

Holidaymule

Holiday Mule
makes one cocktail or mocktail
1.5 oz gin (just omit gin for a great mocktail)
1.5 oz Sparkling cranberry juice
3 oz ginger beer Rosemary Orange slice

We reminisce about what gift giving was like in our families growing up, the best and funniest gifts we have ever received, and whether or not we are re-gifters. We talk about our gift giving strategies, how we handle the holiday rush and stress of the season, and some practical ways we handle the wrapping and shipping hassle.

Balancing living a meaningful simple life with gift giving can be tricky during Christmas. Kelsey shares some unique ideas for giving experiences and other gifts which do not just take up room on a shelf or in a suitcase if you are traveling home for the holidays.

In neighborhood news, our neighbors are upping their holiday light display game, and Erica is really hoping to ride around in a Jingle Jeep this year.

To celebrate our shared birthday (December 22nd) and the holiday season, we are quite literally sharing some of our current obsessions! We will gather up some of our favorite things to share with one of our lucky listeners. Enter The Girl Next Door Favorite Things Giveaway below now through December 19th. We will announce the winners on our birthday!

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64 responses to “Gift Giving & Holiday Mules”

  1. Oh man, so many funny ones over the years. a few years ago a friend got me “50 Shades of Chicken” cookbook….and I’m a vegetarian. Face Palm.
    Love you ladies! One of my fav podcasts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh man, so many funny ones over the years. a few years ago a friend got me “50 Shades of Chicken” cookbook….and I’m a vegetarian. Face Palm.
    Love you ladies! One of my fav podcasts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I love the podcast! Your podcast is one of the first I started listening to, and now I am addicted.
    My family has greatly reduced the number of gifts we give each other over the years, which I love since gift-giving is not my love language. I would be so happy if the holidays were just about eating good food and hanging out with friends and family.

  4. I love the podcast! Your podcast is one of the first I started listening to, and now I am addicted.
    My family has greatly reduced the number of gifts we give each other over the years, which I love since gift-giving is not my love language. I would be so happy if the holidays were just about eating good food and hanging out with friends and family.

  5. And the funniest gift? Hmmm… Nothing immediately comes to mind, which I guess is a good thing?

  6. And the funniest gift? Hmmm… Nothing immediately comes to mind, which I guess is a good thing?

  7. Thanks for another great episode, ladies. I am totally drinking the Serial Kool-Aid, but I love listening to yours when I need something a little less, um…creepy.
    This year we’re just exchanging gifts with the children on my side of the family, which makes gift-buying a little more manageable. Our five-month-old will no doubt do quite well. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Merry Christmas and happy early birthday to you both!

  8. Thanks for another great episode, ladies. I am totally drinking the Serial Kool-Aid, but I love listening to yours when I need something a little less, um…creepy.
    This year we’re just exchanging gifts with the children on my side of the family, which makes gift-buying a little more manageable. Our five-month-old will no doubt do quite well. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Merry Christmas and happy early birthday to you both!

  9. I got a kitchen aid mixer when I got married (it’s my Mom’s standard gift to her kids when they get married). It took me a while to grow into it, but now I LOVE it. You’ll love it Erica!
    My husband got me a skirt made out of two ugly recycled sweaters last year for Christmas. It was so ugly and looked so bad on me I couldn’t stop laughing. It would have been very awkward if it had been anyone but my husband.

  10. I got a kitchen aid mixer when I got married (it’s my Mom’s standard gift to her kids when they get married). It took me a while to grow into it, but now I LOVE it. You’ll love it Erica!
    My husband got me a skirt made out of two ugly recycled sweaters last year for Christmas. It was so ugly and looked so bad on me I couldn’t stop laughing. It would have been very awkward if it had been anyone but my husband.

  11. Laughing about regifting a family gag gift. One year my brother was in the ICU and my grandma thought a Statue of Liberty figurine would help him feel better. Since then, it was been regifted among our family at birthdays, graduations, and other holidays…always fun to see where Lady Liberty will turn up.

  12. Laughing about regifting a family gag gift. One year my brother was in the ICU and my grandma thought a Statue of Liberty figurine would help him feel better. Since then, it was been regifted among our family at birthdays, graduations, and other holidays…always fun to see where Lady Liberty will turn up.

  13. My family has a gift exchange every year where we pull a number and #1 chooses a gift from the pile. Then #2 has the option to steal #1’s gift or choosing a new gift. It can be quite fun! The more creative the gift the more interesting the game is!
    A couple years ago I re-gifted something my mom had given me a years prior. It was a set of pretty hideous snowmen spreaders (like you would use with a cheeseball). Now that gift has become the old maid and we all crack up when it gets opened! I also put a box of chocolates with it so the person isn’t totally ripped off. LOL! So the worst gift ended up being a really good one due to all the entertainment it has brought to our family!

  14. My family has a gift exchange every year where we pull a number and #1 chooses a gift from the pile. Then #2 has the option to steal #1’s gift or choosing a new gift. It can be quite fun! The more creative the gift the more interesting the game is!
    A couple years ago I re-gifted something my mom had given me a years prior. It was a set of pretty hideous snowmen spreaders (like you would use with a cheeseball). Now that gift has become the old maid and we all crack up when it gets opened! I also put a box of chocolates with it so the person isn’t totally ripped off. LOL! So the worst gift ended up being a really good one due to all the entertainment it has brought to our family!

  15. Erica when you mentioned your cold midwestern tendencies I started cracking up. I just had that conversation with a coworker about how my first inclination is to avoid eye contact and assume you are busy. Not exactly how people in the south live! haha
    One year my grandmother sent me a Madeline picture frame. Mind you I loved Madeline when I was younger but I was 16! haha

  16. Erica when you mentioned your cold midwestern tendencies I started cracking up. I just had that conversation with a coworker about how my first inclination is to avoid eye contact and assume you are busy. Not exactly how people in the south live! haha
    One year my grandmother sent me a Madeline picture frame. Mind you I loved Madeline when I was younger but I was 16! haha

  17. That is an awesome family regifting gift.

  18. That is an awesome family regifting gift.

  19. Oh my gosh, that sounds awesomely horrible, you’ll be laughing about that for years!

  20. Oh my gosh, that sounds awesomely horrible, you’ll be laughing about that for years!

  21. I’m saving Serial for when I’m planted on the couch nursing a newborn, really looking forward to it! that sounds like a very good gift exchanging approach, we’ve definitely simplified this year and I’m loving it!

  22. I’m saving Serial for when I’m planted on the couch nursing a newborn, really looking forward to it! that sounds like a very good gift exchanging approach, we’ve definitely simplified this year and I’m loving it!

  23. A good sign indeed! Thank you so much for listening!

  24. A good sign indeed! Thank you so much for listening!

  25. Haha, that’s a pretty great not-so-great gift ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Haha, that’s a pretty great not-so-great gift ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Sometimes we just can’t shake the past, people assume if you loved it once you’ll love it forever ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. Sometimes we just can’t shake the past, people assume if you loved it once you’ll love it forever ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. When I was 13 I was really into the whole “Grunge” scene (ugh, I knowโ€ฆ it was 1993). I listened to Pearl Jam, wore ripped jeans, plaid shirts and Doc Martens, and was generally an all-around miserable teenager. That Christmas my mum bought me a sweatshirt that said, in puffy sweatshirt paint: “SKIING IS UPLIFTING!!!”. I think there were ski poles and snowflakes and maybe a chair lift on it. The weirdest part is I had only gone skiing a few times. And I didn’t even like skiing that much! I’m pretty sure that was the last time my mum bought me clothes for Christmas.

  30. When I was 13 I was really into the whole “Grunge” scene (ugh, I knowโ€ฆ it was 1993). I listened to Pearl Jam, wore ripped jeans, plaid shirts and Doc Martens, and was generally an all-around miserable teenager. That Christmas my mum bought me a sweatshirt that said, in puffy sweatshirt paint: “SKIING IS UPLIFTING!!!”. I think there were ski poles and snowflakes and maybe a chair lift on it. The weirdest part is I had only gone skiing a few times. And I didn’t even like skiing that much! I’m pretty sure that was the last time my mum bought me clothes for Christmas.

  31. Hahaha, that made me laugh!! Maybe wishful thinking on her part that you would dress in a more “uplifting” way? so awesome.

  32. Hahaha, that made me laugh!! Maybe wishful thinking on her part that you would dress in a more “uplifting” way? so awesome.

  33. My extended family on my mom’s side used to send us some really bizarre sruff when I was younger..boxes of broken crackers, melted stale cookies, and once my dad received a box with one snowman earring in it from my mom’s brother! LOL! . However, my funniest was when my aunt gifted me an oversized white t-shirt with three very large fuzzy white kittens on the front of it. I probably would have liked that at 10, but I was 16 and deep into my “experimental” fashion phase (blue spiked hair, homemade pants, thrifted/vintage everything). As you can imagine, I never wore the shirt.

  34. My extended family on my mom’s side used to send us some really bizarre sruff when I was younger..boxes of broken crackers, melted stale cookies, and once my dad received a box with one snowman earring in it from my mom’s brother! LOL! . However, my funniest was when my aunt gifted me an oversized white t-shirt with three very large fuzzy white kittens on the front of it. I probably would have liked that at 10, but I was 16 and deep into my “experimental” fashion phase (blue spiked hair, homemade pants, thrifted/vintage everything). As you can imagine, I never wore the shirt.

  35. Just read the above comments and am very glad I’m not alone, lol!

  36. Just read the above comments and am very glad I’m not alone, lol!

  37. I loved this podcast so much, I listened twice. You guys are the best! Funniest gift (I’ll send a pic) is a glass kitchen storage jar with a gold lid, and decorated with cows with reindeer antlers strolling around the circumference. It’s something else! Erica, Buster and Lester are FANTASTIC names. Kelsey, David Leibovitz’ book My Paris Kitchen is dreamy, and perfect bedtime reading. Also, I think you would love Green Kitchen Stories’ blog (vegetarian!), and they have a couple of books, one of which I’m giving to myself for Christmas. Erica, Jingle Jeep will make kids everywhere happy. You guys are the best! As always, love from Nova Scotia – us Canadians are pretty great, aren’t we? Tara’s super sweet. Merry Christmas, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  38. I loved this podcast so much, I listened twice. You guys are the best! Funniest gift (I’ll send a pic) is a glass kitchen storage jar with a gold lid, and decorated with cows with reindeer antlers strolling around the circumference. It’s something else! Erica, Buster and Lester are FANTASTIC names. Kelsey, David Leibovitz’ book My Paris Kitchen is dreamy, and perfect bedtime reading. Also, I think you would love Green Kitchen Stories’ blog (vegetarian!), and they have a couple of books, one of which I’m giving to myself for Christmas. Erica, Jingle Jeep will make kids everywhere happy. You guys are the best! As always, love from Nova Scotia – us Canadians are pretty great, aren’t we? Tara’s super sweet. Merry Christmas, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  39. P.S. Erica. I may be too late with KitchenAid info, but I have the Artisan and it’s lovely. An important consideration is whether you want the model with the bowl that lifts, or the mixer part that tilts up. And what colour?! I can’t wait to see what you make first! Kelsey, you’ll be glad you saved Serial for binge-listening. I did that with the first nine episodes – it’s pretty engrossing. There, I think that’s all for now.

  40. P.S. Erica. I may be too late with KitchenAid info, but I have the Artisan and it’s lovely. An important consideration is whether you want the model with the bowl that lifts, or the mixer part that tilts up. And what colour?! I can’t wait to see what you make first! Kelsey, you’ll be glad you saved Serial for binge-listening. I did that with the first nine episodes – it’s pretty engrossing. There, I think that’s all for now.

  41. And for some reason my name appears as Sherire. It’s Sherrie, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. And for some reason my name appears as Sherire. It’s Sherrie, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. The funniest gift I’ve received in recent history was a box set of 4 coffee mugs – with only three mugs in it. I felt too bad to mention the missing mug to the gifter, so to this day we’re enjoying our 3-mug set.

  44. The funniest gift I’ve received in recent history was a box set of 4 coffee mugs – with only three mugs in it. I felt too bad to mention the missing mug to the gifter, so to this day we’re enjoying our 3-mug set.

  45. Ha! Too funny. A lesson to always double check the gifts you are about to give I guess.

  46. Ha! Too funny. A lesson to always double check the gifts you are about to give I guess.

  47. We love you, Sherrie! Great book suggestions, can’t wait to check them out! Merry Christmas!

  48. We love you, Sherrie! Great book suggestions, can’t wait to check them out! Merry Christmas!

  49. I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only person hoping for slippers this holiday season!

  50. I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only person hoping for slippers this holiday season!

  51. Completely missed the funniest gift prompt! My grandmother insists on getting me rooster-themed gifts every year because I once lived on a street where a neighbor had a rooster. She thought it was hilarious and persists in this gift-giving theme even though that was years ago – last year’s gift was rooster salt and pepper shakers.

  52. Completely missed the funniest gift prompt! My grandmother insists on getting me rooster-themed gifts every year because I once lived on a street where a neighbor had a rooster. She thought it was hilarious and persists in this gift-giving theme even though that was years ago – last year’s gift was rooster salt and pepper shakers.

  53. Hope Santa brings you cozy slippers, too! Haha, that’s so funny. People can get really stuck on theme gifts. What a nice collection you must have! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  54. Hope Santa brings you cozy slippers, too! Haha, that’s so funny. People can get really stuck on theme gifts. What a nice collection you must have! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  55. The funniest gift that I have received was a Christmas ornament that is an angel that looks like it is made out of hair. I don’t think it is really hair, but it sure looks like it. creepy! We fondly hang the hair angel every year and laugh!

  56. The funniest gift that I have received was a Christmas ornament that is an angel that looks like it is made out of hair. I don’t think it is really hair, but it sure looks like it. creepy! We fondly hang the hair angel every year and laugh!

  57. Hi Sherrie! I will be sure to tell Mr. Ladd that you approve of the Jingle Jeep. He gets back from a business trip this week, and I feel like I should pick him up in said Jingle Jeep! Also, an update, I got the stand mixer and it is the Artisan too. He did his research and couldnt wait to give it to me because he wanted me to have it for holiday baking. So sweet! Cant wait to break it in.

  58. Hi Sherrie! I will be sure to tell Mr. Ladd that you approve of the Jingle Jeep. He gets back from a business trip this week, and I feel like I should pick him up in said Jingle Jeep! Also, an update, I got the stand mixer and it is the Artisan too. He did his research and couldnt wait to give it to me because he wanted me to have it for holiday baking. So sweet! Cant wait to break it in.

  59. Hair angel! Haha, how festively creepy!

  60. Hair angel! Haha, how festively creepy!

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