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Topic: Help me talk through the *perfect* Christmas gift?

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Subject: Help me talk through the *perfect* Christmas gift?
Date Posted: 12/8/2008 10:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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I have Kim's Christmas just about finished up, but it is crunch time and I need to decide on the perfect *big* gift. I have it narrowed down to three things, but I'm having trouble from there -- I don't really have anyone IRL to talk it through with, so let me know what you think.

For a point of reference: last year her big gift was a nice hookah and selection of fine tobaccos; 2 years ago it was a Zen mp3 player and bose headphones; 3 years ago it was a guitar; 4 years ago I don't remember, but it wasn't much -- I wasn't working yet (grad school) and we were broke, lol. Of those, the Zen was probably the biggest hit, and the hookah was the best surprise.

I decided this year that I wanted the big gift to be an experience gift -- where you get to do something really fun. These are the ones I have narrowed it down to and the reasons why:

1. NASCAR drivers experience "The NASCAR: Race Car Ride Experience includes 8 Laps as a passenger with a total experience time of approximately 2 Hours. These are the actual stock cars many drivers have raced and taken to victory lane in the NASCAR series - authentic Nextel Cup racecars. The speed and g-forces alone make this Race Car Ride a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will never forget!" -- If you don't already know, Kim is a *huge* NASCAR fan (I know -- lucky me, right?). We try to do one race a year, but didn't make it this year and she was kinda bummed. For her 50th birthday, she wants to be in a demolition derby. So, yeah, she's sort of into this sort of thing. They have several tracks available, including one here in VA, one in TN, and one in NC: we could easily go to any of these. I would do the add on package and she would get a commemorative t-shirt, logo cap, and photo package. Amanda and I would both get to watch. She would be doing this with up to 19 other people on the track (tracks are big though - a race usually has 35-40 drivers). This would be the most $$ of the experiences I'm considering and I would have to not get 1-2 of the smaller gifts I had planned on, not a big deal, just fwiw.

2. Washington D.C. TV and Movie tour "Sit back, relax and enjoy an exciting tour of the Nation's Capital and its most famous television and movie locations. This guided bus tour will chauffeur you around town and take you to the sites of your favorite movies and TV shows. Historic Washington DC is one of the most filmed cities in the world, and this exciting tour will allow you to see the Washington DC your favorite TV and movie stars saw." -- She *loves* DC, we go fairly frequently. We would be able to do this together, or she and A. could make a mother/daughter thing out of it; I would be fine either way (the experience is for two people). We stay with my cousins when we go to the city, so we would be able to make a weekend of this. She is a huge movie buff and she is very into DC-filmed movies lately. They show you 30 locations, looking at their highlights list, we've actually only seen a few of the movies, but we could always see more before we go. :D This is the cheapest of the options I am considering, nearly half of the NASCAR thing, so I would probably toss in a gift card for a meal at one of our fave DC restaurants with it. She has mentioned before that she would like to go on some sort of official DC tour sometime, though she didn't say a *movie* tour specifically.

3. Private dance lesson for two -- She has mentioned that one of her (very, very few) regrets from our wedding is that we did not really practice for our big first dance and we, uh, pretty much suck (in a big way) at dancing. She has mentioned *many* times that she wants us to have dance lessons sometime. But, well, we pretty much suck (in a *big* way) and would both be hugely embarrassed to attempt it in front of other people, at least till we get to where we slightly less suck. And there is the whole lesbian factor. So doing a group thing would just be awkward. The private lesson is two hours long and you can specialize in one of several forms "Ballroom, Latin, Swing, Salsa and more" or be taught a little in several different forms. This experience is pretty centered price wise, so I wouldn't be making any changes to my other gift plans.

Ok, I think that is a good summary. Let me know if you have any questions -- or other great suggestions (!!!), I'm, obviously, not *totally* set on any of these. One other thing I did consider: a hot air balloon ride -- I *know* she would love it, and it is near the top of her must do someday list, unfortunately it was waaaay pricey and so it is out for this year.

Looking forward to your input! TIA!

Date Posted: 12/9/2008 1:17 AM ET
Member Since: 1/13/2005
Posts: 2,317
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Courtney, I think they all sound great!  I know two people who have done something along the NASCAR line, though I think theirs included actual driving experience (I think it was the Skip Barber racing school) and they both loved it.  One of them actually took up racing as a hobby as a result of the gift. 

OTOH, the other two things are things you could do together, and that is a big plus for me in terms of activity choices -- I'm in school and have essentially no life right now, so my view on that is a tad jaded.  ;-)

Dunno if that helps, or just confuses the issue more.  Have fun making the choice!

Date Posted: 12/9/2008 12:20 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 226
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They all sound amazing! I personally vote for the dance lessons because you know it's something that would mean a lot to her, plus you could do it together, and will probably spark a new interest between you, like the dancing won't just stop with that one lesson.

 

But, if you think she would appreciate one of the other two better just follow your gut :)

Date Posted: 12/9/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2005
Posts: 2,137
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They are all wonderful.You are Spending $$$$ no matter what right?? Then give her the choice. It means alot because you are doing it. The surprise is, wrap them in a box and tell her to pick one. Or maybe she will have another idea so put in a blank one for her to write something else on. Give her the $$ amount you want to spend. I find with money being tight it is better to spend it on what would mean the most to them. Often it is something they haven't talked about due to the $$$$. Good Luck and let us know what you do.

Date Posted: 12/9/2008 2:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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:D Now I just need one more person to reply and tell me how perfect the movie tour would be, and then I'll be all set -- right back where I started. :D LOL

Kidding... I *really* appreciate the input so far. Ahh, decisions, decisions.

Date Posted: 12/9/2008 2:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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Ooooh, Erin -- just saw your post. That is something to consider. Hmmm, thanks!

I'll let you know!

Date Posted: 12/9/2008 8:06 PM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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I like the dance lessons!  We want to do that sometime.

Date Posted: 12/9/2008 10:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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They all sound great, but I think that I would go for the dance lessons because it's a long-term gift.  You will be able to benefit from them for such a long time.

Please let us know which one you pick!

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2006
Posts: 226
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I'm voting for the dance lessons for the reasons mentioned above (keep the wedding spirit going, meaningful because of the wedding, and will be long-term).  You can also give coupons for "one night of dancing" to be redeemed once a month for the whole year -- check out new clubs in your town (or neighboring areas) that feature those styles of dancing.  Maybe an excuse for special weekends away through the year (her birthday, your birthday, Valentine's Day, etc) -- go to a nightclub or dance in another town and make it a weekend away with dancing!  :)

Anyway, I think the future gifting would grow from there (special outfits, recorded music, and on and on). . . .

:)

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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So, turns out this dance place also offers, urm, erotic dance lessons.

Perhaps *I* could take the lesson and then, urm, show her what I learned?

Kidding!!

... sort of ...

...

;)

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 1:33 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2007
Posts: 226
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Oooh that's awesome about the erotic lessons! I would love to be able to take those someday hehe. Not only would they benefit the partner, but I'm sure would build so much self-confidence for the one taking them :)

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 3:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,453
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I love the dance one! DH and I took classes at the local college and we had great fun but if it was private it would have been so much better!

What thoughtful gifts!

Date Posted: 12/10/2008 10:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,453
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Courtney if you two take the dance lessons together then one night at home you could "practice" and lead that into an erotic dance. =)

Date Posted: 12/11/2008 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 1:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/11/2008 8:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/27/2007
Posts: 426
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My Mom LOVED the Nascar experience, but the dancing thing would be a long term gift.

Date Posted: 12/11/2008 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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Oh! Thanks a lot, Juuuuulie! :P

I was feeling pretty sold on the whole dance thing, but then you just had to come in with a post that makes complete and total sense and takes me back to my original uncertainty.

Ok, here's the thing. I originally came up with the dance idea. Then I started thinking it would be kind of weird, b/c it would essentially be a gift for *both* of us.

Then we took a trip to DC and she mentioned again that she wants to do an official tour of the city sometime, so I came up with that idea. But who wants to do a tour on their own, right? Especially b/c it isn't like she would ever be in DC by herself. Which led me back to my problem with #1.

Then our fall NASCAR trip didn't work out and she was really bummed, and so I thought that would be the perfect thing. But the other two still hold much appeal. And it isn't the driving experience, like someone mentioned above, so I worry it won't be as fab as I think. (Can I just say the drive experience is like waaaay insanely $$!?)

Thus, my problem. Egads.

No, I don't think I have any issues with indecisiveness. Why would you ask? I mean, sure I once spent 20 minutes standing in one spot at the grocery store, trying to decide which cut of green beans I wanted. But that isn't so weird, right? And no, I don't tend to randomly ramble way off-topic either. Urm, yeah.

I'm feeling *extra* nervous this year, b/c I'm not getting one single thing off her wishlist. I'm putting an awful lot of faith in my gift-giving instincts. Egads.

Date Posted: 12/11/2008 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/21/2006
Posts: 226
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Don't forget that what she really wants (and gets to have) is your love!  The fact that you're so into this gift is absolutely really the gift.  

Anything you pick will be perfect. 

Date Posted: 12/12/2008 6:45 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 1:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/12/2008 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,453
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LoL Julie!

Christmas 2008 - Nascar

Next time you have the extra $$$ - DC trip

Next Anniversary - Dance Lessons. I know you had mentioned some reasons why you liked the private ones so much but it might be cheaper if you go the local college or class route. Hubby and I went I think for 8 weeks and it was $30 per person for an hour a week. There were 2 women "couples" (I don't think they were lesbians, just took the class together) there. We had lots of fun.

ORRRR you can do what someone else said and let her pick. You can do a little poster of each and wrap them up and let her decide. However you would more than likely have to do the other two things for the next couple of years as she'll love all of them. You could get really creative with the fliers. Put a picture of her in a Nascar, take a picture of you dancing goofy for the dance one. . .

Date Posted: 12/17/2008 10:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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Julie!!! LOL!!

Ok, I really appreciated everyone's input. In the end, I went with NASCAR, pretty much b/c Julie hit the reasoning dead on. It is *totally* a gift just for her. I am so not into NASCAR. She loves it. It is all about her, and as a *personal* gift, it should be.

If I can save up enough $$, I think I will do the dance lessons (I found a better deal) for our anniversary (April) -- a time that is more about *us* than either of us individually. I'll keep the DC tour in mind for future gift giving things.

Thanks SO much. I totally get bogged down in stuff like this.

Date Posted: 12/18/2008 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/13/14 12:50 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/25/2008 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,453
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Soooooooooo how'd it go?!?!?!

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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Ok, sorry to leave ya hanging -- we traveled for christmas.

omigosh... it went over *SO* well. I may not be able to top this one. :P lol And I am now like the coolest person in my family -- there was quite a bit of jealousy over it! She was so surprised, she really had no idea. :) Her other big gift was a very close second for favorite though -- I got her a large, old-fashioned music boxes. She *loves* music boxes.

I think this was my best year yet. She is so pleased. I'm happy.

 

She stuck mostly with my list, which makes me happy... I got lots of books on getting knocked up. Yippee!

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2006
Posts: 440
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Oh, and Julie, I don't think we'll be going to the FL track. :( (I love FL, and I *really* want to meet you!) We'll prolly go a little closer to home. Right now she is leaning towards Lowe's Speedway (NC) or Bristol (TN).

Date Posted: 12/31/2008 10:34 AM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2007
Posts: 1,453
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Glad it went so well Courtney!

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