The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Christmas Gift Edition

I thought it would be fun to list the gifts I received for Christmas this year (for the most part, the gifts were pretty spot-on) – as you’ll see, it had a definite food theme. I’ve been keeping this list electronically to help with thank-you notes, so the list is actually chronological in order. Feel free to mention your favorite received gifts in the comments.

A cinnamon babka
A Wii remote
The Brief History of the Dead – Kevin Brockmeier
The Executioner’s Song – Norman Mailer
What Is the What – Dave Eggers
Lego Star Wars DS
Mario Kart DS
A complete home beermaking kit and a mountain of supplies
The Omnivore’s Dilemma – Michael Pollan
$60 cash (to invest)
The Best American Essays of the Century
The Best American Essays 2006
The Best American Essays 2007
A cashmere-cotton blend sweater
A hand-cranked pasta cutter
An electric knife
Why a Son Needs a Dad – Gregory Lang
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian – Mark Bittman
How to Cook Everything – Mark Bittman (my original copy was damaged)
The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – Peter Reinhart
Puzzle Quest DS
Omron HJ-720ITC pedometer
Andrew Jackson: His Life and Times – H.W. Brands
Olympus WS-110 digital voice recorder
Homemade brownie mix
A decorative metal star perfectly matching our basement

Yes, we exchange gifts with a lot of people. And, now, some personal finance articles.

Swipe Envy I personally find credit cards to be a useful tool, but they are dangerous. I liken them to a chainsaw – some people can do amazing work with one, while other people shouldn’t be holding one (@ wise bread)

I Don’t Understand Why Gift Cards Are So Bad They aren’t bad themselves, they’re just often indicative of a thoughtless gift and also they’re easy to misplace or forget about. I like giving gift cards where I’ll go with the person when they spend it, as I did with one friend this year. That way, the outing somewhat becomes the gift. (@ my money blog)

Picking Up Pennies Rocks When I notice a penny, I’ll pick it up, but I don’t spend my time with my eyes glued to the sidewalk, either. I thought this article had some amusing “rules of penny etiquette.” (@ mighty bargain hunter)

The Four Things Children Really Want For Christmas This article made me think of my son opening up a box of Legos for Christmas. He was immediately excited, but that excitement manifested itself as he ran to me so we could open them together and start building, in his words, “BIG TOWERS!” (@ get rich slowly)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Losing a Friend Over Money When your fundamental values change, it can sometimes be hard to maintain a friendship.

Interesting Quotes From John Bogle A nice little collection of interesting thoughts. I think his thought on the subprime mess is spot-on: if you trust unreliable people, you’ll get burned. (@ all financial matters)

What’s Your Definition of Retirement? My definition is simple: the day I no longer have to do work to bring in income is retirement. That does not mean I stop working, but merely that I get complete control over what I do. (@ lazy man and money)

10 Creative Ways To Cut Up Your Credit Card I prefer heat to cutting. (@ gather little by little)

Managing Our Debt: A Review of How We Live with a Large Debt Burden This is a great summary of techniques that one couple uses to keep their head above water even when saddled with an enormous debt load. (@ make love, not debt)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Two Commenters Disagree: Why Risk Is Interesting Two people commenting on the site had vastly different views on whether it’s fine to go into debt in order to invest. I thought it brought forth some very interesting issues.

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