As the online holiday shopping season really kicks into gear, I thought it would be a good idea to remind you how to save tons of money this year. You can log on to my Web site www.hillfriends.com to get the links to some big money-saving Web sites.
I got an overwhelming amount of responses about my Christmas present numbering system. Below are some of you great ideas:
My parents did that to us back in the 70s. Sometimes they would use numbers 1-2-3, sometimes backwards, sometimes by our middle initial. Most of the time it was just easier to place them in the trunk of the car (where we couldn't get to them) and bring them out on Christmas Eve after we went to bed.
We had the same problem only we use reindeer names and we have Christmas plates with reindeer names on them also. The kids find out which name they are by which plate they get. My wife has to keep the "code" because I can't keep a secret!
Wish I had thought of your numbered gift idea years ago. Just so you know, when your children "grow up" a parent still must be certain the gifts are equal. My sons don't seem to keep track but their wives certainly do and give me grief.
One Christmas, I thought I'd be sneaky and I wrapped one child's presents in a couple of paper designs and the others in two other designs. I ran out of paper and started adding other designs. My 13-year-old son opened his sister's Barbie Doll and we have it all on tape. I also get reminded of this every Christmas! I like your number system!
Great Gift Ideas
We will continue to feature fabulous holiday gift ideas on the show. We need your suggestions! Please send me your great gift ideas so I can show them on-air! Send your ideas to:
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Attention: E.D. Hill
Just remember: The gifts you suggest have to be something available to purchase by anyone in the U.S. And as always, you can catch up with the growing list of amazing gift ideas on my Web site www.hillfriends.com. Just click on "The Christmas List."
Your Fashion Faux Pas
Great story about the first lady. Same thing happen to my friend and I at the office Christmas party and she passed it off as we were on the same bowling team. Got a round of laughter and that was the end of it, except I kept getting asked what my average was.
Happened to me. It wasn't at a party, but in 2002 I was some 2,000 miles from home on vacation when I noticed a woman wearing the same shirt that I had on. I immediately went over to her and said, "Are you my long lost twin?" I was from Michigan, she was from Texas. We had a good laugh and had our picture taken together. Three hours later, as I sat in a restaurant in Ogden, Utah, in walked another lady with the same shirt. I thought it was incredibly coincidental that three of us from different parts of the U.S. would all end up at the same place with the same shirt.
I went to a frat formal in college with what I thought was an elegant, timeless dress... dark green velvet with empire waist, spaghetti straps and slit to the thigh. It also had a lace jacket with pearl buttons. When another girl showed up in the same dress, she already had removed the jacket. We smiled at each other from across the room, winked and understood right away. She left her jacket off all evening, and I left it on. I don't think anyone realized it was the same dress because of that. So, just make a quick adjustment to your outfit so no one else notices the same outfit on someone else.
When I was in 9th grade I'd saved my babysitting money for a long time. I went to the Broadway Dept. store & bought the prettiest multi-colored dress with the then-popular pleat in the front. I decided not to wear it to school Monday & wait until Tuesday. Well, this girl who shall remain nameless, wore the same dress Monday. I was shocked & it ruined the rest of my day. I went home & stressed about it all night, but after several talks with my mom, decided to hold my head up high & wear it Tuesday anyway. My friends were very supportive.
I always made my own cocktail dresses. My husband and I went to a party and there, from another town, was my dress. Same color, same print, same pattern.
When I was 22, long ago, my husband was a 25-year-old naval officer. At a Christmas party another wife walked in wearing the same gown I was wearing. Mine was black, hers green, with a sequined butterfly covering the bust line. Being different colors you would think it would pass, but it did not. Everyone noticed. She and I were mortified, but laughed it off after a polite chat in the ladies room. At 22 we shed a few tears together, dried up and walked out TOGETHER! The commanding officer’s wife congratulated us both upon our appearance, as she said she would have left. I kept the gown, but did not wear it for a year upon arriving at another duty station.
I had gone to Boston from Houston to attend a college friend’s wedding and had just enough outfits to wear to the various parties. I saved my Albert Nippon (1980s) for the wedding. The night before the wedding, another friend of ours had flown in with her new husband from their around-the-world honeymoon to attend the wedding as well. We hooted when we both came out of our hotel rooms at the same time with the same dress! Since we were both at the end of our wardrobe, we wore the dresses and had a great time.
Years back I had an invitation to the swankiest party that would be given during the holiday season in the big city of McAllen, Texas. The last thing I wanted to do was show up in the same dress as someone else, as the party was hosted by a couple that owned the swankiest dress store in McAllen, Texas. Pay for a plane ticket to go to Houston, Texas, to find that one special dress that no one else would be wearing, especially the hostess. Find my really special dress at Neiman's. Beautiful jeweled tone taffeta dress. Extremely expensive. Go to the party and the hostess is wearing the same identical dress. Go through the receiving line and there is absolutely nothing to say except we both have great taste. Moral of the story is I would have been better off to have gone to their store and been assured that no one else had bought a similar dress for their party. The lessons we learn.
It happened to me many years ago when I was acting as "mother to the groom." At the time, my budget for such items as fashion was nil. After shopping for days in various stores, I found a linen dress with orange dots at a secondhand store. The bride's parents and grandparents were very wealthy old-time residents of southern California so this was to be an important event. The bride's grandfather, father and uncle were judges. Needless to say, I was most nervous about looking appropriate. Low and behold, the bride's aunt appeared in exactly the same dress except her dots were green. She was most upset, but what a relief for me to know I had chosen well.
I went to a Halloween party wearing a very unique costume (I thought). I was a "Black-Eyed P." I blackened my left eye with a big circle and had on black jeans and a black t-shirt that I had made a huge "P" with glue and sprinkled it with glitter. My husband and I were looking at this very simple costume and thought it was the best. Imagine my surprise when we got to the party and I was greeted by — yes, you guessed it — another "Black-Eyed P"! She had blackened her right eye so we looked like mirror twins!!! We had a great time and everyone laughed when they saw us together!
I had never met my son's future in-laws. We drove 4 hours to the wedding. I walk in thinking how nice I looked in my red dress and my soon to be daughter-in-law's mother was wearing the same dress in blue. I couldn't get another dress — the wedding was in a half an hour. What a nightmare.
I had 4th row seats to hear Margaret Thatcher speak. I regretted those great seats once we both arrived in red suits with animal print collars. Hey, she didn't call me ahead of the event and ask me not to wear it.
When my husband was an advance man for the White House communication agency he had to go to Australia to set up the communications for LBJ when he was taking his Far East tour including Australia and ending up in Viet Nam. This was before we had the worldwide communications that we enjoy today. Because it was a difficult job because of routing everything through Hawaii and down, the Australian government presented him a blond, kangaroo fur coat to bring back to me. When the president and Mrs. Johnson were returning to Dulles Airport the word was sent out that all employees were to turn out at Dulles to show the rest of the world that he had great support at home. (This was when his ratings were very low.) Anyway, I was standing at the bottom of the stair ramp in my new fur coat and Lady Bird made her grand exit from the plane. (Yes, she had been presented the same blond, kangaroo fur coat!) I knew my husband was going to be sent to Thule, Greenland, after that, but LBJ thought the whole incident was funny and he made a joke out of it. No, my husband didn't get fired and I still have my coat.
A friend was getting married 2 weeks before me — same group of friends at both weddings. I watched in horror as she walked down the aisle wearing the same wedding dress I was going to wear in two weeks. The good news: Hers was off-white, mine was white and hardly anyone noticed. We laughed it off and decided we would one day throw a party and wear our gowns and insist that all the female guests show up in either old wedding gowns or bridesmaid dresses.
P.S. We also had identical favors — and the same singer at the church. We decided great minds think alike.
E.D. Hill anchors 'FOX News Live' weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET.