Monday, December 21, 2009


So do you have all your Christmas shopping done?  Yes?  No?  You don't even want to think about it?

My answer is 'no'.  I thought I was all done, had only the gift for my mother to go get.  It involved a stealth mission involving my son, stopping by grandma's, and then sneaking into her garage to check the model number on her garage door opener.  She locked herself out a few weeks ago, and we thought one of those electronic entry pads would be perfect.  No keys?  Punch in a few numbers, and you're golden.

My son texted me in dismay: Marty (my brother) is getting Gma (grandma/my mom) the same thing.

Aggh!  That's the second year in a row my brother has scooped me on the present for my mom.  How does he do that?  It's like he can read my mind all the way across the city.  Evil, I say!  But not really.  We just both know what mom needs.  And yet, now I have to figure out a new gift.  My mother is a very hard person to buy for.  I'm sure you all have people like that in your life.

So what do you get for the person who has everything, or has such particular tastes that not just anything will do?  It makes gift-giving such a challenge, and not as much fun, in my opinion.  Are you a gift-giver who gives something you know they will like?  Or do you give something you like that you want to share with others?  And another question: Do you give what they want or what they need?  Needs seem so...utilitarian.  Wants more wondrous.  But perhaps a 'need' (like textbooks for my college-age son) is the best gift?

Let's dish about finding the perfect gift and shopping and—oh man, they unwrapped it all in less than ten minutes?  After all that shopping time?  :-)



Kathleen Eagle said...

This might be the year to meet some needs. The little ones will get lots of their wishes granted, as always, but I've already shopped with younger son for his "big" Christmas gift from Burlington Coat Factory.

I remember a Christmas when Mama made most of the gifts. She was very handy with the sewing machine, and we'd moved from a tropical climate to New England. We needed clothes. I was about 11 or 12, and it's a memory I treasure. Oh, but I did get that Little Miss Revlon doll I really wanted.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Oh...younger son isn't one of the little ones. *His* son is.

Michele Hauf said...

I remember my mother making our clothes, too! And at Christmas time WE got to pick the fabric instead of taking whatever mom picked out for us. I still shudder to think about polyester pants. Ugg...

Debra Dixon said...

I am a terrible shopper.

I'm a great "maker." Terrible "buyer."

My sister shops all year long and always had the best presents for almost no money. I shop late and have half-baked presents with too-little-value for too-much-money.

Fortunately, now we only do gifts for the children under 18, and for those living in your house or that you gave birth to.

We don't do the big present swap. My mother loves it. I'm happy about it.

KylieBrant said...

With my kids I'm still fulfilling 'wants'. Of course, some of those are also needs that they just don't want to spend their money on. The little ones get wants...and books!

For my dad and godmother I try to be much more functional. They are at the age where they don't want anything and are trying to avoid bringing more things into their homes. So I try to find things I think they need, or things that will be useful to them in some way.

We went to the beach for a family vacation and I thought we all agreed that I would be purchasing photos from the photographer to give to dad for Christmas. So far every single kid has sent him pictures to hang on his wall...making the $300 photo present rather anti-climatic.

Terry Odell said...

This year I made charitable donations in their honor.

GunDiva said...

My youngest son has been a pain in the butt to buy for this year. Last year, when he was all about skateboarding - not a problem. However, after getting hit by a car while skateboarding, he's not so thrilled about the idea anymore. Which leaves me with basically...nothing. I had intended to get him an iPod, but his best friend beat me to the punch with a different MP3 player. Now it's just a couple of days before Christmas and I have no idea what to get my own son!

He's been ever-so-helpful by showing me pictures of new phones he wants. Has anyone ever looked at the prices of new cell phones?!

Terry's Crafty Fingers said...

OMG - your mom sounds so much like my husband. He is so very difficult to buy for. I always ask him what he wants and he'll say nothing or it's just something I know he needs, the never ending boxers and socks...LOL. I would love for him to tell me just once of an item he really wants but after 35 years of marriage I don't see him changing...LOL. I try to give both if possible, what they want and what they need.

Michele Hauf said...

Deb, I'm so glad our family doesn't do the big present swap, too. My rule now is that I send something to the really young kids (under 10) because they like to open presents, but everyone else? Sorry!

Kylie, I'm so for functional. That's how I feel. Don't give me stuff I don't need. I actually get more joy out of watching the kids open their gifts that I don't need anything. No stupids soaps I'll never use, or shirts to small. And no more knickknacks that I'll never set out!

Terry, I like the donations idea. I did one year and bought bunnies and chicks and bees in everyone's names. I like that. But kids would rather have a gift than knowing someone got a cute little bunny rabbit (and they did not). Even if that cute little bunny will likely serve a family a good meal. :-)

GunDiva, it's hard, isn't it? ANd yep, phones. Ugg. I was in Verizon yesterday (daughter works there) and it was packed. Who'd a thought one of the busiest stores around Xmas time is the cell phone store? But my daughter makes a big commission check this time of year, so go out and buy a phone! :-)

Cindy Gerard said...

My DH is so difficult to buy for. We're both at that stage of our lives where if we want it, we get it which leaves little room for gift buying.
so, I shop for the kids and the grandkids and I've beefed up my gifts to the troops overseas. There are great organizations out there to donate to as well. If anyone wants any ideas for how to hook up with a soldier, e-mail me through my website and I'll get you the info. It's too late for Christmas but they still need to know we're thinking about them even after the holidays.

Michele Hauf said...

I'm with you, Cindy, on buying for spouses. My hubby and I agreed no presents for each other this year. Because, yep, if we want it, we'll just buy it.

I confess the cats did buy him something though. :-)

susan said...

Being retired we do not do gifts anymore..we did when we worked and we loved to give but just had to face things change when you get older. ha susan L.