Anyhoo, extra post this week!! This one is about gifting the ladies. Heck, this could be about gifting anybody, but around our house, 'tis the season for Mom. Er, me.
I have a tough time receiving gifts, mostly because a) I'm uncomfortable being the center of attention (yes, I'm an actress...why do you ask? ;-)) and b) I'm always concerned that I won't like the thing, and I ALWAYS try to find the "isn't that wonderful???" joy in gifts. I'm not picky, I'm just...um...exclusive about what I want to keep around my house. I can't really put a percentage on what I don't keep, but if I don't really like it or if it doesn't find use after a certain amount of time...out it goes. (Wow, I sound brutal. I'm really not!)
Since today's my birthday (woohoo, I'm old! Like, the age my mom always told me to tell my teachers SHE was, old) and Mother's Day is coming up, I thought I'd share a few items that you might not have thought of when perusing the shops for your lady friend/sister/mother/etc. These may not be every lady's cup of tea, but they're mine -- the type of lady who's into history, who doesn't tend to let her bits and pieces hang out in public (ie dressing for "clubbing"...do the kids still call it that? "Clubbing"?), who's equal parts simple yet highly particular.
My God. I'm my mother. And my grandmother.
If she's a coffee-drinker, get that same mug but hook her (I wrote that "hooker" the first time around...where am I today??) up with a gift card to her favorite cafe or, yes, even Dunkin Donuts if it's more convenient for her. These things sound so simple, but they don't take up a ton of space, they're thoughtful, and she'll USE them. That's the main point here.
And, okay, okay. If she's a wine drinker, a NICE (nice doesn't always mean expensive) bottle of wine (and maybe the suggestion that you'll cook or pick up dinner for the night)
- Sunglasses. Observe the style of glasses that your particular lady uses (that's the important part; you don't want to go getting aviators when she likes a John Lennon style) and get a pair as similar as you can find. These can be as cheap or expensive as you like, but buy them knowing that one can NEVER have enough pairs of sunglasses. I had a great pair at the end of fall last year and I have no idea where they ran to...so, I had to buy a new pair. (Kohl's for around $8. Not too shabby.) Always great to have several, especially with kids around who mangle them and accident-prone folks who sit on them.
- Flowers. This may sound traditional or cheesy or "duh, Meg", but I tell you I'm always flattered by flowers. They add some joy to the house, tell you without having to TELL you that you're loved, and they don't clutter the joint up for too long (ahem). And if you're like us and you have a slew of cats, you can either check out this site for some safe options (there are way too many non-safe ones to mention, and they're unfortunately far too often the popular choices) or grab a potted plant or two for her to plant outside. (Hanging plants are cool, too.) Either way, flowers are a grand gesture of romanticism and even sweeter when you have your little one hand them over. *melt*
- Something handmade. Speaking of little ones, what's better than kiddie art?? This can be wicked simple: have your munchkin draw a picture (even the little kids can "make" something that turns out to be wickedly cool and abstract) on a sheet of computer paper. Then purchase a nice frame that'll go with your house decor (can't go wrong with a chic black or white one, but if she's into traditional or rustic, buy a wood one). A beautiful frame really elevates the sketch into a work of art that she can hang anywhere in the house or at work, and the thought behind it will mean even more.
- A magazine or bookmark. Okay, follow me here. I love reading. But, my time these days is either too full to do so or way too exhausted to follow a storyline (sad but true). So, if your lady is like me, check the magazine aisles at Barnes and Noble and grab a new one you think she might like. Put some thought into what her interests are, and I guarantee you there's at least one magazine to suit those interests. By purchasing one, you're seeing how she likes it; if she does, tell her you'll get the full subscription. (If she doesn't, at least you haven't bought an entire wasteful subscription; offer to buy her one of her choosing, in this case.) And if she DOES have time to read, those funky bookmarks at B&N (or on Etsy) are wicked cool and way more fun to use than, say, a wayward receipt or (ahem) a few sheets of toilet paper.
- Cheesy coupons. While I know for a fact that my mom still has some of these leftover from when both my sister and I made some for her, I think I'd really appreciate a handmade (or computer-printed) stack of these coupons. You know what I'm talking about: "These coupon good for one night of washing dishes." "This coupon good for one diaper change." And so on. Think about what she really does a lot of around the house and what you and your kids could do. (Hadley couldn't really do these, although he could "help." This is more from Daddy in our case.) Right now a "This coupon good for one good, long hug" coupon isn't really relevant (we do plenty of that all over the place at our house), but when Hadman's a teenager, I'd probably kill for one of those. Ack. Don't make me think about it!
- A subscription to Ancestry.com. This is actually what I requested for my combination birthday/Mother's Day. I had received a 6-month subscription for Christmas and I have absolutely LOVED digging into our family history -- all the way back to the late 1400s, in some cases. Seeing that I'll have a touch more time this summer to dig even more, I decided to ask for an "extension" when it runs out in June. It's not cheap (hence asking for it for my birthday AND Mother's Day), but I have to say it's the best gift I think I've ever received. That good.
So, what do you think? Would you want any of these things? What would you add to the list, ladies? (Notice I said ladies, ha.)