Thursday, April 30, 2009


April has been a crazy month with birthdays and events. Now we are staring down the barell of May with Mother's Day next week. It has me thinking a lot about gifts. I think that we are rather impractical, as a people, at gift giving. Give mom breakfast in bed, and a mess in the kitchen that everyone is absolutely dumbfounded as to how to clean up. Nope. Not a gift.

We give each other stuff that we don't need. For example: My sis-in-law went to a bridal shower of an 18 yr old, where all of the gifts had a heart theme. Heart shaped ice tray, measuring cups, throw rugs, car mats etc. Heart, heart heart! It will come as no surprise that this girl probably should have graduated High School (at least!) before getting married, and gotten herself an education as she is now divorced with a bunch of heart paraphernalia.

So, here are some ideas of what I think should be gifted for:

Mother's Day:
*Dad should teach himself, and each child a new skill. "Look mom! I have figured out how to put my shoes away when I come home! Tommy can make his bed and Suzy can now scrub the toilet..."
*Dinner out - with no one. Just alone.
*Dad comes home at 10 am, on a Tuesday, and asks, "What can I fix for you around the house? Leave me a list, the kids, and go window shopping - here's a $20. I don't want to see it when you get back..."
*The receipt for the expensive jewelry he bought at the last second. Then mom can return it and get something that she really wants. Like an attachment for the Bosch, or a new 1/4 ton of laundry detergent so it can stop eating into the food budget.

*$250 in counseling. Go on, I dare you to deny it!
*A calendar for the groom that marks off her cycle. He can start planning on being in the dog house well in advance.
*A metal ladder. It will last longer than the hymn book with their name on it.
*Coupon organizer
*Vacuum - which will get more of a workout than the lacy nightie.
*Bulk Laundry Detergent - not very sexy, but it will get used more than the vacuum.
*A case of tp and 72 hr kits - "Love is all you need" until you run out of tp.
*Cooking lessons. Not the kind where you cook a gourmet meal, but rather, "How to feed a family of 5 for 4 weeks on 3 dollars" variety.

New Baby:
*A case of Baby Tylenol and Ibuprofen.
*Carpet Cleaner - industrial strength - one that can remove organic stains and red liquid baby Tylenol.
*A pallet of wipes.
*Stock in Huggies/Pampers and Enfamil; might as well try to get rich while you're in the poor house!
*Gift cards towards car seats. Just when you recover from the new addition's first seat, it's time to buy that little bum a new car seat!
*Something to childproof your computer from little fingers that want to hit the "shut down" button.
*Mega toilet plunger. You will be amazed at what goes down there and then STICKS.

Child's Birthday:
*Something for mom, like a massage, "This is so your parents will keep you!"
*For teens: A week in a 3rd world country.
*For tweens: everything you got on YOUR birthday at their age

I feel a bit scroogish with my suggestions, but in another real way, I know I'm right. No one would "ooooh" and "aaahhhh" when these gifts were opened, especially by the recipients, but everyone who's been there would say, "Wow, that's a smart gift!"

Let me know if I've left anything out...


Danika said...

This is why I LOVE YA! You are not only a total hoot, but you think EXACTLY like I do! Kevin thinks I'm a practical scrooge when it comes to gift-giving (at least within our family). I love your should write a whole book on the topic! :)

Danika P

Danika said...

The best baby gift I've seen is a 72 hour kit for the little one. I also thought of a good wedding gift: the couple's family tree on both sides for the last three generations or so. Not only is it thoughtful, but very recession-friendly and you wouldn't necessarily have to frame it, just roll it up and tie it with a pretty bow! Every family has a family history buff so just make some calls and there you go!
When a couple is moving in together and merging items, I also think a good lable-maker is an absolute MUST. I can't live without mine.

Danika said...

P.S. That second comment is from me, your sister... not the other Danika

Erika said...

Hilarious and so true~ love the ideas...I usually give a plunger at Bridal Showers, cuz I didn't get one and learned the hard way that you HAVE to have one sometimes. People usually laugh and think it's so funny but such a great idea! Also, I think a good wedding gift would be a box of Baking Soda, Garlic Salt, Vegetable Oil, Baking Powder, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Cumin, Paprika, Cornstarch, Italian Seasoning and any other of those weird spices/condiments that you only need every once in awhile.

Meredith said...

OK, but he needs to give you more than $20 to go shopping!!! I have decided I am worth more than disposable clothes from Target. And our hymn book with our name on it? Loosk brand new. That's what you get with non-singers!

Last year Steve got me a diamond band for our anniverary...along with a trip to CA. Now, I wanted the band. But it was too big (I know - you are saying "diamond band too big?") I couldn't bend my finger all the way with my wedding band. It was returned. I have yet to get a new one. I really want a new one....but I also want a BlendTec blender. Roadshow at Costco ends Sunday. Steve asked if this is what I want for Mother's day and I said YES YES YES!! It blend everything I want (I use a blender every day) it will grind wheat - without a seperate machine (a wheat grinder) and without a seperate blade (Vitamix blender).

Cicily said...

You are hilarious! How I miss you.

Reggs said...

HA HA HA!!! One of my favorite posts of all time.
For our wedding, the Gelders gave us a tool box from Home Depot. At the time I thought it was weird, but for the past 5 years I have used it almost EVERY WEEK! I have no idea where the lip shaped crystal is that we got, but I know RIGHT where that tool set is.

Also, I wish people would stop giving baby clothes as a gift and take YOUR suggestions instead. A pallet of wipes?? Where do I sign up? Much more practical and will actually still be used past the first 3 months after having the baby!