Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Hardest Person to Shop For


Hi! If you are joining from Rocks in My Dryer, Welcome! Feel free to learn about me here.

Have you ever had that person that is just impossible to shop for? I'm sure you've been through this at Christmas, but I can always somehow come up with pictures of my kids for Christmas gifts arranged in some special manner (mouse pad, calendar, tattoo) to appease most relatives. My in laws like calendars, my parents like pictures in big, fancy frames and my lips are sealed on the tattoo.

My biggest challenge came a couple of years ago when my father-in-law turned 60. He truly has everything. Book light? Check. Musical tie that plays the theme to Top Gun? Check. A shamwow? Well, probably not at the time, but CHECK, now, I'm sure. My mother-in-law got him a car if that tells you how far she had to reach to find something for him. And he even already had one of those.

Seeing as how the car wasn't in my budget (and was already taken), I had to go with something a little less mobile. The day before his party, I came up with an idea to list 60 things about him that we love. I got together with my husband and my sister-in-law and her husband (on speakerphone traveling over for the occasion) and we easily came up with 60 funny stories, inside jokes, quirky things and special meaningful things that make him who he is. I wrote them all on a poster board and wrote at the top: "60 Reasons YOU are the Greatest Dad and Grandpa in the World". I did measure so the lines would be even and wrote in different colored markers, but other than that, there isn't anything special about the poster board and paper. But, the memories on there are priceless. They range anywhere from, "Jumps like a kangaroo" (what he did for our baby at the time to entertain him) to "Always leads his family in prayer before meals". This poster board would have made Hitler cry. I love to give a gift to make someone cry and this one is right up there with my best!

Following suit, we easily did the same thing from my mother-in-law the next year, but the big challenge came this year!

My husband's grandmother turned 90 years old. ( There is a whole side commentary here waiting to be hashed out: I don't know if I WANT to be 90. She makes 90 look good, but I'm afraid I'll be hanging on to my blue hair and my walker with one bad arthritis-ridden hand. Back to the topic...) To say that there is nothing to get for her is an obvious understatement. She already has the Top Gun tie, too.

So, I was enlisted to make a poster for her with all her children and grandchildren contributing and this is what it looks like:


The writing had to be super tiny, but I was able to fit it all on there. Oh, and the heel on my right hand looked like my palm used to look when I'd hold on to Skittles (hoarding them from my sister) in the summer. Be careful of the smudge.

So that is what has worked for me in the past and I hope you are able to use the idea for your next hard to shop for person!

That is, if they don't have a shamwow.

14 comments:

It Feels Like Chaos said...

That is the sweetest idea! I have exhausted all the possible items I can put my kids' pics on as gifts (seriously, golf balls, I've stooped to golf balls!) for my mother and father in-law so I am definitely using this idea!

kristine said...

wow! such an amazing idea!

KrustyTheCat said...

What an awesome idea!!!

annieck said...

What a great idea! LOVE it! And I love that you measured everything out and made it all perfect. I would never be able to pull that part off.
Great gift idea, Hil!

Amy said...

You are so creative! I love the list idea! Any gift that you put that much time and thought into is definitely going to mean alot to the person receiving it. You rock!

LOOK WHO'S MARRIED!!!! said...

That is awesome. Now, can we pay you to WRITE all that for us?!?!?! You are so creative...much more than I will ever be.

KrustyTheCat said...

Hi Hilary,

My kids are 6, 8 and 8. The twins are actually 7, but will be 8 in a month. Glad you like the chore chart!!

Rachel said...

This is a fantastic idea!! Thanks so much for sharing.

I am dying to ask... Could granny read that writing???

Rachel
http://thetrystingplace.blogspot.com

Robyn said...

I LOVE this idea and even think I'll use it for my kids on their birthdays each year. What a nice way to make someone feel special!

holly said...

how precious! i'll have to take that idea one day.

Blue Castle said...

Very creative and meaningful gift idea! Thank you for sharing. :)

pheather said...

Hi, Hillary!

What an awesome idea! This is Heather Gilcreast, Vicki Ambrose's daughter. Thanks for visiting my blog! Although, it's funny that you did because I just read through some of the posts on your blog yesterday and thought, "Gee, she's such a great, fun writer - I hope she never reads my boring blog!" You sure have a gift for writing. And I love the ideas you put on here. I'm going to try the toy storage one out - we're expecting our second boy in April and I'm in the nesting phase bad!! I feel your pain about the lunch issue, too. I read through all of the comments from that post and stole a few of your ideas and your readers', too. :) My mom had such great things to say about you and I'm so glad that she shared your blog link with me! Have a great weekend!

Heather :)

Liz@Working Mom said...

What a wonderful and sweet idea. I love these meaningful gifts - the ones truly from the heart!!

Julie Stiles Mills said...

I read about a similar idea in a book by (I think) Mary Lo Verde entitled "Stop Screaming at the Microwave."

She created a Memory Jar with 365 memories - one for each day. Some funny, some heartwarming.

Both your idea and the memory jar are perfect gift ideas. Thanks for the reminder!

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