Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Advice Under the Influence

Dear ILBAB,

My mother always gives us (me, my husband and son) weird gifts we don't like. Of course I know that she's doing this out of love, but everything just gets exchanged or donated. She often asks what to get for birthdays or Christmas, but no matter whether I tell her specific items or tell her not to get anything, she always ends up giving us something wacky. How can I get her to stop without admitting we don't like her gifts?
Thank you!!
Jenn
Dearest Jen,
Welcome to having a family. I can't tell you how many hideous sweaters, ugly decorations and weird knick-knacks I have gotten over the years, let alone the Disney-adorned clothing or age-inappropriate toys my children have received. Enough to clothe, furnish and entertain a small Ethiopian village, I imagine. You are not alone in the horrible gift department, but put things into perspective that at least you have people who love you enough to go out and buy you really shitty gifts. However, warm and fuzzy feelings aside, a few strategies might work to resolve the problem.
One thing I have thought about is letting family know that we have a new home and kids and would love gift cards to help us decorate and fix up the house, and you know, feed the kids and stuff. This will let them off the hook of looking for the perfect gift and help me get shit done. Win-win, right? You can do the same. Just let the fam know gift cards would be much appreciated and see if they cough them up instead of another set of matching reindeer sweaters for the family.
Not comfortable asking for gift cards? If you have any projects you need done, ask for specific things to help with them. Redoing the dining room? Ask for your mom to buy you the chairs you want for it. Adding a playroom? Ask for specific toys to go in it. Tell her you want her to be part of the project so she can feel needed and also feel like she is appreciated. Then she might be more willing to listen to your specific requests.

If logic shows no budge in the shitty gift department, go weird. Start buying her equally inappropriate gifts. Did she get your son a size 5 coat when he is only 2? Get her some pajamas that are 3x too big and no explanation to why. Did she buy you a hideous set of countrified candle holders to go on your fireplace when everything in your house is modern? Get her a creepy new-age statue for her coffee table, though you know she is traditional. It won't resolve the problem in any way, but at least it will be entertaining.

Hope this helps.


Smooches,
The Beer Bitch
Advice Under the Influence
Not sure of whether to go with Playtex or Dr. Brown's? Looking for a way to keep your toddler from shaving your cat again? Want to know what to do when your husband pees on the toilet seat again? Well, the Dr. is in. Email me your query and I will put on my thinking cap and publish your question, along with my answer. 

3 comments:

  1. Love it! My late MIL was a wonderful gift giver, I have tons of personal and quirky items she got for us over the years and I miss her presents, she had a knack for it. My own mom? Not so much...she's a "bland" gift giver. Lots of vanilla body wash gift baskets and candles with the clearance tag scraped off, or slippers she finds on sale. I quietly sigh and thank her each time, then re-gift the body wash, kitchen hand towels and candles as part of the housewarming/hostess gifts that I buy for others.

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  2. EMBRACE IT! Or send them to me. I like filling my house with weirdo items no one else wants!

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  3. Ahh my mom. My cousin and I joke about the gifts, we know she cares but wow.... 60 year old sharp and dusty trains for the baby, moldy smelling fuzzy sweaters, books with a "for you, little Lucy" or whatever..... ahh the gifts no one wants but feels bad about giving to goodwill... disorderlywanderlustblog.blogspot.com

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