Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wait, What? Christmas is in 44 days?

I know I seem to be a real Chatty Kathy this week, but with the Holidays approaching and a VACATION in two weeks (oh be still my heart~!) and these apathetic dark days…  I am “trying” to be pro-active.
Today's subject: 
Gift-cards vs actual ‘tangible’ gifts.
What do you say?  I am having a hard time committing to either.
My mother taught me that giving money is thoughtless. “You didn’t think enough of that person to find them something that they would like.”  (being a Libra) I can see both sides.
I don’t know if anyone can TRULY know what a person wants for Christmas and get it for them. I like money and gift cards, but I also like to have something to open on Christmas, and sometimes what I get is such a surprise…

(this is going to take a while) I've got a story for you: (if you’re still reading this, Thank you! and if you answer the age old gift card vs gift question... YOU are an amazing and beautiful person and will be lucky for the next 23 hours! and to top things off you will not have to shave your legs for another month, or two)

My x-mother-in-law was schizophrenic. She was the sweetest women alive and would (and often did) give the shirt off her back to anyone in need. But she was crazy. (oh and don’t EVER call her crazy to her face that would REALLY set her off… poor Ashley, granddaughter, had to bare the brunt of her attacks – Ashley as a pre-teen got mad and called her crazy!)
As weird as it sounds, we always looked forward to her gifts because they were really, REALLY … uh… different.
*When my two girls were little, grandma gave them each a package of boys underwear, I think it was teenage mutant ninja turtle ... stating that it didn’t matter if it was for boys, it was underwear.
*One year we each got something from the ‘Popeye’ line. There was a mitt hot pad, a wash cloth, a soap dispenser and the best of all was a large Popeye beach towel!
*Another year we got 2 frames with other peoples kids in them.. not the ‘stock’ photos that come with the frame from the store, but actual 'specially' printed pictures with unknown kids in them.
*A funny one: the cousins received, for each person (boys and girl) a VERY short little towel/ after bath cover up thingie, have I mentioned SHORT!
*One year all her grown children and their spouses got coats. Women’s coats. Even the men. In the same size… yes all 8 of us got the same Mervyns, beige style women’s size 10 coat.

She loved to cook and would make her Thanksgiving turkey with peanut butter and clam stuffing. 
Oh Grandma you were quite a gal!
 so tell me, any of you out there a crazy grandma and give crazy gifts???

8 Wonderful People Who Commented:

Momza said...

Lisa, this was fun to read! Bless that little woman's heart. Love the women's coats/same color/same size for everyone!
As for gifts--a giftcard is made better when there's a personal note attached to it too. "I know you love Olive Garden, here's lunch on me!" or "I know you love a great After-Christmas sale, so happy shopping!"
Something personal makes it a gift.
Okay do I have to shave my legs today?

Sue said...

I agree with Dawn that a note helps personalize a gift card. Having said that, I only give them to people that I consistently fail to find a "good" gift for. (I sort of like a challenge...)

Your grandma sounds like a character. What fun she must have been. And yes, I am a crazy grandma, but I think she managed to outcrazy me a little.


Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

nope no crazy grandmas here..only stingy ones..we never got anything from either grandma...yours was a funny one..always a surprise at your house for the holidays.:)

blueviolet said...

LOL, I especially loved that everyone got the same size women's beige coat!

Lauren said...

funny! i saw a campbells soup thing the other day and thought of grandma...

Cherie said...

Lisa this made me laugh for sure! Look at the legacy and the stories that crazy lady gave to her family - ha ha!! Love it the Popeye the coats - What a hoot!!

Well I am not against gift cards but I don't think they should be the only gift. I think there should always be a gift that is picked out for that person. I am the kind of person who really listens all through the year to what my family says they like and I make lists (think I did a post about that) so they always think i am pretty amazing that I get them the things they really want. It is pretty interesting what just listening and remembering can do (it also has helped me to know how much I need to save, etc...). But I also will give gift cards in the stockings etc...

But who knows- after reading this post everyone may get Cinderella underwear this year - Yee haw!!

regan said...

I would love getting gift cards, but no one ever gives them to me! I work in retail, and our store has it's own gift it would be a logical thing to give me, since they KNOW I would use it! But no one does! :o(

I used to send my family (all out west) foody gift boxes every year. They were very nice, cost a small fortune, and yet, do ya think anyone of them EVER sent me one!?! What's up with that!

Gift giving at our house was given up a long time's just not worth the disappointment when the reaction is so blah! I could have given my husband a new car, or a toothbrush, and his reaction would be exactly the same! It used to make me crazy!

Can you tell this is a sore subject for me!?! lol

You do whatever makes YOU happy....if shopping for someone is fun for you, do it! If a gift card is better, cuz you have no clue what they want or need, then do that. There is nothing wrong with gift cards! Plus, I've been told by several customers using them, that a gift card actually allowed them to have groceries that week, cuz they were broke! So you just never know!

Kieri said...

I love the Grandma's gifts story, but you forgot one! My favorite nightgown was from Grandma. It was pink flannel with ruffles. Oh, and I had three of them. She gave all of us cousins the same extra small nightgown and I was the only one small enough to wear it. AND TO TOP IT OFF in the box was also an unwrapped toothbrush... Used? with Grandma ya never know. I love Grandma :)