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Old 11-28-2011, 06:13 AM   #1
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My MIL is 86 years old. I always struggle to find out what to give her for Christmas. My husband wants me to give her a set of my general cards. She sends cards out to friends and family all year long. I am hesitant to give her a set of cards on Christmas day for a few reasons. Some of my in-laws think of card-making as a trivial hobby. They do not appreciate it, and I think they are really some-what embarrassed for me. I don't want when she opens them up as a Christmas gift to hear fake praise from this family. I would be totally embarrassed and I could see it bothering me all day. My MIL once remarked that she thought I made the cards because it was "less expensive" than buying them. I know she didn't say that comment with malice, but it makes me feel that giving her cards wouldn't really feel like a gift to her. On the other hand, she really doesn't "need" anything. There are only so many robes and slippers she can use! What would you do?
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:27 AM   #2
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I wouldn't give her handmade cards. Especially if she's made that remark before. You could buy her a card set, with a nice pen, stamps, etc...

I know what you mean about buying for someone that has everything. My grandfather is 93, for the past 5 years or so, every Christmas, I send him a tabletop balsam tree. It's live greenery. Last year I even got a pre-lit one. He loves it! It makes him feel festive without having to drag out a big tree. And when the season's over, you dump it. I usually send it the beginning of December so he can get a lot of enjoyment. Last year I sent it through the mail from Kittery Trading Post. I've also used LL Bean.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:39 AM   #3
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I agree, buy her a boxed set of cards she can use.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:44 AM   #4
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I agree with brunosmom about not giving her a set of handmade cards and for the same reason. If she made that kind of comment, she doesn't understand how much time and effort goes into such a gift - or that you spend quite a bit MORE than store-bought cards on a handmade one. As for what your alternative is...I'm not sure. I like the suggestion above as well. Does she live near you? How about an evening out for a nice dinner and maybe a concert she'd enjoy?
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:35 AM   #5
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a gift card to the grocery store where they shop is always good - ususally the money is thin by the end of the month (this is what we did for my grandparents when they were alive) or a gc to the pharmacy where they get their meds filled - most have hefty copays that this would help out with..............how about a gc to where she gets her hair done.............
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:03 AM   #6
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My MIL is 90. You DH is on the right track with the cards idea but, as others have said, maybe not YOUR cards. I think you should give her a card box with dividers for the different occasions and stock it appropriately. Maybe throw in a couple of your cards if you have some you think she might like need. Sadly, she will need lots of Sympathy, Get Well and Thinking of You cards. (She may have trouble getting to the store when those needs arise unexpectedly.) Put in the stamps and maybe decorate the envelopes of the store-bought cards.

My MIL loves it when I help her go through her address book and update it. Many people die or move throughout the year and she has trouble keeping the addresses straight. Then I made her mailing labels for all of her friends so she could send out her Christmas cards - she has difficulty writing clearly.

Just some ideas. It can turn into a really thoughtful gift. HTH
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:12 AM   #7
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I was going to suggest a nice card organizer with some store bought cards and handmade ones. Also include a pen and some stamps.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:36 AM   #8
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What about a couple of books (or a roll depending upon how much you want to spend) of stamps? The "Forever" stamps that survive the increases in postage we frequently have.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:31 AM   #9
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My mom never wants anything for the holidays, but I can't do that, so I just get her a nice bouquet. The flowers are pretty but not something she'd get for herself.

To make it a bigger gift, you could even do a bouquet each month (I think you can choose 3, 6, or 12 months).

And I agree, definitely no hand-made cards. She wouldn't like them and she probably wouldn't use them since she thinks they aren't as good as the storebought ones.

Good luck!
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:33 AM   #10
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I wasn't into card making yet when my Grandad was still alive. I'm sure he would have appreciated a set of hand made cards though. But, given that she has made that comment before, I agree with everybody else.....don't give her your precious cards as a gift. They will go unappreciated. What we used to do for my Grandad, a man who had everything too, was pay a couple months of his cable bill or phone bill. He appreciated it, and it was something he definitely used! Good luck with your decision. It's a tough one. I am very lucky, my friends and family love my cards and actually make requests to buy some from me!
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:58 AM   #11
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I'm not in my eightys yet but, if I were I'd like a basket of fruit...or a box of fruit like fresh pears maybe..or some candy. Harry and David have some afforadable goodies.

Don't waste ;your wonderful cards on her. Little does she (or the others) know ;your cards probablly cost more than the ones you buy !
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:37 PM   #12
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We have paid for my mom's newspaper subscription for a few months. Every little bit helps on a limited income.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:42 PM   #13
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Great suggestions! Since she is a very practical and frugal lady, I bet she would love the card organizer with some cards, stamps, and a nice pen! Thank you ladies!
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:46 PM   #14
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Sears: Online department store featuring appliances, tools, fitness equipment and more

I keep looking at this box to order and fill for my Aunt for a birthday present. If your MIL likes to send cards, she might like this box filled with store bought and handmade cards. (Like someone else suggested). You could add stamps in a clear envelope in the front; and someone suggested a pen.
You could make some cute gift card holders in the birthday section (if she likes to give grandkids gift cards).
Good Luck. This can be a stressful time of year when we are trying so hard to please everyone and feeling so inadequate.
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Old 11-28-2011, 12:58 PM   #15
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I agree with the others on not giving her your own cards if you've had negative reactions in the past, but I also wanted to say how great that your DH thinks that a set of your cards would be a good gift for his mother!! That's a real compliment to you, as I see it.
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:09 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NwP View Post
My mom never wants anything for the holidays, but I can't do that, so I just get her a nice bouquet. The flowers are pretty but not something she'd get for herself.

To make it a bigger gift, you could even do a bouquet each month (I think you can choose 3, 6, or 12 months).

And I agree, definitely no hand-made cards. She wouldn't like them and she probably wouldn't use them since she thinks they aren't as good as the storebought ones.

Good luck!
Oh! I like this idea also!
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Old 11-28-2011, 01:11 PM   #17
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I agree with the others on not giving her your own cards if you've had negative reactions in the past, but I also wanted to say how great that your DH thinks that a set of your cards would be a good gift for his mother!! That's a real compliment to you, as I see it.
So true, and I didn't even think of it like that. He always is very positive about my card designs. Thank you for pointing this out
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:55 PM   #18
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I like the set of stationary and simple cards idea, and stamps. Get them before they go up in price again next year.

One year I made my grandparents mini folding photo albums with pictures that I had and found in my parents stash. Maybe she doesn't have the same pictures that you have.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:18 PM   #19
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Wonderful ideas folks! A box of cards for various occasions would make a lovely gift...Add some Forever stamps,a nice writing pen and it sounds great!

Not everyone has the taste we do for our creations and I am OK with that, and will not waste them on them either!
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Old 11-29-2011, 12:41 PM   #20
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I guess you've already decided on a gift (and ITA not to give her your stamped ones). My grandma just turned 90 and I struggle with gifts too. I've stopped giving her "stuff" and now gift her the gift of time--I will bring her lunch and spend the afternoon with her, help her sort through her closet or organize some drawers, things like that.

I'm working on typing in some old family recipes now. I'm going to make a small cookbook to share with the other grandchildren.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:43 PM   #21
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How about some postage stamps?
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:54 PM   #22
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I guess you've already decided on a gift (and ITA not to give her your stamped ones). My grandma just turned 90 and I struggle with gifts too. I've stopped giving her "stuff" and now gift her the gift of time--I will bring her lunch and spend the afternoon with her, help her sort through her closet or organize some drawers, things like that.

I'm working on typing in some old family recipes now. I'm going to make a small cookbook to share with the other grandchildren.
These are wonderful ideas and I wish I had done this when my grandparents were alive.

Some terrific ideas here for all those people in our lives that we struggle finding gifts for!

Thanks for sharing everyone!
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:02 PM   #23
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We always gave my DH's Grandma either a gift card to her hair salon to get her hair done. Or a GC to a grocery store she shopped at. I miss her.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:28 PM   #24
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I was thinking how great it was of your DH to think your hobby is worthwhile. My DH loves the result but doesn't appreciate the process. :roll eyes:
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:09 PM   #25
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Just throwing this idea into the mix. When my grandparents were still alive, my parents would give them a case of frozen orange juice for their freezer. At their age, they really didn't need "giftie" items, but the juice was much appreciated on their fixed income. Also, real fruit juice just seemed better/more nutritious, than the Tang they were drinking at the time. As with other consumables, it was something my parents could continue to replenish. My Grampa often got bags of hard candies from us grandkids for birthdays/holidays. Of course, that was just a little self serving on our part, because we knew Grampa always would share it with us. LOL
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:25 PM   #26
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My grandma is 87. We got her a digital picture frame and preloaded it with family pictures. It's set up so she just flips a switch and it cycles through the photos. Every family get-together someone brings their laptop and card reader and we update the memory card with new pictures. Helps her stay connected when we're all kind of spread out.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:04 PM   #27
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My grandma is 87. We got her a digital picture frame and preloaded it with family pictures. It's set up so she just flips a switch and it cycles through the photos. Every family get-together someone brings their laptop and card reader and we update the memory card with new pictures. Helps her stay connected when we're all kind of spread out.
That is really cool. It's a way for her to see the latest photos without having to use a computer/email/etc.
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Old 12-01-2011, 01:18 PM   #28
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I am giving my mother, who is in her late 70's a gift card to CVS, which is where she gets her prescriptions filled. It will pay for a few of her meds, which is always good for her. And yes, just buy her a box of cards too, that she can use year round.
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:24 PM   #29
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Just throwing this idea into the mix. When my grandparents were still alive, my parents would give them a case of frozen orange juice for their freezer. At their age, they really didn't need "giftie" items, but the juice was much appreciated on their fixed income. Also, real fruit juice just seemed better/more nutritious, than the Tang they were drinking at the time. As with other consumables, it was something my parents could continue to replenish. My Grampa often got bags of hard candies from us grandkids for birthdays/holidays. Of course, that was just a little self serving on our part, because we knew Grampa always would share it with us. LOL
Oh my gosh! My grandma always drank Tang, too! I just thought it was something she liked to drink. I never thought of it in terms of not being able to afford actual orange juice. We always looked forward to Grandma coming to visit because it was the only time we ever got Tang! LOL
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Old 12-02-2011, 05:58 AM   #30
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This is a great stationery box that you could fill with your own creations or store bought, but it also has a spot for a pen and stamps.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:42 AM   #31
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This is a great stationery box that you could fill with your own creations or store bought, but it also has a spot for a pen and stamps.
WOW! I love it!
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:31 PM   #32
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The postal clerk at the post office told me, when I last bought stamps, that ALL stamps now sold will be the forever kind. So, if you give them to someone, when the postage goes up, they won't have to worry about buying 1 centers or 2 centers to add to the stamps you give them. Isn't that a great thing?!
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