When I was in 6th grade, for some reason around that time it became cool for tween, teens, even adults to wear Winnie the Pooh merchandise. Don't ask me why, all I can say is if you were one of them, "What Were You Thinking!!!". So being a snoopy pre-teen I was searching my mom's closet for Christmas gifts when lo and behold I spotted a Dillard's bag stuffed in behind some dusty shoe boxes. I paused for a second while my conscious battled over good and evil but inevitably I went with the red horned version of me on my left shoulder and peeked in the bag. I let out an audible gasp when tucked inside that brown plastic bag was a Winnie the Pooh sweat-shirt and Winnie the Pooh socks. Was my mother on crack!!?? What would ever convince her to buy me something so uncool!
Now, even at 12 years old, I was an excellent problem solver so I came up with the perfect solution to discredit this gift and ultimately save me from junior high ridicule. The next day while we are at the mall (because we live in Tyler and there is nothing else to do) we pass a center round display of Winnie the Pooh paraphernalia. I stop and let out my best haughty laugh and say, "That stuff is sooo ugly! Why would anyone want to wear something as stupid as Winnie the Pooh." I cross my fingers and hope that mother got my ever so subtle hint of disgust. Now, all I had to do was wait for Christmas morning.
It came, just as it always does, and my mother handed me a box that oddly jingles as I shake it because my mom always thought she was so clever at disguising what was in a box. She would wrap presents with keys and batteries mixed in them, so that when we would shake them everyday to discover what they were, we would be fooled into thinking mom bought me a broken disc-man or a Lego set. My present came with a disclaimer and she assured me that I would hate this but we could go right to the store and exchange it for whatever I wanted. Almost 15 years has passed and I can't remember any of the Christmas gifts I received that year or any other year after that. But I will never forget the gift I didn't get. Maybe I should finally fess up to my scheme, nah.
Every year my mother, grandmother and aunt take a annual girls shopping day and go to Mistletoe & Magic and do a little Christmas shopping. This particular year there was a vendor selling luxurious linens and pillows. My grandmother of course was enthralled with the quality and luxuriousness of these fine products that she just had to buy something. Not needing any herself she just knew that my younger cousins would love to have such fine pillows...NOT. I think I forgot to mention that these were not cheap! She thought it would be a good idea to buy my younger cousins (at the time, probably around 10-13 years old) these huge pillows to use as floor pillows in their room. What was she thinking? What kid would want 2 pillows for Christmas?? After her purchase, she excitingly called me and asked me to help her pick out fabric and make pillow cases for these gifts. She even offered to pay me for my services. After playing phone tag and trying to coordinate a time to select fabric (she lives out of town) time quickly elapsed and Christmas was right around the corner. She decided not to have me make the pillow cases that she would just give them the pillows and pick the fabrics out with them, which totally makes more since anyway, seeing as how it's their bedroom. Christmas days rolls around and it's present time!! Under the tree I see these 2 huge packages in those big plastic present bags (ya know, for bikes and stuff) and I chuckle to myself thinking "Those poor kids are going to be so disappointed". My mother was playing Santa and picked up the 2 packages and says.."oh, These are for "so-and-so" and "so-and-so". I know my jaw must have hit the floor. I was trying to hold my composure and muttered "Thank you". Later after present time was over she came up to my sister and I and handed us money to buy fabric for the pillows. She whispered in my ear, "I decided that the pillows were to old of a gift for the little ones in the family." HA! As funny as this story is, my feelings were actually really hurt due to the fact of such a unthoughtful gift.
So, please... When gift shopping please be thoughtful in your gift selections. It is very obvious when it's a last minute thought. :)
For my Bridal Shower, I received place mats from a co-worker of my husband. While the sentiment was nice, they were hideous! They were denim with pockets for the red handkerchief napkins to go into. While some may think they are cute, they are far from my taste. It was 21 years ago and I still remember them is detail. The question is: Why would you buy an acquaintance such a personal gift? And do you want to leave such a negative long lasting impression on that person? Giving a gift that will be going into someones home must be approved by the person receiving the gift, either by specifically requesting it or registered for it. You can't even rely on a close family member to give good advice on gifts. My Aunt told my Dad (who was my Mom's Fiance at the time) that my Mom really wanted a blanket for Christmas. While my Mom really did want a blanket for Christmas, she did NOT want it from her Fiance. Luckily for my Dad, he got her jewelry along with the blanket, so he was safe. But her Sister didn't fair so well. Gifts for the home to avoid: picture frames, towels, sheets, table linens, dishes, serving dishes, decorative items. Gifts OK for the home but be cautious: Kitchen dish towels, oven mitts, utilitarian dishes- like mixing bowls, kitchen utensils, paper napkins. Happy Shopping!