GiftFilter: Help me with my mother's upcoming birthday!
posted by anonymoose to human relations (13 answers total)
My mother's turning 57 next week and I'm many thousand miles away without a clue of what to get her for her birthday. As much as I love em, both of my parents tend to be difficult to get gifts for; while they wish to be thought of on their birthday, receiving a gift that they don't really like is read as a sign that one clearly didn't think of them thoughtfully enough, so its almost better to not get anything unless its something they really want.
However, in general, they tend to get anything they really want on their own, so it's also a question of what do you get the girl who has everything. My mother's realized the difficulty of this, and usually just tells us what she wants within a few days of her birthday, but when I'm this far away for the first time, it seems a little crappy to simply throw money at a gift I've never even seen, and not be able to at least pick it up for her.
Things my mother enjoys doing:
-Spend her mornings outside in the backyard in her kind of ratty but well-loved robe (robe suggestions appreciated, though I'd have to ask my father if that's on the table) with a mug of hot coffee and her lap-dogs, feeding the fish/turtles in the pond.
-Walk around town boutique-shopping with her toy maltese in her doggy-purse. Said dog is sometimes dressed in silly doggy outfits. She already has doggy purse and silly doggy outfits, so I'm not sure what else can be done in this category.
-Do whatever females do in front of the mirror for 45-80 minutes before leaving the house. I think this involves the half-hearted watching of trashy soap operas.
-She works as a clinical pharmacist, and likes her jobs (she works a number of different hospitals part-time), but things like "Hug the pharmacist" Mugs or something wouldn't be a good fit.
-She likes very high-end, colorful, kind of bohemian style boutique clothing and jewelry and stuff. Getting her clothing or jewelry is always a very difficult proposition, as she has very particular (and expensive) tastes. Most of her birthdays end up in some sort of clothing or jewelry item that she's already picked out and then the whole family chips in to buy. I'm kind of hoping to skip this category this year.
-She likes relaxing at home late at night with a glass of cheap wine or two after work. She has nice wine glasses and doesn't tend to care much about the quality of the wine, though she also appreciates good wine. I brought her some local austrian hard cider stuff for my coming-home present last month (which she liked quite a bit), and I'd rather avoid 2 alcohol-related presents in a row if I can help it (but suggestions on this end are appreciated too, since there's always christmas).
-Much of her stress in life involves my aging grandparents, who are living a few blocks away and are, well, getting old. They're both becoming less mobile, losing their eyesight, and all in all, their independence. Ways to enhance their lives are probably the thing my mother appreciates most, but those are even more difficult than gifting my mother and would involve a much longer, separate question. They tend to be very unaccepting of anyone spending money on them, or getting them anything, and will return any item that they can return and give away most everything else as a gift.
-She's an animal person, and probably her dream vacation would be some sort of safari in Africa (not gonna happen this time around with my budget :). She has 3 dogs, 1 cat, 2 cockatiels, a cockatoo, a pond of koi, catfish, goldfish and turtles. She's mostly a dog person, I'd say.
-She loves swimming in her hot swimming pool, and it's only last week gotten too cold to keep heating the pool (she's in SoCal). I think we've tried getting her a wetsuit so she could keep doing it, but she wasn't a big fan. Ideally, she'd want one of those indoor "endless" pools with a speed-adjustable current, but that, too isn't gonna happen on my budget :).
What doesn't she like:
-Sweets are not her thing, and while she enjoys good food, its not really a big deal for her.
-Keepsakes and photos and things arent typically her thing either
-She's not particularly tech-savvy, and isn't much of a person for gadgetry. She does like to watch DVDs on her computer at night (she has some OK headphones, but probably wouldn't notice the difference that much if I were to get her good headphones).
That's all I got. Send questions. Many thanks.