The ONE and ONLY Gift AskMe Question
September 2, 2007 7:03 PM   Subscribe

Generic Gift Idea: I know - another gift question, and for this I apologize, but I need help!

My aunt's partner's birthday is next week. She has been very generous to my family and me. I want to get her a simple thoughtful gift, but I don't know her very well. I'm looking for a gift that anyone would like and appreciate. Here's what I do know about her: she lives in San Fran, she has a chihuahua, she drives a nice vehicle, she is retired, she likes to shop, she has a swimming pool, she's watching her weight (food gift baskets would not be appropriate). At the moment she is traveling and I don't know when she will arrive back home - so a delivery of flowers might be out of the question.

Yup, that's all I've got. My price range is $30.
posted by Sassyfras to Shopping (13 answers total)
How about donate the money to a charity that she likes? If she has money, she really doesn't need anything and she will be touched that you researched and found out about something she cares about. I'm sure your Aunt can help you out. I think giving in her name would be a lovely gesture and she will appreciate it. Be sure to add a sweet card and let her know how much you appreciate her. One suggesstion, Great organization and you can print a lovely card explaining your gift. Good Luck!!
posted by pearlybob at 7:17 PM on September 2, 2007

Are you creative in any particular way? Maybe spend the thirty bucks on some materials and make her a card/ashtray/whatever you're good at creating. Personal touch and all.

Also, for free, you could refrain from referring to her city of choice as "San Fran". I suppose there's a chance that appellation doesn't bother her, but a lot of us folks who've made a choice to live here prefer it when people use the actual name of the city. /pet peeve
posted by trip and a half at 8:22 PM on September 2, 2007

Go to your local gift shop.

Tell them what you have said here.

Send it with a nice card.
posted by yohko at 8:36 PM on September 2, 2007

If you've got or can get ahold of a good picture of your aunt and her partner together, you could probably get a pretty nice picture frame for $30.
posted by gt2 at 9:23 PM on September 2, 2007

I have to second the Heifer Int'l suggestion. Truly one of the best things to ever come out of Arkansas! But sometimes you really want to give a physical object. In that case, Signals has a lot of things along those lines. (Don't forget the outlet section.) I don't know if you have any sense of her personal style, but here's a great shawl (useful in SF fog!), a striking copper and silver necklace, and a silver chihuahua bracelet. They had a bunch of things that were just over the $30 limit, too.
posted by wintersweet at 9:44 PM on September 2, 2007

posted by rmd1023 at 3:54 AM on September 3, 2007

Only give a charity contribution if you really think your aunt appriciates that. Not everybody does . I am of the opinion that if you want to give to charity, you should. If you want to give me a present, you are welcome to, but you certainly should not feel you have to. But don't confuse your donation to charity with a gift to me. Miss Manners agrees: the fact remains that your friends did not give you a present. They got a twofer out of their philanthropy by merging their gift list with their charity list. (source).

If you do think the charity gift would be perfect, I suggest a small local charity, unless you know she is passionate about a particular charity, since most of the big ones have some issues that she may not agree with.
posted by davar at 5:20 AM on September 3, 2007

Response by poster: trip and a half - I had NO idea that referring to San Francisco as San Fran was offensive. For that I am truly sorry! I was merely shortening it for sake of space here and have never used the shortened anywhere but here and in this instance.

davar - perfect point about the charity. Last year I did give my aunt a donation to a charity gift and although she said it was sweet, I felt like she still did not receive a gift. I plan not to repeat that, even though it's a nice idea.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:23 AM on September 3, 2007

Best answer: Actually, from this thread, I think I may find a game that would be to her liking - something she and my aunt could play together.
posted by Sassyfras at 8:29 AM on September 3, 2007

You found no ideas in the over 300 threads tagged with gift here on AskMe?
posted by IndigoRain at 3:33 PM on September 3, 2007

Response by poster: Indigo Rain - Nope! I did look at them, though! But thanks. I suppose my question wasn't clear enough as I was hoping for just really generic gifts that anyone would like regardless of well, anything.
posted by Sassyfras at 5:52 PM on September 3, 2007

really generic gifts that anyone would like regardless of well, anything

There aren't any. This mythical gift that will make anyone happy does not exist. There will always be someone who will be displeased with any given generic gift, even something that would seem universal like a gift card, cash, desk set, candle, food basket, flowers, or flag of the recipient's country. In addition to a generic gift having a chance of being something the recipient might not care for, it also sends a message that you didn't bother to pick something out with them in mind. For all they know, you bought 50 of this generic thing and are giving them to everyone you know.

Tough. I guess you will have to find her something she might like. If you really have no idea, buy something that is tasteful and locally made from the area you live in, that she wouldn't be able to get where she lives. This comes off best if you include a card with a note about how you were at the local shrimp/corn/lutefisk/whatever festival, and saw this object made by a local artist, and it struck you as something that would enjoy. Try something ceramic, go to a local gallery if the festival idea doesn't work for you.
posted by yohko at 8:20 PM on September 3, 2007

Response by poster: I guess you will have to find her something she might like.

Which I am trying hard to do, but since I barely know her, it makes it that much more difficult. Was just hoping for a few really cool ideas - something that may strike me as, "Hey! She might really like that" or "hey, I've never thought of that before." Instead I've gotten a lot of grief for trying to come up with something!
posted by Sassyfras at 10:19 PM on September 3, 2007

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