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Gifts for mum - first christmas as a widow

(19 Posts)
kitkat321 Fri 20-Nov-15 15:52:39

My dad sadly passed away early this year after a sudden, unexpected illness so this will be my mums first Christmas without him.

I'm both dreading it and looking forward to it as it's also my daughters first proper Christmas (she was only a few weeks old last year).

Normally, I'd get my parents a few week bits and bobs and then a joint gift like a weekend away or euro's for their upcoming holiday (they were always on holiday).

This year, I'm not 100% sure what to do. I've got her some nice gifts from the baby - a necklace, personalised calendar and large canvas print but I'm not sure what to get from me.

My dad would always get her perfume, pj's, new slippers etc - do I do that so that she's got lots of things to open? Of would that almost be like I'm just trying to replace him and maybe upset her?

She's quite sociable and always going for massages etc so that's not really a treat as such and there don't seem to be any shows or anything coming up that she'd like.

She's on a constant diet (although has put a lot of weight on since my dad died) so she doesn't like clothes because she's always trying to drop a dress size and wants to wait until she's lost weight to buy clothes.

She also doesn't have any hobbies.

I want to spend quite a bit on her as she really helps out with childcare but just have no clue!

gastropod Fri 20-Nov-15 16:00:32

What about a weekend away (or even a holiday) with you?
When my dad died, my brother and I did a few treats like this for my mum. She loved it, as it really helped with the loneliness and gave her something to look forward to. Of course it depends if your mum is ready for it.

Flomplet Fri 20-Nov-15 16:24:46

I'm so sorry for your loss kitkat.

That's a lovely idea gastropod. What about afternoon tea or theatre tickets - you could go with her or she could take a friend as she preferred, and it's less full on than a holiday. You know her best, but from what you'vevsaid and what your dad used to get her, it sounds like she loves to be "treated". I wouldn't try to replace all your dad bought her but maybe you could get her just the perfume or something. She can replace pjs if she needs to, but having to buy your own perfume seems more poignant somehow. She will have several bits to open anyway.

Just don't get her a "tea for one" set... I've known it done.

PresidentUnderwood Fri 20-Nov-15 17:59:27

A nice perfume set with some body lotion is a lovely treat. A magazine subscription or perhaps a months trial with one of those calorie control meal box things (awful description)

A weekend away with you and DD or a girls day out for just the two of you - a show in London or trip to Chatsworth etc?

Kindle or tablet might help with hobbies.

A really beautiful photo album for photos of your Dad, so you tell tell your DC all about him flowers

Sorry for your loss, the first year is so hard - be kind to yourselves

ajandjjmum Fri 20-Nov-15 18:08:06

I find my Mum is happier when she has things to look forward to. Or as DH would say, 'doing presents'.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Fri 20-Nov-15 18:08:13

I can completely sympathise OP - am going through exactly the same. My dad passed away just before last Christmas. I 'm doing a stocking for my mum and got some great ideas from a thread I started here. That 'a something a bit different. For her main presents we are buying more than I would in the past and me and my siblings are getting some of the types of things my dad would have bought. It will be sad whatever we buy her, but it will be nice for her to have a few things to open and it will help her having DS around being all excited about Santa presents.

WaitingForMe Fri 20-Nov-15 21:05:44

I do my mum an advent calendar each year. It's a lovely wooden one that I refill. It's a small silly thing but it is a little reminder every day in advent that she is loved and treasured.

It was probably the biggest hit I've ever had for her.

curiousc88t Fri 20-Nov-15 22:27:53

Some nice photos of your Dad in an album, in a nice frame for table or wall

Or a montage of photos in one big photo frame ?

canyou Fri 20-Nov-15 22:36:13

This will not help much with a Christmas present but we lost my DDad Christmas two years ago and Mum finds the build up hard. We always had an advent calender so I have a box with 24 gifts labeled 1 to 24 to be opened through Dec. It has second hand books, candles, magazines, fluffy socks, nail polish, hair brush and a new fluffy pj all cheap and cheerful and sonething to talk about I have put in some crafty stuff and puzzles as well for the long evenings I think the whole box cost me €40. A neighbour delivers the box at silly O Clock on the 1st so she does not know well she guesses I do it who does it. It is a talking point and news when we ring her.

canyou Fri 20-Nov-15 22:36:53

Cross post with Waitingfor me

leopardgecko Sat 21-Nov-15 01:18:11

The first Christmas after my Dad died I got my mum a photo frame filled with many photos of them both together. Yes, many tears but partly happy ones. I also DID get her one of the regular things my dad would have bought, and that too was received well as she thought no-one would ever buy those things again.

I hope that the joy of Christmas with your daughter will help both you and your mum through what will be a difficult time for you both.

Chottie Sat 21-Nov-15 06:42:21

I would suggest a present which is a treat including you and your LO too. You said that your mother is lonely at times, so spending time with loved ones doing something special would also give you all something to look forward to.

How about a visit to a local NT property with lunch at the cafe? I realise your mother is watching her weight, but the NT menus are not just cakes.

The first Christmas without a loved one is so hard flowers you sound a very loving and caring DD.

SummerHouse Sat 21-Nov-15 07:00:08

canyou that is genius! And so sweet and thoughtful. I am welling up at this thread.

If you do the 24 gift box there are some lovely feel good films you could add. There is a thread at the moment called lovely, lovely films. Some from memory...

Love actually
Billy Elliot
Sense and sensibility
Shawshank redemption
Roman holiday
Its a wonderful life

Or a box set... Recent dramas Frankie and In The Club were brill. santa

SummerHouse Sat 21-Nov-15 07:02:20

Also think your time with her will be very valuable. If you can you could offer to watch films with her.

MarmaladeTeepee Sat 21-Nov-15 08:39:35

My mum used to collect pillboxes and my dad would buy her one every year for Christmas. The first Christmas after he passed away DBro and I bought her one, there were a few tears, but she was over the moon and said "I didn't think I'd ever get another one" sad So in answer to your original question I think it's nice to get her the things your dad would normally have bought her and I'm sure she'll really appreciate it.

canyou Sat 21-Nov-15 14:06:44

Summer I never thought about our charity shop does dvds so that will fill a day or two of presents

SummerHouse Sat 21-Nov-15 18:47:24

canyou I love the thought that I have helped contribute to ideas for the box of gifts!!

On the buying of gifts that were previously bought by a loved one who has passed away, my DPs grandad bought every woman he knew a bottle of baddidas. It was a bit of a running joke. The year he died my partner bought it instead and I watched his grandma melt when she opened it. I think its a lovely way to remember them.

kitkat321 Wed 25-Nov-15 13:11:47

Thanks for all the suggestions.

Some good ones! I'm not sure about the photo/memory album. I think it might upset her too much - my mum is a very emotional person while me & my brother take after my day - very stoic and can't be doing with all the crying so keen to avoid it if I can - that probably makes me sound horrid but I'm honestly not!

I've just decided to bite the bullet and ask if there is anything in particular she'd like and then I'll get her some other bits and pieces so she has plenty to open. Going to keep my eyes open for any good deals on spa treatments or afternoon tea etc.

EverybodyHatesATourist Wed 25-Nov-15 13:50:51

Travelzoo sometimes has good deals on spas and afternoon teas if you sign up, they normally send one email a week or so (bit more frequently at this time of year but they don't bombard you with spam)

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