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Gift ideas for my hard to buy for mother

(25 Posts)
kitkat321 Fri 11-Nov-16 22:46:14

I always used to get my parents a trip away but my dad passed away almost 2 years ago and it's more of a struggle now to get gifts for my mum.

Last year I got really lucky and her favorite band when she was growing up had reunited so I got her tickets to that, a spa day with my MIL (don't think she enjoyed it - MIL is a bit of a PITA) and a gold necklace & wall canvas print from my DD.

I don't think I can even match that this year never mind beat it - she's difficult to buy for for the following reasons -

She's overweight and doesn't want you to buy her clothes because she wants to wait til she's slimmer - she never gets slimmer she actually gets bigger but is in denial.

She doesn't want sweets because she's on a diet!

She has tonnes of clothes, jewellery, watches, perfume etc

She doesn't read, watch films, have any hobbies etc and despite telling us how how bored and lonely she is a night she ignores any of our suggestions for possible hobby ideas.

I was thinking about getting her spa vouchers or something but then she needs to find someone other than me to go with her - child care reasons, work commitments make it tricky and we're not actually very close to each other - we don't dislike each other but we're very different and as bad as this will make me sound, I can't take too much time in her company before we start to bicker - we've just not got that mother daughter bond for a variety of reasons I won't go into here.

She really helps us out a lot childcare wise so I want to get her a really nice gift but have not idea what to get her!!


Almostthere15 Fri 11-Nov-16 23:07:11

What about a flower subscription, so she gets something every month. Or a magazine subscription? Would afternon tea be an option? And a heartfelt letter thanking her for the help she provides.

MegBusset Fri 11-Nov-16 23:07:34

Does she have a tablet?

kitkat321 Fri 11-Nov-16 23:20:52

Thanks both - she wouldn't read a magazine. She doesn't even read the paper.

Yes she has a tablet unfortunately although I don't think it's a brilliant one but all she uses it for is facebook and she also has her phone and laptop for that.

KC225 Sat 12-Nov-16 01:21:25

Have you thought of asking her if there is anything she would like or perhaps a hobby she would like to try?

If she is struggling with her weight and wants to do something about it why not get a session/sessions with personal trainer. You could book a woman who may be encouraging as opposed to barking orders at her

Florathefern Sat 12-Nov-16 01:33:51

If she lives on her own, then a spa day on her own would not be particularly fun.

Voucher for a really good hair salon/celebrity hair stylist type of salon as it seems your budget is high enough for that? I'd love something like that and definitely wouldn't need anyone to go along.

I got an iPhone last year and although I initially was annoyed at the cost of it and thought it was far too much when I could have got an older model on a plan etc, within a short time, I became very appreciative of it.

Some really nice garden plants/shrubs/trees e.g. Japanese maple or a nice patio set so she can sit outside on the off chance we get nice weather.

A course of cookery lessons? This could help her diet but more importantly double as social evenings?

An internet radio?

BeaLola Sat 12-Nov-16 01:36:43

Buy 12 gifts - one for each month for the year ahead eg manicure, aromatherapy massage, afternoon tea - could she go with your DD or is she teeny tiny ? , facial, so something o look forward to and a bit indulgent ?

Trumpton Sat 12-Nov-16 01:45:24

My best present recently was a heated faux fur throw.
Total indulgence on a cold dank day .

Lovely shower oil from L'occitane for my drying skin.

Expensive candles.

Home gel kit for my nails.

Good hairdryer.

panad317 Sat 12-Nov-16 02:38:31

Have you seen the Dear Grandma journals? It has around 60 questions and prompts that she fills in about her childhood, memories etc. After they fill it, they give it to the grandchild/ren. I think it's a lovely idea!

panad317 Sat 12-Nov-16 02:49:03 smile

Bogoffdailymail Sat 12-Nov-16 03:00:03

Well nicking this idea Panad smile

Florathefern Sat 12-Nov-16 03:06:55

Just my thought about the journal idea.

We gave FIL the journal last year (on behalf of DD).

It is a nice idea of a gift for DD but tbh, FIL agonised over it. Trying to find key dates, unsure what stories to include, what life lessons he wanted her to know. It became more of a task than a gift. And for my part, I felt it was more than a little morbid. I felt it was making FIL think about his mortality and the whole thing made me feel quite uncomfortable.

Almostthere15 Sat 12-Nov-16 08:04:55

Yes I'd say tread carefully on the journal. Especially since she's still quite recently bereaved. I think they're a lovely idea but sil got one for the inlaws and they got quote upset. They almost like being upset tbf but I can see why, it could read like you won't be here soon and lo won't be able to hear from you so can you write it down for us. Other grandparents would love it im sure

17caterpillars1mouse Sat 12-Nov-16 20:50:05

Jigsaw puzzle?
Hot water bottle and nice cover or one of those aromatherapy ones that go in the microwave
Slippers and dressing gown - not really clothes
Digital photo frame
Set of nice mugs or a teapot or coffee maker with post tea or coffee

Just thinking of random things in hope they may be vaguely helpful

AmyAmoeba Sat 12-Nov-16 21:57:42

if you can afford it what not get an iPad to replace her current tablet. It's starting a bunfight the most intuitive and easy to manage tablet available so she won't be intimidated by it. Rearrange the apps so that all the interesting ones are grouped on the first screen. Set it up with a Netflix subscription, kindle, some games, Skype, Facebook, and load on some of her favourite music and lots of photos of the grandchildren. You can get refurbished iPads on Amazon if a new one was too expensive.

It sounds as though she's lacking in confidence and expecting her to take up a hobby and kickstart a new social life for herself is probably a bit unrealistic. I've no useful advice to offer but just feeling sad for her.

goingmadinthecountry Sat 12-Nov-16 22:40:51

As an overweight person I dread being givn/forced to go on spa days because first of all I'm worried the stupid towelling dressing gown won't fit. Honestly, it's stressful. I'm tall, the waist is in the wrong place, your heartfelt gift has made me feel bad about myself, just like when my uttr bitch of a sil buys me stuff she knows will look bad on me. I cover my self esteem issues when I'm in charge, but pampering gifts are a definite no no. Massage also. Being prodded about is not a treat for all of us.

Am liking the flowers every month thing. Gardening stuff would be horrid for me too - a chore thing not a present. I love theatre/cinema/eating out/being with friends/reading. I can see that's no good for your mum. Nails or facials would be the only invasive beauty treatments I'd actually enjoy.

Chewingthecrud Sun 13-Nov-16 08:24:34

We got MIL a digital photo frame and loaded it with loads of photos she hasn't seen before. It's sits in her kitchen and she absolutely loves it.

I really like the 12 presents one for each month idea because if one or two are off the mark it's nice t the end of the world
You could make them seasonal too.

Other ideas
Digital radio for her kitchen
Really posh cashmere type bed blanket
A cookery course like bread making or foraging or seasonal eating

Pigeonpost Sun 13-Nov-16 11:38:33

I've just bought the journal for my grandma. I think it would be lovely for her to go through and fill it in, she's 91 and spends a lot of time in the past. sad

Ladydepp Sun 13-Nov-16 15:28:12

I am loving the digital photo frame idea for my mum.

Cashmere bed socks? Luxurious dressing gown....

Cashmere or silk scarf.

Ladydepp Sun 13-Nov-16 15:30:28


Posh olive oil, balsamic vinegar or other foodie bits that aren't fattening?

Membership of a museum/art gallery?

FledglingFTB Sun 13-Nov-16 15:36:43

Bloom & wild subscription might be a good thing. And maybe a lovely vase on the day. They're posted, so she doesn't have to be in and she can arrange them herself

mysteryfairy Sun 13-Nov-16 15:46:57

It sounds like your budget would stretch to an iPad so I agree with Amy that it's probably the best thing you could get in the circumstances.

Florathefern Sun 13-Nov-16 16:17:50

Would she like a beauty box subscription? A really nice delivery of beauty products every month?

I agree though a new laptop would be a great gift.

Personally I would not like a digital photo frame at all.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Sun 13-Nov-16 16:36:06

Annual membership of slimming world?
A days activity, yoga, etc.o R off road driving if she's up for it
A makeover or having colours "done"
A tasting, chocolate, wine and whisky are often available
National trust membership
A balloon ride?

kitkat321 Mon 14-Nov-16 18:23:50

Thanks for all the suggestions - she's already a slimming world member so that's a no go. She's also only allowed to use certain bath products so that's a tricky one & has health issues that prevent any exercise.

I like the journal one - I got that from my dad from dd but he died just before it arrived sad

Also like the idea of a nice cashmere scarf/posh dressing gown - she does like getting her nails done so will add that to the list and the digital photo frame!

Thanks all!!

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