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To be pissed off when someone point blank refuses to give you any present ideas?

(44 Posts)
YouPutYourRightArmIn Tue 18-Feb-14 20:37:55

And to make it worse, turns down any suggestions you make?

Step mums 60th coming up and all ideas for presents have been vetoed (indirectly - have been consulting my dad).

I know present-giving is about the receiver, not the giver, but we'd like to do something nice, to treat her and make her feel special, but it feels like mission impossible. Hates spas/treatments, thinks posh restaurants or hotels are a waste, has a charm bracelet but doesn't want charms, only wears inherited jewellery, has hundreds of books on crafting, recipes, gardening and related-accessories galore, wouldn't want to do a workshop or course on her own. I've recently got her and dad theatre tickets and to be honest think they found it a bit of an unnecessary effort traipsing into London (we're about 1.5hrs away), she doesn't like travelling outside of the uk so a mini break is out of the question.

I'm so so stuck. People like to treat people they care about surely? I don't feel specially comfortable when people ask me for a present list but I do muster something up that is realistic or at least provides scope for ideas so that they don't waste their money on something I really don't want or wouldn't like and also because its gracious to so, no?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 18-Feb-14 20:39:38

I hate being asked for present ideas.

Is your dad vetoing them or is he asking her and she is?

If she won't give you ideas and he won't, stop asking, get something you think is nice and then you can move on to something else.

rempy Tue 18-Feb-14 20:40:46

Get a "good gift". Trees. Flower meadow. Blankets for babies. Vaccinations. If she has so much kit and caboodle she can't be bothered with anything else, get someone else something nice in her name.

You can theme it for her - the actual good gifts are doing mango trees at the moment (if she's a keen gardener).

And send her a bunch of flowers. Even grumpy old women who are getting set in their ways will say thank you for flowers.

maggiemight Tue 18-Feb-14 20:42:14

Depends on where she lives but what about

Garden shows

or membership of National Trust

maggiemight Tue 18-Feb-14 20:43:35

Oh, and don't ask first so can't be vetoed. They can always give /sell the tickets to someone else.

RedPencilPot Tue 18-Feb-14 20:43:59

My mum is turning 60 at the end of the month and the family are clubbing together to get her an iPad, any good?

littlebluedog12 Tue 18-Feb-14 20:44:13

I would go for expensive wine/flowers. Or maybe a hamper?

whiteblossom Tue 18-Feb-14 20:47:06

Make her a cake from scratch. Basic cake with buttercream and jam, ice and top with readymade decorations (butterflies, flowers etc). present with flourish! is good for ideas.

Failing that take her quad biking grin

chipsandpeas Tue 18-Feb-14 20:49:33

vouchers for a local department store

ShatnersBassoon Tue 18-Feb-14 20:50:32

Stop asking and choose something. If it's not ideal, it's not the end of the world. I agree that flowers and a donation would be liked by most people.

elQuintoConyo Tue 18-Feb-14 20:51:34

We were in a similar situation with my DM: doesn't like having many possessions, gets books shops then gives them back, wine no, flowers die, spa.definitely not.

DSis and I got together hundreds of photos from family and made her an album, seemed to go down well and Robert Redford was unavailable

Hamper of nice food she likes?
Fancy holder for her special new bus pass?
Fancy jewellery box for her family jewels?

YouPutYourRightArmIn Tue 18-Feb-14 20:56:37

Dad has proffered some of the same things I'm suggesting. Thought a charm for her bracelet would make a sweet pressie from DD (2yo) but dad said ses categorically said she doesn't want any more charms (think she's only got the two original ones he bought her).

She said she liked the idea of an ipad but then found out the cost and said no way. She winces at extravagance (she would only let my dad buy a leather charm bracelet, no silver/platinum/whatever they are). It's like she doesn't want anyone to go to any trouble yet by saying this it actually causes mor trouble!!

They are coming here for dinner so food/desert/cake all covered.

YouPutYourRightArmIn Tue 18-Feb-14 20:58:58

*said, not ses blush

I only ask because its been so awkward in the past when we've given her something that clearly isn't right. Got her a lovely jumper a few years ago, she actually took it back and gave me the money back.

YellowDinosaur Tue 18-Feb-14 21:02:44

Make her a photobook either about her life if you can get pics from your dad or about your family / her grandchildren. Photobox do beautiful ones but you can find cheaper ones elsewhere.

Time consuming but cheaper than a lot of the options you mentioned and can't imagine she'd not like it!

YouPutYourRightArmIn Tue 18-Feb-14 21:05:14

Hmm, only got a week til her birthday and a full on few days coming up at home and work so won't have time for that...

Pascha Tue 18-Feb-14 21:09:43

Do you think there is a chance that she really doesn't want any present at all? I mean, actually doesn't want one rather than just saying she doesn't want one?

YouPutYourRightArmIn Tue 18-Feb-14 21:16:35

I think she has a notion that her birthday is an imposition on people. Maybe even that she doesn't deserve anything.

Which saddens/offends/irritates me in equal measure.

LondonForTheWeekend Tue 18-Feb-14 21:21:07

I am in almost exactly this position. Except worse, and similar timescale. I'm going with flowers.

YellowDinosaur Tue 18-Feb-14 21:24:54

What about a voucher for a photobook then? She can help to choose meaningful photos and you can put it together from the pics she chooses? Photobox have an option to buy the ability to make it over 1 or 3 months.

AnUnearthlyChild Tue 18-Feb-14 21:34:28

Ethical goat?

tess73 Tue 18-Feb-14 21:43:21

Maybe she just can't think of anything and thinks if you can't choose something then don't worry about it. Just go and buy something, some nice mugs & teapot, a vase, bake a cake and give it to her on a beautiful plate.
I often can't think of anything and get a bit irritated when people keep nagging me!

tess73 Tue 18-Feb-14 21:44:31

A kindle?

DoJo Tue 18-Feb-14 21:50:57

A gift experience? Something that she could do which is local to her like an afternoon tea or hot air ballooning?

Imnotmadeofeyes Tue 18-Feb-14 22:01:30

If she's into gardening could you get here a breed of flower (like a rose bush maybe) that shares her name or a fruit tree? It's something long lasting that she can enjoy.

It's been mentioned on here before, but people put importance on different things when they want to show their love i.e gifts, time, tasks, talking so it might be the case that she really just wants a lovely family dinner and time with her family. Is there anything you can do with the evening to make it a little more special? Is there anyone you can invite as a surprise who she'd love to see or is the family partial to board or card games?

supadupapupascupa Tue 18-Feb-14 22:03:47

how about an antique silver framed wall mirror?

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