I was raised in a family that poured a lot of time into gift buying. We mulled. We pondered. We danced around the edges of conversations looking for hints. We wanted to find the 'right' gift that would mean something to its recipient - or at least be appreciated.
Sometimes we don't get it right. We know. It's fine. Here's the gift receipt if you need it. Feel free to exchange it.
Yet I'll admit, when every gift you hand a paricular person ends up disgarded - handed down to a daughter, not even as a 'regift' - it starts to get a little irritating. Why bother wasting the money on the token acknowledgement of a birthday? The 9 year is going to end up with whatever I buy. When I think of the list of items that got a "oh, thanks" and then later "here, you take it" I cringe. Any gift - spa gift certificates, gym certificate (which she asked for, mind you), bath lotions and gels from her daughter (yes, given to her daughter with a "I can't remember who gave me this, but I have no use for it. You have it.), and on and on and on.
My mother was grousing about it a few days ago. The pass-it-on-gift-getter was about to have a birthday and mom was getting cranky just thinking about what to buy that wouldn't be handed over.
"I have one word for you," I told my mom, "MONOGRAM."
And that's exactly what she's going to do. A nice, monogramed blanket - two hearts with both the birthday girl and her future-spouse's name on it.
Yeah, try to give this one away.