A few years ago, my husband told me a story about something that happened in our early marriage.
It was Christmastime and we were visiting my Aunt Paula in Chicago, who happened to ask Jon what he had gotten me for Christmas. He proudly shared that he’d gotten me a blender and a set of hand weights.
“Take them back!” she cried in horror.
“But they’re already wrapped!” he protested.
“Listen to me,” she hissed, narrowed eyes locking on his now-terrified face. “Take. Them. Back!”
In the end, Jon heeded her advice, and exchanged the blender and dumbbells for some perfume and a nice pair of pajamas, both of which I still use. And to this day, he’s continued to be an excellent gift-giver at all holidays. (Thanks Aunt Paula!)
Sadly, not all women have an Aunt Paula watching their backs during the holidays.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with small appliances as gifts, particularly when it’s the “deluxe” model you’ve been eyeballing for a while (notice to all considering buying me a holiday gift: I would dearly love a KitchenAid stand mixer.) But truthfully, if I wanted or needed a regular old blender, I would already have gotten one myself or put it on my shopping list. (And as far as exercise equipment goes: unless I specifically ASK for it, then, um, no.)
It’s those indulgences that I love but would never think to buy myself – the silky PJs, the earrings that cost more than $9, the soft bathrobe, the Kindle, the beautiful new luggage set – that make the best gifts.
And while I don’t think I would have gotten upset if he’d stuck to his original choices, I also don’t think that Christmas would stand out in my mind as particularly special. But all these years later, I remember feeling so cared for as I unwrapped my gifts.
It’s not always easy for people in our lives to figure out what we want for the holiday – even when we drop serious hints. I’m constantly hearing from women whose husbands wrap up all kinds of perplexing things and stick them under the tree.
It’s not just our significant others who misstep, either. Case in point: I tell my kids I’d like a nice candle for my birthday, and they pick out a half-dozen of those candles with the synthetic fragrance that are so smelly they make my eyes water from across the room. I’d have preferred just ONE soy candle with a light, natural scent, but it kind of takes the fun out of it to have to get that specific.
So this year I’d like your help creating a holiday gift guide for moms that dads, kids, and other mom-gift-givers can use as a guideline when shopping. All you have to do? Leave a comment letting me know what you would put on your dream gift list this holiday.
Or, feel free to suggest something that you already own, love, and think other moms would love too. Go into detail: why would you love to own this object? What makes it different from other, similar objects the gift-buyer might encounter? Where can it be found? Is it available in more than one place?
Leave as many suggestions as you want, and feel free to give a thumbs-up on other people’s suggestions. My managing editor Sarah and I will comb through the list, choose our favorites, and compile them in the first-ever Happiest Mom Holiday Gift Guide.
Note: I especially love suggestions for gifts that come from indie shops and artisans!
As a thank-you for participating, if we feature your suggestion in the Gift Guide, the first person who made that suggestion will get a little gift from me.
Please note that by contributing to this thread, your comments may become part of the eventual Gift Guide. If you would not like your name used in the Happiest Mom Gift Guide, feel free to comment anonymously or use a pseudonym! (On the other hand, I’m happy to mention your blog URL if your comments/suggestions make it into the Gift Guide, so be sure to leave that if you’d like it included.)
I’m so excited about this and am hoping it will help some family members make better-informed gift choices and lead to happier holidays for some moms we know! Thanks so much for leaving your suggestion – we will leave comments open through Monday, November 12, so be sure to weigh in soon!