Monday, October 22, 2007

Accept My Gifts, Accept Me

It is that time of year again, the one I dread. No, it is not because Halloween is around the corner, and it is not that the leaves are falling. What is upcoming is worse then Thanksgiving with no cranberry sauce.
It is my mother in law's birthday.

This year my in laws will be here in NJ for her birthday. Every year since I have dated E, I have given her gifts for mother's day, christmas and her birthday. Every year I get shot down. I fail. I don't get "it".

Cardigans like I always see her wear? I get a "that is nice".
Perfume? She doesn't wear it.
New Knife set? (I know, I was reaching) Nada.
Golf shirts? Wrong size
Manicure/pedicure/ massage gift certificate? She doesn't like anyone touching her body.
Custom made gorgeous topiary for her house? How will she get it home on the plane?
Let E buy the gift? He is as clueless about his mom as I am.
Pictures of the kids? BINGO

Pictures of our kids have been a popular and well loved gift since our kids were born. Of course they would be, she is a doting Grandmother.
I have given these gifts in every form: framed, personalized books, photo albums and collages. I think her comment last time I spoke to her was " I am running out of room on my walls and tables" was a hint to knock off the prints. You cannot blame me though, I was on a roll, she finally liked my gifts.
If she liked my gifts that means she liked me, right?

I want my mother in law to like me. I have know idea why after some of the things I heard her say about me. I know I am a good person, I am a good wife, I love her son and I know I am a good mother.
It must be hard to have another woman in your son's life, I am not looking forward to it myself, but don't you want your son to be happy?
I guess at the root of it, I just want to be accepted.

Now, now my friends, I have a dilemma. her birthday is in three weeks and I am desperate. I turn to you wise, internets for help. What should I get my mother in law for her birthday? She is retired, lives in Florida, likes chicken "things", likes to play golf, knits, doesn't wear makeup or perfume, is active, likes bad TV sitcoms and has three kids and four grand kids.
Any ideas?


  1. What about pictures of the grandkids on item she can use, like a totebag or a mug?

  2. Ansel9:59 AM

    Just send her a card, you have tried hard enough, it seems to me. My mother-in-law absolutely cannot be pleased, so after 17 years, I am done trying.

  3. If she likes to knit, get her a gift certificate to her favorite yarn store. You really can't go wrong with that.

  4. How about something like this since she knits?

  5. I like the idea about the totebag with their picture on it

  6. You could order fancy canvas photos of the kids....pop art or a water color effect for something different.

    Or you could get an Italian charm bracelet with a link for each of the grandkids:

    Or a photo bracelet (I got my MIL and mom on for mother's day and they BOTH love them!)

  7. I'm sorry for the difficult relationship. Also sorry that I don't have any suggestions. Looks like some others had some great ideas, though!

  8. A DVD set of her favorite bad sitcom? A gift certificate to some kind of class? Gosh, that is hard!

  9. my mil is tought to gift as well ... we get her lots of gift cards ... frequently for restaurants ..... what did you end up getting her? do you know she never reads your blog???

  10. Her birthday is still coming up and I have received great ideas from you guys. I will use something this birthday and Christmas.


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