Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Gift giving: What do you get for a person that doesn't need anything?

You can describe me as lethargic but I’m not. I’m just running in hibernation mode. I’m still doing my grownup chores but my mind is not directed at said chores. My mind is directed at finding a gift for the last three couples on my Christmas list. Mind you, they aren’t the last gifts I’ll need to purchase. I always forget people here and there. It’s nothing against them. I just focus more on the kids than I do the grownups around the holidays.

The last three couples I have to shop for are of course the hardest: My mother and step-father, My FIL and step-MIL and my retired Aunt and Uncle.

I’ve gone through movie tickets, blockbuster certificates, restaurant certificates, electronics and gift baskets. This is my dilemma. I hate giving gifts that serve no purpose. These people have accumulated enough years on this earth to amass plenty of stuff. I really don’t want to add to their collection of stuff. I’d like to give them something they can use or is beneficial to them.

I can split them up to individual presents for each member in a couple but it gets tricky when you really don’t know the other half. It’s getting to the point where I’m seriously thinking about just paying a month’s cable bill for each couple because, that’s the only thing they probably could truly use.

All three couples stay home. They don’t go out often. Believe you, I’ve tried prodding some of them out but it’s painful to watch them. It’s as if I’m forcing them to walk on hot coals. They all watch television. They all watch movies. Ok, my mother says she watches them but she’s isn’t. Unless it’s a Lifetime-battered-chick-flick, her attention span leaves to her altered state.

So I thought, hey, maybe their cable company has some gift certificate program for pay-per-view programs. That way the men can watch pay-per-view sports, which all three love and the couples together can watch pay-per-view movies.

Do you think their cable company has such a plan? Heck no. Ok, it was a far-fetch idea but I think a lot of people would get that as a gift for their elderly or home-bound family/friends. The only suggestion the cable company had was for me to pay their bill in advance. Personally, I might do it for my mother but it’s just a little too creepy for my in-laws. Honestly, if someone can go off the street, pretend to pay my bill at a cable company and obtain my address and account number, I’d be really freaked out.

So I’ve been doing that catalog flipping, window browsing thing that you do when you can’t figure out what to get for a person.