Looking for answers to life's questions

Perfect Gifts

Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Mother’s Day. The list goes on. It’s even Graduation time and wedding season. This is the time of year you hear from people that never call or write, inviting you to things they know you can’t attend. It is gift giving time.

I want for nothing. My cupboards are full to the brim and my children are at wits end when they want to gift me and the same is true in reverse. We are a nation of too much stuff looking for ways to pass it on to those that are in need. Most of us are more than generous in our sharing but what do we do about our desire to gift?

Maggie Magellan hard at work.

I have found the best gifts are those of experience. My daughter’s birthday was last month and I gave her the class schedule for adult community education. I suggested she pick something she wanted to try and I would pay for it for her birthday. She chose a watercolor class. It happened to be at the same time, in the same building as the memoir writing class I’ve been wanting to take. Each Monday night for 6 weeks we go to our separate classes together. Yay!

Who needs navigation. Just follow the car in front of you.

Mother’s Day just paid us a visit and my children know better than to buy me more things. My son used my audible points to buy two books I had on my wish list. Then he put the cash in my checking account. I found a use for it.

Mother’s Day was a quandary for my daughter. She called me and said we needed a beach day. She made reservations for two nights with a great motel discount from work. It was cool, grey and internet was sketchy. Couldn’t have been better. I loaded the cooler with food for dinner and off we went through Tillamook to Newport and Nye Beach. The money my son put in my checking account gave me a bit to buy some cheese and jam at a great place along the way in Tillamook as well as ice cream at the creamery. We played all the way there and just chilled on the beach barefoot. Now that’s a good gift. So is listening to a favorite book in bed after wearing myself out walking in the ocean.

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I have a grandniece who just had a birthday earlier this month. At 18 and ready to graduate, I no longer knew what she would enjoy since we rarely connect. Smart girl that she is; with a generous heart, she posted a link to her Facebook page to donate to her local animal shelter directly. I didn’t even know you could do such things! I hope there is something similar for her graduation gift. I don’t know them well enough to pick something out.

Tillamook Creamery. Cheese and Ice Cream along with some learning

Sylvia Beach House high on the hill. Each room named for a different author. A favorite of mine.

I prefer handcrafted gifts but they are not very popular with young people. Since I’m so swamped with too much on my plate again, I’ll beg you all for ideas. My brain is on hiatus and gave no forwarding address. What do you do for such difficult gift giving situations? I’m open to all suggestions. Especially inexpensive ideas.

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

 

 

Comments on: "Perfect Gifts" (74)

  1. your outing to the beach sounds wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A lovely reflection Marlene. The gift of our loved ones and creating memories is my favorite too 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Timelesslady said:

    I agree about too much stuff and gifts of experience. I keep boxing up stuff and I give it away, but then, oh my, I find something amazing at a thrift store or bargain sale, and there I go again, collecting stuff. Truly, the worst thing I can’t resist is unique plants.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s better if we trade stuff than keep buying new, I think. 😉 I have a friendship garden here. My friends and I share so many of our plants that most of us never have to buy them. I give away cuttings. My downfalls are books and fabric. I’m getting better though. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Timelesslady said:

        Ah…don’t get me started on talking about my books…and I love magazines too. I can’t pass up the stacks of magazines my library sells for $1.00. They might be a little outdated in some things but the recipes are still good.

        Liked by 2 people

      • I keep old magazines too. Enough to insulate the walls as well as books on many of them. I’ve given tons away to hospital waiting rooms and senior centers and will go through more as time permits. I have enough here that I haven’t read yet so I’m good for a long time. Buying them for a $1.00 is great though and helps the library. I donate a lot of books to their resale efforts. I promise myself not to buy anymore but that lasts only moments. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      • Timelesslady said:

        Same here…I will probably buy books, used mostly, as long as I’m able to read.

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      • Me too. My motto is “if there are no books in Heaven, then I’m not going.” 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Timelesslady said:

        Love it!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Exchanging things we no longer use to give as gifts sounds like an good idea to me as well.
        I have the greatest problem trying to find something for someone special who has ‘everything’. Garden gift ideas is already being practiced. Enjoy a peaceful week Marlene

        Liked by 1 person

  4. These were wonderful gift ideas that you mentioned! Wonderful to visit the beach, I’m sure.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your photos remind me of cottages you might see in Connecticut. They’re so pretty and quaint. I’m glad you got your toes in the sand and time away at the coast. Ocean air is wonderfully restorative. I did a double take when I saw the “hugging llamas” Marlene. Oh my gosh what a great shot.

    I’m with you on gifting experiences, and I’ve also enjoyed giving hand-made gifts if I think the receiver will appreciate it. Unfortunately, none of the three men in my life fall into that category. As my boys have gotten older they appreciate gas station gift cards or passes to the movies. Food is also a hit. Sometimes just a favorite candy bar and a nice card goes a long way. It should be the thought. One of my favorite things to receive is a hand-written no. I wonder how we’ve come so far afield that we expect a near stranger to gift something for graduation.

    I love your heart, Marlene. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • The movie passes is something I did for the DIL a couple of years ago. Again, they need NOTHING. I may see what I can do like that for the graduate. I appreciate all the great ideas. They are 1 3/4 hour away and we never see them. ;( I’m glad you got a giggle out of the cuddling llamas. 😉 Daughter said “spring is in the air.” 🙂 It was a very restorative weekend. She loves to spoil me when she can. 🙂 You have the best heart ever.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yes. You are an incredible mother, and the truth is in your children.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. If it’s someone who I don’t know well, or who’s already said they have everything they need, I acknowledge their special event by getting them an Oxfam Unwrapped gift. They get a card, and the money I give goes towards all sorts of good stuff for people in third world countries. Have a look – some of it is quite inexpensive, but it’s fun to match the gift to the recipient!
    (https://www.oxfamgifts.com/)

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  8. You got your post up Marlene – you are a champion! Your kids are giving you fabulous gifts – books and beaches are both the best of the best – and audio books are my new love too – I can listen and crochet or sketch at the same time – yay for multitasking!! 🙂 I have your email and will get back to you soon . xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the encouragement to get it done, Pauline. I sew and listen to the hard books. Bruce Lipton’s The Wisdom of Your Cells: How Your Beliefs Control Your Biology” I love this book. The beach we only get to once a year or two. It’s nice when we can get there. I’ve trained those kids well. I want nothing to dust or take care of anymore. If I can eat it, read it, or visit it, it’s golden. 😉 Your girls know you well also. Thanks for the visit. No hurry on the email. Hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I agree with you, Marlene. We all have too much stuff. I love your gift ideas and how nice for you and your daughter to be taking classes on the same evening. You’re a wonderful mother who obviously loves her children deeply.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. all good, you clearly are a great mother and I love that you got to go to the beach

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t think I could add anything to all the wonderful gift ideas you have given in your post.I love receiving gifts of homemade meals. Also, occasionally, a friend comes over and cooks for me at my house. That’s a lovely gift. I provide the ingredients and the dish washing and she does the cooking. We share the meal and the leftovers.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a great idea,Mandy! I’m not much of a cook but I bake fairly well. I sure don’t mind doing dishes. Sometimes my daughter cooks and I clean, especially on the weekends when she doesn’t have to work. I have a great soup recipe that I will make this week when I find out when my neighbor gets released from the hospital. I wish I were a better cook but who doesn’t love a good meal they don’t have to cook. ;)) Thanks for adding to the conversation.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. To me, this idea of taking day or two for a little adventure, a short outing, is the perfect gift–it’s special time, making memories. And I love a windy, chilly beach! I can’t be much help with gift ideas. In my family we decided, a long time ago, not to buy things for each other just for the sake of buying. We go out to eat, take a day trip, but don’t give gifts. Now, if someone like my sister admires something I’ve woven, I might give it to her, right then and there, but we don’t give gifts attached to birthdays, Xmas, etc. It’s amazingly liberating!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m with you, Kerry. I hate the holidays and trying to figure out something I can make to give someone who is already stuffed with things. I love the decorations of Christmas and the food and gathering of any special occasion, but not the gifting part. If I know someone needs something, it’s easy but it has to fit my budget. I’m sure anyone would love any weaving you do. It’s all so lovely. Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. My favorite from this post Marlene, the mutual classes you and your daughter are taking. Your original idea for that was great and then you get the bonus of attending something you wanted as well!
    Loved your pictures! I haven’t been to the Oregon coast in ages, and Tillamook! That was the first place that I ever had cheese curds 🙂 Thanks for bringing back some memories with your pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Deb. I was so delighted that she is enjoying the class and it gives us something to talk about. That was my second visit to Tillamook since I’ve lived here. I did not try the cheese curds. ;( Coward that I am. I’m glad you had a good trip down memory lane. 😉 Thanks for the visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. The gift of time from family is the best- a day out a weekend away, lunch together. The beach break sounds just perfect. I wish I could help wit suggestions.. my youngest son is getting married and the oldest is 40 this year,. two important presents to think of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for trying, Cathy. Your children are younger than mine so I’ve really run out of ideas. I told my son that all the work he did on my place was his mother’s day gift to me. I needed nothing else. We had such a nice visit and I’ve made all the quilts they have room for so I do not know where to go from here. Wedding presents can be easier since it’s for a new home. Enjoy that wedding. Hope you’ve found your accessories. 😉

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  15. A wee break is wonderful always. I’m so glad you got to enjoy it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You have some great kids, my friend. As for gifts, sorry I can’t help much as I don’t give gifts. My hubby and I decided years ago that we have everything we need and people we know do too. So we just don’t do gifts, plus we are on a very tight budget. I do love the ideas you have come up with though. Donating to a worthy cause is always a good one (in the other persons name) and it seems popular lately. 🙂 Big hugs! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jackie. That’s why gifting is so hard for me. There isn’t an extra penny anywhere right now. If I can make it from what I have or give something I don’t need, that helps. I gave away a lot of jewelry I wore when I worked and some was good stuff. I like going out to lunch or dinner but even that can be way too pricey. A gift card for a movie theater for the DIL worked well so they could enjoy a movie together. We just have lots of family. Sigh. Love them though. I did get very lucky in the kid department. 🙂 Hugs.

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  17. Yes, we all have too much ‘stuff’. A gift I often give to friends is to choose a picnic destination I think they’d like, then I print up a home made voucher entitling them to a chauffeur driven to the destination inclusive of food, wine and coffee. I’m the chauffeur, I provide the food, wine, and thermos for coffee. I take a table cloth, good glasses, plates etc, and I source, or bake good food for it. Throw in a bottle of wine, and off we go. We all win! One of the best gifts I ever received was from my daughter when she was a poor student. She knew which author I liked and requested the book from the book from the local library for me to read. She then gift wrapped it with a card advising she would pick the book up from me to return it when I’d finished reading it. I loved her ingenuity, and I loved the book.Another gift I like to give is a voucher for their local breakfast, or their favourite coffee shop. Who doesn’t like to be bought a coffee.

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  18. More and more we are giving and receiving gifts of “experiences.” They are something to treasure without having to store or use something. The beach is one of my favorite spots. In fact, for my birthday last year all I wanted was to go walk the beach labyrinth down near Bandon. So, that’s exactly what we did. It was the best! Have a great week, Marlene!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I thoroughly enjoyed your post because I suffer from the same gift-giving dilemma. I think you’ve solved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Yes we all have way too much stuff these days! I went to a birthday celebration yesterday and brought a bag of special coffee beans as a gift. It’s not too expensive and many people don’t splurge on good coffee beans for themselves. At Christmas I bought some small tins with about 20 different international spices for the cooks in my life. It gives them some new flavors to try out without spending a bunch of money on an expensive jar they may not even like. I wrapped it in cute kitchen towels I bring back from California every year, and perhaps add a nice wooden cooking spoon. It’s practical, and everybody eats and drinks coffee or tea!
    Love the photos of the hugging llamas and also the peacock! I haven’t been to the Tillamook Cheese Factory since I first moved to Portland.
    I thought of you yesterday at the birthday celebration when one of the woman mentioned that she had just been to the same hotel. I forget which room she stayed in, but she made it sound every bit as good as you do! I just might have to check it out one day!
    Just got to Ashland a little bit ago and will send you a note when I’m home and recovered! 🙋

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great ideas for some adults, Sabine. Young people are a little harder. I stayed at Sylvia’s beach hotel many years ago and it was interesting. We stayed at a much less expensive chain motel when we go together. Sylvia’s is a bit too pricey for me now. Enjoy the rest of your trip up. Contractors will be here again tomorrow after lunch to hopefully finish up. We may get a bit of rain but I won’t mind. See you soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rain sounds kind of nice! It’s been hot down here and I even got sunburned! I’ll think about ideas for the younger people. The beach is fun no matter where we stay. I used to get great groupons for beach stays, but they no longer seem to offer them. Everything has gotten so much more expensive it seems, no matter where one stays.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Making gifts nowadays really has become so difficult which is weird when there seems to be much more stuff around than during my childhood. But do we really need more stuff? Or wouldn’t we be better of with spending a great time with our loved ones instead? I think you’ve answered this perfectly, Marlene, and I so love that you and your daughter took off to that lovely beach and participated in those classes! I’m sure you’ve guessed it already – I like handmade gifts the best, both to give and to receive. But it’s a bit difficult when you know that the recipient doesn’t really enjoy these kind of things.
    What I don’t like is having to make gifts at certain times a year because it’s traditional. I prefer it to surprise my mum for instance with a little set of coffee cups painted with a William Morris design (The Strawberry thieves) she loves when I happen to find it – which was the case last week! 😄 No holidays needed to do that.😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I so agree, Sarah. You are a good daughter too. Time together is the best gift. I get to see my daughter everyday because she lives with me but she has her evening time to wind down and we have a little together time. Proper balance. I don’t like making something and having it go unused so I’m more careful about what I make and gift these days. Your mom probably appreciates you as much as I do my daughter. I’m never ready in time for seasonal gifting. I’d like to gift it when it’s done. Guess I procrastinate.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I love that she asked for a donation for her gift! Maybe something similar this time around?
    I like making scrapbooks for people, but they are not only time-consuming, but you need a lot of the right photos and a good idea of that part of their life that you are scrapping.
    The classes sound like great fun. I’d like to take both of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like the idea of scrapbooks. I made one via Shutterfly for my niece a couple of years ago. I had LOTS of photos so it was easy. Next to none of these kids so It will probably be a check in a card. I hate that but we are not as close as I’d like to be so I’m at a loss. The classes have been great for both of us. Wish you could join us. Thanks for stopping by, Luanne.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wish I could, too!!!
        I have made the old-fashioned type scrapbooks for my family members. My mom does, too. When I was a kid I found her scrapbooks in her old bedroom at my grandparents’, and that is when the scrapbooking bug bit me. She used to scrapbook fashion and makeup, Shirley Temple, etc. I loved reading all the old clippings and how she put things together.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. So, side note…I have family in Portland and I still DIE for all things Tillamook which I first had there. I live in Michigan and our Target yesterday started selling “Tillamook”. I sent a picture to my aunt and said “I don’t know, I think it’s an imposter!” To no surprise….it just isn’t the same 😂😂😂 Such a beautiful place in the statea, I always love seeing pictures from the area!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you had a good memory of it. Blue Heron is just down the road from it. You can gain 5 pounds before you leave that town. Yum. I love Oregon and especially Portland. Do you ever get to visit anymore? Thanks for the stopping by.

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      • That’s so funny cause I always, always gained weight when we visited. The local food available there is like no other. I always joked that I could eat the mayo plain because it was that much more delicious there. I haven’t been since 2015, I do still keep in touch with my in-laws but our families parted ways about 3 years ago.

        Liked by 1 person

      • So sorry to hear that. My new favorite is Bread and Ink on Hawthorne. Like nothing I’ve ever had either and I’ve been all over the world. 😉

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      • I can completely believe that given the precedent for food out there!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Marlene, thank you for this post. If I may make a gift suggestion, perhaps a simple journal and nice pen for her to keep her ideas written down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a wonderful idea, Dr. French!! I have plenty of new journals here to choose something for her. I don’t know if she even writes anything. I had a new one still in it’s package fall off my bookshelf this week. Must be a message. 😉 Thank you for stopping by.

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  25. You had a perfectly lovely outing! How wonderful. I think the gift of doing something for someone is always the most thoughtful. Taking a friend out for ice cream sort of thing. Your daughter must know that, too. Best to you, Marlene.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jennie. We both benefited from that gift and I don’t have to dust it or find a place to put it. 😉 I am so behind but hopefully will start to catch up soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Best kind of gifts, Marlene! “Doing” and memories are far more important than things. And no dusting is the best bonus, ever!

        Liked by 1 person

      • As always, I love love love your post. You and I are kindred spirits, for sure. What thoughtful creative wonderful children you have. But no surprise there. Your gift to your daughter couldn’t have been better. I’m anxious to hear how your memoir class is. Oh, how I wish you were nearby and could be part of my creative writing class!
        I can’t wait for the day that my daughter and I again have time to spend a weekend together as you did with yours. Mine has a full time job, a full-time husband and three little kids. It may be years before that happens. My darling son (written with a smile and a wink) is always surprised when my birthday or mother’s day comes up, and quickly calls a florist and orders me flowers. One Christmas Eve, my gift arrived via Amazon at 8 p.m.! I have to laugh. On the other hand, for this year’s birthday he sent me a gorgeous leather-bound journal that was inscribed in the front: DREAMS. It’s so special to me that I don’t think I’ll ever write inside it. ;-0 xo

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh Pam, you must write all the wonderful thoughts you have of your son in that special journal!!! All your memories of his antics and successes with life then when it’s full, gift it back to him. That’s just what popped into my head reading this. I wish I could come to your class as well. I loved the class as the facilitator is a “writer and editor”! She knows how to help me and I love the critique she gives. My daughter unfortunately, has no husband or children so she’s all mine for a little longer. We are making the best of the time we have together. Her job allows her to work from home when necessary and will give her time off when I am in need of extra care. Gifts from the heart and gifts of time are the best. My son is like me in the gifting of books but even there, I’m not sure I’ll get what I have read. The audible books were perfect for me. Every woman LOVES flowers. They do dress up the day. Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Hugs M

        Liked by 2 people

  26. Matilda and I have four kids, and we all seem to have reached the same spot you are in. We don’t need more “stuff”. after lots of discussions we’ve started focusing on micro gifts, and the gift of time together as a family ( maybe the hardest gift of all for a family of six adults -and cat and dog). Micro gifts for my sons and I could be tiny whimsical things or small handy tools, for Matilda it could be an expedition out with our soon to be daughter in law.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation, Lou. I like the micro gift idea. Thanks. The gift of time is hard for some of us. I’m so far away from my son and only see him a couple of times a year. Tools are good. I love expeditions out. Great ideas. Thanks.

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