I know I should be grateful I have wonderful family, friends and work collegues that love me. And I don't want to seem an ungrateful cow... but I need to vent about what I believe is the lost art of gift giving.
Last night my MIL gave me a monsturous piece of costume jewellry. A bangle bracelet thing, 3 rows of cheap plastic pearls with a massive diamonte bow clasp. Recently my Aunt in Law gave me a bright yellow taffeta shawl which has a massive flower to fasten it.
Now, I'm a jeans and tee shirt kind of woman, dependable in this style since before I can remember. If ever I wear jewellry other than my wedding rings, it's a pair of hippy earings from say Tree of Life. If I ever have to get dressed up, I opt for under-stated. I can't for the life of me believe that my MIL saw this horrid bracelet and thought... oh this would be PERFECT for my DIL!
DH and I were invited to a Christmas in July dinner. Our hostess suggested a chris kringle of $20 each. On one income this is money DH and I can ill afford but in the spirit of the occassion we went along with it. The person I selected is an avid cook. I struggled across town in traffic to Victoria's Basement and got him a set of 2 herb motar and pestles on sale. An inspired gift I reckon
.... I got a tiny tub of no name body butter, that actually looked as if it belonged in part of a bigger gift set.... from the hostess!
My bestie and I have birthdays at around the same time. My best friend knows my taste and visa versa more than anyone. She lives at the beach and has the same size shoe as me. I got her a pair of flip flops in her favourite colour. She got me one of those gift sets shower gell and hand cream. The ones you get in a sale bucket at the front of a chemist.
Last year for work chris kringle the maximum was $15. The lady I picked was mid 20s always beautifully dressed and trendy. I got her a fashion mag from the UK. I got 6 ferreror roches.
On Christmas day last year, my mother got me a strap-less hippy dress, in XXXL. Firstly she knows I can't wear strapless dresses due to my large bust size, which I inherited from her. Secondly... I'm a size 12. She saw me eyeing the size and said 'It was the only dress like that in the shop'. I was like 'it's beautiful mum' but secretling thinking 'why not just get me a pair of earrings then?'
I've been with my husband for 10 years and it's gotten to a point where I just get what I want and he (reluctantly wrapps it - why should he wrap it when I know what it is? ). Last year, he gave me the Steven Fry autobiography. Apparently one time I said I liked him..... In all our time together he KNOWS I only read fantasy and horror. I suppose I give him credit for thinking outside the square. The book remains unread (by me - he read it though).
Look I'm a full time working mum and the sole bread-winner of my family... I know what it's like to be short of money and time. But seriously, I would even love if someone gave me a New Idea and a can of coke and handed it too me and said 'I got this because I thought you should put your feet up'. I would be thrilled because they had actually thought about me!
Now I must suffer through yet another Christmas with a forced grin, getting junk that I don't want and doesn't suit me at all. It just sucks because I love giving thoughtful gifts tailored for the person and I feel like I get given things where I feel like an after-thought.
OK - ungrateful biach rant over