The other day, I came across this idea for Mother's Day on the site Baby Gizmo:
of Baby Gizmo
Rather than collect years worth of loose cards that will inevitably get lost
in the enormous kid detritus our little darlings leave in their hurricane-like
wake, blogger Gretchen Bossio has a lovely bound journal in which her husband and
kids draw pictures and write notes each year for Mother's Day.
Considering the fact you can wade nearly hip-deep in the blank notebooks I
have bought and received as gifts throughout the years, and the fact that
commemorating my offspring's childhood was the whole reason I got into blogging in the first place, I
could not ask for a more appreciated Mother's Day gift.
So I did. Ask for that gift, I mean.
Just some background:
J and I tried to do the
coy/what a surprise!/I'll-try-to-find-you-the-perfect-present-on-my-own-because-I-love-you-and-know-you-well/Miss
Manners approved method of gift-giving for years.
It didn't take.
Though J and I truly do know each other well, that does not really give us
perfect insights into each other's wants and needs on the regular gift-giving
occasion schedule dictated by our calendar.
There are two ways that we have dealt with this:
1. We purchase experiences for ourselves or the whole family for gift-giving
occasions. For example, we went to Morton's steak house for our fifth wedding
anniversary last August and did not otherwise exchange gifts. We both loved it.
2. We tell each other what we want. For Chanukah last year, J told me he
wanted some shaving accessories that he would never buy for himself. (He has
started using the old school safety razors and needed a cup for shaving cream
and a brush stand and simply couldn't pull the trigger on an unnecessary
purchase when he was perfectly capable of standing the brush on end and using the cap of the foaming cream for distribution of said cream.) I know that he liked his gift, despite the fact that he immediately
grew a beard and has not since needed to use any aspect of the gift.
While the asking method of dealing with the gift-giving dilemma does not
sound particularly romantic, I couldn't be more pleased with it. For my
birthday, I told J exactly what I wanted (some flowers, a little to-do, and not
having to cook dinner or clean up afterwards), and I got it!
And according to some recent
studies, most people are happier getting the gifts they pick out for
themselves. Since J and I don't have a horse in the giving a gift
game (to each other, at least), we're cool with this dynamic.
So that means that I specifically told J that I wanted to start a Special
Occasion book. (Because there are so many reasons why our kids and we might
want to give each other a card. I'd love to have Mother's Day, Father's Day,
birthdays, the all-important card-exchanging holiday that is Arbor Day, etc all
commemorated in the same book.) We'll be able to look back over several years
worth of important family moments with our Special Occasion book.
It's frugal. No need to drop $6 on a card (seriously, that's a price.)
Now, despite the fact that my house is lousy with blank books, I still went
out and bought a new one for this. (And...there goes the frugality...And any aspect of a surprise,
although we all knew that Mom was going to be the point person on this to start
You see, all of my blank books are lined, and I wanted something with blank
pages. I also wanted something that could easily lay flat so little fingers
would have an easy time drawing and writing. And pretty much any excuse I can
find for buying a blank book will be used by this particular Mensch (who really
ought to use some of the ones she's got lying around the house). So, without further ado, here is my Mother's Day gift to myself:
I have also requested cinnamon rolls and the ability to sleep in on Mother's Day. I know the cinnamon rolls are forthcoming (from Zingermans, no less!), but I'm not holding my breath on the sleep.
Overall, I'm very pre-satisfied with my Mother's Day.
And I really can't wait to see how our Special Occasion book shapes up.
What kinds of family traditions do you have for holiday and gift-giving occasions?