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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What Do I Want?

I need to let y'all in on a little (okay, okay, HUGE) issue of mine: I am The World's Worst Person To Give Gifts To. Yes, y'all, I confess: I am THAT relative. It's not that I'm all that picky. Well, maybe I am a tad picky, but not in a prideful, ungrateful, nasty kind of way... more like in a sensory, asthma and allergy, don't need much kind of way.

At least, that's what I tell myself anyways.

Like... I don't wear jewelry. It's a sensory thing for me. It irritates me. I fiddle with it. I even take off my wedding ring sometimes (gasp! the horror!). I don't have pierced ears (more! horror!). Jewelry totally and completely bothers me the way an insect crawling all over your arm might bother you. I also have major clothing issues. That's not to say that I fail to wear them (I promise that I do!), just that my comfort requirements fill an entire sheet of paper, making me The Most Annoying Person Ever To Go Clothes Shopping With. I will not allow anything to touch my neck. Socks are typically seamless. Shirts must feel loose near my underarms. I could go on and on.

And on.

Plus... I have asthma and allergies, which pretty much rules out any and all scented candles, bath products, perfumes, lotions and incense. I also struggle with an obscure food allergy, so most of my friends and family avoid gifting me with food, unless they slaved away for hours over a hot stove, making every! single! thing! from scratch and providing me with a list of ingredients.

To make matters worse, I'm not one particularly effected by what I call "the wanties." I don't want all that much. My needs - while not exactly simple (see above) - are few. I'm not one who looks through a catalogue, thinking, "ooh... pretty" or "that would look nice in the living room" or "I wonder if that comes in my size." Mostly because I'm not one to look through a catalogue; it's just not part of my make-up.

Which reminds me... I also don't wear make-up.

(Aren't you glad you don't have to see me face-to-face on a daily basis?)

Every year my family asks me what I'd like for Christmas. And every year I shrug my shoulders and say oh-so-helpfully, "I don't know." They must hate me. Help me out, y'all. What do I want for Christmas? And... if you don't have any ideas for me (because it's all about ME! ME! ME!, right?), would you pretty please share with me YOUR all-time favorite gift?

You know, if you think I would like it.


Buckeroomama said...

Um... nice stationery supplies --pens, paper?

Love Letters To China said...

How about a donation to your favorite charity/cause? My all time favorite gift was my new DSLR camera my hubby gave me for my b-day.

Tonggu Momma Husband said...

Stationary, check.
Charity donations, check.
DSLR, check.

Good ideas all, but we are already tapped out on those. To anyone that might be doubting the authenticity of this post ... it's all true. Oh, how I often wish that bath beads, ear rings and other trinkets were on the "list" of potential gift items.

Keep the ideas coming people, I'm desperate.

LJ said...

I'm also a bear to shop for, if it's a gadget, I've usually gotten it for myself. What about experience gifts:

1. Photography lessons
2. A night out with the girls, paid in advance
3. Cooking school

If you love your dslr, any lenses or accessories that you'd want?

Anything on Etsy?

Gift certificate to a local nursery for spring landscaping?

Membership in a CSA for fresh veggies?

bbmomof2boys said...

I'm asking DH for a bike along with a seat to put Little T in. I also broke my fav coffee cup so I hinted I could use a new one.

What about a night out on the town to your favorite restuarant? (oops...you have a food allergy) Is there a concert coming up that you want to see? Maybe a day at the spa - you can tell them nothing scented! Do you carry a purse? What about a key bob? There are some funky looking straps on Etsy for your dslr!

Hey - TD - Good luck!!!!


happygeek said...

Hey, I don't do Jewelry make-up or catalogs either.
Yet, I think I'm pretty easy to buy for.

My current wish list:

*An i-tunes gift card. While you are sensory and may hate the buds in your ears, I have a dock for my ipod and enjoy listening to it while cooking.

*A turkey baster. Mine broke. I LOVE getting new wooden spoons, silicon bakeware and parchment paper. (It's a sickness really)

* Books

* I can't decorate to save my life. My fave is when someone who can buys something they know would look like nice in my house and then hangs it or sets it up. (This has to be someone close to me an not my MIL whose taste is rather umm, questionable.)

* An overnight trip somewhere with Hubs.

* Maid service

*Gift cards for bookstores

* movie gift certificates ( but going to the movies might not be your thing with the crowds)

Tonggu Grammy said...

Lest you doubt her comments about the difficulty of discovering the "at least almost perfect gift" for her, this is her mom. It's ALL true! I so feel for TH. This year I got them a gift together that they would NEVER have thought of and will use only occasionally BUT, and this is a big but, they WILL find it cool. Hint, hint. At least they better act like they think it's cool.

autumnesf said...

I could have written this post!! Except the asthma is only when allergies are super bad...not full blown like you have, and the food issues are labeled "intolerances" which I just carry an epi-pen for as they can't even determine the triggers. Nothing like having your tongue swell up and try to choke you to death.

I can do scented candles but otherwise its pretty much same same here.

And what is the whole thing with clothes touching the neck? It brings on a full blown panic attack and wretching!! LOL!

For Christmas this year I get Photoshop (for bloggy purposes) and the Dummie book for it. A labeler for the files, etc. A sign that says There will be a $5 charge for Whining - which will be displayed in a prominent place. My favorite yearly mom calendar to keep up with schedules. And I've requested a certain book or book store gift certs. With the exception of the software its all pretty boring stuff...but that's what I like.

I gave my parents a gift a few years ago that I would love. They are these GelPro mats for the kitchen. Makes standing around cooking or doing dishes so nice. But they are pricey. Dad had a hard time standing and cooking - which he loved - because of knee replacements and they helped him so much. And they left them at my house once when they came down to get green chili and process it to take home. I did not want to give them back.

goodfountain said...

Does Tonggu Momma like to cook or bake?

I'm always a sucker for kitchen gadgets. Love them.

Blue said...

Did I know you didn't have pierced ears either? Hmmmm...

(notice in this whole post about gifts that I focus on the pierced ears. sheesh)

Have you seen World Vision's catalog on gifting specific things like chicks and water pumps to 3rd world nations? I know Samaritan's Purse (y'know operation xmas child ppl) has one too. It might be cool to see what kind of global menagerie people can donate in your name.

But my real suggestion as to a TM gift? (drumroll, please....)
A trip to the Adirondacks! YAAAAAYYYYY!!!!

Aus said...

Well - since TMH and TG are both reading - and no doubt looking for gift ideas - and a lot of the basics like a DSLR are covered, but still finding myself a geek at heart....

ASUS and others are manufacturing an extremely small computer known as a 'netbook'. They aren't nearly as powerful as a laptop or desktop - but are perfect for e-mail and Internet use! Look for something like the ASUS Eee PC Netbook (I love the ASUS company BTW - but there are several manufactuers) and they are completly allergen free!

My personal fav was a Nikon DSLR, and being an avid (read formerly one time serious contender) competitive shooter - anything that goes 'bang' when you pull the trigger!

hugs - aus and co.

Carla said...

I swear sometimes I think we were supposed to be sisters or something...except for the food allergy thing. ;)

Have you seen the dead car battery recharge kit that goes through the cigarette lighter from Think Geek? It's pretty cool...probably never use it, but hey...it's a safety item.

What about season tickets somewhere...like a community theater?

Or what about gift cards to a movie theater?

Or gift cards to anywhere...

Stefanie said...

No ideas to add... just have to comment, "POOR TMH and TG!!" ARGH!!

Woman!! No makeup, jewelry, perfume, lotions or foodstuffs? Where do you come from???

Sorry, you know I love you. I just can NOT imagine being your husband. So many days of the year he must be struck with WHAT to get you: birthday, Valentine's, Anniversary... and Christmas is a BIGGIE!

Thinking of you, TMH!! And you, TG!!

P.S. What about snuggly slippers?
A pedicure?
GPS system? (if you don't have one)
Magazine subscription?
Fancy new 1 million thread count sheets?
A new Mac laptop?
Photo editing software?
Pampered Chef stoneware?
Games? Quiddler is my fave :)

Elouise82 said...

Amazon gift cards. Can't go wrong. That's what my husband asks every single person he knows for every single year. I usually do, too, but this year I'm also asking for a gift card to my favorite clothing catalog (J.Jill, in case anyone is curious). How are your allergies (or tastes) when it comes to tea? My sister got my dad and awesome little tea set from Teavana which is just right for making one-or-two cups at a time, and you can use some amazing loose-leaf teas with it.

Or you could do what my sister-in-law does--ask for impossibly big things (like: a new laptop! a new car! and so on) so that people just give you money labeled: "To go toward the big present."

Rhonda said...

Ok, we have a problem here.

You don't like jewellery.
You don't like 'smelly' soaps/bath products.

If you tell me that you don't like alcohol, that ends our friendship. ;)

glitterbygrammie said...

If you love to bake as I do. Anything for my kitchen is awesome for me.
I love it when the grandkids give new wooden spoons or any kind of new kitchen gadget.
My favorite gift that is a tough one. For mothers day this last year my daughter got calling cards made for my etsy shop. It was real great.

Holly said...

Laughing at Rhonda.
I'm thinking you need some of those purple panda bear jammies that my Halle has ;) Those should meet the comfort requirements, no?
A referral from China would be LOVELY too although your family has no control over that.
How about matching aprons for you and your daughter from Scarlet Threads? LOVE them! See the link on my blog if you don't already have it. Love Savannah- ordered two one for me and one for Halle!
How about new music??
Cd's itunes?
Are you a Pioneer Woman kinda girl?
What about books from China Sprout? I love those!
I could bead you some panda bear silverware ;) Okay, maybe not...I haven't found any panda beads..YET!
I have asked my family to sponsor an orphan on my behalf or just make a donation INSTEAD of buying me stuff but they will NOT do it.
Movies?? DVD's?
What about those aweseome distressed wood beams that have scriptures, names or sayings on them...they're on Etsy? Love those.
Books? My ALL time fav. is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers...but there are tons of great ones to request!
Did I help?

Suzy said...

Rhonda may need to employ a don't ask don't tell strategy to your friendship.

Hmmm. I have an odd food allergy/intolerance thing, too, and it nearly killed me. Twice.

Back to you: I love my netbook. LOVE IT. I didn't even know I wanted one, but my husband bought it for me. I can use it in the kitchen while I cook for looking up recipes or substitutions or just entertainment. And like you, I am sort of difficult to buy for. I don't want much of anything. However, I think the Kendal and Nook (electronic books) would be interesting to have. And the one thing I really, really want is an iphone. I have since they came out, but when my husband got one through work that desire increased exponentially. I use it for my Bible study -seriously any book, chapter and verse with a few flicks of your finger even if you're at a ballgame. And you're going to have your phone with you virtually all the time anyway. But I will wait until my current phone contract is up.

And I love the idea of photography classes.

Debz said...

ok...I'm sending my husband over here...for ideas ;O)
I'm with gift cards. ;O)

Erin @ Closing Time said...

I don't have any ideas, but I do have sympathy. I have allergies too, so scented candles, perfumes, nice lotions, etc are not an option for me.

I also don't have my ears pierced. Not sure why I never did it, but here I am...

Oh, and the ink in some (cheap) books makes me sneeze.

So there you have it... I hope your family can think of something.

What about a household item you might need? Small kitchen appliances, vacuum cleaner, something like that? Not very "exciting" but perhaps practical is the way to go?

Andrea said...

Do you like purses? That might be a good gift. I like the idea of tickets somewhere or lessons.

Becky said...

I don't have sense of smell, so that rules out a lot of stuff for me, too, since my husband is picky about scents. My poor mother-in-law. Someday she'll remember to quit sending lotions and body wash and whatnot.

Jboo said...

How about a new piece of luggage? For that trip to Nebraska you're planning, right! ;) I don't know about you, but our luggage has gotten hammered, ratty and torn and really ugly, so am putting that on my list. I do also like those mercury glass candlesticks. The idea of tickets to a concert or something like that sounds great!


Wanda said...

Hmmm.....items other than jewellry,perfume,clothes or food?


Sorry,I just gave my head a shake and came up with something. Books, DVD's, CD's, softwear...oh....shoes, movie gift certificates, camera equipment, a spa week-end, a holiday week-end. A whole week-end of sleeping/babysitting service.

Oh somebody stop me....I want all this too!

Heather said...

Some of my favorite recent gifts have been magazine subscriptions and family memberships to local museums.

The Gang's Momma said...

Oh my word. I so needed this giggle today. NOT that I'm laughing at your pain. Or your hubby's angst. Or even at your Momma's. But this post did indeed crack me up. And the comments?! Yeah. I'm loving it.

I have to say, the PC stoneware that Stephanie mentioned is a great gift. Perfect cookies, perfect brownies, perfect pizza. I never messed up baked goods since I got mine. I love to cook, but baking isn't my forte. And it's so easy to fudge that when using my stoneware. Also a good idea would be an event gift: Disney Ice Show or local symphony or local stage production. Throw in a nice dinner and the date will be one to remember. Lotta bang for that buck!

My favorite gift ever was when the hubby pledged support to a Compassion child in my name for a whole year. Still makes me get all tingly when I think of it.

And each year, my kids get me a beautiful Lang calendar featuring American quilts. I love the tradition of it and the beauty I get to enjoy all year long. How's that for sappy?!

Finally, for most holidays they also try to buy me a new Tigger mug from Disney. High fun factor and a gift I get to smile about every single morning while I'm feeding my addiction. I mean, drinking my coffee. . . . :)

Elizabeth said...

I am not a "stuff" person either. I do a lot of "experience gifts" for my husband....concert tickets, guitar lessons, skydiving.

What about Starbucks gift cards or a membership to the zoo, local museum, etc? I would love a spa day, although you probably would take issue with people touching you and rubbing things all over you!! I also love gift certificates to a favorite restaurant!

Aunt LoLo said...

Hrm...I have to admit, I'm rather glad you're not on my gift list. ;-) Some of my all-time favorite gifts (that might fit into your *ahem* NARROW list) include:
Swarovski figurines. I have a figurine for most of the major events in our (albeit short) marriage so far. Allergen free, small and goes with any decor!

A trip to the spa. With sensory issues, this might not work...but OH MY GOODNESS, I never knew being beat up could feel so good. (Seriously - my back was bruised for two days.)

A cruise. Myrnie and I had saved up for a college choir trip to Vienna...which was then cancelled after 9/11. Cruises were cheap that year, for the same reason, and my father chipped in a little to make up the difference (for excursions, etc.). Just picture Myrnie and I...20 years old...alone in Europe. AWESOME.

Kitchen gadgets - biscuit cutters, cookbooks and pastry mats were all requested, received, and promptly USED on Thanksgiving.

Anything that goes towards one of my hobbies (photography, blogging, sewing, crafting, cooking, etc.) so Lo Gung can't complain about the expense of said hobbies.

(TG, I hope that helps!!!!)

Patricia/NYC said...

Wow...and I thought I had it bad with DD, DH & my mom's birthdays all in December!!

OK...haven't read through all the comments, so this might be a repeat:
*Photoshop or a scrapbooking kit for your PC
*Gift certificates to a scrapbooking workshop or store (I KNOW you have to write that next Lifebook!! lol!)
*A weekend getaway to someplace fab (come on up to NYC!!)
*Not sure if you are a coffee person, but if so, a state of the art coffee maker
*Accessories for your camera
*New laptop or pc fully loaded

Come to think of it...I just gave MYSELF some good ideas!! lol!!

Love this thread! ;)

lighthousegal said...

I collect Nativity Scenes. Since I don't live in a mansion, I ran out of places to display them. So DH bought me the starter set of the Fontanini scene. Every year, or if there is something very special we commemorate that time with a new piece. (hmmm...come to think of it, he owes me a few pieces). It is something that as a family we talk about each year as we set it up. I don't have to dust it all year. Then I can get each of my girls starter sets when they establish households of their own and they can then divide up the big set when the time comes to divide our belongings.

Mama King said...

I would love a long weekend with my hubby and the girls. Could be anywhere I'm not picky. I just love getting in the car and driving somewhere new. Most people would dread being the car with their kids for extended periods of time. Surprisingly we travel well together. I am glad the kids are showing signs of wanderlust.

jen@odbt said...

Wow - lots of great ideas here. What about an experience gift -- trips, outings, concerts, etc. My vote is for a macbook :) I'm still waiting for that.

Cassi said...

Okay, as one who also never has any idea what she wants for Christmas and is known for saying "I don't know" and/or "I don't want anything" and actually, genuinely mean it, I can completely understand that dilemna.

But really!!!! After all this time thinking I actually knew you and could understand you . . . how could you?!?!

No jewelry?!??! Really!!!! Yes the horror, the shock, the complete disbelief. My goodness woman, don't you we can never have to much jewelry. It's a sin to think otherwise - I'm sure of it.

I feel naked without my jewelry. I spend more on it than I do my clothes. Of course, I guess that isn't exactly a good point to make with the one who doesn't like clothes either.

But I am shocked! Horrified! And I just don't know how I will ever recover.

:) LOL!!!! Thanks for giving me a reason to be happily sarcastic. I loved it!!!

Good luck on your Christmas "wants."

mumma to many said...

I am into experience based gifts! also Books, Digital scrapbooking kits and gifts cards, Scrapbooking supplies, Cricut machine is amazing both for TM and T And I am sure TD would love it too!
Garden plants and herb garden for inside?
a photo frame your your favourite photo or a memeory box filled with Memories of an event.
Just some random ones from Down south!
Tickets to New Zealand!
Hugs Ruth in NZ

Colin and Jill Canada said...

You want Susan Boyles new CD, 'I Dreamed A Dream'. If only for this song...


Oh and this one too, it's so powerful...


Jill :)

Donna said...

Good Heavens! I just scanned everyone else's ideas and totally forgot what I was going to say! Geez, there are some FANTASTIC ideas listed here! I'm going to send my husband a link to this post!

My favorite store is REI. I love the clothes because they're made really well and they're super comfortable. I also love the purses they have and I own just about all of them. I don't have lots of shoes or jewelry or stuff like that but I do have a bit of an obsession with purses. Mostly messenger bag/cross body purses with lots of wonderful little pockets.

Someone mentioned maid service and I think that's a fantastic idea! Even if it's just one time!

A squeeze box accesses your itunes music library and makes it available in any room of your house. Do you have one of those?


Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Jboo said...

Another comment from me! Wow -- 2 in one day -- you are so lucky! Last year, I got one of the best gifts ever from Hub -- seat heaters installed in my vehicle! Oh my -- I love those heaters during the cold winter months. But, maybe it's not so cold where you live and/or you already have a car that has those. Anyway, good luck to all who have you on their list! Can't wait to hear what TG got you two!


Myrnie said...

Theatre tickets? My favorite gifts have been tickets to local shows- opera, symphony, ballet, theatre, college, rock concerts, jazz concerts...

Acts of service are always nice. One birthday I woke up to at least a hundred paper snowflakes in my bedroom (hanging from the ceiling, piled on the shelves, etc.), a tiny lit Christmas tree on my desk, and a Christmas album I'd been looking forward to for months playing on my boombox. Aunt LoLo gives the best presents. Yard work, house work...all very nice gifts.

I read an idea in a magazine yesterday- she and her husband stopped purchasing "stocking stuffers" for each other- they search through the house for things they already have, like unused tubes of lip balm, a forgotten paper weight, a matchbook from their first date...things that have meaning, but were forgotten. :)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I guess Rhonda doesn't know that you are allergic to alcohol!!!

Gosh girl....you would be a challenge even for the shopper extraordinaire!!

It sounds like you have gotten lots of suggestions and ideas. I am the polar opposite of you......I love jewelry, anything perfumed like soaps and candles. Love Handbags, clothes, shoes....cookware and food......and yes oh yes....anything that has to do with my camera:)

The best gift I ever received didn't come for Christmas.....the gift arrived exactly 4 weeks ahead of schedule..... With all that was going on, the gift giving took a back seat. pat and I never bought each other a thing that year......and it was the best CHRISTMAS EVER!!!!

Hugs to you,


Erica said...

We should be friends and buy for each other:) There isn't much I want, but those items I do are a little too big to put on my christmas list. I have allergies also so people avoid getting anything scented for me and most people won't buy me plants (although I really do enjoy plants--somewhat less now that I have an 18 month-old that likes to turn them over, but whatev). Now I ask for photography books or David Sedaris because his stories are short enough for me to read quickly.

discombobulated said...


discombobulated said...

Oh, you want a Scrabble board with the built-in lazy susan.

Lisa said...


I have not read through the comments but spotted TG's Grandma's thoughts....she cracks me up! I like her style !

Hmmmm....hope this isn't redundant but maybe a magazine subscription to AF? I recieved one while awaiting Lauren and cherished it so much.

I also received a gift cert. to a local photographer at one of our baby showers.....that was wonderful once baby was home and you could maybe have a family portrait taken, pre and post baby #2?

DVD's. I noticed the classic holiday movies are now bundled together such as, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph, etc....sharing those with TG on your own timetable is a gift in and of itself.

An Ipod with a gift certificate to I Tunes.

Restaurant gift cards for the whole family.

Snapfish or other gift card to have those delightful "scrapbooks" done for ya!

DH once made me a CD full of songs he thought represented our relationship or were meaningful to us. I just loved it.....fortunately "Witchy Woman" was NOT on the c.d.....lol

Do you sew or quilt?

Membership to a health club.

Coupon for several child free afternoons or outings! (i.e. free babysitting)

Family board games.

Games for the computer.

Zoo or pool pass for the family.

Hmmmm...... how about asking everyone to write something down they remember about you or a time spent together...a piece of family history.... and have it compiled into a book?

As always I blather on way too long...sorry!! Hope someone can help!

Annie said...

OK, you sound like my long lost twin as far as the clothing thing goes!! Cannot stand that armpit thing! Drives me CRAZY!! Anyway, my picks for Christmas would be a GOOD camera or a GOOD yoga/stretching video OR for my kids to ALL behave for a day, or (how about this one) a day OFF for mommie!!!!

my3 kids said...

hmmm that's a hard one although I am must like you in that I never really want for anything and I always tell people "I don't know" when they ask me so I am not much help. I would love a new pair of pj's and a new purse. Not sure if that helps or not but hope they find something special for the special person you are;)

adoptionroad said...

To appeal to your one of your senses may I suggest This Glorious Christmas by Annie Moses Band. I just downloaded mine and will be giving it to my family this year. It's got a nice mix of everything.

Mahmee said...

Girl, if grapes are not on your food allergy list, then wine, wine, and more wine. I would say wine AND a massage gift card but, with sensory issues...not sure if that will work for you. Next, I say services (and yes, I mean the g-rated kind): maid, cook, pedi/mani, etc. Little luxury services that others can buy for you. And, gift cards are ALWAYS a great present...not sure why they get such a bad rap.
Bottom line, you are a Momma...you need some pampering!

CC said...

We aren't really asking for gifts for ourselves at all. Cuz of Advent Conspiracy. But, if someone wanted to give me a nice, fat, check or something.... well our IRAs could sure use a little something!

Alece said...

starbucks gift card?
iTunes cash?
movie passes?
borders gift card??

any of those up your alley???

Norah said...

Socks! Didn't you want socks? ; )

Kiy said...

I haven't read all the comments, so this idea might be a repeat: maid service ... for spring cleaning? I would be *so* all over that. Heck, I'd love maid service period, but I hate hate hate the spring/fall deal. (Hmmmm, I will have to give hubby that idea!)

Books, in my opinion, are always the right size, color and fashion. You must have an Amazon list ... forward it to him.

Missing ya, blogging is just taking a back burner these days. BTW, in the pre-pre-pre-planning stages of a trip to DC for January or February. Want to meet up somewhere? Zoom me an email when you get time . . . .

Cheers, Kiy

Patty O. said...

I think I have a lot in common with you. I am not that affected by sensory stimuli when it comes to clothes, but I do not like shopping and don't often have a lot of things I want. This year, it is all baking stuff, like decent cake pans.

One gift, though, that I would love is a gift certificate to a book store. I read all the time, but rarely buy books. Typically, I get them from the library, so a gift card to Border's would feel sinfully indulgent to me.