November 15 06

I love gifts.

I love to get them, but even more, i love to give them. A while back i read this article and was inspired. the writer said that she works very hard to try to get the right gift for the recipient. Not just a gift that she likes, but something she thinks the other person will love, and appreciate.

i used to be one of those people with a gift closet. y’all know what i’m talking about. The closet that’s filled with platters that were on sale, board games, baby gifts, wedding gifts that we got in triplicate. they were all in there, waiting, to be given away.

need a gift for a teacher? check the closet.

need a gift for a baby? closet.

need a housewarming gift? yep, you guessed it, straight into the closet.

but i’m seen the error of my ways, and decided to try to start buying gifts to match the person, and not just give them something i’ve had tucked away in a closet in Isabella’s bedroom.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. children’s birthday parties, for example. my children are invited to party upon party. they never stop. it seems like they have a party every sunday. both of them. and the gift-giving is never-ending . and it can get expensive. and it’s too hard to think personally when you are giving to a child you know in name only. so, i stock up. i hit Miko and Toys r us and walmart for good sales and buy multiples of good gifts to put away for parties. (please note: if you are one of my GOOD friends, this is NOT the case. for the children of close friends, i actually take my children to the store to help pick gifts that we think they will like)

also…baby gifts. My mother buys a shitload of clothing for my children. anyone who knows me is aware of this fact. She’s insane. But she buys so much stuff, that my children often outgrow the size she’s buying before they have a chance to wear any of them. so…i’m stuck with, let’s say 45 baby outfits in 3-6 that still have tags on them. Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, gymboree, deux par deux, hartstrings, zutano, absorba…you name it, she buys it.

so, personally, i don’t see the harm in giving these as gifts. they are nice, i would like to get them as a gift. in fact, i liked getting them the first time around…i just had no use for them.

some would call this re-gifting. and frown upon this. but, i think there should be a different name for giving a gift that you love love love but just have no use for. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. The clothes are beautiful and brand spanking new. and most of them are from the states, which is a big bonus for all the Canadian moms out there. also, i would NEVER give something that i didn’t like. I wouldn’t never give anyone a gift that i would be embarrassed to hear them say, “look what i got from Ali! she sure gives shitty gifts, doesn’t she?!”

so..what about you? what’s your gift-giving style? ever regifted anything? ever had an embarrassing story? a regifting scandal? what’s the best gift you ever got? gave? what’s the worst gift you ever got?

South Beach watch:

it’s officially day 4. i’ve passed over what some say is “the worst day” i made it. the rest should be smooth sailing from here. i’ve been so good. i’ve stuck to the rules. i’ve eaten no sugar. no carbs. i’ve been having breakfast, which is a tough one for me. i’m not a breakfast kind of girl. coffee only, thanks.

i’m now waiting for the pounds to fall off. i’m holding steady at one pound down. i’m not discouraged yet, but if i don’t start to see some results soon, i’m going to be pissed. and pissed and i are NOT a good combination.

so, we’ll see. i’m going to stick it out at least a week. Ilana told me to throw out my scale, but i can’t bring myself to do it. i need some sort of feedback to indicate whether or not all this hard work is worth it…because i’m beginning to think it’s not. but…a week. sunday morning. until then, i’lll go and eat my 15 cashews.

come over and visit me at Fabulous today.

Oh my Heavenly Days! someone – i have NO idea who – nominated me for this! come on over and vote for me! oh my lordy….in two categories, too! best personal blog AND best family blog! i’ve never been nominated for anything before.

Canadian Blog Awards

  1. I am a HUGE lover of giving gifts! So much so that I feel such guilt when I don’t have the money or the time to find and give the right one. I’ve decided, since I have so many friends and family, that cards will be my thing. Cheaper and easier…show your love with a card. 🙂

    Comment by Beth on November 15, 2006
  2. Ali, certainly nothing wrong with re-gifting. I think we all do it to a certain extent – I too have the “closet” or cupboard, as known in my house.

    Worst present? toss up between a ying-yang necklace (I am so NOT into that) from husband and a set of black ceramic “things” from FIL and SMIL’s friends (I still don’t know WHAT they are..).

    Best gift I ever gave?Little Tikes kitchen to Toby for last Xmas, Kaloo gift basket to my BF when she had her daughter sent to Women’s College, digital camera to my husband (so I could use it…).

    Unfortunately, I am so busy that I don’t really have time to shop so I tend o shop and layby through the year for Xmas…which reminds me it is nearly silly season and time to buy presents for the kids (or should I say MORE presents!).

    Best present? Also a toss up between a pair of silk Holt Renfrew pj’s (which I still have from 1991), a beautiful leather briefcase and a necklace and matching earrings from Birks – all from ex-boyfriend LOVE OF MY LIFE…but of course, he is EX, whole other story LOL.

    I love buying nice and appropriate gifts as well – especially for my really close friends. Also in return, I KNOW that I will always get fabulous gifts from my 3 oldest and closest friends, so something to rely on!!! (i.e. books from journo in Ottawa, girlie stuff from BF in Toronto and cool Japanese stuff from other BF in Japan).

    Comment by Heidi on November 15, 2006
  3. My daughter has a very tiny class – there are six girls, counting her and two of them don’t have birthday parties. So with only three birthday parties a year, birthday party shopping is a lot of fun.
    But Christmas shopping is a bit stickier – we have a long gift list and a short budget, most of which we spend on our kids. I just buy adults books, as a rule.
    My mother-in-law has a variant of your mother’s clothing buying habits – she loves buying clothes for kids, but she won’t buy them anything that’s nice. Just discount store stuff and TONS of it – we’ve suggested that instead of buying the baby 30 outfits at Giant Tiger (seriously), she buy her three at Baby Gap, but no.

    Comment by Rebecca on November 15, 2006
  4. Congrats on the nomination!!

    Comment by Chris on November 15, 2006
  5. I used to buy gifts that I loved but have grown up enough to finally buy gifts that the recipient will love. Though sometimes I get nervous about my ability to choose something they’ll absolutely love (and that is a thrill when you get it right) so often I do submit to the gift card.

    Comment by Michelle on November 15, 2006
  6. regifting is fine with me…as long as it’s worth regifting! I used to use Amazon as my sole online wishlist, but now I’ve expanded it!

    And keep up the SB diet. I’ve heard lots of positive stuff from it. If I were to do something, it’d have to be after the holidays!

    Comment by rob on November 15, 2006
  7. Congrats on being nominated. Glad to hear you’re through day 4!

    Comment by Colleen on November 15, 2006
  8. We have a similar “issue” (cannot complain though) with my mother-in-law and her clothing purchases (good quality, expensive clothing too–all the same brands you mentioned, too–oddly enough). I have given away the occasional outfit too. The size thing used to be an issue, but now, she is asking me what size Jess is, which is so good, it’s just so much of the stuff is impractical…

    Comment by Amanda on November 15, 2006
  9. I need to do my “private blogging” (journaling) to work through a gifting philosophy. I have a person in my life who bugs me with theirs. Is it appropriate to ask someone what they want? Is it appropriate to ask their spouse? Is it ever appropriate to tell family members you’d rather have money, or to tell them one thing you want them to give you (GAHH!!)? Do you track/guess how much someone else spent on you and reciprocate equally? Do you like drawing names in a family? Do you ever feel depressed at Christmastime when you realize that you don’t know the person as well as you thought you did, because you don’t know what they’d like and you haven’t been to their house to know what they might already have? Should gifts between wealthy and financially-challenged family members be equally priced? I’m sorry these comments sound so negative. I just want it to be different. I do have hope that it can be. I do like to give gifts, and I don’t want there to be any strings at all. There. I guess I’ve done it (see sentence #1).

    Comment by Brenda on November 15, 2006
  10. To me, gift giving is such a statement of who you are, so I never give that are cheesy gift. I wouldn’t want the recipient to say “oh, that’s the ugliest thing that she gave!” Even with cards, I love buying beautiful cards from Papyrus b/c I know I love getting a beautiful card, not some generic card from a box.

    As for the cheesiest gift we’ve rec’d, it would be clothes for our kids from our uncle’s wife that smell like moth balls, and from some other people…clothes that I wouldn’t give away to charity.

    Comment by Waya on November 15, 2006
  11. A GIFT CLOSET!!!!!!!
    There are some ways in which you and I are TOTALLY freaking different! 🙂
    So, what are you having for breakfast? eggs? Like, what can you eat?

    Comment by haley-o on November 15, 2006
  12. I think I’m still paying off gifts from 1999. I love giving. It’s nice when you see that you got the right item for the right person.

    On the other hand gift receiving stories – I have plenty of them! MIL’s favourite store is Value Village. Last year my brother in-law got his brother/my husband light bulbs. Guess what he gave me… the very same thing. “Oh, thanks, How did you know it’s just what I wanted!” We should give them back to him this Christmas. hee hee.

    By the way I would have nominated you but someone beat me to it. It’s nice to have a secret admirer. Congrats! I’ll be sharing the love all week long!

    Comment by something blue on November 16, 2006
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