For Parents Who Have Everything
Jun 11, 2000
The oldest daughter in a blended family of eleven, I have literally racked my brains searching for presents for parents who have everything.
As a child I bought the typical ties, after shave and sports paraphernalia for my (long-suffering) Dad, and the dubious colognes, scarves and trinkets for my mom.
As an older child, gifts might become mysteriously better suited toward teens than parents: Cheese Clubs, cookbooks, (with my favorite dishes marked), or videos and albums reflecting a younger person's tastes. It was painful, as an adult, to find various and sundry birthday, Christmas and Parent Day presents relegated to dusty attic storage or spidery and darkened garage habitats.
A Few Axioms About Parents Who Have Everything:
1. They want presents that are practical
2. They don't want to hurt your feelings
3. They don't want any more dumb gifts
4. They don't want expensive gifts (well, hardly ever)
5. They especially don't want more useless clutter
6. They wants presents reflecting their own taste
My stepmother's solution proved easier than my own. One day I was raving about some truly wonderful, er, panties, (yes, that's underpants); the absolute be-all end-all of practical, yet comfy lingerie. Sensing mild interest, I asked her size, and next visit, eagerly offered a pair of beige briefs for her to try.
Two weeks later, she was very excited. "These are the most comfy things I have ever worn. They don't bind, they seem to kind of lift the derriere, and they gently hold in my tummy. There aren't even any...panty lines!" Hmmm. Was I onto something here? Wow!
So this is how I came to give my stepmom exactly what she likes for Christmas, (6 pairs), birthdays, (3 pairs plus flowery card), and Mother's Day, (3 pairs and very ornate gushy card). Ahhh, the sweetness of success. Oh, and the brand? Henson Knick-knack, (now marketed by Bali), and I can buy all the colorful, patterned and high cut varieties I like for myself. Mom is beige.
My Dad always says he doesn't want gifts. What he means is he doesn't want clothes, and he doesn't want a bunch of wrapping paper, bows and boxes he's just going to have to gather up and tote out to the dumpster.
He likes (large print) biographies, such as the recent one on Marilyn Monroe, and personal stuff, like a nicely framed 8 X 10 photograph of myself and the Ramsfan, (Richard), I recently gave him.
He also likes video tapes: screwball comedies-the sillier the better. His favorite gift is priceless and timeless: just a friendly visit with the grown and scattered kids and a warm hug and kiss. Since he's on a special diet after his (very successful) kidney transplant, we love to stop by Trader Joe's and pick up a few healthy yet delicious treats we know he so loves.
It's a good feeling when I can finally find just the right gifts for parents that have everything. Gifts that cause them to secretly think Yes! Something I actually wanted or needed. They might not be the right gifts for your hard-to-please list, but they have enabled me to be more relaxed and philosophical about the gift-giving business rather than the usual gnashing of teeth and agonizing over the Perfect Present.
And my favorite gift?
The snuggly perfection of knitted cotton sheets: like sleeping in your favorite soft and cozy tee shirt. They are stretchy, and fit even my pillow top mattress with ease. Warm in winter and cool in summer, I usually get these at Macy's, (Charter Club), and I have about 8 of the 14 or so colors and now, patterns. No matter what kind of a day, (or night) I've had, somehow I always feel pampered and rested on these babies. Just say Casey sent you!