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Shopping Sadness
Old 08-17-2019, 09:35 AM
  #1

Hi Everyone,

My Mom's Birthday is coming up and she lives 3,000 miles away.

I really wanted my son and I to have the personal experience of physically going to the store, looking at all the wares, and choosing something for her.

We went to Tuesday morning and my son had fun choosing a card and wrapping paper (and cookies for himself).

But, no gift.

And, sadly, no cute little stores to browse in and pick out a unique little gift.

Normally, I shop online or send her a gift card.

She declared that she wants nothing and she needs nothing. And Bah-Humbugged birthdays.

And she is Rich, so...

Just wanted to get her a little token.

She does NOT like handmade gifts nor food gifts nor clothing gifts.

Just missing the Ol' Mom & Pop shops.


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Old 08-17-2019, 10:13 AM
  #2

I feel you! I LOVE shopping in general and malls. There are a couple of mom and pop stores in my area, but it's almost impossible for them to survive when entire malls and nationwide stores are closing. Here in Southern CA, there are a good amount of thriving malls still, which I like strolling and shopping where there are many stores together in one place.

This one lady in a city not too far from me actually has a brick and mortar AVON store. I've never seen that in my life. She must be doing pretty well because the store's been there for some years. I finally walked in once just to take a look. She's not welcoming though...didn't say a word. I guess she probably has enough loyal customers by now to make it.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:35 AM
  #3

Quote:
She declared that she wants nothing and she needs nothing. And Bah-Humbugged birthdays.
And why won’t you believe her? Why won’t you take her at her word? I’ve told my adult children the same thing and they respect my wishes. They send cards and call on my birthday. Perfect for me—and maybe what your mom wants, too. As much as you’re thinking about the experience you wanted for your son and yourself, remember that it’s her day. Maybe you could send the card with a sweet note.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:37 AM
  #4

We are lucky to live in an area of Southern CA with several downtown areas with lots of non-chain restaurants and local shops. Our city has a downtown strip about 3 blocks long with several really good restaurants and a good variety of shops. One of our favorites is the pharmacy with lots of fun gift ideas. We've seen some go under, but for the most part they do well enough to stay open.
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:38 AM
  #5

Persephone, your post made me think because I,too, like physical experience of going into stores to shop. I used to live in a small quaint town within our larger suburban area and it was an area where many people liked to come and shop for different things. I saw the turnover in the stores there and it made me reflect on the nature of what shops people liked to visit versus which ones I liked to visit.
It turns out that what was most successful in this little town were stores that sell little seasonal items/kinda antiquey things, some restaurants, a bakery and a couple of clothing stores.
I'd have loved a children's store (clothes and/or toys) and a book store.
I'm sorry that you weren't able to find the joy in gift-giving that you'd hoped for. My dad is similarly hard to shop for in the sense that he's able to buy things that he wants, doesn't like stuff that clutters up his house, and seems to never use the stuff that I get for him....even when I think it's right up his alley. One year for Christmas, I got him a gift certificate for a local sailing marina so he could go rent a boat and sail around. He loves to sail. Never used it.


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Old 08-17-2019, 10:58 AM
  #6

Have you thought about a nice picture of you and your son in a beautiful frame? That could be "a little token".
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:11 AM
  #7

I totally agree with Amiga. You have the card that you bought with your son so write a nice note and send it along. She said she didn't want a gift and I would honor her wishes. The most I would do is maybe send her a framed picture of you and your family.
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Birthday
Old 08-17-2019, 11:40 AM
  #8

She said she doesn't want anything, and you should honor her wishes. Send her a card with a handwritten note.

I have never understood why people purchase gifts after someone tells them not to do so.
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Old 08-17-2019, 11:45 AM
  #9

Travelingfar, probably a combination of reasons. Gift giving is culturally ingrained and for many a thoughtful memento is a way of expressing their affection for friends and family——a language of love if you follow those things. Not sure if this is the case for OP but many people say they don’t want gifts and don’t mean it.
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Old 08-17-2019, 12:55 PM
  #10

Quote:
Gift giving is culturally ingrained and for many a thoughtful memento is a way of expressing their affection for friends and family——a language of love if you follow those things. Not sure if this is the case for OP but many people say they don’t want gifts and don’t mean it.
This might be the first time in many years that I completely disagree with my friend, cruxian.
1. It might be the giver’s “love language,” but that doesn’t make it polite to force a gift on someone who has said she doesn’t want gifts. If you’re giving for your own needs, then silently donate to someone who needs it. If you need a shopping trip, shop for something else. Don’t force your beliefs on another.
2. As to a person not meaning it when she says she doesn’t want gifts, it is not for you to decide that you know better that what another person declares about her own needs/wants/wishes. Please don’t second-guess others. She’s an adult who said “no gifts.” Honor that. If she didn’t really mean it, that’s her problem. Do you spend your days questioning whether others mean what they say? If so, you have a great deal of time and power.
Let it go. Lovely card and sincere note. Honor and respect the birthday person.


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Presents
Old 08-17-2019, 01:06 PM
  #11

I agree with Amiga that it is impolite to give someone a gift who has said that don't want one. Giving a present might make you feel good, but it is not what the person wants.

Last edited by travelingfar; 08-17-2019 at 03:43 PM..
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:37 PM
  #12

I'm 62 with 2 adult sons. DH and I are currently in the process of decluttering and purging our stuff, I don't want more stuff.
I would be thrilled with a phone call or card. Both sons live 2 hours away.(in different cities) Coming to visit is not impossible. I would love that.
If your precious son was my grandson, I would be thrilled with a card or a picture.
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:42 PM
  #13

I agree that if someone really doesn’t want gifts (unlike DH who always says not to get him anything and then enjoys the gifts he gets ) that you should honor that.

I also think it’s perfectly normal and acceptable to feel disappointed that a loved one doesn’t want your gift.

And I also enjoy browsing the cute little shops
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Old 08-17-2019, 01:43 PM
  #14

Amiga, I wasn’t stating that’s what I believe. Just explaining why people do.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:25 PM
  #15

Maybe you could donate to a cause in her name.
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Old 08-17-2019, 02:37 PM
  #16

Choose a pretty frame with ds...not a large one, but one that could sit on a table or hang on the wall, maybe 4 x 6 or 5 x 8. Take a family photo (involve ds in the choice of photo...will it be in his favorite play spot? In front of your house? At the dining room table?). Each year update the photo, keeping it the right size for the frame you bought.

Yes to the card! And write a loving note. Have ds write or dictate a note as well, if he is able.

Many of us who have downsized really have everything we need and most of what we want. We are constantly editing our possessions, because we know how stuff can accumulate.

I also like the idea of giving to a charitable cause. Maybe ds can help with the choice of a cause. Be sure it is one she would be ok with. I like Heifer International for a child to give, because it is very concrete—you are giving an animal to a family, so the child can pick the kind of animal. Lots of information is provided, and there are a wide range of prices, depending on the animal. My kids gave my mom bees one time—she was very happy they were going to some other family and not to her!
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Old 08-17-2019, 03:40 PM
  #17

I strongly agree that you should respect her desire for no gifts. The selection of the card was good (and bonus on the cookies).

I'm glad you and your son had fun with that part of it!
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:50 PM
  #18

Quote:
. I like Heifer International for a child to give, because it is very concrete—you are giving an animal to a family, so the child can pick the kind of animal. Lots of information is provided, and there are a wide range of prices, depending on the animal. My kids gave my mom bees one time—she was very happy they were going to some other family and not to her!
We started giving to them a couple years ago because we don't need more "stuff". However, spouse didn't tell me first and just said "I got you a llama!". ( We live in a house with a smallish yard!) I was beyond relieved to realize *I* wasn't actually getting a llama, but someone in South America was. Phew!!!
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:26 AM
  #19

Your son likes to make art, so maybe have him make her something and send it with the card. She doesn't like handmade stuff? Well, if she doesn't like something made by her grandson for her, she would be pretty hard hearted. Plus she can get rid of it if she wants to. I do agree about not buying a gift, but I can't imagine any grandparent who wouldn't want a birthday gift like that from a kid.
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:31 PM
  #20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBEajQWy-LU

I posted above, but here's an interesting video about (mostly) the evolution of malls (and mom and pop shops).
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