boomer gift ideas
Every year at Christmastime my husband, Kevin, and
I make our ritual sojourn to the mall to get clothes -- for ourselves.
We select the articles of clothing we like and try them on for size.
I remember at a younger age, when I tried on a new outfit,
the big question was, "Does this outfit make me look slim?" Now, the question
has become, "Does this outfit adequately conceal my flaws?"
Claiborne is my favorite designer. She downsizes her clothing line's size tags:
One could really be a size 10 but find the perfect fit in a size 8. What a genius.
anyway, we cull the wheat from the chaff and, at the cash register, ask for boxes
for each item. The plan is to wrap them up and put them under the tree and feign
surprise and delight on Christmas morning.
It's a pragmatic approach to spending money and getting
the things we know we need and like, and won't have to exchange
in the post-holiday rush to return merchandise. We need to replenish
our wardrobes every now and then -- why not do it at Christmastime?
And we usually throw in a little unexpected gift in the mix that
elicits some genuine surprise.
But buying for others represents more of a challenge.
Our young-adult children, though polite about it, generally don't
like our fashion sense and end up returning their gifts. This year
we went to the stores they like (Hollister Co., Pacific Sunwear
and American Eagle Outfitters instead of Bealls or Dillard's) and
purchased some items that stand a good chance of acceptance.
Gifts for relatives
Adult siblings are difficult to buy for because you generally have
no idea what they would like. For several years, Harry and David
was our standard solution for Kevin's side of the family. It was
quick and simple: Make a phone call, buy everyone a $50 gift basket
and charge it. But what did they get for 50 bucks, plus shipping
and handling? Five pears, a couple of apples, some nuts, shortbread
cookies, cheese, baklava and chocolate truffles. Well, that's actually
a pretty good value when you consider that those pears are each
worth at least $5; they taste like nectar of the gods.
This year we broke from this cycle of predictability
and bought my fellow-boomer brothers- and sisters-in-law aromatherapy
oil diffusers and such essential oils as lavender, eucalyptus, lemon
grass and pine.