Author Topic: Stressing over impossible giftee  (Read 9473 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4271
Stressing over impossible giftee
« on: October 05, 2012, 03:28:28 PM »
It's almost Christmas season, which means it's time to start planning Christmas gifts. I have one giftee who is (a) very focused on gifts, (b) very picky, and (c) difficult to please.

This year we are doing a name drawing amongst adults, and lucky me, I drew this person's name. I'll call her Beth.

As an example of Beth's attitude toward gifts: her husband is not a good gift-giver, so she relies on family to fulfill all her gifting wants and desires. For her birthday, she had mentioned wanting a nice cake stand. I bought one, and made an epic chocolate cake (Chocolate Wasted Cake) to put on it. Upon giving it to her, she said, "Yeah, but where's my *real* birthday present?"

So now I have to figure out what to get Beth for Christmas. The name drawing rules specify the gift must be between $20-30, but everything Beth wants is $60 or more. Beth won't get too specific with her wants, because she wants a complete surprise. She only likes name brand purses, shoes, accessories, etc. She does not like gift cards. She has a very specific style, and I'm not good at picking out things that match that style.

How far should one go to fulfill the desires of an impossible giftee? Would it be rude to pick out a piece of costume jewelry or something else within the price range and be done with it, rather than searching for the mythical "perfect gift"? Would it be rude to say "I'm sure you won't approve of anything I pick out, so here's $30."? (Okay, I know the answer to that one :P)
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

SPuck

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 996
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2012, 03:33:29 PM »
It the person is impossible don't jump through hoops. I say a 25 dollar gift certificate to a store she likes could cover everything. If she says anything, well there are etiquette approved response but I can't think of any off the time of my head.

lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4165
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2012, 03:39:20 PM »
I think you do your best, within reason, to get something she will like, and leave it at that. In other words, just what you did for her birthday. Which, by the way, I think was really sweet. Not only did you get her the thing she wanted, the cake stand, but you made her a chocolate cake to go on it. Who wouldn't love that!?

I wouldn't just blow her off and give her "whatever" or give her something I know she wouldn't like (like a gift card since she specifically doesn't like them), but I also wouldn't go overboard trying to fulfill some unfulfillable wish either.

I would go to the same amount of effort as I would if I'd drawn someone else's name. Take into consideration her wish list, try to pick out something you think she will like, while staying within the budget, and hope for the best. If she doesn't like it or makes snarky cimments, well, that's her own misery speaking. In my opinion, you can never go wrong by taking the high road and doing the right thing, regardless of her reaction.

Amava

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4751
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2012, 04:03:41 PM »
As an example of Beth's attitude toward gifts: her husband is not a good gift-giver, so she relies on family to fulfill all her gifting wants and desires. For her birthday, she had mentioned wanting a nice cake stand. I bought one, and made an epic chocolate cake (Chocolate Wasted Cake) to put on it. Upon giving it to her, she said, "Yeah, but where's my *real* birthday present?"

Well, ugh. What an attitude. Normally I'd say "never give her anything again", but I understand the practice of the "drawing names" and with that, you're on the hook, of course...

But you are not "on the hook" to stress over it. Just get her something *within the price range*, it's not your problem that all her "wish list items" are double that price range, if she doesn't get anything off her wish list it's her own fault. Or you could do a gift card as a contribution to one of the items on her wish list.

I wouldn't passive-aggressively get her something she doesn't like, I would try to find something nice, but definitely don't stress over it and don't hold your breath for a thank-you! And don't be hurt if she's not happy with it, because the chances are slim anyway.

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5789
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2012, 04:04:59 PM »
Please don't stress over her. I hate reading about people working extra hard to please someone who is a jerk. And she is not just someone with high standards, she is jerky. High standards is specifying a brand or prefering a small high quality item over multiple cheap items. Jerky is asking where your real gift is after getting MORE than you asked for. Jerky is listing items out of the price range.

Save your angst. Buy her something in the price range and then take all the time effort angst and cash that she thinks you need to spend on her and think of someone or someones that would appreciate the effort and put it there. Cookies for co workers , cards for old friends, gifts for needy families in town or a chicken for someone overseas. Do some fun giving to satisfy that obligation you feel.

MindsEye

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1167
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 04:22:53 PM »
So now I have to figure out what to get Beth for Christmas. The name drawing rules specify the gift must be between $20-30, but everything Beth wants is $60 or more.

Maybe it is just me, because I tend to be pretty direct...

But what about simply telling Beth that everything on her wishlist is well over the name draw price point, and that she needs to put some things on her list that are less than $30?

Then the burden is shifted back to her.  And if she doesn't put anything appropriately priced on her wishlist, then just get her that piece of costume jewelery (include gift receipt of course) and be done with it.  Why worry when it sounds like she is not likely to be very grateful no matter what you get her?

One thing that I am curious about, since Beth makes such a big deal over gifts... how does she gift others?  Because, honestly, that is something I take into account... if I know that someone isn't going to go to a lot of trouble over a gift for me, then I am not likely to go to a lot of trouble over a gift for them.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6539
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 04:29:58 PM »
Gee, looks like Beth's found a way to wrangle herself great gifts - just refuse to accept anything worth less than $60!  ::)

I'd keep an eye out for great sales but if I didn't find any I'd go to her favorite store and buy something in the $25-$30 range (a scarf? a neat kitchen utensil?). If she didn't like it she could return it for credit. Don't stress yourself out trying to please her because odds are you won't, and that's not a reflection on you!

sourwolf

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 347
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 04:34:36 PM »
I'd just give her a $25 gift card to one of the stores that carries the things she "asked" for.  If she asks you why you got her a gift card just say "well everything you asked for was outside of the price range so I figured you'd like a gift card to X store."

audrey1962

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4322
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 04:36:55 PM »
Honestly, I'd just give her a gift card - if I give her a gift at all.*

I realize some people are opposed to giving them, but for people that difficult who clearly don't appreciate your gift giving efforts, I think it's fine.

*I'm assuming you already considered this option but decided against it. It's your decision and I respect that.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6785
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2012, 04:37:55 PM »
I'd buy her a pair of  $25 gloves or a scarf and attach the gift receipt very prominently to the front. 

CakeBeret

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4271
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2012, 04:43:00 PM »
One thing that I am curious about, since Beth makes such a big deal over gifts... how does she gift others?  Because, honestly, that is something I take into account... if I know that someone isn't going to go to a lot of trouble over a gift for me, then I am not likely to go to a lot of trouble over a gift for them.

She is a frugal gifter. She tends to make homemade gifts and keep a tight budget. Which I absolutely appreciate and respect, since I tend to do the same. ;) She hasn't asked for expensive gifts in years past, but she has almost always been difficult to shop for.

Audrey, since we're doing the gift exchange I think it would be rude to not buy her a gift at all. Believe me, after her birthday I was seriously considering it. :P
"From a procrastination standpoint, today has been wildly successful."

Moray

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1869
  • My hovercraft is full of eels!
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2012, 04:53:08 PM »
She made the choice to set unrealistic expectations, she made the choice to comment when things weren't "up to snuff", she made the choice to not accept thoughtfully given gifts of the past with tact and grace. There's no pleasing some people. I'd say sometimes it's okay for your gift recipient to be disappointed.
Utah

Brisvegasgal

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 178
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 10:24:25 PM »
I really just wanted to say what a FANTASTIC gift you made her (as well as getting her a cake stand). As for the gift - it's really hard to buy for someone when the last time you gave them something they were rude. I agree with the others...buy something within the agreed budget and if she doesn't like it that really isn't your issue.  If she is rude, I would simply say something like ' It seems like you're being rude. Did you mean to be?'.

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12338
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2012, 10:34:58 PM »
Her husband is "not a good gift giver"?  My guess is that he's tried his best and has given up.

I have a close relative like this, and it's very discouraging to have one's gifts constantly returned to the store.  From now on, I'd say to stick to gift certificates/cards.  Of course she can assert "so impersonal" but you can remind her as to how hard she is to please.

Iris

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3867
Re: Stressing over impossible giftee
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2012, 11:50:57 PM »
Please don't stress over her. I hate reading about people working extra hard to please someone who is a jerk. And she is not just someone with high standards, she is jerky. High standards is specifying a brand or prefering a small high quality item over multiple cheap items. Jerky is asking where your real gift is after getting MORE than you asked for. Jerky is listing items out of the price range.

Save your angst. Buy her something in the price range and then take all the time effort angst and cash that she thinks you need to spend on her and think of someone or someones that would appreciate the effort and put it there. Cookies for co workers , cards for old friends, gifts for needy families in town or a chicken for someone overseas. Do some fun giving to satisfy that obligation you feel.

POD. I also suspect that kareng57 has the right idea about her husband.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.