Are You An Expert Gift Giver?

birthday gift

Does anyone else buy gifts largely based on the recipient’s ease of returning said gift?

Seriously, that is one of the first things I think of when I’m searching for the perfect gift. Because I suspect it will not be  the perfect gift I want to be sure that my loved one is not stuck with a white elephant.

The month of June is a gift giving palooza in our family. On top of Father’s Day and our anniversary, I’m also birthday present shopping for my husband, son-in-law, niece, nephew, and oldest friend.  This does not include the 10 birthday cards I mail in June to siblings and dear friends. I love giving gifts and celebrating all of these really special people. And I especially love the all too rare occasion when I find that perfect something for that special person.  Bliss! I feel Oprah-esque.

Today was not that day.

I went to Forever 21 to buy a gift for my 20 year old niece. In a rather uncharacteristic move, my dear husband joined me on this little outing.  Boy did he regret that decision! I walked into the store, as I always foolishly do in these circumstances, with great confidence, certain that I’d be able to spot the perfect, adorable outfit for this perfect, adorable girl. Within 30 seconds Peter bolted for the Apple Store and I stood there with a deer-in-the-headlights look on my face.

What I needed was wi-fi so I could call up my daughter or daughter-in-law on FaceTime to bring them (virtually) shopping with me.  But no luck…I was in this alone.

Alright, Mo, shake it off.  You can do this. You watch Project Runway and know Tim Gunn’s rules by heart. Just focus!

I wandered around for what seemed like days but was probably 15 minutes and just could not find a thing.  Everything on the racks looked like something that would be worn by a biker chick or  Taylor Swift. Now I’m sure you are thinking, “Taylor Swift, she is an adorable, perfect girl.  Wouldn’t one of those outfits be just right?”  You would think so but this particular niece lives in Nashville and occasionally bumps into Tay-Sway in the ‘hood so she’s a little sensitive about sporting that particular look.


I was just about to give up – maybe join Peter in the Apple store and buy my niece a new computer when I saw it.

What!?!  What’s that?!? An escalator?!?! There’s more?!?!

I was certain that gift giving A+ success was just at the top of the moving stairs.   Yes, the selection on the second floor was more like what I was looking for. Mr. Gunn would maybe even have approved of some of the pieces. But there was still nothing that made me confidently sing, “This is IT!”

Ultimately, I left with an “it will do” C+ gift. A cute little top with owls on it because owls are the mascot for my niece’s sorority so she will either love it or already have it in 2 colors and a little sundress that I just realized is the wrong size so I will need to exchange it before wrapping and sending the gift.

Oh, and of course I got one other thing. A gift receipt.

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  1. It’s the thought that counts, right? I’m all about gift receipts! Hope she likes it!

  2. I love the idea of Facetime shopping! Brilliant 🙂 Thank you for stopping by Rubber Chicken Madness today….so glad you did because it gave me the opportunity to visit you.

  3. Lisa a champion gift giver…I, on the other hand, tend to feel fine about a C+ gift! 😉 I bet your niece will love her gift! :)-Ashley

    • Thanks, Ashley! I’m sure my niece will love whatever she ends up with when she exchanges the C+ gift for her own idea of an A+ gift. But she loves to shop, so I’m actually giving her that gift too! And Lisa’s gift ideas are truly insprirational. 🙂
      Mo recently posted…Are You An Expert Gift Giver?My Profile

  4. Mo, you sound like a very generous and thoughtful person and you are making me feel bad that I do not do more for my friends, siblings, nieces, nephews, etc. I bet she will love the owl shirt and the gift receipt that goes along with it, just in case! Love the idea of face time shopping excursions – will have to try.

  5. I’ve gotten to the point where I really don’t like shopping for gifts because I worry whether or not I got the right thing–lately I have just been sticking with gift certificates and that seems to work just fine–everybody is happy!

  6. I hate to say it but unless it’s something the gift recipient has asked for, I tend to buy gift cards now (or give cash to kids). Once during a gift exchange, I was told exactly what to buy, bought it, only to discover that the kid already had it! Then the mom asked me to return it and get something else. Never again. Gift cards or cash for kids. Period.

  7. You sell yourself way short. 90% of the time you are A+++.

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