I am just going to be upfront about this, I am a horrible gift giver.
If it really is the thought that counts then I'm not too shabby but if it is the actual gift? Horrible.
Especially when it comes to my parents. They're good people. They are great gift givers. And all they really want from life are gift cards to Sizzler. Truly. Going out to dinner makes them happy. But the thing is...how lame and unthoughtful is it to give your parents a gift card to Sizzler every. single. year?
So I conjure, imagine, think, stew, meditate. And I come up with really great ideas! Like the year I gave my dad, whose back has hurt for his entire life, a certificate for a massage. See? Thoughtful! Useful! Non-generic.
He never got the massage. (I got one by the way and it was hands down the creepiest thing I have ever done....."disrobe to your level of comfort" ....psh...another post for another day). The certificate expired, and my twenty five bucks was as good as flushed down the proverbial toilet.
He would have been much happier enjoying steak and all you can eat shrimp. Twice!
Then in 2007 Bentley was born. Both of my parents came out to visit. We had a grand ol' time watching "Everybody Loves Raymond" together. My parents laughed, my dad genuinely enjoyed himself (you don't realize how amazing it is for my dad to enjoy a movie...or at least admit to enjoying a movie). So... a few months later... an entire season of Everybody Loves Raymond was shipped to their house for Christmas. Upon visiting them the next Christmas, a full YEAR later....the Raymond Season was still in its shrink wrap, tucked on the movie shelf, dusty, unloved.
There goes that $30.
So what's a person to do? My most successful gift was when, on his fiftieth birthday, I gave him a cane with a horn and a rearview mirror. It got some good laughs and use for that day. Same thing with the time I got him a "Bop It".
But come on! My parents have done a lot for me. I really want to show them how much I appreciate them and how much I love them. And I want to do it for about fifty bucks. So I can't buy them a cruise. Or their own Sizzler franchise.
Do I give in? Do I give them a Sizzler gift certificate?