One of my guiding gift giving principles is: never give an unwanted gift. Early on in our relationship I had to convince Marisa that it was far better if she gave me a list of things she wanted for a relevant occasion from which I could select instead of relying on me somehow divining that which she desired.
Now, I do, in addition to the approved list, add items that are surprises since I know that’s a key part of the excitement around getting a gift. I just know the blow of a bad gift is soften if it is accompanied by sure fire hits.
Given today is Mother’s Day you’re probably assuming that we (me and the boys… but they didn’t pay for a darn thing!) got Marisa some gifts, and you’d be right. She provided a list, and some of those items were waiting for her on the table when she woke up (unwrapped because A. gift wrapping is a scam to fleece you of money. B. She already knew what they were so what’s the point of putting me through the torture of trying to gift wrap a backpack?).
In addition to the approved gifts I added another one, which was wrapped in a lovely white box (done by the store, I should point out). This box contained a necklace that I was pretty sure Marisa would like.
That covers the tangible gifts, but I also gave Marisa the gift of sleeping in. I woke up with the boys and handled their morning needs. This also gave me time to get them to “sign” a card, teach them to say “Happy Mother’s Day” (which they did over and over throughout the day), and make them some subpar pancakes (I have made pancakes in over a decade).
One thing you need to know about my sons is that nothing excites them more than the arrival of an unopened package. In their little minds any package that comes to the house is filled with Thomas trains. This gets them very excited.
How do I know this? Because whenever a package arrives it goes something like:
Scott walks in with a package.
“What’s in the box, dada,” asks Sammy.
“Oh, don’t get too excited. It is a new filter for the air purifier in your room,” Scott answers.
Sammy starts dancing in a circle and says, “I’m very excited! Open the box!”
When they saw the white box sitting on the table Declan wanted to know what it was. I told him that it was a necklace for mamma. He absorbed the information and didn’t seem impressed as he returned to his pancake.
Marisa wake up and joined us in the living room. I had the boys hand her the approved presents and then I handed the white box to Declan and whispered to him, “give this to mamma.”
He took the box, ran over to Marisa and shouted “it’s a necklace” as he threw the box at her.
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!