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Ok, holy world of wise and intelligent blogocraticspherites. I’ve given my share of unsolicited advice, supportive noncommittal comments, backhanded compliments and answers backed by absolutely no research whatsoever. Now it’s time for me to reap something in return.

What do I get my parents for Christmas?

They have everything they could possibly want. My mother hates flowers, and I already get my father a box of cigars every month. Last year I got them a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton over on Amelia Island so they could stay the weekend, play tennis, and have fun, and they liked that, but I don’t want to duplicate that gift. My mother buys what she wants when she wants it, and my father doesn’t want anything.

I’m pulling my hair out, blogophiles! And it’s getting a bit thin on top, so I can’t afford to pull any of it out.

I have one week. And I need your help.

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81 Replies to “Help!”

  1. GeorgeH

    I have the same problem.
    For my father, it’s a case of a very nice Bordeaux or a bottle of really old Port.

    Fortunately mom likes flowers, but last year I made a big hit with an electronic frame that I had loaded with family pictures, since she has long passed the point of having any place to keep all of them out at once.

  2. Y2K Survivor

    Top 10 Things Adam Should Give To His Parents for Christmas (in reverse order)

    1. Grandchildren
    2. cordless power tools
    3. Give them Britt for a week or two
    4. Tell them you want to covert and become a Jew, then change your mind for the Catholic Christmas!
    5.more grandchildren
    6. Have you seen that cell phone ad where the girl got a pony?
    7. Burn a DVD of 2 girls and a cup
    9. a DVR
    10. Give them their own blog!

  3. MsFreud

    This may sound dumb- but dig deep into that head of memories and think of something from WAY back… for me- I broke a piece of crystal when I was like 10 of my moms. A piece of Princess House led crystal. Last year, I found that identical piece and gave it to her.

    As parents generally have everything- make is something small and inexpensive and something that reminds them of your childhood… Or tell them you are giving them a grandchild for Thanksgiving next year.

  4. Dan

    Theatre tickets if they are into that sort of thing.

    Magazine / cable TV subscriptions.

    The new Dr Who box set is out so you could give them that. If they don’t like it then they can always send it me.

  5. The Absurdist

    Do like my ex-husband’s dad did for him; buy him one of those FUGLY turtle lamps. haha.

    No, really:

    Whenever I have to buy stuff for the person that “has it all”, I buy them “services” instead. Much like you sent them on a trip instead of buying them some “thing”.

    Get your mother a spa package, one of those really nice all day ones.

    Put together a deep sea fishing package for you and your dad to go on together.

  6. Geeky Tai-Tai

    The above suggestions would be why I asked about your parents’ hobbies (tennis, golf, fishing, smoking, drinking, dancing, whatever). My younger sister has a son your age. So no, not everyone who has a 30-year old son is as old as the hills (just to be clear). My mom is 67 and my dad 71. So, yeah, us old folks still love some lovin’! :sex023:

  7. Lin

    Overthrow a small country (start small when it comes to coups). Then re-name it Avitableopolis. Present the head of the dethroned ruler to your parents on Christmas day. Seriously, I’m sure they don’t have their own country. :xmas4:

  8. ADW

    I love Amelia Island – it’s super close to where my parents live. Fernandina Beach is great as well…

    If they liked that, why don’t you do it again but send them somewhere else fun. Like the dark side of the moon, or the pot at the end of the rainbow, or a nudist colony. That last one is perfect since YOU are their child and are always nekkid, I am sure it will work….

  9. themuttprincess

    A vacation is always nice (it is always just the right size). Somewhere warm. (like Florida)

    Maybe a cruise.

    Or perhaps just a surprise visit from you.

    I like the puppy idea.

    Send them the fruit of the month club, or wine of the month club or anything else of the month club you think they would like.

  10. Coal Miner's Granddaughter

    Hmmmm, you could get them a week-long scuba diving trip to Bonaire… wait, that’s what I want. Dang!

    I agree with the services bit. Spa, year’s worth of oil changes, playboy channel subscription, movie tickets, Starbucks card, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Are they into good food? I know there are vineyards in Cali that have inns and cooking classes, etc. That might be a good vacation. Wine country, relaxation, getting tanked on good wine, etc.

    Have a well-known local chef come into their home and cook a gourmet meal?

    That’s all I’ve got. I’m spent. Time to pull the twins apart!

  11. Clown

    Go to an abortion clinic (or prom) and retrieve a fetus. Put it in a plastic Publix bag with a big bow on top. Make sure to give it a name and write “Grandma and Grandpa” on the card.

    If that’s too much effort you could get them oven mitts. Everybody loves oven mitts.

  12. Avitable

    Jeff, that was my dad’s birthday present.

    Amanda, and here I thought you were smart.

    Sheila, that’s something that I think would be nice, but unfortunately, I don’t have time. I’m saving that idea for next year, though.

    RW, what’s “too long”? A week?

    Preposterous Ponderings, I try to avoid gift certificates if I can.

    GeorgeH, my dad sticks to beer. That electronic frame is a good idea, though.

    Brandon, I already ordered some. We’re eating it with Christmas dinner.

    Y2K, now you sound like my parents!

    Geeky, tennis. My dad also like cigars, and my mom likes to shoot.

    MsFreud, my mother hates nostalgic gifts.

    Jester, you are a genius.

    Dan, I was goign to try to get them a DVR so they could record shows, but they don’t want one. And I think they’d love to send you the Dr. Who box set.

    Mr. Fabulous, only if you’re going to grace them with grandchildren sometime soon.

    Absurdist, my mother hates the spa. I tried that one year. And I don’t have time to go deep sea fishing. I’m still thinking of other services, though.

    Boy Blunder, you want to be a family member, too?

    Geeky, I know you’re not as old as the hills yet!

    Lin, I think I might just have to do that. You win for best suggestion.

    ADW, my parents don’t believe in nudity.

    Robin, yeah, one year I did that. She refused to use it.

    Turnbaby, I’m in the south. Incest is ok.

    Trish, the Saint Augustine B&B idea is a good one. They would probably like that.

    Luaren, I don’t think they’d like to go for more than a day.

    NYCWD, that’s what I keep telling them when we talk about their granddog.

    TMP, well, they live in Florida. A surprise visit from me might be nice. How do I wrap that?

    Poppy, what’s your obnoxious idea?

    CMG, they don’t even go to the movies. They are totally beer, meat and potatoes, and into simple things.

    Sarcastica, that’s a good idea!

    Clown, I did that for Father’s Day last year.

    Britt, finally. Best. Christmas. Ever.

  13. Tug

    Maid service for a month or year? Beers from around the world? We’re getting my dad a bike this year (he’s riding a hand-me-down from when WE were young) & mom get’s a computer upgrade & digital picture frame.

  14. Y2K Survivor

    OK I think I have it! Do one of those charity things where you adopt a starving kid in a another country and pay them to stay over there and starve, but journal the experience to make the contributor feel better. And buy… I mean adopt the kid in your parent’s name so he sends them the journal of his starving to death while some white missionaries beat the fuck out him for his daily correspondence.

    The big bonus for YOU is you can constantly point out how you are so much more successful than your adopted sibling. You can buy a case of beer, show up at Mom and Dad’s house and when things grow uncomfortable about grandkids… point out how their last kid turned out to be such a loser and how you plan on learning from their mistakes.

    p.s. would this same plan work if they adopted Fabby?

  15. Amy

    Why don’t you just do what you did last year, but send them somewhere else? Then you can make it a tradition every year that they get a trip/stay somewhere different.

    That’s kind of cool and tradition is nice.

    OK OR…

    Go to the park, take some cute pics of some kids playing (try not to get arrested) frame the pics and give those to them… since you don’t have enough time (before Christmas)to have kids of your own and give them pics of grandkids.

    Just a thought.

  16. hellohahanarf

    i’m all about pick a charity that has some kind of family meaning and make a donation in their name. last year folks got donations to the women’s homeless shelter (where an aunt works and i used to volunteer) and the hospice facility that helped with my mom. great organizations who could use the money a lot more than my family could use another trinket.

    although i do love the idea of sending them on a new mini vacation a year.

    then again, if you adopt me i could be the grandchild they want! well, maybe not exactly the one the want, but it is a start.

  17. Avitable

    Britt, selfish fucker.

    CMG, ooh – good thinking!

    Tug, they already have a housecleaner, they only like Bud Light, and I’m not sure what they do all day long on their days off.

    Poppy, what is it?

    Metalmom, well, they’re under 55, so they’re not “old folks” quite yet.

    Karen, no wine. Grandchildren is something they’d love. Maybe when I’m ready to ruin my life, I’ll give them grandkids as a gift.

    Sarcastica, yeah, the scrapbook idea is a good one.

    Y2K, it would totally work if they adopted Fab too.

    Amy, yeah, I might do that, but I want to keep it under $400 if I can this year. And I like your second idea much better, but I already have my own private pictures of kids at parks I can use.

    Hello, my parents put as much stock in charities as I do. That is to mean none.

    Sheila, that might be a good idea.

  18. RaeJane

    for my FIL we’ve gotten things like Omaha Steaks, beer of the month, wine of the month…

    For MIL – anything with photos. They have digital photo key chains, even.
    We’ve also gotten her things like diaries “the Story of Us” so she can recount her days with your dad, and journals on the types of wine she’s drank(I have that oe myself), books she’s read… It’s a nice idea if she’s that type of person. They are also neat things to pass on to grandkids if ever there are any 🙂

  19. MyWeeWorld

    Damn it, I tried to leave a comment and then I hit some button on my computer and I don’t know what happened. Technical retard.

    Anyway, what I said was no granchildren because kids suck.

    Also, I’m a fan of the sex toys idea. You could get them a sex swing. Or you could say, “Mom, we know you let Dad stick it up your ass” while handing her a giant butt plug. Or you could give them Poppy for a day or two.

    I really hope this doesn’t show up twice or I’m going to feel like a bigger dumbass than usual.

  20. Avitable

    Poppy, no, that’s what I want for Christmas.

    Liquid, the weekend away went well. The reverse painting did, too, but that was just for my mother.

    Robin, my dad likes doing it himself.

    TMP, haha – so clever!

    RaeJane, my parents don’t want photos of us, I don’t think. I should find that out.

    MyWeeWorld, did you just call Poppy a butt plug?

    Tug, ha!

    MyWeeWorld, :2girls:

  21. Nina

    If you want to get serious, write them letters. My brother and I did that recently for my dad and he can’t stop talking about it. I drew a picture of him on mine and he blew it up and put it on the fridge.

    If you want to get all consumer-y, you could get them a gift card to do something together – something they would not ordinarily try – a restaurant or a spa or – my cousins bought their parents binoculars and a membership to a bird watching club. In other words, give them something but help them discover something new to like. (Perhaps not bird watching, but…. you see the point. )

    But seriously, if they are sentimental, draw them pictures. And write them stuff about how they are awesome. That went over big at my house.

  22. Poppy

    Gwen’s suggestions made me laugh. Pick hers! I have cooked mac and cheese you can use for the art1 Makes it extra squishy. Will send to you via slow boat mail so it’s extra moldy when it arrives.

  23. Amanda

    my favorite suggestions so far are macaroni art or giving them a country after your coup.

    Omaha steaks? everyone loves steak, right?

    Do they like music? You could get an Ipod docking station if they don’t have one, mike’s grandparents love their’s because its easy. or an Ipod to go with it if they don’t have one.

    monogrammed beer glasses?$$%2Frecipient%2Ffor+father%2Fnew+%2B+favorites@@30$$-12036@@35$$12036&catOid=-12036&oid=25064847&nc2=1)

  24. Avitable

    Poppy, common decency? On my blog?

    Kay, ha!

    Peggy, I see how it is. So you only come here because of Fab. *sniff*

    Nina, unfortunately, my parents are not sentimental, although that sounds like a good idea for parents that would be.

    Gwen, double ha!

    Poppy, I’m going to have to start charging you rent.

    Sybil Law, my parents hate massages. Seriously.

    Amanda, the Omaha steaks and monogrammed glasses ideas are awesome. I only wish I had asked you two weeks ago!

  25. Amber

    I know it would require thought and effort on your part… as well as time, which you don’t have much of. But I believe that under the cynical, sarcastically, funny facade of Avitable, beats a heart that loves his family.

    So… maybe this year, instead of giving them more crap they’re not going to need or probably even use and be reminded of how much they really don’t need your present. Why don’t you write them a letter sharing your favorite memories from childhood. Things to bring a laugh, bring a tear, a hearty clap on the back from your dad, an embarassed blush to your mom’s cheek. In effect… give them a piece of you. The real Avitable that loves his family. And by doing so, remind them of everything they have had… of the most important thing they did (raising you, of course) and what they still have. A family that loves one another.

    I’m just sayin…


    Look! I’m excited –> :boobs3:

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