Mum 2 Mum: Gifts

Dad 101 and I have been together for over 11 years now. Very early on in our relationship I established a rule – practical things, like kitchen appliances or home renovation paraphernalia, are not suitable spousal gifts for birthdays, Christmas, anniversaries or any other personal or family celebration.

In my experience, men can be rather practical when it comes to choosing presents. But maybe it is just me. After all I grew up with a wonderful father who tried hard when it came to choosing gifts for my Mum. He really did. But I think the year he bought her a car aerial for her birthday or Christmas (I can’t remember which now) is a perfect example of why I felt the need to put the ‘rule’ in place 😉  (Oh, and just so you know, he has redeemed himself many years later by buying my lucky Mum an iPad!)

However, this year I decided that rules were made for breaking. I asked Dad 101 to buy me a knife and a frying pan for Mothers Day. A knife as I was tired of trying to prepare dinner every night with knives that were incapable of cutting through butter and a frying pan because our old one’s non stick surface was so degraded that I was sure it was a threat to our health. After a lot of reassurance that it really was what I wanted, I got my wish and two very practical gifts were graciously received and they make all the difference to the dinner prep I loathe so much. Maybe I was wrong? Maybe practical gifts aren’t so bad after all?

What do you think? Do you have any gift giving rules with your spouse? What is the funniest gift you have ever received from your partner?

P.S. Dad 101 – if you are reading this, no, this does not mean that I want a lawnmower for Christmas!

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  1. My dad bought my mum a whipper snipper for her birthday one year and he couldn’t understand why she wasn’t thrilled!?

    I’m all for practical gifts and even no gifts at all. Daddy Eco and I are pretty slack when it comes to gifts, but at least both of us aren’t fussed.

  2. I agree with the no practical gifts unless specifically asked for. My husband is actually good at gifts. He and the kids often buy me jewellery at Christmas – I am often amazed by how right he gets it.

    I am big on taking the time to buy each other a gift, even a little one, as I want our kids to realise that we appreciate and think about each other.

  3. My aunt has the same rule in her house and I always thought it was kind of bizarre. I mean, if that’s what you want, then why does it matter if it’s practical or house based? I have, in the past, received great practical gifts for birthdays and Christmases, things like a very expensive cast iron pot, or luxurious new sheets or towels. I would much rather receive gifts that I know will be used and enjoyed than yet another pair of earrings to sit in a box hidden away. But now that I’m getting older and our renovations take every spare cent we have, I can appreciate the desire for nice “me” things like a new perfume or a massage voucher. Still practical, I think, but not so impersonal.

  4. I only want practical things. I am sort of a minimalist I suppose, don’t like clutter or frivolous unused things lying about so practical gifts for me are the absolute way to go…beautiful and well-designed practical things.

  5. My husband skirts the border of practicality and a “proper gift” and was on slippery ground one year with the Wii Fit (although I had expressed an interest) … but for my most recent birthday managed perfume (and I liked it). What bothers me most is that in the reverse situation, he never seems to fully appreciate the thought that’s gone into the non-practical gifts I give him and probably he would have been happier with a lawnmower!

  6. It’s usually flowers or a trip somewhere. We have too much stuff and don’t need anything else.

  7. I must think like a man since I want practical things. The top of my list is anything new and shiny for my kitchen, I see that as eye candy. For Mother’s day last year I received a dishwasher, most would see this as a huge no-no but I was thrilled. Don’t get me wrong I would love to get something pretty to wear, but the only jewelry I really wear is my wedding ring, that’s all I need. I rather spend the day with my loved ones then be showered in presents I can’t use.

  8. I love getting stuff for my kitchen for Christmas/birthday. My hubby has gotten me a new set of knives, and, per my request, a dutch oven (which I never would have spent the money on) and a new set of cookware. I enjoy cooking, so I don’t look at these as practical gifts.

    FTR, I wouldn’t turn away any jewelry. 😉

  9. I remember the year my dad bought my mom an electric knife for Christmas. You can imagine how that went over! Haha.

    Along the same lines, my uncle (a terrible gift giver, he is just clueless) bought his fiance a laminator for Christmas last year. I’m pretty sure she questioned whether or not he was marriage material in that moment. 🙂

    I’m a practical no-frills kind of person. I also find that even if it’s practical, sometimes I will put off buying whatever it is – so sometimes those make the best gifts in our house. If it’s going to be well used, it’s worth the investment. Though I’ve never been given an electric knife for a gift, so maybe it takes a gesture like that for me to understand.

  10. I can’t think of the funniest gift my husband has given me (I’m sure there has been plenty) but we do give practical gifts. We find gift giving tricky cause we believe we have all that we need or really want (except for clothes and I don’t trust him to buy me those). Practical gifts for the kitchen are PERFECT for this mummy with a passion for baking. Gifts from my that’s another thing! My birthday always seems to fall after their return from a grey nomads trip somewhere in Australia. Gotta love tacky tourist souveniers!!

  11. Don’t have a problem with practical gifts, I have been known to drool and hug a pressure cooker and slide all over a washing machine like Kim Basinger on a piano!
    I do like experiences though. Something that creates a memory that lives so much longer than a meaningless gift – special. In 17 years of marriage, I have only received 3 gifts from hubby that have been wrapped, which means when I receive a wrapped gift, it gets stroked, fondled and treasured, no matter what’s inside. Must admit though he’s hit the nail on the head every time in the past few years . . . . now looking (very much) forward to my birthday in a few weeks 🙂

  12. I like practical gifts when but my husband wants to “treat” me with things like flowers, teddy bears, jewerly and chocolate covered strawberries. While these things are nice to me they’re easy. I’d rather he put more thought into gift giving and give me something I want, need or could use. It’s something he doesn’t seem to understand and has fallen into that societal expectation that practical gifts are inappropriate. I would have loved for my husband to give me a Wii Fit. One year for my birthday he gave me a set of good knives – I love them and think of him and thank him whenever I use them which is multiple times a day! I do understand where he comes from in gift giving though. H really just wants to spoil me.

  13. I’m a Books & Bunnings sort of a gal, with a fetish for DVD’s. I welcome most things practical. When #4 son nicknamed the Troll these days (because he lives in his cave/bedroom & only comes out for numerous visits to the pantry) was 5, he suggested to get me a drill for Mothers day, the rest of the clan were aghast but went ahead his suggestion anyway. Nothing could go worse than the toilet set dad had brought for my last birthday.
    I was so excited to get a drill! Have drill can do anything is my motto!
    From then on Troll became the master & commander of gift giving in our family. 10 years on, with each approaching birthday, Xmas or any occasion, I have to chuckle as I see each one of my troupe entering his cave one by one to seek his wise council on all things gift giving.
    He definitely has a natural gift, though it surprises me how on earth does he know where to get the items when he would have to be almost comotose to get him to go shopping in the first place?

  14. My husband buys me the same thing nearly every birthday, and most christmas’! Cookbook, lingerie & earrings …. I am abit over it now and tell him what I want. We are abit spoilt and tend to buy what we want when we want it, so it does make birthdays & christmas harder when they do come around. We arnt fussed with gifts, tho it is nice to receive a surprise. Most of the thoughtful presents I have brought him are still sitting untouched (he has a thing for coffee table books) and even the digital photo frame which he specifically requested for his desk at work is still in the box – 2 years later!! Now we have kids tho, its nice to make more of an effort as I want them to learn the art of giving and receiving, I think it is important for them to learn that.

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