Not so Random Thursday — the MIL Birthday Conundrum

Tuesday was random enough for the weekly requirement, so I’m breaking with ‘tradition’ to ask you all for help—even those of you who reached this site by googling cider recipes and newborn panda photos.*

Here goes:

What are my husband and I going to get my mother-in-law for her eighty-fourth birthday?

We’re already taking her out to dinner so I don’t have to figure out how to make chicken Marsala and we’re picking up pumpkin and/or cinnamon ice cream on the way home.  But we want to give her something to unwrap, too.  The kids are probably going to get her a mug with a version of Grandma is the Best on it, but the adults are fresh out of ideas.

She crochets, but isn’t interested in fancy yarn and has four spares of her favorite crochet hooks.

She loves the Cadfael mystery books and owns the entire set in paperback—maybe a set of the DVDs with Derek Jacobi?**

She loves to bake.

She’s a Cubs fan, but has a cap already.

She isn’t big on spa days.

She doesn’t drink.

She doesn’t wear t-shirts with pithy sayings.

She has “all the jewelry I need,” doesn’t have an inch a space for more artwork or family photos, and doesn’t listen to music much—nor does she go within three feet of any electronics more advanced than her cell phone, of which she is not fond.

She likes crossword puzzles, but we gave her a set of books and a dictionary last Christmas.

We have one week to figure it out.



*The one time I went for cute over content and it’s the third most popular post since I started.

**By which I mean starring Sir Derek Jacobi.  I doubt I could afford to have him hand-deliver the set, as marvelous a present as that might be . . .

12 thoughts on “Not so Random Thursday — the MIL Birthday Conundrum

  1. She loves to bake? Get her a beautiful cast-iron bundt pan from Williams Sonoma. Or a set of sparkling sugars to use for her cookies. Or a lovely ceramic pie pan and a bag of pie weights. (I could go on and on. Get thee to a Williams Sonoma.)

    • I was thinking along the baking lines too. If you have time, why not make a gift basket? pretty cupcake cases, cookie cutters, some fancy chocolate chips, little bottles of essence and colourings. Okay, I’ve got nothing else – I don’t bake – but you get the idea 🙂

    • Great ideas!

      She has the entire range of cast iron cookware (she’s a Southern lady), but pie weights might be just the thing. Averil. . . We don’t have a Williams Sonoma here, but they have a website.

      And maybe I can get some stuff from the Penzy’s catalog, too, Sarah.

    • I’m sure we’d all appreciate that!

      The closest place that offers classes is across the river, and my MIL doesn’t drive on the highway. so I’ll have to check my husband’s schedule!

  2. Audio books? To listen to while she’s baking?

    Downton Abbey DVD set? (if out yet)

    Don’t know the mystery series you are speaking of, but PD James is great for mysteries – maybe she’d get a kick out of reading something by someone older than her??? PD James is 91. Last year I listened to her grill the Director General of the BBC when she was guest editor of a radio program and interviewed him. She had him on the hop about budget cuts, fat cat salaries. It was awesome. She rocks.

    • I’ll have to subtly ask her about audiobooks—I don’t know if she likes them. I’ve heard of Downtown Abbey . . . I’ll do some research.

      I did ask her if she liked PD James, and she said that they were a tad violent for her. But you gave me an idea—there’s a series somewhere about a medieval nun who solves mysteries in Italy (Cadfael is a monk in medieval England, near Wales). Maybe she’ll like those?

    • Not sure about my MIL, but you’ve found the perfect Christmas present for my mother! Do you know how long that usually takes me each year? 🙂

      Even with the hour I just spend exploring Uncommon Goods, I’m still coming out ahead on time—thanks, Lyra!

      • This store is my go-to for that person. Every time and the stuff is just neat. I love too the fact that many of the things you’re buying directly from the artisan.

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