Wednesday, April 13, 2011

HOW-TO GET that GIFT BASKET YOU WANT....Grandparent Alert!

Family in Our Home!  They were invited and they came.
Just what I wanted!!!
     A couple of years ago my husband and I forgot our daughters birthday. Yes, I know. We are very bad-bad people!  Our daughter is one of three siblings and their birthdays are happy occasions for us and always have been. I plan months ahead, buy gifts, and visualize the day they get their prize. But, on that one horrible occasion, we made our daughter cry! We forgot. Thankfully, our son-in-law gave us a heads up and we were able to at least redeem ourselves to a point.
     This particular incident made me take a good long look at what I was doing when I wanted  a gift basket or the perfect piece of jewelry.  I was shocked to find that I was setting the people I loved up to fail. And my family was learning from me. We positioned ourselves to be victims. Deep down in our hearts we suspected that no one loved us or we felt depressed and we lay that special occasion out as a test. The perfect gift from a clueless husband or the perfect recognition of our birthdays/accomplishments by our family didn't happen. Why? Because we set them up to fail. When the desired outcome failed to come, we decided that the people being tested didn't love us and we became the victim we picture. It could be that we liked the misery in some way.
     My daughter and I had a conversation the other day about that birthday. I told her we HAD NOT FORGOTTEN her birthday coming up later this month and her response was "Yes, it is going to be my birthday....I want a present!" She said you taught me: Don't be a victim! Then she told me to write a blog post about this subject.Thank you Susan for being the wonderful daughter you are. I am very grateful that you are still willing stick with me.

     I think that a lot of older people fall into the "self-imposed" victim category. As I travel around the web or listen to my friends, I find that they want something from their grandchildren and children but aren't willing to tell those people what it is they want.  Why do they do that? Maybe they don't realize what they are doing. I find myself saying don't be a victim!

  •  If you want to talk to your family on your birthday, don't wait all day for the call.  Get on the phone, say "it's my birthday" and sing happy birthday to yourself. Your family will laugh and your birthday will turn into a celebration laced with humor. You will have made your day special. Everyone is a winner.
  • If you want thank you cards sent through the mail, include the thank you card with the gift. Address that thank you postcard and include text on the back. Attach a "giggle" or two.They will love it and so will you!  The note could look like this:
Dear Grandma and Grandpa, 
Thank you for the ______________________. I think it is _________________. I will ______________ it when I _______________. I think you are____________________ when you send me present. 
I love you,  
PS. Please don't get old and cranky! I would not like that. 
I think you will be surprised when you get the "thank you" card back.  Don't be a victim!

  • If you want your children to come visit, invite them for dessert, dinner or even a coffee hour. They will come. Then in the allotted amount of time call and invite yourself to their house for coffee.  Don't stay too long.  If that is what you want, do it and do it today.  Most importantly, don't be a victim. Note: Don't save up a list of chores for them when they come. Give them a gift or a piece of candy.  Rewards will bring them back!  Chores won't!
  • If you want a GIFT BASKET for a gift, cut out a picture of the perfect basket and hand it to the poor clueless gift giver.
    The simple fact is we may actually enjoy being a victim.  A little self examination will tell you if that is so.  Our children and grandchildren are busy living. They lean less and less on us as they get mature.  We know in our hearts it is a good thing.  So, as we grow older, we need to carve out a little bit of "importance" in their lives. We continue to teach until the day we die.  Being the matriarch in a family, I know that I need to continue to teach my children/grandchildren to include us in their lives and to do it in ways that satisfy both our needs and theirs. But I will not be a victim of my own making! Never again!  Not ever!

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  1. After my 18th or 19th birthday I don't think my parents ever gave me a present on my actual birthday--I was abroad for my 21st so...They did give me cards and insisted on taking me out
    But they gave me trips, and more clothes than anybody could use. I loved the way my family did "just because" gifts. Even then I realized it was really much more meaningful. But times are so different now, and it makes me sad I might not be able to continue the "just because" tradition with my nice and goddaughter.

  2. I love this! I know I'm guilty of making myself the victim, just because I don't want to ask, I'd like them to just KNOW. I especially like the "thank you" suggestions, as that's one I've been a little frustrated with of late.

    Great ideas!

  3. Pia, a "just because" gift can be so small. My friends and I do this al the time. The money is not important!

    Lisa...Should be go into business creating cards with blanks for people that don't "have a clue". :)


  4. b.... Thanks for reading my blog... I so enjoy yours! I only hope to be as professional EP

  5. I love the thank you card idea. I will make some up for my mother for next Christmas. She always gives a lovely check to all of the grandchildren and simply would like to know what they got for themselves!

  6. I think the thank you note idea was the best too. I plan on printing some up on my computer in the form of a postcard already addressed and with postage.

    But I will tell, you being specific about the gift you want will be a great easer of tensions on the big gift day. Really no husband or child wants to get it wrong! Cut out those pictures!


  7. "Deep down in our hearts we suspected that no one loved us or we felt depressed and we lay that special occasion out as a test." This statement really resonated with me. Also, for me, part of it is that I don't feel that I should need gifts or a fuss made over me. But, like most people, I really want those things. So I send major mixed messages.

  8. Dear Susan, See that is what I am talking about. If seniors want to be valued by younger people then we need to value ourselves. We do need fussing over and a small gift doesn't hurt either.

    I am coming to believe that young people see the "self sacrifice" as abandoning them and their offerings of love. We don't want that. We want to remain a vital, interesting and useful part of their lives. But if we don't speak up then we might as well post a message on a t-shirt that says I AM A VICTIM! FORGET ME!



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