My mother in law is a notoriously difficult gift receiver. I never have a clue what to buy because she insists she has everything she needs, and she has 4 other children/families buying things for her on a continual basis. When Christmas comes around, this is one of my shopping stress points.
So in visiting her today, I thought we'd try a little recon. First, I went for the straight approach - asking her outright. She said she didn't want anything (as I anticipated - I am smrt like that). So I tried suggestions: clothes (no), shoes (no), kitchen things (no), towels (say it with me - no). No luck there.
The I sent in my closer: Sammy. I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. I knew he wouldn't have a good answer for me. My plan was to then use his grandmother as an example of how to answer the question, but he went one better: he deflected by asking ever so sweetly, "Meema, what do YOU want for Christmas?"
Ah, who can deny the sincerity of a grandchild?
Apparently, she can. She turned right around and asked me what I wanted, to which I could only cop to my own hypocrisy as I have no list in mind. Oh well. Gift cards all around.