Dec 11, 2014

The Grandma Gift Struggle -- What do you get an old-fashioned grandma?

I absolutely love my grandmother to death.  At 90 years of age she is still getting on the ladder to change her curtains bi-weekly, she's still walking the town to get her errands done, she really is sharp as a knife and she does whatever she can to help out me and my girls.  She is just a horrible person to shop for during the Holidays and for her birthday as well.  

Walking into her house is like walking into the 1960's.  She still has the same furniture that she had back then complete with the plastic covers that your legs stick to in the summer. (Ouch!)  She has a rotary phone, she doesn't have cable but still has the old television that has the dials to change channels/volume/power in the cabinet with the old speakers with only the channels that the antenna picks up.  Her and my (late) grandfather also slept in separate rooms -- sometimes my mom and I joke that my father had to have been adopted because there was no way they would have conceived him on their own.  I have to give her credit though, she cleans that house religiously and has made those appliances and furniture last so many years.  Her home is spotless and the cleanliness of that place and the fact that you can eat off her floors makes me very jealous.  

My mom and I have tried to get her to come into the 21st century.  Years ago we purchased a cordless phone, VHS player, an air conditioner and more current appliances; but most of them she turned away at delivery.  What she didn't turn away she stored away in her attic -- which honestly looks like a department store with the brand new boxes that she has up there.  We found this out last summer when we had a few yard sales.  Grandma called us and said she had some things that she wanted us to pick up for our yard sale, so we went over there to get them.  To our surprise, most of the presents that we had gotten her in the past 10-15 years, she had given back to us to sell at our yard sale.  Her motto is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."  She is so very set in her ways and figures that if her appliances still work, why update them?

Personally, I think a small cell phone would be ideal for her since she does venture off by herself to walk into town to do errands or go to church, but she refuses.  She doesn't understand cell phones and figures that she went 90 years without the need for one, why get one now?  We explain to her that we worry about her walking by herself, anything could happen, but she just tells us not to worry. She won't let us get her a computer, she won't let us get her cable, she won't let us give her anything that's modern; so what do we get her?

She always says that she doesn't want us to get her anything because she knows that we live from paycheck to paycheck, but I can't let a Holiday go by without getting her a gift.  My grandma has done so much for us and has gotten us out of many tight situations, I owe her my life.  There are only so many purses and pairs of pajamas you can buy someone who doesn't use anything you give to them! Before you guys say anything, I have tried giving her more personal gifts.  The last two years we've given her photo albums of the kids or beautiful frames with the kids photos in them.  What did she do with them? She gave them away to other family members. So now you can see my struggle with all of this!

I did get her one present that I think and hope she will use.  Every season I get a new Old Navy zipper up fleece.  I find them so comfortable and better to drive in than a regular ski jacket.  This year I got a black and gray leopard print one and I've used it almost every single day since I bought it.  Well, I drove my grandmother to the grocery store a few weeks back and she complimented me on it.  She said the pattern wasn't her style but she loved the jacket and said it looked so soft, comfortable and warm.  On Black Friday when Old Navy had their 50% off sale, I got her a medium pink zipper up fleece, since she liked mine.  Let's hope this present doesn't get returned back to us in a few years for another one of our yard sales!