There have been a lot of negative things going on in my life in the past couple of years (husband's job loss, two deaths in the family, a car accident that totaled our car, etc.!).
So as Christmas approached last month, my mom was asking me for a list of what gifts I might like. There's a great hotel in Door County, WI that we like (it has condo-like rooms with a full kitchen, so that helps really cut the cost of food while we're there, since we don't have to eat out a lot!).
After all the stress of the past couple years, what I REALLY wanted was a break, and some quality family time! But money has been tight, so a vacation has seemed out of the question. Since my parents, aunt and sister usually all buy Christmas gifts for me, I asked if they'd all consider chipping in towards a gift certificate for the hotel in Door County, rather than buying me separate gifts.
To my delight, I opened an envelope on Christmas with a gift certificate good for one night's stay! We'll have to save up for gas money to travel there, etc., but now a mini vacation seems a lot more within our reach! The point of all this is--if you have a special occasion coming up (birthday, holiday, etc.), you know that a group of people will be buying gifts for you and they ask you what you want, consider asking them to go in together on a gift card/certificate.
Maybe there's a class you've been wanting to take, a restaurant that you've wanted to eat at, a museum or other attraction whose admission price is a little too much for you. It doesn't hurt to ask! I'm sure your relatives or friends would be delighted to know that their gift was for something you really wanted and will enjoy!
By Lisa from Kenosha, WI
I always buy my niece and her family a zoo membership to the Pittsburgh Zoo. I did it one year, and I called her Mom the next year to see what the boys wanted for their birthdays, and my sis in law told me my niece had said "I hope Aunt Sandy buys us that Zoo membership again. So I did LOL it is nice to know your gift was really appreciated.
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