Gift Wars

by Eleanor on February 11, 2010 · 11 comments

My husband ‘M’, the lucky bugger, has been sent to Vegas twice in the last two years for work conferences.  The first time he went was when our son ‘A’ was tiny and he returned after his three days away from us laden with exciting-looking gifts.

A gorgeous and funky Paul Frank game for ‘A’

A pair of Small Paul trousers for ‘A’

A Small Paul cowboy style shirt for ‘A’

I ooh-ed and ahh-ed and patiently waited for something to appear for me, perhaps a handbag from the Bellagio, or a nice pair of shoes from the Venetian or even something from the Paul Frank store where ‘M’ had obviously spent a ton of time and money. But no, at the end of the gift-giving ceremony I was handed a pair of disposable hotel slippers and an emergency toilet roll pilfered from the Wynn, where ‘M’ had been staying. I thought about the vintage shirt and funky jacket and tacky dice that I’d carefully bought for ‘M’ when I’d been to Vegas a few years before and I thought to myself, ‘well, it’s okay, our son is more important and I’m glad that he got gifts’.

No I didn’t, I thought “That’s it….this is war”.

We have a long and torrid history of giving inappropriate gifts, starting with the Valentine’s card that I made for M before we even got together. He’d been over to my house and had fallen in love with my two kittens, so for some reason (that appears to have escaped me now), I made him a card using teeny heart-shaped cat treats glued onto a card in a big heart. I slipped it into his locker at work, not knowing that he’d gone away for a week. When he finally returned and opened his rusty locker door, he almost passed-out from the stench of rotting cat treats, which incidentally never quite went away.

Fast-forward to a few years later and imagine how excited I was when I found that one of my birthday presents was the Vice Magazine’s Guide to Sex, Drugs, Rock n Roll- a notoriously male publication which he ended up reading cover to cover. Then there was ‘M’s most recent return from Vegas when I was presented with a hair drying wrap as my gift. It actually turned out to be a pretty useful present, but my initial reaction was that he’d grabbed it at the airport as an afterthought. And if we’re being honest here, I only started using it myself after I saw how well it worked on his hair.

Whenever I fail to react with glee when I open something, ‘M’ likes to remind me of the time I bought him a cheese grater for his birthday. And I can’t deny it- I did, but it was a top-of-the-range parmesan table-top grater from England, and ‘M’ really likes to cook, so I thought that was okay.  Or the time I bought him socks for Valentine’s or kitchen scales for Christmas.

With this year’s Valentine’s approaching fast, I’ve been thinking about gifts and I realized that the top three things on my wish list don’t come in a box with a ribbon on top….#3 some free time, #2 sleep, and #1 some cleaning! Yes….the most romantic thing I could think of being given this Valentine’s would be the gift of a clean house. Sigh.

What about you? Do you have any funny, ultra romantic or amazingly weird gift story? What’s the best gift you could get this Valentine’s Day? Tell us about it comment box below and you’ll be entered into my blog’s Valentine Day draw. You could win a beautiful ceramic necklace from everydaymary, a local artist and new blogger. Check out her blog and etsy store to see samples of her artwork and to read about how this mother of four finds time to be creative.

Winner of the necklace will be picked on Monday 15th Feb and announced in this blog.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Connie February 11, 2010 at 11:32 pm

The best Valentine’s Day gifts I have been able to partake in have been 1)telling our family in 2009 that in spite of a long fight with cancer, we were expecting not one but two babies in July ’09, and 2)having those two blessings in our lives for Valentine’s Day ’10 and all the years to come.

Ruth February 12, 2010 at 12:19 am

After the birth of my first child my husband went out to the drugstore and came back with some flowers, magazines & a big box containing a Sitz Bath! He’d heard the nurses telling me to soak my stitches when I got home & thought that it would be a very helpful gift. Practical – yes. Completely unromantic – no! We recently found it down in our garage and I was bugging him about how this was the gift he gave me after I spent hours in labour to give him his first child & he still didn’t get it! I have since forgiven him though & do know that he really was trying but just didn’t quite get it 🙂

Penny February 12, 2010 at 10:31 am

I think the cards my husband gives to me for Valentine’s Day are the best presents . It’s obvious to me that he spends a lot of time choosing them and even more time writing a beautiful message about his love for me. The cards and loving words are priceless to me.

Duffsmum February 14, 2010 at 4:44 pm

I got a cold. Sniffles sneezes sore throat and coughing. Not to mention I am pregnant so I can’t take anything to make it even bareable. 🙁

Tanya February 14, 2010 at 5:02 pm

This year I got…. wait for it….a rock climbing gift certificate. seriously. a lesson and weeks membership at craig X.
At first I thought…seriously? These were not the kind of rocks I was hoping for!!!! But then he explained, He wanted us to spend time together , learning something new and having fun. We are so busy with kids and life that we forget that we once had fun by ourselves. So we are going to send the kids to grandmas and go climb up a wall together!

Kwyn February 14, 2010 at 8:57 pm

This Valentines day I got to spend a great day with my family. We went swimming and bike riding. As for gift…my husband didn’t manage to get me anything but we did spend a great day in the sun (and pool!)

jessicaisinvic February 14, 2010 at 11:47 pm

This year my partner surprised me with a shopping spree downtown and a night out! He didn’t tell me where we were going, just drove us downtown and we went spending crazy! We picked out some things for each other, as well as for ourselves. After our spree we went to Cactus Club for drinks and appies and then we went out dancing. It was a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Nicole February 14, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Well this year we have a new baby in the mix and insteid of getting chocolates,flowers and a card picked out in a hurry I got to sleep in late.. have 3 loads of laurndrey done folded and put away,dishes,vacuming,he even mopped the kitchen floor and took the older 2 out for 3 hours where I could soke in the tub and read my book while baby slept it was heaven!

Eleanor February 15, 2010 at 11:28 am

And the winner is……Tanya!
Congratulations- you get the lovely necklace from everydaymary. You can email me directly on here- user name Eleanor, or at my Swings and Roundabouts email,

Thanks to all who left comments.

Connie February 15, 2010 at 11:53 am


Tanya February 24, 2010 at 12:08 am

I just found this out today! YAY

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