Excerpt from Mother-in-law Daughter-in-law Dilemma
Jun 1st, 2012 | By Pam Reynolds | Category: Recommended List
By Pamela Reynolds –
Holiday gift giving can set off a nightmare. Gifts may propose affection. Gifts can be those effects we receive but don’t really need. They might have been presumed to be unique. Most often the gifts we might select for ourselves, is perhaps never the gift we receive. In most cases, we are certain to be disappointed. It is imperative that we realize these were gifts and not something we chose. Thinking of gifts as contemplated abstract ideas may alleviate dissatisfaction. It is feasible that our gifts to others are as much of a disappointment to the receiver as their gifts were to us. Most often people purchase items they themselves would value. Perchance what we cherish is not what another treasures.
Studies suggest some daughters-in-law refuse to purchase anything for their mothers-in-law. They buy for their own mothers and most often expect their husbands to do the same. Sometimes this rationale is workable. At times this is not doable because most often men do not go shopping. A gift might constitute affection to the receiver. If your gifts are not yielding sentiment, then we must reconsider the way we are selecting gifts.
Gifts are not vouchers, to be used at a later time. It is not a competition in which we conceivably are scrutinizing the largest most expensive gift. A gift reflects fondness. Perhaps gifts imply attention and warmth for someone.
Sometimes a gift may appear thoughtless and clueless but stems from the heart. We most often should accept gifts with gratitude. We must trust they were credibly given in good faith. When you are acquiring a gift, reflect on what the receiver prefers for herself. Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law would do well to avoid judging the gift by the price tag.
Gifts of time are the most valuable gifts. The small thoughtful things, which we say and do for each other are what counts. If your mother-in-law is constantly helping you out with the dog and children, as well as inviting you for meals, she is no doubt worthy of your recognition. If your daughter-in-law stops to visit, invites you for dinner, runs an errand, or asks you to lunch, consider yourself perhaps favored. The gift of oneself is the most generous gift we have to give. It is underestimated, undervalued, and scarcely given freely. When receiving the gift of time, studies suggest many people forget to say thank you.
In summarization, you can never be sure of the sincerity of the giver or the gift. Attempting to judge it is impractical. Trusting the promising pleasure meant by the giver appears to be the best course of reaction.
Stephanie was married to Steve. They had no children. Stephanie came from a large family and loved to cook. Her house was organized and clean at all times. Stephanie enjoyed sewing and needlepoint as well as all kinds of crafts. Stephanie consistently invited friends and family to dinner. She set her table with matching color and décor. It was an experience to have dinner at her house.
Stephanie’s mother-in-law, Karen, hated to cook. She bought frozen meals and opened canned vegetables. The extent of her cooking was a burger in the frying pan. Karen was thrilled whenever Stephanie invited her for dinner. Stephanie enjoyed cooking for her mother-in-law and invited her to dinner often. Karen always remarked how delicious Stephanie’s homemade bread tasted. One day, Stephanie made a mental note to purchase a bread-maker for her mother-in-law.
On Mother’s Day, Stephanie had the opportunity to present her mother-in-law with a bread maker. Stephanie anticipated an ecstatic reaction from her mother-in-law. Karen opened the gift and flashed angry glares at everyone. Karen was dissatisfied and harsh in her negative remarks to Stephanie. Karen shoved the gift back into the box and rigidly handed it to Stephanie. Karen questioned Stephanie about her reasoning for purchasing the gift.
Although Stephanie attempted to recite her arguments, Karen was resistant to all Stephanie had to say. Karen ceased all discussion and petitioned Stephanie to return the gift. Karen interpreted the bread maker as rude. She even suggested that Stephanie keep the gift for herself.
Stephanie was crushed. She was deeply aware of how hurtful her gift appeared to be. Stephanie deduced how much her mother-in-law hated to cook. Stephanie concluded her mother-in-law could still have homemade bread by tossing ingredients into the machine. It required little effort Stephanie thought. Stephanie was left without any options. The next week she returned her mother-in-law’s gift. Both women were discouraged and unhappy. Their once solid relationship now had some cracks.
It was clear that Stephanie enjoyed cooking and would relish any kitchen object she received. The mistake Stephanie implemented was buying Karen something she would have liked to obtain herself. Stephanie’s aim was for her mother-in-law to enjoy homemade bread even when her mother-in-law did not take pleasure in cooking. Stephanie aspired to save her mother-in-law the time and effort involved in bread making, yet reward her with delicious results.
Karen did not see Stephanie’s point of view. Karen assessed Stephanie’s purchase as thoughtless. Karen assumed that if Stephanie had considered her needs, she would have recalled that she was not a cook or a baker. Stephanie did not anticipate the effect of the offering. Neither woman was able to communicate their thoughts about the gift. Both women were deeply wounded.
Before giving the machine to her mother-in-law, Stephanie might have explained the simplicity of using the appliance and procuring the benefits. This might have allayed Karen’s fears in operating the mechanism.
Perhaps it is most important to consider what behavior a person exhibits towards us more than a token gift they give to us. The intangible demeanor may reflect the inner feelings more than the tangible souvenirs.