I have an amazing ability to get the wrong gifts (totally NON-RA related post!)

July 29, 2011 at 10:08 am | Posted in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 8 Comments

When Junior Penguin 1, aka ‘The Boss’, started working for me she was only 20, so when her 21st birthday rolled around (some years ago now!) I felt I had to get her something … I had bought the obvious bottle of Champagne, and I think even some Champagne Truffles to go with it, before the ‘What are you doing for your 21st birthday?’ conversation came up, and she dropped in the killer line, ‘Oh no – I can’t stand champagne!’ (Pity I didn’t mention this to the guys who run the building, because they got her a magnum of Champagne!) So I got her a little silver penguin; I think she appreciated the sentiment but it wasn’t a very practical gift and she kept it in the office for ages because if she took it home she was afraid the dog would swallow it!

Then Junior Penguin 2 came to work for me last year, in October, because Junior Penguin 1 was all grown up and going on maternity leave! So, here she is, I hardly know her and it’s nearly Christmas. One thing I do know is that she adores biscuits, cakes, crisps and seemingly ‘all things bad for you’. So I thought a hamper full of sweet stuff would be good, and a suitably boss to junior penguin present to boot. I opted for things like candy canes, fudge, toffees, chocolate bars etc. What could be better for someone with a sweet tooth I thought.

Roll on seven months, here we are, sitting in the office chatting about our weekend plans, and I mention the candy shop on the sea front in a town we both like to go to. ‘Oh no’ she says, ‘I wouldn’t go in there!’ ‘OOOH, why not?’ says I, expecting a juicy bit of gossip about the shop owners or something. ‘I can’t stand sweets,’ says she. ‘Never could stand sweets.’ Gulp. ‘But surely you like chocolate?’ I hazard. ‘Everyone likes chocolate… except my mum.’ Turns out she loves chocolate … in cakes or pan au chocolate or something, but doesn’t like bars of chocolate at all.

I’m tempted to say M&S vouchers all round this year, but I know Junior Penguin 1 wouldn’t be seen dead in there, and not sure JP2 would either. <Sigh>

I know it’s still (just) July, but any ideas for Christmas presents for two such difficult ladies would be gratefully received!!



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  1. Does it get cold or cool where you are? Perhaps a scarf or simple earwarmer… i know you cross stitch, but do you knit or crochet? I make some “killer” slippers? And have made tons of “tissue holders” for the purse… I can find a link for that one… very simple…
    Also, i’m hoping you have given me the inspiration i need to get crackin’ on the beginning of my Christmas Crafting!!!

  2. I crochet, and I really want to make some slippers so if you have a link to a good pattern for those do let me know! Not for either of these too ladies though … have done scarf in the past for JP1 and even taught her how to crochet so she could do some, so can’t do that again I’m afraid!

  3. Perhaps a movie basket with a gift card to a movie theater, microwave popcorn, (no candy of course…lol) and a the weekly magazine in your area of movie reviews stuffed into a popcorn container (the striped ones) wrapped in clear cellophane with a big bow. Or maybe a subscription to one of their favorite magazine if you should be able to squeeze that out of them before Christmas. And if all else fails…I go with a Mastercard or Visa gift card with a personal note telling them how much you appreciate them and all they do. Good luck on your quest 🙂

  4. Hi Deb,

    Love the movie basket idea!! That would work for JP1 I think … not sure about JP2.

  5. LOL – yes, I see what you mean Wren – that could certainly be taken the wrong way! Do hope you’re feeling a bit better now!

  6. Oh dear – I do that too, although I also sometimes put my foot in my mouth about gifts I’ve been given.

    Sometimes I just tell myself, “well, this is what I’m giving this person, and if they don’t like it, at least they know I care about them.”

  7. Hi Helen, That works so long as you’re not actually thinking ‘well this is what I’m giving this person, and if they don’t like it … I DON’T CARE!’ 🙂

  8. Hi Pollyanna,

    My name is Natalia and I’m the Community Coordinator for an online health community called WEGO Health (www.wegohealth.com). I came across your blog, while doing some research into the online RA community. I was so impressed the great resource you have created for the greater RA community.

    Just wanted to drop you a quick note because we recently launched a new video platform called WEGOHealth.tv and are in the process of building a RA Channel featuring the advice, information and wisdom of Health Activists like yourself. I think you would be an excellent addition to the channel and I would love to chat with you about possibly creating a video with us!

    Please check out our site; http://tv.wegohealth.com/ and get back to me at your convenience if you have any interest.

    I know this note it a little out of the blue and I understand if it’s not something you would be interested in, but I didn’t want you to miss out on the opportunity.


    Community Coordinator
    WEGO Health

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