WHAT DO I GET A MOTHER-IN-LAW THAT NEVER LIKES ANYTHING?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am dreading Christmas. Every year, I try to find just exactly what my mother-in-law will like but there is always something wrong with it and she either returns it, exchanges it, or simply looks disappointed or dissatisfied.

–At Wits’ End

DEAR WITS:

Some people will simply not be happy with any gift you give them and it probably has nothing to do with the gift itself. Sometimes, when people are not happy in themselves, they look to external things (gifts, external validation, attention, whatever) to make them happy and they will inevitably fall short, even if the recipient derives some momentary happiness from the object.

Perhaps you could simply find a wonderful photo of your husband (current or a past photo with him and his mom) and put it in a beautiful frame. It is the thought and the love in the present that matters most, after all. And if you’re Christian, celebrating the birth of Christ! She’ll probably like it. Even if she doesn’t like the gift, know you did your best and gave an awesome present and let her have whatever reaction she has and pat yourself on the back.

 

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