{hotel congress where Ben's step brother works, in downtown Tucson}

Next week we leave for a quick visit to Tucson, to help Ben Left's mom celebrate her 60th birthday.

Being such a big birthday, I would like to find a special gift for her, but am having one hell of a time thinking of the right thing. Something kind of permanent like art [but her home seems already so perfectly full]? or jewelry [but her friends always seem to buy her nice jewelery. Maybe since she had been a bachelorette for so many years they take it on themselves?]?
Practical could work, as long as it was "special practical". But that is hard too, knowing what she might need.

What type of gifts do you think are appropriate to give your Mom on her 60th?


  1. OOH, I LOOOOOOVE Hotel Congress! (i suck at giftgiving so......a snuggie?)

  2. my mom has insanely expensive taste and doesn't like anything anyone has ever bought her. let's count her out...

    i've been wanting a snuggie forever now, but joe won't buy me one. he says it's a phase i'm going through.

    i don't know what your budget is, but what if you got her some spa loveliness? a massage, a seaweed wrap, or both? or, how about an overnight getaway to somewhere that's close enough for her to drive to? she can take a friend. these gifts are definitely not practical nor permanent... unless you count the memories.
    what does she like to do? what are her hobbies? that's always a good place to start. :)

  3. i guess a weekend thing might work. :/

    but the spa thing, which everyone seems to suggest, seems more like a nice everyday birthday kind of thing. not an extra special birthday kind of this.

    isweartogod the only thing i can think of she likes to do is visit her kids/grandkid. and read. and cook. so, it could be a kitchen thing. but that brings me back to not knowing her current inventory well enough... bah.

  4. You could make her something? Or are the kids/grandkids handling that? Can you use your design talents to make the crappy photobook they were going to give her a little better? Add in some kid book illustrations or some such thing? And otherwise, if you gave her cool youthful hip jewelry, that's something her friends wouldn't have thought of. If she is the kind of mom who still sighs over the days when she was cool, youthful, and hip that is.

  5. Cause I'm po' and can't afford nice permanent things, I like to give experiences. Celia's on to something with a weekend away--Sedona, maybe? OR, you could use your infinite wisdom about Joshua Tree to give her a cool little three-day weekend there, complete with itinerary? I think experiences are actually more permanent than a lot of well-intended object gifts.

    We spent my mom's 60th (the day after my sister's 30th) on an epic Portland spa trip. I got her a night out (wine bar, dinner, karaoke). The memories are hilarious and plenty permanent.

    Other than that, I think a nice gift for the woman who has everything is a donation to her favorite charity, presented in a card you design yourself.

  6. Yes, a massage for sure! Everyone can use one. It doesn't take up space in the house.

  7. You have to check out Bon while in Tucson. I would bet money you will find something there for her (and you). They have two locations that are very differnt from eachother so worth scouting out. Let me know if you need help with them.

  8. you need to tell us more about her.

  9. you guys won't give up on the experiential gift, huh?

    @lpc I made her something for christmas. And the album thing is so played already. She likes us? Let's give her pictures of us! and, the grand daughter isn't quite producing yet. (under a year, and if anyone is going to frame her scribbles, it'll be her folks)

    @Rebecca thanks! we will have to check it out some time!

    @east side bride well, i guess i was hoping for more category suggestions than specifics. you know? but i will try. she is low key, easy going, likes southwestern stuff (but in a more classic sense than me and ben, if you know what i mean) and spending time relaxing and cooking with friends and family- when she is not working her ass off as an awesome/caring RN. she is sentimental and practical. she loves her boys like crazy. when we couldn't go to tucson for thanksgiving like planned to be with her and ben's brother & his wife and new baby she was DEVISTATED (first chance of the whole family being together) but tried to hide it after the initial shock. she reads cheap novels like the daily paper, and sometimes some good ones. she only buys her reading glasses from the drug store. f i don't know. she has a cat but isn't a crazy cat lady like me? when she emails me SHE USES ALL CAPS. she didn't make us cry during planning out wedding but she did make all of the food for all 60+ guests. (with help). she likes to walk on the beach and take us out to dinner when she visits us.

  10. I've gotta say, for a 60th I like jewelry. I am not in favor of an experiential gift. Although I have NO IDEA what I gave my mom for her 60th. Hmmm.

  11. I'll be 60 in 7 years. I'm imagining this situation....most of all, I would want to know that my children and their significant others cared for me. That they saw me as a person in addition to loving me in my role as a mother. Jewelry is good, for that reason. It's very personal. And I would prefer something to have and to hold over an experience. Experience at this age is more easily forgotten. There having been already more of it, so to speak. Nothing with which to cook, that's a reminder that I have always cared for you. Which I know already. A beautiful piece of clothing, and a dinner at which to wear it, one I didn't have to cook, now that would make me cry.

    But that's just me. This is an algorithm not an answer.

  12. 1. you must check out mouse's post on tucson.

    2. a silver cuff or thick bangle with something inscribed inside with the date and all ya'll's names.

    3. what with all your scanning and scrapbooking lately, howzabout a bound photobook of pics of ben, ages 0 - now? i think blurb does nice ones.

    4. a pet goat, but that might just be what i want, not ben left's mom. hard to say.

  13. A goat...yes!

    Or a pigmy goat (what could be cuter to anyone than a mini goat after all?!).

    You take some amazing pictures, how about framing an image of the desert for her?

    I can't believe she MADE all of the food for your wedding...Perhaps a set of salad servers or a serving bowl? That's a hard one because women seem to have everything they need for the kitchen at that age. I gave an amazing stainless steel risotto spoon recently that was a hit -- practical and beautiful, yet not too common.

  14. Or cookbooks, if she like to cook? The El Charro cookbook is pretty great. Cookbook and carne seca?

  15. what about a handmade apron and matching dishtowels that match her spirit and her kitchen

  16. what about cooking classes, or does she already know too much about the subject? my mom got this as a gift and she did went with her girlfriends and loved it? or what about a trip out to visit you guys and cooking classes with her here? in my experience mom's love spending time with their kids, and what they love even more is knowing that their kids want to spend time with them as well! just a few thoughts