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Thread: gift dillema

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas

    gift dillema

    I'm usually not one to get concerned with my status in life. My jobs and activities have often brought me into contact with the rich, famous and powerful. I have always treated them like they were normal people. If I wasn't good enough for them (very rare for the truly rich and powerful) I would just walk away.
    However, next year we may have a situation that could prove embarrassing and akward for me and my wife.
    Her nephew is getting married. That is the easy part. The complication comes from the fact that his parents are quite wealthy. And, he is a highly successful corporate merger financing whiz. His bride to be comes from one of America's wealthiest families. They own eleven homes, I think that is just in the U.S., might be more overseas. Her father footed the bill for the start up of one of the most famous on-line entities in the world.
    Enneyhow, then there is us living on SS and a few bucks a month selling what I don't turn into sawdust.
    Just making the out of state trip in our 2003 Focus will be a major financial burden. The servants at the event will probably be wearing wristwatches that cost more than my net worth.
    Then there is the requisite gift. That is the part that is bothering me. What to get the (already) happy couple? They obviously do not need anything.
    Aside from a private Carribean island, a private jet, etc. I don't have a clue what we can afford that they might appreciate and will use.
    Right now I'm considering making a pair of pens on the order of Gentlemen or Jr. Gents from stabilized white Holly (think ivory-like) and possibly a bowl. My forte is not bowls but this might be motivation to really try to do something special. I'm sure my wife will not approve, simply because it is my idea and something I'm making. Oh, well.
    What would you do?
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Reno NV
    Frank,I'd think the hand made pens would be a fantastic idea.

    Truly something special that the rest of the crowd would not be able to provide.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
    If all your friends are exactly like you, What an un-interesting life it must be.
    "A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of" Ogden Nash

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Given the situation, a hand made item given in the spirit which I think you intend would be worth more than anything you might just buy for them. Folks I know who travel in those circles actually seem to de-value commonly available products no matter how fine because they are easily obtainable and therefor hold little value. The act of the giver is worth more to my friends than that which is given. The gift is between you and the happy couple, not for the approval of any bystanders. A product from your heart and hands could be better received than anything else I can think of. If not, as you said; "just walk away".
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Central NY State
    Frank, I have two very different suggestions. One would be an item made with your own hands. If you do this, no matter how nice it is, you have to be prepared for it to be under-appreciated. I have found that some of my well-to-do relations like getting something I've made, but only if there is already a fond relationship there.

    The second option would be to make a modest donation to a charity in honor of the marriage. I've done this when facing similar gift giving dilemmas with wealthy relations with whom we weren't close. Either way works.
    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Plainwell, Michigan
    I was thinking some of your great pens as I was reading your post Frank, also, if you wish, have them engraved and make a nice presentation box

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    falcon heights, minnesota
    go with the pens frank. they would be something that cannot be bought just anywhere, and it's more personal than something off the shelf.
    benedictione omnes bene

    check out my etsy store, buroviejowoodworking

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Vancouver Island, Courtenay/Comox Valley, British Columbia
    I agree with Ken W. A gift to charity is a great idea, and then the charity sends them a card saying that a gift was made in their name. and it can be a small gift. They'll never know.

    Otherwise, something hand made would be great too. Not long ago I was faced with this issue with my SIL. My brother and SIL fall into the category you describe. So for her 40th bday I made her a quilt. I knew that there was nothing I could buy that they couldn't buy 100X better. No one can buy what I sweated over......So I would say pens or whatever you're comfortable making--a box, a plaque, whatever. I would much rather have something one of a kind made with care and consideration for me than something someone bought willy nilly no matter what the price tag.
    AKA Young Grasshopper Woodworker
    AKA The Rookie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Thanks all. Gift idea still a work in progress. Pens will probably be part of it.
    Private jet is out as an idea. Just learned the family already has several, big, really big, yacht also.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    What Glenn said Frank...........
    A Turn N Time
    Components for John Smith Organs and the Hobby Organ Builder

    Frog Pond Guitars

    Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Claus, In
    2 options. Make something special. Pens and box, as mentioned.

    Or don't go. Nothing wrong with not going, where you may feel you and your gift are not appreciated.
    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

    Rule of thumb is if you donít know what tool to buy next, then you probably donít need it yet.

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