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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Daughter-in-Law-to-Be Gifts?

heartThis is a category I have not yet explored. Our 20-year-old son seems fairly serious about a certain young lady. Now that the holidays are here, I hear that her family has a symbolic Chrismukkah stocking hanging for him in their home. She is coming to visit us soon and I consider what we might get her as a small welcoming gift.

I imagine jewelry to be a straightforward gift: perhaps earrings or a necklace, yet Petya recently bought her a necklace for her birthday, so I’m not sure it’s a good idea to compete with him. A couple of sterling silver rings catch my eye, however, rings might push things into the too-much, too-fast category.

Everywhere I look, there are hearts, hearts and hearts, normally a fun item, yet this type of developing relationship no doubt calls for a certain measure of restraint….


He tells me that she enjoys baking and wants to make us a lemon cake while she’s here. That’s a natural, then: cookbooks. I considerlemon-cake student meals and gourmet-on-a-budget, but then recoil in horror: am I inferring that she, or her family, are poor? (They are not.)

I weigh a baking cookbook that appears to be full of basic to more advanced cakes and pastries. Maybe she would enjoy this…. However, there’s also a section on how to read a recipe: would that send the message that she’s less than bright? (While she double-majors in school.)


I scan home decorating books, how-to-knit books, healthy cooking books, each one loaded with emotional land mines and subliminal messages for the potential daughter-in-law of the future.

hungry-student-cookbookBeauty products? Ditto.

Clothing? Too personal.

A unique scarf? Possibly.

I don’t want it to be expensive and definitely, not too cheap.

At first, I was delighted at the prospect of shopping for our son’s new girlfriend. Then, I reached the point of being semi-terrified of any faux pas.

Thankfully, the young lady was delightful, well-adjusted, highly intelligent and beautiful. She was spiritual, kind, hard-working and… we liked each other.

This was going to work out with a couple of weeks until her arrival. I’m sure I’ll end up finding a holiday gift that’s fabulous, meaningful and sends no mixed messages.


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