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  1. #1
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    Thank You Gift Ideas

    I want to give my neighbors a gift. Our power was out for several days last week and they loaned us their generator, which was a lifesaver. The thing is, I don't know them very well, so I'm not sure what to get them.

    This is what I know:

    They're both in their sixties.

    She is a huge animal lover; she volunteers at SICSA and feeds all the feral cats we have loose here. When she can catch them, she takes them in and has them neutered.

    She is British, but has lived in the US a long time. She goes back to England whenever she can, which isn't often, and speaks of it with great love and enthusiasm.

    He's an auctioneer and their house is crammed with stuff--antiques and knickknacks galore. I don't see getting them tchotchkes.

    They're Christians, and I believe they are very conservative, if not quite fundamentalist (I include this because I am pretty sure they don't drink, so wine or something wouldn't do).

    They don't seem to go out a whole lot except to go to church and his auctions.

    I don't intend to give them something too crazy; we went over and cleaned up all the downed branches in their yard as a thank you already. It's just that they didn't have a whole lot of them, relatively speaking, and it took only a couple of hours.

    So, things I've been thinking of:

    *A donation to SICSA in their name--nice and all, but kind of impersonal, I think
    *Some big bags of cat food--not very classy, but practical
    *A basket of British goodies from one of the tea shops
    *A gift card for a restaurant--only I have no idea what kind of restaurant they would like. They aren't poor, but I think they are pretty frugal and thought they might enjoy a treat.

    Thoughts? Better ideas?
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  2. #2
    snarking for AZE
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    my friend traps feral cats and she LOVES when her friends donate to her organization. she thinks it is a very personal gift because she knows the people havent donated to it in the past and are only doing it for her. she also appreciates the cat supplies and petsmart gift cards, she really does put them to use.
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  3. #3
    a monkey stole my title
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    Before I saw the list of things you'd considered at the bottom, I was already thinking that a donation to SICSA would be nice. The people I know who are very into causes are touched by donations to their favorite organizations, and usually prefer that to gifts.

  4. #4

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    A donation and catfood. It seems to be something very close to their heart, so you can't go wrong with both or either one.
    Gone crazy. Be back soon.

  5. #5
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    Before I read your suggestions and then everyone else's, I was going to suggest the donation. As others have said, it seems very personal to me because it is a cause she believes in.
    If they are like my parents (my parents are in their early 80's) they have begun to simply their lives and donations are very important to them.

  6. #6

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    Like the rest, first thing I thought of is donation. But then I thought “donation to whom? to her favorite charity? Or to her for her expenses at the vet clinic?

    And then I thought….. hm…… Prancer already cleaned her drive way for several hours (!!!) and still wants to buy her a thank you gift…. Sounds like me, who has a tendency to “over-thank” for even a smallest favor 10x…… because deep inside I don’t feel that I am entitled to “take for free” anyone’s resources and completely forget that people may feel a sense of pleasure of being able to “give” or “help” and therefore I should not “rain on their parade” by “outdoing them” or trying to “match the value I perceive in” and let them enjoy their gesture by graciously accepting it….. .

    Given that…. I would give this woman something elegant and not too expensive:

    *A basket of British goodies from one of the tea shops
    * or a set of Artistic Candles (not necessarily with religious theme)

    If it was me…. I would give them flowers and this video, which I love myself:

    Visions of England and Visions of Scotland

    http://www.amazon.com/Visions-Englan.../dp/B00080ZG3I
    http://www.amazon.com/Visions-Scotla...d_bxgy_d_img_b

    If you have not seen in on PBS yet, its very spectacular scenery filmed from the helicopter as it flys over British Isles.

  7. #7

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    I agree about the donation but also a gift voucher. Maybe to a local pet store. Or does the place where she gets the cats neutered have a voucher system? I do like the idea of giving them something for a meal.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  8. #8

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    I think the donation and/or cat food is a great idea. She would be thrilled with that. However, that is more for her and kind of leaves him out. That leaves you with the gift card to the restaurant. We do this for a neighbor who always cuts our front yard. Well, we actually take her out a couple of times a year but we know her well and it isn't awkward. I think they might like to get out for a treat!
    -Brian
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  9. #9
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    I thought SICSA was a national organization, but it isn't.

    SICSA is the Society for Improving the Condition of Stray Animals and neutering is one of the services they provide. I believe that she pays the poverty rates of $10 for males and $20 for females, so her vet bills aren't that high.

    at Tinami. It was only two hours, most of that trying to cut the #*&#$ branches into pieces the city might someday haul away. But we had the generator for five days and I really don't know what we would have done without it, so I don't think we've said an adequate thank you.

    OTOH, those branches were a bitch and it was hard work, so like I said, I'm not planning to go crazy here

    I did find out that it might be possible to kill two birds with one stone. SICSA is having a fundraiser at a very nice restaurant next month where the organization gets a cut of all sales for the day. If I give them a gift card for that restaurant, they can use it that day--et voila!

    at the people suggesting egg cups!
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I did find out that it might be possible to kill two birds with one stone. SICSA is having a fundraiser at a very nice restaurant next month where the organization gets a cut of all sales for the day. If I give them a gift card for that restaurant, they can use it that day--et voila!
    Sounds perfect!
    Charter member of the "We Always Believed in Ashley" Club and the "We Believe in Ricky" Club
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  11. #11
    Tranquillo
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    The restaurant/donation combo seems like a great idea. Before you mentioned that, I was going to suggest a gift card to a pet store. She could use it for her own work feeding feral cats or donate it to the organization. Plus it doesn't seem like going overboard because in addition to thanking her, your helping some animals that need help.
    "The Devil is joining in, and that's never a good sign." Phil Liggett

  12. #12
    drinky typo pbp, closet hugger
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    I also agree that either a direct donation to the organization or a gift card to the restaurant where they could use it on the fundraiser would be a perfect gift. I doubt it would come across as impersonal, as it ties closely to a big interest of hers.

    Having neighbors who come through for you is priceless, I totally get wanting to thank them adequately
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  13. #13
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    How about just some flowers and a thank-you note and also a thank-you in person?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    How about just some flowers and a thank-you note and also a thank-you in person?
    I think they have already done the thanking in person.

    Lending a generator is a really big thing. So it deserves a big thanks.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  15. #15

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    This is a tough one, since you don't know them, but they did a really big favor by loaning you their generator.

    I would not give them a basket of British goodies because she can get them anytime from England, and she knows which ones are the best.

    A restaurant certificate would be nice if it's the one having a SICSA fundraiser, but then they would have to go there on that particular day- am I correct? What if they already have plans for that day? Still a restaurant certificate is a good idea.

    I have a friend who is very passionate about animals and saving them. I think the lady you described must be like her in that sense. I remember her telling me never to buy a pet from petsmart, so a gift certificate to petsmart may not be the best idea.

    I am actually leaning toward flowers and a thank you note- simple, personal and classy. No way you can go wrong with this.

  16. #16

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    I don't think flowers are personal at all (especially if you don't know which ones she likes) and she or her husband may have allergies. To me, flowers and body products are reserved for gifts for woman I need to get something for last minute and can't think of anything else!

    What about having them over for dinner at your place, Prancer? (Is that possible with the renovations?) If not, I think the voucher/tickets to the benefit or a donation in their name.

  17. #17

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    Prancer, I think your idea of a gift card for the restaurant involved in the fundraiser is a good one. From all you've said, it doesn't seem like you could go wrong with that.

    Once when an acquaintance had done me a big favor (involving helping me out when I was recovering from my broken ankle and complications) I sent her a nice flower arrangement, and she called me and told me how nice it was and thanked me rather profusely. I think sometimes when someone does you a favor, they're not expecting anything other than a "thank you" and when you go an extra step and send a gift it can be rather touching.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer
    I did find out that it might be possible to kill two birds with one stone. SICSA is having a fundraiser at a very nice restaurant next month where the organization gets a cut of all sales for the day. If I give them a gift card for that restaurant, they can use it that day--et voila!
    This sounds awesome. Yay for neighborly love!

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