I will make no apology for this edition of our weekly "Conversation Starter." I'm selfishly motivated by the need for your help. And I don't care that Halloween is still three days away. Or that Christmas is still nearly two months off.
We need all the time we can get.
See, here's the problem: My father is in his early 70s; my father-in-law is in his early 80s. If anything, they're trying to get rid of things.
What do you buy for the hard-to-buy-for? What do you do to make the Christmas merry for the folks who seem to have everything, don't need anything or who won't let themselves get pinned down?
Here's another stumper for you: My son is 17. He's a drama kid, a singer, a World of Warcraft fanatic. He is every bit as hard to buy for as my family on the other end of the age spectrum. I hate to tell you how many gifts he's received that went unopened and ignored, only to be returned months later.
I've heard the suggestion of making a donation on a person's behalf to a worthy charity, and I like it, and I may do it. And while my son might very well appreciate it, it's hardly the sort of thing a teenager covets under the tree.
What's your strategy for these people? How do you approach gift-giving for the hard-to-buy-for?