I want to get a gift for a guest

One of the guests in my current reservation saw me outside my house yesterday and came over and told me that there was a little water on the floor in the kitchen. She was very nice about it. It wasn’t much water, and it was coming from the refrigerator. The bottom of the inside of the freezer was covered with ice too, but you could only see it after removing the drawers and baskets. I removed the ice and cleaned up the water and she was right there helping.

I went back home to do some research on it and I was able to diagnose the exact problem and order a replacement part for $10 and it will arrive tomorrow, but the repair requires a complete defrost of the refrigerator, so I can’t really start the repair until after the guests check-out on Monday morning.

This guest is the mother of the guest that booked, she is 83 and she is doing the cooking and cleaning for the rest of the group who are attending a week-long racing event and are gone all day. I would like to thank her because I will be able to get it fixed before the next guest checks in and of course just getting it fixed will prevent issues with future guests.

Is a gift appropriate and if so, what might be an appropriate gift?

Speaking strictly according to my own preferences, I like cash. Any gift is thoughtful of course but you need to know something about the person for it to be meaningful. So if I were in your situation I’d probably just go over and ask. Maybe she’d like a book, or an audiobook or some music or a food delivery one night so she can have some time off.

Why not treat them to a takeaway or meal out so an 83 grandmother isn’t having to cook and clean up for the group of guests :slight_smile: . @Brian_R170

Honestly who brings along their 83 year old mother to cook and clean? :frowning:

On a more serious note, I agree about asking her.


It’s not quite like it sounds. They live in different areas of the country and she drove by herself several hundred miles and volunteered to cook and clean just so she could spend time with her family. Her daughter-in-law and 9-year-old grandson were with her all-day for the first 5 days of the stay but they had to leave so the grandson could return to school.

I’m guessing you aren’t serious since your next line says “on a more serious note” but I know a number of families where the elderly grandmother loves taking care of the family and hosting gatherings and would be hurt if not allowed opportunities to do so. And I don’t have a family for which to do this but god bless me if I’m still able to take on these kinds of activities when I’m 82. She sounds sharp and strong.


@KKC well I was actually partially serious.

Of course grandparents (well actually usually grandmothers) do like taking care of their families. But I think there is a huge difference between them cooking some of the meals and looking after children and doing all the cooking and cleaning for what is probably quite a large group.

My mother also likes helping out we insist on doing our share as we notice how tired she gets if she tries to do too much.

I don’t know the reasoning behind it, but based on how she wanted to help me when I was dealing with the water and ice, I’m more inclined to think she really loves doing it and maybe, like @KKC said, would be hurt if she wasn’t allowed to do it.


I would get her a gift. What a sweet lady!

I like to give a gift that has a local flavor to it - a local bakery’s pie or some jellies from a farm stand or a bottle of local wine - I think it means more to the recipient that way.


Nice idea @georgiahost maybe a hamper of local food and relaxation goodies?

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I had a similar experience and I gave the guest a $25 gift certificate for Dunkin Donuts. She later told me that they went for donuts and coffee. She was very appreciative.

How about a nice potted plant? I think you said she drove, so it wouldn’t be hard to get home. And it would be just for her, as opposed to somethings that she’d feel obligated to share with the family.

I don’t agree with asking. I think it takes the fun out of a gift and she’s likely to just tell you that “oh, you don’t have to do that”. I really doubt she’ll tell you what she wants. IMO.

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I will say that I think my anti-gift bias is really far, far outside of the norm so my advice probably should be ignored.

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We have neighbours/friends of 78/82 where grandmother goes down to her son/wife and grand children to stay regularly, some hours away. She cooks, cleans, irons and generally puts the house in some order the while the parents both work f/t and the kids are at school.

What I do know though, is that she loves the respite from her grumpy old git of a husband!

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I’d go for the book option, either one reflecting where she is visiting or an interest of hers (maybe not cooking,!) Have you noticed in these days of Kindle, Podcasts and Audio books how special it feels to actually buy or be given a Real Book? It feels like a real small luxury to me!

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If these were my guests, I would go through the person who booked and explain that you would like to give the mother an Amazon gift card. Explain how thankful you are for her letting you know immediately and being understanding of the situation.

Then ask if you should put it in the guest’s name or the mother’s name. I don’t know your price point but let’s say $30 hypothetically. The child can order a gift of the mother’s choice or have mother do it herself if she is tech savvy. I do this with my own mother and grandmother.

This accomplishes two things: the person who booked will be grateful that you thought of their mother. Likely not to mention in a review. And you are not wasting money on things the mother doesn’t even want and may just give away.

I would stay away from food gift cards. If the grandmother has planned out meals for the family…especially possibly taking into consideration dietary restrictions - then it may be a waste as the family would need to throw away already purchased groceries.

FYI - my 93 old grandmother loves Dollar Store gift cards in her area…

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The idea of a gift is excellent. if it were me, I’d hate potted plants, hate Dunkin and Starbucks. As for books, OMG, I am extremely picky. So if you give me a romance or how to crochet… I’ll donate it to the local library unopened.
I’d go with the basket of local goodies, honey, jellies, homemade baked goods or a gift certificate to a popular eatery. No wine though. I doubt she drinks at 83. Good food is always appreciated.

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Duh! I’ve just realised that I never have a problem about this as I always give a box of my handmade soaps, ,This then usually prompts other family members to buy some. Win-win!


Where did you ever get a bizarre idea like that? My 87 year old stepmom has her one glass of whiskey like clockwork every late afternoon. Most older people drink if they are used to doing so in their adult life. They don’t suddenly stop just because they turned 80.

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This is bizarre at best! I have patients in their late 90s that have prescriptions (seriously, because you need a prescription for everything in a nursing home) for their evening sherry (or vodka!). I have noticed no decrease in drinking habits for people over 80. As @muddy said,

But giving people food is always difficult. There are so many diets and tastes.

Gross :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: (for perspective)

I have never understood the point of gift certificates. It’s punting. Either figure out a real gift or give cash. Gift certificates are an awful in-between.

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Gift certificates can be fine as long as you know what sort of things the person you are giving it to likes. An avid reader might appreciate a certificate to a bookstore, whereas I might not know exactly what book they would enjoy. Buying gifts for teenagers is really difficult, but they might like a gift certificate to their favorite clothing store.
But I agree that a gift certificate for a guest, unless you knew what the guest’s interests were, could just end up not being used.
And I’m very fussy abut what i like and don’t, so as long as someone gave me a gift certificate to a store I would frequent anyway, I’d prefer that to them spending their money on something I’m likely not to need or want.