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Mrs. Maroon

December 20, 2014

Best Gift Ever

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As I read Mrs. Frugalwoods discuss how she lovingly gifted a Soviet-era tank piston to Mr. Frugalwoods today (okay, it’s been nearly three weeks… but that’s what happens when you first read something while sitting in the dark rocking a baby in the wee hours of the morning – I’m just now getting my thoughts down on paper computer screen), I started pondering the gifts I’ve received before. Although Mr. Maroon is always very creative and thoughtful – especially under the harshest conditions since I never have ideas to share, the gift that stands out the most to me was from my mom.


 They are just sponges. Yes. But they are the BEST sponges ever created!

They are just sponges. Yes. But they are the BEST sponges ever created!

What’s a Sponge Got to Do With It?

One day I discovered that my mom had found these wonderful kitchen sponges that resisted that icky smell of mildew (Ewww!) After using them at her house, and falling in love with them, I asked where to find them. I honestly expected to hear one of the boutique kitchen stores that I know she frequents. Imagine my surprise when she said the dollar store 🙂


She must have bought my first stash, because when I ran out I asked which dollar store carries them. I’m almost positive the answer was something like I’m running out today, so I’ll just grab you some too. After asking a couple times, I still never knew where to go… What’s a girl to do when she needs sponges?


Now for the Good Part

One Christmas morning, I came across a bag handed to me that said “To The Kitchen”. I could have jumped for joy when I pulled out the tissue paper to find the bag stuffed full of these delightful sponges!!


Note that the tag said “To The Kitchen”  because my mom must not appreciate when practical, useful things are given as gifts since they don’t really fall into the fun category. I remember my dad specifically tagging items that way in my youth. I can only imagine that he had such an idea after being burned by it before. Or perhaps just his guilty conscience. Who knows – I certainly don’t have a problem with it!


Moving Right Along

My point here is that I loved the sponges. I appreciated that my mom recognized that I liked these but obviously didn’t make the effort to get them for myself. It is probably one of the least expensive gifts she’s given me, since she has a tendency to go overboard with gifts. But it certainly made an impression on me. Perhaps it’s just a sign that I’m getting old and boring to be excited about sponges. I still use them today – with as much delight as the first time, though the stash is starting to get a little low. I think it’s time to drop the hint again…


What unique gift stands out that you have received? Given? Do you like getting practical stuff, or does it offend you?


~ Mrs. Maroon

A Christmas Brag
Happy Debt-iversary
  1. Comment by Sir Salty — December 20, 2014 @ 12:19 PM

    Cool present. The best present I’ve received is a calendar for my office desk that my wife made for Fathers’ Day last year. Our son was a little over a year old at the time. Each month had a couple of pictures of him from the previous year.

    It was so cool to go through the next year seeing my son as he was the prior year. Really highlighted how fast he was growing! A great present for any new parent to the other spouse.
    Sir Salty recently posted…Postpartum PhilosophyMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    I love the calendar idea. I’ve never made one, but what a beautiful and long lasting gift to appreciate all year long!

  2. Comment by Mrs. Frugalwoods — December 20, 2014 @ 12:47 PM

    I could use some sponges for Christmas myself :)! I think that’s a great example of thoughtful, practical gift giving. Thanks so much for mentioning my tank piston 😉
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Mom’s On Email and My Hands Are DryMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Tank pistons… sponges… all about the practical. But in all seriousness, as the day approaches this year and we are trying to figure out stuff for our families I am more appreciative of such simple and low-pressure gifting.
    Mrs. Maroon recently posted…Best Gift EverMy Profile

  3. Comment by Mrs SSC — December 20, 2014 @ 5:54 PM

    While I appreciate getting practical stuff, I really do love getting splurge items…because that it stuff I would never buy myself!
    Mrs SSC recently posted…How horrible customer service is going to save me moneyMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    The splurges are also great too. The Christmas before Mini Maroon #1 arrived, we got ourselves a DSLR camera. And have had other examples of the nice things too. This year we are reveling in the fact that we are content with what we have and are going super simple. Next year might be the opposite. We shall see…

  4. Comment by Chela — December 20, 2014 @ 6:58 PM

    I love the “to the kitchen.” I remember one year my dad bought my mom 4 new tires for her car! Hahaha she never let him live that one down! That was definitely a “to the car” gift. Sometimes practical gifts are a nice relief but they’re not always as fun!
    Chela recently posted…What’s NOT On My Non-Negotiable ListMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    How funny that you mention tires… I am getting really close to needing some. I’ve been dreading it since it is such an unpleasant expense. But I have to agree with your mom – tires do not count as a Christmas present, no matter how practical it may be. I can’t exactly put my finger on why, but sponges are WAY different than tires!

  5. Comment by Fig @ Figuring Money Out — December 21, 2014 @ 9:18 AM

    That’s so awesome! the best gifts don’t have to be the most expensive ones… just the ones that you will actually use and enjoy. I actually love getting practical stuff as presents!

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Whether practical or fun, expensive or frugal, the best gifts are the ones we use and appreciate. I think there is no worse feeling than opening something you know you will never use. But still feeling obligated to express joy and interest for the sake of the gifter, because it’s awfully thoughtless to not be grateful.

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Because I let technology outsmart me (yikes!) I deleted part of Fig’s comment. Please go check out her latest advice about what else to consider when buying a house (you might be surprised!)

  6. Comment by Jason @ Islands of Investing — December 21, 2014 @ 2:58 PM

    This is what great gift-giving is all about – finding something that the receiver really loves and wants! I really don’t like getting gifts from people when they go to the trouble of buying something fancy that you don’t need or will never use. In fact, since you mention the sponges, I have this fantastic, natural kitchen / shower cleaner and cleaning glove that I’ve used for about 2 years and love, with holes all through it, and I would be thrilled if I received a new one of those! (although I wouldn’t complain about receiving a golf voucher either 🙂 )

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Ultimately, every gifter wants to find something they think you will enjoy. Why else would they bother to spend their money? The problem comes when they are convinced that the gift must fit into a certain set of parameters – fun so not practical or a specific price range. For example I’ve told both sides of the family that I have the worst collection of potholders ever. Now, the big question is whether someone will be willing to give me such a ‘lowly’ gift as a potholder. I’m anxious to see…

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    Just like with Fig above, my computer got the best of me here. You really should go read Jason’s unique analogy for selecting stocks for investing. It will likely change your perspective!


  7. Comment by Shannon @ Financially Blonde — December 22, 2014 @ 4:53 PM

    I don’t know if I would love sponges, but I would absolutely LOVE Mr. Clean eraser sponges. I have used them for anything from removing soot from our fireplace area to boogers off my son’s wall (the joys of boys). They are the greatest things ever and I would adore anyone who gave those to me.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Man in the MirrorMy Profile

    Mrs. Maroon Reply:

    So far, all of Mini #1’s major messes seem to revolve around the bathroom. Once again… Just part of kids, boys in particular. And perhaps I should forward this on to your hubs. Adoration for such simple gestures is a wonderful thing. Though if he’s anything like Mr. Maroon, he already knows!

  8. Comment by Holly@ClubThrifty — December 24, 2014 @ 6:57 AM

    I tend to like practical stuff or splurge items that I would never buy for myself. My husband is pretty good at picking out inexpensive items that I will use and enjoy.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…My Dream List of Home UpgradesMy Profile

  9. Comment by Laurie @thefrugalfarmer — December 25, 2014 @ 7:33 AM

    What an awesome gift/awesome presentation! This reminds me of the time my mom gave me new beaters for the electric mixer for Christmas. It was so silly and mundane, but the fact that I’d mentioned in frustration weeks earlier that one of my beaters had disappeared, and the fact that she’d remembered that and took the time to go to the online store and get them, well, it warmed my heart. Have a very Merry Christmas, Maroons!
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…We Truly Do Wish You a Very, Merry ChristmasMy Profile

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