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Need ideas - retirement/thank you gift

Tita Gidge

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Stuck for ideas.


My sister is quitting her job next month.


She works with "Auntie Lil," who has been a friend of our parents' forever. Auntie changed our diapers, crashed our dates if she saw us around town, and gave us great advice (and small sums of cash) when we c-/wouldn't go to our parents. 10 years ago my sister transferred into Auntie's station.


Aunte Lil has a lucrative side business in which she sells a service to her coworkers. Her service takes advantage of a loophole in the labor contract, allowing overtime pay for regularly-clocked hours. People are happy to pay Auntie a small stipend; she manipulates their schedules to benefit from the loophole. For the past ten years, Auntie has initiated and provided this service to Sis free of charge. When Sis tries to pay her, Auntie refuses to profit off of "family."


Sis estimates she's been gifted around $6,000 worth of services in total.


What's an appropriate but humble-enough-that-she'll-accept-it gift in this situation?


I'm stuck at plants/flowers, which I know Auntie would like but that's our go-to for regular stuff and this is something bigger. I thought about a certificate to the really nice restaurant in her town, but Auntie would likely refuse on the grounds that we "spent too much" on her to eat there.


What's something nice that doesn't read as expensive as it might be? Or a non-herbaceous token gift?


Thanks for any help. If I were Auntie, I'd feel the same way in this situation. But Sis and I can't shake that this generosity needs to be acknowledged especially now that Sis is leaving the company.

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