What I'm thankful for ... Plus What Mom Wants for Christmas

It’s the week of Thanksgiving, finally. And I’m grateful for so many things this year:

• Being close to my family and friends

• Painting, finally, and opening this online business

• Good health and happiness

My family is, and always has been, the biggest part of my happiness. Their love and endless support have fueled my drive to achieve my dreams, one step at a time.

Of course I want to give them amazing, one-of-a-kind gifts that they truly deserve, but what do you give your very religious, very modest, and very not into pampering herself mom—I once bought her a spa gift certificate that she fortunately and unfortunately gave back—for Christmas?

For many years, I struggled to come up with ideas for presents that would make her happy.

Asking her what she wanted would only delay the process and make me doubt my self-proclaimed talent of giving the best gifts, as she would often respond "Ehh, Shellie, I don't want anything. Don't waste your money."

On one of her birthdays, my sister and I decided to treat her to dinner at a restaurant. We booked luxury transportation, and told her to be as casual and comfy as she wanted.

Mom showed up in a black and white, houndstooth skirt with a form-fitting black shirt and blue neck scarf. Classy without trying to be classy. Of course this was no surprise for us, as we're used to mom dressing up for nearly every occasion but something about this moment caused me to understand my mom better.

And from that moment on, I knew exactly what to get her for Christmas:

• Cute crystal tumblers and other darling home goods from Anthropologie

• Pretty paintings or vintage photographs, like the Backyard Beauty Print on Canvas (pictured above)

• Basket of self-care body and hair products, luxurious fuzzy slippers included

• Faux mink blanket to cuddle with, especially when it snows.

She's been happy with my gifts to her ever since.

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