He did much better for his mother's birthday earlier this year. He was convinced that she wanted something to use in cooking and that it had to be purple. Suffice it to say, she ended up with not one but two sets of salad tongs that were various shades of purple. Come to think of it, she did quite well on other things he found that she might like. They at least had the quality that it was not obvious that they were things he wanted. Let's face it, he doesn't eat salad.
I also received the usual hand-made cards from the children. My 8 year old's will be particularly memorable as she wrote "Dad, we will never forget you." It was a nice send off.