My nephew rocks, now how can I say thank you? (A tale of shipping.)

My ETA to Amsterdam is now less than a week. One of the biggest stress factors has been shipping. I’ve gotten a few estimates and it is not cheap, folks. Several times, I went through my stuff saying, “Do I really care enough about this to take it with me?” Or, “It would be better to just buy a new one when I get there than to screw around with packing this up and sending it off.”

I did a lot of math trying to figure this out, and before taxes, custom duties and storage fees, the best price I was able to find for shipping came to approximately $1.70 a pound.

Also, it can take up to two months in storage before I get my stuff. For the essentials, I’d have to re-buy a lot of the stuff in Amsterdam anyway by the time it came in!

Anyway, my nephew works for FedEx, so I asked him if he could help me out. He talked with his boss and said he could. Not only will my things arrive in the Netherlands before I do, we (Coldie and I) ended up saving at the very least $1000. Probably more, since that doesn’t include all the extras when it comes to regular shipping.

So, last night we got the rest of the stuff sent out, it’s all done and I don’t need to worry about it from this side of the pond anymore. As a thank you, I took my nephew and Mom out to his favorite Japanese restaurant, then we shopping and I bought him a couple of things he needed/wanted. He didn’t ask me to and actually, all he really wanted was for me to take him out to dinner. Not even that, his comment was more like, “You owe me a nice lunch.” But it seems woefully inadequate. Because of my back problems, I couldn’t do any lifting or carrying. He handled all of my boxes, loading and unloading them, mostly without help. He trekked all over town with me and pretty much lost two full days to get all of this done. Considering everything, I owe him a great deal.

I don’t want to just hand him money like I was tipping him, but I don’t want to just let it go at that. He’s twenty years old and I’d like to do something else nice for him. A gift certificate seems too unimaginative, but it’s the only other idea that’s come up in my mind for him.

Any thoughts?

What’s he into? To me, something that he doesn’t have but has been wanting - for example, if he’s into photography and wants to start working with a digital camera, well you could find one that’s not super expensive but that would get him started.

Too, at 20 (heck, even now at almost 31), cash is excellent, but it does tend to end up being used for day to day stuff rather than something special.

And, does he rent himself out for moves? I’m moving in a couple of weeks…but only about 8 or 9 hours away.

No suggestions, although I see absolutely nothing wrong with a gift certificate–especially if it’s for a place you know he likes. For example, if he’s into computers or stereos or something you could get Best Buy or Circuit City, something like that.

But you’re right, your nephew definitely rocks!

You could get him tickets to see his favorite band or sports team.

I like the idea of cash or a gift certificate.

If you don’t mind spending a lot on him, I would say that if he ever wants to go over to visit you, pay for his plane ticket and maybe give him a place to stay. I’d jump at the chance to go oversees and not have to pay for it. But, this would get very expensive and the whole point is to save money so maybe it wouldn’t work. Oh well, I tried.

What a great nephew!

I second tickets to an event suggestion.

My son is just a couple years younger than your nephew and is just waiting for his 18 birthday to go to work at FedEx. He loves to get to go to “events” (usually sporting, but some concerts too) but can’t usually afford tickets for two to “big league” level events on his own. Stuff he’d really like to do, but can’t justify the price since we aren’t a wealthy family. In years past we’ve given him play off game tickets to Cowboys, Astros and Rockets most recently, all different years in the last 6 or 7 years if I remember correctly. Twice I won them in drawings at work and let him be my guest. The other time we got the Astro’s tickets at a discount through work.

The other thing he really likes is the chance to try something new. He’s got a list of try it out things he can’t really afford (since he’s got to pay cel, insurance, & education bills first) but would be really delighted to receive as a gift. For example he wants to try out paint ball. Also there’s a program for people to take their first small plane flight if they are interesting in taking pilot lesson. He’s also mentioned a program where you get a day at a race track for driving lessons and to go fast around a track and trying a bungee jump.

Young men are all so different though. A friends son got super excited about being given a weekend bread making course. If someone gave my son something like that he’d be polite but not excited at all. I hope you find an idea that you’ll really enjoy giving and he’ll enjoy receiving.

Have a safe trip.

Your nephew rocks indeed, and I’m buying the dude a case of beer the next time I’m in Arizona. Screw state laws, that guy deserves a cold one or two. :smiley:

I’ve got it! Actually, this is going to work out very well. As it turns out, my nephew is going back to school this week and can’t afford all of his books. There were some problems with his financial aid, so he wasn’t going to be able to buy them for awhile. So, we’ll be getting them this week. He seemed very pleased.

That’s perfect! I wish someone would pay for my school books and I only have to buy 2.

He may be a great nephew but you’re also a great aunt. So many people would have said thanks and left it at that.