Originally Posted by Sailor
Re: flowers - in Poland people very rarely give flowers. Their association is almost always with graveyards and funerals. In fact, that's where most of the florist shopes are located - right next to cemetaries.
In Hungary we had lots of flower giving. Whenever we went to see my grandmother my mom would have me present her with a little bundle of flowers we would buy at the subway station from the little old ladies there. (And we went to see her a couple of times a week! But she may just have felt sorry for the flower sellers, they were practically beggars, some of them.)
And they would bring flowers for pretty much all other occasions as well. Graduations, dinner parties, illness, name days... etc)
Oh, do you know if your MIL's name day is coming up? Do they do that in Russia? In Hungary they always announce what name day it is that day and everyone celebrates people with that name. Small presents or drinks or something. Birthdays are private family affairs but name days everyone would celebrate, like people you work with or your friends etc.