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Is this pretentious??? Your opinion please! - Page 2

post #21 of 67
I don't know that I'm a fan of the letter. That would not go over well in my family, and if I received a note like that, in spite of sharing the same perspective, I don't think I'd appreciate it as a gift-giver. KWIM? You can be sweet as pie in your wording, but it still appears aggressive. I love the idea of setting up the "myregistry.com" and simply directing people there. It answers the "where are you registered/what can I buy for you?" questions yet also showcases what YOU are interested in without being "preachy." I've been very selective on the things I've put on my registry, hoping it will steer any gift-givers in the right direction (in my case, cloth diapers, a nursing pillow, a breast pump, wooden toys, etc). I can't stop people from buying me clothes/toys/accessories that I don't like, but... it's the spirit of generosity that matters, and at the end of the day if all my kid's clothes are dirty and I have to dress him in a Spongebob getup... so be it.
post #22 of 67
While I completely understand the sentiment behind it, I think the way you have laid it out is liable to cause some backlash.

I think a more approachable way to put it would be something like:
We're trying to reduce our carbon footprint, so we will be cloth diapering and breastfeeding our new addition. We would like to encourage our family and friends who feel the need to shower our child with gifts to consider buying used or organic whenever possible. We would also love to start building this child's library, so we would love copies of your favorite childhood books.

Then do a registry for things like natural toys and have a frank heart-to-heart with both the person throwing the shower and your families so that they know the rest (and can convey it to anyone who asks). I also recommend having catalogs sent to family members who will use them (Nova Naturals is the one I sent my web-illiterate grandmother).

I will second what a pp said though - I registered for my wedding at Amazon - and only 4 people bought off the registry. We did wind up with an awful lot of cash/checks, though. I absolutely REFUSE to frequent BRU/TRU, so there's no way I'm going to register there (I break out in hives just walking through the door) - just the thought of having to go in there to return stuff makes me queasy. I went ahead and registered on Amazon again - for everything from cloth diapers to wooden toys to baby gates. This time most of the people involved are web-literate, so hopefully they'll be a little better about it.

I would also recommend talking to family about the big purchases. My grandmother volunteered for a big purchase, so I asked her to get the (convertible) car seat. It's not the crib she was wanting to buy, but it means we'll be able to come see her.
post #23 of 67
I wouldn't send the letter either, though I too would love if people would follow it for our family as well. We just let people know that we have a tiny tiny condo and that their help would be most preferred. We also made a registry on Amazon, which links to tons of wood toy and cloth diaper shops. Then anything we did get that we didn't want to use, we graciously thanked the giver (of course) and then passed it on to a thrift store or other donation place.
post #24 of 67
i think everyone above me covered it all, but i agree. you can defniitely register at independent stores and register for the things you want your baby to have. that is the point of a registry, to make sure people get you the items that you actually want.
we are registered at jilliansdrawers for example so people can buy us cloth diapers, wooden toys, organic clothes and breastfeeding supplies.

i am also registered at babiesrus because there were things i wanted there as well and my family especially expressed that they would like to shop there.

but look around, there are way more options out there then just main stream. local stores will probably create registries for you for sure. you can also make a favorites list on etsy and direct people there.

tons of ways to do this without being preachy or weird lol
post #25 of 67
Myregistry.com lets you add things from pretty much any store on the internet. I have things from Amazon, Etsy, Kellyscloset, and Target.

Edit - My mom keeps talking about wanting to "spoil the baby rotten" (ugh!) with toys and I just said, "Remember when you made all those clothes for my bear when I was little? I'd love if the baby could receive hand-made toys like that." She found a felt horse pattern on Etsy and is going to be making a bunch of little horses for Baby.

Chris' family isn't very creative. They have a LOT of money and always want to shower everyone with gifts and if you decline something from them they take it very personally, so I'm just going to keep stressing to my sister-in-law (who is throwing the baby shower): NOTHING battery-operated, simple, nice toys and books. I mean really, why does a newborn baby need toys anyway? They can't hold them or do anything with them. Oh well...
post #26 of 67
I would not suggest sending the letter either, but would also suggest the universal registry. Just like moms that register at the big box stores write little notes about what kind of nursery theme, diaper brand, colors, bottle system, etc. they would prefer along with selected registry items, I would suggest that you structure your universal registry similar but for cloth diapers, a sling, clothes, toys, etc. with all of the web addresses (& phone numbers) along with the item names/descriptions.

People both "green" and not fall into 2 gift giving categories in my experience 1) tries to give a gift that will be used/loved and 2) gives whatever they want to give you no matter if it is wanted/useful or not. People that are "mainstream" run into the problem all of the time also with people giving them random baby gifts that they did not register for at all and will not use. It still baffles me to this day how people can be so narrow sighted in gift giving, but it is just fact that many, many people are. You need to come to terms now with the fact that you are not obligated to keep it. Return it and try to find something useful (I got lanolin, thermometer, car seat, etc with the store credit from all of the babies r us & target items that we returned). Or pass it on to someone else that will use it, then at least the impact is lessened. If someone asks about a gift, you can just say that it did not work in your house or that it did not work for your baby and you passed it on to a mom/baby who was in need.
post #27 of 67
Thread Starter 
[QUOTE=Norasmomma;13840260]Honestly I would be annoyed if I got a letter like that-oh wait I did get a letter similar to that in one of my friends baby shower announcements and DH and I made fun of it...just telling the truth.

I don't like being told what I supposed to buy for someone, it makes me not want to get them anything because nothing will be good enough anyway. I get having an opinion, but it seems to come across as a bit preachy to me.

QUOTE]

That`s EXACTLY my problem!!! I hate being sent to a gift register, and that`s why I don`t feel comfortable getting one. I also should point out that I`ve made it clear I do NOT want a shower.

The problem is, I don`t think people will understand this, adn go ahead with getting stuff anyways. That`s where my dilema stems from.

I do appreciate all your input....I especially like the "no room" approach...I agree alot of people will understand that a bit more.

I know I`m certainly not the only person with the dilema!!!
post #28 of 67
If you don't want/need anything then don't do a registry.

But registry or not you are going to get gifts that you do not want/like/need. People are excited and they want to give. Don't preach to or alienate these generous folks, accept graciously and return/donate the items you don't want to keep.
post #29 of 67
I agree with the PPs. I so understand where you are coming from but really they just aren't going to get it and you'll probably just hurt feelings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
I don't like being told what I supposed to buy for someone, it makes me not want to get them anything because nothing will be good enough anyway.


Isn't gift giving about the person you are giving it to not about you? And isn't this especially true when it's for a new couple or child when the items are *needed*? I do like being told what to get for someone so that I know that they will like it and use it. It's about them and their needs.

I just think the whole mindset "I want to get people what I want to get them not what they want/need/will use" to be missing the point of gift giving and to be more than a little self-serving.
post #30 of 67
I agree the letter could come across as preachy (and I AGREE with you).
And I agree you probably can't avoid some less than desirable gifts.
I gave away a lot of stuff to a place that helps low income single moms and moms new to the country who have very little means. A lot of people don't mind disney characters or flashy toys and brand new is even better. But we preferred to avoid those sorts of things so we gave them away. As well as things I simply just didn't like.
It is worth trying to explain what's important to you to people who will give your children gifts over the years though, grandparents etc.
Dh and my parents all consistently give wonderful gifts after we talked about not buying things made in China etc....
AND like others have said there are online stores which offer registries (if you can reconcile to a registry) that carry lots of great natural things.
Good luck!
post #31 of 67
I think it's fantastic.

I put a note in my registry saying that I wasn't willing to pay the prices that so many stores were charging and certainly didn't expect anyone else to either, and then specifically asked for second-hand and homemade gifts. And I got them!

Not everyone will listen to what you want, some of us just can't help buy the ridiculously cute when we see it, but people who know and love you will and they probably already know that you aren't aren't people who like to accumulate stuff, and prefer a more natural route. Those people will try to get you what YOU want, and even if they fail, as long as you aren't rude or ungracious everyone can be happy. You can just drop the stuff you don't want around at Goodwill on your way home!

Good luck!
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oonah View Post
If you don't want/need anything then don't do a registry.

But registry or not you are going to get gifts that you do not want/like/need. People are excited and they want to give. Don't preach to or alienate these generous folks, accept graciously and return/donate the items you don't want to keep.
:
post #33 of 67
I considered sending a letter like that, but I know that it would come across as quite snobbish to my family (and chances are, if you need to send it, it probably would come across that way to those kinds of people.) So I did the universal registry at Amazon, like everyone is suggesting, as well as a smaller, less detailed registry at Target.

I got mostly clothes and stuffed animals, things I DO NOT need, and specifically told everyone I DO NOT need. People bought all of these expensive, fluffy things, and even paid to get them gift wrapped, and didn't include a gift receipt. My husband and I, who don't have a lot of money to burn, by the way, and everyone we know knows this...ended up attempting to return some things. Most stores return policy now is HORRIBLE. Without a receipt, you can only return two things a year, blah blah. I've already returned things to the big stores without receipts this year. So I sold things at garage sales for pennies on the dollar, trying to make a little money to buy other things with, and instead of spending our money on the big things we wanted to, like a crib, we had to spend it on tons of little things that we registered for and nobody cared to get us--like baby lotion, diaper cream, cloth diapers and wipes, etc. Hey, don't buy me a gift, that's fine with me. But for God's sake, must you buy me useless crap that only pollutes the environment?!

Moral of the story is: even with a registry, you still won't get what you want.
post #34 of 67
I have to say I am in a very similar position. I am getting a ton of hand me downs so I get to reuse items like I love to do and I need less. Some of my family do not understand why I would be ok with used items and want so bad to buy some new items.

I started with my Mom and Grandmother and pointed out that I am using Cloth Diapers, I hate plastic cheapy junk and I love that they are crafty! I have done everything possible with those close to me to tell them what we are looking for, colors and themes we like and reminding them how talented they are. With my Mom and sister I can be more honest and I do tell them, yes make the baby socks that is so much better then cheap big box stuff! I know they are hearing me since they are talking to my Aunt's and others and I hope I get some beautiful hand made items. Again really we don't need much but some family will get us stuff no matter what we say.

To work around the shower issue we are having an Un-Shower. We are specifically asking for no gifts (and made it clear that some friends are so generously handing items down to us we don't need much), I want this to be a fun way to celebrate our new family without the hassle of them having to buy us things. If they wanted to get us cards we passed out the information to write a note in a new or used book for the baby. I hope people really understand we don't need anything and would rather have them come celebrate then get us something.

I will add I did register at a box store, I didn't want to but I know our families. I made sure to focus on products we are ok with and made sure to include cloth diaper items so people can see we are cloth diapering. In the end some people love registries some people hate them. As a guest of events I have to say they have been helpful for me. But on the other side I hate them for the same reasons as others have pointed out. But honestly people expect them. I also created two unique online registries as well for my Inlaws that live across the country so they can see what we would really like since what ever is bought has to be shipped.

Overall gifts are gifts we have to appreciate how a gift was given not what is given. I figure if its really something I won't use (like disposables) I can always donate the items to a good cause.
post #35 of 67
I like what you wrote but then again I love it when people tell me what they "really" want, but not everyone thinks the same so I dunno.
post #36 of 67
So I was thinking more on this because really I am having the same issue and doubly so as it is twins this time and everyone is super excited. Basically what I have been telling people when they ask what we need (or where we are registered) is that we just need premie-12 month clothes (we have 3 girls already but I gave away their infant clothes a few months before conceiving ), car seats, swings, etc. I did specify that IMO hand-me-downs are GREAT and that's all I have gotten and lots of them! 2 or 3 big black grabage bag full of clothes, 2 car seats, a swing, and 2 bouncers. When people say they want to bring us diapers I just remind them we cloth diaper and they have asked where they can get those which is nice of them. They are planning or want to do a babyshower and I have said I don't feel the need but if they do one they do one. It's very nice of them to hold us in their thoughts like that and want to help. Oh I forgot to mention we also got a used co-sleeper and a crib from friends. 3 kids later and this is the first time we have ever felt the need to have a co-sleeper or crib.

My point is you don't really have to have a registry or send out a letter or anything just by word of mouth let people know what you need and that you don't mind them second hand but you do mind say plastic toys or whatever. Generally people want to know what it is they can do to help so they will ask you or someone they know might know. I hope that helps even a little.

And I did make a registry online but it was for fun and to get my thoughts in order. I won't show it to anyone because we have already been given so much there isn't much more we need.
post #37 of 67
I'm not sure about the note... some people might find it a little *offensive* for lack of a better word. I think its better to simply not say anything. Maybe do an alternative registry at one of the natural living online stores. But really, no matter what you do, you will get gifts from the big box stores. You can hope for gift receipts and then return or exchange items for things you would actually use. I know stores like Babies R Us and Target just feed into the commercial, mainstream values of indulgence and selfish behavior, but I really think that people who are buying your baby a gift really do have the best intentions at heart.

Perhaps just donate that which you will not use. Or have a garage sale. We were absolutely overwhelmed with gifts when Ds was born and almost none of it got used. We sold some to a local resale shop and donated the rest to a women's shelter. I gave away a lot to friends and people I knew who were in need. There is always someone who can use what you will not.

Hopefully your close family can relay your intentions to the extended friends and family who don't know you as well as they do. Good luck!
post #38 of 67
I don't mind the letter, because I love to buy these kinds of gifts and often don't think they are appreciated. That said I don't think you should send it.

I had the exact same problem with dd 2 years ago. The great thing is there is a much larger selection of organic/natural products even at big box stores.

I registered for very little, even though we had a large extended family who wanted to buy for us. Here's what we did...
-infant car seat , you could also register for the front facing car seat you'll need down the road.
-breast pump (life saver the 1st weeks, as a c-section it helped with milk production. and I hear they help during labor too.)
-breast pump accessories
-medela cloth nursing pads
-first aid kit
-thermometer
-infant toothbrush that fits on my finger (I love this some people just use a washcloth, though)
-bottles- babies-r-us now carries the "born free" glass ones
-our local babies-r-us carries "California Baby" bath gels and lotions, which I love!
-simple things like plain white onesies and snap shirts that dd wore under everything.
-socks
-mittens
-our babies-r-us carries plain gerber diaper pins I stocked up as we use prefolds.
-plain wash cloths
-nail clippers
-cheap white "cloth diapers" used as burp cloths
-video monitor (we didn't use it the first year b/c she was strapped to me 24/7 but I use it now when she naps, and I'm very happy we have it.)

We didn't register for any toys, stollers or plastic baths or accessories, the list is short but I hope it helps. I know a lot of these stores sell things like the bobby pillow and nursing stools which may be useful to you. Also an umbrella stroller for later quick trips might be something you need, we ended up buying one when she was 8 months, it's always in my trunk now.

good luck,
let us know what you decide!
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
I agree with the PPs. I so understand where you are coming from but really they just aren't going to get it and you'll probably just hurt feelings.




Isn't gift giving about the person you are giving it to not about you? And isn't this especially true when it's for a new couple or child when the items are *needed*? I do like being told what to get for someone so that I know that they will like it and use it. It's about them and their needs.

I just think the whole mindset "I want to get people what I want to get them not what they want/need/will use" to be missing the point of gift giving and to be more than a little self-serving.
It's all in how you say it. If you say I will only take x, y and z you may be limiting your options. That's my point. I know it's not about my needs. I was just being honest to the OP about how her letter sounded and if I personally got a letter that said I will only take these items, I just probably would be like well ok then. I understand I got lots of crap that I didn't want(sun dresses for a fall baby?), but I'm sort of a "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" type of person. Plus I took half of it back and got what I wanted.

I didn't want pacifiers, stuffed animals, crappy bottles, guess what I still got all that stuff-truth be told it doesn't matter what you say, there are people who buy whatever they want and they don't care what you want.

As i said before-I get new moms a basket filled with things you are going to use-no matter who you are, cloth breast pads, nipple cream, breast milk storage bags, teething tablets-no one will scoff at that because it's all things that will be used. That usually isn't on anyone's list, and they sure do appreciate it.
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norasmomma View Post
I get what you are saying, but I think it how someone says "Please buy _____". Not we don't want you to buy_____. If I was to get this letter I would just feel like no matter what I bought it wouldn't be appreciated anyway because it would be the "wrong" thing no matter what-it all in how things are phrased. With new moms I always make a mommy's sanity gift basket anyway with Hyland's teething tabs, Tylenol, breast cream, milk storage bags and something simple like washcloths, then no one can really complain-they all are things that are needed at some point.

Trust me I have gotten this letter before and I was offended by it.
Oh, I wouldn't like getting the letter, either. It's just that I don't think the "tempted to buy nothing" is a huge demotivator for the OP. I think she'd like that, as one of the issues here is that people are insisting on getting her stuff.


One thing interests me here...I haven't had a baby shower since ds1 (well, a work one for dd). Are battery-operated, flashy toys really common for newborns? That seems soooo weird to me...
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