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Getting nervous, talk me down.... UPDATE #131 - Page 7

post #121 of 147
You know, if someone makes a donation to the NRA in your name and you're a pacifist, then yeah, that's a statement. But unless you're deliberately going against someone else's values, then a donation in their name is a great gift. After all, it's the thought that counts. And you thought about them. And they don't even have to dust it.
post #122 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post

If the family is not into donations and would rather have "stuff", then the OP is no better then all the families who have been bitched about the last month who continue to do christmas "their way" regardless of anyone's wishes.
Where did I say that they are "not into donations"???? I do not KNOW if they are or not! That is why I started the thread....to see how people....people in general...feel about donations as gifts.

There have been all of these assumptions flung around that I am trying to shove my values down their throats or that I am making "value judgments" about people or that I simply do not care at all about these people and just want to do what makes ME happy. OTOH, to be fair, there have also been some unfair assumptions about the people I am giving gifts to this year that they are shallow, greedy, or ungrateful....which is also not true. Difficult to shop for? In many cases, yes. Inherently evil? Not so much.

If I did not care, I would not bother to ask the question!

Nowhere on this thread have I attempted to change the minds of anyone who does not like this gift idea. I want to know what people's initial reaction would be. That is the whole point. While the meta-discussions are pretty interesting, and I think are worth having, I am still baffled as to how or why this became about me being some sort of "lesson teaching" freak who is trying to destroy Christmas as we know it. Have I said ANYWHERE that I am hoping to "teach them a lesson" or "send a message" by this gift? If I wanted to do that, I would simply donate to my own causes and send them an email....if I even bothered with that. I certainly would not have spent a lot of time (and cleverness, I might add) researching their causes, wrapped gifts with hand-decorated paper and tags, packed them up, and shipped them across the country.
post #123 of 147
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I

Fifth, I do not want this to be perceived as trying to "teach people a lesson" or "imposing our values on others". One major motivation for this plan was that we do not feel comfortable buying a bunch of "stuff", much of which goes directly against what our family ethically believes, to conform to some standard that we feel is getting WAY out of control. That is about US. But I don't want them to feel like we are pointing fingers at THEM.

Yes, we did think of much of this before carrying out our plan and decided we were willing to risk these things....but now I am getting cold feet. I am half tempted to run out, buy a bunch of "stuff" and mail it all really quick Help me! I am worrying for nothing? I keep telling myself that what we choose to give and whether or not we even *decide* to give at all is our decision....but it has really never felt that way and I am starting to make myself feel sick over this.

Would you be happy to get a donation in your name to a cause you care deeply about as a gift? Would you still be happy if you gave that person a whole bunch of stuff? If you were, say, emotionally fragile, was there any chance this could upset you enough to cause HUGE family strife?

I don't even want a whole bunch of stuff I would be THRILLED to get a donation. At least if everyone hates this, they can "get us back" with donations next year Right?
From my OP in case anyone is confused about my motives.
post #124 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
Where did I say that they are "not into donations"????
I do believe I said "not necessarily in this case". I wasn't really addressing you, just the topic in general.
post #125 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
You know, I completely get that. But, I don't really agree. The OP's family want her to not only celebrate their way, but to violate her deeply held ethical beliefs about the environment, the way workers are treated, etc. Expecting someone to throw their financial support behind things they simply don't agree with isn't okay. They're not amenable to accommodating her at all. Homemade isn't okay. Not exchanging at all isn't okay. Picking a name isn't okay. Experience gifts aren't okay.

If you can find me one person who has a deeply held belief that it's unethical not to buy their grandchild two cargo vans full of toys, I'll be impressed. Someone not wanting to celebrate in a certain way and someone feeling that it's unethical to celebrate a certain way are different.
post #126 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post
I've received framed photos of my kid, a pretty ornament, etc, and I hate to say it, but I have felt like it is a bunch of "junk."
Okay, my specific examples that I came up with in 5 seconds in the midst of my pre-holiday fog weren't universally appealing. My general point, as I'm sure you could see, was simply that it's just as graceless to classify every tangible gift as junk as it is to classify donations as crap. Neither is very nice to do, when the giver has thoughtfully selected the gift based on their perception of what the recipient might enjoy.

OP, if anything this thread can give you an idea of the wide variety of thoughts/perceptions/assumptions people have about the idea of giving donations-in-one's-name as gifts. I'm sure some of the reactions here, both positive and negative, will be reflected by the recipients of your letters. But if you're happy with your decision and feel good about what you're doing, I hope your family receives the letters in the spirit in which you intend it, which seems kind and thoughtful.
post #127 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Right of Passage View Post
YES! Something everyone should take to heart this time of year and all year and perhaps say aloud to themselves...."My worth does not depend on the approval of others"

I LOVE that! Can I put it in my siggy and quote you?
post #128 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyflakes View Post
I LOVE that! Can I put it in my siggy and quote you?
I would be honored

OP, I'm hoping we have a positive update in the next couple days. I really hope your family appreciates your detective work and is welcoming of the idea of a donation in their name. I love that you gave them the tax break information as well, they'll be loving your gift here in a few months!
post #129 of 147
I love this idea! My family happens to be the type that goes really overboard at Christmas but I think everyone in my family would be touched by this type of gift. I don't see us personally making a donation the only gift, but this is definitely one of the presents I will give next year.
post #130 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
Okay, my specific examples that I came up with in 5 seconds in the midst of my pre-holiday fog weren't universally appealing. My general point, as I'm sure you could see, was simply that it's just as graceless to classify every tangible gift as junk as it is to classify donations as crap. Neither is very nice to do, when the giver has thoughtfully selected the gift based on their perception of what the recipient might enjoy.
I agree with you. I think that is the point...it isn't universally appealing but nothing is. I think OP is doing the right thing too.
post #131 of 147
Thread Starter 

Update!

We have just finished up our rounds of calls and online photo uploads.

The donations were a HUGE success!!!!!



People were so geeked and confused as to how we figured out who to donate to. My MIL cried...which has certainly never happened with a gift from us before. We have personally spoken to all but 3 of the people we gifted and everyone was pleased.

Whew!

We will be sure to talking about this throughout the year to see what to do next. But at leats for today, all is good
post #132 of 147
Yay! I'm so glad it turned out well for you!
post #133 of 147
Huzzah!
post #134 of 147
I think it's an awesome idea and I'm so glad your recipients felt the same!

Jenn
post #135 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
The donations were a HUGE success!!!!!



People were so geeked and confused as to how we figured out who to donate to. My MIL cried...which has certainly never happened with a gift from us before. We have personally spoken to all but 3 of the people we gifted and everyone was pleased.

What an awesome update I'm so glad they went over so well, especially with your MIL
post #136 of 147
Yay!!!! That's so great about your MIL!
post #137 of 147
I'm so glad they were a hit. I've been following this thread, and thought that they were wonderful inspired lovely gifts, even if I don't come from a family where donations are normally given.
post #138 of 147
! I'm so happy they were so well recieved! I knew they'd love your detetctive work! Way to go mama!
post #139 of 147
I agree that it's a fantastic idea. Anytime we have done it, it has been well received, And I would love this as a gift. I am glad to hear it went over well.
post #140 of 147
Yay! That's wonderful! And even more wonderful given how you'd worried about it. Hopefully this is the start of a redirection of energies for Christmas for you all.

We 'received' four donations this year, all to causes we support. It was really nice to only have the girls' gifts to wrestle with, rather than stuff for us too. And we're settling in with the goal of going through the girls' toys and both of our closets over the next week, and cleaning out the items we're not using so we can donate them.
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