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Christmas gifts that are continually not ideal, and general etiquette - Page 2

post #21 of 122
1st be grateful that your children have Grandparents to buy them gifts, my children do not, as they all passed away very young.

Second there is nothing wong with not liking a gift and giving it to someone that will. There is no need to announce it to the giver.

For example, my Grandmother sent Dh and and I a flavored coffee set thing, and a hickory farms set thing. We are LDS and dont drink coffee, and are vegan. She does know these things LOL! I called and thanked her for her thoughtfullness and that we loved that she thought of us. I NEVER mentioned we wouldnt use them. And then we took them over to the firestation down the street for them to enjoy. It was a win, win, win situation.
post #22 of 122
I have standards I aim for with the toys I provide to my children. I do not apply these standards to gifts they are given, however. I think that personal relationships and politeness are more important. My exceptions are: choking hazards (when the kids are of an age where that's an issue), guns (that's my own thing...everyone's entitled to one, I figure), and things that just physically don't fit in our house (simple physics). Other than that, a gift or five a year that don't fit my own philosophical standards isn't going to dramatically change my child's view of the world. I'm not a fan of Barbie, but dd loves the one her cousin just gave her and he was thrilled with her reaction. Those emotions are going to cement and strengthen their relationship and every time she plays with that doll, she talks about how her cousin picked it out just for her. (Plus, she has our permission to take it apart if she wants to see how it works.)

Honestly? In your situation, I would apologize and move forward. We all have ideals for our children, but it helps to be flexible, as well. It's a diverse world out there and it's ok to let some of that in the front door, even if it doesn't jive 100% with our own desires. The basic standards you set and model for your children are there, all the time, and they will pick them up even if they have a few toys that aren't your favorites.
post #23 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post
1st be grateful that your children have Grandparents to buy them gifts, my children do not, as they all passed away very young.

Second there is nothing wong with not liking a gift and giving it to someone that will. There is no need to announce it to the giver.

For example, my Grandmother sent Dh and and I a flavored coffee set thing, and a hickory farms set thing. We are LDS and dont drink coffee, and are vegan. She does know these things LOL! I called and thanked her for her thoughtfullness and that we loved that she thought of us. I NEVER mentioned we wouldnt use them. And then we took them over to the firestation down the street for them to enjoy. It was a win, win, win situation.
i agree with this completely
post #24 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I completely disagree.

I think either 1. It's okay to do wish lists/requests OR 2. It's okay to donate gifts that don't suit. You can't have it both ways or we'd all have homes full of stuff that we hate. We're a #2 family.

When I give a gift, it's GIVEN. That person can do whatever s/he likes with it.

I do agree that with kids, it's complicated because I might want to donate the gift and my kid might want to keep it. At that point we consider is it safe/morally ok, and if yes, then we discuss space.

Mostly I agree that being overly picky about gifts is not a good thing and that the relationship should come first. But there may be a broader context here. It might work out for the best if they don't give gifts for a couple of years and you find another way to celebrate.

Well I do agree with you with things that are absolutely junk.

I think my utter horror comes from the entitlement displayed at the Holiday times. not everyone thinks a waldorf barn is a stellar gift (I happen to!) or that play silks are awesome. Within my family, they know what kind of stuff I like and they try to stay within the bounds of it, but shopping in retail stores locally. To say, ohhh here you can buy it online, pssshaw, my family won't do that. My family isn't as computer savvy as me and quite frankly they like to see what they are buying before they get it. My mother and my aunt and my Nanny (ohh you should have seen the beautiful books she bought my daughter!) get her things that are in line with what my husband and I like. My mother has come a long way from plastic fisher price and baby einstein (OMG, she NEEDS THESE!!! She can't learn without it at 3 months old). But to expect my cousins to get her what I want is ludicrous. They don't have much money and their tastes are vastly different than mine. But to just give away the toys they buy for my kid with their hard earned money? Unacceptable. It's rude mannered and teaches my kid nothing about grace and manners. My kid is allowed to play with it (unless it was the totally unacceptable bratz doll my hobag ex cousin bought my kid when she was 16months old. I returned that to the store), enjoy it and when they forget about it I then donate it.
post #25 of 122
I dunno, I finally had to tell my mom that if she bought my kids one more thing that made noise or was gigantic and too big for our space without checking with me first, that I would take it back and let the kids puck something else, and let her explain to them why. It sounds awful, but she would keep getting them these toys that completely drove me crazy and made obnoxious sounds (or the play tent the size of one of our bedrooms, when we lived in an apartment with no yard), and laugh while they opened it about how much I would hate it. It's like she was picking the most obnoxious things she could find because she thought it was funny. She'd ask for ideas and then completely ignore all of them, not even getting anything in the realm of our suggestions. My mom is usually very respectful of my parenting, and I'm not even as picky as some people at MDC about things like plastic or electronics, so it completely baffles me. Ever since "the talk" (which I made as matter of fact and polite as possible), she has done much, much better in chosing gifts. I think people who continuously buy unwelcome gifts are not really giving gifts with the other person in mind - they are shopping for themselves. A one off off the mark gift is one thing, but a continuous pattern is another - especially when you don't have a huge number of criteria. I have no idea what the OP's criteria are - but mine are just age appropriate, not loud, not a gun, and not inappropriately sized for our space.
post #26 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandib50 View Post
i think that almost every christmas the kids have donated some of their gifts the inlaws have given them, not because they are ungrateful and unappreciative, but because there is no point for us to hang onto something we don't like and collect clutter.
I think this is fine, but it's the recipient's decision (obviously excluding things the OP morally opposes). My dad's mom used to give me awful gifts. Awful. I always thanked her for giving me a gift and then quietly donated later, but it was my choice to do so. My mom didn't say, "that sweater's hideous. Off to Goodwill!" That would've been inappropriate.

OP, you should consider that sometimes your children will get enjoyment out of things that you may not think that would have liked. That's happened with my children, and then there are things I think they'll love that they don't. It happens. By tossing the gifts without giving your children a chance to play with them you're really not doing anyone any favors (and you could be harming everyone's relationships).

I don't mind "Jack is really into trains" from a parent, but I've had several people this year who've told me specifically what they want me to get for their children. TBH, some of those gifts aren't even bought yet. I will when I get around to it, but I'm not looking forward to it. I'm only buying the gifts because I don't want to punish the children, but I enjoy buying gifts for people. We are selective about buying gifts, and I like to put thought into something that person will enjoy. To me, giving me a specific item sucks a lot of the joy out of celebrating.

And it would really piss me off if someone signed me up for catalogs - I don't need more junk mail!!!
post #27 of 122
I'll take all these unwanted, not good enough gifts everyone keeps complaining about.

Its so frustrating as a mom who is trying EVERYTHING to give her kids what she can and knowing I can't. My kids got 2 gifts each for Christmas this year. Saddly not from us. DH lost his job, and my dad has terminal Cancer, so no gifts there either.

Without the good will of a mystery angel my kids would have got nothing for Christmas. Both the gifts they got were second hand and guess what. No one here cared. We woke up Chritmas morning ready to celebrate Jesus and God and at our door was a package from a mystery angel. I suspect its one of my neibores who is also struggleing.

Rather then being all entitled and high and mighty, think of other families like mine. Where anything would be welcome. People need to learn to be greatful and not greedy.
post #28 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsiLeaf View Post
If I bought you a gift, I bought YOU a gift. You just up and donate it without using it just because it is something you don't like or it isn't "good enough" for you. That is really rude. Seriously. It was a waste of my money. If I wanted to donate something to charity and spend my money that way, I would have.
.
I graciously disagree. We live thousands of mile from families and live a somewhat non mainstream life coupled with some SN kids. Our families in the few times they have sent gifts have been totally not what we would have picked even after telling them what to get (after they asked) We normally return them if possible but if not I have given them to other families who would use them.

My gma is a great example of keeping things because of guilt. She literally has closets full of "thing" that people have given her that are not her taste/size/inappropriate yet she holds on to the for guilt factor. Now that seems like a total waste of money and resources. We luckily convinced her to donate a lot of it to a charity but honestly 2o yr old clothes WITH tags are still out of style no matter

i am however a gracious receipient and thank them for thinking of us. But I dont think that you have to keep something just because someone gave it to you.
post #29 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
I'll take all these unwanted, not good enough gifts everyone keeps complaining about.

Its so frustrating as a mom who is trying EVERYTHING to give her kids what she can and knowing I can't. My kids got 2 gifts each for Christmas this year. Saddly not from us. DH lost his job, and my dad has terminal Cancer, so no gifts there either.

Without the good will of a mystery angel my kids would have got nothing for Christmas. Both the gifts they got were second hand and guess what. No one here cared. We woke up Chritmas morning ready to celebrate Jesus and God and at our door was a package from a mystery angel. I suspect its one of my neibores who is also struggleing.

Rather then being all entitled and high and mighty, think of other families like mine. Where anything would be welcome. People need to learn to be greatful and not greedy.
to you and your family, and for your post. Your children are very blessed to have parents that no matter what is going on around you, focus on the positive, and the true meaning of the season.
post #30 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
I'll take all these unwanted, not good enough gifts everyone keeps complaining about.
...
Rather then being all entitled and high and mighty, think of other families like mine. Where anything would be welcome. People need to learn to be greatful and not greedy.
Thank you! I was thinking the same thing!

I'm appalled at all of the posts on here this week about gifts that "aren't good enough". Where do people get this sense of entitlement? It's terrible to think that it's ok for you to turn your nose up at something that someone spends their hard-earned money on to give to your child, and it's teaching them the same rude behavior. Where I come from you take what you get, and even if it's not something you like, you appreciate that someone cared enough for you to get you anything at all. If you want to donate it eventually if it doesn't get used or if it's in terrible condition, fine, but if someone gets your child something and you dont even give them a chance to play with it before you send it off to goodwill, that's wrong, imo.

Whatever happened to "it's the thought that counts"? The thought is still good enough for me.
post #31 of 122
What do you consider less than ideal?

You said they'd be allowed to keep the toys at their home, for the kids to play with there . . . which seems to imply two things -- 1. You're okay with the kids playing with the toys SOMEWHERE, just not at your house and 2. The kids will actually want to play with them. Why not just let them play with them at home, be appreciative for the gift, and get on with your life?

I have a really hard time thinking of things that my kids would hate/not use at all. There are a few characters they REALLY don't like, so yeah, it would suck to get a gift that was character-themed (however, when this happened to my daughter she was exceptionally gracious all on her own -- and then gave the movie to a friend's daughter, who loved it). Beyond that, unless they're being given things that are way below their age levels or things that aren't toys at all, I'm finding it hard to believe that someone could even come up with years worth of inappropriate toys.

Now, maybe I should end this by saying that I'm not picky about toys. My kids have a whole range from plastic crap (some of which they really wanted and really enjoy) to expensive Playmobil and beautiful wooden things, etc (same). Sure, I have preferences -- I'd rather spend my money on nice things that will last . . . but I'm not going to deny them other things that give them a lot of pleasure.
post #32 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
Rather then being all entitled and high and mighty, think of other families like mine. Where anything would be welcome. People need to learn to be greatful and not greedy.

I think people here ARE thinking about families like yours. No one here has suggested that unwanted gifts be thrown away. Everyone has suggested donating - either to a charity, or to a family who needs the items. I don't think it's about greed. It's about not wanting my family to waste money on items that will not be used by my son. I am very glad that your neighbor came through for your family - that's awesome!


Edited by April Dawn - 7/5/11 at 8:18pm
post #33 of 122
to say no thought is going into it is just not true. they are thinking of your dc, and buying them something they think they will enjoy. misguided as they may be, they ARE thinking of him/her. if it's ok for the children to play with them at the grandparent's house, then it's the preference of the parents, not the children, anyway.
post #34 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
I'll take all these unwanted, not good enough gifts everyone keeps complaining about.

Its so frustrating as a mom who is trying EVERYTHING to give her kids what she can and knowing I can't. My kids got 2 gifts each for Christmas this year. Saddly not from us. DH lost his job, and my dad has terminal Cancer, so no gifts there either.

Without the good will of a mystery angel my kids would have got nothing for Christmas. Both the gifts they got were second hand and guess what. No one here cared. We woke up Chritmas morning ready to celebrate Jesus and God and at our door was a package from a mystery angel. I suspect its one of my neibores who is also struggleing.

Rather then being all entitled and high and mighty, think of other families like mine. Where anything would be welcome. People need to learn to be greatful and not greedy.
I am sorry to hear of your situation
post #35 of 122
I don't know. I do know that it's hard to be gracious, but you gotta do it.

And, then, on the other hand...if they now refuse to ever buy toys...is that necessarily a bad thing?

My own dad and stepmother love to buy JUNK. SOOOOOO much stuff. Literally piles of it. Our children receive more in quantity from them than from us/Santa on Christmas Day. And, most of it is junk that will tear up quickly. We have a medium size house, but I don't want every inch covered in toys, you know? We just don't have space for all the toys that were gifted to us. The best? A rocking horse that is huge and stuffed. We already have a wooden rocking horse from dh's sister. The same father gave us a plastic motorcycle rocking thing last Christmas. One of my children rocks for about 10 minutes a week, cummulative. Again, smallish house. We do not need THREE rocking toys that don't get played with. I don't feel bad for a single second about donating that toy, unopened, in the box.
post #36 of 122
You don't like the toys they bought, so why do you care if they never buy a toy again for your kids? Won't that solve the problem right there?

I don't get why someone would feel upset or hurt when they decided to tell someone they didn't like their gifts and then the gifter decided based on that info to just not do gifts anymore!

You're getting what you want here. No more substandard toys. So at least have the grace to accept their answer and be nice now. You shouldn't expect them to have the emotions that you want them to feel too! You didn't want non-ideal toys, now your kids won't be getting them, time to move on and don't pick at things. You'll only hurt them further, and that's not kind.
post #37 of 122
I get it! I'll never ever forget the Christmas my son was just a year old.

I provided a general list ie. a shape sorter, some puzzles... blah blah blah (stuff that could be found at Toys R Us and Walmart - not weird stuff). Then I wrote, "(DS) mostly enjoys toys that don't make a lot of noise and mommy enjoys things that don't take up too much room in our tiny home. Thank you so much for taking the time to think of us this year. We appreciate it."

Well, my family decided it would be funny to start a pool. Whoever got the "biggest, loudest, most obnoxious gift" for my DS would take the pot. I read the email that went around about it. They actually used those words. In fact, the email started with "Crystal has gotten so weird since she had her kid... I don't get why she won't let him watch TV... let's see how much we can p*ss her off!"

So, yeah... that year wasn't about giving my child a heart felt gift.

And so it began. Until this year gifts were about making Mommy mad. But it didn't work. They didn't get the reaction they hoped. So this year they (I now have two sons) they mostly bought clothes. Fine with me!

I'm sorry there are families that have nothing. I do a great deal to help those families I know/hear about in that situation. (Similar to what a PP's neighbor did). I am grateful for all my family is blessed with.
post #38 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post
to you and your family, and for your post. Your children are very blessed to have parents that no matter what is going on around you, focus on the positive, and the true meaning of the season.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrittneyMarie View Post
Thank you! I was thinking the same thing!

I'm appalled at all of the posts on here this week about gifts that "aren't good enough". Where do people get this sense of entitlement? It's terrible to think that it's ok for you to turn your nose up at something that someone spends their hard-earned money on to give to your child, and it's teaching them the same rude behavior. Where I come from you take what you get, and even if it's not something you like, you appreciate that someone cared enough for you to get you anything at all. If you want to donate it eventually if it doesn't get used or if it's in terrible condition, fine, but if someone gets your child something and you dont even give them a chance to play with it before you send it off to goodwill, that's wrong, imo.

Whatever happened to "it's the thought that counts"? The thought is still good enough for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunnyflakes View Post
I am sorry to hear of your situation
Thank you. Its just been a horrible year in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by April Dawn View Post
I think people here ARE thinking about families like yours. No one here has suggested that unwanted gifts be thrown away. Everyone has suggested donating - either to a charity, or to a family who needs the items. I don't think it's about greed. It's about not wanting my family to waste money on items that will not be used by my son. I am very glad that your neighbor came through for your family - that's awesome!



In a lot of cases, there is NO thought going in to it. My DH's extended family gave DS gifts. They are not close to us - these are people that had never met DS till Christmas, and yet they live less than an hour away. It's not a matter of them thinking that they love him and want to pick a gift from them. It's social conditioning and marketing that tells them they must BUY BUY BUY! at the holidays, even when the gift recipient is a child they are not close to and know nothing about. There are also some people like my MIL, who gives DS a pile of gifts EVERY time she sees him (she sees us every other Saturday). And the gifts are usually junky, grubby toys or stained clothes from a yard sale - it's not about wanting to give him a gift, it's about her being unable to stop buying things. So I see a lot of gift giving where there's no real thought going into the gift. And the bottom line for me is that we have a small house and no room to store yucky clothes DS won't wear and big plastic toys he won't play with! I really don't think that's ungrateful. We always thank the giver and quietly give the items to charity in a few weeks, and someone who needs them more will get them.
honestly when it comes to clothing with my 4 year old its all stained after the first time she wears it anyway. While I am somewhat picky about what she'll wear to daycare or school, ever concider those "crappy" clothing for outdoor play, painting, crafts? or any other number of "durty" activities?

I get what your saying about "crappy" stuff. I just think there is a time and a place for bringing that up. There is also a way. Saying "this is crap" wont get you far.

If people simply don't want used because its "below them" then thats ungreatful, waistful, and rude.

Also if this stuff is trully that bad, why would it be ok for families like mine just because we're poor. Sure we need second hand toys and clothing, but that doesn't mean we need crap either.
post #39 of 122
Who said anything on this thread about used clothes and presents? Some of the "crappy for us" gifts that my kids have recieved would be great for other families in other circumstances (like the play tent I mentioned up thread would be fine now that we have a bigger house and a yard). Used is fine by me, especially if it's something we can actually use and want as opposed to a new gift that cost someone a bunch of money that we will never use.
post #40 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
Who said anything on this thread about used clothes and presents? Some of the "crappy for us" gifts that my kids have recieved would be great for other families in other circumstances (like the play tent I mentioned up thread would be fine now that we have a bigger house and a yard). Used is fine by me, especially if it's something we can actually use and want as opposed to a new gift that cost someone a bunch of money that we will never use.
Oh, I see where the used clothes came in. Nevermind I still see that person's point, though. Most people have their own stained up kids clothes that they already use for painting and stuff. If someone already has plenty of clothes, it doesn't make sense to go out and buy more stained clothes, you know?
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