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Christmas gifts that are continually not ideal, and general etiquette - Page 3

post #41 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackies Ladybug View Post
donating is not practically throwing away and i am really insulted that ANYONE would think so.
Yeah, I agree with you! I don't see donating anything, including gifts, as practically throwing it away.

Some children only have thrift stores from which to glean toys, and so I feel it's worthy, heck, necessary, to donate those things we will not use rather than let them sit in a corner.

Sometimes even things we would use a little, I still donate if we aren't going to use them a lot because someone else would get more use out of them. Like if I'm only going to use something once a year, I might donate it, if it's something someone else would likely use more than that. It's a way for me to declutter my life and share.

I fully support donating things you don't use.
post #42 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristyMarie View Post
I guess there's a difference between "less than ideal" and gifts that are dangerous, not age-appropriate or blatantly against your values. If it is just something you would not have selected, eh. What can you do? Let them play with it, when they get tired of it then donate it.

But if they are offensive in that they are dangerous for some reason or purposely insulting (I'm thinking a toy gun in a non-gun/vegetarian house) then maybe they stay at her house (like a huge motorized car you don't have space for) or they are donated (thinking a beading toy for a 2 yr old) or refused if they are truly dangerous (thinking a BB gun for a 5 yr old...why do I keep coming up with gun examples? LOL).

But if it is something age-appropriate you just don't like...then I wouldn't make a big deal out of it. Come here and complain but let it go.

And I think donating excess items is always a good idea. If you can't use something, pass it to someone who can.

Darn - in an effort to be fair - I didn't say "crap gifts" and instead said less than ideal.

Yes, they are toys against my values/our values.

They have been toys we don't really have room for (the big motorized ones you mentioned).

And they are generally just gender typical instilling toys that come from companies, stores, and manufacturing processes we do not support.

So I donate them or send them to their house.
post #43 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsiLeaf View Post
Gifts are given out of the kindness of someone's heart. You do not dictate what they should give unless they ask, it's pretty much really rude to do so. I would be mortaly offended if someone told me my gift wasn't good enough and I would refuse to buy for them again.

And to just donate them, that is even ruder. They spent their hard earned money on gifts and you are essentially throwing them away. When I know people do not buy like I do for my daughter, I ask for art supplies. Simple as that.

But if they do not comply, I shut my mouth and be grateful that they thought of my family emough to buy a gift.
So do you just throw them in a corner until the pile become dangerous and falls on someone? Wouldn't donating them be better than paying to store them? Becuase you are NOT obligated by ettiquette to let your kids have or play with something that you don't believe is good or healthy for them.
post #44 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I was not present for the conversation, which I left up to DH since it is his parents, but apparently they were quite offended and basically said they wouldn't be buying toys anymore.
Now you simply say "thank you for not buying too much stuff for the kids anymore, that is very helpful."
post #45 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TulsiLeaf View Post
Let me put it to you this way.

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.
Receiving gifts should be humbling and have a bit of gratefulness on the receivers part. Someone spent their money on you, show some respect. Just because they do not share your taste in toys, clothes or whatever, there is no reason to turn your nose up at them. Not everyone can afford or even knows about buying wooden toys that cost 60 bucks a pop! Waldorf isn't mainstream, neither is Montessori and many of the things that lots of us are into here. It just isn't. Toys with bells and whistles and lights and batteries are the NORM and most people scoff at a wooden barn.

Sometimes I wonder where people where raised. My mother raised to be gracious and accept a gift in the spirit that it was given in. I gave homemade gifts this year because I couldn't afford to buy anything really. Had anyone turned up their nose, I would have taken that gifts back and never given them something ever again.

And I am the type that thinks wish lists are darn right rude. Christmas/Holiday time is not a time to be like "I want this and I want this and I want this" The gift giving is secondary to the time spent with family. And when it comes to gift giving, I buy what I would love to buy for them because I adore them. I find it rude that someone gives me a list and then expects stuff off of there.

I see your points, and I am going to assume you mean all this with the most kindness and understanding.



One, I don't hand them wish lists, which maybe is part of the problem, so I'm told. One year out of several, I sent them a list that DH and I came up with together with many different price points and descriptions. It was not proscriptive. It was suggestive. It started at a price point of $5.

The thing is they are spending way more than $60 (probably double that) on a bunch of flashy battery toys that we will not use, nor replace the batteries for. That is not how we do things in our household. I'm not asking for Montessori or Waldorf, specifically, although those themes would be fine.

I suggested mainly books. What is wrong with that? If they are going to plunk down that much cash every year for Christmas why wouldn't they want something that we will use and keep?

And what is wrong with donating and finding a good home for something we won't use or use very much? I don't think this is wrong at all. There are children out there whose only source of toys is a thrift store or donations. If it's an unused, new in the box toy, think of the joy that child may have this Christmas. That might be the only new toy he or she receives this year. It might make some parent very happy to find something they can have Santa bring. Have you seen the toy selection at most thrift stores? It's usually a bunch of old stuffed animals and games with missing pieces. Yes, I will continue to donate our toys when we don't use them much anymore and toys we won't use much from the beginning. It's a good end use, as far as I'm concerned.
post #46 of 122

nm.


Edited by April Dawn - 7/5/11 at 8:20pm
post #47 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrs. Turner View Post
I usually hold onto things that the kids don't play with simply because I felt bad giving them away after they were given as gifts, but, you know what? I'm sick of my house being cluttered with toys just because of this sentiment. It's a waste of people's money either way, and I think it's ok to acknowledge that. Giving them away to someone who will actually USE them is not rude imo.
Yes!



I am comfortable with donating the toys we won't use. I don't have a problem with that.

I do feel a little bad that they spend money on toys and thought perhaps this year they could be "play with at the grandparents' house toys." You know the loud ones, the gender specific ones that enforce stereotypes we don't necessarily subscribe to, the ones that appear to be made of poor quality and appear to be recalled soon, that kind of stuff. I'm not going to change a bunch of batteries in toys...just not going to...so they are better off being donated or staying at Grandma's where other kids can play with them. Right?
post #48 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KirstenMary View Post
Yep.



This, too.



You did all of this after they ASKED, right? Right? Because if I were them, I wouldn't be buying just toys anymore either...

And what would I do? I never would have done this in the first place, so in your shoes, I would beg forgiveness.
After they asked what? Sorry, am not sure what you mean.
post #49 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by notneb View Post


Unless the toys are dangerous, I just can't understand how a person's feelings about "less than ideal" gifts could ever be more important than a relationship with family members.
Again, I used the phrase "less than ideal" to give them the benefit of the doubt. They are not toys consistent with our values.

In the past, I have just quietly donated them.

It's not more important than the relationship. But my inlaws didn't spend the holiday with their grandchild and never have. They basically came to visit for a short time, dropped off the gifts, and that is how they mark the holiday. So, it's not much effort on their part. I mean, they didn't even call their grandchild on Christmas...not a big deal individually...but altogether it's a bit sad.
post #50 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
After they asked what? Sorry, am not sure what you mean.
They asked you for lists, prices, brands, to be signed up for catalogues...or did you just provide that to them on your own?
post #51 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by eclipse View Post
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.
Yep, those are basically my criteria.
post #52 of 122
Quote:
Some people give many gifts because they are addicted to buying
yep. and even though they may very well love the recipient, they are indulging their own addiction and giving rather inconsiderately, or thoughtlessly.
post #53 of 122
I'm just lurking here... I don't have kids yet, but am TTC.

I would just like to add that sometimes people buy stuff for other people that is really for themselves. They give it because they like to give gifts and it makes them feel like a good person.

I deal with this constantly from a certain family member. She often gives DH and I gifts - in fact, every time she sees us we get gifts. 99% of these gifts end up as clutter.

I don't think anyone is obligated to keep a gift just because it was a gift. There is nothing wrong with thanking the person and then donating it later.
post #54 of 122
A few years ago DH's office teamed up with a local charity to provide toys for some needy kids one Christmas. The kids all wrote letters to Santa with their requests. The one we got was from an 7 or 8 yo who wanted a scooter. I wanted to get the child what she wanted, but I knew that some children are not going to use a scooter safely (depends on personality, coordination, etc.) It just wasn't something I felt comfortable getting for a child that age without asking her parents. So I called the charity, and asked them if it was possible for them to contact the parents and ask if it was OK for the child. They did contact the parents, who said she was not the kind of kid to do dangerous stuff like ride it in the street. So, I went ahead and got a scooter.

A few years later I ran into a nice bargain on some finger skateboard thing. They looked like the kind of thing a typical 11 yo boy would like, so I picked them up for my 11 yo nephew. After asking my sister if she thought DN would like them, she felt that b/c of the way they designed with tiny interchangeable parts, he would be frustrated do to his poor fine motor skills. So, I sent it off to a toys for tots bin. I'm sure some 10 to 14 yo boy who happened to have normal or good fine motor skills really loved getting it.

The thing about some toys is they are fine and wonderful toys for one child and horrible mistakes for another. The scooter we were asked to donate could be a great gift for most children, but for others a death sentence. My nephew also received a scooter as a present from my sisters ILs that Christmas (it was the year they were big) and he ended up in the ER the first time he tried to use it. If anyone had gone to the simple trouble of asking his mom if it was OK, she would have said "no DN is pretty uncoordinated, and we don't have a safe place for him to ride it." The gift itself is fine and great, but not right for all kids.

Had I kept the finger skateboard thing and insisted in giving it to DN, then insisted that he use it before it got donated, it would then have been a used toy probably missing parts. Why would that be a better donation than the same toy brand new in an unopened box? So, I say if you're going to be donating something b/c it's wrong for your DC, doing it before your DC messes it up is preferable.

My long way of saying: I do not think donating gifts before they are used by the recipient is rude. I think parents have every right to say a toy isn't right for their child (and it's better if that can happen before the kid sees the gift and ends up disappointed that mom won't let them use it or in the ER if mom gives in b/c the kids really wants it.)
post #55 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I see your points, and I am going to assume you mean all this with the most kindness and understanding.



One, I don't hand them wish lists, which maybe is part of the problem, so I'm told. One year out of several, I sent them a list that DH and I came up with together with many different price points and descriptions. It was not proscriptive. It was suggestive. It started at a price point of $5.

The thing is they are spending way more than $60 (probably double that) on a bunch of flashy battery toys that we will not use, nor replace the batteries for. That is not how we do things in our household. I'm not asking for Montessori or Waldorf, specifically, although those themes would be fine.

I suggested mainly books. What is wrong with that? If they are going to plunk down that much cash every year for Christmas why wouldn't they want something that we will use and keep?

And what is wrong with donating and finding a good home for something we won't use or use very much? I don't think this is wrong at all. There are children out there whose only source of toys is a thrift store or donations. If it's an unused, new in the box toy, think of the joy that child may have this Christmas. That might be the only new toy he or she receives this year. It might make some parent very happy to find something they can have Santa bring. Have you seen the toy selection at most thrift stores? It's usually a bunch of old stuffed animals and games with missing pieces. Yes, I will continue to donate our toys when we don't use them much anymore and toys we won't use much from the beginning. It's a good end use, as far as I'm concerned.


If they asked for suggestions, nothing. If they didn't, everything. It assumes that what they would have given isn't good enough for you - and obviously it wasn't. And it also emphasises how materialistic Christmas has become.
post #56 of 122
Thread Starter 
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 see how you feel, and I sympathize, and I see how your comments come from that.

I am not high and mighty or feel entitled. I come from a very poor background (one of my parents is homeless to this day - homeless in the worst sense, chronically and the other parent close to) so as you can imagine I never had a Christmas in a traditional sense. And my own parents can't afford decent food so they are not able to give my child presents of any kind. So, I do not feel entitled or greedy.

My inlaws do have the means to give presents, and do. They do not spend holidays with my child, which is an issue, and there has been some unfairness in some other things about how they treat certain grandchildren.

I don't expect anything other than fairness amongst the grandchildren, and that they do not expect us to take the gifts they give and use them no matter what.

Honestly, I would rather my child not have those type of things, even if it means no Christmas gifts from them. I don't want the clutter, the noise, the batteries we need to change, the safety hazard, etc. They bought age inappropriate things that were choking hazards. Our child has sensory issues and I've explained that over and over and over again. They don't get the choking thing or the over stimulation thing.

So, we just donate the toys usually that aren't right for us because maybe they will be right for someone and I don't want them in a landfill.

But DH's parents are spending the money so wouldn't it make sense for them to buy something that is useful and needed? It's not like all our needs are met so why not try to optimize, you know? As I said, our child has sensory issues and I haven't purchased all the things recommended by the OT due to money. Why not, if they're going to buy something and spend the same amount of money, buy something the OT could be beneficial?

Or another thing I recommended was books! You can't go wrong with books! So, no, I definitely was not greedy nor feeling entitled.

post #57 of 122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirstenMary View Post
If they asked for suggestions, nothing. If they didn't, everything. It assumes that what they would have given isn't good enough for you - and obviously it wasn't. And it also emphasises how materialistic Christmas has become.
Well, I think they did ask about birthday presents one year and that is when I made the suggestions. So, no, technically it wasn't a Christmas list.

Also, my inlaws do not spend Christmas with us, so this is their "Christmas" - the giving of the gifts during a short visit. They are not interested in spending Christmas unless it has all the Christmas things - the tree, the big meal, the lights, that stuff and I don't do those things because I don't believe in all those things and so they don't want to spend Christmas with us and never have.

I just don't want material junk for the sake of Christmas. Like I said, I'd rather them not give the presents if that is what they are going to do year after year.

It's too bad they can't look at our toys in our home and take a cue. But they probably are - they are making a statement against our values, I think, in some ways. I know they don't agree with many things we (I) choose for our child so probably buying the big noisy trucks is their way of sharing their values with their grandchild (?).

post #58 of 122
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimberlyD0 View Post
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.


I would never say it's not good enough for my family but it's good enough for a poor family.

No way!

But, it might be of use to someone, possibly, or be something they can give for Christmas to their own children if they have fallen on hard times. And it's better to donate than to stuff in a landfill.

What's "crap" to me is based on my values, right? Another family (heck, my inlaws!) have different values. It might not be crap to them right?

My DH grew up playing with some toys that are OK for us. He grew up using other toys I would never use now - toy guns, candy cigarettes, things like that.

To each their own. It doesn't mean I think the poor deserve less. They don't. Most of my belongings as a child were second hand or thrifted or from charity. There is a real need for donations.
post #59 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
My inlaws do have the means to give presents, and do. They do not spend holidays with my child, which is an issue, and there has been some unfairness in some other things about how they treat certain grandchildren.

I don't expect anything other than fairness amongst the grandchildren, and that they do not expect us to take the gifts they give and use them no matter what.
Here's the real problem. You think your ILs favor their other grandchildren. It's not about the toys, but you've made it about that. I see that pattern here - that posters who complain about gifts really are complaining about something else. Gifts are easier because they're tangible, but I'll bet that if you had a great relationship with your ILs, you'd overlook a few toys that required batteries.

No, they don't have to treat all of their grandchildren the same. There's no requirement for that, and unfortunately it's their relationship with you and your DH that has the greatest bearing on their relationship with your children. I would assume they won't even be doing the gift drop-off from now on. I don't understand, though, what you want from them. You said you don't "believe in all that" - meaning Christmas trees, big meals, Christmas in general (I'm not sure), but you're upset because they don't want to spend the holiday with you. If they do celebrate Christmas in a more traditional way, why would they want to spend the day with someone who doesn't? Aren't you really leaving them the option of a) forgoing their idea of Christmas and b) dropping off gifts for your children during a short visit? I really don't see where they've been put in a great position here, and it seems you're upset by whatever they do (hence you being upset that they've now said they aren't going to buy toys after you sent them lists and catalogs and then complained about what they bought).
post #60 of 122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
Here's the real problem. You think your ILs favor their other grandchildren. It's not about the toys, but you've made it about that. I see that pattern here - that posters who complain about gifts really are complaining about something else.
Respectfully, I see your point, but you are wrong.

Case in point, last year, they purchased several gifts that were pretty decent and appropriate (not what I'd buy, but OK) and we kept them and used them. Still use them.

Most of the time they buy the same thing for birthdays and for Christmas. They buy big trucks that run on batteries are loud and are made of cheap materials. I'm talking big, like the ride-on ones, and just slightly smaller than that. At one point, I think we had 7. Yes, seven!!!!!! Seven large ride-on trucks that were cluttering the living room and underfoot everywhere.

Guess what they bought this year? Another large truck. Shouldn't that go to the grandparents house??

As someone else said, if toys aren't in line with your values (toy guns, etc) is it rude to not keep the gift?

Also, someone else mentioned gifts that are appropriate for one child but not safe for another kid.

My kid has major sensory issues and ADHD and issues with motor skills. We've had an OT and other specialists recommend certain types of toys and activities that would really benefit our child. I've passed this along to the grandparents, thinking maybe instead of buying a $60 to $100 large truck they could buy the $60 to $100 sensory therapy toy.
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