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Dealing with gifts during holidays, birthdays, etc... help! - Page 3

post #41 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

we don't compromise our values for the sake of a gift- that is not a message we want sent to our child

 

understand the values (and in some cases morals) of the person getting the gift is also important and some gifters get it and show respect

 

frankly if the person that is giving you items that can't respect you, do you really want that message shown to your children?

 

random person giving a gift is not like a close person who is a part of your life and should have an understand of who you are (what you value and what messages you want your child to receive)- if they don't are they really giving you a gift from the heart? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by dealing with our way we also have eliminated the excess and it sends the value message we want to our child


 

 

Let's look at these messages though:

 

1. If you respect me, you will only get me what I have expressed to you that I want. (Unspoken there is "I am entitled to have people give me what I want to have." and "Exchanges of gifts are more about receiving than giving.")

 

or

 

2. I am thankful whenever anyone thinks enough about me and cares enough to give me a gift. I am not entitled to anything, and have gratitude when someone is kind to me.

 

I would absolutely rather my children learn #2.

post #42 of 61

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

we don't compromise our values for the sake of a gift- that is not a message we want sent to our child

 


But for me, being considerate of others' feelings, being skillful and sensitive in maintaining relationships, and practicing gratitude are important values that I want my child to learn. There are many, many other opportunities outside of the gift-giving arena to teach DD about mindful consumption, being environmentally responsible, etc.

post #43 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

 

 

 

 

we don't compromise our values for the sake of a gift- that is not a message we want sent to our child

 

understand the values (and in some cases morals) of the person getting the gift is also important and some gifters get it and show respect

 

frankly if the person that is giving you items that can't respect you, do you really want that message shown to your children?

 

random person giving a gift is not like a close person who is a part of your life and should have an understand of who you are (what you value and what messages you want your child to receive)- if they don't are they really giving you a gift from the heart? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by dealing with our way we also have eliminated the excess and it sends the value message we want to our child




To be honest, I can't really understand what you are saying here. "Random person giving a gift is not like a close person who is part of your life and should have an understand of who you are..." I don't know what that means. 

 

Here's the thing. My kids have birthday parties. They invite the class, so as not to make anyone feel left out. The children bring gifts. All these parents have different values, and beliefs and families. Sometimes they bring a gift that I would not choose for my child (ie a Barbie, a weapon type thing...) All these gifts are given to my children in a show of friendship. They are all appreciated.  They are symbols of friendship.

 

When we go to a party, I ask my kids, "What does Susie like?" If Susie like Tinkerbelle, according to my Five year old, then Tinkebelle it is. Maybe the Mother is sick and tired of TinkerBelle. I have no way of knowing, and I am not calling to find out (who has time for that?) My daughter gives her friend a Tinkerbelle doll because they are friends, and she is trying to wish her friend a Happy Birthday. I hope that child has been taught to smile and say thank you, even if she is past the Tinkerbelle stage, because if the gift is more important than the giver (because of some family moral code we violated by giving Tinkerbelle) well, then my daughter will be heart broken.

 

I still don't understand not being grateful for each gift that is given, as a show of love and friendship. That is a value I want to teach my kids.

post #44 of 61

I really don't get how some of you just don't get it

 

would you disrespect someone values if they were of a certain religion or practices or held certain beliefs?

 

if the family is devoutly modest would you think it's loving and kind for the child to be given a Barbie doll (by a close friend) because they saw and thought it was so great?

and they should be thankful that you don't respect their values? 

 

there is a difference between a neighbor who hardly knows you but knew you had a baby and gave you a gift and a close family/friend that has been to your home, knows that values you hold and gives you an item that is not in accordance to your beliefs

 

 

post #45 of 61

If they are knowingly disrespectful, like the gift of poop someone talked about, then you address the disrespect. But it's not disrespectful to not know someone wouldn't like a Barbie, or to not understand someone's religious beliefs enough to make a good guess that they wouldn't like a Barbie. Gift recipients should be thankful that the giver cared about them and wanted to give them a gift and actually gave a gift, even if they didn't guess right, or saw something and remembered how much joy they or their kids had with a similar item and wanted to share that joy, or whatever. If the motivation isn't disrespect, there is no reason to assume they're being disrespectful. But it is absolutely an attitude of entitlement that anyone should be able to decide what gifts they get. That isn't what a gift is.

post #46 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by serenbat View Post

I really don't get how some of you just don't get it

 

would you disrespect someone values if they were of a certain religion or practices or held certain beliefs?

 

if the family is devoutly modest would you think it's loving and kind for the child to be given a Barbie doll (by a close friend) because they saw and thought it was so great?

and they should be thankful that you don't respect their values? 

 

there is a difference between a neighbor who hardly knows you but knew you had a baby and gave you a gift and a close family/friend that has been to your home, knows that values you hold and gives you an item that is not in accordance to your beliefs

 

 


Many of my close friends and family don't know all my values. I know they don't share them, so I don't really talk about them all that much. They know, in most cases, that I look at gifts and such a little differently than they do. Some of them understand some of the reasons why. But, they don't know all the ins and outs. My SIL is nothing like me, and she has no way of knowing that I really, really don't like Bratz dolls. What she does know is that a lot of girls do like them, and she has no issue with them, and she really cares about my dd and wants to give her something nice for Christmas. So, she goes and finds something that she thinks dd will like, and that she wants to give...and they've actulaly been a hit.

 

In any case, I've never had anyone give me a gift that wasn't in accordance with my beliefs. I've had a few people give my children gifts that aren't in accordance with my beliefs...but those gifts weren't given to me. And, I have to admit that every time it's happened (not often, but a few times), my child has loved the gift in question. So, I don't think anyone was disrespecting me. I think they were attempting to show affection for my children.

 

There's a difference between simply not getting it, and being deliberately disrespectful. Many people don't get that people can have real values about MIC, plastic, etc. They think it's snooty, elitist nonsense, and is all about showing how much better (or richer) than the masses one is. They simply don't understand that it's a matter of deeply held values. And, the same is true about the massive overload of quantity. When someone objects to a massive overload of gifts, there's a strong undercurrent of "well, they have to say that, or they'll look greedy" in some people's minds.

 

I do think things can get out of hand. I've read threads here where people talk about family members pestering crying children, who are totally and completely done, into continuing to open presents. I think at that point, I'd simply say, "my child has had enough, and this is obviously about you, not him/her, so we're done". But, I give people the benefit of the doubt.

post #47 of 61

 

 

Quote:
 But it is absolutely an attitude of entitlement that anyone should be able to decide what gifts they get.

 

 

clearly you don't understand

 

there is a BIG difference in making  a list of things you don't want and NOT listing what you do want- it makes it very clear --- that way you are NOT saying that you are deciding on what should someone get you, you make it clear what you family does not do, does not have in your home, what you are opposed to (for various reasons be it allergies, etc) ---- I have meet far more people that would rather give a gift that was needed instead of something the family doesn't want/use or can't even have in the home

 

it still is about respect for me - if you care enough to give a gift to someone you know you should care enough to know if it is something that they don't have a problem with

 

there are many people who don't have children and come up totally inappropriate and unsafe gifts for kids thinking it is soooooooooo great

 

 

I know of an adult who as a child was given dolls by an aunt, hated them (totally freaked the child out) and threw them all away, ended up having a estranged relationship partly due to it and the aunt was mad later to find out and said she would have rather known and gotten what was appreciated

 

not everything automatically deserves a thank you and a smile-IMO

 

post #48 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie05 View Post

To be honest, I can't really understand what you are saying here. "Random person giving a gift is not like a close person who is part of your life and should have an understand of who you are..." I don't know what that means. 

 

Here's the thing. My kids have birthday parties. They invite the class, so as not to make anyone feel left out. The children bring gifts. All these parents have different values, and beliefs and families. Sometimes they bring a gift that I would not choose for my child (ie a Barbie, a weapon type thing...) All these gifts are given to my children in a show of friendship. They are all appreciated.  They are symbols of friendship.

 

When we go to a party, I ask my kids, "What does Susie like?" If Susie like Tinkerbelle, according to my Five year old, then Tinkebelle it is. Maybe the Mother is sick and tired of TinkerBelle. I have no way of knowing, and I am not calling to find out (who has time for that?) My daughter gives her friend a Tinkerbelle doll because they are friends, and she is trying to wish her friend a Happy Birthday. I hope that child has been taught to smile and say thank you, even if she is past the Tinkerbelle stage, because if the gift is more important than the giver (because of some family moral code we violated by giving Tinkerbelle) well, then my daughter will be heart broken.

 

I still don't understand not being grateful for each gift that is given, as a show of love and friendship. That is a value I want to teach my kids.


This sums it up for me.  My dd just had her first birthday party with friends (7 years old).  It was so fun to watch her open the gifts and see what things were lovingly given.  Some of them were little trinkets that the neighbor makes for fun and I knew she'd just grabbed a few things from her piles and piles of jewelry.  But she took the time to pick out ones she thought dd would like.  There was a Minnie Mouse and a Belle in there.  My daughter couldn't care less about Disney stuff but she loved getting that fun jewelery.  I felt good that the neighbor didn't go out and spend a fortune on something and she picked to the best of what she assumed my dd would like.

 

It's funny that someone has brought this up because it hasn't happened to use yet.  But I can't stand Bratz dolls but I can say that if someone had given dd one, I wouldn't have the heart to take it away.  I would probably try to find it some more modest clothing though! ;)  We have very, very close friends who are older and always will by be-dazzeled clothing that I don't like, loud plastic toys that are junky, etc.  But we let the kids use them for awhile and then they usually disappear.  I guess there is a gulf between what I'd like my kids to have and what I wouldn't let them have.

 

ETA:  I don't understand the bolded above.  It reminds me of women who get mad when their dh doesn't buy them diamond earrings when the wife has never told the dh she'd wanted them.  And then they say "He should love me enough to know what I want".

 

post #49 of 61

OP--It doesn't seem like you are genuinely interested in looking at other perspectives on this.  Post after post is just arguing your point.  In my opinion, polite people don't demand certain gifts.  They don't feel entitled to any gifts at all.  There is just no tactful way to tell people what to buy you or not to buy you.  It smacks of greed, entitlement, and lack of concern for others' feelings and their right to choose what gifts they want to buy.  What you choose to do with those gifts is your business. 

post #50 of 61
IMO, part of the problem is that the nature of gifts has shifted. It seems like years ago, gifts were occasional, inexpensive or homemade, and not expected/required. But now, it seems like it's become an obligation to give gifts on certain holidays, and they are often expensive. From the giver's perspective, if I'm obligated to give a gift, and even often obligated to spend a certain amount on the gift, I'd much rather know what the recipient would like. If I'm going to spend $50 of my hard-earned money on something, I'd like the recipient to want/need it... I don't want it to just end up in a pile of donations or something, otherwise I'd have just made a donation in their name. And when often everyone sets certain price ranges for holiday gifts, it does set you up to feel like you should expect something in return. It drives me crazy when I carefully select an item from someone's wish list and they totally ignore mine, and it drives me equally crazy when someone insists on buying something off my list but refuses to provide their own list. If gifts hadn't become obligatory, none of this would matter much, on either side of the equation.

It wouldn't be a big deal to get a $2 trinket that you may or may not want your child to have (but fits easily into the big bin of misc. toys) but it kind of IS a big deal when you end up with a $250 power wheels car that you have no room to store. There's just a whole lot more 'at stake' and it's much more obvious if you end up donating the item and it feels like much more of a loss or an insult or something to donate something someone spent $250 on rather than just $2. I guess I'd personally prefer to do away with gifts completely, because of what it has become around here, and just be able to give small, thoughtful, and/or homemade gift whenever you feel compelled to do so, without any obligation of making sure you've spent a similar amount as the other person spent on you & all that other drama. That's basically what we're doing in my household already (no/minimal gifts) but it hasn't yet worked with extended family -- if we don't give gifts, we look selfish or greedy or something, and if we ask people not to give gifts, they roll their eyes or whatever. OK I may have gone off on a tangent there a bit, not sure, I guess I just feel like since the gift culture has shifted, it should follow that more people make wish lists and other specific requests. But yes, they need to be gentle requests, certainly not demands, and gratitude & graciousness should be expressed.
post #51 of 61

 

this is what I had posted - random person giving a gift is not like a close person who is a part of your life and should have an understand of who you are (what you value and what messages you want your child to receive)- if they don't are they really giving you a gift from the heart? 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie05 View Post

To be honest, I can't really understand what you are saying here. "Random person giving a gift is not like a close person who is part of your life and should have an understand of who you are..." I don't know what that means. 

 

 

 

 

this is what I posted - there is a difference between a neighbor who hardly knows you but knew you had a baby and gave you a gift and a close family/friend that has been to your home, knows that values you hold and gives you an item that is not in accordance to your beliefs

 

 

 

random- to me, that person that really does not know you, a neighbor who hardly knows your name, the coworker from way down the hall who feels they have to give you a gift because everyone else did and it's more about them and not a gift for you -- an acquaintance, someone you hardly know and who really does not know you....a random person in your life

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
  I don't understand the bolded above.

neither do I

post #52 of 61

OP - The fact that you partner - who has known these people his whole life- doesn't think it will go over well would be a red flag for me. I would just smile and say thank you and then you are free to donate.

post #53 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

IMO, part of the problem is that the nature of gifts has shifted. It seems like years ago, gifts were occasional, inexpensive or homemade, and not expected/required. But now, it seems like it's become an obligation to give gifts on certain holidays, and they are often expensive. From the giver's perspective, if I'm obligated to give a gift, and even often obligated to spend a certain amount on the gift, I'd much rather know what the recipient would like. If I'm going to spend $50 of my hard-earned money on something, I'd like the recipient to want/need it... I don't want it to just end up in a pile of donations or something, otherwise I'd have just made a donation in their name. And when often everyone sets certain price ranges for holiday gifts, it does set you up to feel like you should expect something in return. It drives me crazy when I carefully select an item from someone's wish list and they totally ignore mine, and it drives me equally crazy when someone insists on buying something off my list but refuses to provide their own list. If gifts hadn't become obligatory, none of this would matter much, on either side of the equation.
 
I would never put up with an obligation to spend a certain amount on a gift. Every time I hear about that kind of thing, I cringe. It's just another variant on demanding gifts, imo. I just don't get how stuff like that works.
 
FWIW, my family has an "obligatory" gift exchange at Christmas. For several years, my sister bought very cheap gifts - one year was bookmarks (and we loved them - she put thought into finding the perfect bookmark for each of us - "gone fishing" for my brother, whose hobby was fishing, "get your nose out of my book" for me, as I was a bookworm, etc.). She simply had very little money. Now that we're only gifting the kids, she gets one gift for all three of my little kids, and either does or doesn't throw something in for my oldest, if she can swing it. She spends less on all my kids combined than I spend on any one of her kids. Nobody cares. I wouldn't care if she didn't get my kids anything. They know she loves them. They know she has four kids of her own to shop for. They know she has no money. But, she wants to get them something, so she gets them something. There were years when I spent half what I spend now. Nobody cared. I made candles for everybody one year, and everyone was happy with them...even though I was a total beginner and some of them didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped they would. I love the "obligatory" exchange, but I wouldn't particpate if it went down the way I hear a lot of people describe gift exchanges. I simply wouldn't be involved.
 

It wouldn't be a big deal to get a $2 trinket that you may or may not want your child to have (but fits easily into the big bin of misc. toys) but it kind of IS a big deal when you end up with a $250 power wheels car that you have no room to store.
 
I don't get the issue with the "too big" thing. "Thank you so much, but I'm afraid we simply have nowhere to keep this. Can dc keep it at your house (presuming it's a close relative), to use while he/she is visiting? Otherwise, we're going to have to return it. I'm sorry. It was a lovely idea." Done.
 
There's just a whole lot more 'at stake' and it's much more obvious if you end up donating the item and it feels like much more of a loss or an insult or something to donate something someone spent $250 on rather than just $2. I guess I'd personally prefer to do away with gifts completely, because of what it has become around here, and just be able to give small, thoughtful, and/or homemade gift whenever you feel compelled to do so, without any obligation of making sure you've spent a similar amount as the other person spent on you & all that other drama. That's basically what we're doing in my household already (no/minimal gifts) but it hasn't yet worked with extended family -- if we don't give gifts, we look selfish or greedy or something, and if we ask people not to give gifts, they roll their eyes or whatever. OK I may have gone off on a tangent there a bit, not sure, I guess I just feel like since the gift culture has shifted, it should follow that more people make wish lists and other specific requests. But yes, they need to be gentle requests, certainly not demands, and gratitude & graciousness should be expressed.


If I were dealing with your extended family, I'd simply accept that they're not going to like the way I do things, and then do them the way I want to do them. This is another thing I don't understand, though. I see lots of people here roll their eyes at people who spend too much, overgift, etc. (I can relate, actually.) But, these same people will get upset if they try to do things differently and people...roll their eyes. There are two different styles at work. I'm not a minimalist, but I'm also not about "hey - these kids need 30+ gifts each, and they each have to cost at least $25, but preferably more!!". If someone became overbearing with gifts, or tried to set an amount, I'd opt out, and let them roll their eyes. I'd probably be rolling mine, after all. I can't expect to have them jump on board with my ideas - I'm certainly not going to jump on board with theirs.

 

Gifts aren't obligatory. Yes - they're expected, in certain conditions, but I look at "expected" in two different ways. One is an expectation, in the sense that I expect my children to treat each other with courtesy - a demand of sorts. The other is an expectation, in the sense that I expect that my children will not always treat each other with courtesy - a recognition of the way things usually work. I expect that my kids will get gifts from extended family at Christmas, because that's what happens every year. I have no expectation that it will happen, in the sense that I won't be upset or put out if my brother and SIL realize their budget is short, and they choose to spend what they have on their kids, or my sister can't get anything this year, or whatever. Getting gifts because a person feels they have to buy them feels...icky.

post #54 of 61
Storm Bride, maybe my family is just dysfunctional or something. Ever since DH got laid off, we had to cut way back on gift spending... and our gifts now get mocked. greensad.gif They are even more carefully/thoughtfully chosen than the more pricey (though not extravagant) stuff we'd normally give, but in my family that counts for nothing. Last holiday, one of my family members emailed with the exact item I was to give, I assume because she didn't want to get stuck with a 'stupid cheap' gift like other family members had received. Fortunately it wasn't expensive (though a bit more than we'd have wanted to spend) but the whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth.

And I tried opting out of the gift thing a few times and always ended up inadvertently hurting someone's feelings. There are family members I don't even want anything to do with anymore, yet I am still expected to give them gifts, and the gifts do need to be worth a certain amount of money, as much as I hate it.

I don't know, I guess what I'm ultimately trying to get at here is, this whole 'graciously receive whatever you are given' many have expressed on this thread is ideally best, but many of us are in far less-than-ideal situations so I guess we just need to make our own judgement calls on whether or not to ask for certain gifts (or request that the giver avoid certain gifts or any other requests)...
post #55 of 61

Before my DS was born I felt so strongly that I didn't want him to grow up surrounding by "cheap plastic crap." For the first year or so of his life I tried very, very hard to control what we brought into our house and what he was given for gifts. It was a constant uphill battle and gift-opening was often a source of stress for us. I dreaded Christmas and birthdays for that reason.

 

Then last Christmas we were visiting some family and an elderly couple showed up. They were the parents of friends, not even directly related to us, and they had never met our son. However, they brought him a gift. A large, battery-operated hunk of plastic. "Chuck the Truck." For a split-second I was annoyed, until I saw the couple's face light up at my son's reaction. Seeing their faces, and my son's joy, completely transformed my thinking and changed my life. It reminded me of a story about how the Dalai Lama sometimes eats meat if he is visiting someone and offered it by the host or hostess. He believes that to refuse a gift is to do more violence than good.

 

Since then, I have completely given up on trying to control my son's toys. He has begun to develop his own personality, and I feel it would be wrong to take away gifts from him that he plays with, just because I don't like them. He loves books, wooden blocks, puzzles, legos, cars, and of course, his giant plastic Chuck. It has become a beloved toy to him, and now every time I see it, rather than get annoyed, I smile.

 

Gift-opening has become a thing of joy for me now, and I especially enjoy watching my son enjoy and discover new toys. I have also found that over time, people gradually began giving us more and more things like books, blocks, and legos, just because word has gotten out that he loves those things so much. Not because I wrote a letter or made a list. Sometimes we still get gifts that make us cringe. My mom recently bought him the video "Cars," my least favorite of all the Pixar movies. However, my son loves it, and it has become this special "thing" between him and my mom. Every time she comes for a visit (every few months) she brings him a character from the movie (little cars that look like the characters.) My mom is seventy. I feel like it would be a sad thing to rob her of this just on principle.


 
post #56 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

Before my DS was born I felt so strongly that I didn't want him to grow up surrounding by "cheap plastic crap." For the first year or so of his life I tried very, very hard to control what we brought into our house and what he was given for gifts. It was a constant uphill battle and gift-opening was often a source of stress for us. I dreaded Christmas and birthdays for that reason.

 

Then last Christmas we were visiting some family and an elderly couple showed up. They were the parents of friends, not even directly related to us, and they had never met our son. However, they brought him a gift. A large, battery-operated hunk of plastic. "Chuck the Truck." For a split-second I was annoyed, until I saw the couple's face light up at my son's reaction. Seeing their faces, and my son's joy, completely transformed my thinking and changed my life. It reminded me of a story about how the Dalai Lama sometimes eats meat if he is visiting someone and offered it by the host or hostess. He believes that to refuse a gift is to do more violence than good.

 

Since then, I have completely given up on trying to control my son's toys. He has begun to develop his own personality, and I feel it would be wrong to take away gifts from him that he plays with, just because I don't like them. He loves books, wooden blocks, puzzles, legos, cars, and of course, his giant plastic Chuck. It has become a beloved toy to him, and now every time I see it, rather than get annoyed, I smile.

 

Gift-opening has become a thing of joy for me now, and I especially enjoy watching my son enjoy and discover new toys. I have also found that over time, people gradually began giving us more and more things like books, blocks, and legos, just because word has gotten out that he loves those things so much. Not because I wrote a letter or made a list. Sometimes we still get gifts that make us cringe. My mom recently bought him the video "Cars," my least favorite of all the Pixar movies. However, my son loves it, and it has become this special "thing" between him and my mom. Every time she comes for a visit (every few months) she brings him a character from the movie (little cars that look like the characters.) My mom is seventy. I feel like it would be a sad thing to rob her of this just on principle.

 


What a gracious way of thinking about this subject.  I appreciate this post.

post #57 of 61

Sandy, that's such a lovely story. And so true. Relationships are so important.

 

(BTW, my kids love the Cars movie and have a lot of the die cast cars. However, I really dislike Cars 2. Too much violence for a G-rated movie.)

post #58 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by alittlesandy View Post

Before my DS was born I felt so strongly that I didn't want him to grow up surrounding by "cheap plastic crap." For the first year or so of his life I tried very, very hard to control what we brought into our house and what he was given for gifts. It was a constant uphill battle and gift-opening was often a source of stress for us. I dreaded Christmas and birthdays for that reason.

 

Then last Christmas we were visiting some family and an elderly couple showed up. They were the parents of friends, not even directly related to us, and they had never met our son. However, they brought him a gift. A large, battery-operated hunk of plastic. "Chuck the Truck." For a split-second I was annoyed, until I saw the couple's face light up at my son's reaction. Seeing their faces, and my son's joy, completely transformed my thinking and changed my life. It reminded me of a story about how the Dalai Lama sometimes eats meat if he is visiting someone and offered it by the host or hostess. He believes that to refuse a gift is to do more violence than good.

 

Since then, I have completely given up on trying to control my son's toys. He has begun to develop his own personality, and I feel it would be wrong to take away gifts from him that he plays with, just because I don't like them. He loves books, wooden blocks, puzzles, legos, cars, and of course, his giant plastic Chuck. It has become a beloved toy to him, and now every time I see it, rather than get annoyed, I smile.

 

Gift-opening has become a thing of joy for me now, and I especially enjoy watching my son enjoy and discover new toys. I have also found that over time, people gradually began giving us more and more things like books, blocks, and legos, just because word has gotten out that he loves those things so much. Not because I wrote a letter or made a list. Sometimes we still get gifts that make us cringe. My mom recently bought him the video "Cars," my least favorite of all the Pixar movies. However, my son loves it, and it has become this special "thing" between him and my mom. Every time she comes for a visit (every few months) she brings him a character from the movie (little cars that look like the characters.) My mom is seventy. I feel like it would be a sad thing to rob her of this just on principle.

 



Gracious point of view indeed. 

 

I had a very similar attitude and journey.  My dad used to buy DS toys ALL THE TIME.  It was a constant source of frustration for me and I did try to talk to my dad about it.  At the root of this was the fact that my dad was homeless for much of his childhood (refugees during WWII) and to him, being able to give my DS gifts that made both of them happy made my dad feel good.  I realized that pushing the subject with him would only hurt his feelings.  How do you say to someone "I know your intentions are good but your gifts aren't good enough for my child?"  That would have been cruel.  My dad is gone now and I can't tell you how much I wish I had to still be dealing with the flood of toys.

 

My son has a similar Cars bond with my mother and her husband.  They play Cars for hours at a time.  My mother's husband handmade a Cozy Cone Motel for DS.  LIke Sandy, I wouldn't take that away just to stick to my guns. 

 

Interestingly, DS hated Cars 2 but still loves Cars as well as Mater DVD.

 

 

post #59 of 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

Storm Bride, maybe my family is just dysfunctional or something. Ever since DH got laid off, we had to cut way back on gift spending... and our gifts now get mocked. greensad.gif They are even more carefully/thoughtfully chosen than the more pricey (though not extravagant) stuff we'd normally give, but in my family that counts for nothing. Last holiday, one of my family members emailed with the exact item I was to give, I assume because she didn't want to get stuck with a 'stupid cheap' gift like other family members had received. Fortunately it wasn't expensive (though a bit more than we'd have wanted to spend) but the whole thing left a bitter taste in my mouth.
And I tried opting out of the gift thing a few times and always ended up inadvertently hurting someone's feelings. There are family members I don't even want anything to do with anymore, yet I am still expected to give them gifts, and the gifts do need to be worth a certain amount of money, as much as I hate it.
I don't know, I guess what I'm ultimately trying to get at here is, this whole 'graciously receive whatever you are given' many have expressed on this thread is ideally best, but many of us are in far less-than-ideal situations so I guess we just need to make our own judgement calls on whether or not to ask for certain gifts (or request that the giver avoid certain gifts or any other requests)...


Well, I understand that it's complicated when you're dealing with family, and easier for me to say than for you to do. But, I simply wouldn't buy anything for these people, family or not. Your gifts are mocked? That's disgusting. I really think opting out again is the way to go. You seem to be worried about hurting someone's feelings, but those same people are willing to mock you for not spending money you don't have? To *bleep* with that!

 

I also wouldn't bother requesting specific gifts from people like that. It's already pretty clear that they're treating you with overall disrespect, so I can't really see any reason to expect them to respect that request, either. I think I'd be inclined to hand their gifts back to them, and say, "I'm sorry - I thought I made it clear that we weren't exchanging gifts this year". But, I am lucky in that my family are very reasonable about gifts...at least by my standards.

 

post #60 of 61

Thanks for this conversation. It has helped rearrange my attitude about gifts for my DD's upcoming first birthday. I've been so hung up on dreading the onslaught of dumb gifts that I've completely forgotten about the purpose of gift-giving. It is an affirmation of relationship and affection between the giver and receiver. If the receiver isn't receptive and rejects the gift outright--- or tries to dictate how the giver should express their affection---- then the message of love and affection and trust appears to be lost. It's dawned on me that DD learning manners and to value relationships is much more important than any lesson on consumerism. 

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