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Shipped Presents - Page 2

post #21 of 52

Part of the fun of Christmas is getting gifts from others.  This gives my kids a chance to receive something that I would never have chosen for them.  It would still be fun.  I can't imagine screening gifts.  If they opened something that bothered me I would explain honestly with the child why they couldn't have it.  I try to choose honesty over deception.  As for duplicates.  Unless it is a game my kids love duplicate items.  For example now they have twin dolls etc.  If someone is thoughtful enough to spend their time choosing a gift then I will accept it.

 I am blessed that all of our family is thoughtful and not too overboard with things.  I will never buy the trendy toy of the year, so isn't it wonderful my girls have an aunt who loves to hunt down the "it" item of the season.  Most of the time I don't even know what it is until the kids receive it.   

post #22 of 52

My family overseas always asks me what DS likes, and would like to get, they go by that.

I don't censor toys either. My DS is his own person, and he gets to play with what he likes, not what I want him to like or not like.


post #23 of 52

My mom always asks for a list.  There were very few items on the lists this year.  They just didn't ask for much.  She did get them each one item from their list, and then sent them each a wrapped hand-knit item.  I tried to look at those, lol, but she wrapped them too well, darnit.  No one else buys them anything, but if they did I would let them open it.  I have not come across but one gift that was in appropriate all these years, but maybe I'm just more relaxed about it than some?  My lo even received a Bratz doll once, and even though I cringed like crazy, we "fixed" her w/some better, more modest clothing.


For those of you who do not want to sexualize young girls, check out Pigtail Pals on FB.  I stumbled across her and fell in love w/her business after reading her "Full of Awesome" article. 

post #24 of 52
lol did anyone else notice that almost everyone who says they don't censor seems to have reasonable gift-givers who accept ideas/guidelines & don't give way too many presents?
post #25 of 52

I have been thinking about this so much.  DS is 2.  My family is across the country and on a totally different page than me.  No matter what I offer up as gift ideas, my mom sends huge plastic toys that we have no room for, (not to mention that we are concerned about our footprint etc etc) and my sister sends branded clothes that I do not feel comfortable giving to my son and every toy is talking.  In the past it has been easy to donate the unwanted and unused items, as he was a baby. And that is kind of censoring- since he never saw the stuff.... But now, he knows his Grandma and Auntie, skypes with them often - and I do not know how to handle it.  It feels like a delicate dance- I do not want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I also do not want to fill my tiny apartment with stuff we do not want or need....I have found this thread to be very thought provoking, as honestly, I was pretty much planning on not opening the packaging on stuff we don't want and donating it....but maybe I should loosen up a little?  Conflicted.....

post #26 of 52

I have in-laws that live a vastly different lifestyle than us. They don't have a problem with ultra violent play and they are shopaholics.  Some stuff they automatically knew we would disagree with due to our lifestyle and have avoided, thankfully.  The excess, however, was a huge issue.  They began bringing things that I not only felt were questionable but in huge quantities. We also have the issue that my son is easily overstimulated, so we don't generally allow any electronic toys or too many toys in one day.  We have had conversations with all of our family and now require a limit on gifts AND to know what it is before it comes in.  So, there are no surprises for us.  It may sound extreme, but I feel like I have a responsibility to make sure the toys my son play with are good for his personality and development.  I think this is a very different thing than limiting his interests.  We honor the things he shows interests in, whether or not they are our interests.  Often times, there are many different ways to entertain something he is really into without sacrificing our ideals, causing an overstimulation blow out, or giving him mixed messages.... there are a million ways to play with cars without my son needing a battery powered tank loaded with weapons.  So, if I had reason to doubt an already wrapped gift, I would absolutely screen it.  Without guilt. 

post #27 of 52

This is a good question.  I'm not sure what I'll do either.  Space is an issue, and of course, trying to live by certain ideals is important for me. At the same time, telling everyone in the family my list of ideals will make me come across as very hard-nose and persnickety, since most of them are not even close to being on the same page as me. :(   I want to avoid the endocrine-disrupting plastics, the brain-numbing electronic noises, things made in China or other countries where labor practices are questionable, violent or overly genderizing toys, pop culture characters, and it has to be small enough to fit into our little play room!  I made an Amazon wish list, and told people about it.  Hopefully that will do the trick, for this year. My kids are still very young.  I figure, if we get a few things that don't fit with our lifestyle, we can play with them for a few months and resell or donate them later.  So, I am not censoring this year.  If it ends up becoming an issue, I may start doing so in future years. We'll see!

post #28 of 52

My parents did censor gifts, and even though I now share many of their standards of what good play things are, I harbor resentment knowing that they did it.  I think it's a better Idea to truly have a heart to heart with someone who is giving gifts you don't approve of.  If they still send gifts that don't match your values, then talk with your partner about it, blow off steam, and let it go.  Your children will end up incredible one way or the other.  Just my opinion, but with real experience in the area.

post #29 of 52



planning on not opening the packaging on stuff we don't want and donating it....but maybe I should loosen up a little?  Conflicted.....



as they get older and SEE the item it is harder to get rid of it

post #30 of 52
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

lol did anyone else notice that almost everyone who says they don't censor seems to have reasonable gift-givers who accept ideas/guidelines & don't give way too many presents?

Oh I know whenever this topic comes up I always rolls my eyes because it basically boils down to if the gift-givers care you won't have to tell them and if you do then you'll just offend them and not actually help anything.....

post #31 of 52
We censor and feel fine about it. Our oldest is only 6 1/2. We expect to not censor as much the older he gets. We built our own home and it's completely "Eco". Also, is only 500 sq ft, so we are limited space-wise. Before we had kids & started waldorf homeschooling, we lived a simple off the grid homesteading lifestyle. We know we aren't popular in the family for how we're raising our family, but it's our turn to be the parents. Gift-giving is merely a symptom of the relationship disorder. MIL would still be grooming dh and.picking out his clothes if he hadn't set limits with the IL's. We know our kids best. We definitely follow their interests and expose them to more too. And even with the censoring, we have more toys than anyone else we know. The kids' friends love to play here. LOL I think every family is so different that in some cases it works to censor and not in others. No right way for everyone! :-) Depends on so.many things. I say censor if you feel like it and stop censoring if it feels wrong, start again if.need be...just don't get that "stuck feeling" by doing it a certain way. Kids' lives should be full of love and beauty and laughterous fun, however each family can find there way there.
post #32 of 52


Originally Posted by somelady View Post

Oh I know whenever this topic comes up I always rolls my eyes because it basically boils down to if the gift-givers care you won't have to tell them and if you do then you'll just offend them and not actually help anything.....

This. Thanks for the chuckle.


I don't censor, but that is because I have reasonable relatives who usually give OK stuff. Sometimes my mom even writes a note, like "it's purple and furry and glittery and DD will LOVE it and you will HATE it ;)" which makes me laugh. Because even with the warning, it usually isn't so bad. 


However, if I had the ILs or relatives that some of the people on this board do, then I would censor. When there is undermining and total lack of respect, then those people would lose the privilege of being able to gift-give without censoring. 

post #33 of 52

Something someone said upthread a bit made me rethink what I said before.  In fact, I have censored a bit, although I didn't think of it that way.  For his bday my parents gave him a bunch of clothes and every single shirt had a Disney/Pixar character on it.  He doesn't know who any of these characters are (he watches movies, just not Disney movies).  Since I object on principal to using my kid as advertising space, all the shirts went into the appropriate size bin with the tags still on (usually I'll wash everything before storing them).  When I pulled out that bin this week, I set aside everything with tags on it, made sure that we had sufficient clothes without those items, and stuck them in the bin to be taken to consignment. 


As for the appropriateness of the gifts, not always.  We do have 1 set of grandparents who are big WM shoppers, their gifts are very mainstream, very "boy" and often very battery-operated.  Thankfully the number of gifts is reasonable.  Since these are chosen family and not blood family, I'm a little hesitant to say anything to them about it.  So I smile, thank them and move on.  And some of the things DS loves and some he ignores, at which point they get moved to the donate/regift pile.  Luckily the other 2 sets of grandparents choose more "appropriate" toys, they've both taken direction well so far.  And his godmother calls and asks me what to get him - she'll shop off a wish list, which the rest won't. 

post #34 of 52

We do, and feel fine about it.  That is because DP's grandparents (DD's great-grandparents) are hoarders and literally will send boxes full of junk they have trash picked.  (And I'm not a snob, I have trash picked stuff too... we live in a small apt, blah blah, I just don't want all that crap in my house.)  I used to feel bad about culling, censoring, etc, but DP says that his parents had to do the same thing.  It's just a tidal wave of stuff.  So yeah, we just throw it away.  Or sometimes, we let DD open the box and then a few days later the stuff disappears.   I do write them thank you notes, because DD enjoys the correspondance and I think it's polite. And I know they mean well.  But I'm quite sure that asking them not to send things would be completely ineffective.

post #35 of 52

No, my kids can have what they're given. And we do get way way way too much stuff, but within a pretty short while we figure out what are "keepers" and what doesn't get played with, and the stuff that doesn't get played with goes in bins in the garage for Goodwill. I don't take the stuff away - we discuss what she wants to keep and what she doesn't play with and doesn't want taking up space. She's even gotten Bratz dolls before, and I didn't censor them, and they were played with maybe two or three times. And if she'd played with them we would have talked about them and made them nicer clothing or something.

post #36 of 52

You know, one of hte things I am wondering is whether the age of the kids affects things.  My DD is two, so I feel perfectly alright censoring things.  I don't forsee I will still feel that way when she is ten.

post #37 of 52

My kids usually hate what they're given from family unless it's from my mom.  If they get something from her holy heck they're done.  She's good at figuring out what to get them.  The inlaws stuff always smells like cigarette smoke and the DD's hate that!

post #38 of 52


Edited by ChitownTracy - 4/17/12 at 8:34am
post #39 of 52
DS is 22mo. We receive junk and character toys as gifts. As far as clothes go, if its ugly or branded, it goes in the only-wear-at-home drawer. We can never have too many okay-to-ruin clothes and no one will see them. If DS plays w the Thomas train ride-on even tho he has no idea who this ridiculous character is, it saves us buying a ride-on for him (but we didn't replace its batteries...).

I try to make a point to mention our values in non gift giving gatherings/conversations. Ex: "yeah, we try to avoid anything w major characters on it since he doesn't watch tv, but these cups only came w Disney on them, so we use them anyway." Or "We try to buy him creative toys rather than battery operated ones that only have one intended purpose...he plays w them more and are more worth the money." It's puts the thought in their heads, but may not work its purpose. These comments let them know what we prefer but lets them know their gift choices may still be used and gives them an idea of how their money is best spent.

I gave my mother a natural toy catalogue and told her its our fave store but she wasn't obligated to use it. Ppl have a budget, natural toys are pricier bc they're better, so less stuff given! My mom orders some from the catalogue and some on her own. So at least some things are kept. Cheap junk that's consistently ignored doesn't stay long.

As long as we don't receive guns or really cheap plastic or smelly toys of questionable manufacture, he can choose whether to play w it. If its that much against your values and you feel strongly, either talk to the child or the family members and further explain why its not ok, and why you can't keep it. And I agree w age influencing screening, but I vote go ahead if it makes you feel better. And you can always rewrap a present... wink1.gif
post #40 of 52
I have been all over the place with this.

My mom would always ask what the kids wanted, but when I took the bait and actually gave her a list of toy lists that I thought the kids would like (and would fit into our home) she got offended... I wasn't trying to milk her for gifts but she purposely refused to buy off of any list I gave her... Now she just gives a lot less stuff which is fine with me cos there's really nothing the kids want or need at this point. Yeah, we're at that point where I couldn't even figure out what to buy them because we don't need anything new. I got them some books that we enjoyed reading from the library over and over again, and a doctor playset, and that was about it.

My MIL on the other hand does not have a lot of money to buy with, so I really appreciate what she does give us. And although I try to give the kids as much of the things she does get them as possible, I just cannot in good conscience give everything to them... She shops mostly at the dollar store and while I'm not turning my nose up at that - I shop at the dollar store and thrift store all the time, albeit selectively - what she gets them, some of them are just dangerous IMO... cheap candy (they're sensitive to food colorings anyway! and we don't do candy, period), bubble baths (we don't use chemicals for them or us), MIC toys... etc.

I think a lot of the items are cute, and I want to support the ideas, I just, well, can't... like this year she got them a few cute hand puppets... Hey, I totally support hand puppets! But these ones are, I'm totally scared that they're full of lead or whatever. Oh well, I'll give them to the kids to play with for a bit and if it turns out they like them then we'll upgrade to some organic ones? I guess? It's a moral dilemma... They're given out of love and I don't want to be snobbish - and it's not snobbery, I think, but health issues... But the candy and bubble bath and such had to go, I justified that with "known health issues". I also let them have the (gasp!) toy gun and (gasp!) bottle feeding, talking baby doll and the (bigger gasp) ghetto hooker barbie or whatever she was actually called. Besides the Barbie the other toys "ran out of batteries" and when that happens that means they go to the back of the closet cos they're not that fun anymore. Shrug.
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