Join Date: Nov 2008
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I keep an Amazon Wish list which includes items from Amazon and all "universal" selections from other websites. My family only buys for birthday/christmas and they buy items on the list. They are happy to buy one item at whatever their fixed budget will be. I do the same thing with the rest of my extended family. My sister usually wants clothes from a specific brand. I admit that I have often "upgraded" her toy requests (or redirect to etsy or a more natural sustainable version) and if she agrees then I get it. But I will buy a kid the specific heart's desire too, even if I don't like it or contribute to a family gift like a Wii or whatever. But I usually try and avoid buying things I don't like.
(I was particularly proud that this year I managed to buy some nice etsy things dolly things in lieu of the junky stuff my niece picked out and found a nice natural wool needle felting kit for another. They both loved their gifts.)
DH's family is a little more difficult and with them, discussion of safety/space/strict age limits/toy volume has worked somewhat. Esthetics/natural/fair trade/handmade does not. My MIL lives two blocks away from a lovely natural toy store that we love and goes out of her way not to shop there or buy gifts from the wishlist. Our relationship is very, very complicated and there seem to be DOZENS of sources of conflict over gifts, everything from wanting to "own" toy catagories to great bitterness because we don't allow licensed products to outright anger that our 3 year old doesn't watch t.v. She trys to push buttons and push the limits all the time. Some of it seems to be that she is close to another family with slightly older children and she buys all their toys. I think she thinks this (and everything it seems) is a rejection of her and a personal attack. I try not to engage if possible.
Our kids are great but nothing about how we raise them is.... banging head on the wall...
I love the idea of adding them to mailing lists.
We don't eat the same things, we don't decorate our homes the same, we don't wear the same clothing, we don't look the same? We live entirely different lifestyles- why would we raise our kids according to the mainstream, cable-tv protocol, if we don't live that way altogether? It really baffles me.