gift stress is making me feel horrible - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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i can't figure myself out, but whatever it is is making me feel bad.  when i or my children receive a gift that is not needed or fitting to us, i feel bad.  bad that that person spent money on something that won't get used.  i feel guilty donating, regifting, or returning.  i've even felt a little guilt over exchanging due to size!  it makes me feel like i'm not being grateful.  today i silently cursed the stuffed animal my daughter received in the mail.  no one in our family plays with stuffed animals.  i feel guilty for not wanting it but also bad that my friend spent her money for something that will get no use in our house (though she'll never know that).  it also bothers me when dh spends more than i would on a gift for me.  e.g he bought me a beautiful shirt sold locally made all organic and earth-friendly.  it cost a small fortune.  i love it, but i would NEVER spend that kind of money on one article of clothing for myself.  now i feel guilty for owning something like that.  feel like though i really could use more clothes that i can't go out and buy more due to the expensive shirt that i now own.  oh, i could drive myself nuts. 

is it possible to be so frugal that you really can't enjoy gift-giving.  i feel like it's too impractical for me or something and i HATE that i feel that way.  if i know of something that someone would love, then i love to get it for them, but buying for the sake of buying is hard for me. 

all of these things just have me in a tizzy right now, and i'll come down after all the holiday stuff is completely passed (we have one more family engagement friday night).  but it'll be back next year.  how can i get past this and enjoy the whole aspect of gift exchanging more?

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#2 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 01:32 PM
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I completely relate to what you are writing!  I try hard to focus on the generous spirit behind the giving, and be sincerely grateful for that (not focus on the gift item itself).  Still, I know just what you are saying....





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#3 of 6 Old 12-28-2011, 06:35 PM
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My DH is in your boat. I'm the one who has no problem returning, donating, re-gifting, etc. lol! He's a pack rat because he feels bad not keeping ANYTHING someone spent money on.

IMO, If I were to give someone a gift that they didn't like, wasn't their taste, etc. I'd prefer they'd exchange it for something they -do- like/want. My money will still go towards the exchange and unless someone is extremely rude, I'll never know ;). We got a lot of repeat toys, extremely baby toys, things we just wouldn't use/like, and we're going to exchange whatever we can for stuff we -can- use. There's no reason for our house to be cluttered with things that are going to go to waste.

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#4 of 6 Old 12-31-2011, 04:16 PM
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I have started re-gifting things that I don't want or need. I figure that if I had planned to get someone else a gift and the one I receive isn't valuable to me, it can be for someone else. I only buy/give things that I KNOW that people want. It seems a waste to exchange all these meaningless gifts just to give something. And I don't feel bad if I need to exchange or get a store credit. At least the gift is being used and I appreciate the giver for thinking of me.

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#5 of 6 Old 01-01-2012, 01:10 PM
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This is what I was thinking. Focus on the generous spirit, the thought that went into picking the gift. There are things in my house that I am tripping over and having a hard time  keeping it organized. But the kids are having fun with the gifts and enjoying them. And they are only young for a little while. Eventually this stuff will not be around.

Originally Posted by JPiper View Post

I completely relate to what you are writing!  I try hard to focus on the generous spirit behind the giving, and be sincerely grateful for that (not focus on the gift item itself).  Still, I know just what you are saying....






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#6 of 6 Old 01-01-2012, 05:32 PM
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Ohhhh I am so with you!! I've had this problem since I was a teenager actually. I don't know what to say. I try to set a spending limit with my DH at least, and that helps some... he doesn't quite stick to it but he doesn't go too overboard (calculating every cent just isn't his thing). I do return stuff we don't like or can't use, but I feel guilty about it too. redface.gif A lot of people have been giving me food gifts lately, which I feel better about because we can always use food... but then on the other end I feel like they are trying to make me fat lol. (Really it's just that I'm on a very restricted diet so I guess people think I must be deprived of food????? IDK)

One thing I'm having a really hard time with this year is DS got 2 gifts he can't use and can't return, either. So we'll probably end up donating them??? But then I feel like I should get him something else to replace those 2 gifts, except we really don't have the money to be buying more gifts.

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