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-   -   Stunned...made Xmas gift, received gift list in email (http://www.mothering.com/forum/312-frugality-finances/364674-stunned-made-xmas-gift-received-gift-list-email.html)

sanguine_speed 11-02-2005 04:24 PM

Grrrrrrrrrr! I put a lot of thought into Xmas gifts this year, and have already made a homemade gift that literally took hours for my niece. Last night there was a messge in my inbox called "gift suggestions for _______ for Christmas". All plastic, commercial, licensed stuff. I'm offended at the list itself, but the big problem I have is that this family member thought it appropriate to place a list (no matter what's on it!) in my inbox, unsolicited. I replied that I had already finished my Christmas "shopping". How would you feel? Do I just let it go now? I wanted to say, "thank you for your unsolicited list (nay, order form) for gifts for ________. We have decided for the health of your own child that plastic, battery-operated, license toys aren't good for your kid so we're giving her something actually thoughtful".
How presumptuous! I would NEVER send anyone, even family, a list of suitable gifts for my children if they didn't ask.
:

sarah_bella1050 11-02-2005 04:36 PM

Wow, that is just downright greedy I think. If people ask then you give them suggestions, that's it. You don't tell them what they need to buy for their dd. If the parents wants them to have all that junk, then they should be the ones to get it, not pawning it off on other people.

snowbunny 11-02-2005 04:41 PM

Wow, that is pretty tactless ... yuck ...

I don't know if you have kids or not, but, If it were me, I'd simply reply to the email: "Thanks for the list; you're sure on top of things as it's only early November! Fortunately, I was able to get Christmas Gifts done early this year. Rather than provide you with a comprehensive list for DS, I trust that if you'd like to give him a gift you'd select something wonderful and appropriate for him."

Jade2561 11-02-2005 04:42 PM

I think that is very rude that she did that. I think it is only acceptable to give suggestions if someone asks; but an unsolicited list via e-mail. Just tacky! I'm sure your gift is awesome! I would just let it roll off my back, let them but the battery operated junk!

morebabies 11-02-2005 04:50 PM

Ok, but what if it were the other way around? What if you knew that the grandparents or other friends/relatives were going to buy your dc a ton of plastic, battery opperated toys for Christmas. Suppose you are dead set against having toys of that nature in your house. Do you politely suggust some appropriate stuff they can buy ie wood toys, music, a learning tower, nice pair of robeez, etc, or would that be equally as rude? I just can't tell. I kind of feel that a gift is a gift and you shouldn't dictate what it is or when it comes but I was just curious what other moms thought.

sanguine_speed 11-02-2005 04:55 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by morebabies
Ok, but what if it were the other way around? What if you knew that the grandparents or other friends/relatives were going to buy your dc a ton of plastic, battery opperated toys for Christmas. Suppose you are dead set against having toys of that nature in your house. Do you politely suggust some appropriate stuff they can buy ie wood toys, music, a learning tower, nice pair of robeez, etc, or would that be equally as rude? I just can't tell. I kind of feel that a gift is a gift and you shouldn't dictate what it is or when it comes but I was just curious what other moms thought.
Actually, that is the scenario I find myself in. My partner's parents did ask for ideas, so I gave her suggestions of suitable gifts, and I hope that the others who choose to give gifts will either ask us or ask partner's parents. If not, then we accept graciously and thank them for their generosity. We try to show our values in our lifestyle and those closest to us tend to catch on. I wouldn't ever send them an unsolicited list of acceptable and unacceptable gifts. If we decided we could not use whatever gift they gave us we would give it to someone who could.

sanguine_speed 11-02-2005 04:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbunny
Wow, that is pretty tactless ... yuck ...

I don't know if you have kids or not, but, If it were me, I'd simply reply to the email: "Thanks for the list; you're sure on top of things as it's only early November! Fortunately, I was able to get Christmas Gifts done early this year. Rather than provide you with a comprehensive list for DS, I trust that if you'd like to give him a gift you'd select something wonderful and appropriate for him."

Wow, I should have posted here before replying! So tactful, yet meaningful.

EFmom 11-02-2005 05:14 PM

Quote:
I kind of feel that a gift is a gift and you shouldn't dictate what it is or when it comes but I was just curious what other moms thought.


Yup. I'd ignore the rude demands and just give whatever I'd planned on giving.

HippoMommy 11-02-2005 05:17 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom


Yup. I'd ignore the rude demands and just give whatever I'd planned on giving.

I agree.

Ashleigh 11-02-2005 05:18 PM

Join my husbands family. They MAKE us make lists and I HATE it. Christmas is horrible with all the worry about buying off someones list and spending the appropriate amount of money! I hate it so we don't participate with them!

anthasam 11-02-2005 05:19 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by sanguine_speed
Actually, that is the scenario I find myself in. My partner's parents did ask for ideas, so I gave her suggestions of suitable gifts, and I hope that the others who choose to give gifts will either ask us or ask partner's parents. ...
I think the key here too is that they *asked* you for ideas! Our family does idea lists every year (my parents are IMPOSSIBLE to get gifts for) to help with planning. My list and my sister's lists are usually things we need and my parents' lists are usually DVDs they would like, etc. We usually get a list item or two and make/get creative gifst as well.

This is DD's first Christmas and everyone is asking me what to get, so I am making her first "ideas list". I would NEVER send anyone a list who didn't ask for it first!!!!

sanguine_speed 11-02-2005 05:21 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashleigh
Join my husbands family. They MAKE us make lists and I HATE it. Christmas is horrible with all the worry about buying off someones list and spending the appropriate amount of money! I hate it so we don't participate with them!
What do you say then when they ask you for lists?

hopeland 11-02-2005 05:26 PM

I have one word...BIZARRE

bikruca 11-02-2005 07:14 PM

we do lists in our family (immediate family) it was awkward the first few years but it's not like we ask for specific brands or anything-

usually I include my size for clothes (because my MIL loves buying clothes) and idead especially things that people could make- like scarf/hat

I can't beleive she would send you a list like that- how crazy!

I wouldn't say anything if it was me- just completely ignore it

sanguine_speed 11-02-2005 08:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikruca
we do lists in our family (immediate family) it was awkward the first few years but it's not like we ask for specific brands or anything-

usually I include my size for clothes (because my MIL loves buying clothes) and idead especially things that people could make- like scarf/hat

I can't beleive she would send you a list like that- how crazy!

I wouldn't say anything if it was me- just completely ignore it
Yeah, the list was very very specific. It stated which characters and which toys with those characters, which specific plastic battery operated toys...ugh.

Amys1st 11-02-2005 08:58 PM

You know what irks me the most- all that stuff they want is just going to wind up in a landfill or at their garage sale next year.

But, obviously your hand done gift w love is going to go over like a led zepplin so be prepared for ugliness. They maybe knew you would make something and they would rather see you spend the assigned $ amount on some crappy toy that by Jan 1 will end up in the toy bin. Maybe next year say we are not going in on the gift exchange this year. We are very fortunate to have everything we need and do not want the added stress of having to see if you are also blessed as we are or some other mumbo jumbo since they would be perfect for that.

We have stopped particiapting in the xmas exchange across the board. Even down to the exchange at DH's work. It usually was bought literally 5 minutes before we got to the party when he would remember he needed a gift. And he always got something totally stupid or worthless in return to boot.

We now sponsor a child off the tree at church who is the same age as DD. So this year we will be looking for a 3-4 yr old and fill her list.

anthasam 11-02-2005 09:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amys1st
...
We now sponsor a child off the tree at church who is the same age as DD. So this year we will be looking for a 3-4 yr old and fill her list.
My parents always did this when we were younger - made me feel good helping others even as a small child.

fremontmama 11-02-2005 09:28 PM

I agree with other posts, it's pretty rude and tacky to send out a list of what you want in an unsolicited email. I think a wish list or ideas for gifts list is an okay thing if someone specifically asks for it (or a registry for new parents or newlyweds, etc) There are usually some rules of conduct or typical manners that should be followed with those lists too, IMO.

As far as this;

Quote:
Originally Posted by morebabies
Ok, but what if it were the other way around? What if you knew that the grandparents or other friends/relatives were going to buy your dc a ton of plastic, battery opperated toys for Christmas. Suppose you are dead set against having toys of that nature in your house. Do you politely suggust some appropriate stuff they can buy ie wood toys, music, a learning tower, nice pair of robeez, etc, or would that be equally as rude? I just can't tell. I kind of feel that a gift is a gift and you shouldn't dictate what it is or when it comes but I was just curious what other moms thought.
We have some friends that have a very lovely way of tackling this issue. They in their birthday Evite included a wish list/ideas list and I think sent something similar to those who would typically want to buy/make something for their dc for the holidays (they celebrate winter solstice). Their schpeil (sp?) goes something like this;

"As far as gifts go, Dc does not really NEED anything, so gifts are not required or even suggested. However, if you feel the need to shower DC with your love in ways that includes giving gifts, here are some suggestions; (keep in mind we are always happy to receive anything that has been loved before by other kids)
He is such and such size right now and has plenty of.......
He really likes dinosaurs, books, musical instruments and yadda yadda yadda
Everyone in our household enjoys life much more if gifts given to DC do not need batteries or are made of plastic. Remember, you do not need to give DC gifts, we are happy just to celebrate and spend time with you. "

They are much more eloquent than I am, but that is essentially how their message goes....

morebabies 11-02-2005 10:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fremontmama
"As far as gifts go, Dc does not really NEED anything, so gifts are not required or even suggested. However, if you feel the need to shower DC with your love in ways that includes giving gifts, here are some suggestions; (keep in mind we are always happy to receive anything that has been loved before by other kids)
He is such and such size right now and has plenty of.......
He really likes dinosaurs, books, musical instruments and yadda yadda yadda
Everyone in our household enjoys life much more if gifts given to DC do not need batteries or are made of plastic. Remember, you do not need to give DC gifts, we are happy just to celebrate and spend time with you. "
I like it, I might just keep this one for future reference. I love the part about receiving anything that has been loved before by other kids. AMEN.

Sanguine_Speed - Well said!

Starflower 11-02-2005 10:35 PM

I agree that the unsolicited list is rude. Seems to epitomize our consumer-driven society. I always feel weird giving people gift ideas even when they ASK me. Oh, well. There are some good ideas of how to handle it here though. Great example, Fremontmama!

As for things we receive that we don't want or need or can't use (I received gift box of heavily scented soaps/bath products last year and I'm very allergic to that type of thing), we do a lot of re-gifting. Just make sure you don't re-gift an item to the person who gave it to you. Or I donate it to charities like Good Will.

Gotta go. I'm being paged by my 2 yr. old.

umami_mommy 11-03-2005 02:05 AM

i would just ignore it and give the girt you made.

i remember when i was a young teen, i babysat for a woman who had two boys. her brother had a little girl and she spent a entire year building a doll bed (canopy and all the bed clothes) and making a doll along with half a dozen complete outfits. it was amazing and i remember her crying when her SIL told her she had put the doll and bed away because she felt it was "too nice" to be played with. the next year her niece in all inocence asked her for a barbie doll or something she could play with. my friend was so hurt.

one good thing about email, you can always say you never saw it.






EviesMom 11-03-2005 02:16 AM

Honestly, I kinda like wish lists. We try to do them for family so they know what we're getting dd, what stuff she's really into right now, that kind of thing. We've always done them for dh and I too.

We generally send them to my parents and dh's parents/stepparents. We do send it "unsolicited," to just those 6 people. They don't ask every year, unless we delay too long in sending it. We know they expect it though, as sort of an unwritten family thing. Sometimes they forward it on to our brothers and sisters, or we send it to friends/more distant relatives ONLY IF they ask what dd "can use" for the holidays.

I wouldn't reply in a catty way or say anything about how you know she will choose a loving, thoughtful gift for your child with a subtext that she didn't expect the same of you. I would honestly just tell her that you're nearly done with Christmas presents.

If it seems like your neice probably does indeed like those characters, then I would consider if there's anyway to incorporate them into your gift in anyway. She might really like Dora or Blue's Clues or Strawberry Shortcake or whatever, and if your already wonderful gift of something like an art kit can also include a couple of stickers or a stamper of that character, then it might make her really happy. Even a couple of stickers on the box or the wrapping.

lilyka 11-03-2005 03:26 AM

wow, unsolicited. are you sure it wasn't forwarded by someone who did ask for it? Because we send a gift to each mother and if someone asks them they forward. I suppose it is entirely possible they may forward without an invitation to do so.

and our lists usually say soemthing like "little people - she was really digging the midevil/princess sets., Thomas trains - She has these engines. a small set of expansion tracks would be cool. you can get compatible ones at target for cheap. If Jand M want to get her some of that cool stuff they get her every year we would be stoked (aunt M worked at an arts scrap store and would get her a box of scarps the included sticker paper, sparkely, glow in the dark, paper remnants all kinds of cool stuff. best gift we ever got. they would usualy throw in some other little art supplies. Since Uncle and aunt are artist it was such a menaingful gift and such a cool way for her to connect to them. but I digress. my kids are so blessed with artsey creative aunties.)

sanguine_speed 11-03-2005 11:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka
wow, unsolicited. are you sure it wasn't forwarded by someone who did ask for it? .)
Absolutely positive. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this is offensive and inappropriate.

Momtwice 11-03-2005 11:59 AM

You know what I hate? When I give people a list (because they ask) and they call me up and ask me for MORE ideas. They want me to keep listing things for my kids until there is something they like.

To the OP: I feel your pain.

hu*singing*mom 11-03-2005 12:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by fremontmama


"As far as gifts go, Dc does not really NEED anything, so gifts are not required or even suggested. However, if you feel the need to shower DC with your love in ways that includes giving gifts, here are some suggestions; (keep in mind we are always happy to receive anything that has been loved before by other kids)
He is such and such size right now and has plenty of.......
He really likes dinosaurs, books, musical instruments and yadda yadda yadda
Everyone in our household enjoys life much more if gifts given to DC do not need batteries or are made of plastic. Remember, you do not need to give DC gifts, we are happy just to celebrate and spend time with you. "

They are much more eloquent than I am, but that is essentially how their message goes....
This is really lovely; thanks for sharing it. Sometimes even though you tell people no gifts are necessary, they feel obligated. This format could also be used to suggest ideas like donating to a charity or needy child, recycling a book or toy, etc.

earthmama369 11-03-2005 12:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom
Honestly, I kinda like wish lists. We try to do them for family so they know what we're getting dd, what stuff she's really into right now, that kind of thing. We've always done them for dh and I too.

We generally send them to my parents and dh's parents/stepparents. We do send it "unsolicited," to just those 6 people. They don't ask every year, unless we delay too long in sending it. We know they expect it though, as sort of an unwritten family thing. Sometimes they forward it on to our brothers and sisters, or we send it to friends/more distant relatives ONLY IF they ask what dd "can use" for the holidays.

I wouldn't reply in a catty way or say anything about how you know she will choose a loving, thoughtful gift for your child with a subtext that she didn't expect the same of you. I would honestly just tell her that you're nearly done with Christmas presents.
:

I was going to type just about exactly the same thing. I guess it depends on what's considered tradition in your family. My grandmothers start asking us for our wish lists before Halloween most years. We hear about it if we don't have any ideas for them by Thanksgiving. The lists, in our case, are fun and no one has to stick to the list (or ever does) -- it's just a jumping off point for ideas. I'd give her the benefit of the doubt on this one -- maybe that's normal for her? maybe she thought she was being helpful? some people find the decision-making involved in buying gifts stressful -- and simply say thanks for the ideas but you've already finished your gift preparations. I think it's wonderful that both you and she are so far ahead of the game!!!

sanguine_speed 11-03-2005 12:53 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369
:

I was going to type just about exactly the same thing. I guess it depends on what's considered tradition in your family. My grandmothers start asking us for our wish lists before Halloween most years. We hear about it if we don't have any ideas for them by Thanksgiving. The lists, in our case, are fun and no one has to stick to the list (or ever does) -- it's just a jumping off point for ideas. I'd give her the benefit of the doubt on this one -- maybe that's normal for her? maybe she thought she was being helpful? some people find the decision-making involved in buying gifts stressful -- and simply say thanks for the ideas but you've already finished your gift preparations. I think it's wonderful that both you and she are so far ahead of the game!!!
Yeah, the strangest part is that last year we had a discussion about gift lists. I told her I prefer to choose something that I think is appropriate for a child rather than ask for gift lists. Maybe she forgot this?
I'm not opposed to gift lists per se, and like I said I gave one to DP's parents. But I only prepare and send when asked for.

Amys1st 11-03-2005 01:00 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EviesMom
If it seems like your neice probably does indeed like those characters, then I would consider if there's anyway to incorporate them into your gift in anyway. She might really like Dora or Blue's Clues or Strawberry Shortcake or whatever, and if your already wonderful gift of something like an art kit can also include a couple of stickers or a stamper of that character, then it might make her really happy. Even a couple of stickers on the box or the wrapping.
Actually there are plenty of character fabrics available. I usually buy it a sew up a tote for the child out of the character fabric. Or a pillow. These wash easy and don't require batteries or plastic.

I did like the evite reply about gifts though.

Rhiannon Feimorgan 11-03-2005 01:56 PM

It's not something I would do, but perhaps she had been asked by other family members to make a list and though "as long as I'm making a list I may as well send it to everyone who might want it"


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