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#31 of 40 Old 08-25-2006, 04:26 PM
 
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[QUOTE=ShannonCC]

I got a birthday invitation recently. In it the birthday girl (early 20's) said 'if we wanted to bring gifts' and then there was a shopping list of things she wanted. It *really* turned me off just the way it was written. I can see how coming out and asking for a gift is seen as tacky.


Recently I emailed my mom asking if she'd get Bridget tickets to a play for her birthday. I know it's tacky to ask but I figured it was my mom, right? She didn't email back. I emailed again and she still didn't email back. Fine, so maybe I was rude, I don't know. All I know is that Bridget really wants to see this play and it will not just be a great clutter-free gift, it will be a great Gift. Period. There are two plays she wants to see and I can't afford both so I guess I'll have to pick one.

[QUOTE]

It is tacky to write on the invitations what you want as gifts. Even in baby/wedding shower invitations. No matter what the party is for a gift is optional. If someone asks then go ahead and tell them what dc wants or that DC is registered at wherever. However, I do think that is fine for DC to ask Grandma or Grandpa for a specific thing that they really would like.

We are pretty lucky as far as gifts from Grandparents go. My Mom always asks what DS wants for his birthday and gives him one really nice toy and a book and possibly some clothing that I let her know he needs. Dh's parents always renew ds's zoo pass for the next year. Including parking.

The rest of the family/friends is hit and miss. Some is plastic junk and some is nice. We just thank them and return/exchange/donate/throw away what isn't right for our family.

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#32 of 40 Old 08-25-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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Are you saying a "shopping list" of suggested items to buy, sent to the entire invitation list, is the same as me asking my mom to buy a particular gift?

Like I said maybe I *was* rude but it's my mom and we're pretty close so I thought it was ok (as opposed to the shopping list I mentioned - I see the woman in question probably 3 times a year ) Like I also said, I TOTALLY see both sides of this

Though actually, for an update, it turns out my mom didn't get my emails and I was venting for nothing : I talked to her this morning and told her my idea. She said she was thrilled to buy the tickets and wants to buy enough for both of us adults to take both kids My mom (I think I mentioned) is probably the only person who actually asks me for suggestions and then *follows through on them!* so I had an inkling she might be ok with me coming out with a suggestion without her asking

Of course now, empowered by this success, I'm thinking of asking my step-mom if she'll make something *that she's already told the kids she's giving them* into a present for Bridget's birthday.

I dunno. For me, I think asking someone I'm close to (and asking them individually, not in a mass mailing) if they'll consider a certain present is totally different from sending out a wish list with a birthday invitation. But then, Miss Manners I ain't
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#33 of 40 Old 08-25-2006, 04:55 PM
 
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Ooops, when I wrote all that all I saw was my quoted post


Quote:
We just thank them and return/exchange/donate/throw away what isn't right for our family.
How old are your kids though? Or are they really mellow? My kids are 4 and 7 and this sort of thing doesn't work anymore. Actually, for my dd, it didn't work once she hit about 2

For the most part I just grin and bear it. We try to cut down on our *own* intake of clutter and not stress too much about the relatives. I've sort of accepted the inflow of holiday gifts as an irresistable force But I feel ok with this thing with my mom.

Step mom though, I'm positive will say "great idea!" and then go to the dollar store and buy a bag of toys so Bridget "has something to open"
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#34 of 40 Old 08-26-2006, 02:16 AM
 
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I'm dealing with this right now, too! DD will be 1 in a couple weeks... If anyone asks, I tell them what we'd like her to have, if not, we accept it, and then hope they got it at Target/Walmart so we can use the store credit for toilet paper (and use the $ amount toward good toys). My problem right now, is that MIL ASKED for suggestions for DH's whole family to buy DD, and after giving her suggestions (and a week of her trying to "figure things out on the internet"), she tells me that she just wants to be able to buy what she wants to buy (no problem), and she wants DD to be able to keep it! WTH? Sure, buty what you want, but don't expect us to change our values b/c you're not EXCITED about the toy yourself. Sheesh. And we have a natural toystore in the area that she can shop at. She just doesn't like the toys. :
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#35 of 40 Old 08-27-2006, 07:24 PM
 
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I have to honestly say that my inlaws have been very thoughtful in this area. They will ask us what they need or ask the kids. The kids will tell them what they want. We do allow battery operated toys, we have a 4 yr old son who is obsessed with cars and loves to take things apart. He's very mechanically inclined. He is also very much one tracked with his thinking, so he likes to get cars and only cars, blocks hold no interest for him. My oldest dd is artistic, so that is what she wants, and my younger dd loves baby dolls. Dh and I are techno geeks, so we allow them to have lots of mechanical things.
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#36 of 40 Old 08-27-2006, 07:34 PM
 
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My SIl and I both do the same thing sorta. we pick something out kids like that is expensive, has peices/parts that can be bought seperately, and tell the folks "So and so is really into **** this year and we would really like to add to his/her set"
Some things we have gone with is:

wooden doll house. we make sure they know what kind it is and where to find the stuff at a walk in sotre (no one is willing to shop on line or through catalouges)

thomas trains and wodden tracks

legos

little people

playmobil

dress up clothes

baby dolls

Unit blocks

Shiglich (sp?) animals

etc.

pretty much anything that leads people to somehting pretty specific but stuill gives them lots of creative choices. Toys R Us, Leanring Express, and Ikea all have great wooden toys at reasonable prices. target and Walmart are also jumping on board to an extent (Target is realy getting on board actualy. they are even carrying Ryans room and Mellissa and Doug).

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#37 of 40 Old 08-27-2006, 08:42 PM
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I wish I could find a polite way to do this.

My kids have expensive sets like Lilyka's. Dollhouse, Brio trains, Lego/Duplos, kitchen set, and a drawer of playsilks and dressup's.
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#38 of 40 Old 08-27-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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granted we got more of little people ect than any sane person needs but at least we have a big enough set for everyone and our neighbors to play with and not a bunch of random stuff with not enough to actually do anything.

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#39 of 40 Old 09-02-2006, 02:51 AM
 
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In the past, I have returned/sold/donated stuff that I have felt is completely inappropriate. Stuff that I don't want in my home (if possible) I leave with the gift giver so they can enjoy my kids playing with it when we visit. I wasn't shy about pointing out that we needed money for food more than we needed two Hokey Pokey Elmos with no gift receipts, so close relatives got on the ball pretty quick and check in before holidays to get an idea of what the kids want/need. I also ask very clearly for things we want for them but can't afford - last year I asked my parents to fund a family membership to a local childrens' museum. Then I remind my kids why we are able to go so often, and I encourage them to tell their grandparents about the visits there.

I place no parameters or expectations on gifts from anyone other than my own parents and my inlaws, regardless of what is given, because I think it's important to teach my kids to be grateful to have people who love and care for them and want to give them things. I think, too, it's important that they learn to be graceful and grateful gift receivers when they get something they didn't want or expect.
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#40 of 40 Old 09-20-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbunny View Post
We're dealing with this situation as DS is approaching his first birthday. Along with the invitations I sent a little insert that gave loads of tidbits about where he's at including how much he weighed at birth, how much he weighs now, how many and which words he can say, what he enjoys doing. I mentioned that he enjoys playing with wood and cloth toys as well as books so that I could give friends and family ideas for gifts without telling them what to buy or what not to buy.

If anything is given that is not "approved" we're donating it to charity.
I think this is brilliant! No tacky gift suggestions, just a note about your dc, INCLUDING interests and favorite types of toys!

Mostly our families are great about gifts that *I* think are cool for Ada. Wooden rocking horse, her own tiny umbrella, a wooden pounding bench and hammer, a pair of powerful magnets . . .

My parents and DH's parents were friends before they had kids, were all hippies, and have always been not-commercially inclined. DH was in cloth diapers as a baby, and we were both breastfed, for example. And my mom HATES barbies so I never knew about them!

But friends are a different story. They just think Ada is adorable and want to buy her something and I think that they are sincerely thinking about what will be the most fun for her and either know some other kid who loves this or that loud, obnoxious, plastic toy, or else believe the advertising about how my two year old will love it! But they really pick thoughtfully. It's just with different thoughts than I would use . . . : You know, kids today like toys that do lots of things and make lots of noises so that's what I will get her.

So, we thank them. What drives me crazy is when they ask later if Ada plays with it. Sometimes the answer is yes (I get Ada's permission before getting rid of any of her belongings), but when it's not, I refuse to lie, and usually end up giving them a run-around that makes me feel like I've lied anyway : example: Does she like the toy elephant? Oh, Ada loves elephants, so the (UGLY) stuffed elephant was a great idea!

The real problem here is that Ada later decided she loved the (UGLY) stuffed elephant so now I'm not a liar, but I have to tote the thing with us everytime we leave the house!:

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