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#1 of 14 Old 12-04-2010, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
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We are going to my sisters for a family dinner next weekend. We do not see them very often. It is the only time we will see any of my family over the holidays, so we will exchange some gifts. My sister sent me a message on facebook asking if we had room in our car for a large present, or should she bring it down here. I admit, I panicked a bit hearing this.


Our Dd is 17 months. We live in a small home. It isnt too cluttered right now, but def. has potential to become so with a toddler. We also live downtown and have a tiny yard, etc. So I sent a message back saying it depends on how large. She tells me that she has already bought my dd a princess ATV. I have no idea if it is a small push toy or a childs motorized vehicle.


We absolutely do not want our DD to have this thing if it is battery operated or motorized. She is too young and we do not want to give up the space to house it. And my sister can not even afford to give gifts like this. We would prefer that she use the money for her own family. She has 3 kids that are old enough to know and care about Christmas.


What do you do or say to not have stuff like this gifted onto your child?

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#2 of 14 Old 12-04-2010, 06:49 PM
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Say thank you.


What is done is done. She has already bought it. If you were closer and spent more time there I would suggest offering to have her keep it at her house since you have no room. yard is too small etc etc. Instead be gracious and you can address your preferences at a later date.

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#3 of 14 Old 12-04-2010, 07:33 PM
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I think that if your sister can't afford gifts like this, and she still bought it (and those things are like $200!!!) that she really, really, really cares about her niece and really thinks she will like it. In this situation I would take the gift and videotape dd  riding around in it and put it on skype or youtube so your sis can see how much she is enjoying it. And then after a few months, when it would  not be offeinsive or hurtful, tell her in a kind, lighthearted way, "you almost gave me a heart attack with that crazy atv thing you bought dd last christmas!! didn't you know we're trying to go battery free? Now you know: next time all you have to get is (name whatever reasonably priced battery free item you would like)!"'


I think it would really hurt her feelings to do any less than accept and enjoy the gift, given the cost and likely effort/sacrifice it involved. Since it's done already. Now if she hadn't already bought it, my advice would be totally different. But at this point....eh. One battery operated toy in the scheme of your dd's whole life won't make or break her as a person.

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#4 of 14 Old 12-04-2010, 08:39 PM
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We live in a very small apartment (3 rooms, maybe 500sf) and have to fend off gifts like this all the time.  So I totally understand about the size thing.  Now, my BF's mom-side family has the habit of giving all kinds of crap, and I've been encouraged by his father to simply say no, or throw things away as his mom's side are compulsive hoarders and passers-on-ers of crap.  And they seem to not really care too much what we do. 


So that's what I do.  We got a ginoooormous exersaucer that seemed dangerous and ridiculous... that was probably trash picked.  We didn't know how to say no to the aunt who was so excited, so we hauled it back from the holidays, and then immediately curbed it.


I used to be of the opinion, "Oh no, just say thank you and be grateful."  But with his family, you can't.  I made the mistake of accepting some stuff in the beginning to be polite and now I'm pushing against the tide.  My BF warned me this would happen and naively I didn't listen.....


I might call back and say, "Oh my gosh, I am so grateful you thought of DD.  That is such a great idea.  But you know how small our place is, and I just don't know if we have the space for that.  Oh gosh, I feel so bad, but I wouldn't want your gift to go to waste because DD couldn't use it.  You know we can't keep it inside, and if we leave it outside, it'll probably get stolen."  (True in my city, at least.)


She might have the receipt and be able to return it.  Or it might turn out she got it at a garage sale for a song, in which case, no big deal, right?


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#5 of 14 Old 12-04-2010, 08:51 PM
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I saw those in target the other day for 40-something dollars. Target would likely take it as a return if you don't want it, an option if you don't think your sister will notice it's absence. My sister does this as well. Last year she asked me if DD likes barbie and I said no then she asked if she like hanna montana and I told her DD doesn't even know who that is and I'd like to keep it that way. So what did she give DD? You guessed it, a hanna montana barbie doll. Luckily we stay with my in laws for Christmas since we live out of state and 'forgot' it at their house. I like the idea of telling your sister thank you but you simply don't have room for it so it will either have to be returned or stay at her house. Your daughter playing with it occasionally once she's old enough to doesn't seem like that big a deal. 

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#6 of 14 Old 12-04-2010, 08:53 PM
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I say thank you for the gift and then donate it.  We too have a tiny house.


Good luck :)

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#7 of 14 Old 12-05-2010, 07:25 AM
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If some one gave on of those to DD, I would either sell it on Craigslist, at a consignment shop, or donate it.  Not only do we try to avoid battery-operated and plastic toys, but we also simply don't have the room for it.  I might take it out of the box, sit her in it, take a picture, and then box it back up. 


Edited to Add:  DD was given some battery-operated maracas and I sold them at a consignment store and bought her some pants.  She already had some nice, wooden maracas and I didn't see the need for ones that sang and counted in spanish.

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#8 of 14 Old 12-05-2010, 08:50 AM
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 Your dd might be too small to  use it now but might have a blast with it when she is older.  But, I'm totally fine with my kids playing with plastic/battery operated toys.  I guess if I felt so opposed to them I'd want to make it clear we do not want plastic toys.  But then I'd  have to give up my computer and video games...so yeah...I'd just say thanks.


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#9 of 14 Old 12-05-2010, 10:05 AM
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Those things are expensive $100 and huge.  Most of the time I am the person to say "suck it up" and get rid of it later.


But I would be honest with her.  You have no place for your dd to use it.  I wouldn't pick on the battery issue.  I would pose it is an issue it is something your child has no space to play with.  


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#10 of 14 Old 12-05-2010, 10:18 AM
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Something like... "Oh gosh, thank you so much, but we really really don't have the room to keep something like that, our house it too small & I wouldn't want it to get stolen outside. DD also gets overwhelmed by noisy toys. I feel so bad, maybe we can keep it at a friend's house -- unless it's not to late to return it?"


Kind of lets her know where you're at while at the same time giving her options. But I'd only say something like that if she's bound to notice it's gone a few months from now. Otherwise, I'd just say thanks, let DD play with it for a couple days, & then sell/donate/whatever afterward (or return it yourself if it's new).


And I admit to sneaking a gifted noisy plastic toy into the inlaw's toy box before leaving one time... Oops we must've forgotten it!! I seriously have a really hard time figuring out how to graciously accept a toy & then discard it discretely. I actually told my mom that I got rid of all the toys she got DS last Christmas -- but she sees us enough that she would've noticed, plus she likes buying DS things occasionally & I figured I'd better let her know where we stand on it now rather than have her waste her money for years or something -- nip it in the bud.


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#11 of 14 Old 12-05-2010, 10:20 AM
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This is probably what she bought - not the $200 version but the $60 one meant for younger kids:



and when I googled "princess atv" I found out it's on closeout. So, I wouldn't worry about the  money so much. That is your sister's issue.


If you really have no place to store it and no place for your daughter to use it, say "gee thanks, but we don't have any place for her to use it."

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#12 of 14 Old 12-05-2010, 10:21 AM
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Does your sister know that you would rather not have battery-operated/plastic/flashy toys in your home?  Because it sounds like you need to make that super clear to your family.  Honestly, the ATV sounds like a kind gift from an excited aunt who pictures your DD having hours of fun with it....and many kids would have lots of fun with something like that!  But living in a small apartment in the city, I totally see how this is an impractical gift.  I agree with PP that you should genuinely thank her and tell her that you really don't have the space for large toys.  Then she at least has the opportunity to gift it to someone else who may love it!  And just make sure that your sister is well aware of the kind of toys you prefer. 

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#13 of 14 Old 12-05-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I spoke with my sister today. We are going to see what it is exactly on the weekend when we go there. I am worried about getting so much crap in our lives. But, even though it isn't a gift I would buy my kid, what worries me the most is that I do not think my daughter is of the age and ability yet to drive a motorized vehicle. She already is a handful to watch and fearless. I know she is just going to run right off the curb. We do not have anywhere close enough that is a safe place to ride around. We live on a residential street downtown, but LOTS of cars use our road and drive quite fast. And the park with ample room is too far to carry this toy too.


My sister is going to store it at her house and we will reassess in the summer of DD 2nd birthday. She will be more able, will get a couple of months use out of it in the summer and I will donate it or something after that.


Thanks for all the replies.

I do tell my sister and all my family what our wishes are for non-cluttered and more simple toys/gifts/lives etc. They just do not listen or get excited and ignore. And they do not think of the cumulative aspects of all the gifts.

Me 40 eat.gif. Partner to mamacolleen 33 superhero.gif. DD born July 2009 blahblah.gif. Twin boys born Nov 2012.

We are a family that loves cold.giftreehugger.giffamilybed1.giffemalesling.GIFcd.gif

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#14 of 14 Old 12-06-2010, 03:50 AM
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We've had 4 children worth of big and obtrusive gifts.  A couple weeks ago I hauled them all to the consignment shop and the kids decided to donate the money to families in need.  It was so much work (I had a mini-van full of plastic junk) that I will never allow it to accumulate again.

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