Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
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We live far from family so we both recieve and mail gifts often. Here are some general tips:
1. Shop at a national chain, request a gift reciept, and enclose it in the card.
2. Buy something that is small and light weight, or you can end up spending as much on packaging and shipping as you do on the gift.
3. Package the gift yourself and mail it at the post office rather than using a store that packages the mails the gift for you.
4. Always think about how you are going to package the gift before you buy it. If you buy something that is not a regular shape, you may have to put into a box that seems quite large to get the whole thing in. The larger the box, the fewer options you have for cheap shipping.
5. I personally find the easiest way to package a gift is in a large padded envelope. You can buy these lots of places, the Post Office, Target, etc. (Gifts for my neices and nephews are limited to things that fit in a large, padded envelope!)
6. Mail early for the least expensive rate. Media rate is less than regular regular parcel rate.
7. Part of the fun of the gift is that is comes in the mail. Kids love getting mail. I think it is better to do something simple, not drive youself nuts, but just DO IT. If you make it too hard, you'll never want to mess with it again.
With all gifts for children, I think it is important to talk to the parent ahead of time to discuss likes and dislikes, reading level, etc. My sister and I always talk about what the kids are into and such, but we never tell the other one what we are getting for the B-day child.
Even with a pre-shopping chat, include the receipt. They could end up getting the exact same thing from someone else.
but everything has pros and cons