non-gift birthdays? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 67 Old 01-28-2008, 02:45 PM
 
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I do practice what I preach. I mean, ideally I'd be living off the grid and growing all my own food, but since we're just renting our home at the moment, it's not totally possible for us just yet. We're doing the best we can in our current situation.

But I'm not sure where you got the idea that I don't practice these principles re: gift-giving and consumerism.

My kids are having a no-gift fifth birthday party in February. The only thing we will buy for the party is food (each of my twins wants me to make an ice cream cake for them . . . they'd share one, but they don't like the same kind of ice cream . . . and we'll probably have bagels and cream cheese or something else like that). My kids will each get one gift for their birthday, and I am making the gifts.

When we do go to parties that involve gift-giving, we bring a gift. It is always homemade, and my kids help me make it. I never said that anyone should choose not to bring a gift to someone else's party when gifts are expected. I'm just saying that we should all be promoting no-gift parties by having no-gift parties for our own kids.

Also, while I understand that it can be hard to read the tone of someone's message over the computer, I never intended to be "lecturing" anyone about my beliefs. I just feel very strongly about this issue. I really think we all need to feel very strongly about it. But, in my head, I'm not so much lecturing as I am pleading.

Lex
I didn't think you meant it to be lecturing, but it felt that way coming across. I noticed you said you had wanted to do a no gift party, but didn't because you thought it would be rude. And I noticed you chimed in about making gifts as favors for this kids, too. I'm not slamming you at all. I love giving and making gifts too! I just saw some inconsistencies in what you were saying, but you expanded on it and now I see I didn't have the full picture.

And I hear you about the pleading. I'm guilty of being passionate about a few things myself.
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#62 of 67 Old 01-28-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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But I do think that generosity is an important value and that gifts can and should be meaningful. There is nothing inappropriate and hateful about calling a party hostess and asking for a way to compromise and bring something to share with everyone. If I was told no, I would respect that.
Yes, generosity is a very important value and we are teaching generosity through our gift GIVING at our TRADITIONAL Lumbee birth celebration. We GIVE gifts to our guests as a token of our love and appreciation for their friendship which we value.

It is HATEFUL to purposefully come to a no-gift party with a gift.

I wasn't talking about calling ahead of time and asking, I was referring to the "I'll do what I can to get around it" idea. That is purely hateful.
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#63 of 67 Old 01-28-2008, 02:51 PM
 
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It is HATEFUL to purposefully come to a no-gift party with a gift.
Whoa, really?
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#64 of 67 Old 01-28-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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Yes. If Ispecifically let guests know that our parties are non-gift for traditional reasons and the guest decided, "well, I'm bringing a gift because I like to give gifts." That would be really hateful. You would be saying "screw what you want, I''m doing what I want."

You don't find that hateful?
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#65 of 67 Old 01-28-2008, 03:18 PM
 
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Yes. If Ispecifically let guests know that our parties are non-gift for traditional reasons and the guest decided, "well, I'm bringing a gift because I like to give gifts." That would be really hateful. You would be saying "screw what you want, I''m doing what I want."

You don't find that hateful?
Hateful? No, I don't. Not even close. Maybe inconsiderate, but it's a gift being given, not a punch in the face, so I would assume the givers intentions were rooted in generosity. I would never equate generosity with hatefulness. But hey, YMMV.
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#66 of 67 Old 01-28-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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I didn't think you meant it to be lecturing, but it felt that way coming across. I noticed you said you had wanted to do a no gift party, but didn't because you thought it would be rude. And I noticed you chimed in about making gifts as favors for this kids, too. I'm not slamming you at all. I love giving and making gifts too! I just saw some inconsistencies in what you were saying, but you expanded on it and now I see I didn't have the full picture.
I just wanted to clarify that the birthday party where we wanted to say no-gifts, but didn't because we thought it would be rude was my twins' FIRST birthday, so four years ago. I've changed my ways since then . I've actually had to overcome my fear of being rude in many different situations as my kids have gotten older. Also, "The Story of Stuff," really hit home for me so many of my current practices are pretty recent changes that we've made as a family (i.e. not buying food/drink in take-out containers anymore), and were influenced by the film.

The party favors we are giving out this year are actually rocks that my kids have collected and that we've decorated to look like little guys. Totally sustainable! They will be the treasure at the end of the treasure hunt (my boys' favorite party activity).

In general, I don't think there's anything wrong with making things for gifts. I choose to limit how many gifts my kids receive because I don't want them to be greedy or have high expectations in regards to quantity of stuff. But, in my opinion, there is a huge difference between a homemade toy (i.e. a felted wool ball--one of my toddler's current favorites) and a store-bought, overly-packaged, Made In China, plastic toy that has seen more of the world than I have, and will someday end up in a landfill. That's the practice that I think we really need to stop. Buying locally-made, handmade items is sustainable, and I don't worry nearly as much about over-consumption when that is the case.

I think the issue of environmentally-friendly purchasing is different from the issue of limiting gifts for children. In this thread I have been speaking more for the environment than for the parenting decision about how many toys you want your kids to have. While it's not a choice I would make, I don't think it would be that big of a deal to shower your child with used toys, for instance. The "showering" is a different issue.

Lex

Mindfully mothering SIX kids (ages 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 & 11) in a small house with a lot of love.
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#67 of 67 Old 01-28-2008, 03:27 PM
 
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Hateful? No, I don't. Not even close. Maybe inconsiderate, but it's a gift being given, not a punch in the face, so I would assume the givers intentions were rooted in generosity. I would never equate generosity with hatefulness. But hey, YMMV.
This is just bizarre. A person asks that you not bring a gift and you decide screw you I'll do what I want and you don't think that is hateful?

I just can't wrap my mind around that kind of thinking.

This is a site that promotes respect, but you can't see how doing something someone has asked you not to do is disrespectful, hurtful and hateful?
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