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My family is not all aware of the change I have been making to involving Waldorf in our life so I wrote a letter to try and help them understand a bit before they start their Christmas shopping. I would love some help polishing it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br><span style="color:#0000FF;">As the holidays approach I want share with you some changes we are making in our home. We recently noticed our house filling up with toys that were rarely played with, easily broken, and cluttered the house. In an effort to simplify our home, we decided to keep playthings the girls have shown interest in, are of good quality, and are mostly open ended. By doing this, we hope to foster an appreciation in the girls for what they have by not overwhelming them with large numbers of toys and also encourage the use of their imagination. Here is a link that explains our toy philosophy: <a href="https://www.threesisterstoys.com/t-aboutnatural.aspx" target="_blank">https://www.threesisterstoys.com/t-aboutnatural.aspx</a><br><br>
I have a few suggestions to aid you if you desire to give a gift to the girls. Time spent with you whether it be a special date or day would thrill them. Membership or admission to local museums or parks. Also, hand made items by you such as sewn/knitted/crocheted animals or dolls would be treasured. This includes wooden items like cars or small nature figures for those who are able to work with wood. If you do not have the time nor inclination to make an item, the girls also have registries on these two wonderful websites that carry the types of playthings that we are focusing on for our family. <a href="http://www.atoygarden.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=users.registry&act=browse&registry_id=738*" target="_blank">http://www.atoygarden.com/index.cfm?...gistry_id=738*</a> and <a href="http://www.threesisterstoys.com/giftregistry.aspx?guid=87c70421-d5b4-40f4-8fda-090989d5a8e6" target="_blank">http://www.threesisterstoys.com/gift...a-090989d5a8e6</a> Please do not feel that you need to get multiple items as one item of good quality would be wonderful.<br><br>
As always, any gifts are appreciated but please remember that we prefer little to no plastic, no characters, and no electronics. We would also prefer that any items are baby safe to prevent choking incidents. Please feel free to let us know of any preferences you have for your own gifts for the holidays as we would love to give you something you would appreciate also. Thank you, I hope that you have a wonderful week <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></span>
 

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I can say that if I received this message from someone, I would be fine with it. I think most people understand that too many crappy toys is a pain and its wasteful. I think it's nice that you are sending it this far in advance of the holiday, and it is thoughtfully written. The one suggestion that I have is to embed some sort of an apology about having a registry. Registries really irk a lot of people, and you might prevent some eye rolling by saying something like "I know that not everyone likes gift registries for children. I am providing it with the thought that it might be useful to some of you, but understand completely if you don't want to use it."<br><br>
I think that you have given your family and friends lots of reasonable options. I hope that your letter is well received! Also, you have given very fair warning about media/ electronics so don't feel guilty when you wind up needing to give them away. Some people are probaly going to ignore your note completely, so steel yourself for that!
 

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That sounds fantastic. Can I copy it? Seriously!!! I need to write a note like that for my, um, well, not-so natural, into media, open-ended challenged family members <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>orangewallflower</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12372381"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I can say that if I received this message from someone, I would be fine with it. I think most people understand that too many crappy toys is a pain and its wasteful. I think it's nice that you are sending it this far in advance of the holiday, and it is thoughtfully written. The one suggestion that I have is to embed some sort of an apology about having a registry. Registries really irk a lot of people, and you might prevent some eye rolling by saying something like "I know that not everyone likes gift registries for children. I am providing it with the thought that it might be useful to some of you, but understand completely if you don't want to use it."<br><br>
I think that you have given your family and friends lots of reasonable options. I hope that your letter is well received! Also, you have given very fair warning about media/ electronics so don't feel guilty when you wind up needing to give them away. Some people are probaly going to ignore your note completely, so steel yourself for that!</div>
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Thank you, I am glad to hear that it seems reasonable. I would hate it if others felt like I am dictating what they gift, I hope that they will receive it well too. I agree that there may one or two people who may give something we do not want in the house. But I feel that this letter will make it so I won't have to feel guilty if it is something we decide not to keep.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>naturalmamaof1</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12372706"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">That sounds fantastic. Can I copy it? Seriously!!! I need to write a note like that for my, um, well, not-so natural, into media, open-ended challenged family members <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"></div>
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Go ahead... I wish I had someone's to model mine after when I started it. I did borrow the line about no "plastic, characters, electronics" from a post on this Waldorf forum because it was so beautifully concise in detailing what we want to avoid. After all, who wants to be given a huge list of things someone does not want you to give them?
 

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Great letter! I'm totally stealing this as a template! We usually do a wish-list of some sort, and we've been letting our families know what we're interested in, but this will bring it home and make it official! I ran it past DH (since he could have gone either way on the idea) and he thought it would be a good idea to help the families make decisions too!
 

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I think your letter is great! The only thing I might change is the first line, instead of "I'd like to inform you of" (which sounds professional) you might try something like "I'd like to share with you...", which I think sounds a little warmer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
If you'll also be giving gifts to these people, you might mention at the end that you welcome suggestions for things they prefer as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>amandaleigh37</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12384258"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think your letter is great! The only thing I might change is the first line, instead of "I'd like to inform you of" (which sounds professional) you might try something like "I'd like to share with you...", which I think sounds a little warmer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
If you'll also be giving gifts to these people, you might mention at the end that you welcome suggestions for things they prefer as well.</div>
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Those are great suggestions, thank you!!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">In an effort to simplify our home, we decided to <span style="color:#FF0000;">keep select playthings</span> that the kids have shown interest in, are of good quality, and are mostly open ended.</td>
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The part I highlighted reads a little awkwardly to me and might confuse people. Perhaps just "keep playthings"?<br><br>
Excellent letter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Deborah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12385544"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The part I highlighted reads a little awkwardly to me and might confuse people. Perhaps just "keep playthings"?<br><br>
Excellent letter.</div>
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Thank you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I edited it to reflect some of the suggestions that have been given. Let me know if it still reads a little off.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>thenaturefreak</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12371367"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;"><span style="color:#0000FF;">As the holidays approach I want share with you some changes we are making in our home. We recently noticed our house filling up with toys that were rarely played with, easily broken, <span style="color:#FF0000;">and cluttered the house</span>.</span></div>
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I think the letter is great and just have one small suggestion to the highlighted language. I think someone could easily read "like the crap you gave us last year did" into it. Maybe not likely, but certainly possible. Instead, I would suggest you just say "rarely played with and/or easily broken, and therefore, unfortunately discarded" or something to that effect that kind of gives the impression that while gifts are appreciated, those that will last are even more appreciated as they actually have a shot at being appreciated for a longer period of time.
 

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I'm not a Waldorf mom but I couldn't resist jumping in.<br><br>
I think it's a beautiful letter, but I also know for me that a big part of the Christmas holiday is really focusing on those I love and finding the perfect gift for them. Picking something from a "wish list" does not fill the same need. Is there a way to add some more open ended options? Could you say "anything from these catalogs" or "books are always appreciated" or that included more general categories "books about X" "wooden toys such as vehicles, toy animals, foods etc . . " or in some other way allow people to make their own choices while still guiding the choices.<br><br>
If I got this letter I'd probably try and choose something that fit with your desires, but wouldn't choose from the list. Or I'd get a book, because in my opinion, books are always a good choice.
 

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I guess I'm a very well-trained waldorf grandma, cause I always talk to my daughter before I go looking for a present. This works out well for me, too, because I end up giving stuff that gets a lot of use. For example, last christmas I gave the kids a pencil holding snake, on her recommendation. It gets constant use and I see it every time I come over. Very satisfying.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>honeybunmom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12386482"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think the letter is great and just have one small suggestion to the highlighted language. I think someone could easily read "like the crap you gave us last year did" into it. Maybe not likely, but certainly possible. Instead, I would suggest you just say "rarely played with and/or easily broken, and therefore, unfortunately discarded" or something to that effect that kind of gives the impression that while gifts are appreciated, those that will last are even more appreciated as they actually have a shot at being appreciated for a longer period of time.</div>
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My husband is reading this exact thing from the letter. He feels like it has a holier than thou, why are you giving my children white trash toys attitude. (his words, not mine <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">)<br><br>
I really just wanted to help give a guide to the types of things we are trying to keep in our home and not give a list of "no's". I don't know, his negativity kind of made it hard for me to think about this right now. But ideally I wanted to say we would rather people not buy but do something or make something that has special meaning. I know that not everyone will want to do that so I tried to offer up an easy way for those people to buy something that would be appreciated.<br><br>
Ugg, I don't know. I am half tempted to not send the letter for fear of offending someone. Guess I will see how I feel tomorrow.
 

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Usually I think 'what to give my kids' letters are a bad idea, but yours is nice. I would not be offended to receive it.<br><br>
I might change this line:
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">As always, any gifts are appreciated but please remember that we prefer little to no plastic, no characters, and no electronics.</td>
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To just stop at
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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">As always, any gifts are appreciated.</td>
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because it sounds a little bit like saying "all gifts are appreciated, unless we don't want that gift"<br><br>
I might also change
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">the girls also have registries on these two wonderful websites that carry the types of playthings that we are focusing on for our family</td>
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to
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">the girls also have registries on these two wonderful websites <b>to give examples of</b> the types of playthings that we are focusing on for our family</td>
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Nature Freak,<br>
I have sort of a radical suggestion for you. What if you simplify all the way down to experiences or hand-made gifts? You can justify it with the economy and a desire to simplify at the holidays and you don't even need to make reference to gift registries or what you don't want them to receive.<br><br>
I understand your frustration at your DH's reaction, but I do think it's great that you are involving him in the decision about what and how to communicate.
 

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Remember I said I'd steal the template? Well I did and modified it to suit our needs. We're not strictly all-natural and we haven't purged completely so that reflects in the letter -- I wanted to emphasize that the gifts last year were well appreciated and still used...no one needs to know what was "outgrown" and what was "purged". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> So anyway...thought I'd share our version of the letter. It's been really well received by the family. I only sent it to very immediate family (our parents and siblings). I know our requests aren't 100% in keeping with an all-natural, Waldorf lifestyle, but since I plagurized my letter shamlessly from the OP...I thought I'd share my version too to offer more ideas. And it offers some simple compromises to main stream relatives that will still want to BUY and they'll want to do at Walmart or Target.<br><br>
***************************<span style="color:#0000FF;"><br>
The holidays are coming up quickly so I thought it might be helpful to let you know about some of the changes we've been making in our home that might affect some of your gift-giving decisions. (I hope this doesn't seem too weird, but I have been given the hint that this information might be helpful before people are ready to start their shopping.)<br><br>
We noticed how quickly our house was filling up with lots of toys, to the point where it would be overwhelming pretty soon! In an effort to simplify, we have been focusing on simple, open-ended playthings that will grow with W. Our goal is to encourage him to appreciate what he has and also to use his imagination. An additional incentive is to avoid the recall issues that happened last year. We're probably not going to have another year like that, but, by minimizing plastic toys, we hope to avoid that concern altogether!<br><br>
I know this is a little different philosophy than we've had in the past - it's taken a lot of research and practice to get used to the idea ourselves-though it's significantly cut down on our impulse toy-purchases! And it is definitely a gradual process....he's still got his battery powered and plastic toys and plays with them every day...but he's been learning to play with them in a new way and, as he outgrows things, we're hoping to replace them with more open-ended options.<br><br>
Since this is a new way of doing things, we have a few suggestions if you are planning to give W a holiday or birthday gift. As always, hand-made items by you would be wonderful - a blanket, a cd mix of music, a recording or video of you reading a story, pictures of you and your family that we can add to his laminated album, wooden or fabric toys, etc. In addition, there are some amazing natural toy stores online (and even some main-stream ones are starting to carry natural toys!). In order to keep track of some of the neat finds I've found throughout the year, we've been logging them with an online wish-list. You can see the wish list here with some basic ideas: <a href="http://www.wishlist.com/" target="_blank">http://www.wishlist.com/</a>[our wish list]<br><br>
Other simple ideas that can be found anywhere would be books (he LOVES books!), age-appropriate art supplies (crayons, coloring books, play-doh, finger paints, etc), clothing (2T or 3T), or classic Disney movies (we've only got a couple of them). In general, he loves trains and any animals or trucks. He's very interested in the alphabet, numbers and colors, and he loves singing and anything that can make music.</span>
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>3901sca</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12450756"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Remember I said I'd steal the template? Well I did and modified it to suit our needs. We're not strictly all-natural and we haven't purged completely so that reflects in the letter -- I wanted to emphasize that the gifts last year were well appreciated and still used...no one needs to know what was "outgrown" and what was "purged". <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> So anyway...thought I'd share our version of the letter. It's been really well received by the family. I only sent it to very immediate family (our parents and siblings). I know our requests aren't 100% in keeping with an all-natural, Waldorf lifestyle, but since I plagurized my letter shamlessly from the OP...I thought I'd share my version too to offer more ideas. And it offers some simple compromises to main stream relatives that will still want to BUY and they'll want to do at Walmart or Target.<br><br>
***************************<span style="color:#0000FF;"><br>
The holidays are coming up quickly so I thought it might be helpful to let you know about some of the changes we've been making in our home that might affect some of your gift-giving decisions. (I hope this doesn't seem too weird, but I have been given the hint that this information might be helpful before people are ready to start their shopping.)<br><br>
We noticed how quickly our house was filling up with lots of toys, to the point where it would be overwhelming pretty soon! In an effort to simplify, we have been focusing on simple, open-ended playthings that will grow with W. Our goal is to encourage him to appreciate what he has and also to use his imagination. An additional incentive is to avoid the recall issues that happened last year. We're probably not going to have another year like that, but, by minimizing plastic toys, we hope to avoid that concern altogether!<br><br>
I know this is a little different philosophy than we've had in the past - it's taken a lot of research and practice to get used to the idea ourselves-though it's significantly cut down on our impulse toy-purchases! And it is definitely a gradual process....he's still got his battery powered and plastic toys and plays with them every day...but he's been learning to play with them in a new way and, as he outgrows things, we're hoping to replace them with more open-ended options.<br><br>
Since this is a new way of doing things, we have a few suggestions if you are planning to give W a holiday or birthday gift. As always, hand-made items by you would be wonderful - a blanket, a cd mix of music, a recording or video of you reading a story, pictures of you and your family that we can add to his laminated album, wooden or fabric toys, etc. In addition, there are some amazing natural toy stores online (and even some main-stream ones are starting to carry natural toys!). In order to keep track of some of the neat finds I've found throughout the year, we've been logging them with an online wish-list. You can see the wish list here with some basic ideas: <a href="http://www.wishlist.com/" target="_blank">http://www.wishlist.com/</a>[our wish list]<br><br>
Other simple ideas that can be found anywhere would be books (he LOVES books!), age-appropriate art supplies (crayons, coloring books, play-doh, finger paints, etc), clothing (2T or 3T), or classic Disney movies (we've only got a couple of them). In general, he loves trains and any animals or trucks. He's very interested in the alphabet, numbers and colors, and he loves singing and anything that can make music.</span></div>
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It is great!! I might just have to incorporate some of your changes into mine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I am still working on it, but have been incredibly busy and haven't had a chance to edit it again. I really like the last couple of ideas that were given by everyone <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I really like this version. I think that an embedded apology ("I hope this doesn't seem too weird") and "we're getting used to the idea ourselves") will help stem the typical kneejerk reaction to a letter like this and make others feel like they are helping you out rather than being limited by you. I hope that it goes well!
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>orangewallflower</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12454660"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I really like this version. I think that an embedded apology ("I hope this doesn't seem too weird") and "we're getting used to the idea ourselves") will help stem the typical kneejerk reaction to a letter like this and make others feel like they are helping you out rather than being limited by you. I hope that it goes well!</div>
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The in-laws have been all about organic and recalls lately--so that helps! And my family just sort of go along with whatever weird ideas I have anyway. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
But the embedded apology is genetic...the passive aggressive Midwestern part of me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> But yes, the goal was to acknowledge that it's new, it's taking some getting used to and we are still very grateful for everything they've done in the past. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 
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