Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I'm Just Asking

If people give you gifts you don't want, can't use, or just plain don't like, what do you do?

Do you tell them and give it back?

Do you try to make a shady return without the receipt?

Do you keep it and bring it out for their visits?

Do you put it in a special "re-gifting" closet?

What is the proper thing to do.... and more to the point... what do you do?

57 comments:

shelley said...

I don't know the proper thing to do, but I usually pretend I really like it, keep it for eternity (adding to my pile of crap), and eventually (two or three years down the road) donate to Goodwill or some other like minded organization.

Mr Furious said...

I will say this much...Mrs F is NOT good at pretending she likes a crappy gift.

Canteloupe said...

I have a nightmarish, come back to bite you type re-gifting experience. When my husband and I moved into our new house, friends frequently stopped by in the first 6 months or so and if it was a 1st visit, often brought housewarming gifts. One such occasion, when I was traveling for work several friends stopped by and presented gifts to my husband, which he opened and then promptly forgot who gave what. When I got home a few days later, he had no idea... Anywho, they were pretty unimpressive as gifts, so they went onto the top shelf of my pantry (where bad gifts go to die). Several month later, it was the birthday of one those guests, which I had completely blanked on (no gift prepared) and in any case, kids were sick, so my husband went solo to the party. That evening, before leaving, he's lamenting not having something, and suggests that he grab something from the offcast housewarming gift pile... I'm sure you see where this is going. Damned if he didn't re-gift the reject gift to the same person who gifted it to us in the 1st place! Needless to say, AWKWARD! So in short, I hesitate to re-gift these days. I pretty much let them collect dust high up somewhere.....

Anonymous said...

Depends on who the gift is from. If it is from my mom, God bless her heart, I keep it for a few years and the toss. If it is from a friend, if I truly think it is regiftable I will regift, if not as soon as they leave, in the garbage it goes. lol. Especially if it is like a stinky candle or something along those lines. If they ever ask .. OH MY GOSH, Baby broke,ruined,colored on, bit, hid .. you get the idea.

Anonymous said...

Oops, that was me, Jennifer. Oy. I will some day get this computer thing under control. You would think that something as simple as signing in would be do-able for me. YEESH!

michelline said...

Mrs F is NOT good at pretending she likes a crappy gift.

Me either, LOL! I complete sympathize with you.

michelline said...

This is a really difficult question and would depend on the relationships involved. Conflict and hurt feelings are no fun at all. My mom has a history of not being the most thoughtful of gift givers and has until recently refused to consider whether I would like something as opposed to if she likes it. For her stuff, I've traditionally kept it a while and then let it go in a yard sale or regifted it to a friend. Or Ebay is always good! One time my mother gave me a complete set of kitchen decorations (canisters, towels, I mean everything) that had roosters on them. I DETEST roosters. I kept them for a couple of years, but never put them up. Then chucked them in a yard sale. Someone got a really great deal on an expensive set :)

If it's someone I know I won't really see again or who won't be coming out to my house very often, I feel no remorse in regifting or donating it to Goodwill.

Torey said...

Michelline--I think my ex-boyfriend's sister-in-law (follow all that?) gave us a very simialr set. . .curious!

Once a gift is given to you, it's yours to do whatever you want with. My mom and sister and I frequently pass these things around amongst the three of us. Sometimes I pass it on to my mother-in-law or sister-in-law. Often, it gets put in the garage.

I am a true believer in "it's the thought that counts". I have no qualms donating things. If we're talking about Kid or Baby stuff, I would gather those, and 10 more items of no use from the Kid/Baby catergory and donate them to a women's shelter. Then you've cleaned, and done some good!

Gigs said...

Interesting question. My mother-in-law is a chronic bad gift giver. When my husband and I were dating, he had a box he called his "mom box" with stuff he put out when she came over (this included stuff like a fairly large glass squirrel!). She really has a good heart and wants to give things, but the way she does it is strange. I have three sister-in-laws, and all four of us get the exact same thing for holidays. As far as I can figure, she goes to joblot or wherever, and buys four of everything until her cart is full. It can be really hard to feign joy as you open the fourth pleather purse-size nail kit! But, like shelley, we pretend, keep it for a while, and then donate. If we think it is something she won't notice whether we have or not (a ten pack of waxy lip balm, for example) it goes straight to the trash when we get home. Harder to deal with are her personal creations. She is taking ceramics now, and my husband got a foot tall ceramic bear that holds a sign saying welcome for his birthday. Yeah, that's not really our decorating style. It is still in the box at the moment - not really sure what to do about that...

Smoochiefrog said...

I constantly get tchotchkes from my step-monster. FREECYCLE BABY!!!! If the dolt took ten seconds to bother getting to know me, she'd know it's all about the Benjamins for gifts! HELLO!!!!

John Howard said...

I don't think I get many gifts that I don't like. Anyone likely to get me anything that would be expensive enough to worry about what to do with it after if I didn't like it isn't likely to get me anything I wouldn't like.

John Howard said...

Damned if he didn't re-gift the reject gift to the same person who gifted it to us in the 1st place!

But that's easy, you just say you liked what they got you so much that you now give it as a gift to other people.

Heather said...

I give it away to friends or Goodwill. At Christmas I got this hideous set of plastic jewelry, a scarf and the most terrible hat you've ever seen. I gave it all to my friend Kelly and told her I thought she might like some of these things, and if she didn't, feel free to do whatever she wanted with it. I also got some lovely earrings, which weren't my taste, and I gave them to my aunt, who thought they were gorgeous.

The key is having zero guilt about it. Zero. A gift is a gift -- for me. I can choose to do with it what I want. I wouldn't want someone holding on to something they hate just because they thought my feelings would be hurt.

angie said...

I pretend to like it. It only hurts people's feelings to say na, not so good. If I don't like it I try to return w/o receipt (I do this a lot) or with if the person is kind enough to keep one. I rarely regift (if ever) because if i don't like it, i usually can't imagine liking it either. Then I donate it. I never throw things out that are brand new, because someone somewhere will like it.

Glad we haven't hooked up yet for me to give Baby F her present or I would be having a panic attack that this post was directed towards me. :-)

Cara said...

I usually keep it out of guilt, but then this year I did return a few things and used store credit to buy things like toothpaste. hahah.

Amy said...

Don't feel bad about taking what you don't like to Salvation Army, reuse center, or battered women's shelter. Someone there will need it/love it/ use it.

My mother and I are very close, so when she gives me a gift that is not my taste I tell her. Because she usually spent really good money on it, and she really wants me to have something I love (which is why she usu. gives me money).

With my MIL, it is different. She and my husband have never been particularly close, and she doesn't recognize that we like things that are clean and attractive. It is sad because she is an *honest to god* hoarder, and she usually gives us awful, dirty and incomprehensible gifts. We couldn't return these if we wanted to because they are obviously from garage sales or from the depths of her home. She never asks what the kids want, so she either buys them wildly inappropriate Chinglish-packaged garbage (which usually doesn't work or 1/2 of the pieces are missing), or she buys them huge toys that we have no place for and that we already have a superior version of anyway. I throw the dirty stuffed animals and anything else that is unsalvagable away. The rest goes to Sal. Army. If she's upset because we never use the stained, polyester lace tablecloth - she never tells us. I don't feel bad about getting rid of the stuff because I'm not going to live under a mountain of clutter, and she doesn't care enough to notice "I've given up" is not our decorating style. I do feel bad that she has no clue who her son is, or what his taste is. I feel bad that my husband is too uncomfortable with her to tell her that he doesn't like or need something, and I feel bad for her life; but I'm not going to have it in my house.

Mr Furious said...

My parents are notorious bad-gift-givers, and I'll elaborate further later today...I think Mrs F is laying low on this for diplomatic reasons (my sisters read the blog) so I'm happy to do the honors, but too busy at the moment.

Mrs. Furious said...

Mr F,
while it is absolutely true that I can't fake it... I can't and I really hate that about myself.... the bad gifts do generally come in the mail!


Shelley,
this is what we generally do too.... minus a few shirts that we're given to Mr F and then promptly re-gifted to my step father, they we're PERFECT for him!


Canteloupe,
That is hilarious.
Yes re-gifting has it hazards!

Mrs. Furious said...

Jennifer,
"OH MY GOSH, Baby broke,ruined,colored on, bit, hid .. you get the idea."
I like it!



Michelline,
I like your new pooh bear :)

"My mom has a history of not being the most thoughtful of gift givers and has until recently refused to consider whether I would like something as opposed to if she likes it."
Yes this sounds exactly like my MIL.

Mrs. Furious said...

Torey,
"I am a true believer in "it's the thought that counts"."
Yes... I need to work harder on this. I believe it but I can't always act on that.



Gigs,
"When my husband and I were dating, he had a box he called his "mom box" with stuff he put out when she came over (this included stuff like a fairly large glass squirrel!)."
LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh God our MILs must be separated from birth...
" Yeah, that's not really our decorating style."
LOL!
and
"all four of us get the exact same thing for holidays."
Yep.

Mrs. Furious said...

Tina,
"If the dolt took ten seconds to bother getting to know me, she'd know it's all about the Benjamins for gifts!"
LOL
Yes the issue with the ILs gifts is precisely that issue... there is absolutely no thought put into whether it is something we would like/use.



John,
"But that's easy, you just say you liked what they got you so much that you now give it as a gift to other people."
good one.

Mrs. Furious said...

Angie,
LOL.... NO! No the post isn't actually directed towards anyone (although my ILs are responsible for a lot of crap). We get a lot of weird stuff and as part of the purge process we have come across all manner of oddities.
I just thought it was a good conversation topic.

Mrs. Furious said...

Amy,
" wildly inappropriate Chinglish-packaged garbage "
Every holiday we get some of this crap and I mean EVERY holiday, st pats, v day, 4th, you get the picture!

and
"she doesn't care enough to notice "I've given up" is not our decorating style"
LOL

and
" I feel bad that my husband is too uncomfortable with her to tell her that he doesn't like or need something"
I'm with you on this one.

Mrs. Furious said...

Heather,
I like the idea of re-gifting w/o it being a gift per se.... just a thoughtful "you might like this" gesture. Good one.

angie said...

Okay, I am sitting here thinking about this more. Yea, why work?

Anyway, and I am thinking about the present for Baby F (i got the same thing for Maren...so this isn't about you--i don't think you will hate it or anything, so this isn't about my neuroticism). It's a nice present....but not the world's greatest gift. What I really wanted to get for the girls were about $35, which is over budget. And I have gift receipts for the toys in case you don't love them. I am all about gift receipts. Because, when I spend my hard earned money, I want my loved ones to enjoy the gift. And if I bombed, I want them to take it back and get something that can be used. I don't want the toy/clothes/etc sitting on a shelf in the basement. I would have tried hard and if I failed, that's okay. But I want to have the person enjoy a new item. So this leads me to my question:

WHY DOESN"T EVERYONE GIVE A FREAKING GIFT RECEIPT.

Seriously. This drives me nuts. It just seems respectful. The goal is to not just check off "Buy Baby F/Maren/Mom/niece etc gift. But make X person's life a little better with the gift. We aren't perfect and sometimes we don't buy the right thing. There's no shame in it (unless you put no effort into it. And if that's the case, then you suck). So go ahead, give the gift receipt so the person can get what they want without hurting your feelings.

Okay, I am really going to do some work now.

Mrs. Furious said...

Angie,
oh I'm with you.... I ALWAYS give a gift receipt if one is available. And if I had it shipped to myself to give locally I'll take the packing box and give that too in case they want to send it back. I too just want the person to have what they want... if I hit the nail on the head and give a great gift I am elated because I really do think it through... but if not I've got NO issue with things getting returned... in fact I encourage it.

Especially with kids b'day parties I always just tape the receipt clearly labeled with what gift it is for right inside the gift bag.
And I often give the same gift to all 5 year old girls parties we go to, etc. If Kid likes it that is the best I can go by and they love having the same stuff as their friends. In fact this year I actually made this a rule and when I went for the first party I bought 4 of each thing ready to go for the next couple parties. So much easier... and EVERY kid has loved the gifts!

megO said...

I'm crossing my fingers that one day the world will give target gift cards for every occasion. Until, I appreciate the fact that someone gave me something (whatever it is), look at it for 30seconds, and then give it to goodwill... because someone out there needs a sweater with a giant bunny on it.

eurydice said...

it depends on the person - if i received a gift i didn't like from someone close to me (like my mom or boyfriend) i'd tell them right away. if it was from someone i didn't know that well i'd first try the shady return with no receipt, and then consider saving it for regifting. my boss keeps giving me these hideous necklaces that totally aren't my style, but i can't return them because they are all from "one-of-a-kind" craft shows. bleh. and i can't really give them away either because they are so hideous and it would reflect poorly on my "rep" as someone who has good taste - or so I like to think.

Splaneyo said...

I think the proper thing to do is say thank you and do the whole bring it out routine. As you are aware, the problem in our house is lack of storage and I do like to purge. I think once the purging begins, the proper thing to do is tell people you got it as a gift, but thought it might be better suited for them. But, certain members of our family come to our house and look for the ill suited crappy gifts they have given us and if they can't find them they look through cupboards, in the garage, etc. Actually, it is so bad that if something is given and is meant to hang on our wall, "the family member" will actually hang it - in MY house. This is just the kind of thing that makes my eye twitch. I have to stop talking about it now, or I get too mad.

Heather
PS The big news is posted on my blog.

Splaneyo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Southern Fried Girl said...

What I will generally do is say thank you and try to be gracious. If it is something I either already have or just is not "me" I will happily give it to someone else but will not try to pass it off as a gift. Case in point, I have a bread machine and received another one. I told the person thank you but really did not see the need for a second bread machine. I called a friend who I knew had a super old one and it needed replacing, told her that I had one and if she wanted it, she was welcome to it. Done deal. Easy peasy.

Now if it is something that is just plain not my taste and not even worth the trouble listed above, I will generally say thank you and then depending on how close the people are to us, weed it right out of the house. I just can't be bothered by clutter. Sounds rather rough, but that's the honest to God truth.

I am in full agreement with several of the comments of "hey, take 2 seconds to get to know me and it's not a mystery what I like." Amen on that one. Gifts that are just plain thoughtless or generic really chap my hide.

Mrs. Furious said...

Splaneyo,
"certain members of our family come to our house and look for the ill suited crappy gifts they have given us"
we might have a family member like this in our family too ;)


Oh and YES!!!! I think the new blog would be a BIG hit!



MegO,
"I'm crossing my fingers that one day the world will give target gift cards for every occasion."
LOL.... you and me both!
I have been working with my mom trying to explain that gift cards/cash are REALLY what people want. Period.

Mrs. Furious said...

Eurydice,
"i can't really give them away either because they are so hideous and it would reflect poorly on my "rep" as someone who has good taste"
LOL. I think that is a perfectly valid belief!



SFG,
"Gifts that are just plain thoughtless or generic really chap my hide."
I concur. It actually really pisses me off when we get some kind of cheap crappy dish towel set or whatever EVERY Christmas and it is like "did you even look at the COLORS of this tacky set?!?... do you OPEN your eyes at our house?!?" I would genuinely rather get nothing then get crap that is just a waste of the giver's money and now one more thing that we have to deal with. One of my biggest pet peeves!

Splaneyo said...

Okay, I got nervous and deleted the comment - like I said there is a lot of investigation. I do like the idea though - just think of venting to understanding ears, relieving your husband and no one has to know it is you.

Heather said...

Re-gift as fun gift = Seriously. Example: we just got a box of See's chocolate truffles. Truffles aren't my thing. If they were the See's dark chocolate caramels, I'd hide them under the bed. But truffles = meh. So our friends are staying at our place Saturday night, and I'm going to put them on their pillow (the box, not the truffles themselves [ew!!]) as a fun gift.

I also find that for those relatives that always send/get something that's horrible, just remember that it's not a reflection of how they feel about you. Gifts are weird, and people bring their own issues into selecting gifts, but the more I detach the emotion about feelings about the whole thing (when I receive a gift), the better off I am. Really. The earrings I got this year (that I gave to my aunt) were from one of my closest girlfriends. I know she loves me dearly. They just weren't my style and I find it a waste of emotion/space/energy to have them sit in my drawer and make me feel bad everytime I look at them.

Mrs. Furious said...

Heather,
"They just weren't my style and I find it a waste of emotion/space/energy to have them sit in my drawer and make me feel bad everytime I look at them. "
Yes! I can totally relate to that!!

Love the chocolates on the pillow.

Andrea said...

I actually try to return most gifts for store credit or give them to someone who might like them my ILs are the easiest they always send gift receipts and I even have my MILs credit card number for the one depatment store she buys most of babys clothes from so if the receipt didnt make it they can look it up by her cc number, and I can exchange for something different or get a gift card to use at a later date.
Im all for not keeping things if they dont make me smile if I have to even give it a second thought if I might use or need such a gift its gone within the next couple of weeks hubby on the other hand is another story.

michelline said...

Michelline,
I like your new pooh bear :)


Thanks! I finally figured this stuff out :)


And I really do think this is a good topic. Everyone has to deal with this periodically. But what you do with it will usually depend on who gives it to you and how much you care about their feelings and/or keeping the peace.

Robin said...

Good topic! Sorry I've been MIA. My darn husband had a four day weekend. I can't get anything done when he is home. :)

I pretend I like it. If it is something I think someone else might like, I will re-gift it. You just have to be really careful about that. If it is something so hideous, I wouldn't wish it on someone else, I donate it. I defnintely don't keep that crap in my house. If you are going to come over to my house and look for it...go ahead. Maybe you will notice my style, and that the gross thing you gave me doesn't go with it!

Re: thoughtless gifts. I hate that. Just don't get me anything. If you feel the need to get me something generic, just give me a gift card. I don't need some random candle set or something that you obviously bought 20 of to give to all your friends. And don't expect me to give you something just because you bought me some random crap. I don't buy Christmas gifts for every person I know. We buy them for our immediate family and our friends' kids...that's it.

Wow, I didn't know I felt so strongly about this.

lucinda said...

Just so you know, the shirt you gave David is his new favorite and he wears it every week for about a three day stretch. I think regiftiing is brave and a perfect solution.
Not being brave, I pretend I like things. I know I am not alone as last time we were at David's mom's we opened the closet to find four in the box foot massage things. Now we give her flowers and a check and she's thriled.
The chocolates on the pillow is a sweet idea. Next time we have guests they might enjoy finding the sushi making kit that my husband gave me for our anniversary on their pillow.

Deb said...

Donate them. I have too much crap to keep them, and I can't remember who gives stuff to us five minutes after it's opened if I don't make a list, so bring it out when they're around wouldn't work unless I had a database on my computer. Regifting scares me, because of the story Canteloupe told.

Preppy Mama said...

I have to say it truly depends on the gift. If it is jewelry (real stuff) I keep it forever and only wear it in the presence of that special person. Other things, like clothing or toys, I pretend I love and try to return with out a receipt. If I am SOL, then I save it for someone and give it as a "thought you might be able to use this" gift. I hate regifting.
When hubby and I got married we invited a couple with whom we were friendly with (friends of Hubby's from HS). We went to their wedding about 3 months before ours and in NY it is typical to give cash, however we had heard that since her family was from CT that everyone was giving gifts. I went to Tiffany & Co. (the real deal) and bought her a beautiful set of candle sticks with gift receipt in box!!! Guess what we got? A regifted gift card for $60 (they wrote on the gift card in marker) and a cheap glass vase you get at the dollar store that broke in two seconds, not to mention ugly!! Guess how I knew it was a regift?? No, I'm not secretly Nancy Drew...they left a tiny note card in the box with the vase that said "Congratulations Dave and Ashley"....ummm we are Gina and Dave!!!!!! Hello, check the gift before you regift!! I still can't even look at them. Cheap skates! Think I hold a grudge?

Robin said...

Oh, I forgot. If I know where it is from, I will absolutely return it without the receipt. My mom calls me the return Queen. I will return anything.

Mrs. Furious said...

Mom,
LOL about the sushi set!

Yeah the shirt for David I didn't feel bad about one little bit.... if I had seen it at Kohl's myself I would have bought it for him anyway... I mean that shirt might as well have had his name embroidered on it!

Shirls said...

I got a bread box and canister set as a wedding gift, it was U-G-L-E-E and I had no intention of using it, got it home took it out of the box and out flutters a note "Jodi, I hope you love this canister set, love Mom"..

I've never regifted because of this one experience of being on the receiving end of a re-gift, I donate

Mrs. Furious said...

Andrea,
" I even have my MILs credit card number for the one depatment store she buys most of babys clothes from so if the receipt didnt make it they can look it up by her cc number"
WOW! Now that is one hell of a MIL!


Robin,
"Wow, I didn't know I felt so strongly about this."
LOL

Mrs. Furious said...

Preppy Mama,
We had a "shit list" on our fridge after our wedding.... and I mean literally called the "shit list" with people like your hubby's "friends" on it! Just so we could stew over how outraged we were by their bad gifts/lack of gifts! The people on the shit list were varied and SURPRISING. You never know how cheap people are until you get married ;)



Shirls,
If you ever find yourself earning to re-gift to you could always start with Jodi ;)

Mrs. Furious said...

My take on re-gifting is this:
If you get something that you don't like or need but you KNOW someone else would like/need and it is something that you would actually buy for them yourself than re-gift with no qualms. All you are doing is saving yourself one returns trip and one shopping trip. But I really try to get people something I really think they will like so perfect re-gifting opportunities are pretty few and far between.

I'll also without qualms re-gift small things that make a good housewarming gift/party gift.... a bottle of wine, expensive soaps (people LOVE to give us soap.. you can only use so many soaps shaped like cows!... seriously we have a herd) because that is just a gesture gift and it isn't intended to be the perfect thing or even necessary to give.
But I don't try to make a bad gift fit someone else or give it just to fulfill that new gift obligation.
Mostly because for some reason re-gifting just feels wrong.

Other things we just dump in a pile in the basement. 5 years later we donate them. Seriously... we don't need anymore oven mitts, dish towels, picture frames, or crafty santas.....and the kids don't need anymore sweaters, purses, or beaded hairbands.... really. We definitely don't need anymore cute shaped or expensive soaps. We have a whole drawer filled with expensive soaps.

Amy said...

I'd like to see a -bad gift- flickr group. I wish I had the large Christmas wreath with the humongous carpenter(!?!)attached to the front. I honestly asked my sister if that gift was supposed to be a joke - it was not, and I was a "little bitch" for laughing at it if you're interested.

BTW, I get the crappy kid toys for EVERY-SINGLE-HOLIDAY too. We get such an impending feeling of doom when "the box" arrives. We often put off opening it for days, because of the sad vibes that emanate from it.

Mrs. Furious said...

Amy,
Carpenter?!? What on Earth is that about?!

Unbelievably... and really I mean it is a little weird paranormal-ish... I just went to get the mail and found a belated "Valentine's Day" box out there for the kids.
Like you we often just leave it sealed up for as long as possible just kind of hoping it will disappear ;)

michelline said...

I throw a huge Christmas party every year and we have a great time with a
White Elephant Gift Exchange. That's the perfect opportunity to regift that horribly tacky sweater Aunt Edna gave you...

It's amazing, but most of the stuff finds a good home.

Dinah Soar said...

I regift if it's nice...or get a refund if regifting is not an option. If it's tacky, junky or trashy I throw it away or donate it to the Salvation Army/Good Will....somebody else may like it.

And to keep from possibly offending anyone, I tell them my daughter loved it and I gave it to her...and so that I don't lie, I actually do give it to her...knowing she is free to do with is as she pleases (which is to generally toss it, unless she happens to like it.)

No one is upset with a mother giving up a treasure to her child...hahaha...

I do have a couple of oil paintings family members made for me...I hung them in my house for a bit, until they could see them...then they got put into storage.

If my children were still small and they received gifts that weren't a health hazard, I'd allow my child to play with it for a week, and then at the end of the week they would have the option of keeping the new item and donating another item from their stash to the Salvation Army/Good Will so other children would have toys, or they could donate the new item. I'd explain that they had to pass along stuff to make room for the new stuff...hehehe

Mrs. Furious said...

Dinah Soar,
"I tell them my daughter loved it and I gave it to her"
If only that could work for me! 5 years down 15 or so to go on that front :)


Michelline,
We should have a white elephant party for Easter with explicit rules that everyone HAS to bring a re-gift! That would be so funny.

Anonymous said...

(Cheryl here)This one is tough, I always feel guilty if it's from family and hold on for awhile. Or hold onto just a few things that can be seen if someone visits. As a teacher, I get a ton of crap. I feel bad that people actually buy some of the stuff they do. I often hold onto it for the school year, just in case (not that my kids ever come to my house, but what if they ask if I have something?). I am a purger (suprising in my family), I give stuff away all the time. I have no space (no basement/attics and small closets), but I also hate clutter.

I am very lucky in the MIL department. Great, thoughtful gifts. Always thought out and well-intended. And always some giftcards for some guilt-free shopping or coffee.

I'm sure I'm guilty of some bad gifting to people. I try to think about what people would like or buy from registries for gifts. I often give giftcards for those type of gifts too. Like I don't know what my babysitter would want and wouldn't want her to feel bad not using/wearing something - so she got a giftcard. I'd rather spend money that way than the wrong gift.

I do have another thought on this too. I was not taught good gift giving. As I got older I learned more about what is proper for different situations. That isn't an excuse, but I didn't know you should send gifts when not present, etc.

Oh, (off-topic) did you get my Cape Cod email?

Mrs. Furious said...

Cheryl,
Oh I don't think you are a bad gift giver.

Not present?... like for showers and whatnot? I can go either way on that it depends on the person. I used to send stuff to all those types of things but now I just usually forget and then before I know it it is 2 years later and they have a baby (Lindsay!) Plus my budget is a bit tighter for stuff like that.

Gift cards... yes.... anyone between 8-28 is getting a gift card from me now. I had a moment and realized I'm a 30 something mom no one in that age group wants what I'm going to pick out... even if I think it is cool. I'm over it. If I know someone wants something specific I'll get that otherwise I know they just want to get something that they want... and I'm not going to "discover" what that is while roaming the aisles.


YES I got the email. sorry I've been kind of overwhelmed. Matt was supposed to call you on Monday night... guess he forgot. We'll call tonight! I promise!!!

Chris Howard said...

I have to say, I dislike gift cards except in very specific situations. Obviously, they're good for kids because they get exciited about having the freedom to pick out what they want. It's kind of empowering. I think it's also ok to give them to younger adult relatives who don't have any money. But in that case, I think you should stay away from Target ot Walmart as they're just as likely to buy groceries or necessities. Last, as a gift of last resort for someone you absolutely must buy for, but refuses to help you understand what they might enjoy. Michelline's step-father is in this category. He's very picky and has no hobbies. And I'm sick of buying him solid color polo shirts in earth tones. So we have gotten him gift certificates to a nice restaurant where he might not go very often.

However, I am completely against gift cards for peers and family in general. I figure, if you wouldn't give someone cash, don't give them a gift card, especially something rather generic like Target or Simon. I realize I'm in a minority here, but I like to enjoy giving the gift as much as the recipient enjoys receiving it. That's why we enjoy Christmas shopping so much.

I know this is a tangential issue, but I wanted to get this off my chest. Hmm, I probably should have just posted this on my blog.

Mrs. Furious said...

Chris,
The funny thing is I don't generally like getting a gift card. I don't mind it and I appreciate that I am hard to buy for but I tend to not use them. I currently have a wallet full of Gap, ON, & Target cards from Christmas.
But we do LIKE getting cash and my dad and grandparents have taken to doing that as we've all gotten older. And NO we don't end up buying something special but we do pay off our Christmas bills and really that is even more important. In fact my Dad sends the check (which is generally very generous) with a card that says "To ease the strain of Christmas." I find his thoughtfulness, of where we are at financially, the best gift of all.

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