Two of our local TV stations have aired stories about different ways to "get what you want" if you didn't like what you got for Christmas. They gave tips for exchanging for cash, re-gifting, exchanging, and a website called FreeCycling, a site that you can register what you don't like and put out a request for something you would rather have.
I am of two minds here....on the one hand I would not want a gift I have given to be trashed or stored away unused if someone absolutely hated it.....that would be a waste of resources.
But on the other hand, I get a bit offended at the idea that people are so spoiled that they cannot just graciously say thank you and wear or display the gift for one or two times as a way of showing appreciation to the giver. I don't know about you all but that is the way I was brought up. Even if you didn't like the gift, you should use it or wear it at least once to show appreication.
I was brought up that a gift was an expression of affection, not an object that MUST meet the recipient's wants or desires. Although one would hope that both ends could be achieved if the giver knows the recipient fairly well and the budget allows.
I guess this is one of those things that I find distasteful that whole websites and such are out to satisfy the WANTS of a spoiled bunch of people. I find this a direct affont to the who spirit of Chrismas. I guess that is why gift cards have become so popular. Sadly, many of those gift cards never get used and the retailer makes the money on them.
Am I just overly sensistive or does anyone else find advertising these tactics tacky at best and disturbing at worst?
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There is just no simple way to do anything for someone else anymore, is there? I agree that there is so little of what one could call grace at work in the world.
I have always tried very hard to find gifts that would fit, be stylish and/or meaningful, be a favorite writer's newest work, etc. Family and friends have always told me I give the coolest gifts....
That said, other than say heavy workwear like the men want every few years, or say scents of Bath & Bodyworks that I know certain people like, I have about quit doing but so much shopping.
Wtih kids in their thirties, I think giving one nice thing to unwrap is enough. I asked each of the kids for some ideas, and bought one thing for each one. Then, we gave them money and a few stocking stuffers.
My goal was to give something that didn't need to be returned, and didn't sit unused, either. If they pick it out, maybe send me a link on amazon or eBay, and I can order without worrying that I have wasted time and money, then we are all happy.
I do think there are a LOT of crappy things sold as "gift items". If I don't know someone well enough to buy something close to their needs or wants, I still wouldn't buy these things.
If you "don't know what to buy" for someone , either you don't know them well enough for the gift to be meaningful to either of you; or, they already have everything they need, and most of what they want.
I guess I have to agree that such sites are tacky in my mind and agree on the public perception of gift giving. I listen throughout the year to what people are saying or expressing interest in before buying them something they would not use or isn't "them" To me part of the fun of giving gifts is the hunt to find something that is right for that person. I don't go over board in my shopping but I will watch out for deals in stores if I happen to be there but more then likely I will find it on-line. What really irritates me though is getting asked for a list of things and then not getting anything on the list. My MIL is famous for this. I always ask for gift cards to Amazon for my Kindle or i-Tunes or even resturants. A person can find a small box to wrap that up in if they really feel the need to have a gift to open. This year my MIL instead gives me a veloure track suit. Yes, I thanked her for it but I really have no need for it. I will wear it a couple of times around them but that's about it. It's not my style or me and I had told her absolutely NO CLOTHES because I didn't need anymore, infact I need to weed out some of my own stuff.
Funny you should say that...one of the cutest gifts I got this year was from son and his GF...a new red apron with the saying "Today's Menu Choices: Take it / Leave it" printed on the front. That was exactly what our kids were taught...eat what's served, or get up and make yourself a PB&J.
They were taught to thank the giver, the cook, the host or hostess, even if the offering from them was not what they had in mind. Even if they declined a serving, they were taught by our example to say, "No, thank you."
I even say that to the ladies serving samples at Sam's, if you can believe that. If they have fresh fruit or something I do eat, then I thank them for the taste, as if it were their own home cookin'.
Manners are just an endangered species...and, I miss them!
I am one of those people who is not blessed with the shopping and gift giving genes. I am just not good at knowing what to buy and I don't really like to shop unless it is for a specific item. So I can understand why some gifts are not appreciated. With most people having too much, I can understand why gift cards are so popular.
I also think that gifting and shopping is getting way too much hype from the media. How many people are going to be paying off their credit cards for this Christmas next December? Malls were still packed today as we drove by some of them.
You are so right about people buying things they cannot afford, and that they will be paying for this Christmas for thirty years or more, in credit card balances.
I love gift cards, to give and receive. It is a ball to go to the bookstore, grab a nice lunch at Panera, or a cup of tea at Starbucks, when I get to the city. There is a nice stack of cards in my Christmas stash, along with some sweet personal gifts from the kids. I will enjoy them, stretchig them out for half the year.
So, no harm in gift cards. Using them is like going to the store of your choice and getting stuff for free!!!
The funniest after-Christmas shoppiong story I heard today, at the secondhand shop in our county seat. I stopped by to drop of a cushion wrap they had put in my track on Christmas Eve, to protect some furniture I had bought.
The 16-year-old son of the girl who owns the store was there, and I was talking to him about their family's holiday. He said that he had come over ote help "undecorate" the store; but, he convinced his Mom to put the holiday things all together on a couple of tables.
People were snapping it up as though it was on sale, even though it wasn't. He was so tickled that his idea had worked; but, also that he didn't have to place anything away, at the rate it was selling out. I think it will be left out until New Year's, if there is anything left by Saturday.
Some people will buy almost anything, if they think they are getting it at a bargain.
I agree it is only good manners to accept the gift & thank the giver. But that said, if I'm giving something & it's not to their liking I would prefer they take it back & exchange for something they DO like. That's the way I was brought up. My dad took back many gifts I gave but then again I did get pretty good at picking clothes for him-better than my mom actually. His birthday was on Christmas so double duty on gifting.
I have to admit I must be still a kid at Christmas because I do get dissapointed with my gifts lately. With my MIL passed on it's not quite the same. She was a BIG gift giver. Not expensive but well thought out & lots of stuff she would pick up on sale. Now, DH gives nothing unless I pick out. My mom has opted for cash. And the kids go together w/DH on our gifts together. It's very selfish of me I know, but it was fun when you got gifts to surprise & please.
I also get disgruntled when I spend a lot of time buying for someone only to have them give a gift that's just a gift. DH's aunt used to do all her shopping one day. If your name was her draw on exchange, you might get a nail scissor set that could have gone to anyone. Oh well. Guess I'm just a grinch.
Had to go to the mall yesterday & the sales are really out there if you can find your size. That's the trouble with cash. Unless you go right away there's not much choice left. But I'll keep looking! LOL
Shopping in one or two day trips isn't all bad...but, if you plan to give a whole family gifts, and that is the time you have to spare, you really need a good list! I have always taken one day to eat lunch out, sit and make a really comprehensive list, which took in all the thoughts I'd been congealign on gifts for that year.
Son is over working today, and he opened his phone over lunch, to show me how his gift he asked for off of amazon is being used. It is a pedal board for all the special effects pedals for his guitar, with the board and its case making them mobile and protecting them in transit. He is thrilled with it. If he's happy, so am I....
If they don't get what they wanted in our family, it is for lack of asking for it. In return, they gave me a new pink extension cord, a beautiful mother of pearl sterling ring, some custom made felted wool mittens and hat, a funny apron to match the new kitchen, and the aforementioned gift cards. All fit, are the right color, etc. All very thoughtful, and, except for the cord, which I did request, unexpected.
Oh, I forgot the tattoo sleeves...older daughter gave me some of them, too. I think you could call that a gag gift....
I do understand how you feel. Gifts picked out just for you and ones that you like are special. I wish I were that type giver. DD and DS are both good at shopping. DD gave us the new Keurig coffee maker and I am having my second cup after getting it going just now. Very good, I love a really good cup of coffee.
My DH grandmother was that kind of shopper but she always left the tags on so I would appreciate the value, I guess.
We took off after the family Christmas on Monday evening for three days and now I trying to catch up before hosting some friends on Monday evening. Soilbabe, we were in your area but since we did not plan ahead I had no way of contacting you, maybe next time. It was nice to get away after all the preparations I had been doing for two weeks. I enjoyed seeing the decorations on homes but some of the places we wanted to see were closed. We did have a nice tour at Makers Mark Bourbon.