Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Holidays => Topic started by: weeblewobble on December 20, 2012, 06:43:14 AM

Title: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: weeblewobble on December 20, 2012, 06:43:14 AM
I thought I had a handle on this, but snowdragon's Kindle thread got me thinking about a conversation I had a few days ago with an acquaintance.

My family participated in The Christmas Tree Project this year, choosing two children from different under-privileged families who needed help providing Christmas gifts for their children.  We shopped for clothes and gifts based on their sizes and wish lists.  I had a budget set for each child and was very pleased with the clothes and toys we were able to provide within that budget.  We turned the gifts in to the project's headquarters.  The organizers give the gifts to the families.  The whole thing is anonymous.

Several people in my social circle participated in this project this year.  So we were talking about how our kids liked shopping for other children, little issues that came up along the way, etc.  I mentioned that the boy we shopped for asked for one toy, a high-priced trendy electronic item that was way out of our price range.  (It would have been out of the price range of what we spent on our own children.)  And it was the only thing on his list.  So we asked our daughter, who is in that age range, what toys the boys in her class were excited about and used that as a guide. The girl we chose had less expensive wishes, so we were able to get what she asked for.  Both children received 2 "big" presents and several smaller gifts.

One acquaintance, Sherry, seemed really irritated that we "ignored" the child's wish, and said we probably ruined his Christmas. She asked if we included a gift receipt.  I said that since the kids we chose were sort of between adult and kid sizes, I'd included gift receipts in the clothing bags so the families could exchange the clothes for more appropriate sizes if it didn't fit.  But no, we didn't include gift receipts for the toys. ETA: That's how I handle gift receipts for the children in our extended family.  Clothes, yes. Toys, no.

That seemed to irritate Sherry even more and she told me again how rude we were to do such a thing.   I told her I was sorry she felt that way, bean-dipped and started talking to someone else.

The whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth, but I figured we did the best we could with the resources we had.  Now, after reading snowdragon's Kindle thread (about an aunt who really wants a kindle, but can't afford one and is depending on relatives to give her one as a gift), I'm worried that we've somehow ruined this child's holiday.

So my questions are:

1) Was it rude to buy the boy several nice gifts instead of the one big one that he wanted?

2) Was it even ruder to give gift receipts for the clothes, but not the toys?
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: MorgnsGrl on December 20, 2012, 06:48:16 AM
I don't think you were rude! What if the kid had asked for a car? Or a brand new laptop? I think the child's parent/guardian ought to have vetted his "list" and suggested he request something else in addition to the very costly gift.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 20, 2012, 06:48:47 AM
I guess I am a little confused.  The trees I have seen have an "ornament" that specify a child and what he wants. If you looked at an ornament and saw he was asking for X, took it off the tree with the intention to get him something else, then I do think you were rude.  Why not find an ornament where the request fell more in line with what you intended?  As far as gift receipts for toys, I think they are probably wise.  After all - a brand new toy could turn out to be broken or of poor qualitiy when they really get it out of its packaging.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: weeblewobble on December 20, 2012, 06:51:17 AM
They were among the last few ornaments on the tree.  I took them, looking at the gender and age ranges.  I didn't notice the item on his wish list until I got to the car.  But no, I didn't pick it with the intention of not getting him what he wanted. 
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 20, 2012, 06:51:46 AM
I don't think you were rude! What if the kid had asked for a car? Or a brand new laptop? I think the child's parent/guardian ought to have vetted his "list" and suggested he request something else in addition to the very costly gift.

This apparenly went through an organization, though. right? A church/charity/somebody did clear it apparently.  And maybe if it was left on the tree somebody else would have been willing to provide  it.

ETA:  I think it is probably wise to take a moment to examine the ornaments closely to make sure you are comfortable filling requests. For another family it might not be cost but might be that it is a leather belt and they don't do leather.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: weeblewobble on December 20, 2012, 07:07:35 AM
You may be right.  On the other hand, considering that the ornament was among the last few on the tree (I think there were 3-4) his request may be what kept someone else from choosing his ornament. My intentions were in the right place, but I didn't think it through when I chose the ornament.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 20, 2012, 07:11:20 AM
Oh, yeah. your intentions were spot on.  I guess if his ornament didn't get chosen because his request was unreasonable then he would have "self vetted". It makes me wonder if any of the few other ornaments were also problematic for people.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: cicero on December 20, 2012, 07:16:57 AM
I think including receipts is a good idea. I always do. This way, if the recipient gets two identical or similar gifts, he can trade one for something else. or if he got it in blue and actually prefers purple, or whatever.

I don't know if it's rude to *not* include the receipts, but I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't.

Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: weeblewobble on December 20, 2012, 07:19:53 AM
Oh, yeah. your intentions were spot on.  I guess if his ornament didn't get chosen because his request was unreasonable then he would have "self vetted". It makes me wonder if any of the few other ornaments were also problematic for people.


Sadly, I think it was because they were all older children. Babies and toddlers are cute and easy to shop for. The girl we chose is 12, which is a difficult age to shop for.  But she had some interesting, reasonable wishes that were relatively easy to fulfill.

I like the word, "self-vetted," by the way. :)
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Margo on December 20, 2012, 07:49:57 AM
I don't think it was rude. 

I would however consider mentioning it to the organisation which runs the Project, to as whether they vet the requests at all.

Nor do I think that not including gift receipts was rude.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: dawbs on December 20, 2012, 08:01:55 AM
I think it's a bad idea to not include a gift-receipt for toys.
Because duplication of toys still kinda sucks as a kid.   And even with using your kid's ideas as a guide, you may end up being completely off base in his interests.

I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

That said, once you had the tag, you did what you could with what you had budgeted, nothing wrong w/ that.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: SiotehCat on December 20, 2012, 08:10:33 AM
I don't think it was rude not to include gift receipts. I think it would have been nice to do, since you don't know what he likes, but I wouldn't call it rude.

I do think it was rude to pick his name and not get something from his wish list, even if it's only one item long. By taking his name, he lost all chances of getting that one thing he wanted.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Yvaine on December 20, 2012, 08:36:57 AM
I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

I'm going to agree with this. If the wishlists are visible when you pick which kids to give to, it's best to check. There may have been someone with a higher budget and/or a desire to splurge hugely, who could have granted this wish. Or, I wonder what the organization does with ungranted wishes--does anyone here have experience with them from the other side? I'm wondering if the org ever grants wishes themselves, if no one picks that ornament.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 20, 2012, 08:39:23 AM
I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

I'm going to agree with this. If the wishlists are visible when you pick which kids to give to, it's best to check. There may have been someone with a higher budget and/or a desire to splurge hugely, who could have granted this wish. Or, I wonder what the organization does with ungranted wishes--does anyone here have experience with them from the other side? I'm wondering if the org ever grants wishes themselves, if no one picks that ornament.

There is also the chance a couple of people/families could tema up, somebody might have a job where they get a discount on a pricey item, etc.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: SeptGurl on December 20, 2012, 09:05:11 AM
I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

I'm going to agree with this. If the wishlists are visible when you pick which kids to give to, it's best to check. There may have been someone with a higher budget and/or a desire to splurge hugely, who could have granted this wish. Or, I wonder what the organization does with ungranted wishes--does anyone here have experience with them from the other side? I'm wondering if the org ever grants wishes themselves, if no one picks that ornament.

Around here, the organization might contact a local business to see if they would be willing to donate the item on the wishlist. More than likely, a business would take care of it. It might be difficult for the organization to grant wishes themselves because many are nonprofits on tight budgets.

I've organized several such sponsorship programs. This is somewhat O/T for the OP, but in one program, we matched clients who had developmental disabilities with sponsors. Our clients were adults, and most had no family contact, so the holiday sponsorship program would be the only bit of Christmas they'd get. Some of the sponsors were groups from local schools. One high school group seriously missed the mark. Although we'd provided wishlists for the clients, the group didn't use the lists. When they dropped off their donations, the items they provided were very used, like old stained sweatshirts and half-used bottles of shampoo. We couldn't possibly have given our clients those items for Christmas. Several of the staff pooled our own money and provided gifts for those clients.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 20, 2012, 09:11:30 AM
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 20, 2012, 09:18:29 AM
I don't think a receipt is just about getting exactly what they want - it can also be to make sure a gift isn't defective.  IN this case, where the giver is a complete stranger and will have no further contact with the recipient a receipt seems especially wise.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Judah on December 20, 2012, 10:09:31 AM
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

As usual, I agree with WillyNilly.  I look at it this way, if my own child asks for something I can't afford, I don't stress not being able to buy the item, I just get him things I can afford and that I know he will enjoy.  Kids, even older kids, often don't really understand how the cost of one item affects the rest of your budget. They don't understand that just because their friend's family can afford an iPad, that not every family can. And really, just because the kid didn't get the one item he asked for, doesn't mean his Christmas was any less joyful and fun. 
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: yokozbornak on December 20, 2012, 10:30:03 AM
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

I agree with this, and I think you were very thoughtful to pick him and buy him nice gifts.  Many kids don't get chosen because the gifts they request are beyond what many donors can afford.  I think the orgnaization would be wise to ask each child to write down a minimum of three gifts with a couple of them being reasonably priced.  I usually only spend about $150 each on my own children so there is no way I could spend $300 for a gaming system for a child I don't know.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: JenJay on December 20, 2012, 10:39:25 AM
I don't think you were wrong, I've done the same thing and my heart was in the right place. Then I had a conversation on another forum where several people said that they actually can and do intentionally choose those wishes and fulfill them. So, now I pass over those and choose wishes I can grant. I figure maybe someone else will come along and buy the kiddo the $$$ item they asked for, and if not, maybe they'll realize they shot a little too high and ask for something less expensive next year.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: SiotehCat on December 20, 2012, 10:43:28 AM
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

I agree with this, and I think you were very throughtful to pick him and buy him nice gifts.  Many kids don't get chosen because the gifts they request are beyond what many donors can afford.  I think the orgnaization would be wise to ask each child to write down a minimum of three gifts with a couple of them being reasonably priced.  I usually only spend about $150 each on my own children so there is no way I could spend $300 for a gaming system for a child I don't know.

Then you don't pick the name of a child that only wants a gaming system. There are people that would/could spend that much money on one child. There were also other children that the OP could have chosen from.

If this is an older kid, he probably realizes that he is taking a risk by only asking for that one expensive item.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: MariaE on December 20, 2012, 11:56:43 AM
I think including receipts is a good idea. I always do. This way, if the recipient gets two identical or similar gifts, he can trade one for something else. or if he got it in blue and actually prefers purple, or whatever.

I don't know if it's rude to *not* include the receipts, but I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't.

I completely agree with this. Especially when it's for a person you don't know.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Girlie on December 20, 2012, 11:59:33 AM
I did one of those trees this year, but the one we had here was for the local foster children and included a lot of "school uniform" requests (about half of our local public elementary schools require uniforms).
I feel bad now though. One of the ones I chose was for an eight year old, size 14 R khaki or navy pants. I got two pairs of pants for him - one of each color, and it never even occurred to me to get him a gift receipt. I feel horrible now.  :-\


Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 20, 2012, 12:05:48 PM
I would include gift receipts so the item could be exchanged within the store.  I wouldn't include the purchase receipt because cynical me would think that the gift would be returned for cash that the kid would never see again.

But I don't think you were rude to not include the receipt.

Nor do I think you were rude to buy something else age appropriate rather than one big ticket item out of your budget.  If you were the first one to pick and there were lots of other choices, then, yes, bypassing one that you don't intend to fulfill would be the right thing to do.  But if it's getting late and near the bottom of the barrel in terms of choice for the buyer?  For the child receiving the gift(s), I think it is better to get something than nothing.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: cheyne on December 20, 2012, 12:20:28 PM
So what happens if the kid asks for a $300. gaming system and no one buys it?  Does that kid go without anything for Xmas?  I doubt the charity is going to spend that much on one present, so what happens to that kid?  No Christmas at all?

OP, your kindness and generosity are heartwarming to me.  Good on you for sponsoring not only one but two children this Holiday season.  I think you did just right sending the gift receipts for the clothing but not the toys.  Even if the clothing is returned for cash for something the parents want, the kids will be able to keep the toys. 

I don't think you were rude for taking this boys name even though you couldn't afford to buy him the expensive item he wanted.  There were only 3-4 names left, and I am afraid he would have received nothing at all if you hadn't taken his name.

Don't we say here that wish lists are guidelines and no one should expect to receive everything (or anything) on their list?  Why does this change now?  Because it is a charity or because it is a kid (or maybe both)?
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: ------ on December 20, 2012, 12:21:19 PM
My wish is to wake up tomorrow morning looking like Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1952. However, as disappointed as I am, I recognize that probably is not going to happen. Wanting something is not the same as being able to guarantee that something.

Also, nobody is entitled to a gift or the fulfillment of a wish, no matter how deserving that person is, or, for that matter, however much someone else wants to gratify that wish.

Weeble wobble, I don't think you ruined the child's Christmas at all. Rather, I think you gave him an even better gift: the chance to mature and realize that you just can't get everything you want. I think he's very fortunate that someone cared enough to choose his ornament at all and tried to give him something, especially when you went through the effort, care and expense to provide him with thoughtful gifts that were within your ability to provide. I'm guessing there were other ornaments on that tree that weren't chosen at all because there simply were no takers.

I'm sure the little boy might be disappointed to not get that Kindle he wanted. But then again, I think he'll also get over it. We all have to.

I didn't get that pony I wanted from my parents when I was five. I survived. He will, too. And, just because he didn't get that Kindle he wants this Christmas, it doesn't mean that he will never get one. It just means that every whim we have can't possibly gratified every moment we have them. It's character development - and that's the gift that keeps on giving.

Don't feel bad at all. You did a good thing.  Blessings to you for your kindness and generosity in action and thought this season.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Yvaine on December 20, 2012, 12:44:39 PM
Weeble wobble, I don't think you ruined the child's Christmas at all. Rather, I think you gave him an even better gift: the chance to mature and realize that you just can't get everything you want.

It's one thing to give the child a gift within one's means, and I'm sure the OP's gifts are awesome and that he will enjoy them, and I don't think his Christmas will be ruined. But the idea of seeing this as a "lesson" to him sits really uneasily with me. It's true that we don't always get what we want, but it strikes me as condescending to suggest that not getting what one wants is better.

And if he's poor enough to be on that tree, I'm sure he already knows you can't have everything you want all the time--I'm sure he's learned that lesson a hundred times over. I'm not going to fault him for putting down a pie-in-the-sky wish when asked what he really wanted. It was supposed to be a wish list, not a character lesson.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: ------ on December 20, 2012, 12:51:08 PM
I'm not trying to imply that the OP was in any way, shape or form intending to give the child a character lesson. But the truth is, unintended character lessons happen all the time.

I was simply attempting to point out an unintended outcome of the situation in what I was rather hoping was in a positive light. He may not feel that way now, but years from now may reflect on the experience and appreciate the fact that even though he didn't get what he specifically wanted, nonetheless a complete stranger cared enough to give him gifts for no reason other than they cared. I apologize that it came out wrong and caused offense. That was not my intention.

Bottom line: it's the thought that counts. And maybe that's what he will gain from the experience.


***edited by mr kitty for completeness***
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Yvaine on December 20, 2012, 12:58:58 PM
I'm not trying to imply that the OP was in any way, shape or form intending to give the child a character lesson. But the truth is, unintended character lessons happen all the time.

I was simply attempting to point out an unintended outcome of the situation in what I was rather hoping was in a positive light. He may not feel that way now, but years from now may reflect on the experience and appreciate the fact that even though he didn't get what he specifically wanted, nonetheless a complete stranger cared enough to give him gifts for no reason other than they cared. I apologize that it came out wrong and caused offense. That was not my intention.

Bottom line: it's the thought that counts. And maybe that's what he will gain from the experience.


***edited by mr kitty for completeness***

Ah, gotcha. Sorry I misunderstood. Unintended lessons do happen all the time and he might well take a valuable one from this. I think I'm just touchy because of a whole different argument in a whole different venue about charity and poor kids and accidentally brought that emotion here.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: kudeebee on December 20, 2012, 01:02:05 PM
You weren't rude at all by not getting every single item on his wish list.  The list is just what it is called--a "wish" list, it is not a "you must buy it or else" list.

I am sure there is a reason that his was one of the last 3 or 4 on the tree and it was probably due to the request for a high dollar item.  Most people cannot afford that or are not willing to spend more on someone they don't know than they would on their on children/family.  Is there someone out there that can afford to?  Most certainly and many already do.

When I pick up a wish list from a tree or organization, I am always told (in person or by a flyer) to get what items I can from the list and return them by such and such a date.  I know in many instances, items that are not gotten--and are considered essential (such as some clothing/school items) can be provided by the organizations.  Sometimes I am able to fulfil all the wishes, often I can't. 

I really like the organizations that split up the requests so that one person doesn't feel hesitant to take a list due to the high cost/amount of items listed.  This allows so many more persons to participate or allows those who can to take several lists.  In this instance, I think the clothes should have been listed on one wish list and the electronic on another. 

Our church sponsors children and/or families and encourages people to go together to fulfill a wish list as they expect the lists to be filled--none are super crazy, but can get $$$ if family size is large.  The lists often include things like a "good, used bike" or "gently used household items (listing specifics).  Sometimes one family can do a single wish list, but most often people go together so the lists are completed.  Occasionally some lists aren't taken due to the total high dollar cost--in my opinion, these lists should be broken down into smaller units.  I believe these are filled out of church mission funds or by the church staff as their contribution.

As for receipts, sometimes I include, sometimes I don't.  Depends on what else is on the receipt or what the item is.  Right or wrong, that is how I do it.  In the past, you would hear of parents who would take back the kids gifts for money to be used on themselves or for liquor/cigarettes and I remember a few years where receipts were not encouraged for this reason--or removed (had to turn in gifts unwrapped).  I think on the flyer it said something like "receipts not needed for donations" so it didn't specifically come out and say that, but I knew people who worked in the organization.  I think this is better now that most stores give back a store credit rather than cash, though parents can still use the store credit for other things in some stores.  (And for those who think it doesn't happen, it does. I have students who have told me stories about this happening to them when they were littler and they received gifts this way.)
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 20, 2012, 01:09:49 PM
I completely agree with your point mrkitty.  Heck I think if the kid's Christmas is ruined because he didn't get the one very expensive gift he wanted, then he's getting way more then he deserves.  I don't think he should have the life lesson pointed out to him, but I agree it is life lesson, here. As will be many of the gifts many kids across the world get... or don't get.

I think the idea of someone actually getting a kid a super expensive, super snazzy gift off a wish tree is in fact setting a bad precedent in general.  Was the girl OP got his sister?  Or were any of the other ornaments his siblings? Or his friends? How will they feel if he gets a $300 gift and they get a $50 gift?  They will feel like they should have asked for something better... and next year they will and if those wishes are filled the word will spread and in a few years all the kids are asking for computers and cell phones and gaming systems instead of art kits and basketballs and board games.

Its up to adults in the world to hear kid's wishes and then give them reasonable alternatives if the wishes are too big.  Just blindly giving kids everything they ask for only teaches them to simply ask. The kid deserves presents for Christmas sure, but that doesn't mean he only should get the exact one thing he asked for.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: gollymolly2 on December 20, 2012, 01:34:10 PM
Op, I think you were great to participate in this and buy some kids gifts they wouldn't have had otherwise.

Having said that, I am on the side of not picking a kid if you aren't able/willing to get anything kn their list. I find all this talk of kids learning lessons etc to be kind of depressing. I'm not the kid's parent. I'm not there to instill him with values - that's what his parents are doing (hopefully). For all I know, he had a long conversation with his parents where they said "you shouldn't ask for that, you probably won't get anything" and he decided he was willing to risk that for the chance at getting the super awesome gift he wanted. I'm there to play Santa - to get a gift for a kid that he or she otherwise wouldn't be able to have, to give him/her the feeling of Christmas magic I felt as a kid when my not-well-off mother was able to get me just what I wanted.

It's perfectly acceptable to see a kid asking for an xbox, think "I wouldn't even get that for my own kid" and pass over his name. But I think it's better to leave his name, hoping someone else will be able to fulfill that wish, rather than taking it and guessing as to what he likes.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Yvaine on December 20, 2012, 01:51:27 PM
Op, I think you were great to participate in this and buy some kids gifts they wouldn't have had otherwise.

Having said that, I am on the side of not picking a kid if you aren't able/willing to get anything kn their list. I find all this talk of kids learning lessons etc to be kind of depressing. I'm not the kid's parent. I'm not there to instill him with values - that's what his parents are doing (hopefully). For all I know, he had a long conversation with his parents where they said "you shouldn't ask for that, you probably won't get anything" and he decided he was willing to risk that for the chance at getting the super awesome gift he wanted. I'm there to play Santa - to get a gift for a kid that he or she otherwise wouldn't be able to have, to give him/her the feeling of Christmas magic I felt as a kid when my not-well-off mother was able to get me just what I wanted.

It's perfectly acceptable to see a kid asking for an xbox, think "I wouldn't even get that for my own kid" and pass over his name. But I think it's better to leave his name, hoping someone else will be able to fulfill that wish, rather than taking it and guessing as to what he likes.

Yeah, I'm kind of the same way--and I think part of what irks me is that I've encountered the attitude, not necessarily in this thread but just "out in the world," that kids need to be taught lessons, or that poor kids need to be taught lessons, and from people who wouldn't dream of thinking an adult or a more well-off person needed to learn lessons. But if posters here feel the same way across the board about gift-giving, that's less irksome, though I'd still try to pick someone whose dream I could fulfill.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: yokozbornak on December 20, 2012, 02:10:52 PM
I would just rather have the child get a present even if it's not exactly what he wants than nothing at all.  If the OP had picked the ornament in November then I can see the argument that she should have chosen someone else, but it's late in the holiday season, and this child's name was not chosen.  I think it's fine to buy him nice, age appropriate toys which is a better alternative than receiving nothing at all.  To me, it's not about him learning a lesson, it's about him having something to open at Christmas even if it wasn't exactly what he requested.

Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Tierrainney on December 20, 2012, 02:11:12 PM
Requests like this are the reason I did not participate in my Church's Angel tree this year. I was late getting to the tree, and the few ornaments left were all for high priced items. I am certain this is why they were the only ones left.  I don't know what happens with ornaments that are not picked.

Previous years I've bought requested Farm Toys, hoodies, sewing supplies and other stuff. But this year I just couldn't buy high priced electronics or other items similar.

Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: weeblewobble on December 20, 2012, 02:13:07 PM
I completely agree with your point mrkitty.  Heck I think if the kid's Christmas is ruined because he didn't get the one very expensive gift he wanted, then he's getting way more then he deserves.  I don't think he should have the life lesson pointed out to him, but I agree it is life lesson, here. As will be many of the gifts many kids across the world get... or don't get.

I think the idea of someone actually getting a kid a super expensive, super snazzy gift off a wish tree is in fact setting a bad precedent in general. Was the girl OP got his sister?  Or were any of the other ornaments his siblings? Or his friends? How will they feel if he gets a $300 gift and they get a $50 gift? 



No, the girl was in a different family.

Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: weeblewobble on December 20, 2012, 02:15:24 PM
Also, please note that in no way was I trying to teach this boy a "life lesson."  I was doing what I could for him with the resources I had.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: ------ on December 20, 2012, 02:16:31 PM
I would just rather have the child get a present even if it's not exactly what he wants than nothing at all.  If the OP had picked the ornament in November then I can see the argument that she should have chosen someone else, but it's late in the holiday season, and this child's name was not chosen.  I think it's fine to buy him nice, age appropriate toys which is a better alternative than receiving nothing at all.  To me, it's not about him learning a lesson, it's about him having something to open at Christmas even if it wasn't exactly what he requested.



Totally POD. Thank you for expressing a concept that I was trying to get at - better than I ever could.  :D
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Yvaine on December 20, 2012, 02:17:24 PM
Also, please note that in no way was I trying to teach this boy a "life lesson."  I was doing what I could for him with the resources I had.

Oh, I didn't think you were at all.  :) I've just encountered that idea from time to time over the years from other people.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Visiting Crazy Town on December 20, 2012, 02:21:15 PM
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.
I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

This simply isn't true.  we usually adopt a family or children at work for Christmas in my department at work over 150+ people and fill their wish list since we collect money and items from everyone we have bought expensive gifts what ever is left over goes on a grocery gift card for the family.  If my department had gotten his name he most likely would have gotten the pricey gift.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 20, 2012, 02:30:00 PM
I would just rather have the child get a present even if it's not exactly what he wants than nothing at all.  If the OP had picked the ornament in November then I can see the argument that she should have chosen someone else, but it's late in the holiday season, and this child's name was not chosen.  I think it's fine to buy him nice, age appropriate toys which is a better alternative than receiving nothing at all.  To me, it's not about him learning a lesson, it's about him having something to open at Christmas even if it wasn't exactly what he requested.

See to me though, that is a life lesson.  The lesson being, even though maybe he didn't get just what he asked for, at least he knows he is still worthy of gifts.  That maybe he didn't get his exact wish, but he wasn't just pushed to the side and forgotten; someone cared enough to try to get him something he would enjoy.

Everyone fits into the world.  Sometimes we all wish we fit into a different place then where we are, but its always important to remember, even if we aren't exactly where we wish were were in the grand scheme of it all, we are still here, and cared about and important.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: ------ on December 20, 2012, 02:32:33 PM
Also, please note that in no way was I trying to teach this boy a "life lesson."  I was doing what I could for him with the resources I had.


I don't think you were trying to do that at all, and I don't think anyone else thinks that. It seems like I caused an unfortunate controversy and misunderstanding by my earlier comment.  I really and deeply apologize for that. I was just trying to look at the situation through a different lens - because I have my own background that informs my perspective.

I think all people everywhere, no matter the age, economic status or whatever benefit from unintended growth opportunities all the time. For example, I came from a middle class background and there were plenty of presents. But when I was 15, that first Christmas after my mother died, our family had a big extended family Christmas. Because there were so many people involved, it was decided by the adults that it would be better to do a secret santa kind of gift exchange, instead of having to buy gifts for everyone, which could add up. A cousin of mine drew my name and gave me a makeup brush set.

Because I perceived that the gift seemed less extravagant than some of my other cousins received, I went around sighing all evening and COMPLAINED ABOUT THE GIFT. To this day I am ashamed and embarrassed about my boorish, rude, completely unacceptable behavior. BTW, it turned out to be a cherished, favorite item of mine AND my cousin was nothing but kind, forgiving and gracious when I apologized...which put me to extra shame.  :-[

So, I can say that I learned a lesson about the concept of gift giving. The guilt and shame I CONTINUE to feel about it taught me a lesson, that it's not the price of the gift that matters, but rather the fact that someone loves or cares about you enough to give you anything at all.

I guess I was wrong to use that experience to inform my opinion about the charitable gift giving question. But I don't think those "life lessons" are meant only for poor children, or even just children. I've seen adults be just as ungracious as I was.

I'm not even trying to imply that this particular child would be in any way whatsoever ungrateful for the lovely gifts given to him, or anything like the ingrate I was. I was just trying to say that it's the thought that counts, and weeble wobble was kind to give the child what she could, in my opinion. And that maybe someday, when he gets older, he might also feel extra good realizing that a complete stranger cared - the same thing I came to realize myself after MY experience.

In any case, I'm so very sorry to have caused such a misunderstanding. I guess I was over thinking the whole thing and making it more complicated than it was, and instead of giving comfort to the OP I caused stress. I feel terrible. I'm sorry.  :'(
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: a clever screenname on December 20, 2012, 02:33:53 PM
Just to answer one of the earlier questions, I did once ask one of the volunteers who was manning the gift tree at my local mall what happens with the kids whose ornaments are left unchosen, and was told then that the charity did have a supply of generic gifts that go to the remaining kids.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Twik on December 20, 2012, 02:44:00 PM
So, barring a last minute decision by someone with lots of free cash, he would have ended up with other gifts anyway.

I agree with most posters - if the OP had chosen this early, intending to get something else, it would be rude. If it's a choice of "someone gets him smaller presents, or no one picks him at all," I say go for it.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 20, 2012, 04:06:02 PM
The reason you stick to the list is not because it is a charity or because they are a kid. It is because you don't even know who they are. Apart from the list you have no idea about their inerests, talents, responsibilities or experiences.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: RebeccainGA on December 21, 2012, 01:51:25 PM
Having that poor kid, I'd say, it's better he didn't get that one big gift. Why? Pawn shop it would have gone, as soon as a parent ran short on cash (be it for groceries or booze or medical bills). Plus, those games aren't fun, most of the time, without internet access ($$), subscriptions to the service ($$), a good size TV ($$), and game discs ($$). It's be like buying a quilter the best Pfaff quilting machine they sell - and then telling them they can't have any fabric or thread.

Most of those charities have generic gifts - and that's exactly what they are, generic. Getting something that was at least chosen by someone who knew the age, if not the kid, was probably better than a generic gift from the pool of available things.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Lady Snowdon on December 21, 2012, 02:02:03 PM
It's very interesting to see how many posters are advocating looking at the wishlist before choosing a tag.  In my experience, there isn't any way to do that.  My workplace does an "Angel tree" every year, and the ornaments on it are put together in such a way that you cannot see what the child is wishing for before you pull it off the tree and open it up.  You can see the child's age and gender just fine, but the actual wish list itself is hidden.  This has actually put me off choosing to participate, because there's no way to know what the kid wants until you've committed yourself, and I don't want to take the chance that they're asking for something out of my budget. 
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: camlan on December 21, 2012, 02:04:06 PM
The reason you stick to the list is not because it is a charity or because they are a kid. It is because you don't even know who they are. Apart from the list you have no idea about their inerests, talents, responsibilities or experiences.

True. But in this case, the list contained only one item.

There were three ways this could have played out.

Someone picks the ornament and buys the expensive gift.

No one picks the ornament and the charity gives the kid a few generic gifts.

Someone picks the ornament, does not buy the one thing on the list, and gets some age-appropriate gifts.

Honestly, while there's a chance someone might have swooped in a day or two before Christmas and decided to buy the expensive gift, I don't think the odds were good. There's not a whole lot of difference between the other two options for the kid who is getting the gifts. And the OP saved the charity some money and now the charity has a few more generic gifts to spread around.

The charities in my area have to approve the children's list. They don't allow them to list "iPod," for example, but will let them ask for "MP3 player." The kids are steered away from the really expensive requests and are told to make multiple requests, say 3 or 4, to give the giver a few options.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: DottyG on December 21, 2012, 02:20:34 PM
Understand that I'm not saying every organization works this way.  I'm sure there may be some that don't do this.  However, it is something that you need to be aware of, because the ones that do this aren't always up-front about it.

Many organizations that do these trees don't work the way you think they do.  When you get a child's name, that child may or may not actually get the gifts you buy.  What actually happens (and I think this is kind of sneaky on the part of the organization - one big one, in particular, that most people do these trees with) is that the gifts actually go into a warehouse type deal.  The gifts are sorted according to ages and each child gets to come in and pick X number of gifts from their section.  Yes, you think you're getting little Billy Bob a nice toy truck, but that doesn't mean that Billy Bob ended up with it.  His suggestion was just given in order to determine what a 6 year old boy wants these days.

While I can see that this evens out the goods - because some people do go for the really expensive items and some don't (and this could, conceivably, end up with one child in a family's getting something really expensive and one with something that's not), I think groups need to be honest about doing it.  If the people who are donating at least had this info, it would be more fair.  And it might cut down on the very issue this thread was started for.

This is actually why I won't do the trees anymore.  Because the year I found this out was the one in which I'd gone to a great deal of trouble to get my child some really great things - including some personalized ones.  Finding out that she may not even see what I'd bought for her discouraged me.
 
 
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Iris on December 21, 2012, 03:11:47 PM
Having that poor kid, I'd say, it's better he didn't get that one big gift. Why? Pawn shop it would have gone, as soon as a parent ran short on cash (be it for groceries or booze or medical bills). Plus, those games aren't fun, most of the time, without internet access ($$), subscriptions to the service ($$), a good size TV ($$), and game discs ($$). It's be like buying a quilter the best Pfaff quilting machine they sell - and then telling them they can't have any fabric or thread.

Most of those charities have generic gifts - and that's exactly what they are, generic. Getting something that was at least chosen by someone who knew the age, if not the kid, was probably better than a generic gift from the pool of available things.

I'm afraid I thought that too. If a family is very poor then a high priced item that can be exchanged for cash almost certainly will be. Not saying that that is the intent, but if you can't buy one child medicine (or food!) and a brand new item worth $$$$ falls into the lap of the other child...
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 21, 2012, 03:16:03 PM
Having that poor kid, I'd say, it's better he didn't get that one big gift. Why? Pawn shop it would have gone, as soon as a parent ran short on cash (be it for groceries or booze or medical bills). Plus, those games aren't fun, most of the time, without internet access ($$), subscriptions to the service ($$), a good size TV ($$), and game discs ($$). It's be like buying a quilter the best Pfaff quilting machine they sell - and then telling them they can't have any fabric or thread.

Most of those charities have generic gifts - and that's exactly what they are, generic. Getting something that was at least chosen by someone who knew the age, if not the kid, was probably better than a generic gift from the pool of available things.

I think the assumptions made here are pretty insulting but I have to see planning to make sure that even if they need money for food or medicine that they can't get it from the monetary value of a CHristmas gift actually strikes me as pretty twisted.  I mean are we seriously sayning that it is important to make sure that even if the family gets to that point people will get satisfaction knowing the hingry/sick family members won't get anything for their Monopoly game?

I'm afraid I thought that too. If a family is very poor then a high priced item that can be exchanged for cash almost certainly will be. Not saying that that is the intent, but if you can't buy one child medicine (or food!) and a brand new item worth $$$$ falls into the lap of the other child...
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Iris on December 21, 2012, 04:04:25 PM
Having that poor kid, I'd say, it's better he didn't get that one big gift. Why? Pawn shop it would have gone, as soon as a parent ran short on cash (be it for groceries or booze or medical bills). Plus, those games aren't fun, most of the time, without internet access ($$), subscriptions to the service ($$), a good size TV ($$), and game discs ($$). It's be like buying a quilter the best Pfaff quilting machine they sell - and then telling them they can't have any fabric or thread.

Most of those charities have generic gifts - and that's exactly what they are, generic. Getting something that was at least chosen by someone who knew the age, if not the kid, was probably better than a generic gift from the pool of available things.

I think the assumptions made here are pretty insulting but I have to see planning to make sure that even if they need money for food or medicine that they can't get it from the monetary value of a CHristmas gift actually strikes me as pretty twisted.  I mean are we seriously sayning that it is important to make sure that even if the family gets to that point people will get satisfaction knowing the hingry/sick family members won't get anything for their Monopoly game?

I'm afraid I thought that too. If a family is very poor then a high priced item that can be exchanged for cash almost certainly will be. Not saying that that is the intent, but if you can't buy one child medicine (or food!) and a brand new item worth $$$$ falls into the lap of the other child...

Wow, Sharnita. Don't hold back. Let us know what you REALLY think.

Anyway, who's making plans? Presumably if one wanted to give a gift to a child it's because one wants that child to have a gift. If one wanted to feed the hungry, one would be better off turning up at their house with a basket of food, not giving their child something that can be returned for cash. RebeccainGA was merely pointing out that although a child from a very poor family may WANT (say) a playstation, there is a reasonable chance that they won't get to keep the playstation. The reality is that that's true - I personally know someone whose child won an OS holiday, but since there was no way that their family could afford the extras such as passports, meals etc, they sold the trip to other people and used the cash to buy some sorely needed things. I don't have a problem with that at all, but if your main aim was to give that child a happy occasion then that failed, because child (although a lovely and mature child) was still bitterly disappointed to have this trip waved in front of their face and taken away.

That is the reality of extreme poverty. If you don't like it I can't help that, but neither RebeccainGA or I at all suggested that one should 'plan to make sure that they can't get monetary value from a christmas gift'. We merely stated the fact that people probably WOULD get monetary value from a christmas gift of that type.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 21, 2012, 04:16:27 PM
That seems to be exactly what you are both suggesting.  As far as the reality of extreme poverty, I am pretty familiar with it - I have worked with many students who fell into that category.  There are actually a few other realities.  A family that was doing well last year could have a change in circumstances this year so they might have the tv Rebeccaine seemed concerned about.  There is also the reality that if they are at the point of pawning stuff for food and medicine they could end up homeless and have to get rid of a good deal of their belngings, including many of the items they couldn't pawn or sell.

FInally, stating they probably wouldget monetary value from a gift like that is make a leap of pretty large proportions and strikes me as extremely disturbing. If people are participating in these kinds of gift giving charities with that level of cynical suspicion then perhaps they would be better off staying away.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 21, 2012, 04:20:17 PM
Aw heck I'm not even poor - when my brother gave me a PlayStation I took that box straight to GameStop unopened and sold it! Sure a game system is nice, but I had things I need/wanted more then a system that runs on $20-40 games!
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 21, 2012, 04:21:53 PM
Aw heck I'm not even poor - when my brother gave me a PlayStation I took that box straight to GameStop unopened and sold it! Sure a game system is nice, but I had things I need/wanted more then a system that runs on $20-40 games!
Did you specifically ask for it?
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: oogyda on December 21, 2012, 04:27:46 PM
So what happens if the kid asks for a $300. gaming system and no one buys it?  Does that kid go without anything for Xmas?  I doubt the charity is going to spend that much on one present, so what happens to that kid?  No Christmas at all?

OP, your kindness and generosity are heartwarming to me.  Good on you for sponsoring not only one but two children this Holiday season.  I think you did just right sending the gift receipts for the clothing but not the toys.  Even if the clothing is returned for cash for something the parents want, the kids will be able to keep the toys. 

I don't think you were rude for taking this boys name even though you couldn't afford to buy him the expensive item he wanted.  There were only 3-4 names left, and I am afraid he would have received nothing at all if you hadn't taken his name.

Don't we say here that wish lists are guidelines and no one should expect to receive everything (or anything) on their list?  Why does this change now?  Because it is a charity or because it is a kid (or maybe both)?

Funny how you took my thoughts and put them to words so much better than I could have. 
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 21, 2012, 04:28:46 PM
Aw heck I'm not even poor - when my brother gave me a PlayStation I took that box straight to GameStop unopened and sold it! Sure a game system is nice, but I had things I need/wanted more then a system that runs on $20-40 games!
Did you specifically ask for it?

No... but I knew he was going to give it to me in advance and knew my choice was PlayStation or nothing else and I didn't tell him to not send it. I said thank you and gushed over the generousity and sold it.

People do do things like that.

Years ago I gave my BF at the time a Rolex that had been my uncle's. BF & I were living paycheck to paycheck on a tight budget at the time. His friend - a well off guy with a nice income - saw it and first hing he said was "you should sell that!"
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Sharnita on December 21, 2012, 04:31:57 PM
Even in the situation you describe that is significantly different from being able to ask for anything and asking for something with the intention of turning around and pawing it which is the assumption being made here.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: penelope2017 on December 21, 2012, 06:52:21 PM
Aw heck I'm not even poor - when my brother gave me a PlayStation I took that box straight to GameStop unopened and sold it! Sure a game system is nice, but I had things I need/wanted more then a system that runs on $20-40 games!
Did you specifically ask for it?

No... but I knew he was going to give it to me in advance and knew my choice was PlayStation or nothing else and I didn't tell him to not send it. I said thank you and gushed over the generousity and sold it.

People do do things like that.

Years ago I gave my BF at the time a Rolex that had been my uncle's. BF & I were living paycheck to paycheck on a tight budget at the time. His friend - a well off guy with a nice income - saw it and first hing he said was "you should sell that!"

Wait, you told your brother you'd accept no other gaming system than PlayStation. You knew he was buying it for you and allowed him to buy you this expensive gift with the intention to immediately turn it over for the cash? I'm sorry if I misunderstood. But that's what it sounded like you said.

If that's what actually happened, I'm sorry but that sounds unethical to me to do to anyone, let alone to a generous sibling. If you don't need a gaming system why didn't you tell him that knowing he was buying it? Did he know you did that?
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: JenJay on December 21, 2012, 07:01:58 PM
I think WN meant her brother told her she WAS getting the play station and that was that. If she  had refused the PS she'd have received nothing.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: amandaelizabeth on December 21, 2012, 07:42:59 PM
Having worked in the past with a large children's charity I want to make a comment.  We used to run a similar scheme with a wish tree on which we placed paper wishes.  The children who wrote their wishes down, were told that these were just that,  wishes.  People might, or might not buy them their wish, but they would still  get a present.  Yes some children wished for the moon or what ever 'in present' was popular that year.  I don't remember any one getting one of those wishes come true though.  Mind you it was the same in my daughter's circle of friends, many of their wish list items were not in their stockings on Christmas Morning.  However all our wish tree children got a present.  If we were asked by donors we suggest clothes, knowing that many parents would be grateful as well as the child.  If you could see the look on the recipient's faces, it would reward enough for you too.  Well done for finding out what the desired clothes are this year, and adding a little extra to the parcel.  I know that the outcome for those two children will be positive

All of us need to remember the difference between a wish list and a demand, and that a present is freely given. 

Just to wish you all a peaceful and loving holiday and may 2013 be a good year for you all
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Winterlight on December 23, 2012, 08:01:32 AM
Amandaelizabeth, thank you for explaining that. It sounds like the kid probably knew he wasn't likely to get the Kindle, in that case.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: suzieQ on December 23, 2012, 08:40:26 AM
I remember the year I asked for a specific electronic toy. I don't know if my parents couldn't afford it or couldn't find it, but they got me another electronic toy. I remember going to the basement (so they wouldn't know I was doing this) and crying over it.

Then - that toy became my favorite electronic toy! Kids can adjust and adapt.

 And frankly, (putting on my flame-proof underwear here) if the family has to put a wish list on a tree because they can't afford to buy presents, I think it's presumptuous to ask for a high end electronic toy.  A lot of these "tree wish ornaments" kids need clothes and shoes and their parents can't afford them. Asking for some modest priced toys is fine. But asking for an iPad? Just strikes me as being greedy. The organization should gently let the kid know that a list of other, more modestly priced toys should be added as well. Fine and dandy to ask for high priced item, but don't get your heart set on it and don't make it the only item on the list. The people buying these presents also have their own families to buy for.

ETA: The above is just how I would feel if I were in that position of having to put my kids name on a tree. I've been in the position of being the recipient of some medical supplies for DS and I have been thrilled and grateful for what was given me. It would have felt greedy to me if I had asked for more or the big super wonderful new item available, instead of the older item I was given.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: bonyk on December 23, 2012, 08:53:23 AM
You get what you get and you don't get upset.  The OP provided a needy child with a thoughtful present.  That's not rude, it's kind and generous.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: POF on December 23, 2012, 09:37:44 AM
While I no longer particpate in our local XMAS charity ---- long involved other thread ----

They did a good job with wish lists.  Parents submitted the list for their child. Nothing over $100 and no gaming systems ( because they required $$$ games ). Anythign a donor gave went to that child unless it was age inappropriate.

Kids asked for 3 things ... we tried to get them one of the three - BUT we also stressed that we were not a catalouge service. I saw some really greedy gifts requested by parents on behalf of their children.  Designer clothes, IPADS, Professional sporting goods tickets etc.  We deleted those items and donors never saw them.

I think you did fine.  It's a wish list ..... and its a gift... if the organization thought the child needed aomehting else - they would add to it. 

Thank you for your generous donation.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: LadyL on December 24, 2012, 09:18:47 AM
LordL grew up getting nothing but hand me downs (some salvaged from the town dump) when he was a kid. Just getting a new toy would have been a thrill. I think that's a plenty generous gesture, OP. I am also not a fan of a gift drive where some kids get clothes or other essentials, and others get iPod level gifts because they asked. It just doesn't seem fair. I think a price minimum and maximum are good ideas for toy drives.
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Klein Bottle on December 24, 2012, 07:39:59 PM
I would just rather have the child get a present even if it's not exactly what he wants than nothing at all.  If the OP had picked the ornament in November then I can see the argument that she should have chosen someone else, but it's late in the holiday season, and this child's name was not chosen.  I think it's fine to buy him nice, age appropriate toys which is a better alternative than receiving nothing at all.  To me, it's not about him learning a lesson, it's about him having something to open at Christmas even if it wasn't exactly what he requested.

See to me though, that is a life lesson.  The lesson being, even though maybe he didn't get just what he asked for, at least he knows he is still worthy of gifts.  That maybe he didn't get his exact wish, but he wasn't just pushed to the side and forgotten; someone cared enough to try to get him something he would enjoy.

Everyone fits into the world.  Sometimes we all wish we fit into a different place then where we are, but its always important to remember, even if we aren't exactly where we wish were were in the grand scheme of it all, we are still here, and cared about and important.

I just want to say that the bolded is beautiful and brought tears to my eyes.

OP, I think you did exactly the right thing.  It sounds tome like his name had been passed over because of the expensive gift request, and that he might not have gotten anything at all if you had not chosen something for him.  I love that you put so much thought into it. 

That said, I don't think it's greedy for poor kids to request expensive items.  Poor kids are allowed to want nice things, too, and it's a wish list, not a demand.    ;)
Title: Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on December 24, 2012, 09:56:42 PM
So if you were rude, OP, does that mean Santa was rude for not buying me the horse I asked for every year between 6-10? ;)

I don't think you were rude at all.  I plucked a tag off an Angel tree this year asking for a learning toy for a 1 year old girl. I didn't have a lot to buy her so I did get a little phone that teaches shapes and colors.