Author Topic: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.  (Read 9022 times)

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philliesphan

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2012, 02:14:58 PM »
Could you set up a tradition of Amazon wish lists for next Christmas?

I have one, and direct my brother and SIL to it every Christmas and birthday when they ask for a list from me. They are...well, they're obviously not Luddites, since they want an iPad. But they do refuse to do any shopping online, or have an Amazon account just to make a wish list.

I think I'm going to proceed with the plan of a gift card in the amount I want to spend, not the amount they want me to spend, and coordinate with my parents so the card I buy and the card they buy are to the same store. If it's not enough for an iPad (and it probably won't be), they can make up the difference or buy a cheaper tablet.

Redneck Gravy

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2012, 02:28:25 PM »
To stop the exchange of equally valued gift cards our family came up with a solution that has worked for us. 

We draw names - all the adults go in one group (high school graduation or the age of 18 gets you into the adult pot).  Each person writes three things on their index card within the gift limit (each item around $25).  Whoever draws your card still gets to surprise you, stays within the spending limit and you get something you wanted.

Otherwise, why not just have everyone throw in a $25 gift card/cash - not much surprise there!

 

 

Cat-Fu

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2012, 02:46:14 PM »
I am in rabid love with wish lists, but this ain't a wish list. It's a straight-up demand, and quite a pricey one!  The point of a wish lists is that it's wishes, not, as a PP said, a shopping list.

I'm glad you're going with the gift card idea, that seems like the best way to keep the peace and not get shanghai'ed into spending loads of money on electronics.

ETA: I do think going the amazon wish list route wouldn't have really changed anything—if they're in the habit of asking for pricey gifts, what's to stop them from wishing for only expensive things in their wish lists?

« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 03:19:19 PM by My cat is a ninja »
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AngelicGamer

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #18 on: September 24, 2012, 03:12:15 PM »
OP, with your current update, I really think this is the best way to go.  I just hope they don't say something in an attempt to embarrass you.

I was going to suggest an Amazon wish list as well, but I see with the current update that they won't do that.  I think that's kind of sad - I love mine.  I actually have three, but two of them are for me to track what movies I want to rent (Video on Demand) or the Kindle books I'm planning on buying / series.  The third is for my family to get me what they want and I do have highest / high / middle / low / lowest and notes.  That's at the request of my family because they know I love electronics and want me to be very specific.  :)




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WillyNilly

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #19 on: September 24, 2012, 04:30:35 PM »
I have started to stage a rebellion against lists personally.  Go on, ask me for a list, here's what you'll get:

Something for the kitchen/cooking
Some sort of soap/lotion/manicure/pedicure spa-like stuff
Clothes, indoor or outer wear or accessories
Books, fiction, non-fiction, how-to, or humor
Art (visual, musical, theatrical, other)
Something for the car
Something for the cat
Other

So ha!  There you go, you got a list, but really you still need to pick something out.  Because I can say the very best gifts I've ever gotten were total surprises.  From the random but actually awesome set of 40 colored permanent markers, to the gold (colored) belt, to the olive oil mister, to the road flares for my truck, these were all awesome gifts that I didn't know I wanted until I got them - and now I love them and appreciate them!

And in that vein I do like if I get a general idea.  Camping stuff, guitar stuff, cooking stuff, art supply stuff, science stuff, gaming stuff - a general category is helpful and fun.  A specific list of specific brands and precise items?  It just rubs me the wrong way.

Snooks

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #20 on: September 24, 2012, 05:06:56 PM »
Isn't this a push/pull situation?  Lists are fine as long as they're requested not forced upon you.  Your SIL and DB wouldn't be getting anything close to an iPad if this were me, they'd be getting a totally non-returnable gift which I had picked out as something I genuinely think they'd like.

Talley

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #21 on: September 24, 2012, 05:27:53 PM »
I have started to stage a rebellion against lists personally.  Go on, ask me for a list, here's what you'll get:

Something for the kitchen/cooking
Some sort of soap/lotion/manicure/pedicure spa-like stuff
Clothes, indoor or outer wear or accessories
Books, fiction, non-fiction, how-to, or humor
Art (visual, musical, theatrical, other)
Something for the car
Something for the cat
Other
Actually, I would love a list like this! It tells me just enough about what you might like but still gives a lot of room to be creative about choosing something.


Ceallach

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #22 on: September 24, 2012, 08:55:16 PM »
I have started to stage a rebellion against lists personally.  Go on, ask me for a list, here's what you'll get:

Something for the kitchen/cooking
Some sort of soap/lotion/manicure/pedicure spa-like stuff
Clothes, indoor or outer wear or accessories
Books, fiction, non-fiction, how-to, or humor
Art (visual, musical, theatrical, other)
Something for the car
Something for the cat
Other

So ha!  There you go, you got a list, but really you still need to pick something out.  Because I can say the very best gifts I've ever gotten were total surprises.  From the random but actually awesome set of 40 colored permanent markers, to the gold (colored) belt, to the olive oil mister, to the road flares for my truck, these were all awesome gifts that I didn't know I wanted until I got them - and now I love them and appreciate them!

And in that vein I do like if I get a general idea.  Camping stuff, guitar stuff, cooking stuff, art supply stuff, science stuff, gaming stuff - a general category is helpful and fun.  A specific list of specific brands and precise items?  It just rubs me the wrong way.

To me that's what a list should be.   It's about pointing people in the right direction, not stating demands.   For example, my Dad always wanted consumables (wine, chocolate) or functional things (underwear, socks etc).   There is plenty of scope to surprise somebody within that range of options - both in the choice, the brand, the type etc.    If people ask me I always say "Oh anything consumable, or books, or music or something for the house".   

But I know families where it's literally "I want the purple X brand XYZ from Blah shop which costs $x".   And that I just don't get.  The only "gift" is that somebody else is walking to the shop, making the purchase, and wrapping it up.   And if there is an equal dollar requirement then they're just swapping money so it makes no sense to me whatsoever.  I honestly think the whole routine is a waste of everybody's time!   (There are rare exceptions in my family where somebody will make a purchase of a very specific required item as an early gift / special gift for somebody, but that's the exception not the rule, it's just when a circumstance arises that it makes sense.  Not by demand). 
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cabbagegirl28

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2012, 01:59:06 AM »
I have started to stage a rebellion against lists personally.  Go on, ask me for a list, here's what you'll get:

Something for the kitchen/cooking
Some sort of soap/lotion/manicure/pedicure spa-like stuff
Clothes, indoor or outer wear or accessories
Books, fiction, non-fiction, how-to, or humor
Art (visual, musical, theatrical, other)
Something for the car
Something for the cat
Other

So ha!  There you go, you got a list, but really you still need to pick something out.  Because I can say the very best gifts I've ever gotten were total surprises.  From the random but actually awesome set of 40 colored permanent markers, to the gold (colored) belt, to the olive oil mister, to the road flares for my truck, these were all awesome gifts that I didn't know I wanted until I got them - and now I love them and appreciate them!

And in that vein I do like if I get a general idea.  Camping stuff, guitar stuff, cooking stuff, art supply stuff, science stuff, gaming stuff - a general category is helpful and fun.  A specific list of specific brands and precise items?  It just rubs me the wrong way.

To me that's what a list should be.   It's about pointing people in the right direction, not stating demands.   For example, my Dad always wanted consumables (wine, chocolate) or functional things (underwear, socks etc).   There is plenty of scope to surprise somebody within that range of options - both in the choice, the brand, the type etc.    If people ask me I always say "Oh anything consumable, or books, or music or something for the house".   

But I know families where it's literally "I want the purple X brand XYZ from Blah shop which costs $x".   And that I just don't get.  The only "gift" is that somebody else is walking to the shop, making the purchase, and wrapping it up.   And if there is an equal dollar requirement then they're just swapping money so it makes no sense to me whatsoever.  I honestly think the whole routine is a waste of everybody's time!   (There are rare exceptions in my family where somebody will make a purchase of a very specific required item as an early gift / special gift for somebody, but that's the exception not the rule, it's just when a circumstance arises that it makes sense.  Not by demand).

For my family, it makes it easier for my parents and grandparents to know exactly what we want, because then they don't have to play the guessing game and what if we actually hate what they got us. I come from a family of very specific and literal people. Violinp's and my parents can sometimes surprise us, but they just prefer to have a clear list, especially since they're both ridiculously busy around the holiday season.

My joy is the same as everyone else's for gift-giving, knowing that the gifts were lovingly picked out. It doesn't bother me that I know what my gifts are.


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MariaE

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2012, 02:15:45 AM »
My brother will hand over a printed list, with exact model numbers, colors, sizes and frequently the website where the items can be purchased at the best price. That's a shopping list. And he really doesn't want anything but what's on that list.

I disagree that the exact details and the website makes it a shopping list. I do agree that the bolded makes it one.

We do wishlists in my family (actually I've never heard of a Danish family that didn't), but we regard them pretty much the same way as you do registries - it's inspiration, not a shopping list.

The list may have specific details on some of the items. The list may have a website of where to find it (my family often buy stuff online, so that just makes sense). But it's still just a list of suggestions. Nobody ever expects to get everything on the list. Sometimes people go off-list if they find the perfect thing that somebody didn't know they wanted until they saw it.

I love wishlists. I'm hopeless at buying presents without it. But I prefer wishlists with a good mix of specifics and generalities (like the one WillyNilly proposed).
 
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Just Lori

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2012, 08:14:33 AM »
There's a huge difference between a wish list and a list of demands.  A wish list is a list of things the recipient has maybe seen and thought, "Ooh, I'd really like one of those."  A wish list has a number of options and different price points.  I personally like seeing lists of things people just can't justify buying for themselves, like a luxurious pair of slippers or some kind of fun toy.  The recipient doesn't expect to receive everything or anything on the list, and the buyer can either buy something off the list or use the list as a guideline to give them ideas.

A list of demands is usually short and specific, and you know that if you don't buy this item, the recipient is going to go out and get it anyhow, so basically you're just covering their purchase.  I don't care for these.


WillyNilly

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2012, 11:16:21 AM »
I have started to stage a rebellion against lists personally.  Go on, ask me for a list, here's what you'll get:

Something for the kitchen/cooking
Some sort of soap/lotion/manicure/pedicure spa-like stuff
Clothes, indoor or outer wear or accessories
Books, fiction, non-fiction, how-to, or humor
Art (visual, musical, theatrical, other)
Something for the car
Something for the cat
Other

So ha!  There you go, you got a list, but really you still need to pick something out.  Because I can say the very best gifts I've ever gotten were total surprises.  From the random but actually awesome set of 40 colored permanent markers, to the gold (colored) belt, to the olive oil mister, to the road flares for my truck, these were all awesome gifts that I didn't know I wanted until I got them - and now I love them and appreciate them!

And in that vein I do like if I get a general idea.  Camping stuff, guitar stuff, cooking stuff, art supply stuff, science stuff, gaming stuff - a general category is helpful and fun.  A specific list of specific brands and precise items?  It just rubs me the wrong way.

To me that's what a list should be.   It's about pointing people in the right direction, not stating demands.   For example, my Dad always wanted consumables (wine, chocolate) or functional things (underwear, socks etc).   There is plenty of scope to surprise somebody within that range of options - both in the choice, the brand, the type etc.    If people ask me I always say "Oh anything consumable, or books, or music or something for the house".   

But I know families where it's literally "I want the purple X brand XYZ from Blah shop which costs $x".   And that I just don't get.  The only "gift" is that somebody else is walking to the shop, making the purchase, and wrapping it up.   And if there is an equal dollar requirement then they're just swapping money so it makes no sense to me whatsoever.  I honestly think the whole routine is a waste of everybody's time!   (There are rare exceptions in my family where somebody will make a purchase of a very specific required item as an early gift / special gift for somebody, but that's the exception not the rule, it's just when a circumstance arises that it makes sense.  Not by demand).

In DF's family its worse because its specific gift cards.  So the giver isn't even going to the store to pick out the specific item, they are just going to the grocery store to the big display of cards and the receiver still has to do teh work.  Seriously their "lists" read:

GC to Amazon
GC to iTunes
GC to Modells
GC to Sephora

Etc.  Its ridiculous IMO.  And it makes gift giving take about no time and nothing interesting to discuss.

Last year DF came to Christmas with my family (which is a blend of random family and friends, all adults) and he was blown away at the piles of really beautifully wrapped actual gifts and then the exchanges of presents and piles of wrapping paper, and people talking about where they got something or why they thought the recipient might enjoy it, and recipients standing up or walking around to try stuff out, each of us commenting on each others stuff, etc.  Meanwhile his family was literally a few envelopes passed around and then that was it.  Gifts in my family takes at least an hour for 5 people, gifts in his family takes less then 10 minutes for 8 people.

Plus because of utilizing sales and smart shopping, etc, giving actual gifts ends up being significantly less expensive then the gift card exchange.

StoutGirl

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2012, 01:28:46 PM »
With my immediate family, we still do lists, and I love them!  We don't always follow them to a "T" and some of the best gifts I have ever received were complete surprises.  I'll admit, my list this year is 4 pages long.  I know extremely well that I will not receive all of it, but my parents and sister love that there are a variety of options and price points.  I used to write a much smaller list (half a page), and my parents would whine that they didn't know what to get me.  For me though, if I think of something I would like to have, I just write it down so I remember it and it just ends up on the same list.  If there are a couple of items that I really want, I put a star next to it.  I've already started Christmas shopping (not sure that I should be proud of that) for my Dad, who is the hardest person to shop for, and I bought him something that I know will not be on his list.  I'm really excited to see him open it because I know that he will love it!

As for extended family, we no longer exchange lists.  We just give everyone something simple (pumpkin rolls, candy, popcorn, crafts).  Its easy and never goes to waste.  This is something you might want to consider OP.

SleepyKitty

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2012, 02:03:50 PM »
I have started to stage a rebellion against lists personally.  Go on, ask me for a list, here's what you'll get:

Something for the kitchen/cooking
Some sort of soap/lotion/manicure/pedicure spa-like stuff
Clothes, indoor or outer wear or accessories
Books, fiction, non-fiction, how-to, or humor
Art (visual, musical, theatrical, other)
Something for the car
Something for the cat
Other

So ha!  There you go, you got a list, but really you still need to pick something out. 

I just kind of developed a platonic-crush since you included something for your cat on your list. I once asked for random cat stuff (scratching posts, unusual toys, etc) for a birthday, since I really didn't need or want anything and my bored kitties were driving me crazy.

CakeEater

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Re: I hate this kind of Christmas gift-giving.
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2012, 07:07:07 PM »
I'm firmly in the camp of wishlists, specific or otherwise. I hate the idea that people are wasting their hard-earned money buying me stuff I don't want, like or need. And likewise, I hate wasting my money in the same way.

And I find it interesting that people here have suggeted that when they buy presents tht are off people's lists, that the recipients always like them. I would hope that everyone who has bought me a gift I've found completely useless or awful would think that I loved them. I try hard to be excited and grateful about receiving anything, even if I dislike it for whatever reason. I suspect that it must be similar for others.

In the OP's case, I would put whatever money I could afford towards the iPad and the recipient could make up the difference.