Author Topic: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.  (Read 7695 times)

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Christabeldreams

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For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« on: November 17, 2012, 04:19:07 PM »
Mods, if this is in the wrong section or worded too strongly, my apologies, I wrote and posted this in a hurry as time is of the essence here.
Hoo boy, today was our costume club meeting. Our president, whom Iíve talked about here
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=120638.0
And here
http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=120694.
Is in charge of setting up our Secret Santa. Iím thinking of suggesting he delegate the task, as James is not well versed in what is and is not appropriate gift giving etiquette among friends. To start off, he set the spending limit too high. 50 dollars! Sure, he was trying to play it safe, but thatís way too much! Second, while James is a very giving soul, Iím beginning to suspect he only asks for things he canít afford by himself, because his card had a very expensive DVD set on it, only seven dollars under the limit (He offered to contribute, if the person who got it couldnít afford it, so thatísÖodd, but still something). His card ended up being traded to someone that offered to get him an Amazon card instead. He accepted gratefully.
The next faux pas came when James suggested we get a gift on speculation for the member that couldnít make it to the meeting. (Wouldnít it be easier to just call her and ask what she wants?) He offered up a collectorís doll he was selling for 50 dollars. One person went in on it, then he turned to me and said, ďAre you going in on it too?Ē
I couldnít for several reasons.
1.   My contribution would have been 25 dollars and Iím already signed on to be secret Santa for a different club member
2.   Iím not completely sure the absent member would like the doll, it could be heís just suggesting it because itís somewhat her thing and he really wants to sell it
3.   Since Iím learning Amigurumi, I was thinking of staying in gift budget and making the absent member a stuffed toy that either she or her new one-year-old would enjoy. I already have the materials, so it wouldnít cost me and it would be more usable. I could call her and ask what kind she wanted.
4.   Even if I was to contribute to the doll, something Iím still somewhat open to if it turns out thatís what the absent member wants and I can afford it, I didnít have the cash right then, as I needed to run an errand after the meeting.

I told James I thought I would make the absent member something instead, also stating reason number four. I thought heíd gotten it, however later in the meeting, he suggested I stop by his workplace soon so I could contribute and get the doll from him. I restated that I thought I could make her something instead. Finally, as I was leaving, he said I could stop by with my contribution again and I just repeated what Iíd already told him and got out as fast as I could.

Well.  Iíve told him I donít think I can afford it, and Iíve told him I have a back-up plan, but he completely disregarded me.  So, I have two quandaries today. Whatís another good way of putting my foot down about the doll, because it looks like itís going to go over my gift budget for Christmas? And, how do I convince him to delegate the task of the Secret Santa? Should I even try or am I overstepping a boundary?

rose red

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2012, 04:39:41 PM »
"No, I'm not going in on it." 
"No, I already told you 3 (4, 5, 6, 7) times I'm not going in on it."

Don't offer excuses (I don't think I can afford it.  I'm giving her my own gift., etc.)  Just tell him no and walk away.  He keeps acting like you agreed to contribute hoping to break you (is this what gaslighting is  ???).  Don't let him.

Iris

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2012, 04:49:36 PM »
Do I have this straight? He is organising a Secret Santa so you are already getting a gift for one of the other club members, and he wants you to buy *another* gift (from him) for yet another club member? This sounds like a perfect time for "Why would I want to do that?"

You have met your gift giving obligation in buying for the secret santa nominee. You are under no obligation whatsoever to get another present for another club member. That's the point of secret santa - everyone gets a present, but only has to buy ONE. If he is that worried that she wants the doll why doesn't he just give it to her? From your earlier posts this guy has a history of railroading you, so I'd say it's time to put a stop to it. He doesn't need an explanation, just say no.

As to delegating Secret Santa organisation, I don't think that is going to happen. He's got a sweet situation happening where he has trained people to meet his expectations. Once you (collectively) train him out of that I don't think he'll be interested any longer.
"Can't do anything with children, can you?" the woman said.

Poirot thought you could, but forebore to say so.

doodlemor

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 04:49:59 PM »
James is way over the line.  After reading your other posts I have concluded that he is an incredibly difficult person.  Don't give him any $.  If he asks, tell him that you aren't discussing this any more.

Frankly, I'm sorry to say that I think that the club is doomed, with James at the helm.  His behavior is so annoying that I'm surprised that anyone comes to meetings at all. 


WillyNilly

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 09:20:28 PM »
...To start off, he set the spending limit too high. 50 dollars!... He offered up a collectorís doll he was selling for 50 dollars. One person went in on it, then he turned to me and said, ďAre you going in on it too?Ē
I couldnít for several reasons...

So lemme ask what is *he* contributing towards the gift of the doll he's selling?  He wants $$$ from you and this other person but if the gift is supposed to cost $50 and he's valuing his doll at $50 shouldn't he just be giving his doll away period?

In general though I think someone should have immediately spoken up "Fifty dollars?  Are you serious?  I can't aford that - I spen fifty dollars on both my parents combined and they are my parents!!!! I have about a $15-20 budget for friends.  Sorry i love you and all but really $50 is just not in  my budget."

Christabeldreams

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2012, 09:29:53 PM »
...To start off, he set the spending limit too high. 50 dollars!... He offered up a collectorís doll he was selling for 50 dollars. One person went in on it, then he turned to me and said, ďAre you going in on it too?Ē
I couldnít for several reasons...

So lemme ask what is *he* contributing towards the gift of the doll he's selling?   He wants $$$ from you and this other person but if the gift is supposed to cost $50 and he's valuing his doll at $50 shouldn't he just be giving his doll away period?

In general though I think someone should have immediately spoken up "Fifty dollars?  Are you serious?  I can't aford that - I spen fifty dollars on both my parents combined and they are my parents!!!! I have about a $15-20 budget for friends.  Sorry i love you and all but really $50 is just not in  my budget."

I suppose he's contributing the idea. And ensuring we don't have to worry about it taking too long to ship.  ::) In all seriousness, though, I kind of wish I could have said what you suggested at the meeting, but you know what they say about hindsight. 

Yvaine

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 12:37:42 AM »
Yup, seems like he's got a nice racket planned. Guilt the club members into buying a gift for someone...and this gift just happens to be something he sells so all the money is going straight to him...  >:( >:( >:( ::)

Deetee

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 12:41:05 AM »
As everyone else said, why would you even think about the possibility of being involved in buying an overpriced doll for someone who doesn't want it specifically and who isn't your secret Santa?

There are so many things wrong with that idea, not the least of which is a 50 dollar doll is a terrible gift for 95% of the population. Just say no. He doesn't want to hear it but that is not your problem.

Take2

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 08:08:16 AM »
Is it just me, or is this the least "secret" Santa exchange on the planet? Am I mis-reading? Did your entire group meet, exchange cards with a gift listed on them, and agree to meet later to receive gifts? It sounds like the members know who is buying for them AND know what is being bought? I mean, aside from the one person who wasn't present.

I have lived in many places and been part of many Secret Santa exchanges. It has always involved people secretly pulling names, so the person doesn't have to be present. You just put everyone's name in the hat and the organizer calls the missing person and gives her the name that was left! But there is no trading names...because it's a SECRET who you got! And bartering for an Amazon gift card means people were outright discussing the individual items to be purchased! If the name cards had a few suggestions on them, that's fine. But the person buying the gift can choose from that list or not, SECRETLY, in preparation for the gift exchange.

It seems to me that if your club agreed on some standing rules about the annual Secret Santa, everyone would benefit. That way the leader couldn't just change them without consensus. I am part of a group that does Secret Santa right now, and the standing rules are that the limit is $20, no discussing who you got or what you are getting them, opt in or out of the drawing at least 24 hours before the drawing or you will get a name whether you attend the drawing or not :).

bonyk

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 08:22:15 AM »
Is it just me, or is this the least "secret" Santa exchange on the planet? Am I mis-reading? Did your entire group meet, exchange cards with a gift listed on them, and agree to meet later to receive gifts? It sounds like the members know who is buying for them AND know what is being bought? I mean, aside from the one person who wasn't present.

I have lived in many places and been part of many Secret Santa exchanges. It has always involved people secretly pulling names, so the person doesn't have to be present. You just put everyone's name in the hat and the organizer calls the missing person and gives her the name that was left! But there is no trading names...because it's a SECRET who you got! And bartering for an Amazon gift card means people were outright discussing the individual items to be purchased! If the name cards had a few suggestions on them, that's fine. But the person buying the gift can choose from that list or not, SECRETLY, in preparation for the gift exchange.

It seems to me that if your club agreed on some standing rules about the annual Secret Santa, everyone would benefit. That way the leader couldn't just change them without consensus. I am part of a group that does Secret Santa right now, and the standing rules are that the limit is $20, no discussing who you got or what you are getting them, opt in or out of the drawing at least 24 hours before the drawing or you will get a name whether you attend the drawing or not :).

All of this! 

OP, tell James clearly and forcefully that you're not interested.  No reasons why, no excuses.  Just, "No, that's not what I'm going to do." Repeat as needed.

AmethystAnne

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 08:35:55 AM »
<snip>
I suppose he's contributing the idea. And ensuring we don't have to worry about it taking too long to ship.  ::) In all seriousness, though, I kind of wish I could have said what you suggested at the meeting, but you know what they say about hindsight.

I think he will ask you again. You'll have a great reply ready for him!  ;D

Christabeldreams

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 04:54:44 PM »
Is it just me, or is this the least "secret" Santa exchange on the planet? Am I misreading? Did your entire group meet, exchange cards with a gift listed on them, and agree to meet later to receive gifts? It sounds like the members know who is buying for them AND know what is being bought? I mean, aside from the one person who wasn't present.

I have lived in many places and been part of many Secret Santa exchanges. It has always involved people secretly pulling names, so the person doesn't have to be present. You just put everyone's name in the hat and the organizer calls the missing person and gives her the name that was left! But there is no trading names...because it's a SECRET who you got! And bartering for an Amazon gift card means people were outright discussing the individual items to be purchased! If the name cards had a few suggestions on them, that's fine. But the person buying the gift can choose from that list or not, SECRETLY, in preparation for the gift exchange.

It seems to me that if your club agreed on some standing rules about the annual Secret Santa, everyone would benefit. That way the leader couldn't just change them without consensus. I am part of a group that does Secret Santa right now, and the standing rules are that the limit is $20, no discussing who you got or what you are getting them, opt in or out of the drawing at least 24 hours before the drawing or you will get a name whether you attend the drawing or not :).

I'll suggest this at the next meeting! Any tips on what to say if James protests?
Edited because punctuation.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 04:56:29 PM by Christabeldreams »

Take2

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2012, 05:54:13 PM »
Appeal to the masses: I wanted to share something I heard that may be great for our club! I was talking to a group of people who had experience with Secret Santa with various groups, and gathered some best practices to avoid hurt feelings. I just loved the idea of [describe what you want]. I think it is a good idea to head off any issues before they arise. What does everyone think?

[group discussion where leader expresses concerns because the current plan gets him a $50 gift he can't afford PLUS $50 cash from strong-armed group members, why would HE want to change?]

 I understand your concerns. I know! Let's vote on it. If the club majority wants standing rules, we can. If not, that's fine, too :).

johelenc1

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2012, 10:32:02 PM »
I don't understand why you all buy so many presents for each other.  This is one really expensive club to belong too!

Unless this club is composed of your very best friends, all the birthday giving is too much.  A card and $5 gift to Starbucks is all you need.

Secret Santas are as explained above - they are about whimsy and surprise.  You could have everyone create a card of gift ideas under $20 that the giver could pick from.  But the actual gift and giver would be a surprise.

Your leader has an odd obsession with gifts.  Does he not have anyone in his life that buys him gifts outside this group?

Someone needs to take over all gift-giving occasions and keep Leader out of it.  The only thing he can contribute is money - for the gifts for other people. 

Personally, however, I think the whole club needs to dial back the gift-giving all together.

mbbored

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Re: For Christmas, Iím getting our club president a clue.
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2012, 12:48:42 AM »
I don't understand why you all buy so many presents for each other.  This is one really expensive club to belong too!

Unless this club is composed of your very best friends, all the birthday giving is too much.  A card and $5 gift to Starbucks is all you need.

Secret Santas are as explained above - they are about whimsy and surprise.  You could have everyone create a card of gift ideas under $20 that the giver could pick from.  But the actual gift and giver would be a surprise.

Your leader has an odd obsession with gifts.  Does he not have anyone in his life that buys him gifts outside this group?

Someone needs to take over all gift-giving occasions and keep Leader out of it.  The only thing he can contribute is money - for the gifts for other people. 

Personally, however, I think the whole club needs to dial back the gift-giving all together.

Great observations, johelenc1. I agree with everything you say.