General Etiquette > Holidays

Not supplying a wish list - rude?

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saki:
Background:  my husband is one of four, all four siblings are married.  Three years or so ago, we agreed that rather than buying presents for everyone, we'd do Secret Santa and just buy one, more expensive, present.  My husband and I had understood that part of the motivation behind this was so that you could put more time and effort into this - though I'm not sure that anyone else took this away so it may have been us misunderstanding. /end background

Everyone else involved in this supplies an Amazon wishlist every year.  One of my SILs this year even went so far as to make a special Amazon wishlist especially for Secret Santa that added up to the exact amount that we've agreed is the limit so that her Secret Santa doesn't have to make any decisions at all on what to buy her.  Neither my husband nor I are keen on wishlists.  For me, it's really that I don't want to choose my own present, I want a surprise, and (sorry if this sounds special snowflakey), I want someone to put some time and thought into my present, not just pick things off a wishlist and hit "ship", I just don't see the point in that.  For what it's worth, I am more than happy to put time and thought into the presents I give. 

In previous years, I've supplied an Amazon wishlist but said in my e-mail round that I would rather have a surprise but am supplying the wishlist in case inspiration is needed.  Every time I've just had stuff off my wishlist.  This year, I've decided to go for not supplying one at all and just providing some general thoughts on things I like (e.g. anything in Y category would be great, e.g. I like the style of things in these two shops).  My husband has done a similar (though slightly different) thing.

I sort of get the impression from the tone of the e-mails that everyone else is a bit grumpy with us for not making it easy for them.  In general, I gather that wishlists are now the norm for Christmas presents but I just don't like them at all.  I'd honestly rather opt out of the whole thing, if the others insist on just doing wishlists.  Are we rude for not going along with the majority?

Also, are we rude not to buy presents in return exclusively from their wishlists?  What I'm going for for my SIL (not the one mentioned above - I wouldn't dare deviate from her list!) is a mixture of wishlist and non-wishlist stuff that I think she'll like.  I think my husband is planning something like that for his Secret Santa.  In previous years, I've mostly gone with wishlists because I've been allocated someone I didn't know that well.

Drawberry:
Boyfriend's family is fairly large and fairly close, they do name drawings each year in similar fashion with a particular 'mark' on the indented monetary value of the gift(s) at $50. The intent is so that instead of everyone buying for every cousin and aunt in the family you draw a random name from those willing to participate and gift them something in that approximate range. (IE: spending no more then $50 but preferably close to that amount so one individual does get a $10 gift while they gifted a $55 gift )

Boyfriends mother had come to me last year asking for a wish list, which I initially declined on and simply said I didn't need anything. Feeling as though his family had done above and beyond for me and I had no intention of begging for (or expecting) gifts. However his mother genuinely wanted one from me to provide for herself and the family member whom drew my name for the secret Santa. Considering I may not be the most openly sharing person in the world (being an introvert with social anxiety disorder, a double whammy of yikes!) I finally agreed to write down a list of things I would have liked, having been asked to be very specific (Brand, shop, size, color, etc) about what I wanted.

I don't think this had to do with a lack of caring or wanting to know me personally, it had to do with them simply wanting be sure I enjoyed what I got and a secret Santa event in which the individual who drew my name was not particularly knowledgeable about my interests. Considering the individuals who requests a 'wish-list' from me where reassuring that they really wanted it and wanted to be sure they knew what styles I enjoyed, sizes I needed, and colors I would have wanted I conceded and did so.

While I initially felt a bit rude making a list of things I wanted and checking prices online it was what I was asked to do for people who really may not be super knowledgeable about everything I like. If it's asked of me again, I will do so but I will not do so if it is not asked. I can say again that I need nothing but I know that Boyfriends mother wouldn't settle for 'nothing' :P

I am sure that in some cases a wish-list may be a way for individuals to mindlessly buy for others without consideration or thought other then that gifting is standard and expected. However, in cases such as the one I experienced a wish-list can be a good starting point for those who may genuinely not be sure what I would want, possibly need, and would like to gather ideas. My wish list included things like 'colorful scarf' and 'knit gloves' as well as sweaters from X or Y shop in my size. It is also important to keep in mind my wish-list was hand-written on paper and not a list from a website in which someone could order from.

Do I think it's rude to not provide a wish-list? Not at all. Nor do I think it's inherently rude to ask for one. But if you are personally feeling as if it's being asked for as a way to avoid all thought on you as an individual that is your choice on how to handle it. Whether you choose to not provide one at all, provide one just to 'get it over with', or make a hand-written list of vague ideas like mine ('colored scarf' for example).

I still wear the colored scarf I received from last years Secret Santa! It's so incredibly ME and absolutely PERFECT that I couldn't believe someone could figure out it would have been what I wanted when I never even saw it before in my life. So I guess that's my little bit on how a wish-list doesn't have to be inherently rude or bad or a method to avoid thinking about others. I think how it's handled and the individuals are treated makes the difference.

saki:

--- Quote ---Do I think it's rude to not provide a wish-list? Not at all. Nor do I think it's inherently rude to ask for one. But if you are personally feeling as if it's being asked for as a way to avoid all thought on you as an individual that is your choice on how to handle it. Whether you choose to not provide one at all, provide one just to 'get it over with', or make a hand-written list of vague ideas like mine ('colored scarf' for example).

--- End quote ---

I'd be ok with supplying the sort of list you describe - in fact, that's kind of what I did do this year.  In previous years, I've supplied a list like yours - where I've said "I'd like a coloured scarf" type things but - alongside an Amazon list but it's been ignored utterly in favour of the Amazon list.  I think that's what makes me feel that it's really about how to avoid all thought.  My jaw actually fell open when I got my SIL's e-mail with "I've selected 6 things on Amazon that I'd like for Secret Santa, they add up to the exact amount we've set as the limit, so my Secret Santa doesn't have to do any work", it's like she feels that's the ideal way to do it.  Weirds me out.

Shoo:

--- Quote from: saki on November 23, 2012, 05:26:54 PM ---
--- Quote ---Do I think it's rude to not provide a wish-list? Not at all. Nor do I think it's inherently rude to ask for one. But if you are personally feeling as if it's being asked for as a way to avoid all thought on you as an individual that is your choice on how to handle it. Whether you choose to not provide one at all, provide one just to 'get it over with', or make a hand-written list of vague ideas like mine ('colored scarf' for example).

--- End quote ---

I'd be ok with supplying the sort of list you describe - in fact, that's kind of what I did do this year.  In previous years, I've supplied a list like yours - where I've said "I'd like a coloured scarf" type things but - alongside an Amazon list but it's been ignored utterly in favour of the Amazon list.  I think that's what makes me feel that it's really about how to avoid all thought.  My jaw actually fell open when I got my SIL's e-mail with "I've selected 6 things on Amazon that I'd like for Secret Santa, they add up to the exact amount we've set as the limit, so my Secret Santa doesn't have to do any work", it's like she feels that's the ideal way to do it.  Weirds me out.

--- End quote ---

If that's how it's done, then I have to ask what's the point?  Everybody can just take the money they'd have spent on someone else and just buy what they want for themselves.  If there's no thought going into the gift(s), then there is absolutely no reason to do a gift exchange, IMO.

I wouldn't like it one bit, just like you.


And besides that, your SIL chose multiple items adding up to the amount of the gift limit?  I don't know.  That just seems really pointless to me.  And a little bit crass too, if I'm honest.

saki:

--- Quote from: Shoo on November 23, 2012, 05:37:19 PM ---
--- Quote from: saki on November 23, 2012, 05:26:54 PM ---
--- Quote ---Do I think it's rude to not provide a wish-list? Not at all. Nor do I think it's inherently rude to ask for one. But if you are personally feeling as if it's being asked for as a way to avoid all thought on you as an individual that is your choice on how to handle it. Whether you choose to not provide one at all, provide one just to 'get it over with', or make a hand-written list of vague ideas like mine ('colored scarf' for example).

--- End quote ---

I'd be ok with supplying the sort of list you describe - in fact, that's kind of what I did do this year.  In previous years, I've supplied a list like yours - where I've said "I'd like a coloured scarf" type things but - alongside an Amazon list but it's been ignored utterly in favour of the Amazon list.  I think that's what makes me feel that it's really about how to avoid all thought.  My jaw actually fell open when I got my SIL's e-mail with "I've selected 6 things on Amazon that I'd like for Secret Santa, they add up to the exact amount we've set as the limit, so my Secret Santa doesn't have to do any work", it's like she feels that's the ideal way to do it.  Weirds me out.

--- End quote ---

If that's how it's done, then I have to ask what's the point?  Everybody can just take the money they'd have spent on someone else and just buy what they want for themselves.  If there's no thought going into the gift(s), then there is absolutely no reason to do a gift exchange, IMO.

I wouldn't like it one bit, just like you.


And besides that, your SIL chose multiple items adding up to the amount of the gift limit?  I don't know.  That just seems really pointless to me.  And a little bit crass too, if I'm honest.

--- End quote ---

Everyone other than that SIL provides an Amazon list that has enough items on it that you have a choice but, I don't know, even that feels a bit pointless to me?  I do sort of think that I'd prefer, at that point, just to spend the money on the things I picked out on Amazon rather than have someone else do that while I spend money on the things that they picked out on Amazon..

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