Author Topic: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"  (Read 3263 times)

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Softly Spoken

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Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« on: December 19, 2012, 08:39:59 PM »
I am in a bit of a pickle and I am looking for help on how to communicate my feelings.

I have an awesome neighbor couple next door who have known me all my life. They love to go on trips and bring back local goodies in exchange for me keeping an eye on their home while they are gone. They usually give me jams and pancake mixes etc. - gift basket stuff that I can donate or regift if I don't use it all or it isn't to my taste. I've always been happy they think of me, but now they've upped their gifting and I don't know what to do.

They have started sending me specialty desserts from those gourmet magazines that come in the mail. For Thanksgiving they sent me and my 3 brothers a cheesecake sampler. It came in a big Styrofoam box (dry ice etc.) for protection, which was very hard to get rid of since I try to be earth friendly and my trash can is small for economic reasons. :( Now today I got another box from them - a huge cake. I remember it from last year - it is too rich and sweet and the four of us will not make a dent in it! Since the company sends their catalog with the food, I looked up the cake because I didn't know what flavor it was from looking at the outside - unfortunately now I also know how much they spent on it - I wish they had saved their money!  :-[ Or, if they were willing to spend that much on us, given us a practical gift card. :-\

So to sum up: I feel it is a waste of money and food for them to keep giving me and my brothers these decadent desserts. I am touched and grateful for their generosity, but their goodwill is coming in the form of a terribly impractical gift. If we loved it and ate it all maybe it wouldn't matter as much, but it is on my conscience that they spend so much on food we can't finish (or don't even really like). Since it is perishable it can't be accepted graciously and regifted.

When I call or write to thank them, how can I say "Thank you for the gift" while tactfully steering them away from giving us similar gifts when the next major holiday comes? I don't want to hurt their feelings and appear ungrateful, but I don't think they would send us the desserts if they knew we weren't crazy about them. I'm afraid maybe we were "too" thankful last year and they mistook our polite enthusiasm for a desire to receive these desserts regularly. I want to be nice without digging myself any deeper. Any ideas about what I can say about the desserts to give my neighbors a neutral reason not to send them? I've thought about saying I'm going gluten free but I don't want to lie and that would just put the pressure of eating the desserts on my bros. ::)

I'd honestly take a plate of homemade cookies over an overpriced store bought cake any day...

Help?
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Sharnita

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 08:46:25 PM »
I think to some extent you are imposing your values on them.  You refer to storebought desserts as being overpriced compared to cookies baked at home but to other people the "price" of time, effort, even space for ingredients in the case of homemade makes storebought the better value.

If I was worried about finishing the dessert I might share with people at work or something.  I don't think i'd object to their form of thank you.

Julian

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 08:58:30 PM »
Re the Styrofoam boxes - they make brilliant planter boxes, so rather than dispose of them, maybe reuse them instead.

As for the cake, I'd invite them in for coffee and cake, and send them home with a goodly chunk of the leftovers.  Mention gently how much you appreciate it, but it's 'just too much cake' for your household to eat.  (Is there such a thing as too much cake?   ;D)  They may well rethink their gifting habits.


mj

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 09:01:27 PM »
I think to some extent you are imposing your values on them.  You refer to storebought desserts as being overpriced compared to cookies baked at home but to other people the "price" of time, effort, even space for ingredients in the case of homemade makes storebought the better value.

If I was worried about finishing the dessert I might share with people at work or something.  I don't think i'd object to their form of thank you.

This. Completely.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 10:16:29 PM »
I think to some extent you are imposing your values on them.  You refer to storebought desserts as being overpriced compared to cookies baked at home but to other people the "price" of time, effort, even space for ingredients in the case of homemade makes storebought the better value.

If I was worried about finishing the dessert I might share with people at work or something.  I don't think i'd object to their form of thank you.

Yes I understand the value of store bought as effort/time saver and less of a hassle, but here's my problem: cake at the local grocery store = $8-$20. The cake they bought = over $50(!). I am really not comfortable with them spending that much, especially on a perishable item. I am now also panicking about the etiquette of gift reciprocity because I hadn't planned to give them anything except a heartfelt card because that is all I can afford this year. :(

I wouldn't have posted about this on here except unless I get some really inspired suggestions I literally have no one else to give the cake to. And the neighbors who gave it to me? They don't like sweets!!  :-\ So I can't share it with them to thank them as people are suggesting (great suggestion otherwise!). And even if I found a way to get rid of it, I am dreading them going to the expense again next year. Is there any way to suggest (or subtly beg) they not go to so much trouble? :-[
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

CaptainObvious

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 10:40:58 PM »
I think to some extent you are imposing your values on them.  You refer to storebought desserts as being overpriced compared to cookies baked at home but to other people the "price" of time, effort, even space for ingredients in the case of homemade makes storebought the better value.

If I was worried about finishing the dessert I might share with people at work or something.  I don't think i'd object to their form of thank you.

Yes I understand the value of store bought as effort/time saver and less of a hassle, but here's my problem: cake at the local grocery store = $8-$20. The cake they bought = over $50(!). I am really not comfortable with them spending that much, especially on a perishable item. I am now also panicking about the etiquette of gift reciprocity because I hadn't planned to give them anything except a heartfelt card because that is all I can afford this year. :(

I wouldn't have posted about this on here except unless I get some really inspired suggestions I literally have no one else to give the cake to. And the neighbors who gave it to me? They don't like sweets!!  :-\ So I can't share it with them to thank them as people are suggesting (great suggestion otherwise!). And even if I found a way to get rid of it, I am dreading them going to the expense again next year. Is there any way to suggest (or subtly beg) they not go to so much trouble? :-[

They gave you the cake as a thank-you, you don't have to reciprocate. What does it matter what they spent, they felt comfortable with it. Take the cake to a shelter or a church if you don't want it.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 10:46:15 PM »
I think to some extent you are imposing your values on them.  You refer to storebought desserts as being overpriced compared to cookies baked at home but to other people the "price" of time, effort, even space for ingredients in the case of homemade makes storebought the better value.

If I was worried about finishing the dessert I might share with people at work or something.  I don't think i'd object to their form of thank you.

Yes I understand the value of store bought as effort/time saver and less of a hassle, but here's my problem: cake at the local grocery store = $8-$20. The cake they bought = over $50(!). I am really not comfortable with them spending that much, especially on a perishable item. I am now also panicking about the etiquette of gift reciprocity because I hadn't planned to give them anything except a heartfelt card because that is all I can afford this year. :(

I wouldn't have posted about this on here except unless I get some really inspired suggestions I literally have no one else to give the cake to. And the neighbors who gave it to me? They don't like sweets!!  :-\ So I can't share it with them to thank them as people are suggesting (great suggestion otherwise!). And even if I found a way to get rid of it, I am dreading them going to the expense again next year. Is there any way to suggest (or subtly beg) they not go to so much trouble? :-[

They gave you the cake as a thank-you, you don't have to reciprocate. What does it matter what they spent, they felt comfortable with it. Take the cake to a shelter or a church if you don't want it.

Okay good point thank you. I don't have a shelter close by and I don't know about the church...Anyone want to help brainstorm who to share the cake with? (It is a big sucker) I think maybe some to my bank...2/4s to give away...
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Sharnita

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 11:06:54 PM »
Like I said, if you or your brothers could take it to work.  If there is a staff at the local library or fire dept. If there is a school near you maybe donate it as a treat for the teachers or even the custodial staff (they work hard and don't always benefit from the treats). Your pastor(s), an assisted living facility ...

doodlemor

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 11:24:28 PM »
Like I said, if you or your brothers could take it to work.  If there is a staff at the local library or fire dept. If there is a school near you maybe donate it as a treat for the teachers or even the custodial staff (they work hard and don't always benefit from the treats). Your pastor(s), an assisted living facility ...

Nursing homes have a staff room also, and might appreciate a treat.

katycoo

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 12:46:52 AM »
Take to round to their place for a coffee date.  it doesn't matter if its been half eaten - that's your point!

Hi neighbour!  I thought you might like to taste this lovely cake you gave!  Its so huge I need to share it as much as possible as I can't possibly eat it all!  I feel terrible wasting food.

Danika

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 03:17:00 AM »
I don't know where you live, but for me, donating the extra food would be at least as wasteful as throwing it in the trash. I'd have to spend time finding a nursing home, calling to see if they want a cake in a box that might or might not be sealed (it's a health risk for them to take food from strangers), and then getting in my car and driving to drop it off. (Not to mention that I have two little kids, so it's hard to carry them or hold their hands while carrying boxes of food.) For me, it would waste gasoline and time. I don't live close enough to anywhere where I could donate food that easily.

I'd try to be honest with the gift-givers but not come across as "Here's what you should do next time." I'd try to be subtle but still honest.

I'd say/write "I profusely thank you for your gifts. You are extremely generous..."

And then add what katycoo said:

Its so huge I need to share it as much as possible as I can't possibly eat it all!  I feel terrible wasting food.

and for added measure "...It makes me feel guilty because I just can't eat it all."

And then if they give it to you again next year, you'll know they realize you can't eat it all and they're still giving it to you anyway.

ClaireC79

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2012, 05:40:53 AM »
You say they aren't keen on desserts themselves - is it possible they've been gifted X amount to this company and are giving it to you save 'wasting' it?

ccnumber4

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2012, 09:05:24 AM »
Do none of the four of you work?  Or have friends?  Surely one of you has a friend or an acquaintance who would appreciate the cake.  I do not think there is anyway you can bring to their attention that you are unhappy with their gift without hurting some feelings.  And I'm sure you know you definitely can't suggest they get you a gift card for the same amount.  How often do they gift you with food, a few times a year?  I think you should let this one go. 

Harriet Jones

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 09:23:02 AM »
If it's something you're willing to eat, just not all at once, why don't you put it in the freezer?  The icing might suffer a little, but it would still be edible.

Yvaine

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Re: Help wording a thanks w/ a "no more please!"
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 09:52:18 AM »
You say they aren't keen on desserts themselves - is it possible they've been gifted X amount to this company and are giving it to you save 'wasting' it?

Or maybe they actually work at the gourmet food company and get it all at a discount  ;D