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?