Author Topic: Christmas wish rudeness?  (Read 8744 times)

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weeblewobble

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Christmas wish rudeness?
« on: December 20, 2012, 07:43:14 AM »
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?
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 07:49:22 AM by weeblewobble »

MorgnsGrl

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 07:48:16 AM »
I don't think you were rude! What if the kid had asked for a car? Or a brand new laptop? I think the child's parent/guardian ought to have vetted his "list" and suggested he request something else in addition to the very costly gift.

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 07:48:47 AM »
I guess I am a little confused.  The trees I have seen have an "ornament" that specify a child and what he wants. If you looked at an ornament and saw he was asking for X, took it off the tree with the intention to get him something else, then I do think you were rude.  Why not find an ornament where the request fell more in line with what you intended?  As far as gift receipts for toys, I think they are probably wise.  After all - a brand new toy could turn out to be broken or of poor qualitiy when they really get it out of its packaging.

weeblewobble

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 07:51:17 AM »
They were among the last few ornaments on the tree.  I took them, looking at the gender and age ranges.  I didn't notice the item on his wish list until I got to the car.  But no, I didn't pick it with the intention of not getting him what he wanted. 
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 08:03:26 AM by weeblewobble »

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2012, 07:51:46 AM »
I don't think you were rude! What if the kid had asked for a car? Or a brand new laptop? I think the child's parent/guardian ought to have vetted his "list" and suggested he request something else in addition to the very costly gift.

This apparenly went through an organization, though. right? A church/charity/somebody did clear it apparently.  And maybe if it was left on the tree somebody else would have been willing to provide  it.

ETA:  I think it is probably wise to take a moment to examine the ornaments closely to make sure you are comfortable filling requests. For another family it might not be cost but might be that it is a leather belt and they don't do leather.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 08:03:37 AM by Sharnita »

weeblewobble

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2012, 08:07:35 AM »
You may be right.  On the other hand, considering that the ornament was among the last few on the tree (I think there were 3-4) his request may be what kept someone else from choosing his ornament. My intentions were in the right place, but I didn't think it through when I chose the ornament.

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2012, 08:11:20 AM »
Oh, yeah. your intentions were spot on.  I guess if his ornament didn't get chosen because his request was unreasonable then he would have "self vetted". It makes me wonder if any of the few other ornaments were also problematic for people.

cicero

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2012, 08:16:57 AM »
I think including receipts is a good idea. I always do. This way, if the recipient gets two identical or similar gifts, he can trade one for something else. or if he got it in blue and actually prefers purple, or whatever.

I don't know if it's rude to *not* include the receipts, but I guess I don't understand why you wouldn't.


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weeblewobble

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2012, 08:19:53 AM »
Oh, yeah. your intentions were spot on.  I guess if his ornament didn't get chosen because his request was unreasonable then he would have "self vetted". It makes me wonder if any of the few other ornaments were also problematic for people.


Sadly, I think it was because they were all older children. Babies and toddlers are cute and easy to shop for. The girl we chose is 12, which is a difficult age to shop for.  But she had some interesting, reasonable wishes that were relatively easy to fulfill.

I like the word, "self-vetted," by the way. :)

Margo

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 08:49:57 AM »
I don't think it was rude. 

I would however consider mentioning it to the organisation which runs the Project, to as whether they vet the requests at all.

Nor do I think that not including gift receipts was rude.

dawbs

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2012, 09:01:55 AM »
I think it's a bad idea to not include a gift-receipt for toys.
Because duplication of toys still kinda sucks as a kid.   And even with using your kid's ideas as a guide, you may end up being completely off base in his interests.

I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

That said, once you had the tag, you did what you could with what you had budgeted, nothing wrong w/ that.

SiotehCat

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2012, 09:10:33 AM »
I don't think it was rude not to include gift receipts. I think it would have been nice to do, since you don't know what he likes, but I wouldn't call it rude.

I do think it was rude to pick his name and not get something from his wish list, even if it's only one item long. By taking his name, he lost all chances of getting that one thing he wanted.

Yvaine

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2012, 09:36:57 AM »
I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

I'm going to agree with this. If the wishlists are visible when you pick which kids to give to, it's best to check. There may have been someone with a higher budget and/or a desire to splurge hugely, who could have granted this wish. Or, I wonder what the organization does with ungranted wishes--does anyone here have experience with them from the other side? I'm wondering if the org ever grants wishes themselves, if no one picks that ornament.

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2012, 09:39:23 AM »
I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

I'm going to agree with this. If the wishlists are visible when you pick which kids to give to, it's best to check. There may have been someone with a higher budget and/or a desire to splurge hugely, who could have granted this wish. Or, I wonder what the organization does with ungranted wishes--does anyone here have experience with them from the other side? I'm wondering if the org ever grants wishes themselves, if no one picks that ornament.

There is also the chance a couple of people/families could tema up, somebody might have a job where they get a discount on a pricey item, etc.

Coley

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2012, 10:05:11 AM »
I also think it would be wiser, in the future, to check the tags before you take them--it's hard for the organizations to 'vet' these things--children are often told they ware asking 'santa' for a gift, so they shoot for the moon and the organizers have little contact w/ the kids.

I'm going to agree with this. If the wishlists are visible when you pick which kids to give to, it's best to check. There may have been someone with a higher budget and/or a desire to splurge hugely, who could have granted this wish. Or, I wonder what the organization does with ungranted wishes--does anyone here have experience with them from the other side? I'm wondering if the org ever grants wishes themselves, if no one picks that ornament.

Around here, the organization might contact a local business to see if they would be willing to donate the item on the wishlist. More than likely, a business would take care of it. It might be difficult for the organization to grant wishes themselves because many are nonprofits on tight budgets.

I've organized several such sponsorship programs. This is somewhat O/T for the OP, but in one program, we matched clients who had developmental disabilities with sponsors. Our clients were adults, and most had no family contact, so the holiday sponsorship program would be the only bit of Christmas they'd get. Some of the sponsors were groups from local schools. One high school group seriously missed the mark. Although we'd provided wishlists for the clients, the group didn't use the lists. When they dropped off their donations, the items they provided were very used, like old stained sweatshirts and half-used bottles of shampoo. We couldn't possibly have given our clients those items for Christmas. Several of the staff pooled our own money and provided gifts for those clients.