Author Topic: Christmas wish rudeness?  (Read 9392 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2012, 10:11:30 AM »
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

Sharnita

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2012, 10:18:29 AM »
I don't think a receipt is just about getting exactly what they want - it can also be to make sure a gift isn't defective.  IN this case, where the giver is a complete stranger and will have no further contact with the recipient a receipt seems especially wise.

Judah

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2012, 11:09:31 AM »
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

As usual, I agree with WillyNilly.  I look at it this way, if my own child asks for something I can't afford, I don't stress not being able to buy the item, I just get him things I can afford and that I know he will enjoy.  Kids, even older kids, often don't really understand how the cost of one item affects the rest of your budget. They don't understand that just because their friend's family can afford an iPad, that not every family can. And really, just because the kid didn't get the one item he asked for, doesn't mean his Christmas was any less joyful and fun. 
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yokozbornak

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2012, 11:30:03 AM »
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

I agree with this, and I think you were very thoughtful to pick him and buy him nice gifts.  Many kids don't get chosen because the gifts they request are beyond what many donors can afford.  I think the orgnaization would be wise to ask each child to write down a minimum of three gifts with a couple of them being reasonably priced.  I usually only spend about $150 each on my own children so there is no way I could spend $300 for a gaming system for a child I don't know.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 11:45:38 AM by yokozbornak »

JenJay

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2012, 11:39:25 AM »
I don't think you were wrong, I've done the same thing and my heart was in the right place. Then I had a conversation on another forum where several people said that they actually can and do intentionally choose those wishes and fulfill them. So, now I pass over those and choose wishes I can grant. I figure maybe someone else will come along and buy the kiddo the $$$ item they asked for, and if not, maybe they'll realize they shot a little too high and ask for something less expensive next year.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 11:49:45 AM by JenJay »

SiotehCat

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2012, 11:43:28 AM »
I don't think  you were rude on either count.  I personally never give gift receipts (I would for clothes, but I never give clothes as gifts, so...) I don't think Christmas gifts should be about getting the absolute exact thing you wanted, I think a gift is supposed to be a surprise that someone else picked out.  And I think kids who are too picky should learn to live with what they get not be catered to to encourage their pickiness. That's the way I was raised and I turned out ok (and actually I think I'm an excellent gift receiver, even things I never knew I wanted.  Its also honestly cured me of over pickiness and perfectionism - its ok if things don't match perfectly, etc.)

I also think no one was going to buy that boy a super expensive gift and he is lucky you took the time and attention to figure out something else age appropriate and generous to give him.

I used to be an "elf" for a Christmas gift fulfillment program at my old corporate job.  We got hundreds of letters from kids and handed them out to the employees to fill.  The letters were given to us through the Y, or Big Brothers Big Sisters and few other organizations and written in crayon.  Often a kid would ask for something expensive, and you'd see the item crossed out and an adult's handwritting in ballpoint pen filling in a more reasonable request.  So its be "I would like an iPod Harry Potter books". Clearly the organizations were vetting the requests.  I think its silly for an organization to not do so.  Even kids who are getting gifts from their parents get the talk about how Santa has to limit his budget to be able to give all the kids gifts.

I agree with this, and I think you were very throughtful to pick him and buy him nice gifts.  Many kids don't get chosen because the gifts they request are beyond what many donors can afford.  I think the orgnaization would be wise to ask each child to write down a minimum of three gifts with a couple of them being reasonably priced.  I usually only spend about $150 each on my own children so there is no way I could spend $300 for a gaming system for a child I don't know.

Then you don't pick the name of a child that only wants a gaming system. There are people that would/could spend that much money on one child. There were also other children that the OP could have chosen from.

If this is an older kid, he probably realizes that he is taking a risk by only asking for that one expensive item.

MariaE

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2012, 12:56:43 PM »
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.

I completely agree with this. Especially when it's for a person you don't know.
 
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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2012, 12:59:33 PM »
I did one of those trees this year, but the one we had here was for the local foster children and included a lot of "school uniform" requests (about half of our local public elementary schools require uniforms).
I feel bad now though. One of the ones I chose was for an eight year old, size 14 R khaki or navy pants. I got two pairs of pants for him - one of each color, and it never even occurred to me to get him a gift receipt. I feel horrible now.  :-\



Outdoor Girl

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2012, 01:05:48 PM »
I would include gift receipts so the item could be exchanged within the store.  I wouldn't include the purchase receipt because cynical me would think that the gift would be returned for cash that the kid would never see again.

But I don't think you were rude to not include the receipt.

Nor do I think you were rude to buy something else age appropriate rather than one big ticket item out of your budget.  If you were the first one to pick and there were lots of other choices, then, yes, bypassing one that you don't intend to fulfill would be the right thing to do.  But if it's getting late and near the bottom of the barrel in terms of choice for the buyer?  For the child receiving the gift(s), I think it is better to get something than nothing.
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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2012, 01:20:28 PM »
So what happens if the kid asks for a $300. gaming system and no one buys it?  Does that kid go without anything for Xmas?  I doubt the charity is going to spend that much on one present, so what happens to that kid?  No Christmas at all?

OP, your kindness and generosity are heartwarming to me.  Good on you for sponsoring not only one but two children this Holiday season.  I think you did just right sending the gift receipts for the clothing but not the toys.  Even if the clothing is returned for cash for something the parents want, the kids will be able to keep the toys. 

I don't think you were rude for taking this boys name even though you couldn't afford to buy him the expensive item he wanted.  There were only 3-4 names left, and I am afraid he would have received nothing at all if you hadn't taken his name.

Don't we say here that wish lists are guidelines and no one should expect to receive everything (or anything) on their list?  Why does this change now?  Because it is a charity or because it is a kid (or maybe both)?

mrkitty

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2012, 01:21:19 PM »
My wish is to wake up tomorrow morning looking like Elizabeth Taylor, circa 1952. However, as disappointed as I am, I recognize that probably is not going to happen. Wanting something is not the same as being able to guarantee that something.

Also, nobody is entitled to a gift or the fulfillment of a wish, no matter how deserving that person is, or, for that matter, however much someone else wants to gratify that wish.

Weeble wobble, I don't think you ruined the child's Christmas at all. Rather, I think you gave him an even better gift: the chance to mature and realize that you just can't get everything you want. I think he's very fortunate that someone cared enough to choose his ornament at all and tried to give him something, especially when you went through the effort, care and expense to provide him with thoughtful gifts that were within your ability to provide. I'm guessing there were other ornaments on that tree that weren't chosen at all because there simply were no takers.

I'm sure the little boy might be disappointed to not get that Kindle he wanted. But then again, I think he'll also get over it. We all have to.

I didn't get that pony I wanted from my parents when I was five. I survived. He will, too. And, just because he didn't get that Kindle he wants this Christmas, it doesn't mean that he will never get one. It just means that every whim we have can't possibly gratified every moment we have them. It's character development - and that's the gift that keeps on giving.

Don't feel bad at all. You did a good thing.  Blessings to you for your kindness and generosity in action and thought this season.
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Yvaine

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2012, 01:44:39 PM »
Weeble wobble, I don't think you ruined the child's Christmas at all. Rather, I think you gave him an even better gift: the chance to mature and realize that you just can't get everything you want.

It's one thing to give the child a gift within one's means, and I'm sure the OP's gifts are awesome and that he will enjoy them, and I don't think his Christmas will be ruined. But the idea of seeing this as a "lesson" to him sits really uneasily with me. It's true that we don't always get what we want, but it strikes me as condescending to suggest that not getting what one wants is better.

And if he's poor enough to be on that tree, I'm sure he already knows you can't have everything you want all the time--I'm sure he's learned that lesson a hundred times over. I'm not going to fault him for putting down a pie-in-the-sky wish when asked what he really wanted. It was supposed to be a wish list, not a character lesson.

mrkitty

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2012, 01:51:08 PM »
I'm not trying to imply that the OP was in any way, shape or form intending to give the child a character lesson. But the truth is, unintended character lessons happen all the time.

I was simply attempting to point out an unintended outcome of the situation in what I was rather hoping was in a positive light. He may not feel that way now, but years from now may reflect on the experience and appreciate the fact that even though he didn't get what he specifically wanted, nonetheless a complete stranger cared enough to give him gifts for no reason other than they cared. I apologize that it came out wrong and caused offense. That was not my intention.

Bottom line: it's the thought that counts. And maybe that's what he will gain from the experience.


***edited by mr kitty for completeness***
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 01:55:45 PM by mrkitty »
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Yvaine

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2012, 01:58:58 PM »
I'm not trying to imply that the OP was in any way, shape or form intending to give the child a character lesson. But the truth is, unintended character lessons happen all the time.

I was simply attempting to point out an unintended outcome of the situation in what I was rather hoping was in a positive light. He may not feel that way now, but years from now may reflect on the experience and appreciate the fact that even though he didn't get what he specifically wanted, nonetheless a complete stranger cared enough to give him gifts for no reason other than they cared. I apologize that it came out wrong and caused offense. That was not my intention.

Bottom line: it's the thought that counts. And maybe that's what he will gain from the experience.


***edited by mr kitty for completeness***

Ah, gotcha. Sorry I misunderstood. Unintended lessons do happen all the time and he might well take a valuable one from this. I think I'm just touchy because of a whole different argument in a whole different venue about charity and poor kids and accidentally brought that emotion here.

kudeebee

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Re: Christmas wish rudeness?
« Reply #29 on: December 20, 2012, 02:02:05 PM »
You weren't rude at all by not getting every single item on his wish list.  The list is just what it is called--a "wish" list, it is not a "you must buy it or else" list.

I am sure there is a reason that his was one of the last 3 or 4 on the tree and it was probably due to the request for a high dollar item.  Most people cannot afford that or are not willing to spend more on someone they don't know than they would on their on children/family.  Is there someone out there that can afford to?  Most certainly and many already do.

When I pick up a wish list from a tree or organization, I am always told (in person or by a flyer) to get what items I can from the list and return them by such and such a date.  I know in many instances, items that are not gotten--and are considered essential (such as some clothing/school items) can be provided by the organizations.  Sometimes I am able to fulfil all the wishes, often I can't. 

I really like the organizations that split up the requests so that one person doesn't feel hesitant to take a list due to the high cost/amount of items listed.  This allows so many more persons to participate or allows those who can to take several lists.  In this instance, I think the clothes should have been listed on one wish list and the electronic on another. 

Our church sponsors children and/or families and encourages people to go together to fulfill a wish list as they expect the lists to be filled--none are super crazy, but can get $$$ if family size is large.  The lists often include things like a "good, used bike" or "gently used household items (listing specifics).  Sometimes one family can do a single wish list, but most often people go together so the lists are completed.  Occasionally some lists aren't taken due to the total high dollar cost--in my opinion, these lists should be broken down into smaller units.  I believe these are filled out of church mission funds or by the church staff as their contribution.

As for receipts, sometimes I include, sometimes I don't.  Depends on what else is on the receipt or what the item is.  Right or wrong, that is how I do it.  In the past, you would hear of parents who would take back the kids gifts for money to be used on themselves or for liquor/cigarettes and I remember a few years where receipts were not encouraged for this reason--or removed (had to turn in gifts unwrapped).  I think on the flyer it said something like "receipts not needed for donations" so it didn't specifically come out and say that, but I knew people who worked in the organization.  I think this is better now that most stores give back a store credit rather than cash, though parents can still use the store credit for other things in some stores.  (And for those who think it doesn't happen, it does. I have students who have told me stories about this happening to them when they were littler and they received gifts this way.)
« Last Edit: December 20, 2012, 02:05:22 PM by kudeebee »