Author Topic: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!  (Read 8528 times)

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esposita

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #15 on: November 22, 2013, 09:50:23 PM »
I think they erred in asking you what you wanted and then disregarding it.

But I am one of those who dislike giving them. Gift-giving is not about the item; its about the relationship and I love the challenge of thinking of something that my loved one would enjoy. I don't like just handing them cash or a card so they can get something they'd enjoy, its like the middle man of gifts.

All that being said, lol, I like getting gift cards because I know that other people don't feel the same as I do about them. I don't transpose my gift-giving hang ups onto them and think "ew, they gave me a gift card, they must not like me..." I also do occasionally (like this year) buy gift cards because its the most practical option and I know that other people really do enjoy them, and because I figure they are part of an experience (a date night in this case) as well.

Peppergirl

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #16 on: November 22, 2013, 10:39:46 PM »
^^ This!

I have no problem with people who don't like to give gift cards or certificates.  They feel they're 'impersonal'.  Fine, no problem.

So then, guess what?  Don't ASK me what I want, and then say 'oh, well that's no FUN' when I respond.  I find that incredibly rude. 

If you're close enough to me to know I like gift cards, but YOU (general you) don't like to give gift cards, then get me what you think I'll like, but go through the pretense of asking me, only to then tell me you don't like to buy gift cards?  No. Very, very rude.

Ugh.  Sorry for the slight rant.  This particular topic frustrates me SO much.  :(

Deetee

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #17 on: November 22, 2013, 10:51:44 PM »
I think there is some thoughtfulness needed on both sides.

I will start by saying that I am not a fan of gift cards or cash in reciprocal gift giving arrangements. For children,  teachers, or for weddings they can work very well but between two people of equal finances I hardly see the point.

When someone asks for gift ideas, I think the gracious thing to do is respond with a range of gifts. In my ideal world the list of gifts include a range of prices and a range of stores and a range of tangible and intangible items.

So a list may include
-coffee beans
-fruit scented soaps
-new softball glove
-dress shirts
-gift card to Electronic R Us
-fuzzy dice
-new slippers
-yoda bobblehead
-new car
etc....

Buying gifts is fun. Buying gift cards is boring! But sometimes it's nice to know that you have that to fall back on.

Peppergirl

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #18 on: November 22, 2013, 11:00:42 PM »
^^ Very good point.  I think I'll use this the next time me and one of my anti-gift card relatives do this 'what do you want?' dance this year.  >:D

How about:  "You know I'm a fan of gift cards, but I know you're not - so why don't you surprise me?" <-- Said in a positive, upbeat way.

peaches

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #19 on: November 22, 2013, 11:29:03 PM »
When someone asks me what I want for a gift, I might respond "I would really enjoy a gift certificate to _______ because I love their fashions/kitchen gadgets/book selection" - BUT I always add "Or surprise me!".

That way, if the person thinks gift certificates are too impersonal, they can go in a different direction. And besides, I really mean it.  I love surprises.

Some people when they ask this question are looking for specifics. My MIL falls into this category - she asks her grandkids what they want, and she wants to know the item, brand, which stores carry it, etc. Partly this is because kids change in their interests all of the time, and it's hard for her to keep up with what each grandchild is "into".

Others, when they ask the question, are looking for areas of interest to you, or a general idea for a gift, then they would choose something within that range. These are people who enjoy picking out gifts, like for gifts to be personal and/or want there to be an element of surprise.

By now, I know which relatives are in which category. And I'm happy to go along with either type, when I'm buying the gift or when I'm the recipient.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 11:33:34 PM by peaches »

Promise

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #20 on: November 22, 2013, 11:34:09 PM »
In some ways I agree that both people are a part of the gift giving ritual. There should be enjoyment on both ends, not drudgery. So, if you know they want to get you something tangible, give them some ideas. For instance, do you like spiced nuts or a dried fruit basket or special chocolates? Do a walk through at a Costco or someplace special and note a few interesting things in their price range that you might like. Then they can go and get it. You like it, and they feel good about you liking something.

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #21 on: November 23, 2013, 01:11:26 AM »
One thing I've learned from this board is that people have differing ideas about things (like gift cards), and neither is right or wrong.  It's not worth getting upset about.

Have you considered building an amazon.com wish list and referring people there?
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

BC12

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #22 on: November 23, 2013, 04:41:26 AM »
One question - and this is genuine because I really don't understand - why don't some people want to give gift vouchers? Especially if it is what the recipient wanted?

I'm kind of okay with giving gift cards or cash for birthdays. But for Christmas, the gift exchange is part of the tradition in my family. After dinner, we pass around gifts, open them, fawn over them, ask where they were bought, etc. It's a whole thing and it's fun. I'll never forget how last year we somehow all got each other gift cards. We all sat down after dinner and coldly passed around envelopes containing equal amounts. Sure, we all wanted gift cards. Who doesn't? It's like money. But what ended up happening was we all basically redistributed X dollars amongst ourselves. It wasn't that fun.


peaches

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #23 on: November 23, 2013, 04:50:09 AM »
One question - and this is genuine because I really don't understand - why don't some people want to give gift vouchers? Especially if it is what the recipient wanted?

I'm kind of okay with giving gift cards or cash for birthdays. But for Christmas, the gift exchange is part of the tradition in my family. After dinner, we pass around gifts, open them, fawn over them, ask where they were bought, etc. It's a whole thing and it's fun. I'll never forget how last year we somehow all got each other gift cards. We all sat down after dinner and coldly passed around envelopes containing equal amounts. Sure, we all wanted gift cards. Who doesn't? It's like money. But what ended up happening was we all basically redistributed X dollars amongst ourselves. It wasn't that fun.

Yeah, I can see that happening.

We like gift cards in our family. But when I buy one for someone, I like to get something "real" to go with it. It could be a small box of fancy chocolates, or a book or DVD, or a cute piece of costume jewelry; I just like to get something physical to go along with the G.C.

Peppergirl

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #24 on: November 23, 2013, 06:40:01 AM »
We are a gift card family (most of us) with 'real' gifts peppered in for good measure.

This year, however, my mother is very tired, having just battled through chemo for ovarian cancer.  She's doing great, but is still worn out.

Anyway, she recently said to me "Ok - I'm trying to scale down the list and make it easier.  How about cash for you?"  ;D :-*

Needless to say, I quite graciously advised her cash is ALWAYS appreciated.  ;D

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #25 on: November 23, 2013, 07:23:51 AM »
It's all in the intention. My family doesn't generally do gift cards, but my brother (a teacher) used to do book tokens/bookshop gift cards when my children were small, having established with me ahead of time that I would make Going To The Bookshop into a proper outing (no fitting it around other errands that didn't interest children, no nagging at them to hurry up, they could choose what they wanted and I wouldn't argue unless they were trying to buy something borderline illegal, hot chocolate and cake in the coffee shop afterwards). My sister on one occasion gave me a gift card because for a month either side of my birthday she was working stupid hours miles from shops and without internet access, but she spelled out that I wasn't to buy household stuff with it, I was to spend it on myself, not on the children, and on a Genuine Treat, like the lipstick brand or face cream that I normally pass by as too expensive, and afterwards I had to tell her what she had got me.

That same sister gives the Elder Chick a supermarket gift card. He's a student, and her instruction to him is that while he can spend it on own brand pasta and cheap toilet roll if he needs to, she would like him to get something to make himself feel good, whether one packet of expensive biscuits, or an evening's worth of nibbles and snacks for him and his friends on the Dr Who DVD marathon.

My FIL gives him cash and while it's always welcome, both the Chicks know perfectly well that it's because Grandad has no idea what they need or want, and isn't interested in finding out. The Chicks say all that's polite but there's no real warmth on either side. I used to insist that they telephone later to tell Grandad what they had bought, but he wasn't interested in that either and wouldn't maintain the conversation with them.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is that sometimes a gift card is a gift and sometimes it's not.

BigBadBetty

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2013, 09:05:50 AM »
One question - and this is genuine because I really don't understand - why don't some people want to give gift vouchers? Especially if it is what the recipient wanted?

I'm kind of okay with giving gift cards or cash for birthdays. But for Christmas, the gift exchange is part of the tradition in my family. After dinner, we pass around gifts, open them, fawn over them, ask where they were bought, etc. It's a whole thing and it's fun. I'll never forget how last year we somehow all got each other gift cards. We all sat down after dinner and coldly passed around envelopes containing equal amounts. Sure, we all wanted gift cards. Who doesn't? It's like money. But what ended up happening was we all basically redistributed X dollars amongst ourselves. It wasn't that fun.

I agree. We had a year like that. I felt we should have just skipped gifts. It really sucked the fun out the gift exchange. I felt like we could have each taken a $20 out of our wallet and passed to the person on the right to save time.

What's the problem of asking for the items that you were going to buy with the gift certificates? Most places you can exchange it if it doesn't fit.

MommyPenguin

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #27 on: November 23, 2013, 09:35:01 AM »
My mom is a little like your mom/sister, in that she really loves buying gifts, and so the fun of getting a gift is part of the gift to *her* in a way.  I keep this in mind, and if she asks for something for me, I try to come up with something fun.  Even though I do really enjoy gift cards that I get to spend how I want.  :)  I asked her for something a bit boring this year (printer cartridges), and then came up with a better idea (a LEGO set) and gave her that idea, and she's much happier with it.  :)

She does like to do gift cards, but usually in small amounts and going *with* a gift.  For example, a few years ago, she and my dad bought me a Kindle and gave me a small Amazon giftcard to go with it.  That sort of thing.  She also sometimes likes giving the kids a gift card for their birthday to a frozen yogurt or ice cream place, with the idea that we can celebrate as a family (this is on top of their regular gift).

I would never be able to convince her to donate to their school supply fund, or to savings bonds or something, because that's no fun for her.  She wants to buy toys.  So I will just have to sell/donate some older toys someday before we are overrun.  :)

*inviteseller

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2013, 09:36:59 AM »
My parents and my younger DD's grandparents always give cash for Christmas, but what they do is give it to me early and I go out and buy what the girls like/need, wrap them, and put their names on the gifts.  My dad was sick for the last 3 years (first Christmas without him  :'( ) and before that he just wasn't sure, but would always pick up books for them too and younger DD's grandparents are in their 80's and live 5 hours away so it is easier to do it this way..and they get a video of the girls opening up the generous gifts.  When they do get gift cards their relatives, we make a fun day of shopping with them and send pictures of them with their 'gifts' they picked out.  It is all in how you approach the gift card/cash issue.

Clockwork Banana

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2013, 09:40:33 AM »
Free Range Hippie Chick:

I think the book token with dedicated outing is awesome.  What a great way to ensure that reading is a treat, not a chore!  And good for you for keeping the terms of the gift.  I know it is often said that gifts should never have strings attached, but your examples prove that there are never hard and fast rules in etiquette.