Author Topic: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!  (Read 8590 times)

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Brisvegasgal

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But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« on: November 22, 2013, 05:26:40 PM »
I need some help with this situation because I'm so upset about I'm struggling to stay polite. Both my Mum & sister asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I replied asking for a gift voucher for my favourite clothing store. Their response (bear in mind they weren't together when responding) but that's boring! It's no fun for me to get you a voucher. I'll just get you whatever I want to.

So my response was, if that doesn't work for you, then I'd really like you to donate money to my favourite charity. Their response...eeewwww (my 46 yr old sister actually said that) that's not a present and that's even more boring for me. Gifts are as much about the giver as the recipient and I'm not going to give you something that boring.

So now I'm asking for some help from you. I've tried a few of the usual phrases but need some others.

Thanks!

LadyL

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2013, 05:29:23 PM »
What is your goal? To get them to give you the kind of gift you want, to not exchange gifts at all this year...? I will say that some people really like to give something tangible and don't like giving gift cards or cash. And asking for charity donations can be a bit complicated - what if the charity you support goes against the gift giver's principles?

One option would be to ask for a specific item, or type of item, from your favorite clothing store - with a gift receipt in case it doesn't fit. Then you can choose whether to keep it or return it for store credit. Another option is to ask for something small and tangible (i.e. a nice snow globe, scented candles, etc.) plus a gift card.

Lynn2000

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2013, 05:51:06 PM »
I agree this would be frustrating. You think, but you asked what *I* wanted... ?? I think they could have been much more polite while conveying a similar message, if what they really wanted was to shop for and give you a tangible thing as well/instead. Or, they could have nodded at your request and then been creative with it, like by putting the gift voucher inside a thing.

I agree with LadyL, decide on your goal first. It seems they aren't going to get you exactly what you want, so maybe you can salvage the situation and get a smaller gift voucher with a thing you also kind of want, or ask for gift receipts for everything and take them back if you don't like them.

Or, maybe you could say cheerfully, okay, you guys take a guess, and get me something you think is fun. They'll have fun doing it, and then if you don't like it, you can trash/donate it later. And maybe spend less on them this year, if you think you'll resent spending the money when they were so rude in response to your suggestions that THEY asked for. Kind of try to put the situation back in the positive column, in the spirit of the holidays and all.
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Clockwork Banana

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2013, 06:19:28 PM »
I agree that the charity request can be quite complicated on a number of fronts - ease of donation, belief compatibility, lack of the 'fun' of shopping et. al.

On the voucher front, I also agree that if they asked what you wanted, and that is it, they should take it with good grace.  However, it does seem like your mother and sister like shopping, (for some strange reason:-)) and vouchers do not fill some need.

Is there anything you can think of that they can purchase, and that you would enjoy, that does not involve personal taste or size limitations?  Exotic chocolates or coffee that you normally would not purchase for yourself?  For an example, (granted I bought it for myself) I love chai.  I purchase the bags and when I am feeling flush, half-decent loose.  But last year I went to one of the specialty stores and spent what felt like a fortune (>$20) on a small package of the real thing.  It was a wonderful treat while it lasted.

Another idea is electronics, like a cassette to MP3 converter that is not essential, but you could then deal with all that awesome music you have in that box that never gets played anymore?  Ok, I am totally dating myself with that one, and I have no idea your age - but you get the idea.  Something you don't need but would still want and use.  Let your imagination fly!

ZaftigWife

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2013, 06:48:23 PM »
There was one year my entire family wanted gift cards.  They can be boring to give... but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with them.

I bought everyone a cheap gag gift related to their gift card.  Dad wanted new clothes, so I bought him a horrible pair of board shorts off the Target clearance rack and put his card in one of the pockets.  Mom got an ugly Christmas deviled-egg plate with her card taped to the back.  Sister wanted to buy wall decorations for her new house, so she got a print of Dogs Playing Poker with a gift card between the print and the frame.

Tell your Mum & sister they need to think outside the box. :)

Daydream

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2013, 07:21:59 PM »
Gifts are as much about the giver as the recipient and I'm not going to give you something that boring.

The part I put in bold font here is true, of course, but they both made two mistakes if they hold that point of view -- asking you what you want, and then not accepting your answer. 

So, at this point, I'd just tell them to please not ask me anymore and just get me whatever they want (including "nothing" if that's okay with you), like lots of other people do with their relatives and friends.  Assure them that it is "normal" and "acceptable" to just pick out a present for someone without asking what they want. 

Asking is "normal" too for some people, of course.  But if it's going to cause such unpleasant reactions on their part, I'd ask them to stop. 

Brisvegasgal

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2013, 07:23:50 PM »
Thanks for the reminder that I need to work out the goal...I was quite upset about their response to my requests. It felt like they were completely disregarding my feelings and they were quite dismissive of me. I will have to rethink what to do.

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?

sweetonsno

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2013, 07:31:14 PM »
People want to give something tangible because they like putting in the time and effort of buying something and seeing you open it and smile, or watching you use it. They can't see you wear a gift card, serve dinner off of it, or hang it on your wall.

You like a particular clothing store, so I'd imagine that you know what size you wear from there. Why not say that you'd like [X article of clothing] from that store. Let them know what size you want. That way, they can go and choose a sweater, scarf, or dress that they think you'd like.

GrammarNerd

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2013, 07:33:31 PM »
Thanks for the reminder that I need to work out the goal...I was quite upset about their response to my requests. It felt like they were completely disregarding my feelings and they were quite dismissive of me. I will have to rethink what to do.

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 think they probably want you to ooo and ahhh over their awesome present-choosing capabilities so they feel good.  A gift card/gift certificate doesn't really allow them to do that.

Daydream

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2013, 07:50:43 PM »
Some people feel it is crass to give gift cards (or money) because it is very obvious how much the giver spent on your gift.  Others (like me) may feel concerned or embarrassed if they wish they could give a larger amount but can't. 

Gift cards are something I have always wanted but have never received. 

Last Christmas, I made the decision to give gift cards to several family members.  I felt uncomfortable with the idea at first, but I actually ended up spending the same amount or more on each person as I had in the past when I'd (happily) spent hours in stores searching for two or more "perfect" gifts for each person.  But, I didn't know if they would realize that. 

It was such a relief to only have to go to a couple of stores, pick out the gift cards appropriate for each person, and be done with my shopping for them!   

(There's some back-story as to how it had become clear that giving, opening, and "appreciating" carefully selected presents was no longer a priority with these relatives, so I was kind of protecting my own feelings with that decision.  And I realized that, surely, if they took the time to think about the dollar amount of each gift card, and the amount of people in their families, they'd know I wasn't being "cheap")
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 07:58:54 PM by Daydream »

Dr. F.

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2013, 08:14:42 PM »
I kinda hit my limit with this last year when I asked my sister what she wanted and she suggested that since we send one another gift cards of equal value, we just both spend that amount without actually sending the cards.

Very efficient, but had no *emotional* value to me.

So, I sent a slew of homemade cookies AND the gift card. This works from the giver standpoint, though not the receiver standpoint. I certainly wasn't expecting anything in particular from my sister - that wasn't the point. The point was for me to feel happy about what I was giving.

I don't know how you could bring that up with your relatives, aside from saying, "Oh, send me a card and whatever else is fun and cheap!" which might not go over well.

Tea Drinker

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2013, 08:15:22 PM »
I think that when they turned down your request for a gift voucher, it would have been reasonable to say something like "in that case, just pick out something you think I'd like." And a better way for them to answer would have been something like "but I like the fun of shopping for gifts. How about if I get you something from that store, then?"

Demanding that you name a specific gift sounds like they want you to do the work of shopping--the research into what the recipient wants, needs, or would like, and then what's actually available--so that they can have the fun of wrapping something up and being sure you want it. Some people have wish lists of that sort, which is cool if it works for them, but not everyone does.

I suspect your relatives would find me equally frustrating in a different direction, since I would be inclined to ask for something specific that I haven't bought myself yet because I can't find it, and suspect doesn't exist, because in many cases the finding of the object would be worth more to me than the cash price of the item.
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Amara

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2013, 08:42:39 PM »
OP, can you go to the store and find a bunch of things you'd love to have? If so, mark down the items (with the item number if possible) by description, price, etc. so they can find them. That way, you could have what you asked for and they still derive the pleasure of picking out something for you.


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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 can tell you that I also told my family that I didn't want to give gift cards any more. I did last year because no one would or could choose things they liked. I know my one sister bought cigarettes, but I do not know to this day what my other sister and my brother bought.

I did, with some suggestions from fellow eHellions wrap them up in funny ways. One sister got one inside a bike helmet; the other in a crazy make-up bag. My brother got his inside a salad spinner. All in good fun and we all laughed. But I felt like I might as well just handed them cash, and I didn't like it.

So about a week ago I told my brother and sister that I wouldn't give gift cards and I explained why. My sister agreed. So I have a list from her and my brother is making a list. The other sister is getting shoes she will love. And I get the joy and thrill of shopping (online), receiving the gifts, admiring them, wrapping them, and then watching them unwrapping them and sharing in the joy of all that. Giving gifts is such a wonderful multi-faceted thing, and to have it dwindle down to picking up a gift card at a drugstore or grocery is, to me at least, depressing and useless.

*inviteseller

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2013, 08:51:56 PM »
I know someone, who I absolutely love dearly, but gives me gifts that are more their taste than mine every.single.year!  And they are soooo excited when I open them that I have to act enamored when it is something that is just not me.  I think you will have to either accept that you will never get a gift from them you will like because it is all about their happiness, or you tell them you just want to stop the gift giving and just spend time together.  And for what's it worth, to me, getting the perfect gift for someone means getting them something I know is their taste, not about how I feel or is my taste.  I am happiness when I see their joy over getting just what they wanted.  Also, I love gift cards...I get them to restaurants from people because they know, as a single mom that going out to eat isn't always in the budget for me and this way, I can treat myself to a nice meal out just for me.

Sharnita

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2013, 09:50:00 PM »
Many people like the wrapping and presentation aspect of gift giving.  They like the  opening of the gift. A gift certificate doesn't really rise to that level for many people.