Author Topic: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!  (Read 8835 times)

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Hmmmmm

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #30 on: November 23, 2013, 10:05:22 AM »
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 hate giving gift cards in most cases. Especially to family members who are solvent and in no need of my financial assistance.

HS or college nieces and nephews are always broke so them having a gift card in their wallet gives them an opportunity to splurge so that is a gift to them. Newly weds remodeling their home, sure I'm happy to give a home store gift card.

But my 35 yr old DINK niece who's combined income with their husband if much more than anyone else in the family and she can pretty much splurge anytime she wants. So I'd much rather buy her a scarf I went to the trouble of picking out (even if I include the gift receipt for her to exchange) than basically just sending her money. 

But I do know some people like gift cards. So take pity on people like me and at least give us the illusion of giving something you need. " Mom, there is a coat at X store I really want but is more than I can really justify spending. But if I had a gift card to X store I would feel better about buying it."

If above mentioned niece said "There are a pair of Kate Spade boots that I really want but are outrageously expensive and I know it's silly to spend that amount of money on one pair of boots." Then I'd be happy to contribute to the cause via a gift card.

siamesecat2965

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #31 on: November 23, 2013, 11:02:47 AM »
I personally enjoy getting gift cards, because I usually splurge on things I wouldn't normally buy. I got a very generous Amazon gc one year from a cousin, and used it to buy my first Kindle.  Or I'll use it for something fun, like fancy bath stuff, or some other thing like that.

That being said, I enjoy shopping for the few gifts I have to buy. My mom and I exchange "wish lists" and just buy from them, plus anything else we think they other might like.

My one cousin, however, will always ask me what I want, and ten buy whatever she likes. I've given her ideas, and also said "an x gift card woudl be appreciaed or you can't go wrong with x gc" But it really does no good. She's given me a lot of carp over the years, so I've, quite honestly, stopped really trying with her. This year she announced she wanted gift cards from a particular store, but its not at all convenient for me to get to, and i don't want to do it electronically. So she's getting something she asked me to get her, and said she pay me for, and something else from my store she wanted. that's it, no fuss, no angst.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #32 on: November 23, 2013, 11:39:57 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.

Ah but the strings didn't apply to the recipient of the gift! The conditions were on me as facilitator so I'm on the donor's staff ;) I admit, there were times when the 'no interference' rule really had me biting my tongue (Captain Underpants, anybody?) but the Younger Chick won the school cup for English last year in the teeth of students with better exam results, because the staff apparently approve of his novels - of which he has written several  ;D So yes, we must have been doing something right!

Clockwork Banana

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #33 on: November 23, 2013, 01:26:31 PM »
Bwah.  Captain Underpants is a whole 'nuther etiquette topic entirely!  I actually just googled the books because, while I have heard of them since I don't currently live under a rock, I have never actually leafed through a copy of any of the series.  Apparantly, these books are more banned in the U.S. than even books like 50 Shades of Grey.

However, I can see how they would be of great interest to boys of the 'anythng scatalogical is hilarious' age!




Mergatroyd

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #34 on: November 23, 2013, 02:12:32 PM »
Bwah.  Captain Underpants is a whole 'nuther etiquette topic entirely!  I actually just googled the books because, while I have heard of them since I don't currently live under a rock, I have never actually leafed through a copy of any of the series.  Apparantly, these books are more banned in the U.S. than even books like 50 Shades of Grey.

However, I can see how they would be of great interest to boys of the 'anythng scatalogical is hilarious' age!

Hey, don't knock the underpants! My eight year old son loves them, and has done since he was 6. (He also loves reading comics, mysteries, harry potter, zombie books, world war 1 books, fantasy books..) Reading is a lot more fun if not every book has to be literary Gold. :)

I will send an experience card (restaurant gift card, movie gift card, etc) but not a store gift card as a holiday gift. I do like looking around stores for ideas for the people I love, and thinking about ideas and sitting in front of the computer with a hot cocoa checking the top gift lists and store sales before going downtown and doing as good an imitation of Santa as I am financially able. (I feel like santa, when I go from store to store buying stuff. I tend to get all my shopping done in one or two excursions. Hopefully I don't look like santa. ;) ). If I really don't know what to get someone, I will ask for ideas. But they are just ideas. If I don't like them, I won't buy them, and I won't go into debt to buy something either. But I WILL use the suggestions to make an informed guess. So no, I'm not going to buy you a dog bed (too many variables- sizes, colours, fabrics) but I will buy you a really cool set of dog bowls or a neat leash and dog toys, along with dog biscuits.
The few times I have gotten exactly what was on the list, they ended up not liking it anyways. I want a blue zip up sweater from X store, they said. So I buy the only blue zip up sweater in X store, and it's not the one they were thinking of, because the X store in their town had different stock. A white scarf and mittens would have worked out better.

In summary, if someone tells you they don't want to give you a gift card, and asks you what you want, give them a list at least five items long, in the price point or LESS that they spent last year. (If their budget is bigger this year, they might buy two items from the list. But if it is smaller than last year, and you have only asked for things above what they can now spend, they're going to feel bad.) make the list fairly generic ie, gloves, coffee, a teapot, flower bulbs for my garden, chocolate. You can then add a proviso- my favourite colours are blue and green, I really hate pink, chocolate with nuts makes my stomach hurt, to further direct them.  If they end up coming across a craft fair and the cutest toque ever, they can then at least buy it in green and feel that it might be a hit, since you did ask for gloves and thus could probably do with a matching toque too.

Brisvegasgal

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2013, 03:48:46 PM »
Wow. Thank you all for your insights. I honestly couldn't see it from the other perspective.

Youre right - I can easily send them a list of the clothes I want because the store does a wish list like Amazon (a list from there was another great idea). I can put heaps of items on there and they can surprise me with whatever they choose.

Drunken Housewife

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2013, 04:07:09 PM »
I love your last response, OP, where you had a change of heart/mind about this topic.  It's wonderful when people are flexible in their thinking and able to see things from the other side.

I hate getting gift cards -- we sometimes lose them, and often they involve going to an inconvenient store and having to pay extra out of pocket.   I have gotten gift cards I never used, so buying it was a gift to the store, not me.   I will give them on occasion because I know for some people, getting a gift card is better than my picking something out for them, but I never want them.   

Similarly I also don't like getting cash.  I was poor a significant amount of my life, and whenever anyone gave me cash, I put it towards groceries/electric bills/etc.., not a treat for myself.  So it wasn't like getting a present; small gifts of cash just blurred into the everyday poverty.  An actual present was different and like a little bright point.

For my own kids getting a gift of money is like a non-gift.  They just give it to me to hold on to for them.  Since I take care of their everyday needs, they don't really need cash (they get a small allowance which more than covers the little they feel like buying for themselves).  Giving them some litlte thing that cost $10 or $15 is much more fun for them than giving them $20 or $50. 

Exchanging gift cards feels like handing $20 bills back and forth. It seems kind of silly and pointless.  But if someone really wants gift cards rather than gifts, I will get them the gift card because obviously they feel differently than I do.

One last thought:  I asked my teen once how she felt about gift cards, and she said she thought they were a good gift if they were also "the gift of an experience", i.e. that the giver take her to the store and shop with her, so they'd have the experience together of her getting a fun new thing.  I did give her a gift certificate to a clothing store she likes, and she waited until I was available to take her, and that was nice (especially for her, as what she picked out went over the gift card amount, and of course her loving mother threw in extra  :P).
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bopper

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2013, 06:54:09 PM »
Can you tell them to get you an item of clothing from your favorite store?  Then they get some choice and but it is likely that you will get something you like or something you can exchange.

Roe

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2013, 07:05:17 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?

It's not necessarily about the "oohing and ahhhing" though. For me, I find them boring because it's basically just a money transfer.  If all I ever gave my parents and siblings were gift cards, then what's the point of gift giving?   

Granted, I have given them out occasionally but I don't make it a habit.  It just doesn't feel like true gift-giving to give gift cards all the time. If I ask someone what they'd like for Christmas, I expect a list of items or at least a few ideas.

My oldest is one that always says "just give me money" and my response is "if you want money then forget it, no gift."  He, of course, always finds something that he'd like as a gift and manages to list a few ideas for me. 

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #39 on: November 23, 2013, 07:27:10 PM »
Toxic Mom and the gift cards:

Mom's response to any gift from me has always been to criticize it and then stuff it out of sight, so I decided to give her a generous gift card to Walmart, which I knew she could use.

First year, the day after Christmas I asked her what she planned to buy.  She said she couldn't find the card.  Sister, who had hosted Christmas, dashed out to the curb to drag in all the gift wrap from the recycle bin, where she found the card.

Next year, I watched Mom like a hawk to ensure she put the card in her wallet.  I truly don't know how she did it, but at some point she stuffed the card under the cushion of the chair she was sitting in, where my sister found it weeks later.

Brother also lost a $100 gift card (he didn't mention losing it).  I found it in a reusable gift bag the following year.  It had expired. 
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

MommyPenguin

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2013, 09:44:26 PM »
I lost a gift card from our wedding once.  A bunch of coworkers had joined together to contribute to it, so it was something like $75!  I thought about it from time to time and wondered where it had gone, but didn't even know where to look.  I think it was almost two years later when I found it?  I was very, very lucky that it wasn't a kind that expires or loses value after time.  I was able to use it to get a few much-needed household items just when I needed them, and it was a really nice treat.

CrazyDaffodilLady, that's awful about your mother!  There's a point in which it seems like you might as well just get a blank, value-less Walmart card if she's not even gonna use it.  She sounds really mean.

Lynn2000

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #41 on: November 23, 2013, 10:24:53 PM »
A lot of good stories and perspectives here. :) Some people dislike giving/getting gift cards because they feel generic, impersonal, like a business transaction especially if both people are exchanging gift cards of equal value. For other people, they are a treat to receive, because they mean they can buy something at X store or have an experience (movie, restaurant) that they wouldn't have spent their own money on (and so they often assume other people will enjoy receiving them for the same reasons). And yeah, sometimes, the fact that they are somewhat impersonal is an advantage, like if you're obligated to buy for a cousin you don't really know that well.  :P

My friend Joan doesn't like gift cards. But we don't really know each other that well anymore, so the last couple years, I've looked at her Amazon wish list and found something I thought was cool, especially if it was also kind of expensive, and then sent her an Amazon gift card with a note suggesting she put the money towards Cool Thing, though of course she can spend it on whatever she wants. I admit I am doing this because I don't think I could pick out a good "thing" gift for her anymore; but I'm making an effort to be a little more personal.  :-\
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Amara

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #42 on: November 23, 2013, 11:00:13 PM »
Just tonight I heard from my sister about this very subject. I had explained to her why I didn't want to give gift cards any more and asked for a list. She gave me three items: a flannel nightgown, slippers, and some plants. So I spent several hours debating the merits of various ones and had bookmarked them, though I hadn't yet purchased them.

She wrote tonight asking if she could change her mind. Of course! So she said that while she understood my reasons she wanted to ask for a gift card to Best Buy because her computer is so old it is on the verge of death. She is asking everyone for one so she can put them together and get it. I instantly agreed because this is what she wants and it is more than a generic gift card; it is for a specific item that will take a combination of gift cards and cash. This I don't mind.

z_squared82

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2013, 09:59:17 AM »
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 dislike giving gift cards for two reasons: One, the recipient knows exactly wheat I spent (and since I usually shop around and get something on sale with a coupon and a rebate, I can give a gift worth much more than a gift card); and, Two, I like shopping. I don't do it often because I like it so much. I genuinely enjoy searching for something to make someone happy. A gift card takes away that joy. (Although it's probably the route I'll go this year for Dad since he's already getting two bottles of whiskey.)

Outdoor Girl

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Re: But it's no fun for meeee if you want that gift!
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2013, 10:51:38 AM »
My nephews are now young adults.  They are hard to buy for, for the most part.  I'm set for the older one this year - I'm making a him a sweater, at his request, in the pattern he picked out.

So I've given them money in creative ways.  One year, they got a peanut butter jar with $50 in twonies ($2 coins) frozen in layers.  I've given them 10 $5 bills, folded origami style into stars and bought little Christmas trees to hand them.  I've given them a pair of gloves with $5 bills rolled up in the fingers.  My neighbours used this idea for one of their younger relatives last Christmas.  He wasn't yet of age to drink; they got a beer case, which I'm sure got him all excited, filled it with soda cans for the right weight and replaced a couple of the cans with the gloves and $5 bills.  Apparently, he was thrilled.

Last year, I gave them a gift card for a couple of ski passes, with the proviso that I would go with them.  It didn't work out that well for the older one but the younger one ended up using both of them with a friend and skied for two days; I joined them for one.
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