Author Topic: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?  (Read 2876 times)

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LadyL

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Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« on: December 22, 2013, 01:45:08 PM »
LordL's giftee in the family secret santa asked for jewelry from a chain store that LordL loathes due to their commercials, which he finds super annoying. He is going to get her the requested gift anyhow, but it made me wonder, is it rude to not abide by your giftee's requested brands? Is it ok to get them the equivalent item (say, a red canvas tote bag) from another brand or store? What about if the request was for something you weren't comfortable buying, like a religious item or lingerie or something?

NyaChan

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2013, 01:51:42 PM »
I  don't think you should ever have to give a gift that makes you uncomfortable.  That is a good reason to go off-list or ignore a request/hint.  If it is a matter of just not liking a brand though, I'd suck it up and buy it.  While giving does make me happy, it is important to remember that the ultimate purpose of a gift is to make someone else happy.  My good feelings are just a lucky byproduct of seeing someone I care about happy because of something I did. 

Also, they probably picked that particular item from that brand for a reason - they like it more than that item from other brands.  Otherwise they would have just asked for the item generically.  I wouldn't feel good knowing someone could have gotten exactly what they wanted but didn't for no good reason.

m2kbug

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2013, 01:58:08 PM »
My own opinion is lists are suggestions, not necessarily something you have to stick to 100%.  It definately gives you ideas to work with and is very useful when you don't know about specific things they like music or scents or in the case of my son, which video games he wants.  Unless the secret Santa rules are specific that you have to buy something on the list, I think it would be perfectly fine to buy something off the list he thinks the person would like based on the ideas from that list.  It's probably safer to go with what is on the list if specific brands are listed or a specific color or style.

KenveeB

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2013, 02:08:08 PM »
I find one-item wish lists annoying and presumptuous, and this is one of the reasons. A wish list should provide more than one option, so that if someone has a problem with one of the requests they can just pick something else off the list. I always try my best to get off the list, but if I really had a problem with the only thing on the list, I don't think there's anything wrong with getting something else you think the person would like.

Amara

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2013, 02:15:45 PM »
If there was only one items on the list I would insist that the person put down at least three more. But let's say they did and still all of the listed gifts had the brand name of WALMART inscribed on them. Now this is a store I loathe beyond description. But what is on the list is fairly innocuous stuff so I will grit my teeth and one of them because it is what the recipient wants. It makes her happy. However--and I have a real life situation like this--I will not buy booze or cigarettes for this person when I am strongly opposed to smoking and will not support her alcoholism.

So it really would depend on what was on the list and who that person is. If I can do it, I will because the gift is intended to make the recipient happy.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2013, 02:21:02 PM »
I will go off the list if I have my own objections to the store where they need to be purchased or an objection to the item in question.  The aforementioned buying alcohol for an alcoholic is a good example.  There are a few stores that I won't shop at.  If I can get the article somewhere else?  I'd do that.  But the person would have to be very important to me for me to agree to step foot in the stores in question.
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Library Dragon

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2013, 04:27:59 PM »
IMO there's a difference between an ethical/moral objection and one of mere annoyance.  If I didn't drink (hahahahah) out of moral/religious views I wouldn't buy alcohol.  A store that annoys me because it puts out Christmas decorations before Halloween? I would get the gift.

A religious item? Again, if the item isn't advocating something I find absolutely reprehensible I'm okay with.  A book on herbs for my Wiccan co-worker?  I'd be okay with herbs.  A book by Fred Phelps for someone who wants to attend his "protests"?  No, not ever going to happen.

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TootsNYC

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2013, 07:26:06 PM »
I've put a lot of thought into this sort of thing. And here are the things I've decided that I believe.

1) The giver has absolute authority and right over the choice of gift. Period. And if you don't want to give something that's been requested or suggested, you do not need to. Period. No matter what the reason.
   You don't have to have a "good" reason (like, an ethical one over a simple annoyance one). You are picking the gift.

2) It's not that cool, actually, to buy a similar-but-not-quite-the-same gift unless you're pretty sure that the person isn't that picky (example of proof I'd accept: on Elfster, I put a link to a couple of different guitar tuners and a note that says, "I need one of these, but I don't know which one; as long as it can do X, I'm happy"). Or if you're pretty sure they're really, really comparable (example: Lands End canvas totes are much like LLBean's).
    The reason is because most people won't think they can get rid of an "almost right" item if they've already got it, and they feel obligated to keep gifts.

3) It's rude to give only one suggestion on a wish list.

(I actually think it's not that cool to put a gift card on there, unless you are saying something like, "I want to buy X big thing, and this gift card would help"; maybe it's OK if you say, "this store always has clothes that fit me." But a gift card on its own hits me wrong as a wish-list suggestion. And if someone asks you directly for ideas--for yourself or for someone else, saying "a gift card" is not cool. If someone were willing to give a gift card, they wouldn't be asking for ideas.)

And I totally agree with m2kbug:
My own opinion is lists are suggestions, not necessarily something you have to stick to 100%.  It definately gives you ideas to work with and is very useful when you don't know about specific things they like music or scents or in the case of my son, which video games he wants.  Unless the secret Santa rules are specific that you have to buy something on the list, I think it would be perfectly fine to buy something off the list he thinks the person would like based on the ideas from that list.  It's probably safer to go with what is on the list if specific brands are listed or a specific color or style.




(Total grammar-geek aside--not a criticism at all, though: I get frustrated with the phrase "off the list"--it's like "biweekly": Does it mean "from the list" or "away from the list"? Because it could mean either. The English language is sometimes really, really annoying.)

Betelnut

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2013, 08:24:21 PM »
I agree with M2kbug--lists are suggestions, nothing more.  True, we had one guy who would put very specific alcohol requests on his list but that was more funny than anything.

Here is what I put on my list for our gift exchange:

"No candles or food please!
Christmas ornament--transportation or musical instrument themed
Gift card--iTunes, Amazon"

I got a great woolen scarf and an AMC gift card.  I love both.  I know that my Secret Santa heard me extol my love for scarves during the winter.

I work in a small organization--only 16 people so we know each other pretty well.

I think getting something from the list is very easy so I would definitely use the list as a jumping off point.  Following it blindly is not necessary unless you really don't know the person.

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aussie_chick

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2013, 08:59:53 PM »
No, not rude to choose a gift that isn't on the persons list.

I always try and buy from the list but that is my preference, not because I feel that etiquette dictates I should.

Occasions when I haven't bought an item on the list include what others have said about moral/ethical reasons or because the item is sold out everywhere and I simply can't get it.

I agree that the list is a suggestion. But I do think at times the brand/store matters to the recipient. X brand t-shirt versus y brand t-shirt.

This year, the person in the family i'm buying for hasn't provided a single suggestion. I don't know them well so it's really hard. My BF was no help. So I asked his wife - don't think I was supposed to since I'm supposed to be secret santa! I'm worried that he won't like the gifts i've bought (one his wife specifically suggested and the other a kind of jokey present I found online) but I figure, if he doesn't like it, maybe next year he can actually put something on the list!


Yvaine

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2013, 09:13:48 PM »
I agree that the list is a suggestion. But I do think at times the brand/store matters to the recipient. X brand t-shirt versus y brand t-shirt.

Yeah, especially with clothes, a lot of times one is naming a store because they know how that stuff fits them, and another store's stuff fits differently. Or because they know that store's stuff is more durable, etc.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2013, 09:25:13 PM »
A gift is the choice of the giver. A gift list is suggestions created by the intended recipient should the giver be stumped for ideas. My only exception to this stance is giving a place setting of china or flat wear that is not the recipients chosen pattern.

Yvaine

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2013, 10:06:32 PM »
A gift is the choice of the giver. A gift list is suggestions created by the intended recipient should the giver be stumped for ideas. My only exception to this stance is giving a place setting of china or flat wear that is not the recipients chosen pattern.

On the other hand, I think it's better to completely ignore the list and follow your own inspiration than to buy an ersatz version of the thing they actually listed, like "I know better than you what tote bag you want." Better to just forget tote bags and get her a nice scarf or something.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2013, 10:30:46 PM »
I agree, Yvaine.

If a list I'm given says XYZ brand shirt, I won't go and buy an ABC brand shirt, because I have an issue with the political/moral/whatever stand of the designer of XYZ.  I'll pick out something else.  If Store DEF is a store I have an issue with and they sell GHI brand shirts but I can also get GHI shirts at Store JKL that I don't have an issue with, I'll buy it at Store JKL.

(And here's your gingerbread and shortbread Christmas cookies if you followed that alphabet soup!)
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

purple

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Re: Secret Santa requests; rude to not buy off the list?
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 11:17:19 PM »
I agree with your approach of just gritting your teeth and getting her the requested item from the requested store in this situation.

Like others have said, it's just an 'annoyance' about their 'commercials', so it's not like you're compromising a fundamental belief of yours to accommodate.

I personally don't like gift registries and wish lists.  I've never had one and I always feel terrible about buying from them.  I usually do buy from the registry or wish list when somebody has one but I always feel like the 'heart' of the gift is missing when I do because I haven't had the opportunity to think about the person and give my time to shop for a gift and watch them enjoy opening the surprise.

I personally will always choose something from the registry that fits with my moral / ethical beliefs and so far (touch wood), I've never had the problem of having to choose between compromising my values and making the gift recipient happy, because I've always been able to find something on the registry that fulfils both requirements.  It's an interesting situation though I do sincerely hope I'm never faced with it.