Author Topic: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?  (Read 3381 times)

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gellchom

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2014, 02:40:14 PM »
I agree not to give spiteful gifts.

But gifts that are meant to be given to or shared with others, not used by the recipient alone, don't seem odd to me.  I've given people gifts of fancy guest towels, cocktail napkins, special gift wrap and ribbons, a box of stationery, labels and bags for homemade treats, and so forth -- I think those are all very good gifts (for some people, anyway), even though they are meant to be "regifted," in a sense.  Some people give gifts of stamps and boxes of greeting cards.

And when I give someone a box of candy, I figure they are very likely to serve it to guests, not eat the whole thing themselves.

As I am already in the donations-to-charity-are-great-gifts camp (provided it is a charity that the recipient values, not the giver's favorite), I certainly would go there for this couple.  I'm sorry to get the feeling that anyone feels that that would be a "punishment" gift.  To me, it's a compliment to the recipient.

wolfie

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2014, 03:01:08 PM »
I agree not to give spiteful gifts.

But gifts that are meant to be given to or shared with others, not used by the recipient alone, don't seem odd to me.  I've given people gifts of fancy guest towels, cocktail napkins, special gift wrap and ribbons, a box of stationery, labels and bags for homemade treats, and so forth -- I think those are all very good gifts (for some people, anyway), even though they are meant to be "regifted," in a sense.  Some people give gifts of stamps and boxes of greeting cards.

And when I give someone a box of candy, I figure they are very likely to serve it to guests, not eat the whole thing themselves.

As I am already in the donations-to-charity-are-great-gifts camp (provided it is a charity that the recipient values, not the giver's favorite), I certainly would go there for this couple.  I'm sorry to get the feeling that anyone feels that that would be a "punishment" gift.  To me, it's a compliment to the recipient.

I think you need to be very close to the recipient  - or at least close enough to them to know whether or not they would appreciate something like that. My sister gave me stationary one year for Christmas and I loved it! It was the perfect gift for me. Chocolate and fudge - not so much. I would either eat it all myself or toss it because I can't have it in the house without eating it. I would find it hurtful for someone to give me something like that and say "I figured you could have it on hand for when you host people". To me that would say 1 - they don't think I host appropriately, and 2 - they don't really think I deserve a gift but have to give me something and so therefore they will make me a conduit to the people they think really should be getting something from me.

wolfie

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2014, 03:05:56 PM »
I was thinking, in part, that people who are always "dieting" don't always keep anything on hand for guests.  Snarky, who does tend to linger at the back of my mind, might have had some additional thoughts, it is true. 

But I've also been to a lot of houses where the comment has been made that they'd like to offer me "something" but "don't have anything on hand" for whatever reason (haven't been to the store, no longer bake, or some other reason - a grandmother in a nursing home liked a small tin of cookies for the same reason - she'd have one herself once in a while or hand out one or two to company or shared with the employees). 

If i am dieting I don't want anything that can tempt me in my home. Unless I outright told you "i wish someone would give me stuff that I can hand out to guests when I am entertaining" I think that is a pretty presumptive gift - even if there are no underlying issues with gift giving in general. You are telling them you think their hosting isn't up to par and you intend to fix that. There is no way to do that unless you are very close or if they explicitly told you they want that.

I think we all have snarky and evil comments to some threads here, but this is still an etiquette site and offering those as actual suggestions isn't right.

gellchom

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2014, 04:05:32 PM »
I disagree that giving people gifts to use when entertaining is a comment on their hosting.

I've gotten gifts like fancy paper cocktail napkins, wine charms, and the like, that I only use when entertaining others.  I don't think that things like that, or a box of pretty place cards, pretty gift wrap, or fancy little bags and labels for giving away homemade candies and jams are comments on my failure to provide things like that myself -- I think it just makes it more fun for me when I entertain. 

If you can't resist chocolate and shouldn't eat it, and they know it, that's one thing.  But if not, I don't see what's wrong with it as a gift even if it is contemplated to be used in hosting.  The best hostess gift from a dinner guest my mom says she has gotten was a big jar of giant cashews, which she used when she entertained at subsequent parties.

wolfie

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2014, 04:12:51 PM »
I disagree that giving people gifts to use when entertaining is a comment on their hosting.

I've gotten gifts like fancy paper cocktail napkins, wine charms, and the like, that I only use when entertaining others.  I don't think that things like that, or a box of pretty place cards, pretty gift wrap, or fancy little bags and labels for giving away homemade candies and jams are comments on my failure to provide things like that myself -- I think it just makes it more fun for me when I entertain. 

If you can't resist chocolate and shouldn't eat it, and they know it, that's one thing.  But if not, I don't see what's wrong with it as a gift even if it is contemplated to be used in hosting.  The best hostess gift from a dinner guest my mom says she has gotten was a big jar of giant cashews, which she used when she entertained at subsequent parties.

The original post that started my protest was a post that pretty much said to get them something that you know they don't want and then say it is for when they are entertaining others. And that is just not a sentiment that I can get behind. But...  I also realized it makes another assumption - that they have people over often. I don't entertain in my home often so giving me something "for guests" is useless. I also don't make homemade candies or jams so giving me things to wrap those up would be useless too. If you are going to give someone something that isn't really for them in particular but for them to use for doing other things you should first make sure that is a welcome gift. And the spirit of the suggestion wasn't "they would like it" but "haha - they can't use it and can't sell it or return it". And I protest that entire attitude.

And the original poster has clarified that she did indeed mean that the hosts weren't providing that stuff so the gift was to help provide things that the hosts didn't think to provide themselves.  The gifts you mentioned (wine charms and and the like) are more fun things that aren't necessary - I would be insulted if someone gave me fudge after I told them I was on a diet and said it was for guests because last time I was there I said I was sorry I didn't have anything to offer them.

LtPowers

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #65 on: November 18, 2014, 09:42:19 AM »
Unless I outright told you "i wish someone would give me stuff that I can hand out to guests when I am entertaining" I think that is a pretty presumptive gift - even if there are no underlying issues with gift giving in general. You are telling them you think their hosting isn't up to par and you intend to fix that. There is no way to do that unless you are very close or if they explicitly told you they want that.

Isn't that a bit like saying that a gift of a painting is telling them that their decor isn't up to par?  Or that a gift of a sweater is telling them that their fashion isn't up to par?


Powers  &8^]

wolfie

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #66 on: November 18, 2014, 10:20:09 AM »
Unless I outright told you "i wish someone would give me stuff that I can hand out to guests when I am entertaining" I think that is a pretty presumptive gift - even if there are no underlying issues with gift giving in general. You are telling them you think their hosting isn't up to par and you intend to fix that. There is no way to do that unless you are very close or if they explicitly told you they want that.

Isn't that a bit like saying that a gift of a painting is telling them that their decor isn't up to par?  Or that a gift of a sweater is telling them that their fashion isn't up to par?


Powers  &8^]

Maybe. I don't know. But if I am at a gift exchange and I open something and get told "well - I figured that since you are always saying you wish you had something to offer guests and you don't that I would give you something to offer guests  next time you had some" I would be really embarrassed and ashamed and it wouldn't exactly be a hallmark moment that would make me feel closer to the person who gave me the gifts.  It's like the giving of stamped and addressed thank you notes - it's a pointed message to the recipient.

gellchom

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #67 on: November 18, 2014, 11:03:33 AM »
Unless I outright told you "i wish someone would give me stuff that I can hand out to guests when I am entertaining" I think that is a pretty presumptive gift - even if there are no underlying issues with gift giving in general. You are telling them you think their hosting isn't up to par and you intend to fix that. There is no way to do that unless you are very close or if they explicitly told you they want that.

Isn't that a bit like saying that a gift of a painting is telling them that their decor isn't up to par?  Or that a gift of a sweater is telling them that their fashion isn't up to par?


Powers  &8^]

Maybe. I don't know. But if I am at a gift exchange and I open something and get told "well - I figured that since you are always saying you wish you had something to offer guests and you don't that I would give you something to offer guests  next time you had some" I would be really embarrassed and ashamed and it wouldn't exactly be a hallmark moment that would make me feel closer to the person who gave me the gifts.  It's like the giving of stamped and addressed thank you notes - it's a pointed message to the recipient.
Now I'm really confused.  If, as in your hypothetical, you had often said you wish you had something to offer guests, I would for that very reason think that would be the perfect gift for you that you'd love!  I'd think, "I know wolfie doesn't eat chocolate, so I wouldn't otherwise have chosen this for her, but from what she said at that gift exchange, I see she loves being a good hostess and wants to have treats on hand to offer guests, so I'll get her this fancy box of chocolates. She can just keep it sealed up and out of tempting reach til the next time she has guests.  That's what I do, and it's really come in handy for unexpected guests or get well gifts."  It would never occur to me that I was embarrassing someone by getting them what they said they want.  And it certainly wouldn't mean I was criticizing their hosting; it would mean I had listened carefully for clues to their desires.

Lynn2000

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2014, 11:04:38 AM »
Wow, I am really appalled at Stepbrother's behavior. Let me count the ways.

1) Didn't even know if your gift had arrived or not...
2) ...because they immediately traded everything back in for cash.
3) Which was their plan all along, hence registering for everything over $50 with no thought of actually wanting it.
4) Sounds like they didn't have any lower-priced items on their registry, either.
5) Boasted of this plan afterwards
6) Added that he doesn't want gifts of art anymore, because they don't have high street value when he resells them

Honestly he could have done #1-3 and no one would have known, if he hadn't also done #5. He could have said, "Yes, we got it. Thanks so much, it's great!" Because it would have been rude of DH to continue with, "But we didn't see you use it at the party!" Gifts are the recipient's to do with as they please, but the recipients are also obligated to not let the giver know they got rid of it, in most cases. Stepbrother shattered that polite fiction, and for no good reason ("Unfortunately we had to take it back, because we discovered we were terribly allergic to it! We won't be bringing anymore X-type items into the house from now on").

I would not be getting him gifts of any kind any longer. Of course I would be disgusted at his behavior and hurt by it; but more objectively, obviously he sees gifts differently than I do. We are not speaking the same language when we use them. If he has other good qualities, I would maintain the relationship by going to the movies together, Skyping, etc. but not give him presents again--maybe buy him dinner if we were going to be eating it together, but no tangible thing for him to take home.
~Lynn2000

wolfie

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2014, 11:26:53 AM »
Unless I outright told you "i wish someone would give me stuff that I can hand out to guests when I am entertaining" I think that is a pretty presumptive gift - even if there are no underlying issues with gift giving in general. You are telling them you think their hosting isn't up to par and you intend to fix that. There is no way to do that unless you are very close or if they explicitly told you they want that.

Isn't that a bit like saying that a gift of a painting is telling them that their decor isn't up to par?  Or that a gift of a sweater is telling them that their fashion isn't up to par?


Powers  &8^]

Maybe. I don't know. But if I am at a gift exchange and I open something and get told "well - I figured that since you are always saying you wish you had something to offer guests and you don't that I would give you something to offer guests  next time you had some" I would be really embarrassed and ashamed and it wouldn't exactly be a hallmark moment that would make me feel closer to the person who gave me the gifts.  It's like the giving of stamped and addressed thank you notes - it's a pointed message to the recipient.
Now I'm really confused.  If, as in your hypothetical, you had often said you wish you had something to offer guests, I would for that very reason think that would be the perfect gift for you that you'd love!  I'd think, "I know wolfie doesn't eat chocolate, so I wouldn't otherwise have chosen this for her, but from what she said at that gift exchange, I see she loves being a good hostess and wants to have treats on hand to offer guests, so I'll get her this fancy box of chocolates. She can just keep it sealed up and out of tempting reach til the next time she has guests.  That's what I do, and it's really come in handy for unexpected guests or get well gifts."  It would never occur to me that I was embarrassing someone by getting them what they said they want.  And it certainly wouldn't mean I was criticizing their hosting; it would mean I had listened carefully for clues to their desires.

But I do eat chocolate! That is why I don't have it in my house to offer guests because for me to have it means I will eat it and so I don't have it for drop in guests - I will buy them right before I expect people to arrive. But in any case I would never say "I wish I had something to offer you" = I just wouldn't offer anything if I didn't have it. In which case a gift of "for next time you have guests" would really be a hint that you thought my hospitality was lacking. And I don't think a "I don't have anything to offer" is really saying you wish you did - I think it is more saying "I wasn't expecting you so i have nothing to offer you - you should have called first and made sure this is a good time, but since I like you I will let that go and we can at least talk".

Gift giving can be a landmine. B

gellchom

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2014, 11:31:09 AM »
As usual, I agree with Lynn2000, but this time with one minor point of divergence: number 4.  I disagree that it is rude not to register for inexpensive items.  The only reason it would be rude would be if guests were expected to choose gifts from the registry or even the idea that other gifts are merely acceptable, but it is more polite to give gifts the hc chose themselves.  Neither is correct, and it's a good thing, too, not just for guests but for HCs themselves.  Otherwise, registering at all would seem very demanding. 

In fact, registering for small items like spatulas and dish towels is very new.  Registries used to be for patterns of crystal, silver, and china. 

camlan

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2014, 12:38:21 PM »
Stepbrother and his wife are pretty stupid. There is no way this is not going to get out, and their close friends and family *are* going to find out what happened to all their gifts. I suspect that the friends who partook of the bounty, attending the concert and spa day, have no illusions about where the money came from.

This *is* going to affect how people view them, and treat them in the future.

While the recipient does have the right to do as they wish with a gift, this sort of blatant use of the giver--I will turn whatever you give me into cash--sends a strong message. And it is a message--you are nothing to me but a cash machine--that will offend a great many people.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Lynn2000

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2014, 12:42:26 PM »
As usual, I agree with Lynn2000, but this time with one minor point of divergence: number 4.  I disagree that it is rude not to register for inexpensive items.  The only reason it would be rude would be if guests were expected to choose gifts from the registry or even the idea that other gifts are merely acceptable, but it is more polite to give gifts the hc chose themselves.  Neither is correct, and it's a good thing, too, not just for guests but for HCs themselves.  Otherwise, registering at all would seem very demanding. 

In fact, registering for small items like spatulas and dish towels is very new.  Registries used to be for patterns of crystal, silver, and china.

Good point! I know it's usually given as advice to include registry gifts in a variety of price points, but that doesn't mean not having them is rude. Goodness knows Stepbrother had plenty of rude to go around without adding in extra things!
~Lynn2000

Surianne

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #73 on: November 18, 2014, 02:43:45 PM »
WOW, what a crazy, awful, rude update.  I did not expect that at all. 

katycoo

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Re: Well, did you get the gift? Or return it?
« Reply #74 on: November 18, 2014, 06:32:33 PM »
Oh wow.

So, wishing wells are not my thing, but I go along with them willingly enough when its suggested as a preference.  I would be super-pissed if someone regstered and then returned everything for cash.  Just ask for cash.  I know its against etiquette but at least I know you appreciate what I give, regardless of what you do with it.