Author Topic: No gifts - better left unsaid?  (Read 3733 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2014, 05:59:19 PM »
For a wedding I would choose a cause that helps the needy (for a birthday I might pick arts, animals, environment, public radio, or whatever they love best).  Probably that is a relic of the Jewish custom of feeding the poor when you are giving a feast -- usually done these days by a contribution by the hosts and/or guests of honor of an amount equal to some percentage of the catering costs to an anti-hunger organization or food bank.  So I guess that's why I see it as an apt choice for a guest, too, just extending the idea of sharing good fortune at a time of celebration with those not so lucky.

This is what I think would be cool, if I could say, "We really don't need gifts, but maybe you could donate something to a charity, and then give us some info about that charity and why you found it important." That tradition you mentioned was one I didn't know about, so it would be neat to find that out from the nice note you wrote me in my wedding card or something. Part of a general redirection of the gifting impulse from "things" to "thoughts/opinions/memories"--one could learn some surprising and touching things about people. Depends on the crowd, though.
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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2014, 06:17:58 PM »
I wouldn't bring it up unless anyone asked, and if they did, say "we just want you there, because we have everything we need for our household already" and if the person seems disappointed add something like "but if you already have something specific in mind, I'm not going to try to stop you." That leaves room for the cousin who wants to give you some sort of hand-crafted item [or the friend who thinks every new couple needs a left-handed widget, and was asking in case you were registered for a specific brand or color of widget].
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TootsNYC

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2014, 06:18:46 PM »
Quote
What I was trying to find wording for was the thought "We are already so blessed, and charities, including your favorite, need your generosity more than we do, so that's what would please us most."  But talk about sounding smug and self-congratulatory!

But my urge to give the couple a gift isn't the same sort of generosity that might lead me to benefit a charity.

One is specific love; the other is a wider generosity.

I'll confess, I really, really don't like the "charity instead" idea.

HannahGrace

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #18 on: March 05, 2014, 06:39:50 PM »
I wouldn't bring it up unless anyone asked, and if they did, say "we just want you there, because we have everything we need for our household already" and if the person seems disappointed add something like "but if you already have something specific in mind, I'm not going to try to stop you." That leaves room for the cousin who wants to give you some sort of hand-crafted item [or the friend who thinks every new couple needs a left-handed widget, and was asking in case you were registered for a specific brand or color of widget].

That sounds really lovely and perfect - I may steal it!  Thank you.  I do worry that some people will still feel like, "ugh, now I have to figure something out, can't they just tell me what they want?"  But I guess, short of registering, I can't really stop that.  Unless I say "if all else fails, we love new sheets."  (Kidding, I would NOT do that.)

purple

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #19 on: March 05, 2014, 09:18:44 PM »
I just can't get on board with gift registries, I don't like them.  I've never used one, I never will.  I will always think it a bit rude of people who have gift registries for themselves and I don't care how many cute poems or assurances that my presence is really your present you also include.  They've become so mainstream now that I can't remember the last time I was invited to any wedding, engagement or shower where there wasn't one.  I've heard all the arguments for and against.  I know that people find them practical and all that, it's just my personal feeling.

So, I would find it refreshing to receive your wedding invitation with no mention of gifts, no registry card or anything else.  I'd still bring a gift to the wedding for you.

My go-to gift for weddings nowadays is cash and I usually put it inside a little silver or crystal box or inside a box of nice chocolates or something and then wrap and stick a card on top.

I would not turn up at your wedding without a gift and if you specifically said you didn't want anything on the invitations I'd be quite torn between respecting your wishes and doing something which I would perceive as rude (ie turning up at your wedding with no gift).  It would make me quite uncomfortable, actually.

FYI - I made no mention at all of gifts on my wedding invitations.  People still gave us gifts - about an even spread of cash and tangible gifts.  MIL collected them all and dropped them off at our house the next day.  We opened them, send thank you notes and that was that  :)

TootsNYC

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #20 on: March 05, 2014, 09:33:58 PM »
I wouldn't bring it up unless anyone asked, and if they did, say "we just want you there, because we have everything we need for our household already" and if the person seems disappointed add something like "but if you already have something specific in mind, I'm not going to try to stop you." That leaves room for the cousin who wants to give you some sort of hand-crafted item [or the friend who thinks every new couple needs a left-handed widget, and was asking in case you were registered for a specific brand or color of widget].

That sounds really lovely and perfect - I may steal it!  Thank you.  I do worry that some people will still feel like, "ugh, now I have to figure something out, can't they just tell me what they want?"  But I guess, short of registering, I can't really stop that.  Unless I say "if all else fails, we love new sheets."  (Kidding, I would NOT do that.)

If people go on about you, say stuff like:
   "Why don't you pick something you'd like to share with me--food, music, wine, something you really enjoy? That'd be fun, to have a little piece of you in the gift."

"Maybe there's something you have found really, really useful over the years--a step ladder, a huge platter, I don't know. Look around your house, see if you get any ideas. You can always check w/someone to see if we have one already."

gramma dishes

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #21 on: March 05, 2014, 10:02:37 PM »
...    it would be neat to find that out from the nice note you wrote me in my wedding card or something. Part of a general redirection of the gifting impulse from "things" to "thoughts/opinions/memories"--one could learn some surprising and touching things about people. Depends on the crowd, though.

Ooooo ... I love this idea.  Especially for older relatives who may be living on a (relatively low) fixed income.  What a wonderful gift it would be to receive a little note relating a special memory that Auntie Grace or Grandpa Joe has about something that involved me.  Maybe one s/he never told me about and/or I had long forgotten

These letters or photographs or whatever from both the bride's and groom's sides could be placed in a book or copied and burned to a disc to make a wonderful, special, and certainly unique gift that would be a true and genuine lifetime treasure!

sammycat

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #22 on: March 05, 2014, 10:07:03 PM »
I just can't get on board with gift registries, I don't like them.  I've never used one, I never will.  I will always think it a bit rude of people who have gift registries for themselves and I don't care how many cute poems or assurances that my presence is really your present you also include. 
{snip}

I would not turn up at your wedding without a gift and if you specifically said you didn't want anything on the invitations I'd be quite torn between respecting your wishes and doing something which I would perceive as rude (ie turning up at your wedding with no gift).  It would make me quite uncomfortable, actually.

I agree.  Thankfully I've never actually been invited to an occasion that's had a registry. I do see  major department stores advertising them, but I don't know if people here are just slow on the uptake or simply don't like them, because the take up rate seems to very very low (I actually asked at a couple of shops once as I was curious as to what the participating figures were).

I also don't understand the correlation between not having a registry = wanting cash gifts instead. It could just mean.... they don't have a registry.... and don't care what, if any, gifts they get.

gramma dishes

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2014, 10:10:34 PM »

...   I also don't understand the correlation between not having a registry = wanting cash gifts instead. It could just mean.... they don't have a registry.... and don't care what, if any, gifts they get.

Isn't it sad?  That's the way it should ALWAYS be perceived, isn't it?

sparksals

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2014, 01:31:27 AM »
I wouldn't bring it up unless anyone asked, and if they did, say "we just want you there, because we have everything we need for our household already" and if the person seems disappointed add something like "but if you already have something specific in mind, I'm not going to try to stop you." That leaves room for the cousin who wants to give you some sort of hand-crafted item [or the friend who thinks every new couple needs a left-handed widget, and was asking in case you were registered for a specific brand or color of widget].

That sounds really lovely and perfect - I may steal it!  Thank you.  I do worry that some people will still feel like, "ugh, now I have to figure something out, can't they just tell me what they want?"  But I guess, short of registering, I can't really stop that.  Unless I say "if all else fails, we love new sheets."  (Kidding, I would NOT do that.)


This is why registering for a small number of gifts might be a good idea.  Why make it more difficult for your guests?   If you don't register, how will you know where to return the NimboBumboMixer they thought you would really want and need? 

sparksals

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #25 on: March 06, 2014, 01:32:20 AM »
I just can't get on board with gift registries, I don't like them.  I've never used one, I never will.  I will always think it a bit rude of people who have gift registries for themselves and I don't care how many cute poems or assurances that my presence is really your present you also include.  They've become so mainstream now that I can't remember the last time I was invited to any wedding, engagement or shower where there wasn't one.  I've heard all the arguments for and against.  I know that people find them practical and all that, it's just my personal feeling.

So, I would find it refreshing to receive your wedding invitation with no mention of gifts, no registry card or anything else.  I'd still bring a gift to the wedding for you.

My go-to gift for weddings nowadays is cash and I usually put it inside a little silver or crystal box or inside a box of nice chocolates or something and then wrap and stick a card on top.

I would not turn up at your wedding without a gift and if you specifically said you didn't want anything on the invitations I'd be quite torn between respecting your wishes and doing something which I would perceive as rude (ie turning up at your wedding with no gift).  It would make me quite uncomfortable, actually.

FYI - I made no mention at all of gifts on my wedding invitations.  People still gave us gifts - about an even spread of cash and tangible gifts.  MIL collected them all and dropped them off at our house the next day.  We opened them, send thank you notes and that was that  :)


If you are receiving a wedding invitation with a registry card, the sender is committing a huge faux pas! 

Eve_Eire

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #26 on: March 06, 2014, 07:57:20 AM »
Thanks all, so basically you've confirmed my instinct is correct.  Just don't mention gifts at all and don't worry what anyone assumes.  If anyone asks, I'll just tell them we aren't registering and not to worry about bringing a gift.

I would say my friends will take me at my word but relatives will probably give something anyway and any gifts received will of course be graciously accepted.

We won't be having a wedding website and I'm not particularly comfortable with the charity idea - I just don't really want to direct anyone on how to spend their money.

Thanks for the advice all, I don't want to make my guests lives difficul but we really don't want to register and I do feel most of my friends will take me at my word on not needing gifts or money (especially the two or three that will be travelling for it).



I understand that you probably think you're being virtuous here, but there really is no honor in not wanting gifts. It comes across as pompous and superior. Just because being a gimme pig is looked down upon does not mean that lacking a desire for gifts for gives you the moral high ground. A truly gracious and polite person feels gratitude for gifts genuinely given.

I think that's rather a mean way to look at it.  I certainly don't view myself as superior and neither I nor Kaymar said a single derogatory word about registries or people who register.  All either of us has said is that we don't want to register and we gave no further explanation of reasons why so I have no idea why you would assume that the reason we don't want to register is that we are pompous and looking down on registries.

"A truly gracious and polite person feels gratitude for gifts genuinely given" - I agree with you there and don't understand the assumption that we would lack any such gratitude given what each of us has posted on the topic. 

The reason I came to this board for assurance is precisely because I can't speak to my friends/family about it as the majority support registries and asking for cash and I wouldn't want to offend them and make them feel looked down on by me going against their opinions.

HannahGrace

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #27 on: March 06, 2014, 09:17:41 AM »
As I posted in another thread, I'm in exactly the same position - first wedding, we just don't want to register and do not expect or want gifts and we definitely do not want money.  I don't have any advice to offer but I'm glad to know we aren't alone and now you know you aren't either :)

I understand that you probably think you're being virtuous here, but there really is no honor in not wanting gifts. It comes across as pompous and superior. Just because being a gimme pig is looked down upon does not mean that lacking a desire for gifts for gives you the moral high ground. A truly gracious and polite person feels gratitude for gifts genuinely given.

Wow, that's incredibly rude.  I do not think I am being virtuous nor do I think I have a moral high ground and I don't see how anything I've said would lead you to draw that conclusion.  Of course I am grateful if someone gives me a gift.

lowspark

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #28 on: March 06, 2014, 09:28:29 AM »
As I posted in another thread, I'm in exactly the same position - first wedding, we just don't want to register and do not expect or want gifts and we definitely do not want money.  I don't have any advice to offer but I'm glad to know we aren't alone and now you know you aren't either :)

I understand that you probably think you're being virtuous here, but there really is no honor in not wanting gifts. It comes across as pompous and superior. Just because being a gimme pig is looked down upon does not mean that lacking a desire for gifts for gives you the moral high ground. A truly gracious and polite person feels gratitude for gifts genuinely given.

I don't think either Eve_Eire or Kaymar were trying to be "virtuous" or "honorable". I think they simply don't want gifts, if asked. I've been in that position. It wasn't because I was trying to be superior in any way. It was just because at that point in my life, I already had everything I wanted and needed or could easily buy it. So, it wasn't about being superior or virtuous, it was about what I happened to want.

I think it's silly to register for things you don't want simply because people expect you to register. And I don't see a thing wrong with saying you don't want gifts. And yes, a truly gracious and polite person feels gratitude for gifts genuinely given. No one, including Eve_Eire and Kaymar said they wouldn't be thankful or gracious if people did indeed give them gifts.

The point of this thread is to figure out how to reply to people who expect a registry because gifts are not expected, not how to reject gifts or rebuff gift-givers.

TootsNYC

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Re: No gifts - better left unsaid?
« Reply #29 on: March 06, 2014, 10:40:33 AM »
I wouldn't bring it up unless anyone asked, and if they did, say "we just want you there, because we have everything we need for our household already" and if the person seems disappointed add something like "but if you already have something specific in mind, I'm not going to try to stop you." That leaves room for the cousin who wants to give you some sort of hand-crafted item [or the friend who thinks every new couple needs a left-handed widget, and was asking in case you were registered for a specific brand or color of widget].

That sounds really lovely and perfect - I may steal it!  Thank you.  I do worry that some people will still feel like, "ugh, now I have to figure something out, can't they just tell me what they want?"  But I guess, short of registering, I can't really stop that.  Unless I say "if all else fails, we love new sheets."  (Kidding, I would NOT do that.)


This is why registering for a small number of gifts might be a good idea.  Why make it more difficult for your guests?   If you don't register, how will you know where to return the NimboBumboMixer they thought you would really want and need?

And I have seen wedding advisors say, "if you really would rather have cash, don't have a big registry. That'll give people the hint."
   Of course, it's also, "If you really don't need very much stuff, don't register for very much stuff," but since that "give them a hint about cash" tip is out there, it's all very fraught.

That's why I get so crabby when people say, "the couple just wants cash!" or criticizes the number of stores they've registered with, etc.