News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • November 21, 2017, 12:55:00 AM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Asking about "lost" gifts  (Read 14236 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

meraki

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
Asking about "lost" gifts
« on: February 17, 2015, 07:24:50 PM »
So, a friend of mine just called asking for some advice. Her wedding was last month and there were a few people-- from what I gather, extended family and some friends from grad school-- who attended, but from whom she has still not received a gift. These were people she was expecting to receive gifts from, and she is worried that something may have happened, like the gifts were misplaced at the reception, etc. She wonders if there is a polite way to follow up with these people to see if this may have been the case.

I told her that I could think of no polite way to do this and recommended just letting it go. For one thing, some of these people may still be planning on sending her a gift. That said, we had a few people who attended our wedding and never did get us anything. With the exception of one of them (long dramatic story-- basically, her lack of gift was a form of protest), it really didn't bother me at all. While it is customary to give a gift, you never know the reason why someone may not have. I feel like anything she would say to these people, no matter how delicately, would put them on the spot. What do you think?


Katana_Geldar

  • Member
  • Posts: 1448
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 07:56:37 PM »
The only thing I think would be appropriate would maybe a general post on social media about it without mentioning any names and combined with a general thank you for people having sent their gifts.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Member
  • Posts: 7021
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 08:02:05 PM »
The only thing I think would be appropriate would maybe a general post on social media about it without mentioning any names and combined with a general thank you for people having sent their gifts.

I would do a general post but say "All of the wedding thank-yous are sent but there was one gift without a name attached. If you don't receive a thanks, please contact me!" If someone sent/left a gift and it was lost, she'll hear from them. If she doesn't hear, they didn't.

VorFemme

  • Member
  • Posts: 13799
  • It's too darned hot! (song from Kiss Me, Kate)
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 08:04:00 PM »
No polite way to ask - but if there are any comments reported about missing thank you notes for gifts that you don't have listed - the bride can ask questions to help the giver track down what happened.  I have heard of things being left at the wrong house on the block, someone dropping it off & it getting stuck in a vehicle's trunk for weeks and forgotten about - until the question was asked "where did my box from so & so get put since they said that they left it with you?"...

But until there are questions asked by the giver - it's really hard for the happy couple to track anything down. 

I got asked about a wedding present - that the giver had sent the wrong size (bedspread) and they'd told my parents to give it to a sibling with the correct sized bed who was graduating a couple of months after the present was sent.  I got asked about *my* thank you note (sibling had sent one) and had to track down what Aunt Giver was talking about... 

Nobody else asked what happened to their thank you note, so I have no idea if UPS or the Post Office lost anything else that year.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

VorFemme

  • Member
  • Posts: 13799
  • It's too darned hot! (song from Kiss Me, Kate)
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2015, 08:05:13 PM »
The only thing I think would be appropriate would maybe a general post on social media about it without mentioning any names and combined with a general thank you for people having sent their gifts.

I would do a general post but say "All of the wedding thank-yous are sent but there was one gift without a name attached. If you don't receive a thanks, please contact me!" If someone sent/left a gift and it was lost, she'll hear from them. If she doesn't hear, they didn't.

Actually - with modern social media - that might work.

I got married back when computers were much, much larger than they are now.  Say the size of a small house...
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

gollymolly2

  • Member
  • Posts: 2868
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2015, 08:09:44 PM »
The only thing I think would be appropriate would maybe a general post on social media about it without mentioning any names and combined with a general thank you for people having sent their gifts.

I would do a general post but say "All of the wedding thank-yous are sent but there was one gift without a name attached. If you don't receive a thanks, please contact me!" If someone sent/left a gift and it was lost, she'll hear from them. If she doesn't hear, they didn't.

That's a really good idea!

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Member
  • Posts: 7021
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2015, 08:10:08 PM »
No polite way to ask - but if there are any comments reported about missing thank you notes for gifts that you don't have listed - the bride can ask questions to help the giver track down what happened.  I have heard of things being left at the wrong house on the block, someone dropping it off & it getting stuck in a vehicle's trunk for weeks and forgotten about - until the question was asked "where did my box from so & so get put since they said that they left it with you?"...

But until there are questions asked by the giver - it's really hard for the happy couple to track anything down. 

I got asked about a wedding present - that the giver had sent the wrong size (bedspread) and they'd told my parents to give it to a sibling with the correct sized bed who was graduating a couple of months after the present was sent.  I got asked about *my* thank you note (sibling had sent one) and had to track down what Aunt Giver was talking about... 

Nobody else asked what happened to their thank you note, so I have no idea if UPS or the Post Office lost anything else that year.

Wait, WeddingGuest bought a gift for you, realized you couldn't use it, gave it to someone else, didn't replace it with something for you, and then scolded you for not sending a thank-you... for a gift they decided to give to someone else? If I've got that right, would you mind sharing how you responded?

"Dear guest,
Thanks ever so much for the bedspread you decided not to give us. I'm sure Sis will loves it.
VF"
 ;D

peaches

  • Member
  • Posts: 1073
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2015, 08:40:52 PM »
I don't think there's any polite way to inquire why a gift wasn't received.

It might make your friend feel better (or at least - not alone) to know that it's not uncommon that a few people attend the wedding and don't give a gift. It might be a case of forgetfulness, financial difficulties, or any number of reasons.

I think it's best to let this go, and concentrate on the pleasure of having loving friends and family with you at your wedding.

VorFemme

  • Member
  • Posts: 13799
  • It's too darned hot! (song from Kiss Me, Kate)
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2015, 09:18:07 PM »
No polite way to ask - but if there are any comments reported about missing thank you notes for gifts that you don't have listed - the bride can ask questions to help the giver track down what happened.  I have heard of things being left at the wrong house on the block, someone dropping it off & it getting stuck in a vehicle's trunk for weeks and forgotten about - until the question was asked "where did my box from so & so get put since they said that they left it with you?"...

But until there are questions asked by the giver - it's really hard for the happy couple to track anything down. 

I got asked about a wedding present - that the giver had sent the wrong size (bedspread) and they'd told my parents to give it to a sibling with the correct sized bed who was graduating a couple of months after the present was sent.  I got asked about *my* thank you note (sibling had sent one) and had to track down what Aunt Giver was talking about... 

Nobody else asked what happened to their thank you note, so I have no idea if UPS or the Post Office lost anything else that year.

Wait, WeddingGuest bought a gift for you, realized you couldn't use it, gave it to someone else, didn't replace it with something for you, and then scolded you for not sending a thank-you... for a gift they decided to give to someone else? If I've got that right, would you mind sharing how you responded?

"Dear guest,
Thanks ever so much for the bedspread you decided not to give us. I'm sure Sis will loves it.
VF"
 ;D

Actually, she asked me and my mother (her sister) reminded her that it had been too small, so she had told them to give it to younger sibling. 

Crickets chirped while I looked at my mother and my mother looked at her - then reminded Aunt that she had told them to take the too small bedspread and give it to sibling.  Nobody knows what went through her mind at that point.

Aunt changed the subject. 
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

katycoo

  • Member
  • Posts: 4204
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2015, 10:02:05 PM »
OK, I had this exact issue.  I received nothing from a particular couple - not gift, no card.  And while I knew they weren't exactly flush, I still expected at least a card and I was worried it might have been lost or stolen from the venue (it is the norm here that gifts are taken to the reception)

I didn't want to ask them as if it HAD been lost of stolen, I didn't want them to feel obligated to replace it, as I would feel if I was the giver in that situation.  So I chose to send a generic thank you note alluding to a gift with no specification. 

She did actually say something to me later after she received the note saying that she had a particular gift in mind and needed some more time to save for it.  I explained my rationale behind the note adn told her she didn't need to do any such thing, it wasn't a big deal at all and presents were not important but she insisted.  And I was really annoyed about it because i knew then that I would never get a gift, and I never did.  Which I was genuinely fine with until she promised me one to my face. 

I wish she'd just given me a card.  I'm still not sure whether I handled it well or not.  It wouldn't have been any less awkward had I satright up asked her.

greencat

  • Member
  • Posts: 3899
  • Trap...Neuter...What was that third thing again?
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2015, 10:07:15 PM »
"If anyone sent us a gift and hasn't received a thank you note from us, please get in touch - we have reason to suspect some gifts may have gone astray."

gellchom

  • Member
  • Posts: 3722
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2015, 10:13:18 PM »
I don't think there's any polite way to inquire why a gift wasn't received.

It might make your friend feel better (or at least - not alone) to know that it's not uncommon that a few people attend the wedding and don't give a gift. It might be a case of forgetfulness, financial difficulties, or any number of reasons.

This. 

No matter how carefully she phrases it, it is just impossible to avoid the impression of chastisement and hinting, as if she is pretending to show concern that gifts might have been lost and she just wants to show thanks, but that her real message is, "Attention, all people who attended our wedding: some of you have not given us gifts.  We are entitled to those gifts.  Your gifts are overdue; get them in promptly."

Not to mention that her wedding was just one month ago.  Many people give gifts months and sometimes even years after the wedding.  I think at least some etiquette authorities give guests a year after the wedding to give a gift (which unfortunately sometimes gets misunderstood as the time frame for thank you notes!).

If a gift was a check, the giver will contact the recipient eventually when they see that it was never cashed.

Does she have some real reason, other than the bare fact that she didn't receive them, to think that some gifts were misplaced?  Not just that she expected them and that it's possible, but something fishy that happened or some other specific reason (like she saw someone coming in with a box she never saw again, or someone told her that they had sent something but it never came)?  Is she truly worried that the gifts were lost, or is she just telling herself that to give herself an excuse to try to do something about it? 

I can tell you from experience -- my own wedding, my son's, and my daughter's -- that it is much more likely that those people, even people she expected gifts from, just didn't send or bring anything.  Some still will.  And some never will.  Even some very close friends and relatives did not send my children anything, at least not yet.  I'm sure most of them just forgot -- didn't you ever forget to do something you wanted to do?  One cousin never got around to sending my son a gift 3 1/2 years ago, so when my daughter got married this year, he sent gifts to both couples.  And some may have had financial reasons, or, in the case of their peers who had to spend a lot to travel, let it go at that.  And one of my best friends, who is even my son's godfather and does lots of wonderful things for him, still hasn't sent him a wedding gift, because he is the kind of guy who wants it to be something absolutely amazing and perfect, so he puts it off forever waiting for the perfect thing.

And of course, gifts aren't mandatory anyway.  It's considered polite to express your congratulations with a gift , especially if you attend, but it isn't required.  So any kind of pressure or even hinting is very rude.

If someone had specifically mentioned that they sent or brought something, I think it would be okay to let them know it never came, especially if it is someone you are close with.  And I do think that she could possibly get away with the made-up story about a gift without a card on Facebook.  But I don't think she should even do that.  Even if people don't guess her real reason (and some will), they are still going to be reminded that they still need a wedding gift for her, and probably feel bad about it, and that isn't nice.  katycoo, I bet you are sorry you brought it up to your friend.  The OP's friend should just let it go and quit worrying about whether people gave her gifts or not.

katycoo

  • Member
  • Posts: 4204
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2015, 10:18:02 PM »
See, if I forgot the gift, or decided to give it at another time becauase it was bulky or whatever, I'd tell them on the day.  I simply cannot imagine not mentioning it.

Same with not giving a card.  If my friends were too skint to give me a $1 card, I'd probably already be aware of that. I cannot fathom giving nothing, and I've not heard of it being a common thing in my region.

sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2015, 11:19:19 PM »
"If anyone sent us a gift and hasn't received a thank you note from us, please get in touch - we have reason to suspect some gifts may have gone astray."

I like this. On the off chance something actually was stolen or misplaced, it lets the sender know in case they need to do something about it (stop a cheque, for instance).
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 11:21:43 PM by sammycat »

sammycat

  • Member
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Asking about "lost" gifts
« Reply #14 on: February 17, 2015, 11:20:56 PM »
See, if I forgot the gift, or decided to give it at another time becauase it was bulky or whatever, I'd tell them on the day.  I simply cannot imagine not mentioning it.

Same with not giving a card.  If my friends were too skint to give me a $1 card, I'd probably already be aware of that. I cannot fathom giving nothing, and I've not heard of it being a common thing in my region.

Exactly. I've never come across anyone amongst my friends or family not giving a present if they attend a wedding.