Author Topic: Gifts and registries  (Read 6031 times)

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Lisbeth

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Gifts and registries
« on: February 27, 2009, 07:34:07 PM »
1.  Gifts are always optional on the part of a guest.  The lack of a gift cannot be used by a host as a barrier to admittance of a guest-even when the occasion is a birthday party, wedding, or shower.

2.  Recipients must receive all gifts graciously.  They must thank the giver and not dispose of the gift in the giver's presence, make negative comments about the gift, or indicate in any way that the gift is unwelcome or compares unfavorably with other gifts received.   This includes rejecting gifts that were not on a registry. They are also not entitled to a receipt in order to return the gift although it is a kindness to include it. 

3.  If a gift is sent to a recipient, the recipient needs to send a graciously worded thank-you note to the giver; if the gift is given in person, the thank-you must at least be said to the giver.  Written thank-yous are not necessary for gifts given in person (except for shower or wedding gifts) or for gifts given as thank-yous.

4.  It is rude to regift in the presence/earshot of a giver, to regift items that have been engraved or otherwise customized for the recipient, or not to remove indications that the gift is a regift.

5.  Unsolicited "no gift" and "cash only" requests are rude.  They improperly assume control over the funds of others.

6.  Charitable contributions are not appropriate as gifts to third parties or as "favors."  Hosts and honorees should not use their own personal events to solicit donations to charities, no matter how worthy the causes.

7.  It is not rude to choose not to register for wedding or baby gifts.  If one is a potential giver, one is not entitled to expect the intended recipient to create a registry.  It should be strictly the recipient's choice.

8.  Registries should be limited to weddings and for babies and should not include the following types of items:
-Cash only
-Honeymoon expenses
-Charitable contributions
-Anything to do with reproduction (weddings only) or of a highly personal nature
-Items for children (weddings only) or pets
-High-end items only
-Mundane items that the couple would obtain in the course of ordinary life (e.g. groceries)

9.  Registry information must never be included in invitations or given out unsolicited.  When one is making a website, one may include an E-mail link that users may click to ask questions of the website owner, but registry information should not be included in a website.

10.  It is not appropriate to use or withhold promised gifts to "teach lessons" to others.

11.  When one is a dinner guest or houseguest, it is appropriate to give a host/ess gift to the homeowner.

12.  One should not expect or be expected to "cover one's plate" by giving a gift of a specified value.  It is not appropriate for hosts to expect their guests to reimburse them for the costs of entertaining them through their gifts.  Guests should not ask hosts about the costs of entertaining with the intention of "covering their plates."

13.  Although hosts and honorees are not entitled to "expect" gifts at their events, guests who attend showers and children's birthday parties should bring gifts with them.  Wedding gifts should be sent to the couple before or after the wedding whenever practical in the US.  In other places, it is acceptable to bring them to the wedding.

14.  No guest need spend any amount that s/he cannot afford to give a gift.  It is perfectly acceptable and expected to limit the monetary value of gifts to one's budget.

15.  Unless the occasion is a shower or child's birthday party, givers should not expect recipients to open their gifts in their presence, especially when it is not practical to do so.  It is a kindness to givers to open their gifts when they are present, but it must be done without disrupting the occasion or making others uncomfortable.

16.  Guests of events that are not showers or child's birthday parties should not be subjected to "gift openings" by recipients of gifts-in the US, this includes weddings.

17.  Once a gift is transferred from the giver to the recipient, it becomes the recipient's property to keep, use, or dispose of as s/he sees fit-even if the giver disapproves.  It is not polite for a giver to inquire about a gift if its presence is not apparent, especially with the intent of "catching" the recipient in awkwardness.  However, it is rude for a recipient to indicate that s/he plans to return all gifts received for their cash value.

18.  Gifts do not require reciprocation.

19.  Wedding gifts may be given within a one-year period of the marriage.

20.  Thank-you notes must be sent timely-a good guideline is within six weeks of receipt.  The rule applies to bridal couples-it is incorrect that they have up to a year after the wedding to send thank-you notes.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 06:37:22 PM by KeenReader »
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BittyB

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2009, 10:31:59 PM »
8.  Registries should be limited to weddings and should not include the following types of items:

I've previously been encouraged on an eHell thread to register for our first baby, and have seen it accepted in many other threads.  Is this a situational etiquette, such as when the families of the parents-to-be routinely use and expect a baby registry, it is then okay to make one but otherwise should be avoided?

(Also, my understanding from the eHell Dame's post was that we should reply to these threads to discuss rules as a community after they've been suggested, so I hope I understood correctly and asking here is appropriate.)

Lisbeth

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2009, 10:35:03 PM »
8.  Registries should be limited to weddings and should not include the following types of items:

I've previously been encouraged on an eHell thread to register for our first baby, and have seen it accepted in many other threads.  Is this a situational etiquette, such as when the families of the parents-to-be routinely use and expect a baby registry, it is then okay to make one but otherwise should be avoided?

(Also, my understanding from the eHell Dame's post was that we should reply to these threads to discuss rules as a community after they've been suggested, so I hope I understood correctly and asking here is appropriate.)


Asking here is fine so far as I can tell. 

I personally am not wild about baby registries, but I suppose they can pass, provided that they follow the rules listed above about cash, "no gifts," charitable contributions, etc., and I think that they should not contain requests for cash or for contributions to college funds or things like that.

But other occasions like housewarmings and graduations should not have registries.

Modified to add:  I modified the list to include baby registries.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 11:38:34 PM by KeenReader »
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Dindrane

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2009, 10:58:24 PM »
I think the list should include that it is never polite or appropriate for a gift giver to ask about a previously given item with the intent to "catch out" the recipient.  If the giver doesn't see the item displayed, and the item is not discussed, the giver should not pointedly ask after it.

This is to preserve the freedom of the recipient to discretely do whatever he/she wishes with what is now his/her property.

I also think, with number 10, that it is completely appropriate to withhold gifts if no gratitude for them is ever expressed.  But perhaps that's not what you were talking about with that point.


Lisbeth

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2009, 11:10:37 PM »
I think the list should include that it is never polite or appropriate for a gift giver to ask about a previously given item with the intent to "catch out" the recipient.  If the giver doesn't see the item displayed, and the item is not discussed, the giver should not pointedly ask after it.

This is to preserve the freedom of the recipient to discretely do whatever he/she wishes with what is now his/her property.

I agree about this and modified the list accordingly.

Quote
I also think, with number 10, that it is completely appropriate to withhold gifts if no gratitude for them is ever expressed.  But perhaps that's not what you were talking about with that point.

Well, what I'm talking about there is promising to give someone a gift and then refusing to do so to teach them a lesson.   (Of course, this doesn't apply to parents' discipline of their children).  This was inspired by a thread in which someone made a promise to give a gift and then refused for some reason that had to do with personal lifestyle choices, IIRC.  I might not be remembering it right at this time of night.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2009, 11:38:59 PM by KeenReader »
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Dindrane

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2009, 11:16:26 PM »
Okay, then I was reading it incorrectly.  There's nothing wrong with deciding not to give a gift after all, as long as you never expressed any intent to do so.  Even though nobody should ever be expecting gifts, withholding a promised gift is a little bit like going back on your word, and so I would call it rude (even if the only polite response to that is to say nothing at all about the promised gift).


Lisbeth

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2009, 11:18:10 PM »
Even though nobody should ever be expecting gifts, withholding a promised gift is a little bit like going back on your word, and so I would call it rude (even if the only polite response to that is to say nothing at all about the promised gift).

This is exactly my thought on it.
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curly

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2009, 07:10:36 PM »
I have to disagree with #3.  Gifts given at showers are opened in front of the gift-giver, but I still think thank you notes are necessary.  Christmas and birthday parties could possibly be a little different, but I believe wedding and baby showers require a hand-written note.   And I still write thank you notes to my family after spending Christmas with them.

Lisbeth

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2009, 07:42:30 PM »
I have to disagree with #3.  Gifts given at showers are opened in front of the gift-giver, but I still think thank you notes are necessary.  Christmas and birthday parties could possibly be a little different, but I believe wedding and baby showers require a hand-written note.   And I still write thank you notes to my family after spending Christmas with them.

The rule is that gifts given in person require thank-you to be said to the giver, but no note is necessary as this would be redundant.

However, I agree that wedding and shower gifts should be followed up with written thank-you notes.  The envelopes need to be addressed by the recipients, not the givers as part of a "shower game."
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MariaE

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2009, 03:14:47 AM »
9.  Registry information must never be included in invitations or given out unsolicited.  When one is making a website, one may include an E-mail link that users may click to ask questions of the website owner, but registry information should not be included in a website.

Cultural difference coming up ;-)

In Denmark registries are never used. Instead the couple (or a friend/relative) sets up a website with a wish list. It is good etiquette to include this link on the wedding invitation.
 
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Hawkwatcher

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2009, 07:08:33 AM »
This is a good list.  I would only add that the giver should make sure to give an appropriate gift with no hidden messages or agendas.  For example, a guest should not give the bride a book titled Weight Loss for Dummies or Pregnancy for Dummies.

athersgeo

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2009, 09:15:22 AM »
Quote
17.  Once a gift is transferred from the giver to the recipient, it becomes the recipient's property to keep, use, or dispose of as s/he sees fit-even if the giver disapproves.  It is not polite for a giver to inquire about a gift if its presence is not apparent, especially with the intent of "catching" the recipient in awkwardness.  However, it is rude for a recipient to indicate that s/he plans to return all gifts received for their cash value.

While I don't disagree with the idea here, is there a tactful way of checking whether a gift fitted or was well received? I'm thinking here, specifically, of buying clothing for children where you may have had to gestimate the size or colour, where you might want a little feedback so's you know whether you've got the right thing and if the child would like more of it.

(Obviously, the BEST way to do it is check with the parents before you buy, but I know I've bought things that I've thought "That's absolutely perfect for x", sent it and then had nightmares about whether it really was perfect.)

TylerBelle

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2009, 11:41:31 AM »
Quote
17.  Once a gift is transferred from the giver to the recipient, it becomes the recipient's property to keep, use, or dispose of as s/he sees fit-even if the giver disapproves.  It is not polite for a giver to inquire about a gift if its presence is not apparent, especially with the intent of "catching" the recipient in awkwardness.  However, it is rude for a recipient to indicate that s/he plans to return all gifts received for their cash value.

While I don't disagree with the idea here, is there a tactful way of checking whether a gift fitted or was well received? I'm thinking here, specifically, of buying clothing for children where you may have had to gestimate the size or colour, where you might want a little feedback so's you know whether you've got the right thing and if the child would like more of it.

(Obviously, the BEST way to do it is check with the parents before you buy, but I know I've bought things that I've thought "That's absolutely perfect for x", sent it and then had nightmares about whether it really was perfect.)

I'd like to add this, too :). While a gift of course is up to the receiver to do with as they see fit, it's not a bad idea to give a little thought towards the feelings of the giver. Such as if you didn't have much use for the set of plastic reindeer-shaped coasters your aunt gifted you with, and have given them to your dog to chew on, perhaps you can put those away and let Bonzo play with something else whenever your aunt comes to visit.
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Asha

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2009, 12:31:09 PM »
1.  Gifts are always optional on the part of a guest.  The lack of a gift cannot be used by a host as a barrier to admittance of a guest-even when the occasion is a birthday party, wedding, or shower.within six weeks of receipt. 
I 110% agree with this, but I was under the impression that showers WERE gift-giving occasions.  I'm not saying that it should be "go gift, no enter," but since the point of the event is to shower the guest of honour with gifts, it seems a bit odd not to bring a gift.

Am I offbase here?

caranfin

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Re: Gifts and registries
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2009, 12:36:00 PM »
1.  Gifts are always optional on the part of a guest.  The lack of a gift cannot be used by a host as a barrier to admittance of a guest-even when the occasion is a birthday party, wedding, or shower.within six weeks of receipt. 
I 110% agree with this, but I was under the impression that showers WERE gift-giving occasions.  I'm not saying that it should be "go gift, no enter," but since the point of the event is to shower the guest of honour with gifts, it seems a bit odd not to bring a gift.

Am I offbase here?

No, I agree with you. Showers are events where we suspend the polite pretense that no one expects a gift. You are expected to bring a gift to a shower. The exception would be if you are invited to multiple showers (for example, you're the mother of a pregnant woman) - you don't need a gift for each one.
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