Author Topic: Rude to give people the same gift?  (Read 6868 times)

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Lady Snowdon

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Rude to give people the same gift?
« on: June 17, 2010, 11:38:05 AM »
Over in the Wedding Etiquette folder, in the Bridesmaid gift thread, someone mentioned that they thought it showed a lack of thought and was kind of rude to give multiple people the same gift, whether it was bridesmaids, or at Christmas, or whatever.  I was struck by this; giving multiple people the same gift is the only way I can afford to gift everyone that we exchange gifts with at Christmas!  Usually I pick a theme, and give everyone gifts based on that theme, with minor variations.  Last year it was painted glass; I gave people suncatchers that I'd painted, candle holders that I'd painted, etc.  The year before that, it was chocolate, and everyone got baskets with various goodies made with chocolate in them.  This year it's ornaments; I'm going to give an ornament to everyone that I've decorated.  Am I being rude in doing this? 

Yarnie

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2010, 11:57:44 AM »
I don't know if its rude, but honestly, if I'm getting the same gift as everyone else, I feel like its not really a gift meant for me.  Now, if you change things a bit to reflect the people you are giving the gift to, then that's different.  So, for example, if you make me a cat ornament because you know I love cats, and betsy a dog one, because she loves dogs, then that's great.

But if we all get the same ornament painted with snowflakes, then, eh.  I'll still be appreciative, but I probably won't value it like I would something personal.

Kaypeep

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 12:12:47 PM »
I don't understand why people are trying to find fault with receiving a gift.  It's a gift.  You don't have to love it but you should accept it gracefully and move on.

Unless you are giving a gift that is deliberately useless/hurtful/malicious/otherwise innappropriate I can't see why any gift you give would be considered rude. 

To the OP, I don't think you're method of gift giving is rude, but as one of the other posters said, it might not be as appreciated as a gift that the reciever truly wants or needs might be.    But I wouldn't go crazy changing your method, either.  After all, you could scour the earth looking for "the perfect gift" and the recipient can still say "meh".  It's the risk you take with giving gifts.  I think the strategy you have ensures that every recipient knows you put your heart into the gift whether or not they appreciate it as much as you hope they would.

nrb80

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2010, 12:13:15 PM »
I often buy the same gift based on "classes" of relatives - boys/men 20-35 (my cousins), women over 50, men over 50, etc.  Much of my family does the same.  One year all the cousins got roll-on garment bags, for example, one year when I was a student everyone got a blockbuster gift card and movie night basket, etc.  Every year my Mom gets them nice dress shirts (in the correct sizes and colors), etc.  

As for friends, everyone gets my holiday jams, jellies, and cookies basket, which is pretty much the same except for diabetics.

Hushabye

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2010, 12:25:08 PM »
This is what my great-grandparents did when the family started getting enormous (yay, Catholic families! ;D), and it's what my grandparents do now, especially since my grandmother started having to deal with dementia three years ago.  I don't think it's rude -- I can see us doing something similar in the future (we buy for a LOT of people).

high dudgeon

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2010, 12:29:53 PM »
I think it all depends on whether you honestly and genuinely think each individual would like the gift. If you believe that each friend or relative would enjoy having a hand painted suncatcher or chocolate goodies, then it's not rude. But if you know Aunt Sarah hates clutter and knickknacks, and you give her a suncatcher because everyone's getting suncatchers this year, or you know your BFF is a diabetic who's trying to lose weight and doesn't really like chocolate and she gets chocolate goodies too, then I think that's rude. It really depends on how well the gift is chosen and if you're doing it with the understanding that it's something that would make them happy, not just because it's easier for the giver. But if to your knowledge it does work for everyone, then I can't see why a recipient would look down on it just because other people received the same thing. It's not a contest, it's a present.


Amava

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2010, 12:31:32 PM »
Absolutely not rude, a gift is a gift and one should not look a gift horse into the mouth.


Lynnv

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2010, 12:34:34 PM »
Perhaps gifts like this are not as personal, but I don't believe it is rude.  I give the same gifts to everyone-and they don't even vary from year to year, let alone from person to person.  Homemade jams and jellies plus stained glass items for everyone.  The only thing that varies is the flavor variety (and the count of jars) for the canned goods and the size/pattern for the glass items.
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Yarnie

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2010, 12:41:21 PM »
I should start out saying that my love language is definitely gifts.  I spend a lot of time trying to think up the exact right gift for people.  And I love getting presents.

But, honestly, I'd rather have someone give me something not to my taste, but was picked out special for me, than to get a generic gift that I happened to like. 

For example, if Great Aunt Mildred gave me a pair of pink overalls with tomatoes on the butt, and said "I know how you love to garden and you love your tomatoes, and the second I saw them, I thought of you!", that would mean more to me than if she gave me a nice variety of chocolate that everyone else got.  And I hate pink.  And I'd look terrible in overalls.

Sure, I LIKE the chocolate better, but the fact that she put no thought into what I'd like doesn't make for a very nice gift for me.

rashea

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2010, 12:42:32 PM »
I don't understand why people are trying to find fault with receiving a gift.  It's a gift.  You don't have to love it but you should accept it gracefully and move on.

I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. You accept it and give your thank you, but that doesn't mean the gift isn't thoughtless. Note that I say thoughtless and not rude. If you (general) give me something that clearly has little thought behind it, then I will take that as a possible indication of the level of our friendship is not what I thought (assuming I thought I was very close to someone and I got something really generic from them). I don't expect to get the perfect gift, but I do expect that a close friend would pick something for me.

Extended family (well, mine doesn't do gifts for extended family) is a bit different. Large groups of friends, or co-workers might get something based on a theme. Close friends and family, not in my circle.
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high dudgeon

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2010, 12:49:50 PM »
I also think it depends on how much variation within a theme you allow yourself. If the present is a basket of jams and and snacks, and you know one recipient's favorite flavor is raspberry and another's is apple, and you tailor the baskets to those flavors for those people, it makes it more personal. Or if you're knitting scarves for everyone, and you do on in Gryffindor's house colors for the HP fan and a fluffy pink one for the girly girl, that's making it more personal. So even giving the same gift to everyone doesn't have to be impersonal if you don't want it to be. But a gift doesn't have to be personalize to be pleasant or polite.

Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2010, 01:02:22 PM »
I believe giving everybody the same gift is fine.  When I was a bridesmaid, the bride gave us each a CD of music in a genre we both share; I received a classical CD; another bridesmaid received a rock CD, etc.  We also received bracelets. 

I have given "identical" gifts several times - and will again.  One year, everybody received a "Picnic at the office" kit - a small cutting board, a sharp knife, and a pretty napkin.  Another year, everybody received jewelry pouches I had made in "their" colors. 

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Kaypeep

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2010, 02:37:03 PM »
I don't understand why people are trying to find fault with receiving a gift.  It's a gift.  You don't have to love it but you should accept it gracefully and move on.

I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. You accept it and give your thank you, but that doesn't mean the gift isn't thoughtless. Note that I say thoughtless and not rude. If you (general) give me something that clearly has little thought behind it, then I will take that as a possible indication of the level of our friendship is not what I thought (assuming I thought I was very close to someone and I got something really generic from them). I don't expect to get the perfect gift, but I do expect that a close friend would pick something for me.

This is where I disagree.  There are thoughtless gifts (bacon of the month club given to a vegetarian, for example) but also well intentioned gifts that are just off the mark.  It troubles me that some people find fault with these types of gifts and read into them in such a way as to re-evaluate the depth of the relationship.  My best friend used to give me the worst holiday gifts.  It reached a point where I just said "can we save money and skip holiday gifts, let's just do dinner together instead."  I never judged his bad gifts as a reflection of his feelings for me, he was just terrible at buying gifts.   Being my friend is gift enough.  It saddens me that some people put so much emphasis on gifts, be it cost or meaning.  And it saddens me more that a lot of gift givers seem to question themselves now (like the OP) when their heart is so obviously in the right place. 

rashea

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2010, 03:01:35 PM »
I don't understand why people are trying to find fault with receiving a gift.  It's a gift.  You don't have to love it but you should accept it gracefully and move on.

I don't think anyone is saying otherwise. You accept it and give your thank you, but that doesn't mean the gift isn't thoughtless. Note that I say thoughtless and not rude. If you (general) give me something that clearly has little thought behind it, then I will take that as a possible indication of the level of our friendship is not what I thought (assuming I thought I was very close to someone and I got something really generic from them). I don't expect to get the perfect gift, but I do expect that a close friend would pick something for me.
This is where I disagree.  There are thoughtless gifts (bacon of the month club given to a vegetarian, for example) but also well intentioned gifts that are just off the mark.  It troubles me that some people find fault with these types of gifts and read into them in such a way as to re-evaluate the depth of the rel@tionship.  My best friend used to give me the worst holiday gifts.  It reached a point where I just said "can we save money and skip holiday gifts, let's just do dinner together instead."  I never judged his bad gifts as a reflection of his feelings for me, he was just terrible at buying gifts.   Being my friend is gift enough.  It saddens me that some people put so much emphasis on gifts, be it cost or meaning.  And it saddens me more that a lot of gift givers seem to question themselves now (like the OP) when their heart is so obviously in the right place. 

Being bad at picking gifts and not thinking of the person when you pick are different. And I can usually tell the person who tried, but missed the mark. And to me, that's fine. It's when it seems clear that the person didn't try. Trying and failing to pick a good gift works, picking up the first thing you saw at the store doesn't.
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PeasNCues

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2010, 03:18:27 PM »
How do you know the person didn't think of you?

For me, getting a general gift often involves the thought of "will everyone like this?"

If the answer is "yes," then I get the gift.

It may not be personalized, but gosh darn if I didn't think of everyone for whom I purchased something.
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