Author Topic: Rude to give people the same gift?  (Read 7443 times)

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Yarnie

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #15 on: June 17, 2010, 03:31:58 PM »
Well, because, if you are thinking of everyone, you aren't thinking of me in particular.  

Let's say that everyone likes kittens.  Cause, honestly, who doesn't like kittens.

You come into my office and say "Hey, have this kitten in a basket.  I also threw in a can of kitten food, and a brush!"

Now, i'd say "Thanks!  I love kittens!"  

But then I notice that you have a cart of kittens in baskets.  and you are giving them to everyone.  Sure, we all love kittens.  But its not very personal.

now, if you say "Hey, here's a kitten in a basket!  I tested this kitten with yarn, since I know you knit, and it didn't attack it at all!  Plus, its a calico, and I know you love calico kittens."

Now, I feel like that although you've just given everyone a kitten in a basket, you did think of me in particular.  I feel warm and fuzzy, and like you cared enough to think of me.

Oh, and the reason why I have kittens on the brain is because we just got Hilde:


PeasNCues

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #16 on: June 17, 2010, 03:34:28 PM »
But I did think of you in particular because I thought specifically of you when deciding if this was a gift that would be liked and valued by all.

Just because I didn't ONLY think of you doesn't make it a thoughtless gift.
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RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #17 on: June 17, 2010, 03:56:35 PM »
Yarnie, how do I get on the kitten list?  ;D

I think it really depends on the rel@tionship.  For some people, there's really an expectation that the gift should require some serious thought.  It varies from person to person, but in my life, that would be DF, a few very close friends that we spend a lot of time with, and close family like my mom, brother, and SIL.  I'd be very uncomfortable giving any of those people a generic box of chocolates, or the same bath set everybody else was getting, unless it was in addition to the "real" gift.

There is, however, a second tier.  In my life, the second tier is all the people we see on Christmas that aren't in the first tier.  In our family, that usually amounts to some small token gift, and it's often the same thing, or nearly the same thing, for everybody.  If my cousin buys everyone an ornament, it fits the group gifting dynamic, and I'm going to be happy she went to the trouble of buying me that ornament, and I'm going to put it on my tree every year and think about my cousin.  I'm more likely to make some small thing than buy it, because I'm crafty, but I know my family has been happy with a homemade ornament, or a jar of jam I made (in fact, one of my cousins asked me if I'd make her more ornaments for next year, several years after I first gave them, because she likes them so much and gets compliments on them!  That made my day!).  If my brother gave out ornaments and nothing else, and that's all I got, I'd be hurt and wonder what I did wrong, and I'd expect him to wonder the same thing if all I gave him was the general small gift I got everyone else.

And then there are people like my mom, who's the reason we switched from everyone gifting everyone, to drawing names with optional small extras like ornaments or homemade jam.  She'd go out every year, and buy whatever bright orange or yellow fleece hoodie came in enough sizes to buy one for everybody (from my adult cousins to their 8 year old kids to her sister in her 60s) for under $5 each.  Same story every year, with slightly different clothing.  Nobody liked them, and it was also a waste of my mom's time and money.  She'd have been better off thinking "is my niece going to want a bright yellow fleece hoodie?" instead of "oooh, what's on the clearance rack?" but it was clear she wasn't thinking that (you'll have to trust me, since you guys don't know my mom).  Nobody held it against her, because they knew that's just how she is, but I still think it was clearly pretty thoughtless to give everybody the same gift with no indication that any of them would like it.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2010, 04:07:49 PM »
I don't see anything wrong with giving everyone the same gift, especially when it sounds like you personalize them a bit for each recipient.

My mom had a group of friends and family that she like to give something to at Christmas.  So they'd get a bag with a bottle of maple syrup, a bag of wild rice and a jar of her homemade red pepper jelly.  She would get individual gifts for immediate family.

When a friend of mine got married, she gave each of us one of those charm bracelets that were popular a few years ago.  But each one was personalized with three different charms - one with our initial, one with an animal we liked and one with something we liked to do.  I thought it was a sweet idea.
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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2010, 10:02:42 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.

Whereas as another pink hating non overall wearing chocoholic/tomatoaholic, I'd be thinking. "Does this woman not know how much I hate pink, and overalls? And since when does liking to eat or grow something mean you like to have a picture of it, anywhere but especially on your butt. If I got the chocolates, I'd have thought, this woman knows me so well.

rashea

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2010, 08:12:03 AM »
Yarnie, how do I get on the kitten list?  ;D

I think it really depends on the rel@tionship.  For some people, there's really an expectation that the gift should require some serious thought.  It varies from person to person, but in my life, that would be DF, a few very close friends that we spend a lot of time with, and close family like my mom, brother, and SIL.  I'd be very uncomfortable giving any of those people a generic box of chocolates, or the same bath set everybody else was getting, unless it was in addition to the "real" gift.

There is, however, a second tier.  In my life, the second tier is all the people we see on Christmas that aren't in the first tier.  In our family, that usually amounts to some small token gift, and it's often the same thing, or nearly the same thing, for everybody.  If my cousin buys everyone an ornament, it fits the group gifting dynamic, and I'm going to be happy she went to the trouble of buying me that ornament, and I'm going to put it on my tree every year and think about my cousin.  I'm more likely to make some small thing than buy it, because I'm crafty, but I know my family has been happy with a homemade ornament, or a jar of jam I made (in fact, one of my cousins asked me if I'd make her more ornaments for next year, several years after I first gave them, because she likes them so much and gets compliments on them!  That made my day!).  If my brother gave out ornaments and nothing else, and that's all I got, I'd be hurt and wonder what I did wrong, and I'd expect him to wonder the same thing if all I gave him was the general small gift I got everyone else.

And then there are people like my mom, who's the reason we switched from everyone gifting everyone, to drawing names with optional small extras like ornaments or homemade jam.  She'd go out every year, and buy whatever bright orange or yellow fleece hoodie came in enough sizes to buy one for everybody (from my adult cousins to their 8 year old kids to her sister in her 60s) for under $5 each.  Same story every year, with slightly different clothing.  Nobody liked them, and it was also a waste of my mom's time and money.  She'd have been better off thinking "is my niece going to want a bright yellow fleece hoodie?" instead of "oooh, what's on the clearance rack?" but it was clear she wasn't thinking that (you'll have to trust me, since you guys don't know my mom).  Nobody held it against her, because they knew that's just how she is, but I still think it was clearly pretty thoughtless to give everybody the same gift with no indication that any of them would like it.

This, exactly. There are relationships where the "group gift" isn't an issue, and ones where it is.

As for how you can tell. Generally if I'm exchanging gifts with someone directly, there's some discussion on the thought behind it. Or I can look and see that they may have gotten everyone a movie basket, but they remembered that I liked romantic comedies. That's at least a bit of personalization. But if I see that they gave everyone the exact same basket, I'm going to doubt that everyone absolutely loves "Pretty Woman" enough that they all needed a copy.
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Vermont

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2010, 07:43:00 PM »
Adorable !

Oh, and the reason why I have kittens on the brain is because we just got Hilde:


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Kimblee

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2010, 08:09:31 PM »
Well, because, if you are thinking of everyone, you aren't thinking of me in particular.  

Let's say that everyone likes kittens.  Cause, honestly, who doesn't like kittens.

You come into my office and say "Hey, have this kitten in a basket.  I also threw in a can of kitten food, and a brush!"

Now, i'd say "Thanks!  I love kittens!"  

But then I notice that you have a cart of kittens in baskets.  and you are giving them to everyone.  Sure, we all love kittens.  But its not very personal.

now, if you say "Hey, here's a kitten in a basket!  I tested this kitten with yarn, since I know you knit, and it didn't attack it at all!  Plus, its a calico, and I know you love calico kittens."

Now, I feel like that although you've just given everyone a kitten in a basket, you did think of me in particular.  I feel warm and fuzzy, and like you cared enough to think of me.

Oh, and the reason why I have kittens on the brain is because we just got Hilde:



Hilde looks like my Missy.

xcept Missy has lime green eyes.
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kudeebee

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2010, 12:26:33 PM »
My ILs always gave dh and his brother the same gift and sil and I the same.  So, it became the standing joke amongst the 4 of us to see who got their lists to the ILs first, as that is what they bought.  Dh and I were polite and thanked them, then threw away or donated most of the gifts if we weren't able to use them or they weren't our taste.  We always felt like why do lists if you are not going to use them?   

furrcats

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2010, 06:08:48 PM »
Well, because, if you are thinking of everyone, you aren't thinking of me in particular.  

Let's say that everyone likes kittens.  Cause, honestly, who doesn't like kittens.

You come into my office and say "Hey, have this kitten in a basket.  I also threw in a can of kitten food, and a brush!"

Now, i'd say "Thanks!  I love kittens!"  

But then I notice that you have a cart of kittens in baskets.  and you are giving them to everyone.  Sure, we all love kittens.  But its not very personal.


Great post!  ;D








now, if you say "Hey, here's a kitten in a basket!  I tested this kitten with yarn, since I know you knit, and it didn't attack it at all!  Plus, its a calico, and I know you love calico kittens."

Now, I feel like that although you've just given everyone a kitten in a basket, you did think of me in particular.  I feel warm and fuzzy, and like you cared enough to think of me.

Oh, and the reason why I have kittens on the brain is because we just got Hilde:



Brentwood

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2010, 06:16:02 PM »
Am I being rude in doing this? 

No.

My mother does this every year at Christmas with her adult children & their spouses as well as my adult daughter and her husband (that's 12 people!) - this past year all the "girls" got lounging sets (lounge pants & top). We all got a different color set based on our preferences. Mine is purple. The "boys" got flannel lined shirt jackets.

When she's feeling up to making them all, she'll do theme quilts - one year the boys all got sports/hobby themed quilts; the next year the girls all got holiday themed quilts.

With 12 adult children and 12 kid children (11 grandchildren, one great-grandchild) to buy for, I can hardly blame my parents for making things easier on themselves. Maybe the gifts are a bit generic, but they are 71 years old and retired, and shopping for that number of people is undoubtedly overwhelming at times. One year we all got gift cards - Kohl's for the adults and Barnes & Noble for the kids - and Mom actually felt guilty about that! I told her not to.

Brentwood

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2010, 06:18:31 PM »
I should add that I am wearing the lounge set in question right at this moment! :)

A.P. Wulfric

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2010, 08:34:15 PM »
I don't see anything wrong with giving everyone the same gift, especially when it sounds like you personalize them a bit for each recipient.
.
When a friend of mine got married, she gave each of us one of those charm bracelets that were popular a few years ago.  But each one was personalized with three different charms - one with our initial, one with an animal we liked and one with something we liked to do.  I thought it was a sweet idea.

Which one of my bridesmaids were you?  Basketball, swimmer, motorcycle or book?

Myrindyl

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2010, 11:36:45 PM »
So just for curiosity's sake, is it ever acceptable for the thought that counts to be "I love you enough to squeeze you into my tiny budget, here's your [somewhat generic thing that's fairly similar to what I got everyone else]"? Or is it better to just cut people from your gift-giving list because you can't afford a hand-selected gift for everyone?

No snark intended (I'm in a snark-at-the-world mood today, I apologize if it bled through) - this may very well be a decision I'll have to make this Christmas.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Rude to give people the same gift?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2010, 11:43:06 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 receiver 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.

I agree--this sort of pressure is what pretty much destroyed Christmas for several years. And it wasn't even that the people I was giving gifts to ever said anything.

I just put so much pressure on myself. It was awful.

I think there are situations in which "the same gift for everybody" is really all that's appropriate. All the aunts & uncles at Christmas? I think it's fine. It's not like I'm going to be able to give them something specific to them alone each year. I don't have that kind of relationship with them. And to be honest, they're not expecting anything that personal. So I give them all a pair of really nice white taper candles, and everybody's happy. It's a token sort of gift anyway.