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????????’s Birthday List

A LOT of people submitted this “baby’s birthday demand letter” for inclusion on the blog which has gone viral worldwide.



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  • Ergala April 21, 2015, 4:04 pm

    As for the kidnapping thing, my mom ordered my oldest an LL Bean backpack this year for school. She asked if we wanted anything on it and I said his name. She emailed me back saying that it concerned her because of kidnapping. So we put his initials instead. I now understood where she was coming from, someone could see his name and say “Hey Bobby! Your mom sent me to get you!”….the person knows his name now and seems more legit in the eyes of my 3rd grader. Thankfully we have a safe word in our home…the person must give our kids the password in order to pick them up/meet them at the bus. My oldest is so diligent that when a family friend was getting him off the bus for me because I was ill he refused to get off the bus steps until the friend told him the word. I told the friend the word in case the driver asked. The driver didn’t.

    • Becca April 21, 2015, 9:00 pm

      When I was growing up, my mom had a similar plan: she assigned my sister and me one family friend to pick us up from school in the event that she could not. If anyone else tried to pick us up, we were not supposed to get in the car. That way, we could stay safe *and* have monogrammed stuff. 🙂

      Really, kids are only as naive as you let them be.

      • just4kicks April 23, 2015, 6:02 pm

        Same here with our four kids, in the event that my husband, I or my folks ALL were unable to pick the kids up from school, we had a password that the person picking them up had to say, or they weren’t to go with them and go find a teacher….real quick.
        I don’t remember WHY we picked it anymore, but the secret password was “Lawnmower”.

  • MM April 21, 2015, 9:15 pm

    truthfuly when it comes to small children I don’t mind being told what to get.Kids outgrow clothes fast, toys become popular and then unpopular. As someone who’s out of touch of what the kids are into, I’m grateful for any help to get kids what they want. It may be tacky but I don’t want to punish the kids for that.

    Having said that, this email is ridiculous and insane and hilarious

    • mark2 April 22, 2015, 5:31 pm

      I resent greatly being told what to buy someone, because there shouldn’t be any expectations of gifts at all. A person should be able to come and celebrate a birthday or an anniversary and not have to bring a gift. Of course I love gift giving, and I’m always looking for excuses to bring a gift to someone. But there may come a time in my life when I can’t afford it, didn’t have the time to get it, or are under some situation that is overwhelming enough to me that I just can’t get a present. But I would hope that I was still welcome to come and celebrate something and still be loved even if I were empty handed.

      • Ee April 23, 2015, 9:20 pm

        Since they only wanted 4 things, they must have expected that everyone else would not be bringing gifts. I didn’t really think this letter was bad, it wasn’t written offensively and was actually asking for less not more.

  • Bob123 April 21, 2015, 9:55 pm

    All I’d be giving these control freaks is a can of “expensive” formula.

  • Rebecca April 21, 2015, 11:02 pm

    Not knowing anything about the situation behind the letter, I can’t really judge. Maybe the immediate family has been clamouring for a list of “what can we get you?” I know my own mother, every year, starts wanting to know what I want for Christmas, even though I am in my 40’s. I base my suggestions on what she typically spends on my Christmas gifts, and I give a variety of ideas so she can surprise me and not feel she has to hunt down one specific item. I wouldn’t give her this list except that she gets increasingly anxious over “what to get me for Christmas” and begs me for a list. Looks like this letter was sent out to family. If it was sent to friends who never asked for gift ideas, then it’s a bit over the top.

    • Abby April 22, 2015, 7:55 am

      The thing is, regardless of who she sent this to- someone forwarded to someone else. Someone that was on the original email list found this distasteful. Even if it was only sent to a very small group of people who had been asking the LW for gift ideas- at least one of the intended recipients did not approve of the email.

  • tessa April 22, 2015, 5:55 am

    $5 Walmart card and a collection of formula and diaper coupons.

    • NostalgicGal April 22, 2015, 1:45 pm

      Best reply yet [like]

      I worked inventory for awhile (company hired to come in and do a physical inventory on shelves) and can still read most shelf label codes and tag coding. On a lot of baby formula especially prepackaged ‘ready to eat’; is very expensive, and some stores sell it as a loss leader (less than it costs them) to get parents to buy more baby stuff at their store. The actual cost is actually on the shelf tag… Even at a year old, if they are buying certain brands of ‘convenience packaged’ formula, they could easily be running that much even if the kid is working on real foods and starting to wean. I agree, if the cost of formula is running so high, then give them formula instead of gifts this year. That one water table would pay for a week’s worth.

  • Sharon Johnson April 22, 2015, 7:04 am

    The letter does not say anything remotely like “since you asked for ideas.” Also, there is no sense of gratitude or grace–just entitlement. I’d love to read their thank you notes…wouldn’t be surprised it they said something like “We received the toy truck and exchanged it for formula. You may want to read the letter more closely next time.”

  • AnaMaria April 22, 2015, 9:06 am

    A few years ago, a friend who is a military wife was having her first baby (she and her husband were stationed in Germany), and she came back to the States for a quick visit. Some friends decided to put together a baby shower, and included a note saying “[Mom-to-be] appreciates cash gifts as she will need to fly back to Germany and has limited luggage space.” That is the only time I’ve ever sympathized with such a request- the point of a shower is to help the new parents get set up, and specifying cash seems less tacky than allowing people to go out and buy baby gifts that would just have to be returned or donated because Mom didn’t have room in her suitcase.

    I see no similarities with this situation. Just sound like greedy-guts to me.

  • CW April 22, 2015, 11:28 am

    I just thought of something that MIGHT relieve this person of a little shaming. Keyword being MIGHT.

    My mother is notorious for asking me and my sister what we want for birthdays and holidays. Typically we each give her a list of a few small suggestions and one or two large suggestions figuring she could get a good idea of what we’re currently into or wanting. The problem with this is she will by maybe one thing off this list and about 20 things that we don’t want, need, or have any use for. These 20 things sit in a box for about 2-3 years (long enough that she forgets they were from her) and then I pass them along to someone who does need it or donate it. The Keurig that I didn’t want is now the coffee maker at work, for example. Last Christmas, she asked what my husband and I would like. He and I agreed that we really just wanted to get extra baby items since I was due in January, and I told her this. My front porch was then bombarded with packages and I’d say about 90% of the things she bought cannot be used until my daughter is at least 3. I’m out of closet space to hold all of the things that have to wait until the baby is old enough to actually use them.

    Anyway, to get to my point, IF this letter writer has gift givers in her family similar to my mother, I can see why she would create such a specific list for each family member. But that’s a big IF and it doesn’t change the fact that the tone of the letter is inappropriate.

  • Livvy17 April 22, 2015, 2:38 pm

    Not that it really makes things better, but the way I read this, it went out to a few members of her dear husband’s family. (separate communication to her side). It does seem to indicate that she wants to LIMIT the presents – only grandparents /aunt/uncle….perhaps she’s letting cousins, other family off the hook? I do remember the waste of some Christmases, where we would get SOOO much (unsolicited) stuff from the family that I would have LOVED to have written a letter like this to keep things under control, so I do have a touch of sympathy on that score. (Also, she may have received MANY requests for this info.) It may explain some of the tone too….exhausted and or exasperated mom.

    I do lose sympathy at the instructions for gift receipts. Its never good to insinuate to gift-givers that you EXPECT their gifts will be bad, and that they should make sure you can get as much cash for them as possible. I don’t even want to know what letter-writer would do if confronted by some well-loved heirloom or hand-crafted item.

    But to many other people’s points, I hope that her identity is indeed a secret – internet shaming has gotten so far out of control that people’s lives have been very seriously damaged.

    • Caitlin April 22, 2015, 9:23 pm

      The request for the reciept bothered me, too. It’s like announcing to everybody, “If we don’t like what you got, we’re going to return it!”

      If I ever got an e-mail like that, I’d either not want to bother or I’d make a donation in the child’s name that provides baby clothes/toys to families who couldn’t otherwise afford it.

  • Heather April 22, 2015, 4:23 pm

    My mom always tells us about how she couldn’t get any work done when we were little because we wanted her to spend all her time reading to us 😉 I’m 29 now, and I still try to get her to read to me at family gatherings whenever possible!

    • Caitlin April 23, 2015, 5:56 pm

      When I was little, there was a rule about how many books I could take to bed with me. My parents had to control it some, otherwise my bed would be full of them, and there was no way I could possibly read them all.

      Whenever a family member or friend has a baby, my mom’s MO is to get them Beatrix Potter books.

  • flora April 22, 2015, 7:59 pm

    Since I’m not on facebook or twitter, I havn’t seen this before. Honestly, the list of things NOT get bother me a lot more then the list of requested items. I’d be tempted to make a tee shirt with something like Auntie’s little princess or something. Or maybe a few books with a note that says Auntie will come over and read them to him/her.

  • Noodle April 22, 2015, 9:57 pm

    When I saw this on another site, Ehell was the very first thing that came to mind.

    That being said, it sounds like what they really need is formula. I am curious, though, as to what formula they are using. My son had to have soy formula but it doesn’t seem like it cost that much.

  • Lexie April 23, 2015, 2:08 am

    I think my favourite part of this is that the invitations to a party haven’t even been sent out. Just a demand for gifts.

  • Christine April 23, 2015, 6:00 am

    The only way formula would be costing $80 a week is if the kid is on some crazy special formula. My daughter ended up having some pretty severe digestive problems and had to go on formula, and she ended up for a while on Alimentum, which is really expensive. But even still, when people asked what she wanted for her birthday I said “She loves books. And playing in the water”. I didn’t say “Buy us formula!”.

    Heck, at one point we were paying about $550/month on medical copays and formula alone for her, and not ONCE did the thought cross my mind to tell people that (even though we could barely afford it).

    • NostalgicGal April 23, 2015, 4:41 pm

      Special formula
      Ready to Eat prepackage
      Buying it online from the one huge retailer…
      Being in a state that charges sales tax on food (a few still do)
      Buying it at the local specialty grocer who marks it up (but they buy their baby the ‘best’)

      As I said in another post, some stores do sell formula below cost as a loss leader, but some do NOT.

      Ouch on your little having some issues. I hope that she has outgrown and/or healed up, and no longer has those problems.

  • AIP April 23, 2015, 4:08 pm

    The most egregious thing for me is that they don’t start or end this missive with a hello, goodbye, please, thanks or kiss me you-know-what.

  • Enna April 30, 2015, 11:20 am

    If the parents were my friends they wouldn’t be for much longer – or at the very least I would not be getting their child any presents.

  • Christi Emerson May 24, 2015, 1:14 pm

    When someone decides to have a gift-giving party for someone, they should graciously accept whatever gifts are offered. Instead of that awful note, they could have just written No Gifts on the invitations. That would have been much more polite than complaining about gifts that might be given. Then they could have privately spoken to close friends or family if asked if their child needed something.

  • Saitaina June 2, 2015, 11:34 am

    I’m someone who WILL ask what someone wants for a gift giving occasion because I want to get people exactly what they want/need (and if they can’t think of anything, they’re getting a gift card to somewhere I know they shop frequently). But even saying that…this letter smacks of greed and entitlement. I would highly prefer to ask someone rather than being told directly without me querying.

  • Christi Emerson January 30, 2016, 10:33 pm

    This is one of the most outrageous things I have ever seen. This letter writer straight up says that if you get her child a gift that is not on her very short list, that the item will be returned and the money spent on formula. How ungrateful! I always thought that gifts were to be of the giver’s choice, not the receiver’s. If I was on the receiving end of such a letter, I would make sure to remove all of that person’s information from all my contact lists and make sure that she gets exactly what she wants from me. Nothing!!!!!!