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“If your gift is not from the registry, please bring a receipt”

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Just now, Carol in Cal. said:

No, it’s the sentiment involved, not the value.  

But the aunt in the teacup post didn't mention they were hers or that she was passing them down, so where is the sentiment? And it is about the value to an unavoidable extent, because some people on a limited income have lovely and durable things from their past, while many others on a fixed income don't. I personally think that taking the time and effort to hunt down desirable used items is even more thoughtful than passing down something you just happen to have. 

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1 hour ago, MercyA said:

YES. There were two elderly ladies at my former church who gave treasures from their own homes for showers. I received a white, iridescent / rainbow-y glazed antique vase. (I'm sure there's a name for that?) So cool!

Re: book showers. I love the idea, but please don't ask for a book AND another gift. That would have been a hardship for me at some points of my life and still would be for some of my friends. 

It would have been a hardship for me at that point and it was my shower!  I’m still cringing.  When I think about it, my face gets hot. 😳

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9 hours ago, Selkie said:

I love the idea of giving a book instead of a card. To me, cards are a waste of money, and I would much rather spend it on a book. Amazon has a good selection of baby board books that cost around $5.00, so about the same price as a card. 

Obviously, if I was giving a book (or multiple books) as the main gift, I would spend quite a bit more.

I don’t give cards, though. I just put a to/from tag on it. 

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9 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

No, it’s the sentiment involved, not the value.  

That would be correct.  Which is why a used gift, given with the sentiment of "I know you will love this" is entirely appropriate, even if the item isn't some family heirloom.  If someone finds the exact set of wine glasses the bride wants, and has been looking for, at a yard sale for half the price of new, the sentiment is involved and there's no reason to value spending twice as much just for new glasses.  

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14 hours ago, Seasider too said:

 

I don’t give books lightly. When I give someone a book as a gift, if it’s a children’s book, it’s a nice quality, large format, often hardcover book. Those run closer to $20 (the ones I prefer to give, anyway). 

So for the only shower that I actually ended up attending that came with this request, I treated it like a book shower and brought a couple of really nice books as the gift, nothing from the registry. 

This exactly🌺When I buy books as gifts, for baby showers, baptisms or a child’s birthday, they are always hardback and usually a classic. I did receive a shower invite that had send a book, instead of a card. I dutifully did what was asked and also sent a very nice gift. It was an out of town shower for my DH’s niece in law. Never heard a word if the gift was ever received 🧐

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5 hours ago, Quill said:

I don’t give cards, though. I just put a to/from tag on it. 

I buy a box of 50 blank cards, and write my own message.

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20 hours ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

We cloth diapered exclusively.  I compared all the options and decided which style/brand would actually work for me, so I didn't want anyone to bring us any diapers. We didn't do a typical baby shower because a) I loathe and despise showery,  game oriented, hyper-feminized get togethers b) I didn't want a bunch of useless baby stuff. Most of the standard gifts were useless to me. No bottles, no formula, no pacifiers, no disposable diapers and wipes, no baby bucket, no bouncy seat, etc. I wanted a specific type of stroller (umbrella) because I mostly wear my kids in a sling and I don't like those large strollers that take up so much space for a small child. 

Same here, the one time someone offered to throw a baby shower for one of my kids, I already had or purchased what I needed/wanted. We were cloth diapering so didn't need or want disposables and I had already picked out and purchased the cloth diapers I wanted new for this baby. I told her I was honored that she wanted to throw a shower but we didn't really need anything so make sure to tell everyone that no gifts are necessary, just a cookout or something in celebration of the baby would be lovely. After that she never mentioned it again and we didn't have the celebration. Just as well since big get-togethers overwhelm me.

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As far as sentiment, re: used items:

People have different values. Some people might value a new item for baby, brand name, from Von Maur in the shopping mall. Other people might think that the brand name, new item is gorgeous and very nice in every way...but when they look at it, they see another mother in a different country, sewing it in a sweatshop. To these people, a non-homemade, non-heirloom item that is in very good condition seems of far greater value to give, because they are lovingly extended the life of this entirely usable garment, thus clothing baby while honoring the seamstress who was not honored in any other way. 

THIS is how the world needs to change.

I am not saying to give a milk-stained onesie as a gift at a baby shower, no matter how poor. I am saying that a high quality item that has proved its lasting durability, by surviving the use of one child and still being in very good condition, should be valued.

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15 hours ago, Renai said:

Yeah, this is definitely a socioeconomic or elitist thing, because I've never heard of it, and I'm certainly not elite - either financially or in my thinking.

I agree, it has never occurred to me to be anything less than grateful that the person is giving me a gift. It doesn't matter whether I like it or not or if I wanted it or not. You are gracious and grateful to the gift giver to take the time to think about you and give you something regardless of how much they spent or where it was purchased. To me, that is etiquette and good manners. If I can't use it or won't use it, I quietly pass it on to someone who will get some use out of it. I am in no way entitled to the value of the gift if I don't like it or don't want it, which is I think what bothers me about the "bring a receipt" request on the invite. It almost seems like the person who worded the invite, whoever they were, felt the guest of honor is entitled to the value of the gift even if they do not like the gift that the giver chose for them.

Also it was mentioned somewhere above about the gift needing to be high quality even if it is higher quality than what I would use everyday. If I cannot afford something of high quality for my own use, chances are I can't afford to buy it for someone else either. The high quality and expensive things I do have I either found used or thrifted, got some kind of once in a lifetime amazing deal, or I scrimped and saved for months to get something I would use that will last long enough to be passed down to my kids. If I found a high quality item for an amount I could afford, I would absolutely get it as a gift if I thought the person I had in mind would appreciate it. But for the most part, when it is something I have to carefully budget for to give a gift to begin with, I cannot afford to give someone a gift of something more expensive than I can even get for myself.

 

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9 minutes ago, sweet2ndchance said:

I agree, it has never occurred to me to be anything less than grateful that the person is giving me a gift. It doesn't matter whether I like it or not or if I wanted it or not. You are gracious and grateful to the gift giver to take the time to think about you and give you something regardless of how much they spent or where it was purchased. To me, that is etiquette and good manners. If I can't use it or won't use it, I quietly pass it on to someone who will get some use out of it. I am in no way entitled to the value of the gift if I don't like it or don't want it, which is I think what bothers me about the "bring a receipt" request on the invite. It almost seems like the person who worded the invite, whoever they were, felt the guest of honor is entitled to the value of the gift even if they do not like the gift that the giver chose for them.

Also it was mentioned somewhere above about the gift needing to be high quality even if it is higher quality than what I would use everyday. If I cannot afford something of high quality for my own use, chances are I can't afford to buy it for someone else either. The high quality and expensive things I do have I either found used or thrifted, got some kind of once in a lifetime amazing deal, or I scrimped and saved for months to get something I would use that will last long enough to be passed down to my kids. If I found a high quality item for an amount I could afford, I would absolutely get it as a gift if I thought the person I had in mind would appreciate it. But for the most part, when it is something I have to carefully budget for to give a gift to begin with, I cannot afford to give someone a gift of something more expensive than I can even get for myself.

 

Yes!  This.  That sums it up.

 

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58 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

 

I am not saying to give a milk-stained onesie as a gift at a baby shower, no matter how poor. 

 

Off-topic, but this is basically what my in-laws brought to the hospital when my daughter (my 4th child) was born.  They brought an old baby outfit of my SIL's - nothing special about it, just old and stained - and put it in a GAP bag and presented it to DH and me.  We were stunned.  It's not like they didn't know the baby was coming and had to scramble for a gift (they've brought us used items from their house for other holidays that they forgot about).  We still laugh about it and she's 17 now.  

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I think it's theoretically possible the writer of the invite in being discussed simply had the intention of making sure the mother to be was getting something she could use, but just didn't know how to word it or didn't know that a baby shower just isn't necessary for some moms to be.  She wants the mother to be included in a coming baby ritual, and doesn't want any gift givers to have their gifts passed on to someone else. 

Not everyone is happy knowing that the mother to be passed it on to someone who would be more inclined to use it. There are people who are very upset when their gifts are passed on unused by the intended recipient. Most people assume the items they donate are going to be sellable, but many are not, and it's possible the shower hostess is aware of this and trying to avoid it. She may also be aware that some people cannot accept the idea of  a baby celebration party that specifically says, "The mother to be has everything she needs, no gifts please." Some of us were here for the thread about party invitations that specified no gifts.  It was remarkable how many people were not able to accept that it meant exactly what it said and that it was perfectly polite to say so. Many recommended ignoring it and giving the gift before or after the party.  For those of you who weren't here for that, I'm not exaggerating or making it up.

I suspect with the growth of minimalism as a response to the burden many people find consumerism and excessive material goods and as a response to growing awareness of environmental issues, these kinds of things are going to be more common. It's important to stay current as societal values shift for significant numbers of people. People marry older and don't need household goods, so they ask for cash/gift cards so their guests aren't throwing money away and contributing to landfills.  Some people are in very comfortable economic situations and ask for no gifts or to donate to a charity in lieu of a gift.  Some people ask for unwrapped gifts because of the environmental impact of wrapping paper production and wrapping paper as waste. Many people would much prefer used items as gifts over new. Many donation places don't accept some items due to overload.  Most donated items don't make it to the floors of resale shops, they go to landfills.  This is all increasing, so it's time to process it and adapt accordingly.

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Extraordinarily rude, even for a shower.  What if the giver intends to give a home-made gift?  In fact, I find this so rude, I likely would find an excuse not to go to the shower.

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I don't think a gift, used or otherwise, necessarily needs to be "high quality."  I do think it needs to be of at least non-trash/functional quality.  Meaning, if some mom to be really really wants a specific baby blanket, one that is threadbare, has mold stains on one side, and it fraying in a corner, that's not really functional quality.  A used baby blanket, with no stains, no rips, that's functional quality and if that's the blanket mom has asked for, maybe it goes with the baby's car seat or whatever, that's perfectly acceptable to give.  

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1 hour ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:

I think it's theoretically possible the writer of the invite in being discussed simply had the intention of making sure the mother to be was getting something she could use, but just didn't know how to word it or didn't know that a baby shower just isn't necessary for some moms to be.  She wants the mother to be included in a coming baby ritual, and doesn't want any gift givers to have their gifts passed on to someone else. 

Not everyone is happy knowing that the mother to be passed it on to someone who would be more inclined to use it. There are people who are very upset when their gifts are passed on unused by the intended recipient. Most people assume the items they donate are going to be sellable, but many are not, and it's possible the shower hostess is aware of this and trying to avoid it. She may also be aware that some people cannot accept the idea of  a baby celebration party that specifically says, "The mother to be has everything she needs, no gifts please." Some of us were here for the thread about party invitations that specified no gifts.  It was remarkable how many people were not able to accept that it meant exactly what it said and that it was perfectly polite to say so. Many recommended ignoring it and giving the gift before or after the party.  For those of you who weren't here for that, I'm not exaggerating or making it up.

I suspect with the growth of minimalism as a response to the burden many people find consumerism and excessive material goods and as a response to growing awareness of environmental issues, these kinds of things are going to be more common. It's important to stay current as societal values shift for significant numbers of people. People marry older and don't need household goods, so they ask for cash/gift cards so their guests aren't throwing money away and contributing to landfills.  Some people are in very comfortable economic situations and ask for no gifts or to donate to a charity in lieu of a gift.  Some people ask for unwrapped gifts because of the environmental impact of wrapping paper production and wrapping paper as waste. Many people would much prefer used items as gifts over new. Many donation places don't accept some items due to overload.  Most donated items don't make it to the floors of resale shops, they go to landfills.  This is all increasing, so it's time to process it and adapt accordingly.

This is why I don’t go to baby or bridal showers unless I know the person well. I don’t like the parties, can’t afford to attend them all, and most people don’t even need all that stuff. (I say that in reference to people being married after establishing an adult life, or being given large amounts of baby things from family and close friends ). I’ve been to too many showers that felt like gift grabs (on hostess or recipient’s part) or shows of affluence (on the part of givers). Also, for our showers, we were given so many things we never used. I’m over it. 

ETA: yes to the rude invite. 

Edited by SamanthaCarter
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I think it was rude. I have some mixed feelings reading some of the other responses though. I never intended to be entitled-acting; however...when we got married, apparently one of the store owners in dh's little town must have decided we would like a certain pattern of decorative items. We received 3-4 things in that pattern. It was not at all in our tastes. They were items that were not useful (except maybe a pitcher--long time ago, so I don't remember), and were all or mostly just for display. I'm sure that there are those who would have really liked them. But dh and I are of a very practical mind. Not knowing the whole story (still don't, just assuming), we took the items back and exchanged them for two lawn chairs and an ice cream freezer, which we enjoyed using for several years, the chairs almost daily. We were students, and didn't have room for something we couldn't actually use. The store-owner seemed offended, which is what made us think that she had made the suggestions. So I really do appreciate registries. Many times, we didn't have space for things that were not what we really needed, so unless I know the person really well, and usually even if I do, I try to go by the registry if possible. If I couldn't afford anything on the registry, I'd either go with books (for baby), or something like dish towels in their colors (for bride).

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3 hours ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

As far as sentiment, re: used items:

People have different values. Some people might value a new item for baby, brand name, from Von Maur in the shopping mall. Other people might think that the brand name, new item is gorgeous and very nice in every way...but when they look at it, they see another mother in a different country, sewing it in a sweatshop. To these people, a non-homemade, non-heirloom item that is in very good condition seems of far greater value to give, because they are lovingly extended the life of this entirely usable garment, thus clothing baby while honoring the seamstress who was not honored in any other way. 

THIS is how the world needs to change.

I am not saying to give a milk-stained onesie as a gift at a baby shower, no matter how poor. I am saying that a high quality item that has proved its lasting durability, by surviving the use of one child and still being in very good condition, should be valued.

Thank you for saying this better than I could. I far prefer used items as gifts in almost every circumstance. I think about the economically disadvantaged people who might have made the item. I think about all the waste. I think about the limited life span. And most importantly, I enjoy looking at the stuff I have and seeing my story weaved together with the previous owners'. I should add that I think these things and I am not very sentimental nor super hippy. I just dont like new stuff.

I also really dislike showers and managed to not have any for my 3 kids. I dislike being the center of attention with receiving gifts. The entire experience is so uncomfortable for me; I cringe just thinking about it.

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Yeah, it feels rude to me to actually say it.  

But bringing a receipt is often helpful. When DH and I got married we got at least 3 wafflemakers. We were able to return 2 of them, either because of a receipt or the store's lax return policy. The 3rd one we kept wasn't necessarily the best or nicest, but it was the only one we couldn't return. It turned out to be broken/defective but we had already returned the other 2 so we were without one entirely. 🙁

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1 hour ago, DesertBlossom said:

Yeah, it feels rude to me to actually say it.  

But bringing a receipt is often helpful. When DH and I got married we got at least 3 wafflemakers. We were able to return 2 of them, either because of a receipt or the store's lax return policy. The 3rd one we kept wasn't necessarily the best or nicest, but it was the only one we couldn't return. It turned out to be broken/defective but we had already returned the other 2 so we were without one entirely. 🙁

I say this as someone who regularly uses a wafflemaker...What is with registering for (or gifting) very specific, mono-functional kitchen items??? I have never had a kitchen big enough to store so many random gadgets. We received an iced tea maker, several waffle makers, and a hot chocolate maker, very specific platters like for deviled eggs, a bajillion different types of stemware, and other things I have forgotten. For "entertaining". I must be a very boring person. I think there is a very small percentage of people who actually use these items regularly. The rest is just projecting our fantasies onto some bride or mother to be.

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16 minutes ago, annegables said:

I say this as someone who regularly uses a wafflemaker...What is with registering for (or gifting) very specific, mono-functional kitchen items??? I have never had a kitchen big enough to store so many random gadgets. We received an iced tea maker, several waffle makers, and a hot chocolate maker, very specific platters like for deviled eggs, a bajillion different types of stemware, and other things I have forgotten. For "entertaining". I must be a very boring person. I think there is a very small percentage of people who actually use these items regularly. The rest is just projecting our fantasies onto some bride or mother to be.

See but I've seen many couple register for all those different gadgets on their registry. I look at that and think, ' it'll get used once or twice but mostly just take up cabinet space. Then I go and pick the practical thing on the registry.

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9 minutes ago, annegables said:

I say this as someone who regularly uses a wafflemaker...What is with registering for (or gifting) very specific, mono-functional kitchen items??? I have never had a kitchen big enough to store so many random gadgets. We received an iced tea maker, several waffle makers, and a hot chocolate maker, very specific platters like for deviled eggs, a bajillion different types of stemware, and other things I have forgotten. For "entertaining". I must be a very boring person. I think there is a very small percentage of people who actually use these items regularly. The rest is just projecting our fantasies onto some bride or mother to be.

We use a waffle-maker regularly too. Currently I am using my mom's ancient beast of a waffle maker that is still going strong.  😄 

I am with you on the gifting of specific kitchen appliances or items that you don't know the receiver will be able to use. After receiving so many duplicates or items we just wouldn't use for our wedding, DH declared that we would only ever give gift cards or cash as gifts. I am a very practical person and I hate to see things go to waste or go un-used, so I usually check the registry first and give cash if there isn't anything left in my price range.

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12 minutes ago, hjffkj said:

See but I've seen many couple register for all those different gadgets on their registry. I look at that and think, ' it'll get used once or twice but mostly just take up cabinet space. Then I go and pick the practical thing on the registry.

I completely agree. And bringing this back around to baby showers/registries, I also do that with shower gifts. I look at the super uncomfortable-looking 3mo cute outfit on the registry and think, "That will get worn for a total of 5 minutes", and then I buy the diaper rash cream they registered for. I include an Amazon gift card for the mom to spend on herself for whatever will help her through the sleepless nights.

Edited by annegables
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Well I'm relieved the OP was the recipient of the invitation and not the person writing it ... because I would have felt bad telling her off ... but yes, rude.

I took this long to open the OP because I assumed it was some store's return policy she was asking about.  I did not even imagine someone could write that in an invitation.  Wow!

I have given gifts off the registry.  Sometimes because I was poor and preferred to do the work to find a thoughtful, nice enough gift I could afford vs. buy the cheapest item on the registry.  Sometimes because I found a great gift that was not like anything on the registry.  If my gift disgusted the recipient, that is really their problem!

In the OP's case, I would be tempted to buy a book by Miss Manners and wrap it up with the gift receipt!  Maybe she would receive a whole pile of such books!

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24 minutes ago, SKL said:

In the OP's case, I would be tempted to buy a book by Miss Manners and wrap it up with the gift receipt! 


And write in it so she can’t return it!

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34 minutes ago, annegables said:

I completely agree. And bringing this back around to baby showers/registries, I also do that with shower gifts. I look at the super uncomfortable-looking 3mo cute outfit on the registry and think, "That will get worn for a total of 5 minutes", and then I buy the diaper rash cream they registered for. I include an Amazon gift card for the mom to spend on herself for whatever will help her through the sleepless nights.

 

Yeah, I always skip buying baby clothes or blankets for showers. Also bath soap and shampoo. Those all seem to be the go to gifts.

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7 hours ago, annegables said:

I say this as someone who regularly uses a wafflemaker...What is with registering for (or gifting) very specific, mono-functional kitchen items??? I have never had a kitchen big enough to store so many random gadgets. We received an iced tea maker, several waffle makers, and a hot chocolate maker, very specific platters like for deviled eggs, a bajillion different types of stemware, and other things I have forgotten. For "entertaining". I must be a very boring person. I think there is a very small percentage of people who actually use these items regularly. The rest is just projecting our fantasies onto some bride or mother to be.

Iced tea maker? Hot chocolate maker? What even are those?

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7 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

We use a waffle-maker regularly too. Currently I am using my mom's ancient beast of a waffle maker that is still going strong.  😄 

I am with you on the gifting of specific kitchen appliances or items that you don't know the receiver will be able to use. After receiving so many duplicates or items we just wouldn't use for our wedding, DH declared that we would only ever give gift cards or cash as gifts. I am a very practical person and I hate to see things go to waste or go un-used, so I usually check the registry first and give cash if there isn't anything left in my price range.

 

they make the best waffles.  modern waffle makers just don't come close.  the changed the size ratio of elevation to indentations.  and the "non-stick" coating . . . . try oiling it. works great.

I used my mom's - until it shorted.  and my great-aunts . . . currently, we're using one given to us because it didn't sell at an estate sale where I got our piano (that I got rid of last summer.).   the waffle maker is still going strong 20+ years later.

I won't buy a modern waffle maker (though the cast iron ones to be used on a gas stove are interesting.). eta: I bought one once - and got rid of it. terrible waffles.

Edited by gardenmom5
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6 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

Iced tea maker? Hot chocolate maker? What even are those?

Right? The hot chocolate maker was like an electric kettle with a spinner at the bottom so it heated up the milk or water while spinning the hot chocolate part. A microwave and spoon work just fine. I used it a few times before donating it. I donated the iced tea maker still in the box. I have no idea what it did. Plus, at the time, anyone who knew me knew that I only drank water. 

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3 minutes ago, annegables said:

Right? The hot chocolate maker was like an electric kettle with a spinner at the bottom so it heated up the milk or water while spinning the hot chocolate part. A microwave and spoon work just fine. I used it a few times before donating it. I donated the iced tea maker still in the box. I have no idea what it did. Plus, at the time, anyone who knew me knew that I only drank water. 

So odd

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I think with respect to the OP, that is really rude to specify registry or gift receipt. What I say next comes from the perspective of "gifts aren't my jam and I lean minimalist". I feel uncomfortable when I am given a gift that feels more like it was about the giver than me. I would truly rather get nothing. For one of my kids I received a homemade knitted blanket that looked like the knitter was colorblind when choosing the yarn. I felt guilt and obligation every time I used that blanket. Come to find out that the knitter was trying to get rid of yarn. 

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Late to the game, as usual, but yes, I agree that it's rude.

I rarely bring a gift from the registry however. I'm THAT person. We have a particular brand of bamboo clothing that we LOVE, and most people I have given it to have felt the same. I typically give a blanket or blanket/footie combo from that particular brand. It's my standard gift.

I'll almost always include diapers if they are mentioned or on the registry.

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On 2/1/2020 at 12:39 PM, Carol in Cal. said:

Very rude.

Also rude to bring something used ‘as a gift’ unless it’s a white elephant event.  Sure, pass on used things, but don’t bring them to a shower.

Also a good idea to enclose a gift receipt, but talking about it in the invitation is really unacceptable. 

Inconsiderate and rude are two different things, just like gracious and polite are two different things, even though each pair does have considerable overlap.  We are classical educators and can be precise in our wording, LOL.

 

See. I got some used handmedowns at my baby shower and I was just grateful. It would not have occurred to me to spurn the gift because another baby had worn it first!

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On 2/1/2020 at 8:29 PM, Selkie said:

I love the idea of giving a book instead of a card. To me, cards are a waste of money, and I would much rather spend it on a book. Amazon has a good selection of baby board books that cost around $5.00, so about the same price as a card. 

Obviously, if I was giving a book (or multiple books) as the main gift, I would spend quite a bit more.

 

But not everyone BUYS a card to put with a gift. If you make homemade cards for your gifts (Or even just write To/From with a marker on the wrapping paper) being "Required" to buy a book in lieu of a card is definitely extra money.

 

So this "Request" assumes you were going to purchase a card to go with the book in the first place.

Also, some people buy cards in bulk and then "choose from the stash" for a gift giving occasion.  This would also require them to spend additional money.

 

Edited by vonfirmath
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24 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

 

But not everyone BUYS a card to put with a gift. If you make homemade cards for your gifts (Or even just write To/From with a marker on the wrapping paper) being "Required" to buy a book in lieu of a card is definitely extra money.

 

So this "Request" assumes you were going to purchase a card to go with the book in the first place.

Also, some people buy cards in bulk and then "choose from the stash" for a gift giving occasion.  This would also require them to spend additional money.

 

But if the cute little poem says ‘we would like a book instead of a card’, and the giver typically doesn’t buy cards, then I don’t see the problem just skipping the book part.  No one is required to do any if it.  And the minute I start feeling required I will just decline.  I like to be cooperative and give what is needed and wanted....but there is a point where the entitlement goes too far and I am out.  

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About handing down used items - I am all for it - but I would also bring a new item or gift card for a shower.  I would tell the mom, "I am also bringing a bag of very nice gently used clothes/toys that we loved.  If you can't use them or don't like them, don't feel obligated, they can be passed on to someone else."  I would not wrap the hand-me-downs as a gift to open.

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7 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

But if the cute little poem says ‘we would like a book instead of a card’, and the giver typically doesn’t buy cards, then I don’t see the problem just skipping the book part.  No one is required to do any if it.  And the minute I start feeling required I will just decline.  I like to be cooperative and give what is needed and wanted....but there is a point where the entitlement goes too far and I am out.  

 

Ah. My interpretation would lead me to feel I HAD to bring a book. Not "I wouldn't have sent a card so no book needed".

 

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1 hour ago, annegables said:

 For one of my kids I received a homemade knitted blanket that looked like the knitter was colorblind when choosing the yarn. I felt guilt and obligation every time I used that blanket. Come to find out that the knitter was trying to get rid of yarn. 


Yeah, if you're using up extra supplies as a gift, they still need to coordinate in an aesthetically pleasing way. My scraps are sorted by color and I only make a scrap quilt from them for a gift if they still work as something very pretty.

As a quilter, I understand wanting to make a handmade gift out of love . As a person who isn't into stuff or its own sake, and as an individual with specific tastes, I get that my design decisions aren't going to resonate with everyone and they just might not want another blanket.  If I'm making someone a quilt, I almost always do a consult on color scheme, pattern,  and a person's general tastes.  I've done two wedding quilts for my daughters and no way would I just make something I guess they would like. Gifts don't need to be a surprise to be legitimate.

 We got a quilt as a wedding gift from the female  in-laws side (a solid piece of patterned fabric on top and bottom,  tied for the quilting, so it was simple, made in one day by the group, not incredibly time intensive.) It matched my husband's carpet...mauve carpet that was very fashionable in the early 90s in AZ.  It was absolutely horrid colored carpet, but it was a standard option in houses when he bought his.  MIL did the decorating at his request (he didn't know me then and didn't have a girlfriend then) so she did pink, mint green, and blue southwestern, which I detest.  It was well done according to its own style, but that style itself is not at all to my tastes. So the quilt was done to go with the decor of his house, which isn't crazy, but it never occurred to them that it wasn't to my tastes.   So it's the quilt we take for outdoor events to sit on the ground.

During my quilter's guild meetings years later we discussed realistic expectations for quilts given as gifts to mothers to be.  Some had a hard time accepting that the quilt isn't about them, and it's a better strategy to ask the mother to be about her baby decoration plans before planning your quilt.  It's worth reminding crafters that most moms will get several packages of manufactures blankies and possibly a few handmade blankets-more than she will actually need or use.  If you want yours to be used as decor, your best bet is to make it coordinate it with the color scheme.

The next best strategy after consulting is to make it something that already resonates with mom to be.  There was a woman at church who was a dog breeder and trainer, so I didn't consult on the design, I made her baby girl a puppy dog quilt in gender neutral prints so it would work with any future sons too. https://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com/p/dog-gone-cute.html My niece married a navy man, the baby's room was patriotic theme colors, so I did anchors and flags when she was expecting.  In the cards I told them the quilts were not fragile and they were versatile. They could be used as tents, forts, capes, picnic blankets outdoors, padding for wagon rides at the zoo, and wall hangings.  Rips and stains were a sign of it being well used.

Too many quilters get it into their heads that the quilt will be treated like a piece of artwork and sacred symbol of the relationship when in reality it's one of scores of blankets that the new mom will be bombarded with.  If they want it to be art, their best bet is to do a consult, listen to the mom, work with the decor theme, a make it a wall hanging size, and include a hanging rod that works with the theme. Otherwise, it could end up in the bottom of a pile in the closet never to be seen again or passed on to someone else.

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I've been thinking about the "maybe she didn't know" posts. Maybe I live in a different world but with every wedding and baby shower I've attended or been a part of, the person being honored had input. Of course someone else threw the shower for them but that someone always asked about their preferences and wishes. Given what's common in my circles I would assume the person had knowledge of that notice on the invitation. 

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39 minutes ago, vonfirmath said:

But not everyone BUYS a card to put with a gift. If you make homemade cards for your gifts (Or even just write To/From with a marker on the wrapping paper) being "Required" to buy a book in lieu of a card is definitely extra money.

I usually give books as baby gifts anyway, and don't usually do cards, so I would put a to/from tag on the books in that situation. I don't think someone has to give a homemade card at every gift giving occasion if they're into that kind of thing; it's better saved for a more appreciative audience.

Micro-managing your guests by telling them to bring a book instead of a card along with the gift is too much. Again, it's probably a case of trying to minimize superfluous stuff that will just be thrown away, but it's not a well executed plan. I can't think of a polite way of saying, "Don't bother with a card, I'm just going to chuck it and think of what a waste it was to produce, transport, and get rid of just so I know the gift was from you. " Guests buy cards because they want someone else to come up with a lovely worded sentiment that's pretty to look at and celebratory in nature that labels the gift from them and employs talented people all along the supply chain.  It's a different point of view with different priorities. 

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16 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

Of course someone else threw the shower for them but that someone always asked about their preferences and wishes. Given what's common in my circles I would assume the person had knowledge of that notice on the invitation. 

I've been to surprise showers and showers where the hostess just gets a date and guest list from the mom to be and everything else is more of a surprise to the mom.  I've also been to ones where the mom to be decided every detail and the hostess did all the grunt work and paid for it.  I've been to some that were a mix of her input and the hostess's creativity.

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All this talk about great aunts or elderly church members giving used items makes me think of Aunt Bethany from the Christmas Vacation movie. 😂

 

On 2/1/2020 at 2:24 PM, Jean in Newcastle said:

This must be a socio-economic thing?  Absolutely no one in my circles could give a $300 item unless it were everyone chipping in together and those types of gifts are always prearranged and checked to make sure that it is ok with the person receiving the gift.  Takes away the surprise, but still much appreciated because those big ticket items are hard for the recipients to pay for on their own. 

In my circles the only ones who would do something like that are the grandparents to be, and in that case they would already know that the couple actually wants that $300 stroller or car seat or whatever. ETA: @Farrar I saw that it was your IL's who gave you a large but useless gift. That wouldn't happen among the people I know. Sorry that happened to you.

 

17 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

 

But bringing a receipt is often helpful. 

I agree. But as a PP stated, a guest bringing a receipt is considerate. A host or honoree asking you to bring a receipt is rude.

Edited by Lady Florida.
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24 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

I agree. But as a PP stated, a guest bringing a receipt is considerate. A host or honoree asking you to bring a receipt is rude.

Yes this.  I personally always try to put a gift receipt in an envelope in a box whether or not I am buying from a registry. Asking for it is just rude.  And it leaves those knitting or crochet hand created items wondering if their gift will be welcome.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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I thought of the possibility that the mom-to-be didn't know ... but if there was a registry, clearly she knew a lot and most likely made comments that implied she didn't want any crap that she didn't choose herself.  😛

When my kids were on their way, I didn't want a shower, but my mom and sister insisted that I have one.  Then I didn't want to do a registry because I always got bad vibes from them.  The registries I had seen asked for ridiculously expensive items and felt like entitled demands.  But I was talked into doing a registry for the benefit of people who wouldn't know what I would want/need (plus the discount when you later buy what nobody else did).  I can't imagine having any kind of attitude about receiving things off the registry (and I'd say the majority of my gifts were off registry).  If I found out that anyone said that kind of thing in the invitation, I would die of shame.

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I agree that asking for receipts to be included is rude, but I would assume good intentions on the part of the sender.  In my experience gifts bought on a registry are easily returned for store credit with or without a receipt.  If an item not bought from a registry needs to be returned, a receipt is needed.  The person sending the invitation may have been trying to spare the honoree the awkwardness of having to contact gift-giver and asking for receipts in the event of duplicate items.  

I created a gift registry when I was expecting my oldest because relatives kept asking my mother what we needed.  I told my mother that the items on the list were categories rather than specifics.  For example, we had to select select farm animal, or Noah's ark, or blue, or ... crib sheets. We really didn't care which sheets or even if they were new sheets, we just needed something to cover the crib mattress.  We received a mix of items from the registry, homemade items, and items people thought we would want. I gladly accepted used baby items and passed most of them on when my children outgrew them. ( I kept some of the 1970s era cloth diapers because those things make excellent window cleaning cloths.)   I only returned a few items.  One I  felt bad about it since it was from a good friend.  She bought  a fancy baby spa tub that was larger than our table.  We had a small house with no place to use or store the tub.  I bathed the baby in the kitchen sink.  

When I give a purchased gift, I include a gift receipt.  I would rather the recipient return the item for something they will use than keep something just because it was a gift.  

 

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56 minutes ago, Homeschool Mom in AZ said:


Yeah, if you're using up extra supplies as a gift, they still need to coordinate in an aesthetically pleasing way. My scraps are sorted by color and I only make a scrap quilt from them for a gift if they still work as something very pretty.

As a quilter, I understand wanting to make a handmade gift out of love . As a person who isn't into stuff or its own sake, and as an individual with specific tastes, I get that my design decisions aren't going to resonate with everyone and they just might not want another blanket.  If I'm making someone a quilt, I almost always do a consult on color scheme, pattern,  and a person's general tastes.  I've done two wedding quilts for my daughters and no way would I just make something I guess they would like. Gifts don't need to be a surprise to be legitimate.

 We got a quilt as a wedding gift from the female  in-laws side (a solid piece of patterned fabric on top and bottom,  tied for the quilting, so it was simple, made in one day by the group, not incredibly time intensive.) It matched my husband's carpet...mauve carpet that was very fashionable in the early 90s in AZ.  It was absolutely horrid colored carpet, but it was a standard option in houses when he bought his.  MIL did the decorating at his request (he didn't know me then and didn't have a girlfriend then) so she did pink, mint green, and blue southwestern, which I detest.  It was well done according to its own style, but that style itself is not at all to my tastes. So the quilt was done to go with the decor of his house, which isn't crazy, but it never occurred to them that it wasn't to my tastes.   So it's the quilt we take for outdoor events to sit on the ground.

During my quilter's guild meetings years later we discussed realistic expectations for quilts given as gifts to mothers to be.  Some had a hard time accepting that the quilt isn't about them, and it's a better strategy to ask the mother to be about her baby decoration plans before planning your quilt.  It's worth reminding crafters that most moms will get several packages of manufactures blankies and possibly a few handmade blankets-more than she will actually need or use.  If you want yours to be used as decor, your best bet is to make it coordinate it with the color scheme.

The next best strategy after consulting is to make it something that already resonates with mom to be.  There was a woman at church who was a dog breeder and trainer, so I didn't consult on the design, I made her baby girl a puppy dog quilt in gender neutral prints so it would work with any future sons too. https://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com/p/dog-gone-cute.html My niece married a navy man, the baby's room was patriotic theme colors, so I did anchors and flags when she was expecting.  In the cards I told them the quilts were not fragile and they were versatile. They could be used as tents, forts, capes, picnic blankets outdoors, padding for wagon rides at the zoo, and wall hangings.  Rips and stains were a sign of it being well used.

Too many quilters get it into their heads that the quilt will be treated like a piece of artwork and sacred symbol of the relationship when in reality it's one of scores of blankets that the new mom will be bombarded with.  If they want it to be art, their best bet is to do a consult, listen to the mom, work with the decor theme, a make it a wall hanging size, and include a hanging rod that works with the theme. Otherwise, it could end up in the bottom of a pile in the closet never to be seen again or passed on to someone else.

Yes to this!

 

For swaddling tiny babies, there are other blankets that work better than a quilted one, and you can't put any blanket in a bed with a baby anyway. I like a quilt-style blanket for a play mat. They stay put nicely compared to receiving blankets, and they look cute in tummy time pictures. But that also means they will be spat up on, possibly placed on the ground outside, etc. I will be really grateful for a sturdy blanket or quilt to use that way, very grateful, but it shouldn't be fragile. 

 

 

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My hobbies when DD was born included weaving and I was a member of a guild.

My view was that handmade is better than anything, and I didn’t choose a ‘theme for the baby’s room because I wanted the decor to work with all kinds of handmade things.  I know a lot of people choose a theme, like classic Pooh or modern Pooh or whatever, but that doesn’t last very long, and I also didn’t want to have to redecorate frequently or soon.  We had white walls and didn’t buy a lot of furniture—a hand me down crib, a changing pad that I put on an old dresser, and, later, a changing table that my dad and my husband built.    So no matter what we got or bought or were gifted , it ‘went’ with the room, as long as we didn’t put it all out at once.  I’m really glad we went that way.  It made decor changes really fast and easy and we didn’t have to change much as DD grew.  I loved the baby furniture in the stores, but I also know that I could stay home longer if we didn’t buy it.

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To me it’s rude. I’m very old-fashioned (and old) so gift registries were not part of my life and upbringing. I understand the practicality of them and I go along with them when there is one, but I never cared for them. In my day, you gave cash with the baby/wedding card. For a shower (wedding or baby) it was traditionally just the closest friends/relatives and they easily communicated about any gift-giving. A baby/wedding shower was meant to get the couple started...not  provide them with everything they needed.

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9 minutes ago, ByeByeMartha said:

To me it’s rude. I’m very old-fashioned (and old) so gift registries were not part of my life and upbringing. I understand the practicality of them and I go along with them when there is one, but I never cared for them. In my day, you gave cash with the baby/wedding card. For a shower (wedding or baby) it was traditionally just the closest friends/relatives and they easily communicated about any gift-giving. A baby/wedding shower was meant to get the couple started...not  provide them with everything they needed.

Wedding registries have been very common for almost a century. I distinctly remember larger showers being very, very typical, in the late '70's and '80s -- I mean large enough that all the ladies in a small town church congregation would be invited. Not that intimate showers are not also common, but that's never been the only way.

I think you might have a regional or cultural difference, but these traditions have been around for a long time. Showers with registries, and wedding registries, became popular in the post-war era, because they replaced trousseaus and dowries. 

Edited by Lang Syne Boardie
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12 minutes ago, ByeByeMartha said:

To me it’s rude. I’m very old-fashioned (and old) so gift registries were not part of my life and upbringing. I understand the practicality of them and I go along with them when there is one, but I never cared for them. In my day, you gave cash with the baby/wedding card. For a shower (wedding or baby) it was traditionally just the closest friends/relatives and they easily communicated about any gift-giving. A baby/wedding shower was meant to get the couple started...not  provide them with everything they needed.

I don't know about old fashioned, but perhaps just regional differences.  Within my family, which includes (perhaps specifically?) my grandmother who is approaching 90, the shower (wedding or baby) is actually specifically to provide the couple with everything they need, or as close to everything as possible.  In fact, my cousin recently got married and at her bridal shower, after all the gifts were finished, my grandmother went to my cousin and asked specifically what she didn't get/what she needed so that my grandma knew what else to get.  Which did demonstrate a bit of a generational difference because my cousin had been living with her fiance for almost 10 years before they finally held the ceremony.  They already had everything they needed.  But in the eyes of my grandmother, the very purpose of that shower was to fulfill all the needs of the new couple, and she wanted to be sure that purpose was fulfilled. 

Also within my family, a bridal shower is supposed to be all the women being invited to the wedding.  (though I will say it's not traditional to have huge weddings with lots of acquaintances and co-workers either....if you are invited to the wedding either you or your spouse know the couple pretty well)  So that did mean the shower was all close family/friends, but they were also all going to the wedding.  

 

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