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

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10 minutes ago, Lang Syne Boardie said:

I think you might have a regional or cultural difference, but these traditions have been around for a long time.

Yes, regional and cultural differences— registries were not a part of my life and upbringing. 

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:58 AM, hjffkj said:

I think it is one thing to try to coordinate a themed gift for something like that and another to dictate bringing a book on top of the already wrapped gift or instead of a card.

 

Yes.  If I buy a book that is the gift and all that would be expected.  I only buy cards if it instead of a gift and so do most people in my family.  

I think the whole thing is rude.  I don't mind people asking for contributions for a big item though.  If everyone contributes $10 to $50 anonymously according to finances it can make a big difference if you need to get a new washing machine or something.  I also don't mind the bring a packet of nappies though I would object to a whole box.  I also don't mind the donate to X in lieu of flowers or a gift.

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Registries on the computer were definitely not a thing when I was growing up since there weren't the computerized systems available back then for anything.  (And weren't a thing at all in the country I grew up in but then neither were showers.)  But I believe that you could register at a store in the US and they would look in a book for you.  According to Wikipedia (which I glanced at just to make sure of my facts), Target was the first with gift registry kiosks in the 90's. 

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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3 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Registries on the computer were definitely not a thing when I was growing up since there weren't the computerized systems available back then for anything.  (And weren't a thing at all in the country I grew up in but then neither were showers.)  But I believe that you could register at a store in the US and they would look in a book for you.  According to Wikipedia (which I glanced at just to make sure of my facts), Target was the first with gift registry kiosks in the 90's. 

When I was a kid, they had registries for brides only, and they were handwritten.  By the time I got married in 1987 they were faxing them to other store branches on request, but still handwritten.

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Yes, I would agree....so very rude.  My step-mother, who could have written Emily Post's Etiquette, would shudder at the thought. As soon as I receive an invitation to shower or wedding, etc. I try to buy two or three of the most economical gifts. I assume if I was included on the invitation list, that means the person who included our name wouldn't be surprised that we purchased the cheapest gifts. 😁

Regarding gently used gifts:  I will never forget the generous couple who essentially clothes my son for the first 3 years of his life. The couple had gotten married later in life and had 3 children one after another. They only had one son, so I was the lucky winner of 3 contractor trash bags full of clothes! When the mom brought them over, she seemed a little bit embarrassed, but when I opened the bags, saw what was inside, I hugged her neck and cried. The clothes were quality, high end brands that we never could have afforded. The mom was happy by the time she left. The funny thing was, my son was known for always wearing Osh Kosh overalls in every design known. I had to tell family that we hadn't blown our budget buying them, but we were gifted them. I've kept one tote of the overalls since they have lots of life in them. (The only baby clothes I kept besides a few keepsakes.) 

After years of waiting for the Lord to add to our family, when we found out the birth-mother we were matched with was expecting a girl, I knew what to do with all the boy clothes we had kept while waiting. After our daughter was born and came home, I had a great time inviting over friends to go shopping through the boy clothes. I knew how much it helped me, and I loved seeing the little guys wearing the clothes my son had.

Regarding being given home made gifts: One of my favorite wedding gifts we received was from a dear couple who my husband rented a room from. The wife knitted a huge, heavy blanket in the colors we listed on our gift registry. (Light blue, sea foam green, and white!!! 1993!) She said, "This is made to be used, so use it."  I have no idea how long it took her to make that, but we loved that blanket and we still have it.

One of my priceless gifts: Our daughter's birth-mother's mother knitted a small blanket for my daughter's first birthday. What a thoughtful and precious gift. It means so much to me and I hope it does to my daughter when she grows up.

At my homeschool co-op, when a mom has a baby, I buy them diapers or give gift card from Walmart. If they use disposable diapers, I buy a big thing of good diapers. Then I enclose the gift receipt in a little envelope labeled "GIFT RECEIPT" and tape it to the top of the diapers. They may prefer another brand or need the money more than the diapers. If the family uses cloth diapers, I give them a Walmart gift card  which can be used for whatever they need.

I'm in the camp that you should be grateful for any gift given, even if it isn't what you would want. If I receive something I can't use, I move it along to someone who can or donate it asap.

Just as an aside. My husband grew up in NZ and Australia. His mom was from NZ and his dad from AU, so my in-laws were AMAZED with the wedding and baby shower concept. But then my economical father-in-law started figuring out that if you had a been given a shower, and received a bunch of gifts, most likely you would have to buy shower gifts for other people the rest of your life. He decided he didn't like the shower concept so much after all. 🤣

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1 hour ago, Sallie Mae said:

Yes, I would agree....so very rude.  My step-mother, who could have written Emily Post's Etiquette, would shudder at the thought. As soon as I receive an invitation to shower or wedding, etc. I try to buy two or three of the most economical gifts. I assume if I was included on the invitation list, that means the person who included our name wouldn't be surprised that we purchased the cheapest gifts. 😁

Regarding gently used gifts:  I will never forget the generous couple who essentially clothes my son for the first 3 years of his life. The couple had gotten married later in life and had 3 children one after another. They only had one son, so I was the lucky winner of 3 contractor trash bags full of clothes! When the mom brought them over, she seemed a little bit embarrassed, but when I opened the bags, saw what was inside, I hugged her neck and cried. The clothes were quality, high end brands that we never could have afforded. The mom was happy by the time she left. The funny thing was, my son was known for always wearing Osh Kosh overalls in every design known. I had to tell family that we hadn't blown our budget buying them, but we were gifted them. I've kept one tote of the overalls since they have lots of life in them. (The only baby clothes I kept besides a few keepsakes.) 

After years of waiting for the Lord to add to our family, when we found out the birth-mother we were matched with was expecting a girl, I knew what to do with all the boy clothes we had kept while waiting. After our daughter was born and came home, I had a great time inviting over friends to go shopping through the boy clothes. I knew how much it helped me, and I loved seeing the little guys wearing the clothes my son had.

Regarding being given home made gifts: One of my favorite wedding gifts we received was from a dear couple who my husband rented a room from. The wife knitted a huge, heavy blanket in the colors we listed on our gift registry. (Light blue, sea foam green, and white!!! 1993!) She said, "This is made to be used, so use it."  I have no idea how long it took her to make that, but we loved that blanket and we still have it.

One of my priceless gifts: Our daughter's birth-mother's mother knitted a small blanket for my daughter's first birthday. What a thoughtful and precious gift. It means so much to me and I hope it does to my daughter when she grows up.

At my homeschool co-op, when a mom has a baby, I buy them diapers or give gift card from Walmart. If they use disposable diapers, I buy a big thing of good diapers. Then I enclose the gift receipt in a little envelope labeled "GIFT RECEIPT" and tape it to the top of the diapers. They may prefer another brand or need the money more than the diapers. If the family uses cloth diapers, I give them a Walmart gift card  which can be used for whatever they need.

I'm in the camp that you should be grateful for any gift given, even if it isn't what you would want. If I receive something I can't use, I move it along to someone who can or donate it asap.

Just as an aside. My husband grew up in NZ and Australia. His mom was from NZ and his dad from AU, so my in-laws were AMAZED with the wedding and baby shower concept. But then my economical father-in-law started figuring out that if you had a been given a shower, and received a bunch of gifts, most likely you would have to buy shower gifts for other people the rest of your life. He decided he didn't like the shower concept so much after all. 🤣

I had multiple emotions toward your post.....loved the sweet gifts you got and gave and lol at your FIL.  

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On 2/2/2020 at 5:16 PM, SKL said:

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!

Of the few showers I have been to, I have also been that person that bought something that was not on the registry. I've only gone to showers of people I've known well, and they always thanked me later for the tube of Lanolin I knew they would need but they hadn't put on the list. 😄 

 

9 hours ago, vonfirmath said:

 

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!

The best hand-me-down was from another friend of mine. She had an older daughter and had saved a dress she had taken a picture of her in. We were pregnant at the same time - she with a boy, I with my oldest daughter - and she gave me that dress. I took a picture of my oldest in that dress, and saved the dress. I few years later, My friend was pregnant with another girl, and I was able to pass it back on to her. It was a very cute dress and she didn't realize I still had it. She was very happy to see it again!

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On 2/2/2020 at 6:46 PM, 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.

haha! Same! I sold and regifted so much crystal and "entertaining" pieces! All because I registered at Bed Bath and Beyond and Target instead of Belk and the powers that be were not amused. In my outsider status, I didn't know Belk was a requirement.  

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On 2/2/2020 at 6:16 PM, SKL said:

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!

I love it.

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7 hours ago, kiwik said:

I think the whole thing is rude.  I don't mind people asking for contributions for a big item though.  If everyone contributes $10 to $50 anonymously according to finances it can make a big difference if you need to get a new washing machine or something.  I also don't mind the bring a packet of nappies though I would object to a whole box.  I also don't mind the donate to X in lieu of flowers or a gift.

When we got married we didn't have a washing machine, so told the parents and parents-in-law that if anyone asked to tell them cash towards the washing machine would be welcome.   It wasn't written down anywhere though.  We did get enough to buy the machine.

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4 hours ago, Renai said:

The best hand-me-down was from another friend of mine. She had an older daughter and had saved a dress she had taken a picture of her in. We were pregnant at the same time - she with a boy, I with my oldest daughter - and she gave me that dress. I took a picture of my oldest in that dress, and saved the dress. I few years later, My friend was pregnant with another girl, and I was able to pass it back on to her. It was a very cute dress and she didn't realize I still had it. She was very happy to see it again!

We have a dress like this that my sisters and cousins handed between us for our girls -  it was bought for smart for the first granddaughter and then got handed down between 5 cousins!  The youngest wore it for a play dress.  Each has a picture in it at around age 2.  And this was over 3 continents!!  

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When I asked why I had to register for fine china and crystal, my step-mother, who cares greatly about etiquette, explained because it was what the wedding gift they had bought for their friend's children. So, all their friends would expect to buy china or crystal for a wedding gift.  I was expected to register at Belk and Dillards. We received 14 place settings of china and crystal! Through the years, I've thought of how much the money used to purchase all that china and crystal could have helped us. 🙄 

I'm really glad couples today are more practical and may be more inclined towards less stuff rather than more.

 

Edited by Sallie Mae
Edited to clarify.
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On 2/2/2020 at 2:46 PM, 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.

I love this.  

My dd was living in another (fairly poor) country for several years, and we noticed that they didn't seem to have any second-hand stores around.  Over time, we learned it was because people would simply pass on their used items to relatives/friends who had less than they did.  Things would either be continually used (by the original owner) or passed on to family/friends until they literally could not be used anymore.  

When I was married, my friends gave me a shower and in the invite requested used items only.  I think everyone spent under $5.  That was a fun shower!  My aunt hosted another shower for me, but this was in the days before extensive gift registries.  There was one main department store chain known for wedding gifts in our city, and if people were interested, they knew they could stop in there and see if the bride had picked out any dishes or flatware.  In those days, you only picked out dishes and flatware, and nothing else.  Probably 1/4 of the guests took part in that.

Also, during that time (in the 80's), there was a shop in town where you could bring in all of your new wedding presents that you didn't want/need and trade them in for something else.  Everything you brought in was assigned a value, and you could "spend" that much on other items in the shop --  which were all wedding gifts that other people had received and not wanted.  I guess it was kind of like a consignment store, except everything was brand new, and you did everything all at once.  You'd walk in with one item, and walk out with another.  (That was before gift receipts!)

Baby showers were not a thing in my circle when I was having babies.  I never had one, or attended one.  

 

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11 hours ago, Sallie Mae said:

When I asked why I had to register for fine china and crystal, my step-mother, who cares greatly about etiquette, explained because it was what the wedding gift they had bought for their children's friends. So, all their friends would expect to buy china or crystal for a wedding gift.  I was expected to register at Belk and Dillards. We received 14 place settings of china and crystal! Through the years, I've thought of how much the money used to purchase all that china and crystal could have helped us. 🙄 

I'm really glad couples today are more practical and may be more inclined towards less stuff rather than more.

I wonder how many items on registries are because of "tradition" or what the woman's mother thinks is appropriate. I deeply hurt my mom's feelings because I politely refused to register for fancy china and crystal for my wedding. She was so concerned about what her friends would think of me and her. It was like I had offended the wedding crap diety. I never had a baby registry in part because I was concerned about more strong input and hurt feelings over stuff. I dont want loads of baby junk. I dont care what my cousin registered for or what women registered for in the late 60s. I dont need a jello mould. I dont need all the baby junk. 

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Dh’s grandmother *insisted* I register for crystal at Belks.  I told the lady helping me that I absolutely did not want crystal but I would register for a few glasses to appease his grandmother.  I also registered for a shower curtain set that I loved so much.  When a few people came to look at my registry, she encouraged them to buy something for the bathroom, not the crystal.  Then dh’s grandmother’s cousin showed up and pitched a royal fit in Belk’s about her insistence on buying only crystal for us.  I mean, what is it with crystal??  Good grief!  Anyway, the woman at Belk’s was shocked at that woman’s behavior and sold her the crystal.  I kept that crap for 19 years before I finally (last month) packed it up and shipped it to my cousin who actually uses it.   Ironically, dh’s grandmother didn’t buy us crystal!  She bought me the shower curtain I wanted so badly.  😍

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Question: have you ever been to anyone's house where they broke out the crystal glasses and serving dishes? I think I have, once. 

ETA: actual CRYSTAL, not the china - I have antique china that I use regularly. Family dinners and when the everyday dishes are all dirty.

Edited by SamanthaCarter

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5 minutes ago, SamanthaCarter said:

Question: have you ever been to anyone's house where they broke out the crystal glasses and serving dishes? I think I have, once. 

I used them when I hosted holiday family events (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, graduations, anniversary dinners, etc.)  too about 50% of the time.  But that's unusual, and at least half the time it's pretty paper plates and potluck.  I have attended a handful of friends' events that included fancy dishes in my 46 years of life.  It's been about 18 months since the last time I used mine. I have service for 2 dozen.  They aren't expensive dishes, they're white with silver rims from Bed Bath and Beyond and the crystal is from Ross at about $2 per glass because in real life things get broken and I don't want anyone upset when it happens.  I put them in the dishwasher on the gentle cycle and the silver rims are fading in a few places, but there's no way I'm going to do them by hand. Now that I don't live near extended family I'm considering reducing to service for 12.  There are 7 of us here on this side of the country.

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Yes. The same dear lady who knitted a blanket for us, loves china. She was born in the wrong time. At least two times a year she would have her family over for a fancy dinner. Think tablecloths, cloth napkins, china, crystal, candles....The whole shebang. The first time I saw Downton Abbey, I thought, "Oh, look! Dinner just like Dear Friend does it!" 😂

But she is the most loving, down to earth lady you could ever want to meet and she gave sacrificially to missions and others in need. She just loved the whole fancy process. She would radiate happiness during those dinners, so it really was a happy thing to do. She is in her 80's now and not able to do such things anymore, but while she could, she did it in a big way.

Personally, we only use china at Thanksgiving and Christmas, but in a low key way. Since my husband didn't grow up with all the big American emphasis we on holidays since he grew up in NZ and US, he is happy for us to be low key. I do the same simple meal for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Roast chicken, fresh green beans, rice and rolls. I'm the only one who likes cranberry sauce, so it is whole cranberry sauce from the can for me. We do buy expensive ice cream to go with our store bought pie. Woo Hoo! We use the china dinner plate, and roll plate and the crystal glasses for our sparkling cider. That's it. The other place settings have never been used.

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1 hour ago, SamanthaCarter said:

Question: have you ever been to anyone's house where they broke out the crystal glasses and serving dishes? I think I have, once. 

ETA: actual CRYSTAL, not the china - I have antique china that I use regularly. Family dinners and when the everyday dishes are all dirty.

Oh, my mother did for every holiday and special family event!  But it wasn't that important to her.  She just figured as long as she had it, she might as well use it.  She was born in the 20's, and I think back then, everyone got crystal for wedding gifts.  

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19 hours ago, SamanthaCarter said:

Question: have you ever been to anyone's house where they broke out the crystal glasses and serving dishes? I think I have, once. 

ETA: actual CRYSTAL, not the china - I have antique china that I use regularly. Family dinners and when the everyday dishes are all dirty.

 

I use mine fairly often for my own beverages. I use them for guests. I don’t use the nice crystal for gatherings larger than about 6 because I don’t have a huge collection, plus the greater chance of breakage when a lot of dishes are being handled. 

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20 hours ago, regentrude said:

Isn't crystal an anachronism nowadays that we know it is wiser to avoid lead?

There is lead crystal and lead-free crystal.  Obviously it is better to have lead-free crystal. 

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23 hours ago, SamanthaCarter said:

Question: have you ever been to anyone's house where they broke out the crystal glasses and serving dishes? I think I have, once. 

ETA: actual CRYSTAL, not the china - I have antique china that I use regularly. Family dinners and when the everyday dishes are all dirty.

 

My mother used "the good stuff" for every holiday dinner.  I use it on holidays, too, which bothers my inlaws for some reason. Whenever they've come over, I get "Miss Lemon, are you suuuuuuuure you don't want to use paper plates instead? Are you suuuuuuuure you want to use those crystal iced tea glasses?  Are you suuuuuuuure you want to use this silverware?" 

Yes, I'm sure.  That's why I put it on the table. 🙄

Tried to switch it up and used paper plates when they came by this last Christmas, since "the good stuff" gives them anxiety.  They still didn't like it.  🤷‍♂️ 

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I use my good china and stemware for special occasions.  It makes me happy.   I saw a sign in a store "Life is short.  Use the fine china."  That's my philosophy. 

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When we have a nice dinner with company, we use nice dishes - whatever is the best we have - preferably matching, LOL.  (Our everyday table would definitely make most of the Hive cringe.)

It's been so long since we've had adult guests for dinner in my house though.  Like long before I had kids.  Normally, in the unusual case that we are entertaining, we take people out to eat.  Or it's a big party and served buffet style.

My parents use their best dishes and glasses when they do Thanksgiving etc.  Always have, even when we were kids and didn't have company.  It definitely makes it more special.

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5 hours ago, MissLemon said:

 

My mother used "the good stuff" for every holiday dinner.  I use it on holidays, too, which bothers my inlaws for some reason. Whenever they've come over, I get "Miss Lemon, are you suuuuuuuure you don't want to use paper plates instead? Are you suuuuuuuure you want to use those crystal iced tea glasses?  Are you suuuuuuuure you want to use this silverware?" 

Yes, I'm sure.  That's why I put it on the table. 🙄

Tried to switch it up and used paper plates when they came by this last Christmas, since "the good stuff" gives them anxiety.  They still didn't like it.  🤷‍♂️ 

Well, what does that tell you?  🙂

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3 hours ago, Carol in Cal. said:

Well, what does that tell you?  🙂

Oh, I know.  It's some combo of "They don't like me" and "I'll never make them happy". I'm just feeling sour about it tonight. 

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3 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

Oh, I know.  It's some combo of "They don't like me" and "I'll never make them happy". I'm just feeling sour about it tonight. 

That's because you're a lemon.

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6 hours ago, MissLemon said:

Oh, I know.  It's some combo of "They don't like me" and "I'll never make them happy". I'm just feeling sour about it tonight. 

No, no, no.  It means it’s about them, and not about you.  

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