Thanks for the insight! I haven't thought about the random things people give you.
I also tried having the "no gifts" conversation with my mom and I kinda rambled a lot. Who knows how well that went. Maybe I should try sticking to having very specific gift requests instead of absolutely nothing? Thoughts?
General consensus on here seems to be that people who like giving gifts like giving gifts, and will continue to do so, whatever the recipient says. (I find it ironic. I mean, the idea of a gift is to give something nice to the other person. If they have specifically said they don't want gifts, aren't you doing JUST the opposite by giving them something? Just making yourself feel better, not them? I digress).
I know many people have luck asking for 'experiences' eg tickets to events, days out, massage vouchers etc. My mum is a 'things' person and enjoys wrapping things up and watching us open them, so I asked for consumable things on account of our house being small. Mostly, she obliges, and actually, I love getting fancy cookies I wouldn't otherwise buy. Toiletries I usually donate brand new. If she comes just for a visit I always get a deluge of 'hostess gifts', though olive oil etc is becoming more common, and I definitely gush about consumables such as that, to try to encourage her.
Since getting really strict on what I 'let in' though I have noted that neither she, nor anyone else, has ever noticed that the things they give me aren't in the house. I'm guessing they just want to check the box of, "Gave hostess something" and don't recall from visit to visit what it was, or expect to see it.
I was worried about her noticing I just gave it all away, but nope, been doing it a few years and she hasn't caught on at all.