Author Topic: How to control gifts for daughter  (Read 6764 times)

FastStache

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How to control gifts for daughter
« on: February 01, 2015, 03:30:37 PM »
We just had a party for our daughter, and we got a lot of gifts that we didn't want. My wife did setup a registry, but it wasnt really adhered too. We probably didn't do our best to make this known. Personally I don't really care for gifts to be given to her, but if we do we prefer for it to be money.

How do others deal with this? Any special words on an invitation?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 03:33:57 PM by FastStache »

frugledoc

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2015, 03:45:48 PM »
1. Don't do a registry
2. "No gifts please"

Catbert

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2015, 05:27:50 PM »
I think we need more info.  How old is your daughter?  Is this a party of her peers?  Or adult relatives?  Is cash for 525 or ??  In general:

If this is a party of her friends I think a registry or asking for cash is not only tacky, but isn't going to work.  Give away, sell or re-gift presents you don't want.

If your daughter is young and these are adult relatives buying presents you might have more luck.  I want to know what nieces and nephews wants so a registry works great.  I also am amenable to giving money for a 529 or, for teenagers cash for them to spend as they wish. 

mama

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2015, 05:28:33 PM »
Are you talking about setting up a registry for a child's birthday party??  Please say no.

Gifts are gifts, if you don't have use for them, send to goodwill or free cycle.

NumberJohnny5

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2015, 05:46:30 PM »
2. "No gifts please"

We tried that once. The person thought we meant "no gifts, cash only." We really meant "please no gifts of any kind, including cash."

First world problems, I know.

crispy

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2015, 06:16:58 PM »
You can't really. When you invite people to a party, they are going to bring gifts and I don't think it's nice to dictate what they should or shouldn't give unless they specifically ask.  You don't have to keep everything. You just need to say thank you and then a) re-gift to someone else, b) return to the store, c) donate to charity, d) throw it away or otherwise dispose of it. 

I am pretty anti-clutter, but my children's birthday party is about them, not me, and receiving gifts is part of that.  The best way to avoid getting gifts you don't want is to not throw birthday parties.  We only do big birthday parties every other year which helps reduce the insanity a lot.

jms493

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2015, 06:32:02 PM »
You can't really. When you invite people to a party, they are going to bring gifts and I don't think it's nice to dictate what they should or shouldn't give unless they specifically ask.  You don't have to keep everything. You just need to say thank you and then a) re-gift to someone else, b) return to the store, c) donate to charity, d) throw it away or otherwise dispose of it. 

I am pretty anti-clutter, but my children's birthday party is about them, not me, and receiving gifts is part of that.  The best way to avoid getting gifts you don't want is to not throw birthday parties.  We only do big birthday parties every other year which helps reduce the insanity a lot.

Great Response

kpd905

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2015, 06:35:31 PM »
My wife did setup a registry

Is this a registry for a kid's birthday party?

NeonPegasus

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2015, 06:39:46 PM »
My family buys gifts for my 3(!) daughters on their birthdays but we can't handle more stuff from classmates so I try to prevent gifts from them.

On invites I write "No gifts please. Your presence is present enough." Most of the times, that works. Sometimes the kid draws a picture as a gift, which my girls love. Anyway, I also do not make goodie bags for the kids to take home. I figure it's an even trade and most parents are grateful to avoid the influx of candy and cheap crap.

I want my children to learn that birthdays are about celebrating with friends, not about what they can get out of them. So far it's been working well.

hunniebun

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2015, 07:03:23 PM »
Some of my friends have had twoonie parties for their kids. Where the guests bring two twoonies...one for the birthday girl and one for a charity of the birthday girl's choice.  I thought this was a cute idea, so if you have 10 guests/family members come...the birthday girl gets 20$ to spend on something she wants and 20$ to give away to something she deems worthy.   I think people like it because it avoids that culturally awkward feeling of coming empty handed. And it is nice because the total 'cost' for people coming is only 4 bucks. 

FastStache

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2015, 07:04:46 PM »
We have unmustahian family and want to give lots of gifts. So if we dont do a registry we get 100% stuff ee don't want. We usually just list clothes and toiletries.

The parties are gatherings at our house, pretty musthachian.

We will try the note on the invites

ltt

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2015, 07:15:47 PM »
Again, what type of party is this?  I'm sorry, but I probably wouldn't attend a party if a person just flat out asked for cash; it would seem very rude.

FastStache

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2015, 07:27:44 PM »
It was her birthday party. I rather say no gifts, but then we would still get stuff from our family anyways.

caliq

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2015, 07:33:37 PM »
If it makes your family happy to give your daughter gifts, and they haven't been receptive to you asking them to gift in a certain way that you would find more preferable, why not just let them give the gifts?  As a previous poster said, you can return them or sell them or regift them if it's really a problem.  Put any money you make or save into a savings account or 529 or whatever savings goals you have for your daughter.  Or give the toys and such away to charity; that would probably be a good exercise for a kid -- learning to share your bounty with those less fortunate. 

netskyblue

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2015, 07:37:44 PM »
With family, I'd think you could just say that.  It's with your child's friends (and acquaintances) that you might just have to say "no gifts" and leave it at that.  When my sister had her baby, she let the family know that she DOESN'T want him being given a bunch of toys as gifts, now and over the years - they don't have the space for them, and she doesn't want to start him out on a path of acquiring a bunch of meaningless stuff.  I think that worked, I have checked with her first before getting any gifts (she OK'd the piggy bank & coins we got him for Christmas). 

There's no acceptable way to ask for cash as a gift.

NorthCarolinaDreams

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2015, 07:55:22 PM »
"Please no gifts! Though very sweet,
Your presence is the only present we need!
(But if you still feel so inclined,
Consider donating to daughter's 529.)"

Or something along the line of that?

merula

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2015, 08:14:59 PM »
One thing that's worked for me is to say that anything that goes beyond the limits I set for family becomes a "your house toy". My parents generally don't want clutter, and we live in much less space than they do, so it helps put things in perspective for them.

With my more extended family, I haven't had a lot of luck. One family member I spoke to about wanting to cut back on gifts ended up sending not one but two horrifically-worded mass emails that made everyone feel terrible. People who had bought gifts before the email came out were upset at the timing, and when they showed up with the gifts, people who had listened felt guilty about not getting anything.

Hoping to try "no gifts" on an invite an upcoming party. Fingers crossed it works.

NeonPegasus

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2015, 08:36:33 PM »
With family specifically, I've asked that they give an "event" rather than a gift. Basically, spend some time with the kid. If they like to take pictures, show the kid how to do that. If they like to cook, cook something with the kid.

It worked ... okay. Some family members meant to take them to do something and forgot. But their aunt and uncle took the oldest on an overnight trip to the aquarium and the middle to a trip to legoland and the girls were ecstatic and they really developed a relationship with them.

If clutter is the issue moreso than money, events are fantastic gifts. In fact, my and my husband's Christmas gift to our girls was that we planned one event for every month of the coming year. It isn't cheap but we're building memories without building a heap of crap.

madamwitty

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2015, 09:11:52 PM »
"Please no gifts! Though very sweet,
Your presence is the only present we need!
(But if you still feel so inclined,
Consider donating to daughter's 529.)"

Or something along the line of that?

Cute rhyme!

crispy

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2015, 10:01:37 PM »
"Please no gifts! Though very sweet,
Your presence is the only present we need!
(But if you still feel so inclined,
Consider donating to daughter's 529.)"

Or something along the line of that?

Please don't send something like this. Putting it in rhyme doesn't make it less tacky.  It's the parents' job to provide for their child's education, not random party guests.  If a family member asks, I think it is fine to offer a suggestion or a preference, but I don't think we should otherwise dictate what others give us.

gimp

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2015, 10:55:06 PM »
Who the fuck has a registry for a birthday party.

mxt0133

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #21 on: February 02, 2015, 02:31:22 AM »
So my wife and I tried to just invite friends and family to a park or museum without telling them it was for a birthday.  We would have food and cake for everyone.  But some friends figured it out and brought gifts.  Those that didn't literally stopped by a few days later dropping off gifts.  It's really hard to tell people to stop when you know it's just how they show affection.  So yeah we sell the gifts or re-gift.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #22 on: February 02, 2015, 05:34:53 AM »
How old is your daughter? My 1-year-old doesn't know enough yet to get frustrated when we get rid of truly awful toys she gets.

(It's a pink dinosaur with lots of buttons, called "Learning Dinosaur," and it has a dial which will make it blabber in English, Spanish, or only say numbers. All the buttons get stuck, so when somebody bumps a button, it'll just repeat "círculo" over and over and over again. For days when we kept it in the laundry room waiting for the charity truck to go by.)

Vandal09

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2015, 07:16:48 AM »
Just put "no gifts necessary" on the invite. Don't make a registry if you're trying to convey that you aren't looking for presents. Kine of a mixed message, don't you think? NEVER ask for cash period. Super rude and presumptuous.

I'm a red panda

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2015, 07:22:14 AM »
You don't get to control gifts. Being selected by the giver is PART of it being a gift.

You only control what happens from when it was received.  Sell the ones you don't want on ebay, put them in a stack to regift them at other parties, donate them to a charity or throw them out if you don't want them.

It is extremely rude to try to dictate what people give you, or to say you only want cash.

Registries are the norm for weddings and baby showers due to the quantity of gifts received, and having a way to not get so many duplicates. (But even at those occasions, a bizarre off-registry gift still should be politely received.)  They aren't a social norm for birthday parties, and sounds like the height of tacky for me. Which is probably why it wasn't adhered to.


Just say "no gifts" on the invite. At least you will have fewer to deal with then. (Many people will still bring gifts.)  Asking for cash is rude.

I'm a red panda

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #25 on: February 02, 2015, 07:24:02 AM »
"Please no gifts! Though very sweet,
Your presence is the only present we need!
(But if you still feel so inclined,
Consider donating to daughter's 529.)"

Or something along the line of that?

Please don't send something like this. Putting it in rhyme doesn't make it less tacky.  It's the parents' job to provide for their child's education, not random party guests.  If a family member asks, I think it is fine to offer a suggestion or a preference, but I don't think we should otherwise dictate what others give us.

I figured this rhyme would only go to "family party" not to the school friends party.

cynthia1848

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #26 on: February 02, 2015, 07:47:34 AM »
Get the most gossipy person in your family to spread among the rest of the people in the family that (1) you don't want ANY gifts but (2) if they must give something, give cash or a 529 contribution.

If non-family give gifts, I would suggest either not having a birthday party with non-family members (bonus: it is cheaper!) or just managing the gifts as best you can by getting rid of some of the kids' toys ahead of time, and then immediately donating any terrible gifts.

begood

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #27 on: February 02, 2015, 07:50:02 AM »
For the past three years, my daughter has asked her party-goers to bring a donation of needed items for the all-volunteer cat-rescue network where we found our sweet kitty cat. We send guests the link to the page that lists the organization's greatest needs, and the kids show up with gift bags of cat toys, cat food, cat litter, and the more prosaic needs - paper towels, trash bags, and postage stamps.

Some people choose to give money to the agency, but most come laden down with wonderful piles of cat stuff. So they get the fun of picking something out and dressing it up pretty, and my daughter gets the fun of seeing what people brought, and the organization gets lots of supplies for its foster families.

It feels festive and virtuous at the same time, and we don't add to our clutter. And the agency is soooo appreciative of the fact that we use their list and people buy what they need, and my daughter gets a lot of love for "giving up" her birthday presents for the kitties.

FastStache

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #28 on: February 02, 2015, 09:29:15 AM »
You don't get to control gifts. Being selected by the giver is PART of it being a gift.

You only control what happens from when it was received.  Sell the ones you don't want on ebay, put them in a stack to regift them at other parties, donate them to a charity or throw them out if you don't want them.

It is extremely rude to try to dictate what people give you, or to say you only want cash.

Registries are the norm for weddings and baby showers due to the quantity of gifts received, and having a way to not get so many duplicates. (But even at those occasions, a bizarre off-registry gift still should be politely received.)  They aren't a social norm for birthday parties, and sounds like the height of tacky for me. Which is probably why it wasn't adhered to.


Just say "no gifts" on the invite. At least you will have fewer to deal with then. (Many people will still bring gifts.)  Asking for cash is rude.

I agree with asking for cash is tacky, don't know if I would call it rude. We want to use what is given to us and not create more trash in the world, clutter in the house and to prevent our daughter from being bombarded with stuff. It got to the point that she didn't even want to continue opening gifts.  I think it's rude to just give it away, sell it, etc. since people give the gifts with some expectation that our daughter will play with them. She can't possibly play with all the gifts given. People will be offended if the toys they got aren't played with, and some pictures aren't sent to them with her in it.

The registry was due to lots of family members asking what to get, so to make it easier for them and to prevent my wife from answering tons of texts. Again, we don't really want a registry as we don't want the stuff, but it was us trying to appease those giving gifts and at least us being able to use them. Also, it prevents us from getting 3 bikes that we now need to give away, etc. Everyone wanted to give the same gift of a play kitchen and if we didn't control the gifts to some extent we honestly would have gotten at least 3 more.

For the past three years, my daughter has asked her party-goers to bring a donation of needed items for the all-volunteer cat-rescue network where we found our sweet kitty cat. We send guests the link to the page that lists the organization's greatest needs, and the kids show up with gift bags of cat toys, cat food, cat litter, and the more prosaic needs - paper towels, trash bags, and postage stamps.

Some people choose to give money to the agency, but most come laden down with wonderful piles of cat stuff. So they get the fun of picking something out and dressing it up pretty, and my daughter gets the fun of seeing what people brought, and the organization gets lots of supplies for its foster families.

It feels festive and virtuous at the same time, and we don't add to our clutter. And the agency is soooo appreciative of the fact that we use their list and people buy what they need, and my daughter gets a lot of love for "giving up" her birthday presents for the kitties.

So, we may try the charity route in the invites and find a good local cause, and probably donate some of the toys to friends and charities. Also, no gifts on the invite with some cute note may work.

With family specifically, I've asked that they give an "event" rather than a gift. Basically, spend some time with the kid. If they like to take pictures, show the kid how to do that. If they like to cook, cook something with the kid.

It worked ... okay. Some family members meant to take them to do something and forgot. But their aunt and uncle took the oldest on an overnight trip to the aquarium and the middle to a trip to legoland and the girls were ecstatic and they really developed a relationship with them.

If clutter is the issue moreso than money, events are fantastic gifts. In fact, my and my husband's Christmas gift to our girls was that we planned one event for every month of the coming year. It isn't cheap but we're building memories without building a heap of crap.

If I think people would adhere to this, I would do this in a heart beat. I'd much rather have people spend time with her then continue on their wage slave paths.

bogart

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #29 on: February 02, 2015, 10:27:59 AM »
People will be offended if the toys they got aren't played with, and some pictures aren't sent to them with her in it.


Yikes.  Glad my family's still living in the 20th (or perhaps the 19th?) century, as we certainly do not send (or expect) pictures of people using their gifts.  Wow.

Everyone wanted to give the same gift of a play kitchen and if we didn't control the gifts to some extent we honestly would have gotten at least 3 more.

But isn't this your answer to the first problem listed above (among others)?  Let everyone give (hopefully the same) play kitchen, open (fully unpackage) one, donate or return the rest, and send all gift-givers a picture of your DD playing with said kitchen, with a thoughtful note about how much she loves it (note -- this will not work on FB, of course, in an "everyone would see" "same kitchen" sort of way, but actual notes with actual photos, or possibly actual emails -- though those risk being forwarded ... would).

CheapskateWife

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2015, 11:21:34 AM »
We just did a party for my 6 year old and invited some of his class friends.  When their parents called to RSVP and would ask what they could bring, I would direct them to food items for the party in lieu of b-day gifts.  That took alot of the food prep stress off me, and it had the added benefit of less cheap plastic crap floating around my house. 

The party was awesome without the "gift opening" session, as I had lots of organized games planned.  Some of the parents brought presents instead of food but in the end it was a lovely time! 


mama

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Re: How to control gifts for daughter
« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2015, 11:23:29 AM »
We want to use what is given to us and not create more trash in the world, clutter in the house and to prevent our daughter from being bombarded with stuff. It got to the point that she didn't even want to continue opening gifts.  I think it's rude to just give it away, sell it, etc. since people give the gifts with some expectation that our daughter will play with them. She can't possibly play with all the gifts given. People will be offended if the toys they got aren't played with, and some pictures aren't sent to them with her in it.

The registry was due to lots of family members asking what to get, so to make it easier for them and to prevent my wife from answering tons of texts. Again, we don't really want a registry as we don't want the stuff, but it was us trying to appease those giving gifts and at least us being able to use them. Also, it prevents us from getting 3 bikes that we now need to give away, etc. Everyone wanted to give the same gift of a play kitchen and if we didn't control the gifts to some extent we honestly would have gotten at least 3 more.

As a parent of two littles, I totally get the clutter issue and the environmental impact of all this stuff.  On top of it, my kids are a bit older than yours, the oldest in particular is a greedy little dude who is past the age when I can just send gifts for him out the door without him ever having seen them.  When he was 1/2, he didn't want to open more, but by 3/4, his appetite for more was insane. 

But you have to let go of the idea that it's rude to not use a gift that someone has given you.  Once they've given it, appreciate that they gave it out of love, write a nice thank you for their gift (without a picture!) and their presence at the party, and then get the unwanted stuff out of your home.  If someone specifically asks what your daughter might like, it's fine to tell them a few ideas and include memberships, passes, experiences, consumables as much as possible.  Or, sure, even send a link to your Amazon wish list.  But you'll not be able to have full control.