Gifting Etiquette?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
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Registered: 11-13-2008
Gifting Etiquette?
50
Tue, 11-29-2011 - 3:19pm

I was talking to a friend yesterday and she was a bit taken aback about a conversation with her MIL.

Avatar for mom34101
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 9:28am
You know, I've never thought about it this way, but my mil always asks my dh what I would like for Christmas, but would never ask me. For my last birthday, she took my older dd out shopping to get my present. So I think she's operating under the proper gift etiquette system you describe. In my family, if you want to know what someone wants, it's fine to just ask.
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Registered: 04-22-2005
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 9:30am

LOL!





Avatar for mom34101
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 9:32am
I've never really liked the idea of giving gift cards to adults. It just feels like trading money to me. If I couldn't think of a more personal gift or didn't have the time or inclination to shop, I'd suggest an outing to a restaurant or show or something instead.
Avatar for mom34101
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 9:35am
Lol. My mom will just ask me, but then she usually tries to throw me off the track. Mom: I tried to find those slippers you wanted, but they were all out of them. I can't believe they don't keep enough in stock right before Christmas! Isn't there anything else you want?
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Registered: 05-27-1998
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 9:53am

I really appreciate it when I get specific ideas from people. Our families live far away, so we really don't know our nieces and nephews that well. I rely heavily on those Amazon wish lists to help me pick out something good for each kid.

I never tell people what I or my kids want unless they ask. However, I do encourage my kids to make lists because my ILs and my parents always ask for suggestions for them.

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Registered: 03-27-2000
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 10:02am
My mom is so darn practical that she HATES giving a gift that isn't going to be used. To ensure that she doesn't make a mistake, she starts asking me for a list for my family before Thanksgiving. I understand her sentiment, but it is kind of annoying. Some years I end up just buying some of the gifts myself and she gives me money. She is also emphatic that she spends exactly the same on all of her grandkids so if the gifts don't add up to the dollar amount she has planned to spend per kid, she gives them a check for the excess! It makes me uncomfortable providing her with a list but that's what makes her happy! MIL never even asks for ideas. And the funny thing is that she doesn't see my kids often (once a year) so I'd think it would be harder for her to figure out what the kids would like or are interested in. Sometimes she does a good job picking things out, but other times she fails. But I appreciate that she goes to the effort of thinking about each of them and what they might like, and at least TRIES. My mother never gets that far but it's totally their personalities (MIL is a shopaholic and a doesn't think twice about money whereas my mom is a thrifty, practical shopper). As for gift cards, I think they are ok for kids in some cases, but I don't particularly care for them for adults because it sort of is just like exchanging cash with each other. That's not to say there aren't certain circumstances where I think they work (like when there isn't an "exchange" such as a birthday where the receiver isn't turning around and giving you a gift too). Or, like my brother - I know he and his wife don't eat out much so I might give them a gift card to a restaurant that I know they enjoy but rarely go to - something like that. I usually give my parents a gift card to local restaurants for their anniversary b/c they like to eat out and try new places. I live in a unique touristy town that has lots of cool restaurants that I know my parents might not necessarily try otherwise.
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Registered: 01-15-2006
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 11:12am

i didn't understand the question but i agree with this, its rude and very impolite to volunteer information without being asked first.

 

Avatar for mom34101
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 11:15am
My mom starts asking before Thanksgiving, too. She told me just yesterday that she really needs to know what my kids want because it's "getting awfully late." (I haven't started my shopping yet.) She just likes to have everything done early. She was out to dinner with us last night, so she just asked the kids herself, and they told her. To my mom, it's not so much being practical as it is that she really wants to get them something they will love. Gift-giving isn't a big deal in dh's family (and neither are holidays and birthdays). My mil used to give me the money to buy stuff for the kids from her, but now that they're older, she just gives them gift cards. I think she's just afraid of getting the wrong thing. But she loves to spend time with the kids and will often take them shopping for cool stuff when they're with her. I could see giving gift certificates to interesting restaurants to adults like you're saying. We tried doing that for my in-laws one year (they're really hard to buy for), but they were clearly uncomfortable with it, so we never did it again.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-15-2006
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 11:16am
Lol. DH's sister said she almost bought our kids itune gift cards for christmas last year but she did ask if they had ipods first and they don't.

 

Avatar for mom34101
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 11-30-2011 - 11:17am
I think starbucks can be a nice gift card. For me, it's something that I enjoy, but I'm too practical to spend $4 for a cup of coffee v very often. Sometimes students give me starbucks cards at the end of the semester, which I love.