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2011-06-20 5:51 PM
in reply to: #3557363

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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations
AndrewMT - 2011-06-20 5:45 AM

Now, if I find something that I really want to buy for someone, then I'll buy it and give it to them immediately.  This has nothing to do with not thinking of others or of being selfish.



X2. This is exactly how it works with my family. However my MIL expects gifts so we give gifts for all of the "little" days unless we specifically agree, i.e. no Christmas gift exchange.

My parents' usually give me some cash on my birthday or Christmas. They don't need to, I think they just like that I'll usually buy something small for myself with it. I don't usually give them anything. I know that they appreciate just having me over and couldn't care less about a gift.

I have a 13 y/o niece. Sometimes I give her a gift and sometimes I don't. She doesn't reallly need anything. Sometimes I give her cash if she is saving up for something big or if I find something that I really want to give her, I'll buy it and give her that. Usually I just try to spend as much time as I can with her.


2011-06-20 6:58 PM
in reply to: #3558789

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Elite
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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations
jpbis26 - 2011-06-20 5:45 PM
jenstewey - 2011-06-20 12:14 PM

One of my best friends and I have stopped exchanging gifts for Christmas. Instead we go on a spa day where we will each pay for our own treatments, but we call it our gifts to each other. It definitely beats searching endlessly for something that I think she'll like, and it always ends up being a fun day together.

This is exactly what my husband and I have started doing for Christmas and our anniversary. Deciding on something we would would both like and then doing it or buying it, whether it be a vacation, day away from the kids, or new laptop, etc. Much better than trying to guess what the other person wants & feeling bad if one person's gift is "better" than the others.

My wife and I do this as well.  Our birthdays are the same week, so we usually only do a nice dinner or get something nice together.  Same goes for valentines day and anniversary.  I made the mistake of getting her a very nice gift for her birthday last year, and as much as she loves it, she was very upset that I broke the rules!

2011-06-21 11:52 AM
in reply to: #3557363

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Master
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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations

My MIL insists on the holiday gift exchange, however we have to provide a list of things we want. I guess she doesn't want to think about what to get us. And no matter what we give her, she says, "I don't need that." "That's too expensive" or if it was an 'experience gift'. "Well, I wouldn't do it again on my own. I'm not THAT kind of person." (WTF is THAT kind of person???) Whether she means it or not, it comes across as, "I don't need or want anything from you." Once she is done saying how unappreciative she is, she says "Thank you."  Nice.

While I understand the annoyance of random crap wrapped up in a box, I don't get her attitude at all. Because she truly doesn't need 'stuff', we avoid giving it. She is not a 'stuff' person. Fine. But just once it would sure be nice if she just said thanks and didn't point out what a crappy job we did picking out something and wasting our time and money doing it. It makes me not want to be around her at all. I can care a lot less now since I delegated the gift job to DH. But it pains me to see him feel hurt just because she can't be appreciative of anything.

If someone opened a door for you, would you snap back at them, "I don't need YOUR help! I can open a door just fine. You're wasting your time." Because you probably can open a door. However, it's polite to say thank you.

To the OP, you might try working out the gift gving system in advance so that everyone feels better. Suggest what would make you happy. People give gifts because they like you. Sortof like fixing a favorite dinner. Sometimes people only give other people what they themselves like. It's kinda self-centered, but at least they are trying to express their "like" of the other person in a socially acceptable/expected way. It's fine if you don't want to play the game, but the message that other people receive by your actions/inactions may not be what you want it to be. If other's see you as rude, well, that's the message they're getting. If that's okay with you, then all is well. If it isn't, then you have to figure out how to send the message you want them to receive.

2011-06-21 3:49 PM
in reply to: #3557363

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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations

Gift giving stresses me out. Receiving - I can like almost anything. Well, I take that back. I got broken coffee mugs as a present from my husbands Grandmother two years in a row. I didn't really like those so much.

Anyway, your post just brought back some BAD memories. I went down this road with my in-laws several years ago. We had been buying birthday gifts for each other. One year my husband got a used sander from his brother. The next year both his brother and sister forgot his birthday all together. So fine I think. Birthday gifts are not important to everyone anymore as should be since we are all adults. I mentioned this to my mother in law in a conversation. Not even like I was upset, just in conversation.

The next family dinner it comes up that it is "Dina's idea" that we all skip birthday gifts. I was freaking livid. I rarely go off about anything. I can smile through most anything. That dinner I slammed my hand on the table and said it was not Dina's idea but all your own since no one in the entire family even remembered your own brother! I'm trying to help you all out of your own holeYell. Silence.....

Needless to say - we do not give birthday gifts to the adults in the family anymore .

I don't think it is a one size fits all thing since different people feel different ways about gifts. It's just that as a family unit a universal tradition has already been formed. Trying to change that tradition can be a very complicated process (and involve slamming things).

My sisters and I buy birthday gifts for each other every year. We like buying gifts for each other and we have done it our entire lives. We buy for each others husbands and I'm sure they could care less. They have been brought along into our family tradition.

2013-07-17 8:11 AM
in reply to: Tri Take Me Away

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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations
Originally posted by Tri Take Me Away

It's ok if you don't get it. People give and receive love in different ways. Giving gifts, spending time together, verbal affirmations, etc are all different types of love that people give to one another. Some people really love giving and receiving gifts and some don't.

In order to have successful relationships, it's important to let people know how you like to receive love and also to learn what your loved ones need from you in order to FEEL loved. It's one thing to know you are loved and quite another thing to feel loved. You can make some people, like your in-laws, feel your love by gift giving. Other people, like your dad, feel loved when you share your life with him through conversation and making time for him. You can't decide for other people what makes them feel your love. Some people are easier to love because they have the same love languages as us. Some are harder because they have different love languages and we have to be more deliberate with how we show love to them. Read the book The Five Love Languages. Figure out what love languages people around you speak, and try to keep that in mind. Again, you don't have to understand. Whether you accommodate other people's habits and traditions is entirely up to you.




agreed with this - it's not about you, it's about the people around you. if they like to receive gifts to feel loved, then why not make them feel loved? if you don't accomodate other's feelings, that's up to you, but you also need to realize that for every action their is a reaction. your way/their way, neither way is wrong, but when you know what it means to them, then you are making a conscience choice regarding the consequences - good or bad/ giving and receiving.
2013-07-18 2:57 PM
in reply to: AndrewMT

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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations

Totally not expected in my circle of friends. I rarely give gifts to my parents. They usually give me a gift of money even though I don't need it. I buy something nice for myself that I wouldn't otherwise.

I don't give gifts to my siblings. 

I sometimes skip a gift for my niece especially when she was younger because she had lots of stuff and didn't need money. Now that she is older, she appreciates money. Unless I can find something cool to give her.

My SO and I are on and off. He doesn't need to give me anything and vice versa. We usually have something we want to give each other though, so we do. Or sometimes we just treat each other to a nice trip or something.

My birthday was last week. My SO fixed up my cruiser bike! It had a flat tire (which takes hours to change) and the chain guard was bent from too many bikes in the bike rack. He also gave me a framed photo of my recently departed cat. Perfect!



2013-07-18 3:08 PM
in reply to: 0

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Queen BTich
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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations
Originally posted by sheesleeva
Originally posted by Tri Take Me Away

It's ok if you don't get it. People give and receive love in different ways. Giving gifts, spending time together, verbal affirmations, etc are all different types of love that people give to one another. Some people really love giving and receiving gifts and some don't.

In order to have successful relationships, it's important to let people know how you like to receive love and also to learn what your loved ones need from you in order to FEEL loved. It's one thing to know you are loved and quite another thing to feel loved. You can make some people, like your in-laws, feel your love by gift giving. Other people, like your dad, feel loved when you share your life with him through conversation and making time for him. You can't decide for other people what makes them feel your love. Some people are easier to love because they have the same love languages as us. Some are harder because they have different love languages and we have to be more deliberate with how we show love to them. Read the book The Five Love Languages. Figure out what love languages people around you speak, and try to keep that in mind. Again, you don't have to understand. Whether you accommodate other people's habits and traditions is entirely up to you.

agreed with this - it's not about you, it's about the people around you. if they like to receive gifts to feel loved, then why not make them feel loved? if you don't accomodate other's feelings, that's up to you, but you also need to realize that for every action their is a reaction. your way/their way, neither way is wrong, but when you know what it means to them, then you are making a conscience choice regarding the consequences - good or bad/ giving and receiving.

 

Again...serious thread revival! Some of these people aren't even on BT anymore!
2011...



Edited by Comet 2013-07-18 3:09 PM
2013-07-18 3:57 PM
in reply to: Comet

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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations
I love these. I always seem to answer the same thread multiple times.
2013-07-19 4:36 AM
in reply to: jeng

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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations
Interesting one this given the current economic climate.

A lot of people are being squeezed and gift giving can cause real stress. I've got two girls, my wife has a wide circle of friends and we've an average sized family in terms of number of relatives.

My wife and I are on the verge of a massive falling out over this topic as I'm spending upwards of $200 a month of gifts for people that my wife feels she has to buy for people. The gifts are small, generic and I don't believe the receiver hardly ever likes what we've bought although I'm sure they appreciate the sentiment.

Marketing and advertising pushes this calendar dates down our throats at every opportunity in order to guilt trip us into believing this volume of low level buying is normal and expected - and lots of us have fallen into the trap.

The problem is now, lots of people can't afford the trap they're in but no-one wants to be the first one to say it. I've raised with my family as I"m particularly concerned about my sister who's husband is out of work - they've got two girls as well and birthdays and Christmas have become really stressful. My younger brother has just bought a house and needs the money to deal with the costs of that. Although he's ok financially it's so annoying to see him having to spend cash on a gesture for something people don't even want.

I think Western society really needs to find a way to deal with this. I'd like to see us go back to what really matters - time and attention. They're free and they mean more.

If you see something you think someone will love and you can afford it - buy it and give it to them whatever the date - that would be such a cool surprise and so nice that the receiver gets to know that you're thinking of them at other times than when facebook reminds you it's their birthday.

This thread has reminded me of the dormant issue - I'm going to try and think of a way to deal with this potentially emotive subject as there's some real good that can come of it. People can save money, stop receiving token gestures but get to spend more time with people that matter to them.
2013-07-19 6:26 AM
in reply to: Dan-L

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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations
I fall under the could care less either way, when it comes to gifts...

growing up, I always got the weird gifts from family members (like a box of tissues and some body wash one year...ummm) - while my sisters and cousins got nice games etc...

and after my little sister got all pissy at me one year when she didn't get anything for her birthday (after I bought her a really nice discman - when they were still decently expensive - the year before) - I pretty much stopped doing gifts

I'll play in the holiday gift exchanges at work because they are fun (especially when they add in stealing gifts type rules) - but I much prefer to do a spontaneous thanks - here's a book type gift than a oh, its your birthday, type thing
2013-07-19 6:35 AM
in reply to: austhokie

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Master
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Subject: RE: Gift Giving and Expectations

I am one of those who love to shop for and give gifts, but I also like to receive them. I need to qualify the receiving part with the fact that I want it to be a gift that I know they saw and thought of me.  My husband does not like to give gifts or receive gifts.  As a matter of fact, the last 2 Mother's Day he has refused to do anything for me because I'm not his mom, nevermind the fact that I am the mother of his 4 children.  Yes, they should do something for me, but I would appreciate it if he could honor me too!  

I am notorious for shopping secondhand stores and flea markets.  Sometimes I find things that just scream someone's name and I will get it for them.  I'm not embarrassed about the place where it was bought, just tickled that I found something for someone and it brought a smile to my face to find it!

With all of that being said, I spent a LOT of years hating my FIL and despising every minute we spent with him.  I spent a full week with him in a hospital (he died a couple weeks later) and made peace with him.  I now regret not doing/giving little things for/to him.  I wonder if it would have made a difference.  I know he also liked to give gifts. He was a prankster!



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