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My couple's gift this year will be ...

Started by mybetterself, October 23, 2010, 11:32:55 am

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Pooh

I like the charity thing too but I don't see it flying with my DIL.  I have seen numerous things on my DILs FB page where she has been doing some small crafts.  So I think I will get her a gift card to "Hobby Lobby".  They have not only craft stuff but picture frames and decorations so she can use it many ways.

If she doesn't like it.....well, that's her problem, not mine.  I refuse to worry about this year. 
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell

erma

just the topic I'm looking for, since we had a nice dinner last nite and we talked about Christmas this year, (my ds gave us 1st dibbs on a holiday of our choice  :)) i don't know what to do. my dil in the past has only excepted cash. not gift cards, not checks, not presents, just cash. she has misinterpreted every gift we have given her except cash. (but only after telling us how much cash she received from her FOO, which is more than we make in a month!) so, do we go on with the cash only theme? so as not to rock the boat? or do we not compromise ourselves and give gifts from the heart? well, i think ill give cash, and a lil tiny gift she may except and not misinterpret. hmmmmmm.

luise.volta

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

justus

The whole gift thing has evolved over the years for me. Once, when I was upset about someone using a gift in a way I had not intended, a wise friend told me that I had GIVEN a GIFT to this person. Once I gave it, I had no right or reason to believe I had any control over what they did with it. Since it was a gift, I also had no reason or right to expect them to even be thankful. I shouldn't give a gift expecting to get anything back, not even a thank you. It isn't a truly a gift if I expect some reward for my efforts.

I came by this expectation honest. My own family doesn't really know how to give a gift. There are always strings attached well beyond a simple thank you. I started focusing on truly giving gifts to people and my feelings were hurt a lot less often and I hurt fewer feelings along the way. I also treated every gift I received the same way. If there were strings, I simply ignored them. You can imagine how my family dealt with that.

I know that society rules dictate that we write thank you notes, but I wasn't even aware of this until I got married and believe me, my MIL judged me unfairly because of my ignorance. My family and the people we knew only did that for special occasions like weddings or graduations. Never had we received or sent one for a birthday or holiday gift. A simple verbal thank you was sufficient. I think it is a mistake to hold people to standards they may not even know exist, and, yes, this includes demanding certain sorts of gifts. My niece demands certain sorts of gifts because she has been trained from childhood that is how she gets what she wants. I shudder to think how her new ILs are dealing with this piece of work. I always gave her a nice present and ignored her bad behavior. She could demand all she wanted and behave as badly as she wanted, all it did was make her look bad and eventually she figured that out.

The only problem I have with the charity gift of the OP is the agenda that you are giving along with it. This isn't really a gift because there are strings attached. Your son should not be obligated to "open his mind" because of this gift. I think you should rethink your own motives and give something that has no strings or expectations attached. That would truly be a gift.

miss_priss

October 25, 2010, 02:25:41 pm #34 Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 02:32:23 pm by luise.volta
QuoteThe only problem I have with the charity gift of the OP is the agenda that you are giving along with it. This isn't really a gift because there are strings attached. Your son should not be obligated to "open his mind" because of this gift. I think you should rethink your own motives and give something that has no strings or expectations attached. That would truly be a gift.


Good observation Justus....how often have we seen on here "I gave my DIL/DS/whoever _________, and didn't get so much as a Thank you."  While I agree that it's rude to not say Thank You, this verbiage implies that the sender was expecting some kind of response in return for their generous gift, which isn't what gift-giving is all about.  When you give a gift with some kind of agenda behind it, it's more like gift lending

I am, however, guilty of not saying "thank you" for a gift, once that I can remember.  It was when my MIL sent a check for my birthday and I held on to it to personally give it back to her and tell her that the best gift she could give me would be to be civil to me for the sake of her son.  I really didn't want her tangible gifts when she'd made it clear that her gifts were just for appearances, not because she genuinely cared for me.  Of course, true to form, she told everyone how ungrateful and spoiled I was.       

luise.volta

I have a problem sometimes letting go of a gift and not putting expectations on it. I want o see a piece of clothing worn, etc. I have to keep telling myself that it is theirs and what they do to or with it is their business not mine. It's like it's an extension of me or something and anything that happens after I "give" it is about me. How dumb is that?
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Eva

for this Christmas I will send to DS and DIL a card
and in it ,
it will be an invitation for a dinner for their whole family
to a restaurant of their choice,
date and time of their choice
to leave line of communication open

and I will pray for a peace between us
if they respond it will be nice
if they ignore the invitation
I will donate $$(amount for missed dinner) to our hospital


luise.volta

Good plan and I hope they take the high road! Sending love...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Sheen

I guess I am one of those people that do expect an acknowledgment that a gift is received. For years I sent gifts to my son and his family and for years even if I spoke to them, they never once even acknowledged receiving them. I did expect a response partially because since the gifts were sent thru the post, it would be nice to know if they actually received them.  My daughters and I tried very hard to find nice things that they would all like and to receive not even a response was a bit daunting for all of us.  It might not be what gift giving is about but I do believe in treating others like you wish to be treated and not acknowledging a gift is just rude.  What does it take to say, hey we received your gifts or thanks for thinking of us.?  I honestly don't think those expectations are so far out of the realm of civil upbringing regardless of the way one is brought up.

LaurieS

October 25, 2010, 09:52:47 pm #39 Last Edit: October 25, 2010, 09:58:18 pm by Laurie

Quote

Good observation Justus....how often have we seen on here "I gave my DIL/DS/whoever _________, and didn't get so much as a Thank you."  While I agree that it's rude to not say Thank You, this verbiage implies that the sender was expecting some kind of response in return for their generous gift, which isn't what gift-giving is all about.  When you give a gift with some kind of agenda behind it, it's more like gift lending


I agree that the sender was expecting some kind of response and the correct response is a simple thank you.  Why would anyone jump to the conclusion that the gift giver has some hidden ulterior motive.  I'd like to think that most people/adults can give a gift our of love and nothing more.

Pen

A "thank you" is always a good thing, even when the gifts are not. I've thanked my former MIL, my DIL, my stepmother and my dad for some god-awful gifts that were truly passive/aggressive. I chose to be a classy broad instead of engaging in a fight I could not come out of with dignity. It kind of stops them in their tracks, which is a perk  ;)

And, as Laurie said, how do we know the giver has an ulterior motive? Better to err on the side of gratitude and love, IMHO.
Respect ... is appreciation of the separateness of the other person, of the ways in which he or she is unique.
-- Annie Gottlieb

Nana

I am also the kind of person that like to be acknowledge for a gift.  Probably it is because I love presents and am always very grateful for them, no matter if its a small or big.  But I probably enjoy more giving than receiving.  I love to feel that I have given something that the receiver will enjoy.   I know that my dil love earings (gold) and exactly the kind she likes, so every Christmas I give he earrings.  She makes a Wow face, and then stands up and comes to me and gives me a kiss.  Oh I feel so rewarded.  I dont mind getting a gift back....but acknowledgement....yes. 

I dont really feel that expecting thankfulness (gratitude) is not truly giving. 

It is only the way I feel. 

Good we can all share our perspective.

Love

Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove:
Shakespeare

justus

I agree that thanking someone for a gift is just polite, and I have sent gifts through the post and hate it when the receiver doesn't let me know if they get it. Even so, I don't let the receiver's lack of spoken appreciation ruin my enjoyment of giving the the gift. I think this is another choice we can make. If I don't hear anything, I usually ask and they will then apologize for not calling, etc.... People have lives and things like this do slip their minds. I chose to think the best of them.

If you are giving a gift just to hear the thank you, it isn't really a gift. A true gift has no strings attached, not even the expectation of a thank you. I can think of many religious examples of this sort of giving and other secular examples of people giving food, money and even their lives for someone they have never met. I have found over the years that if I let go of the expectation of a thank you, that the gift giving experience is that much more rewarding.

pam1

In my family we don't write thank you notes.  I think it is a type of thinking that goes back to our home country from what my grandmother has taught us.  It can be taken wrongly at times to receive a thank you note, it is kind of like implying that the giver was put out, took a hit on their $$ or some other negative attribute and that is why they are being thanked for it.  A gift is just supposed to be a gift with nothing needed to go back to the giver.

So, I do know that our family culture is different than mainstream and it can be a minefield to navigate.  I want to honor my own family and being frank, I think our way is better ;)  lol.  I think the whole thank you note thing can be a token to be looked at as someone who didn't do their duty, isn't grateful etc.  When, our way, there is nothing to look at and point.  You give a gift IF you want to.
People throw rocks at things that shine - Taylor Swift

LaurieS

I understand what you are saying Justus, and I'm not doubting you... it's a big world with every type of person.. but do you know of many who would give a gift of any type just to hear the words 'thank you'?

I do agree that if no response is forthcoming then I will politely ask if the gift was received.. I'd hate to base hurt feelings on my faith in our postal system.  You go onto say "I can think of many religious examples of this sort of giving and other secular examples of people giving food, money and even their lives for someone they have never met."  But when I give money to a charity or charitable event, I do so with expectations that the money will be used as stated.  If someone blesses a needed family with food, are we not hoping that the food is eaten and that the recipient is appreciative of a strangers generosity?

I expect a thank you, not always verbally but through actions.  My uncle had a organ transplant.. we wakes every morning and is thankful and because unlike the unlucky ones, HE CAN, he lives his life as a good caring person who is also helpful  to others.  Do we really give gift with no strings attached?  I guess I don't but we were not talking about life altering gifts we were taking about tokens of appreciation or of love.  If someone is willing to accept the gift then they should be equally willing to express gratitude and be willing to try and use the gift in the manner in which it was given.  Strings.. yes sometimes there are.. if someone feels that they can not live with the strings then by all means refuse the gift.  Just my opinion.