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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2001
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    up the hill from the little river (that floods alarmingly often)
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    3,626

    Default When your parents get you gifts that *they* like

    So what's the best way to handle this? Smile and say thanks?

    The last few years at Christmas and for birthdays, my parents (Mom especially) have been giving me items that they would like. From Mom it's been jewelry that's very much her style (big, bright stones and colors) and wildly patterned handbags; from Dad it's been hand-me-downs (his old giant film camera, though I am no photographer and have never, to my knowledge, expressed a desire for such a thing).

    I don't want to seem ungrateful, but truly I won't use/wear these items, and I don't know what to do with them. Plus we're getting ready to move, and I'm trying to apply the useful/beautiful rule so we can get rid of the things we don't use/don't care for.
    Full-time bargain hunter.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    23,361

    Default

    My Mom was the queen of irregular sales. One year, she gave my husband a shirt with no buttonholes and my brother boxers with the fly sewn shut.

    My MIL used to give shirts in a color she liked. Size didn't matter to her, it was the color. Goodwill used to benefit greatly...there was no changing them.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    3,122

    Default

    i have a garbage box.... my inlaws are HORRIBLE about giving us atrocious hideious things to "decorate" our house with... so they go in the trash box, sit in a closet for 6 months then make a trip to the recycling center. Pawn shops buy jewelry... or ebay. Alas most of the crap we are given you couldn't even sell on ebay it's so hideous.
    If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,818

    Talking gag gifts at work

    Quote Originally Posted by Catersun View Post
    i have a garbage box.... my inlaws are HORRIBLE about giving us atrocious hideious things to "decorate" our house with... so they go in the trash box, sit in a closet for 6 months then make a trip to the recycling center. Pawn shops buy jewelry... or ebay. Alas most of the crap we are given you couldn't even sell on ebay it's so hideous.
    Stuff like that is good when you have a gag gift exchange at a holiday party at work....



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    4,760

    Default

    Yep, work Secret Santa/swap, etc, regift them outside of your family or donate to charity. My former MIL used to give my older son presents that were WAY too young for him. My ex didn't want to discuss it with her, so I just put them in a box and gave them to younger neighbor kids for their birthdays. Since MIL was long distance, she never knew that DS never played with the toys and we still sent a thank you note.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2008
    Location
    Spanaway, WA
    Posts
    153

    Default

    Are your parents struggling financially? Maybe they couldn't afford to buy you new gifts but tried to find something they could hand-you-down. It is the thought that counts, right?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2001
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,391

    Default

    Take your mom shopping, point out the things that YOU like and swooooooon over them.

    Then find something similar to the stuff she's given you and make it obvious that it's just not your style.

    If all else fails, just tell her it's not working for you. I bet she'd rather have you tell her so she can a) improve for next time, b) stop wasting her money.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 8, 2001
    Location
    up the hill from the little river (that floods alarmingly often)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by UnoIsMyHorse View Post
    Are your parents struggling financially? Maybe they couldn't afford to buy you new gifts but tried to find something they could hand-you-down. It is the thought that counts, right?
    Nope, definitely not struggling financially. This would be much easier to understand if they were!

    And yes, it is the thought that counts ... I just don't know what to do with the stuff. I'd rather they made a donation in my name to some worthy charity, because that is useful, you know?
    Full-time bargain hunter.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 17, 2003
    Location
    AridZona
    Posts
    2,874

    Default

    Offer it on freecycle?

    http://www.freecycle.org

    If I can't use it or don't like it, it goes.
    Delicious strawberry flavored death!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2009
    Posts
    5,720

    Default

    I'm lucky. My family is of the "hey, if you like that sweater/jacket/whatever, try it on, and I'll hang onto it and give it to you for Christmas" mindset. Or we go shopping together and pick out stuff we want, which often gets purchased on the spot and put away until the day of. Sometimes we e-mail links to items we like, in the specific size & color.

    As my sister used to say, "We may be the family of No Surprises. But that certainly beats being the family of Big Disappointments."

    My husband thinks we are utterly insane. He loves surprises. Unfortunately, it has taken the better part of seven years of Gift Fail (one year he gave me a set of puke green luggage - WTF? Expensive, too) to start taking cues from my family on how to shop for me.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 1999
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    5,265

    Default

    50 cheap beer steins later ...
    Even duct tape can't fix stupid



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
    Posts
    1,954

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mara View Post
    I'm lucky. My family is of the "hey, if you like that sweater/jacket/whatever, try it on, and I'll hang onto it and give it to you for Christmas" mindset. Or we go shopping together and pick out stuff we want, which often gets purchased on the spot and put away until the day of. Sometimes we e-mail links to items we like, in the specific size & color.
    we're the same way! i just went shopping with my mom the other night for my Christmas present, a gorgeous winter coat that was on sale for only one more day. she'll put it in a box and i'll act surprised (and be very thankful!) when i open it!
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    PONY'TUDE



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
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    5,171

    Default

    We solved this problem somewhat by agreeing to do a Christmas exchange - you know, the old 'everyone only gets one other person to give to' routine. Save money, de-monetize Christmas, less gift wrap, etc. etc. We did this amongst about 10 family members. It worked out really well, and we made it OK to send suggestions around (e.g. if you happen to get Susie, she told me she'd love _______).
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,749

    Default

    Three words: Amazon Wish List. You can add ANYTHING from ANY website whether or not it's listed by Amazon.

    Point your potential gift-givers to the link and let them choose some fun pre-selected item!
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,241

    Default

    I think some people go by that old saying about "you should give people what you'd like to get" except this really doesn't work. My mother would do this and I would get cheap junk that didn't fit, was the wrong color, or was that I wanted 20 years ago (think el cheapo charm bracelet). When I moved far away I just sent food or other items (many people ask for things they don't have to dust) so if they didn't like it they could just pass it on. However, since I didn't even have to fake it (and gave up trying to tell her what I needed) I just opened the things she would send, and donate them directly to the local mission thrift store.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2007
    Posts
    652

    Default

    My mom does it to my sister all the time.. my sister has taken to waiting till my mom's birthday and giving it back to her. Half the time my mother doesnt remember!
    Mom and I have been close enough that she knows what I want or need. I am also not shy about telling her what I want when she asks!
    ---^v---^v---^v----------------------^v---^v---^v---
    For a moment there, you bored me to death



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    2,605

    Default

    Awww, all this reminds me of my Granny!
    She could knit and crochet beautifully so she made a lot of presents for us. Unfortunately, she had horrendous color sense. She would make a throw that was purple with an orange stripe and red fringe., etc, etc. Beautiful workmanship but her color choices would make your eyes bleed!
    When she shopped for us it was no better. I dont know how she found neon orange and green velour shirts - but she did! She would say "You're young, you can wear bright colors!" We could never look at each other when getting gifts from her for fear of cracking up. Made for some fun family stories though!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2009
    Posts
    5,720

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MsM View Post
    Awww, all this reminds me of my Granny!
    She could knit and crochet beautifully so she made a lot of presents for us. Unfortunately, she had horrendous color sense. She would make a throw that was purple with an orange stripe and red fringe., etc, etc. Beautiful workmanship but her color choices would make your eyes bleed!
    When she shopped for us it was no better. I dont know how she found neon orange and green velour shirts - but she did! She would say "You're young, you can wear bright colors!" We could never look at each other when getting gifts from her for fear of cracking up. Made for some fun family stories though!
    I've got a grandmother I love dearly but she keeps giving me RED things, even though she knows I hate red and that it looks awful on me. She loves it. One year she gave me a handbag with the words, "now, I know you hate red, but I love it!"

    She's the dearest woman, though. And she paid for all of my very expensive cosmetic dentistry two years ago; she knew how unhappy I was with my teeth and offered.

    So she can give me all of the red stuff she wants. I've even carried the red handbag a time or two when we've been out with her. (Color aside, it's actually quite cute).



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    4,322

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkme View Post
    My mom does it to my sister all the time.. my sister has taken to waiting till my mom's birthday and giving it back to her. Half the time my mother doesnt remember!
    LOL! I would never dare to do that.
    My family has always been pretty good at hinting to what they would love as gifts.
    I still tell my daughters (teenagers now) to write down a Xmas list and then I pick a couple items from it (or one big one).

    When my grandma was still around, her Xmas gifts for my sister and me were gorgeous, intricately patterned wool sweaters or cardigans. Earlier in the year, we would pick the patterns and colors, and the type of wool. I still have and wear some of those sweaters she made so long ago! My mom tried to do the same thing but she just wasn't as talented and gave it up pretty quickly.
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



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